Category - 2012 – The Weekly Wrap
Toby runs through all nine games from the weekend. Who were the AFL Dream Team and SuperCoach Winners and Wieners?
Brisbane vs Carlton:
- Jack Redden was one of the best for the Lions, although it becomes pretty slim pickings when picking the rest. It was not so much the fact the Lions were woeful, but more so the Blues were just unrelenting from after the first quarter break. Redden led the Lions midfield and still posted a decent score, despite his side’s huge loss.
- Daniel Merrett again played forward in what now seems a permanent role – at least until Brown returns. He is solid up forward, but isn’t going to win too many disposals up that end of the ground, just as he won’t when deep in defence. He booted 2.3 for the night, including a clever one off the ground late in the match. Don’t get tempted by these scores, as they are unlikely to be permanent.
- Tom Rockliff again played the majority of the game up forward, although he didn’t manage to dominate against the Blues as he did the Dees a week earlier. The hope is that Rocky is just filling in as a forward until Brown gets back (not the same role, but the loss of Brown means they lose a lot of scoring power), a role he is pretty familiar with as this is where he played before being drafted. Those that have him in their team shouldn’t panic trade – he will bounce back. And those who don’t have him should keep a very close eye on his price over the coming weeks.
- Mitch Golby had another quiet outing from a DT and SC perspective, although personally I am not overly surprised. Whilst he did chunt out a couple of decent games in the pre-season, that was without the likes of Hanley or McGrath in the team. Now the season proper has started, it appears he will be playing a defensive role on the opposition’s better small forwards each week – hardly a role which lends itself to DT or SC. Unfortunately, it seems the only way he is fantasy relevant is if you have Adcock or Hanley, as his role allows them to be released further up field.
- Chris Judd was fantastic for the Blues, putting on a classic display through the midfield. With the Blues’ several top draft picks now matured, Juddy is allowed a lot more assistance through the midfield, meaning two things; a – he’s not the only one having to go under the packs to win the ball, b – he doesn’t get the best tag every week. He is playing with much more freedom too, something that will happen when you can trust your teammates. He finished with 33 touches, 6 tackles and 3 goals.
- Jarrad Waite proved how important he is to the Blues’ lineup with 5.1 in a great display up forward. He is the typical modern-day forward with great athleticism and leap – his only issue has been keeping on the park. I wouldn’t trust him in my DT and SC without a few games in a row, but that said, he has the potential to be a great player for either game.
- Paul Bower certainly gave vindication to all the coaches who started him this year. Personally, I was one of many who scoffed that anyone would consider him – firstly, he was nearly delisted last year and secondly, there appear to be plenty of players ahead of him soon to return (Duigan and Jamison to name a couple). However, his game against the Lions was very good – he provided plenty of run and was also very good defensively, receiving praise from the coach in his post-match press conference. He is still only borderline best-22 though, so he would want to continue to perform if he is to stay in the side.
- Bryce Gibbs again started the game in a new role to the week prior, although many would have been excited to see it was in the half-forward role that gained him many DT and SC points in the back-end of 2011. Alas, he was tagged pretty hard and had very little effect on the game, finishing with just 19 disposals. I worry that Gibbs may be a real rollercoaster ride this year with his ever-changing role in the side.
Essendon vs Port Adelaide:
- Jobe Watson was again industrious through the midfield for the Bombers, setting up so many attacks with his strong work in the clearances. Whilst he only finished with 25 disposals, his tackle count of 13 was absolutely brilliant! He is so far proving to be the midfield bargain that many hoped he would be.
- Brent Stanton backed up his good effort from last week with another strong showing, finishing the game with 25 touches, 5 tackles and 2.1. There are few better runners in the AFL than Stanton, which means he continues to run and present all the way to the finish. We spoke about him on length last week, so it was great to see more of the same in round two.
- Courtney Dempsey again caught the eye many Dream Team and SuperCoach coaches with a good display off half back. He is certainly a good player when on song, capable of taking the game on and using the ball well. He demonstrated both with a fantastic running goal from outside the forward-50. Personally I am still hugely sceptical about his DT and SC prospects (moreso DT though), but so far he has done a good job of proving me wrong.
- Stewart Crameri was a real X-factor in the forward line for the Dons, managing to take screamers in the goalsquare and also boot goals from outside 50. Probably not DT relevant just yet, but he is certainly becoming a more rounded player.
- Kane Cornes was allowed the play through the midfield by Primus – something that appeared would never happen again after last year. We all know how much ball he can rack up in his tagging roles, but despite now managing two tons in a row, I think his best as a DTer is behind him.
- Brad Ebert has already proven to be an absolute bargain for the Power, ranking in their best few players two games in a row. Whilst his disposal can be a little off at times, for the most part he is a very damaging player. Can win his own ball and with plenty of good outside midfielders on Port’s list, Ebert can be allowed to play his natural game. I know a number of people did start him this year as a smokie and so far he is doing a very good job of justifying that selection.
- John McCarthy is another player that Port snapped up for cheap in the off-season and he is already helping them look a much better team. He is tough, can win his own ball, but also has a decent outside game. He is another mid-priced smokey that can’t be ignored.
- Jarred Redden suddenly found the weight on his back a little bit heavier when Shane Mumford pulled out for the Swans only an hour before lockout. He competed well against Paddy Ryder, but certainly came off second-best with just 11 touches and 18 hitouts. So far this season he has looked very solid, but it seems he could certainly do with some backup from a more experienced teammate.
Sydney vs Fremantle:
- Josh Kennedy had a great game through the midfield, likely giving him another three Brownlow votes after finishing last round’s encounter as BOG too. He picked up 36 disposals and 8 marks, now as one of Sydney’s top-tier midfielders alongside Jack and McVeigh.
- Sam Reid was again fantastic for the Swans, pulling down some incredible marks throughout the game. He also looks to be improving his kicking, with his set shots looking much more comfortable than they were in the pre-season. At this age and stage, Reid will be an up-and-down scorer in both DT and SC, however it does appear like he has some dominant years ahead of him.
- Nick Malceski was solid again for the Swans off half-back and will be another scrutinised option this week as every man and his dog want to trade out Broughton. He is playing off half-back and certainly looks like the Malceski we like (i.e. 2010 form). With not many decent options presenting themselves in the backline this year, you could do much worse than Eski.
- Aaron Sandilands dominated through the ruck, unsurprisingly, considering Shane Mumford was a late withdrawal for the Swans. He managed a whopping 55 hitouts, as well as 18 touches and 5 marks. So far he has had a very good start to the year, although has been slowing a bit towards the end of games (a direct result of a limited pre-season). Should be a good ruck option, despite all the talk of potential resting.
- Nat Fyfe had a pretty disappointing game, being tagged right out of it by Craig Bird. He did still finish with 28 disposals (so it sounds strange I am saying he had little effect), but the majority of those touches were pretty ineffective. Bird had certainly done his homework. Still, I will take 85/92 from a player who has been tagged right out of a game!
- Greg Broughton became the story of the weekend when he put in another average performance. Not only has he been playing lockdown roles in defence, but he hasn’t even looked that good when doing that. There will be plenty of discussion to come about what to do with him, but on face value, he certainly doesn’t look too appealing in your team – especially with the knowledge he is about to cough up a stack of money.
- Paul Duffield was looking very slick again off half-back, notching up 40/55 points in only 1.5 quarters of footy until he went down with what appeared to be a cracked rib. Fortunately, scans have cleared him of any significant injury and he flew home with the rest of the team on Saturday. Fingers crossed he can line up against the Lions next week.
West Coast vs Melbourne:
- Scott Selwood was the best of the Eagles, taking on an attacking midfield role and playing it beautifully. He has shown over the past few years that he can be a brilliant ball-winner and this game went further again to prove that as he won 34 touches and booted 3 goals, including one beauty from outside 50. He is an oddly priced midfielder, but appears to be well worth the risk – there is no doubting his ability to find the pill.
- Shannon Hurn had a day out off half-back as Melbourne’s forwards had no ability to contain his running power. He played on all day and set up so many Eagles attacks it was ridiculous. But don’t expect disposal counts like this too often from Hurn – he typically gets the job done with only 20-odd touches. In this game he managed to finish with 31 touches and 12 marks.
- Jack Darling was very lively up forward for the Eagles and was one of the biggest focal points with the absence of LeCras and with Kennedy having a quiet day. He booted 4.2 from 16 disposals and 8 marks. Will be a very good player, but also appears to be one who will be a very good DT and SC option in years to come.
- Andrew Embley went down with a shoulder injury – unfortunately, it was one he carried into the season after the club decided not to operate on it. It now requires surgery though and it will sideline him for 12 weeks.
- James Magner was the only Dee to crack the ton in DT, but we didn’t mind as it appears he is the only relevant Melbourne player in 2012 anyway… He won himself 32 disposals whilst going head-to-head with a variety of Eagles midfielders. Fortunately, it appears he will continue to win plenty of ball regardless of win or loss (thank God, as I don’t think there will be too many wins this year…)
- Jack Grimes was nothing more than mediocre for the Dees – he played a good role though, loose in defence and won a bit of ball. He is certainly good when he gets the pill in his hands, but their defence looks so disorganised that all the defenders seem to be just chasing tail rather than trying to set up attacks.
- Mitch Clark was decent for the Dees, booting five goals from just 12 disposals, although he had zero marks and zero tackles. I still believe he would be better in the ruck. Seriously, why don’t they try it?
