Category - Bargain Basement
Given the increasing redundancy of this article, I’ll be changing it up next week. Stay tuned about that, but before I commit in writing about that I’ll clear it with the other Footy Tragic contributors, just in case they had a similar plan for their article.
Ideally by this stage your team should be complete, or at the very least you’ll maybe have some minor tweaking to do (luxury trades). Rookies can still come in handy if you’ve got a bit of dead wood on your bench just for some coverage on the way home.
Robbie Tarrant – North Melbourne ($94,500, FWD, Break even: 19)
First two games: 40 vs. Syd and 19 vs. Rich = 29.5 avg.
We’ve seen how his brother scores as a defender (and Robbie is also playing defence, despite being a DT forward) and you can expect much the same out of Robbie (not much). He’ll mainly play lock down roles, and will be rather dour about it. I don’t rate him much as a forward prospect either, so if he was to potentially move forward I wouldn’t be anticipating it to be a successful move. Plus, he’s had his share of injury concerns (a few shoulder recos) already.
Maybe he could be good coverage (job security wise), but I feel you’d be better off waiting for someone else to come through, like David Ellard (Carlton, recently promoted off rookie list), Lewis Johnston (Sydney) or Luke Tapscott (Melbourne). If they can crack a game, depending on how they look in those games, I’d be looking for one of them to cover any forward dead wood that you have.
Ash Smith - West Coast ($94,500, BAC, Break even: -73)
First two games: 79 vs. Adel and 66 vs. Ess = 72.5 avg.
One thing the cellar dwellers are good at doing at this time of year is getting games into the youngsters. It seems like every second rookie I write about at the moment is a West Coast kid. Smith has great pace across the half back line, and while I haven’t seen much of his footy over the last two years I had noted him to be a good 70m player (he’ll break the lines, go for a bit of a run and then kick).
I must confess I haven’t seen either of West Coast’s last two games, but from all reports he’s been playing well, and being an early draft pick with a bit of pace (something a lot of West Coast’s kids lack) he would be a good chance to play the season out. A good downgrade option if you need a bit of cash, or you just want a bit of bench security. Could be good for those holding Taylor Hunt or Ben Nason (if he doesn’t get named this week, you might consider offloading him).
Pearce Hanley – Brisbane ($118,600, BAC, Break even: -22)
First two games: 32 vs. Freo (Round 7) and 80 vs. St.Kilda = 56 avg.
Brisbane’s Irish project didn’t look too bad on the weekend. He had one game earlier in the year against Freo where he looked completely lost, but he came back into the team last week and the only time he looked like he had no idea what to do was during the three quarter time melee.
Voss could look to get a few games into him in the run home with Brisbane’s season not looking like it’s going anywhere too fast (well, maybe down). You couldn’t be too sure of his job security though, but I actually think he’s a bit less of a speculative Irish experiment – he might not turn out too bad. However, if you really need a cheap back option you can still get Andrew Strijk for $2500 less and he has a much better chance at playing the year out, so despite having one price rise I couldn’t recommend Hanley over Strijk.
Jarryd Blair – Collingwood ($94,500, MID, Break even: -69)
First two games: 67 vs. West Coast and 74 vs. Port = 70.5 avg.
I was always a big fan of Blair. I wasn’t sure if he was “AFL material” but that assessment was probably wrapped up in silly pre-conceived notions about height and build. I was still hoping that someone would give him a chance somewhere and Collingwood gave him that chance on their rookie list (breaking the mold of midget on ballers to win Morrish Medals, but miss out on making an AFL list).
Blair is a tough midfielder who will get in there and do the grunt work. He’s got good discipline and has been given a couple of tagging jobs so far, but it also hasn’t stopped him from putting up respectable enough DT numbers. Collingwood don’t have much of an injury list (only Maxwell and Dick of note), so he’s doing well to be in their team right now. I’d tentatively recommend him, as he’s playing a role and doing well so far. If you really need a bit of cash or even just some rookie coverage in the midfield there might not be much more coming along.
Trent Dennis-Lane – Sydney ($89,500, FWD, Break even: -27)
First two games: 44 vs. Richmond and 51 vs. North = 47.5 avg.
The mature aged recruit from Subiaco was set to be one of the most popular DT forwards at the start of the year, but his pre-season was a bit of a fizzer and then he copped an injury early in the NAB Cup. He didn’t look quite there in his first game against Richmond, but was a little bit more comfortable against North on the weekend.
The worry I would have with TDL is that he’s got his spot in the side with Jetta and Rohan currently out of the side. Rohan is listed as having a one week ankle injury, but apparently Jetta had a ripping game for Swans reserves on the weekend. In Sydney’s run to the finals they’ll have a few forwards to come back into the side (Bradshaw, Jetta, White, Rohan) so it could be a completely different looking Swans forward line. There’s a few too many variables with his job security for my liking. Even though he didn’t do too badly against the Roos there’s an entire forward line structure not in the Swans 22 at the moment. I wouldn’t put a line through him, by any means, but you’d have to be wary of that.
