This week I more want to talk about rookie strategy going into the run home. Given the relative ease with the salary cap this year, some teams could already be finished, with those last few trades saved for injuries. For those guys, rookie strategy shouldn’t matter too much and well done to you for being done by this stage!
For those still trying to make their last upgrades it’s frustrating, because the cupboard is quite bare for downgrade options. I’ll have a quick yarn about the less than inviting options this week before previewing a few options that could bob up in the run home.
Ricky Henderson – Adelaide ($94,500, FWD/BAC, Break even: -12)
First two games: 33 and 51 = 42 avg.
The big basketball project is developing quite nicely. He’s an impact player at AFL level and his pace is a good asset. Maybe he’s some silly chance of staying in the rabble that is Adelaide’s 22, but for the most part he might just be getting a taste at the highest level and left to develop in the SANFL. As far as I’m concerned, scoring potential doesn’t mean as much as job security at this stage in the game, but for what it’s worth I wouldn’t expect him capable of scoring much more than the 51 he got on the weekend.
Taylor Hunt – Geelong ($94,500, BAC, Break even: -54)
First two games: 53 and 73 = 63 avg.
I really like Hunt. I also like a Geelong half back line reading Taylor Hunt – Taylor – Hunt. Just for laughs…
He reminds me a lot of David Wojcinski. He’s super fast, doesn’t have much of a brain but will put his head down and run like the wind. He looks to be playing a more controlled sort of game at AFL level and like all Cats, he’s scoring pretty well. However, the Cats have quite a few outs and I can’t see anyone but him being the first man out (except West for Ottens, but that’s a specific ruck change). Hunt is just warming someone elses seat.
Ben Griffiths – Richmond ($89,500, FWD, Break even: 32)
First two games: 19 and 15 = 17 avg.
Probably the best job security of the lot this week. Richmond are playing the kids, he’s highly rated down there BUT in two games he is yet to score over 20 points and he was incredibly injury prone as a junior. His shoulders have been particularly troublesome. Unfortunately, the one rookie that I can see getting a few games will give you next to no points coverage and is a huge injury risk.
Has a standard priced rookie ever gone down in price after his first price change? Griffiths would need to almost double his highest score just to reach break even!
ON THE HORIZON
Here’s a few names to look out for over the next few weeks…hopefully!
Tyson Slattery – Essendon – could be nearing selection. Burns the ball a bit coming off half back, but is a pretty neat player.
Andrew Strijk – West Coast – Strijk is a beautiful kick, who could be used at either end of the ground. There are rumours on Eagles forums suggesting that he is battling groin problems though. If the injury rumours are true it’s a bit of a worry, but I’ll be looking extra close at him if he gets a game.
Claye Beams – Brisbane – brother of Collingwood’s Dayne, has been impressing for the Suncoast Lions in the Queensland league. A bit like Dayne, tough on baller, but doesn’t have a sleeve tattoo.
Ryan Harwood – Brisbane – also a tough on baller, who has actually been a bit less impressive, but came to the club considered one of the more ready made prospects from the 2009 National Draft. If given games he could score handily and I reckon Voss would like his style.
Marcus Marigliani – Essendon – would be a great DT’er if he can crack a game. I’m not sure if he is close to getting a game, but he’d be a perfect downgrade option. He’s a tough, strong bodied, mature aged midfielder.
Ben Speight – North Melbourne – I’ve noticed him named in the best players in the VFL a few times, but haven’t seen any of his games this year. He’s a short, but strong body midfielder with no particular stand out skills, but a good well rounded game. If he can snag games I can see him fitting playing solidly enough to hold his spot.
Braydon Norris – North Melbourne – elite endurance and is a hard working midfielder. Once again, no particular tricks other than his hard work rate – sounds a lot like a Shinboner. Has been named emergency a couple of times for North.
James Strauss – Melbourne – has already played two games, but didn’t go well. He struggled with kicking and decision making at AFL level, but believe me, he is a cracking kick of the ball. It’d be good for his development to get a few late games and he was named in the bests for Casey last weekend.
Koby Stevens – West Coast – SURELY he gets a game in that midfield this week. He’s been in great form in the WAFL and they might as well blood a few more players. The most likely and best downgrade target remaining as far as I’m concerned. Personally, I didn’t trade Gysberts in because I’m waiting for Stevens.
Jack Gunston – Adelaide – lightly framed, young key forward (doesn’t sound great for DT) but then again, so is Nat Fyfe and Jarrad Grant. Gunston has a ripping set of hands and is super talented. He’s very raw, but with Adelaide doing so bad they might want to expose him to a bit more AFL this year. Has already played one game.
Matthew Jaensch – Adelaide – has actually played three games and had a price rise, but is still priced at less than $130K and has a break even of -35. Only out of the team due to a club suspension, but has the talent to play the season out. FWIW, had 28 touches in the SANFL on the weekend – would’ve been 128 DT points, so he can score!
Luke Breust – Hawthorn – creative goal sneak with great footy sense. I rate him, hopefully Hawthorn do too.
Troy Taylor – Richmond – another one that could get games in the run home. Seems to be popular with the coaches at Richmond and they are heavily playing the kids. I wouldn’t expect huge scoring out of him. Richmond just seem to be a good team for rookies this year, but I wouldn’t feel too safe with him on the bench.
Trent Dennis-Lane – Sydney – a lot of us have been hanging out for TDL. Mature aged goal sneak, originally from WA. I reckon he could be a bit overhyped. Everyone is hanging out for him and it seems to be a foregone conclusion for many that they’ll trade him in when he gets a game, but small forward can be a DT graveyard. If he’s doing well enough though, he should keep his spot in that Swans forward line if he starts getting games.
Relton Roberts – Richmond – LOL JK, he sucks.