- Brad Green – seriously, if he doesn’t get dropped this week, something is really wrong down at Melbourne. Neeld is determined to make a statement, so surely dropping Green is doing just that. Finished with just 11 disposals and no scoreboard impact.
Collingwood vs Richmond:
- Scott Pendlebury was great through the midfield in what was a pretty workmanlike display from the Pies. Pendles already appears to have taken his game to a new level in 2012, so coaches should be doing what they can to squeeze him into their sides. Finished with 29 touches and 8 tackles.
- Dane Swan was better than last week, but there still seems to be something not quite right about him. He is still getting on the end of plenty of cheap ball, but just isn’t managing to pick up as many disposals as the past few years. Whether it is laziness, change of role or simply fitness, I’m not sure, but I hope it finishes soon! I’m looking forward to being able to lock him in every week as captain with zero worries!
- Travis Cloke started really well, with his marking the real standout of his game. He did fade a bit later on (Rance did quite a good job on him too), but he did still manage a reasonable influence on the game with 18 touches, 8 marks and 3.2.
- Heath Shaw continued the theme of underperforming backline premiums with an average score of 66/75. His role hasn’t changed, but he just doesn’t seem to be going for as many runs – perhaps to do with Marty Clarke, who is more similar to him than Davis was. Still managed 14 touches, but he wouldn’t want too many more average games in a row.
- Brett Deledio picked up plenty of ball, playing exclusively as a midfielder. He had some really nice passages of play and typically uses the ball quite creatively. Despite having a very limited pre-season, he still finds himself in plenty of teams – hopefully he is in yours too if he keeps putting out scores like this!
- Alex Rance did a pretty good job on Cloke, still managing to win plenty of ball for himself. A lot of it was cheap and uncontested though (17 marks!), so don’t be counting on him being able to score like this every week! He did try and take the game on at times, although typically it proved not to have been such a good idea when he turned it over. That said, as a young defender he did a very good job on one of the best key forwards in the competition.
- Dustin Martin was pretty quiet again this week, spending a lot of time across half-forward. He did some nice things, but overall was pretty disappointing from a DT/SC point of view. Finished with 21 touches as 3 tackles.
- Steven Morris looked much much better this week, playing across half-back and actually attempting to take the game on a bit and trust his disposal (even though it is a bit shaky). Clearly Hardwick sees a role for Morris and Ellis, hence why they kept their spots after their poor debuts – it also appears he has told them to trust their abilities and go for it, as both looked like they were making conscious efforts to do so. Phew. Maybe they weren’t such bad picks afterall!
Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs:
- Scotty Thompson was one of the Crows’ best in his 200th game, picking up 34 disposals and 4 tackles in his typical workmanlike fashion. He has started the season very well and appears fit and in form. If you are in need of a unique midfield premium, then he should be on your list.
- Tom Lynch has been looking pretty good for the Crows so far, despite starting as the sub in both games. He was lucky enough that Richard Douglas went down with an early injury, allowing his out of the red singlet by quarter time. He booted 2.1 from 17 disposals and 11 marks. He was involved in some late junk-time though, which boosted his stats, but I doubt that anyone who owns him will care.
- Taylor Walker is really beginning to take his game to a new level, looking hugely dangerous every time the ball goes forward. Similar to Jack Riewoldt, Walker is dangerous both in the air and when the ball hits the ground, meaning he needs a special sort of defender to stop him. This probably isn’t the year to put him in your team, although that time may not be far away.
- Ian Callinan was disappointing after a pretty solid start to the year in round one. Those who picked Porplyzia over him may suddenly breathing a sigh of relief – at least for now. He only managed 7 disposals and 1.1.
- Matthew Boyd broke his hoodoo against the Crows with a strong game through the midfield, racking up 28 disposals and 6 tackles, as well as back-to-back goals to put the Dogs within 1 point of the lead in the third term. He is another example of a premium mid carrying his great pre-season form into the season proper. If you don’t have him, why not!?
- Brian Lake was the story of the game for many coaches who watched closely to see if he would bounce back from last week’s woeful effort. Fortunately for many, he did, finishing with 23 touches and 10 marks. He also played a pretty good role on Tipett, limiting him to just 15 disposals and 2 behinds. Another big sigh of relief.
- Ryan Hargrave was very good again with 26 disposals, but the story of his night was an apparent knock to his leg late in the game. Fortunately, the Bulldogs have stated he should be ok for next week’s game, which is great to hear, especially considering all the injury worries we had about him when selecting him in our teams in the first place.
- Clay Smith was much quieter than in his debut game – it’s fair to say there won’t be quite as much racket this week when he misses out on a NAB Rising Star nomination. He managed just 14 disposals before being subbed off in the fourth quarter. It is worth noting though, he wasn’t horrible – just quiet.
North Melbourne vs GWS:
- Ryan Bastinac had his best game for the club with a whopping 44 disposals and 2.3. Not only did he manage to rack up plenty of the ball, but he used it very well too, breaking the lines and delivering it continually to the chest of his forwards. He is certainly a contender for a breakout year in 2012, although any games against GWS should certainly be taken with a grain of salt.
- Brent Harvey started the game on fire, looking like he was going to crack the double-century for DT. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to keep that sort of scoring up, but he still finished with a pretty decent score thanks to his 32 touches and 2.1.
- Hamish McIntosh spent a lot of time up forward between his time in the ruck and really worryied the GWS defence with his height and marking ability. He took some great pack marks and converted well, finishing with 3 goals from 20 disposals.
- Aaron Edwards was the main focal point for the Roos up forward and enjoyed the solid delivery, booting 5.1 for the night. He’s certainly improved over the past 6 months to become an integral part of their team, but he is still not worth selecting in yours.
- Chad Cornes is suddenly making many Dream Team and SuperCoach coaches sit up and take notice. Whilst Chadly was once a DT and SC stud, his years are now long gone – or so we thought. He has been playing loose in defence – a very lucrative role – and has been looking very solid in doing so. He is at a price worthy of taking a risk, and if he has many more 32 possession games in the bank he could be a real steal!
- Toby Greene had a great game through the midfield, winning himself 31 disposals and 6 marks. So far over the first two rounds, Greene has looked like one of the best GWS kids and certainly has the ability to score well. If you need to bring in a midfield rookie this week, Greene could be your man.
- Jeremy Cameron was a very deserving Rising Star nomination this week from his fantastic four-goal performance. It is already obvious how much talent he has – he can mark, kick and also has the agility to take the game on. Scores will be inconsistent this early in his career, but he will be a must-have in a few years time.
St.Kilda vs Gold Coast:
- Brendon Goddard had a great game, playing off half-back and setting up numerous Saints attacks. His form this early in the season has been hugely promising considering what happened last year. He is getting in the right spots and is being used frequently by his teammates – expect plenty more big scores from him this year.
- Nick Riewoldt had a great game up forward, kicking 4.2 with a much-improved looking kicking action. He dominated against his younger opponents and ventured high up the ground to win the ball, whilst also looking dangerous when close to goal. Whilst a good game against the Suns is not something to be too excited by, the signs were at least there that Roo could get back into some good form in 2012.
- Terry Milera looked great in his second game – he has great pace and takes the game on – something the Saints’ list was really lacking. He also appears to have great courage and attack on the ball for someone of his size – this is something I had originally worried about when he was drafted. He finished with 15 disposals and 2.2. Could be a great buy for the forward line if you are in need.
- Jamie Cripps has been pretty disappointing so far this year, considering so many people paid the extra dollar with expectations that he would be one of the big improvers this year. He did some nice things, but the half-back role he played through the pre-season seems to have vanished. Should come good if given the right chances, but the worry is how long that may take.
- Gary Ablett was far and away the best player for the Suns, picking up 40 disposals, 4 tackles and booting two goals. He was given the tight tag by Clint Jones (who wasn’t awful), but still managed the lazy 40… He is a simply a different breed! It looks like you will be able to lock him in weekly for captain with little worry.
- David Swallow showed some good signs through the midfield, picking up 28 disposals and 7 tackles. He is still improving, but it’s clear how much talent he has. Wait another year or two, but pretty soon everyone will be clambering to have him in their DT and SC.
- Aaron Hall put in another pretty disappointing performance. He floated around the half-forward line and had a few inside-50s before being subbed out of the game. His spot in the team suddenly starts to become a bit of a worry.
Well what a fantastic start to the season from the Footy perspective. But fair to say, the enjoyment hasn’t been shared quite so much with fantasy coaches, with several pre-season stars falling on the first hurdle of the season.
Now, time to go through the games one by one – without any further ado, here is my first weekly wrap of the year!
Carlton vs Richmond:
- Bryce Gibbs proved we shouldn’t have let the fact he is not a DPP dissuade us from selecting him, with a fantastic game through the midfield. He played alongside Deledio, but won plenty of ball himself and used it very well. Finished with 22 possessions and 10 marks.
- Matthew Kruezer was the star of the show, playing the majority of game time through the ruck. He follows up his own ruck work so well and has no trouble finding the pill – if Rutten can continue to play him in this position then he is going to be a good scorer this year. However, the return of Warnock in the coming weeks does scare me.
- Mitch Robinson had a pretty quiet outing, relying on some late possessions and a goal to help make his score respectable. His final score was clearly well down on what his owners would expect, but it must be remembered that he only played one game in the pre-season. He will improve as he warms into the season.
- Kane Lucas, after some really promising signs in the pre-season, started the game as the sub, which was a real disappointment. He looked good when he came on, but that green vest was a clear indication that he only sits in the outskirts of their best-22.