First of all, there are no rookies about to rise in price this week. Easton Wood from the Bulldogs is the cheapest option about to rise in price, as a $160K defender. Mind you, Ben Griffiths from Richmond actually went DOWN in price this week after his third game and is now priced at $84,000. With a break even of 31, he could actually go down again if he is picked to play.
Aaron Sandilands – Fremantle ($390,200, RUC, Break even: 63)
With the news that David Hille is out for a couple more weeks, it’s worth looking at replacements for the 38,000 teams that have him. If you went budget in the rucks this year, then you’ve probably been ruing not having 211.
Hille owners would have to be considering bringing him in now, especially since Sandilands is in rare sub $400K territory. It only costs $30K to upgrade Hille to him. The one thing you will need to be careful of with 211 is that he could be some risk of getting rested late in the season. If they’ve got a soft game or if he’s feeling a bit sore, Freo could look to freshen him up, because let’s face it, he’s put in a MAMMOTH effort so far this season. It was about this time last year that he missed two games.
Given their reliance on him it’s a tough call, because they’re pretty much conceding the ruck if they don’t play him, but the benefits of getting him fresh for a serious finals tilt (sounds weird when talking about Freo) are quite obvious.
He had three down weeks in a row with 67, 87 and 85, but just before the break he posted back to back tons and hopefully the split round will be sufficient rest for him to come home strong.
Patrick Ryder – Essendon ($408,400, RUC, Break even: 122)
Ryder started the year remarkably slow. In the first five games his highest score was 84 and he had three scores below 70. The penny must have dropped in Round 6 because since then his lowest score has been 92 and he’s scored five tons to easily be the form DT ruckman in the league.
Once again, I’m coming from the perspective that if you’re trading Hille out you could do a lot worse than bringing in the other very lucrative Bombers ruckman. While my articles are meant to be more aimed at finding bargains, I felt compelled to recommend Ryder. He doesn’t exactly present value, but I think he’s the best DT ruckman in the league in the run home – yep, better than Sandilands.
One thing I would like to point out that could slightly detract from him, but since he’s hit this amazing forms he’s only scored three scores less than 100, but two of those have been the two weeks that Hille has missed. I wouldn’t say this is a huge concern since those have still been scores of 92 and 95. Knights has looked more than happy to rest Bellchambers forward, so Ryder has had a bit less time there than normal. Hille is only out for 2-3 though, it’s not like Ryder is posting bad scores without him and when Hille comes back Ryder will get his greater share of forward time again.
Brad Symes – Adelaide ($350,500, DEF, Break even: 68)
I thought I’d throw in a bit of an odd one this week. I’ve always liked Symes as a DT’er and he’s averaged pretty much bang on 80 in his two seasons since crossing from Port to the Crows. With injury having cruelled his season so far he hasn’t got going until two weeks ago, but he’s come in with a bang!
His two scores have been 98 and 99 and I’ve gotta say, I actually don’t mind Adelaide’s run over the next month and think they’re some shot at putting more wins on the board.
Symes knows how to get loose and he’s not damaging enough with his disposal for the opposition to put too much attention into. The other advantage with Symes as a DT’er is that he doesn’t need to rack up huge numbers to score that well, because he’s an aggressive tackler. He averages 3-4 tackles per game and because he can play loose across half back he averages 4-5 marks per game – very DT friendly numbers.
He struggled with his ceiling last year, only topping the ton once, but was very consistent in achieving his 80 average. One thing you will probably want to consider is that he obviously had a very limited pre-season this year, which is something I’m never keen on. The Crows seem to have managed him well though and he played about three games in the SANFL before getting a call up to the Crows. Given that he’s come in so late, it’s not like he’s in for a long slog, so he could provide some good points in the run home and being that he’s only in 1033 teams he could be quite unique.
As mentioned earlier today, Dan’s article, ‘Boys on the Bubble’ was unable to be submitted due to personal reasons – he passes on his apologies. Toby however (overworked and underpaid), has very kindly offered to write an article in its place.
Thanks to you all.
The Team At Footy Tragic
Since the ‘Boys on the Bubble’ article is practically obsolete today (due to there being practically no-one on the bubble), I thought it may not be harmful to take a close look at what we should do with Jonathan Brown in the coming weeks. Now I should say firstly, this is not another ‘Who’d You Rather’ article, but instead a bit of a discussion point on what to do with the great man. He currently sits in 138,060, making him the 6th most popular player in this year’s dream team and is priced at $305,500. But unfortunately, as it stands he is doing bugger all for any of us as his is currently sitting on the bench, and looks to continue to do so for the next 4 games or so (he is listed as four weeks on today’s injury report). However, I am sure that I am not the only one watching Brisbane’s current form and wondering whether they will bother to rush him back, if at all. They currently sit 11th on the ladder – two games and percentage out of the eight and are coming off an embarrassing loss to Richmond at the Gabba. Things couldn’t get much worse for the Lions as their injury list mounts. The issue with Brown is, as much as he is an amazing player, his stomach injury is one which will only heal if given rest – essentially, they could play him in two or three weeks and allow it the flair back up, or play him in four to six weeks and hope it stays away. My worry (as a Brown owner) is that with the fact Brisbane is very unlikely to make the eight, there is a significant chance they will put Brown on ice for the remainder of the season, readying him for 2011.