- Trent Cotchin was fantastic for the Tiges – he was ultra classy through the midfield, but also drifted forward to great effect, booting two goals. Cotchin has been progressing rapidly year on year, so it won’t be a big surprise if he takes his game to another level again in 2012. He will be a great supercoach option this year especially.
- Jack Riewoldt continued his good pre-season form with an impressive 4.3. He is venturing up the ground throughout the game, but what I like is that he often has purpose to it – he doesn’t just find himself on the wing for the sake of some possessions. Rather, he always manages to influence the contests he takes part in. On the games we’ve seen, 2012 may see him return to his Coleman-winning best.
- Bradon Ellis was a great disappointment to many coaches, especially the thousands who had him sitting on their fields over Bugg. He simply looked a bit daunted at times throughout the game, but this is an issue which can be rectified pretty easily. He will come good, so don’t panic trade him or anything like that – unfortunately it just appears it may take a little time.
Collingwood vs Hawthorn:
- Scott Pendlebury was the star of the game, and despite being on the losing team, should be a strong contender for the three Brownlow votes. He was simply in everything through the midfield, winning plenty of clearances and contested ball – he looks capable of taking his game to another level again in 2012. He finished with 33 disposals, 6 tackles and 2.1.
- Dane Swan, whilst he didn’t quite reach the heights we know he is capable of, was still pretty good. Plenty of cheap touches, which we love, and looked to be covering the ground pretty well. He was certainly much better than in the pre-season. There were a number of concerns over his start to the year through the NAB cup, but after plenty of good signs in this game, I reckon we will be seeing more of the Swanny we love in 2012.
- Marty Clarke was pretty good for the Pies – he wasn’t a huge ball winner, but he didn’t really look like a guy who had been out of the game for a couple of years. He moved well and used the ball efficiently. His score of 61 looks like it will be about par for him this year – not bad for o 7th or 8th defender.
- Jackson Paine was good up forward for the Pies, taking three grabs and kicking 1.1. Whilst he didn’t set the world on fire, the signs were good enough that he would play a number of games this year. He is a good build and looked to fit the structure pretty well.
- Sammy Mitchell has started from where he left off last year, with another fantastic performance through the midfield. He had 32 disposals and 8 tackles for the night and was a key to the Hawks’ victory. He has proven himself to be one of the great premium midfield options which you simply cannot ignore.
- Lance Franklin – what a superstar! He is such a job to watch. Whilst Buddy started the game pretty quiet, he worked his way into it by the second quarter and really started to dominate, eventually kicking 5.3 from 21 disposals. He kicked some fantastic goals too, including one beauty from outside the 50. His form looks brilliant so far – a real worry for the 40% of teams that didn’t decide to start him!
- Grant Birchall looked very good off half-back for the Hawks, setting up a number of Hawthorn attacks with his penetrating left boot. The fact he cracked the ton in DT was a great sign, considering last year was the first time he became a legitimate DT option. He could be a great point of difference in any backline!
- Jarrad Boumann was not nearly as good as we had hoped, being smashed by Dawes early and then being subbed off. Obviously, he cannot be judged on one game along, although I’d be feeling a little nervous that he may not be getting a gig next week anyway!
Melbourne vs Brisbane:
- James Magner clearly gets first mention here, as he did from the coach. Mark Neeld stated after the game that Magner was his best midfielder and he wasn’t far wrong – in his debut game, the ‘Magnet’ picked up 23 disposals, 4 tackles and 2 goals. He isn’t the classiest player, but he goes in hard and won’t die trying. If you don’t have him in your Dream Team, then you are a fool.
- Jack Trengove was another Dee who could hold his head high after the game. He competed well around the ground and adds an element of class to their lineup. If he had more support around him, he would be a fantastic DT or SC pickup, but my concern is he will attract a lot of attention from opposition coaches this year.
- Jack Grimes was a somewhat surprising inclusion for the game, and frankly, he might as well have not played. Whilst he managed 15 disposals, his direct opponent, Tom Rockliff, absolutely dominated him as he almost refused to man up. Will still be a good fantasy option though and should get more game time in the coming weeks.
- Aaron Davey was poor, refusing to give a yelp when the game was up for grabs. My money is on him playing VFL next weekend – I cant see how the coach could validate that performance.
- Tom Rockliff was the real X-Factor for the Lions, booting 3.5 as a semi-permanent forward. With no Jonathan Brown for the Lions, they seem to be rotating other key players through the forward line in the hope that something sticks. Fortunately, Rockliff really got away from his opponent and helped to win the game off his own boot. I’d want to see him play more midfield games though for DT purposes, but the odd game like this won’t hurt anybody!
- Pearce Hanley was really impressive, running off half-back and through the midfield. He is a very good user of the ball and already appears to have improved him game from last year. The highlight of his game was a beautiful goal from outside 50m, whilst he also finished with 23 touches and 9 marks.
- Simon Black put on a vintage display through the midfield, despite copping a tag from Jordie McKenzie. He picked up 30 touches and laid an incredible 10 tackles. Whilst he may be a little old to put in your Dream Team or SuperCoach, it’d great to see the good man still running around.
- Matthew Leauenberger played the majority of the game as a key forward, which is really not very exciting from a DT or SC perspective. With Hudson at the club now, it appears like Leuey will assume Mitch Clarke’s role at FF, which is a shame as scoring will simply not be good enough or consistent enough.
Fremantle vs Geelong:
- Nat Fyfe was clearly the best of the Dockers. Watching him closely, it’s interesting to note that his disposal would only just be OK, whilst his ability to read the game is simply phenomenal. He works hard to find space all day and also has the ability to do something pretty special with ball in hand. Finished the game with 30 disposals, 7 tackles and 2 goals.
- Aaron Sandilands looked back to his dominant best in the first half, but faded as the game went on – this is mainly due to his lack of pre-season. He is simply unstoppable in the ruck and in the air – it’s amazing watching how many marks he plucks in packs – no one can ever get hear his reach. I reckon he may take a few more rounds to really get going, but the signs are pretty positive so far.
- Paul Duffield was very good off half-back, playing the role which made him a fantasy favourite in 2010. He played a very attacking game and provided plenty of overlap to his teammates, often starting a run of play in the backline, only to be on the other end of it when it came to the forward line. He is a hard worker, so hopefully 2012 can be another big year for him.
- Greg Broughton was disappointing, being sent to do a defensive job on Stevie J the most of the match. Many coaches jumped on board with the hope of increased midfield time, although already it appears like he will be thrown into defence as needed this year – not great for his fantasy output.
- Joel Selwood had a great first game as skipper, even though that Cats didn’t come home with the win. It was a typical game from Joel as he picked up 33 touches through the midfield. I am surprised he is not more popular this year – but then again, if you do need a premium midfielder this year, then you should strongly considering this man.
- Andrew Mackie played an interesting role, switching between half-forward and half-back for most of the match, often finding himself without an opponent. He hasn’t been a very good DT or SC player for a few years, but a role like this could really turn him around. I’m looking forward to seeing him again next week.
- Corey Enright was just about unsighted for most of the match, I direct effect of no pre-season. There didn’t appear to be any issues when he had the ball in his hand, but the issue was more getting it into his hands in the first place. He managed to finish with just 11 disposals for the game.
- Orren Stephenson was a bit of a worry, being subbed off in the third quarter with just 3 disposals and 10 hitouts to his name. He had very little effect one the game and was often beaten in the ruck by big Sandilands. Fortunately, Trent West had a pretty quiet game too, meaning the Big O will likely get another gig next week – fingers crossed he can really take it with both hands then.
Gold Coast vs Adelaide:
- Is it any wonder that Gary Ablett was the best of the Suns? No, probably not. He was prolific through the midfield, picking up 42 disposals and booting two goals whilst going head-to-head with various Adelaide midfielders. He manages to win so many disposals, but also uses the ball so proficiently, making him a must-have for both DT and SC.
- Jared Brennan took up a new role for 2012, roaming across half-back, and looking pretty efficient. He is certainly not the most defensive of players, but he is very good at setting up attacks from the backline. He’s career stats suggest he is wildly inconsistent, although this role does typically lend itself to Dream Team and SuperCoach. Certainly keep an eye on him.
- Dion Prestia is one of my favourite players on the Suns list – he is so quick and skilful, but also fantastic at the clearances, often running off with the ball before it has even hit the ground. He will certainly be a very good player. I actually toyed with him in my SuperCoach this pre-season, and whilst his price proved too high to justify, there does look to be plenty of improvement to come from him in 2012.
- Karmichael Hunt played through the midfield as advertised and wasn’t too bad. He still looks a little lost out on the field with where to run, etc, but he at least managed to win himself a bit of ball (15 touches to be precise). With the dearth of defence rookies this year, oddly you could do much worst than Khunt.
- Kurt Tippett dominated from the first bounce, smashing his opponent Steven May every time the ball went in his area. Kicking let him down a bit, but he still managed to finish with 4.3. When Tippett did get on top of his opponent, the Crows did all they could to leave him one-out in the square, giving him every opportunity to dominate. With no pre-season behind him, this was a very promising start to the year, although I have reservations about him backing this up week on week.
- Scott Thompson dominated the midfield possessions, with 39 touches for the game – a little short of his 52 touches from last time he played the Suns. We have talked about him quite a bit this pre-season – he is such a consistent scorer with one of the highest ceilings in Dream Team, yet year after year he seems to be ‘unique.’ Pounce now before your mates do.
- Ian Callinan was very impressing, despite the fact he was incredibly wasteful in front of goal, booting 2.5 for the afternoon. He was a huge ball winner in the SANFL, so we have had our fingers crossed that this would be translated to AFL level – so far this year the signs have been good. He is fairly priced, so the risk isn’t huge – in fact, in my opinion he is much less risky than similarly priced Porplyzia.
- Jason Porplyzia was one of the disappointments of the round, unable to get much of the ball as the Crows cleared out their forward half for the dominant Tippett. He finished with 17 disposals and once very late goal, which helped save him a bit of face.
North Melbourne vs Essendon:
- Lindsay Thomas was the highest scorer for North, but may I please make the point that he is not at all fantasy relevant. He does manage the occasional big score, but the majority of games are marred with inconsistency. He looked lively across half forward, booting 2.2 from 18 touches – and incredibly, 17 of these touches were kicks!
- Daniel Wells was exciting for the Roos and he really appears to have developed some consistency between games – an issue which has clearly plagued him for years. I don’t mind him too much as an option, but there probably are better players for similar cash.
- Hamish McIntosh and Todd Goldstein both appear to be nullifying each other this year, as when not in the ruck, each big man appears to struggle. If either were the solitary ruckman in a team, then I would be all over them, but this tandem partnership just not appear to be working.
- Brent Stanton was not only one of the best players for the game, but also the round; he also managed to finish on 180 SuperCoach points – the highest of any player in round 1. He was everywhere through the midfield and clearly has no issues in finding space – something he did numerous times throughout the game before taking off down the wing. He finished with 35 disposals, 7 marks, 5 tackles and 2 goals – big ticks in every category.
- Paddy Ryder more than held his own against the two North big-men, winning both in the air and around the ground. He had a poor 2011, but more games like this could really put his name forward as a legitimate premium ruck option this year. As we have discussed on the site, the premium/rookie ruck strategy has the benefit of allowing you a look at who is the best ruckman in the early parts of the year, or any big improvers. Ryder could be the man here if this form continues – although his price won’t remain so low for long!
- David Zaharakis seemed to take and eternity to warm into the game, but once he did he looked very good. He played mainly through the midfield and has many strings to his bow. Finished with 25 touches and 6 tackles, and after a quiet pre-season he is now a very unique selection. Must consider.
- Dustin Fletcher, the next player to be signed to a five-year deal. The old guy’s still got it – his last quarter was amazing and saved Essendon the match.
Western Bulldogs vs West Coast:
- Clay Smith was another young gun to really impress in round one, with a 13 possession, four-goal game before being subbed off with cramp in the third term. The new coach clearly loves him and is not afraid to play him on the ball, and fortunately, Smith didn’t let him down – he certainly won’t die trying. If you missed out on him this pre-season, it’s not too late to jump on before his price goes up.
- Matthew Boyd was solid as ever for the Dogs and a great captain choice for those happy to bank on his super pre-season. Only one tackle was a bit of a surprise, but he still finished with 38 touches and 6 marks whilst going head-to-head with Priddis.
- Brian Lake would have to be one of the biggest disappointments from the weekends’ games, managing just 29 DT and 30 SC points. He played at full back, which was no surprise, but there just appeared to be little energy to his game, similar to how it was last year. It has been a while since he has played AFL (bar the NAB cup), so hopefully he is just warming up. That said, another game like that and he is straight out of my team
- Josh Kennedy was the best of the Eagles in his first game of the year, booting 7.1 on the inexperienced Markovic. He has had an extremely limited pre-season, so this result was somewhat surprising, although we do know he has the talent. Unfortunately though, as a key forward, Dream Team isn’t really his game.
- Dean Cox started the year in good fashion with the solid ton. He played a lot of time at full-forward, whilst still rotating up through the ruck. He finished with 16 disposals, 5 tackles, 22 hitouts and 2 goals. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of his forward role (it does work against a young/inexperienced backline though), so it will be interesting to see how he goes this year.
- Daniel Kerr was surprisingly quiet for the first game of the year – he was given an extremely tight tag by Liam Picken, who kept him out of the game almost entirely, forcing John Worsfold to sub him off – a real indictment of his quality of game. He will surely bounce back though in the coming weeks.
Well, it feels like it’s been a while between drinks, fellow Footy Tragics! Due to moving house, the lack of internet or a computer has made writing my weekly wraps a tricky process, hence the lack of output on the site of late… My move has also felt a little lengthy due to the fact I’ve hardly been home (no foxtel either!), making myself acquainted with all the local foxfooty bars so I wouldn’t miss out on any footy!
Anyway, I’m all back up and running now and am ready to pump out a ‘NAB(ly) wrap,’ detailing all the players that have made a late charge to feature in your AFL Dream Team and SuperCoach squads when lockout hits. Hopefully I can make the decision process even harder for you! (Sorry!). This will be a four-part article, split between each position, mostly looking at players with AFL experience (Dan has been doing a lot of work on the rookies, and Kristian has the GWS boys covered). Today, I will be looking at defenders:
Broughton was one frustrating customer for those who had him in 2011, except for the mid-season patch where he was thrown to the midfield. With a new coach at the helm this year, the hope was that Broughton would actually be able to have a consistent run at the midfield this year. Judging by his pre-season form, this looks to be the case, with scores of 102, 75 and 110 coming from his three full games. He’s a tantalising prospect as we know how many touches he can rack up, but the one fear is that he could find himself back in defence when the likes of Mundy, Morabito and Barlow return to the side early in the year.
Continuing the theme of frustrating 2011 seasons, Shaw is another who burned us in 2011 when he was suspended late in the year for betting on a Collingwood match. Despite the fact this is not the first time he has done something like this to us, it is hard to forget the quality scores he can pump out week to week. His pre-season has been great so far, with two quality games (90 and 98), suggesting he will be good to go from round one and hard to keep out of our teams.
Birchall has been a perennial SC specialist, until last year when Hawthorn’s DT-friendly game style allowed him to become a star in that competition too. This game plan sees the Hawks kicking the ball around in defence (essentially keeping possession) as a way of breaking the zone. Obviously, with the amounts of kicks and marks involved, it can be a goldmine for DT and SC purposes. So far this pre-season, it doesn’t look as though this game plan has changed, which is fantastic news. With scores of 56, 89 and 74, Birchall’s pre-season has looked solid – he should be a pretty safe bet for this year.
Burgoyne attains defence status in 2012, for the first time since when he was at Port Adelaide. Once upon a time, Shaun combined with his brother Peter off half-back to make a formidable duo in Port’s hey-day. Now at the Hawks, Burgoyne was moved to half-back in 2011 due the number of injuries to their backline. He looked really solid there and is seems as if he will be playing the same role in 2012. I don’t particularly like him for DT (although he is nicely priced), as his game style is more based around his effectiveness than his disposal count, which does make him a great SC candidate though.
I have always been a big fan of Beau’s, always managing to find a way to get him into my AFL Dream Team if he is on the park. So far he has played just the two games this pre-season and actually looked pretty decent, notching up 90 and 93 DT points. He looks to be again playing that role from 2010 that proved so lucrative for him and allowed an average of 88 PPG – a decent return, especially considering his price at the time. This year his price is clearly much higher, but still not too high for the risk involved. Clearly the worry with Waters is his body – it simply continues to fail him, but if he can stay on the park he has a tendency to put up some pretty nice scores! Keep him in mind!
Howard is one of many mid-priced defence options from the Bulldogs, and one who we are relying on getting better, rather than just returning to his previous years’ form, as we are with Lake and Hargrave. Howard has had a good NAB Cup, playing as a true rebounding defender, with DT scores of 75, 35, 67 and 74. His role doesn’t look to carry a wealth of defensive responsibility, which is good, and his accurate kicking and ability to win the ball will allow him to be a good selection in either AFL Dream Team or SuperCoach. With the Dogs facing a rebuild, Howard surely fits within their best 22.
Duffield has had a fantastic pre-season after having a year to forget in 2011. Last year he spent way too much time deep in defence with shut-down roles, a far cry from his lucrative rebounding roles in the previous two seasons. Now with Ross Lyon in the coaching box (a coach who generated plenty of disposals out of the Saints’ backline in his time there), he is back playing a role as an attacking backman, proven by his NAB cup scores of 103, 81 and 81. He is very fairly priced for the slight risk attached, although I feel that is only a minor risk. Expect him to get back to his best this year.
Hanley would be a great unique option for your backline this year after cementing his spot in Brisbane’s back half in 2011. In fact, when everyone was crying about Adcock’s move to a shutdown defender last year, it was because Hanley had taken over his role as a rebounder. He is both a great user of the ball and is very creative, so Brisbane will look to get the ball to him as much as possible. With scores of 51, 87 and 84 this pre-season, there is no doubting his ability to score either.
Fisher is somewhat of a forgotten man this pre-season – the issue often is, everyone locks in Goddard from the second DT and SC opens and then immediately bypasses any other Saint. However, Fisher has had a much better pre-season that Goddard, and with the way Fisher played in 2011, I personally would be selecting him ahead of BJ in SuperCoach, and certainly considering it for DT. With the Saints lack of any true full-back in 2012, my expectation is that Fisher will be played as loose man in defence, to allow him to get to as many contests as possible. He may be tagged by opposition teams, but the Saints need him affecting contests for them to have any chance this year.
Scotland has probably had the best pre-season of any defender, but he is also the most expensive and one of the oldest options too, which certainly makes him harder to select. Personally, I am finding him too hard not to select based on current form – his games have netted scores of 69, 91 and 67 and he has certainly looked effective throughout. He is playing the same role as last year – drifting off half-back and into the midfield, allowing him to win plenty of ball. Whilst his selection does have a few negatives, personally I am finding him way too good to ignore.
Smith is into his second season for the Crows after a decent debut season in 2011. He looks to have cemented himself a spot in the side, and judging by the Crows’ win in the NAB Cup, they look on their way to bigger and better things in 2012. Smith has spent his NAB series playing across the wing, after having spent last season in the backline. He moves very well and seems to have no trouble finding the pill, meaning he is another great mid-priced option in the backline this year. His scores this NAB cup have been 42, 64 and 51.
With several players retiring from the reigning premiers’ lineup in 2011, several spots have opened up for the Cats this season, and already Hunt looks capable of grabbing one of them. He has spent this NAB series playing as a half-back, and whilst a bit inconsistent at times, his games against Sydney and Gold Coast were really impressive. Scott has already suggested Hunt will be in the round one team, so hopefully this will prove to be the case and he can keep his spot from there.
Lake will surely be one of the most selected players in both DT and SC in 2012, with all coaches hoping he can get himself back to his All-Australian form of 2010. At his best, Lake can both stop his opponent, whilst also running off them, winning possessions at will. Never was this more showcased when he racked up 192 DT points in a single game in 2010. The Bulldogs’ new game plan looks very similar to that of Hawthorn – plenty of chip kicks in the backline as they try and keep the ball from the opposition zones – this sort of game will play right into Lake’s hands… So hopefully we can see him returning to his best soon!
Hargrave has been one of the surprise packets of the NAB series, with scores of 94, 105 and 59. He has been playing loose across half-back and appears to be back near his best, despite his age and worries about his body. Personally the form just appears like a fluke to me and I’m sceptical to pick him. Having said that, stats don’t generally lie – he has also been looking pretty darn good too. Fingers crossed that if we do select him he can stay on the park!
Clarke has returned to the Magpies after a two year exodus back in Ireland. They payed top-dollar to get him back on their list (a first round pick), so clearly they see a spot for him in their side. Also, with injuries to Didak, McCaffer and Krakouer, and the retirement of Leon Davis, surely there is a spot for him in the team. He has looked pretty good this pre-season, with scores of 55 and 58 – not too bad for someone at his price. He should at least be able to occupy a spot on your bench, although I reckon he will score well enough to start on your field.
For the squads this week the underline represents players under $150K in AFL Dream Team or $200K in SuperCoach. The green represents players that you could keep an eye on as a potential keeper or mid priced option. NOTE: Bock was left out because he is suspended for the start of the home & away season.
Round two, NAB Cup
Gold Coast v Geelong
Metricon Stadium, Friday March 2, 8.40pm AEDT
1. Jaeger O’Meara, 2. Zac Smith, 3. Jared Brennan, 4. Maverick Weller, 5. Jarrod Harbrow, 7. Karmichael Hunt, 8. Luke Russell, 9. Gary Ablett, 11. Harley Bennell, 13. Hayden Jolly, 14. Matthew Warnock, 17. Josh Fraser, 19. Tom Lynch, 21. Jeremy Taylor, 24. David Swallow, 26. Matt Shaw, 30. Campbell Brown, 31. Jackson Allen 33. Aaron Hall, 35. Michael Rischitelli, 36. Sam Iles, 37. Alex Sexton, 41. Dion Prestia, 43. Liam Patrick, 44. Nathan Bock, 45. Steven May, 47. Daniel Gorringe, 48. Seb Tape, 51. Andrew McQualter
1. Mitchell Brown, 2. Billie Smedts, 3. Jimmy Bartel, 4. Andrew Mackie, 7. Harry Taylor, 12. Trent West, 14. Joel Selwood, 15. Jordan Schroder, 17. Shannon Byrnes, 18. Josh Cowan, 19. Taylor Hunt, 21. Jordan Murdoch, 23. Orren Stephenson, 24. Jed Bews, 25. Thomas Gillies, 26. Tom Hawkins, 27. Mathew Stokes, 29. Cameron Guthrie, 32. Steven Motlop, 33. George Horlin-Smith, 34. Simon Hogan, 37. Cameron Eardley, 39. Shane Kersten, 41. Jesse Stringer, 42. Josh Walker, 43. George Burbury, 45. Joel Hamling, 46. Jonathan Simpkin, 47. Ryan Bathie
Hawthorn v GWS
Saturday, March 3, 3.40pm AEDT
4. Matt Suckling, 6. Josh Gibson, 7. Michael Osborne, 8. Xavier Ellis, 9. Shaun Burgoyne, 10. Chance Bateman, 11. Clinton Young, 13. Kyle Cheney, 14. Grant Birchall, 15. Luke Hodge, 16. Isaac Smith, 17. Cameron Bruce, 18. Brent Guerra, 19. Jack Gunston, 20. David Hale, 21. Shane Savage, 22. Luke Breust, 25. Ryan Schoenmakers, 29. Tom Murphy, 31. Jarrad Boumann, 32. Bradley Hill, 35. Sam Grimley, 36. Alex Woodward, 37. Brendan Whitecross, 39. Max Bailey, 42. Angus Litherland, 43. Amos Frank, 45. Tom Schneider, 46. Derick Wanganeen
1. Phil Davis, 3. Stephen Coniglio, 4. Israel Folau, 7. Rhys Palmer, 9. Tom Scully, 13. Sam Darley, 15. Tim Golds, 16. Nathan Wilson, 18. Jeremy Cameron, 19. Nick Haynes, 20. Adam Tomlinson, 22. Shaun Edwards, 24. Steve Clifton, 25. Anthony Miles, 26. Jonathan Giles, 27. Andrew Phillips, 28. Liam Sumner. 29. Dom Tyson, 31. Jacob Townsend, 32. Gerald Ugle, 33. Will Hoskin-Elliott, 34. Devon Smith, 35. Toby Greene, 38. James McDonald, 39. Tim Mohr, 40. Adam Kennedy, 44. Tom Downie, 47. Josh Bruce, 48. Sam Frost
West Coast v Port Adelaide
Saturday, March 3, 4.10pm AWST
Bendigo Bank Stadium, Mandurah
3. Andrew Gaff, 4. Daniel Kerr, 5. Brad Sheppard, 6. Mark Nicoski, 7. Chris Masten, 10. Scott Selwood, 11. Matt Priddis, 13. Luke Shuey, 14. Koby Stevens, 15. Tom Swift, 18. Bradd Dalziell, 19. Ryan Neates, 20. Dean Cox, 21. Quinten Lynch, 23. Darren Glass, 25. Shannon Hurn, 27. Jack Darling, 28. Ashley Smith, 30. Blayne Wilson, 31. Will Schofield, 33. Josh Hill, 34. Jacob Brennan, 35. Patrick McGinnity, 36. Fraser McInnes, 40. Anton Hamp, 43. Ashton Hams, 44. Gerrick Weedon, 46. Simon Tunbridge, 47. Lewis Stevenson
3. Steven Salopek, 5. Matthew Broadbent, 8. Hamish Hartlett, 11. Mitchell Banner, 12. Jackson Trengove, 13. Cameron O’Shea, 14. Paul Stewart, 16. Ben Jacobs, 18. Kane Cornes. 19. Nick Salter, 20. Chad Wingard, 22. Simon Phillips, 24. Nathan Blee, 26. Andrew Moore, 27. Alipate Carlile, 29. Jasper Pittard, 30. Troy Chaplin, 31. Darren Pfeiffer, 32. John Butcher, 34. Jarrad Redden, 35. John McCarthy, 38. Ben Newton, 39. Justin Westhoff, 40. Aaron Young, 41. Brendon Ah Chee, 42. Thomas Jonas, 43. Daniel Stewart, 44. Tom Logan, 47. Jarrad Irons
Sydney Swans v North Melbourne
Saturday, March 3, 7pm AEDT
Bruce Purser Reserve, Sydney
1. Mark Seaby, 3. Jarrad McVeigh, 9. Nick Malceski, 10. Mitch Morton, 11. Jed Lamb, 12. Josh Kennedy, 13. Andrejs Everitt, 14. Craig Bird, 15. Kieren Jack, 16. Gary Rohan, 17. Tommy Walsh, 18. Jesse White, 20. Sam Reid, 21. Ben McGlynn, 24. Jude Bolton, 25. Ted Richards, 26. Luke Parker, 29. Martin Mattner, 30. Lewis Roberts-Thomson, 32. Lewis Jetta, 33. Jarred Moore, 34. Alex Johnson, 35. Campbell Heath, 38. Michael Pyke, 39. Heath Grundy, 40. Nick Smith, 41. Shane Mumford, 44. Harry Cunningham, 45. Nathan Gordon
1. Hamish McIntosh, 3. Ryan Bastinac, 6. Lachie Hansen, 7. Jack Ziebell, 9. Andrew Swallow, 10. Ben Cunnington, 11. Michael Firrito, 12. Lindsay Thomas, 13. Leigh Adams, 16. Scott Thompson, 18. Shaun Atley, 20. Drew Petrie, 22. Todd Goldstein, 23. Kieran Harper, 24. Levi Greenwood, 25. Robbie Tarrant, 27. Aaron Edwards, 29. Brent Harvey, 31. Cameron Delaney, 33. Matt Campbell, 34. Jamie MacMillan, 35. Aaron Black, 39. Cam Pedersen, 41. Aaron Mullett, 42. Scott McMahon, 43. Sam Gibson, 46. Ben Speight
Essendon v St Kilda
Saturday March 3, 7.00pm AEDT
4. Jobe Watson, 5. Brent Stanton, 7. Leroy Jetta, 11. David Zaharakis, 12. Stewart Crameri, 14. Sam Lonergan, 15. Courtney Dempsey, 16. Tayte Pears, 17. Jake Melksham, 18. Michael Hurley, 19. David Hille, 20. Henry Slattery, 21. Dyson Heppell, 22. Jake Carlisle, 23. David Myers, 26. Cale Hooker, 27. Luke Davis, 28. Elliott Kavanagh, 29. Alwyn Davey, 30. Patrick Ryder, 31. Dustin Fletcher, 32. Travis Colyer, 34. Kyle Hardingham, 37. Kyle Reimers, 43. Michael Hibberd, 44. Tom Bellchambers, 47. Cory Dell’olio
1. Jason Gram, 2 Arryn Siposs, 3. Jack Steven, 4. Clint Jones, 5. Ben McEvoy, 7. Lenny Hayes, 11. Leigh Montagna, 12. Nick Riewoldt, 13. Adam Schneider, 14. Jarryn Geary, 15. Tom Ledger, 18. Brendon Goddard, 19. Sam Gilbert, 20. David Armitage, 21. Ahmed Saad, 22. Farren Ray, 23. Justin Koschitzke, 24. Sean Dempster, 25. Sam Fisher, 26. Nick Dal Santo, 27. Jason Blake, 28. Rhys Stanley, 30. Brett Peake, 31. Tom Simpkin, 32. Terry Milera, 34. Dean Polo, 35. Jamie Cripps, 37. Beau Wilkes, 44. Stephen Milne
Collingwood v Melbourne
Saturday March 3, 7.40pm AEDT
1. Alex Fasolo, 5. Nick Maxwell, 9. Martin Clarke, 10. Scott Pendlebury, 12. Luke Ball, 13. Dale Thomas, 14. Luke Rounds, 18. Darren Jolly, 20. Ben Reid, 21. Sharrod Wellingham, 22. Steele Sidebottom, 23. Lachlan Keeffe, 25. Tom Young, 27. Simon Buckley, 28. Ben Sinclair, 29. Jonathan Ceglar, 31. Chris Dawes, 32. Travis Cloke, 33. Jackson Paine, 34. Alan Toovey, 36. Dane Swan, 37. Kirk Ugle, 38. Peter Yagmoor, 39. Heath Shaw, 46. Marley Williams, 47. Michael Hartley, 48. Caolan Mooney, 49. Paul Cribbin, 50. Shae McNamara
2. Nathan Jones, 4. Jack Watts, 5. Jordan Gysberts, 6. Matthew Bate, 7. Jamie Bennell, 8. James Frawley, 12. Colin Sylvia, 14. Lynden Dunn, 15. Ricky Petterd, 17. Sam Blease, 18. Brad Green, 20. Colin Garland, 21. Lucas Cook, 25.Tom McDonald, 26. Daniel Nicholson, 28. Joel MacDonald, 30. James Sellar, 34. Stefan Martin, 36. Aaron Davey, 38. Jeremy Howe, 40. Mark Jamar, 41. Troy Davis, 44. Rohan Bail, 45. Kelvin Lawrence, 46. Josh Tynan, 47. Tom Couch, 48. Jack Fitzpatrick, 49. James Magner, 50. Jai Sheahan
Adelaide v Brisbane Lions
Saturday March 3, 7.10pm ACST
1. Richard Tambling, 2. Brad Crouch, 6. Luke Thompson, 8. Lewis Johnston, 9. Rory Sloane, 10. Matthew Jaensch, 12. Daniel Talia, 13. Taylor Walker, 15. Brad Symes, 17. Bernie Vince, 18. Graham Johncock, 20. Josh Jenkins, 21. Chris Knights, 22. Andy Otten, 23. Jared Petrenko, 26. Richard Douglas, 27. Tom Lynch, 29. Sam Kerridge, 31. Jarryd Lyons, 32. Patrick Dangerfield, 33. Brodie Smith, 34. Sam Shaw, 35. Shaun McKernan, 36. Brodie Martin, 37. Ian Callinan, 40. Jason Porplyzia, 43. Aidan Riley, 45. Ricky Henderson, 49. Tim McIntyre
2. Ryan Harwood, 3. Sam Sheldon, 4. Jared Polec, 5. Billy Longer, 6. Joshua Green, 8. Bryce Retzlaff, 9. Ashley McGrath, 12. James Hawksley, 17. Claye Beams, 18. Todd Banfield, 19. Jordan Lisle, 23. Matthew Leuenberger, 25. Richard Newell, 26. Elliot Yeo, 30. Jack Redden, 31. James Polkinghorne, 32. Cheynee Stiller, 33. Amon Buchanan, 34. Jesse O’Brien, 35. Ryan Lester, 36. Matt Maguire, 37. Patrick Wearden, 38. Tom Rockliff, 40. Niall McKeever, 41. Mitchell Golby, 43. Rohan Bewick, 44. Aaron Cornelius, 45. Brad Harvey, 47. Jack Crisp
Western Bulldogs v Carlton
Sunday March 4, 5.40pm AEDT
1. Jarrad Grant, 2. Robert Murphy, 3. Mitch Wallis, 4. Daniel Cross, 5. Matthew Boyd, 7. Shaun Higgins, 8. Patrick Veszpremi, 10. Easton Wood, 12. Tom Williams, 13. Daniel Giansiracusa, 14. Clay Smith, 15. Jason Tutt, 16. Ryan Griffen, 17. Adam Cooney, 19. Liam Jones, 21. Tom Liberatore, 22. Dylan Addison, 23. Jordan Roughead, 25. Ryan Hargrave, 27. Will Minson, 29. Tory Dickson, 30. Christian Howard, 36. Brian Lake, 37. Lukas Markovic, 40. Luke Dahlhaus, 41. Andrew Hooper, 42. Liam Picken, 48. Matthew Panos, 49. Ayce Cordy
2. Jordan Russell, 3. Marc Murphy, 4. Bryce Gibbs, 6. Kade Simpson, 7. Dylan Buckley, 8. Matthew Kreuzer, 9. Kane Lucas, 10. Matthew Watson, 13. Chris Yarran, 14. Brock Mclean, 15. Jeremy Laidler, 16. Andrew Collins, 17. Sam Rowe, 18. Paul Bower, 19. Eddie Betts, 21. Josh Bootsma, 22. Shaun Hampson, 23. Lachie Henderson, 29. Heath Scotland, 31. Marcus Davies, 32. Bret Thornton, 35. Ed Curnow, 38. Jeff Garlett, 39. Frazer Dale, 41. Levi Casboult, 42. Zach Tuohy, 44. Andrew Carrazzo, 45. Aaron Joseph, 46. David Ellard
Fremantle v Richmond
Sunday, March 4, 5.10pm AWST
1. Hayden Ballantyne, 3. Zac Dawson, 4. Jayden Pitt, 6. Greg Broughton, 7. Nathan Fyfe, 8. Nick Suban, 9. Adam McPhee, 11. Tom Sheriden, 12. Jon Griffin, 13. Tendai Mzungu, 15. Ryan Crowley, 18. Luke McPharlin, 22. Jack Anthony, 23. Chris Mayne, 25. Josh Mellington, 26. Kepler Bradley, 27. Lachie Neale, 29. Matthew Pavlich, 30. Zachary Clarke, 31. Aaron Sandilands, 32. Stephen Hill, 34. Lee Spurr, 35. Haiden Schloithe, 36. Alex Silvagni, 37. Michael Johnson, 40. Matt De Boer, 41. Paul Duffield, 46. Clancee Pearce, 47. Jay van Berlo
4. Dustin Martin, 7. Matt Dea, 8. Jack Riewoldt, 10. Shane Edwards, 11. Jake Batchelor, 13. Brad Miller, 14. Bachar Houli, 16. Luke McGuane, 17. Chris Newman, 18. Alex Rance, 19. Daniel Connors, 20. Ivan Maric, 21. Shane Tuck, 26. Robin Nahas, 28. Jake King, 29. Tyrone Vickery, 32. Brad Helbig, 35. Matthew White, 37. Jayden Post, 38. Steven Morris, 39. Tom Derickx, 42. Brandon Ellis, 43. Todd Elton, 44, Matt Arnot, 45. Brett O’Hanlon, 46. Jeromey Webberley, 47. Addam Maric, 49. Steven Verrier, 51. Piva Wright
- Lenny Hayes was obviously the biggest story of the night, returning from a one year lay-off after an ACL reconstruction. He played one full game and looked pretty good, albeit a bit rusty. There was no holding back in his attack on the ball and the man, although he didn’t win a stack of the ball through the midfield. It was a positive display from the champion, so continue to monitor him throughout the rest of the series.
- Brendon Goddard was a bit of a disappointment, not playing a huge part in either game. He played mainly behind the ball, so should be able to rack up the possessions when in form, but I would want to see at least one convincing display from him before locking him away.
- Tom Ledger was fantastic in both games, playing a great role through the midfield. Scott Watters has kept it no secret that he wants to play some kids this year and Ledger would be close to the top of his list. Attacked the ball well, but also has a good turn of pace out of the packs. Reminded me a lot of Leigh Montagna. He is dirt cheap for his potential, so should be highly considered.
- Jamie Cripps was another youngster to really impress, playing as a rebounding defender. He has trained in this role all pre-season and looks a good size for AFL football. Had a real calm head on the last line of defence and used the ball very well. His best game was game two, which didn’t have either Gilbert or Fisher in it, so be slightly wary. Still, he’s in my team at the moment.
- Beau Wilkes has been talked up endlessly this off-season, mainly due to the fact he will likely play 22 games. I’m not as sold – firstly, I believe Tom Simpkin will be the Saints’ first choice for full-back, plus Wilkes looked pretty shaky in his first game, notably preferring to get the fist in than take a mark. He played up forward in the second game and looked ok, but didn’t kick a goal.
- Arryn Siposs was a real surprise packet for the Saints last year and he looks capable of taking another step in 2012. He played most of game against Geelong on the wing, taking advantage of his beautiful kick. I don’t think he will be a ball magnet, but I would be surprised if he didn’t play most games. With that boot, I would be strongly considering him for SuperCoach.
- Harry Cunningham was a real surprise packet for the Swans, playing a great role up forward as a small forward. This is a position that the Swans have struggled with a bit over the years, so I would be keeping a close eye on Cunningham – he got himself 8 disposals, 4 marks and 2 goals against the Saints – a great effort.
- Adam Goodes looked fantastic, especially in the first game, storming through the midfield, picking up possessions at will. Even in the first game of the year he looks incredibly fit and set for a massive year. His price is very high, so he’d want to start the year in pretty good form, but based on what we saw in this game, that should be the least of our worries.
- Sam Reid was very good against the Saints, but pretty quiet against the Cats, but overall had a pretty impressive night. His hands are brilliant, pulling down anything that came his way, also booting 1.1 for the night. Be wary of him in AFL Dream Team though – whilst he will be a superstar for the Swans, he is far from a possession accumulator, winning most of his touches from marks in the forward line. Consider him in SuperCoach though, as his contested marking will see him rack up a few big scores this year.
- Nathan Gordon was really impressive – he had a decent 2011, playing a few games, but should be capable of playing most games this year. He was a massive ball-winner as a junior and showed this against the Cats with 7 touches and 3 marks.
- Tommy Walsh was a real disappointment considering the hype that has followed him to the Harbour City. He is one of the best youngsters to have come out of Gaelic football in a long time, so it was a coup to get him to St.Kilda until Sydney snatched him in trade week with the promise of more game time. Unfortunately though, his one game netted just 2 disposals and a free against.
- Joel Selwood put himself back at the front of our minds with a great showing against the Swans, notching up 15 disposals. He just seemed to be everywhere through the midfield and looks in fine form. With many coaches looking elsewhere, Selwood could prove a good unique for 2012.
- Simon Hogan returns to footy in 2012 after sitting out most of last year with depression. He had a great comeback, playing mainly across a HFF and through the midfield, notching up 11 touches against the Swans and 5 against the Saints, with a total of 66 DT points. He was a great ball-winner as a junior and should be a good chance for consistent games in 2012 – get on!
- Jordan Schroeder, Geelong’s ‘mini-Chapman’ was a real standout with his work through the forward line. Like his older clone, he tackled hard and won plenty of his possessions from contests. He was all class against the Swans, but faded a bit against the Saints.
- Billie Smedts looked pretty good, slotting in across half-back as a loose man. He picked up his fair share of disposals and looked pretty confident. The only worry I have is that he was playing in a side without Enright, who will likely be the main rebounder in 2012. Still, keep an eye on him.
- Mitch Duncan looked more than capable of taking another step up from 2011 with two impressive games through the midfield. He looks much more solid than last year and looked in some pretty good nick. He’s price is pretty fair, but he has the tools in the shed to be able significantly improve his average in 2012 if given the chances.
- James Magner was clearly the story of the night for the Dees, at least from an AFL Dream Team and SuperCoach perspective. Magner (or ‘Magnet’) is a mature-aged rookie recruit from the Sandringham Zebras and has come onto the Dees list to add some much-needed grunt around the stoppages. He played this role very well, also racking up the touches with 9 against the Suns and 6 against the Lions (plus a total of 6 tackles for the night). The conditions did suit him, so I’d like to see him play a game that did require a bit more foot skills, but still you couldn’t fault his effort. With Gawn and Spencer on the LTI list, plus Green on the vets list, Magner is a pretty decent chance of being elevated before round one. Keep him in your calculations.
- Matthew Bate got me really interested as he was deployed solely as a midfielder. He spent most of last year languishing in the VFL, but it appears Neeld may reinvent him as an attacking midfielder. He picked up 11 touches in the first game and 13 in the second, also choosing to use his boot a stack, which was an added bonus. I hope I’m not the only one starting to legitimately consider him if he can back it up!
- Mitch Clark was decent for the Demons, playing the entirety of his time as a forward, totally ruling him out of any AFL Dream Team/SuperCoach calculations for me. He did look ok up forward though, snaring the first goal of the year for the Demons. He will be a good recruit for Melbourne, but he’s not what your fantasy side is looking for.
- Tom Couch was another rookie to impress with his hard work through the midfield. He’s a bullish little guy that loves a tackle and a scrap and is another who is a chance for promotion to the senior list. Another to keep and eye on.
- Jack Grimes was pretty quiet off half-back, although what he did do was pretty clean. He at least got through injury-free so we can have another look at him next week.
- Ryan Harwood is a young(ish) Lions midfielder I talked up a few weeks ago in my Brisbane wrap, so it was great to see him start the year in such strong fashion. The Lions have been pretty bullish about his progression this pre-season, so it was great to see them proven correct as he dominated against the Suns with 12 touches, 2 tackles and a goal. He looked great through the midfield and should almost certainly be in the round one team.
- Elliot Yeo was great for the Lions and a bit of a surprise for fantasy coaches. He was like a duck to water against the Demons, seemingly picking up disposals at will and overall using the ball pretty well. I’m looking forward to seeing him again, but if he keeps this form up he will surely come into AFL Dream Team/SuperCoach selection calculations.
- Jon Brown played one and a half games and looked OK, albeit a bit rusty. I had considered him for my team before this, but this performance did scare me off a bit. In fact, the weekend as a whole waved a big red flag above the heads of any key forwards. Whilst their potential to score can be so great, when they have a shocker, it’s typically a total nightmare.
- Pearce Hanley was one player I had wanted to keep a close eye on, but he didn’t particularly impress me, unfortunately. Whilst he had some good patches off half-back, he was kept pretty quiet for the most part. I’m not writing him off yet as a good smokie option, but so far he’s not winning me over, at least for Dream Team.
- Ash McGrath had a very good game against Melbourne, being mainly used as a loose man in defence. It is a tempting role if he can play it consistently, but we have been hurt by Vossy before as continues to change his backline setup throughout the year. McGrath is also prone to the odd tagging or forward job which can hurt his scoring.
- Aaron Hall was the Sun to impress me the most with his hard work and creativity across the half-forward line. He wasn’t spared too much attention from the opposition, which really helped him, but that said I thought he looked very clean and calm under pressure and had very little worry winning the ball. He is a mature-aged recruit on the Suns’ senior list, so there is no worry about elevation. We know the Suns will play the youth, so he is one player you should strongly consider.
- Dion Prestia looked capable of taking another big step from last year. He was one of my favourite young Suns in 2011 and I could imagine him becoming one of their best players before seasons end. He is lightning fast and fantastic around stoppages with his clearance work. He is pretty well priced after his slow start to last year, so could be a risk worth taking if you like the look of him too.
- Nathan Bock was deployed at full-forward, in a move that is consistent with where he’s been training this pre-season. It’s an interesting move, but not a stupid one considering the Suns’ lack of a mature tall target. Personally I can’t see him being a worthwhile selection with this move and probably takes any merit out of selecting him in SuperCoach too.
- Karmichael Hunt got a lot of publicity for starting in the midfield, and whilst he did play some time there, he saw very little of the football. He may have the odd good game, but his best is still a while away yet. Not everyone who plays in the midfield is going to average 25 disposals…
- Zac Smith was very quiet in both games, seemingly unable to get on top of either ruck dual. Those considering him in their teams should start monitoring the rest of his pre-season VERY closely – you don’t want him heading into the season with this kind of form behind him.
- Chad Wingard was brilliant for the Power, dominating through the midfield against the Blues with 8 touches and one very classy goal. A few people commented around the draft that GWS could be made to look very stupid for not picking Wingard and already they are not looking wrong. The kid will be a star and Port will want him to play for as long as his body holds up. He is a bit more pricey than other young midfielders, but his scoring power and job security could make it worthwhile.
- Darren Pfeiffer played in the backline for Port, which was pretty disappointing for AFL Dream Team and SuperCoach coaches. That said, he wasn’t too bad and still saw a bit of the ball; if you do put him in your team, it will be more for job security than scoring prowess anyway.
- Robbie Gray continued on from where he left off in 2011 with a classy game against Adelaide. His body finally held up for him last year, so the question is whether he can have the same luck this year. Could be a great point of difference for your squad. Probably a better pick in SuperCoach than AFL Dream Team too.
- Matt Broadbent had me a little excited with his work off halfback. He wasn’t particularly amazing, but solid, which with the current backline stocks, I am more than happy with. He played the loose man in defence pretty well and used the ball very efficiently. His career to date has been pretty average, so it would be great to see him step up this year as he was an elite ball-winner as a junior.
- Brad Ebert looked very good for Port and already appears to be giving them exactly what they wanted from him with a good attack on the ball and work around the grounds. He will certainly improve this year, but I doubt it will be to the standard we need for him to be a keeper in AFL Dream Team and SuperCoach.
- Rory Sloane – what a superstar this kid is gonna be! It’s hard not to love the way he goes about his football – sliding into packs, winning plenty of contested ball and tackling like a beast. He played through the midfield against the Blues and looked like a player set for a massive year. It’s disappointing he is midfield only, but if your structure suits a mid-priced player then Sloane could be your man (good alternative for Hayes or Barlow).
- Nathan Van Berlo was another player to continue on from his super 2011 form with a great game through the midfield against the Blues. If he can produce some similar form to the last 6 rounds of last year (where he averaged over 120 points), then he should be right in calculation for a spot in your midfield. Nothing much better than picking a unique mid that fires!
- Tom Lynch looked pretty good against the Blues, playing the role filled by Gunston last year. I think it’s a role that could suit him well as there won’t be nearly as much attention given to him as there was at St.Kilda. He certainly won’t be a keeper, but could be a good money maker if he comes along as the Crows hope he might – he was an elite AFL Dream Team scorer at junior level FWIW.
- Sam Kerridge looked pretty solid in his one game and is a good enough size to be able to play some games this year. Didn’t do too much special, but contributed well. Keep an eye on him as those forward rookies can be pretty slim pickings.
- Richard Tambling was hardly sighted in both games. I just wanted to mention that Kristian suggested him a week ago on twitter. Yuck.
- Kane Lucas was one of the Blues’ best in both games, showing why he is currently favourite to win the 2012 NAB Rising Star. He works very hard through the midfield, links up very well and typically uses it ok too. He is dirt cheap considering his potential and could prove to be worth an average of 75-80 points a game – pretty decent for just over $200k!
- Heath Scotland got me all tempted to pick him again this year – he proved last year that his best is not behind him, so despite being 32(ish), he could still be a great (and unique) addition to many AFL Dream Team and SuperCoach squads. He plays one of the sluttiest DT roles going around, so the only factor weighing on peoples’ minds is his age. He has had a great pre-season, so personally I believe he is worth giving a chance.
- Matt Kreuzer spent the majority of his time in the forward line and NOT the ruck, which all but ruled him out for me. With Warnock still to return I just can’t see them playing Kruez in the ruck, despite how dominant he could become in this role. As long as he is being played as a forward, he is not in my team. No questions.
- Brock McLean looked good for the Blues, but you can just tell he won’t get games, regardless of how well he does this NAB cup. Unfortunately, he just seems too slow for the top level – I hope I’m proven wrong, but I just can’t see it happening.
- Paul Bower played a rather defensive role for the Blues and was OK. I’m not sure yet whether he is in their best 22, nor am I that confident he will be a huge scorer. That all said, at his price I am more concerned about job security than anything else, so if he can find a spot in Carlton’s team this pre-season and stay on the park, then he has gone a long way to auditioning for a spot in my side.
Well, it’s back! And I’m not just talking about the footy! Here’s my very first weekly wrap article for the year, where after watching each game of footy I will discuss the players that shone and shocked throughout. This week the NAB cup has started, so looking over the games is even more important than ever as this is essentially the training ground, or even audition, for our Dream Teams and SuperCoaches.
The first week of NAB games is set up as a triangular series, meaning each team plays two 40 minute games, hence DT and SC scores are not as high. Irrespective of this, it still gives us a good insight as to who we should be targeting for our teams. Rather than discussing game by game, I will give a general overview of each team.
Also, I must apologise – whilst they say that you should start something how you wish to continue, I am planning for the Weekly Wrap to be up every Monday, in full, not across the week as it may be in this case. After quite lengthy Birthday celebrations this weekend I have struggled to find much time to write this. Regardless, I will be sure you have all the info you need asap!
- Sam Gibson was the story of the night for the Roos – we have already been talking him up this pre-season, so it was great to see him deliver in his first game. He only played the second game (against the Hawks) and finished with 9 disposals – an equal team high. He is a mature aged midfielder, currently sitting on the Roos’ rookie list, so will need to be elevated to the senior list before he can play round one. However, with Brent Harvey the only veteran on their list, they can elevate him without placing anyone on the LTI list. If he does get a game in round one then lock him in – has the attributes to average 80+ points straight away.
- Brent Harvey was creative as always, playing through the midfield and half-forward. He managed 5 disposals against Richmond and 9 against the Hawks and was one of their better players on the night. Personally I think he is too old for DT and SC, however he could present as a good unique pick if you were willing to take the risk on him.
- Robbie Tarrant played forward against the Tigers and did ok, however it does look like it was his brother who taught him to kick. Finished with 1.1 from 3 marks and 5 disposals. Didn’t do too badly, but I can’t imagine him improving enough to be worth a spot in your team.
- Liam Anthony was a real disappointment – after a great first year he has done very little since, spending much of 2011 in the VFL. On Friday night he spent much of his time in the backline as a small defender, which was a worry – clearly Brad Scott just sees him as a hole-plugger, rather than playing him in any sort of position that will aid his game. Stay away.
- Hamish McIntosh appeared the better of the two North Ruckman, with Goldstein struggling to have much effect on the game with the lack of consistency he was getting in the ruck. I’m really worried about these two – HMac obviously has the bonus of being underpriced, but there is no way I would pick Goldstein on this form – last year he was the sole ruckman, which allowed him to get such great scores, but with another very good ruckman in the team, he will struggle for as much opportunity in the midfield. After tonight my consensus is, McIntosh = maybe, Goldstein = Hell no.
- Nathan Grima injured his Medial Ligament in the first game, which will subsequently put him on the sidelines for a month. He looked a bargain SC pick til now, but it’s time to get him out of your team.
- Tom Derickx played as full-forward, as had been suggested would happen by Kristian a few weeks ago. He didn’t look like a world-beater by any stretch, but the Tigers did look much better up forward with him there. On his day he is a good set shot and a big body in the packs, so I think he’ll get games. Could be another good option for your third or fourth ruck.
- Reece Conca was obviously the big news from the night – for both good and bad reasons. His games were great, playing mainly through the midfield, as predicted, and racking up plenty of ball. However, an off-the ball incident against Leigh Adams will likely see him take a forced holiday to start the year. Could be a good option to target a bit later in the year instead.
- Steve Morris impressed me off half-back – he goes in so hard to every contest and I really liked the way he followed up his work and tried to link up as the Tigers rebounded. If Conca does get suspended, Morris’ spot in the team becomes even more likely, although they both appear to be playing slightly different roles. Morris is a mature-aged played too, meaning he will be much more capable of taking the step up to AFL level.
- Brandon Ellis is one Richmond youngster we have been keeping our eyes on, but after playing both his games as mainly a small shut-down defender, I would be looking elsewhere. He still managed to get a bit of ball, but I’m no longer holding my breath that he will either get consistent games or score awfully well.
- Jeromey Webberley is an interesting option for the backline, now at base price after not playing any games in 2011. He played across half-back and into the midfield and looked promising – now three years into his career, he should be able to start establishing himself in the senior side. He will have tough competition for spots with Conca, Morris, Batchelor and Ellis, but I still believe he could be worth a spot on your bench if named for round one. He managed 10 disposals (37 DT points) against the Hawks, but just 3 against the Roos.
- Addam Maric was very good for the Tigers against Hawthorn, setting up a number of goals and looking very calm and collected under pressure. He used the ball well and won a bit of it too, with 8 disposals for the game. He’s not really a DT option, but with his slick ball-use he could come into calculations for SC. A real smokie at this stage, but still keep him at the back of your mind.
- Buddy Franklin was clearly the story of the night for the Hawks, although he was always going to be, regardless of how well he went. He assumed his new role on the wing from the first bounce, playing there for the majority of the time, except for the few times he drifted forward. Buddy is both exciting and nerving in the midfield – I do worry that he expects the ball to come to him too much, rather than going to seek it, but perhaps that is just me having too higher expectations.
- Jordan Lewis really made me pay attention, with a much more prominent role in the midfield than he had last year. This year he can be selected as a FWD/MID and could prove a very good unique pick. If played in the right role, as he was on Saturday, Lewis can be an elite ball-winner, however the worry will be whether or not he will be re-deployed in the forward line as he was in 2011.
- Sam Mitchell was fantastic for the Hawks, winning stacks of the ball under packs (he only took 3 marks for the night though) and using it very well. He was simply everywhere. He proved himself as an elite midfielder in 2011 and I have no doubt that he will back it up in 2012. He is a worthy starter in any side and could be a good point of difference too.
- Ryan Schoenmakers played the first game as a full-forward and wasn’t so bad. He made his name in juniors as a forward, so after a pretty poor finals series in the backline, it was good to see Clarkson give him a shot in front of the sticks. Alas, it was short lived and he found himself back in defence for the second game. He still seemed to struggle with the pressure, meaning he will likely find himself copping the wrath of many Hawks supporters this year.
- Grant Birchall impressed me off half-back, still playing that loose chipping role, which allowed him to rack up so many touches in 2011. The backline is hell to plan this year, so someone like Birchall could prove to be a good consistent option down in both DT and SC. Personally, I believe he is a better choice than Matt Suckling too.
To be continued…