So there are several ways that we can look at this Brown scenario, and every coach will look at it differently, especially considering the different bench options. Personally (when my full team is fit) I have a bench of Hitchcock and Rockliff – currently, Brown and Higgins reside in their spots, meaning I have $639,700 sitting on the pine – not ideal. Hopefully, Higgins will return this week, meaning Rockliff will be the only emergency I have playing, and with an average of 105 points over the past four games, I’m not overly concerned. So in this scenario, where I have adequate cover, I can ask myself three questions; do I keep Brown, hoping he will return, and knowing I have Rockliff providing adequate cover his spot in the meantime? Or do I trade Brown for a rookie (using the acquired cash elsewhere), leaving Rockliff on the field for the remaining games, hoping he can remain good to form? Or thirdly, do I upgrade Brown to another forward, pushing Rockliff back onto my bench, only to be used as cover? As it stands, I am tempted to hold onto Brown – in my case, I don’t need to upgrade any other areas of my field, and part of my worries are that Rockliff may not sustain his form (although I am equally concerned about Brown not returning). But if you have a similar bench to me, yet are lacking your final premium midfielder or defender, than biting the bullet and offloading Brown may be a decent idea. If you are to trade him, may I suggest Aaron Cornelius – a $165k forward from Brisbane who came in for his first game on the weekend, playing in Brown’s role. He kicked three goals and looked lively, finishing on 64 points.
The second scenario sees a bench that is perhaps not as trustworthy – perhaps you have a combo of Watts, Hitchcock, Stewart, or the like. These players are in the best 20-25 in their squads, meaning they can’t be relied upon for getting a game, nor performing consistently. These sorts of players unfortunately can’t be trusted to hold a spot in your team (unless you are down to your final couple of trades, which makes things very hard), so in this scenario I believe Brown has to go. As I eluded earlier, the issue with Brown’s injury is when he will actually return – to reiterate, due to the nature of his injury, and Brisbane’s current form, there is a chance Brown won’t be sited again this season. Currently he is listed by Brisbane as four weeks from returning, and I would assume that this is at least four weeks. Therefore, I recommend to those who have no adequate cover, offload him. Around this price are some good picks – players such as O’Keefe, Giansiracusa and Sylvia who had good early form, only to drop in price with a few poor games mid-season. Then there are players such as Rioli and Varcoe – both who have shown great improvement in recent games, yet are still reasonably priced. Whilst both may produce some sporadic scoring (due to the nature of their games), they are both capable of dominating a game too, scoring in excess of 120 points. Personally, if it were me, I would be trading either of these two names in, rather than the common mid-pricers such as Gia, O’Keefe and Sylvia. They will add more x-factor to your team come finals time and could be the wild card selection that gets you over the line.
Lastly, there are the teams down to the dregs of their trades – I see this as anywhere between four and zero remaining (if you have zero, then my advice is to keep Brown…). At this stage, these trades are like gold. If Martin is your last mid, keep him. If you are playing a rookie as your final defender, keep him. None of these trades should be used to upgrade rookies to premiums, unless in the first couple of weeks of finals. Whilst I don’t have a set strategy or timeline for using my trades as some other coaches do, one thing that I am aware of burning plenty of coaches is the use of all your trades too early. From this point onwards, only use your trades to cover long term injuries to your key players. Essentially, you are better using a trade to upgrade Chapman in round 18 when he does his hamstring, than you are upgrading Silvagni to Carrazzo this week. So in the Brown scenario, things get a little tricky – as I said above, only trade long term injuries, and only trade premiums when you have no cover. So there is a case here to say Brown ticks both those boxes – and personally, I would actually hit trade on him this week if I had four trades and no decent cover. I would offload to the best I could afford (or if I couldn’t afford anyone ‘premium,’ I would do a straight swap for Varcoe or Rioli). I think in this case it is worth it as low grade cover options such as Watts, Hitchcock and Stewart, etc are all only averaging 40-60 points. A trade from Brown to Rioli could see a net gain of at least 50 points – well worth it in my book! I think that if Brown had rolled an ankle, we knew he would be three weeks and Brisbane were in the top 8, I would keep him – but with all the variables I have mentioned with his injury, it is better to bite the bullet now and notice the points gain straight away than constantly suffering for another four weeks until we hear the real story.
Well, I hope this all helps, and hope it was an interesting read – and even if it doesn’t solve your problems, hopefully it can get you thinking about your own strategies. And surely, these are probably not the only ideas for everyone’s Brown woes – if you have an alternative, I’d be interested to hear it! Thanks again fellas and happy trading!
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.
Paul Duffield – Fremantle ($363,300, BAC, Break even: 86, price drop this season: $29,400)
Duffy can be a bit of a roller coaster, but I feel he is a real bargain at the moment. With so many worries regarding popular DT backs, I can see a few trades being made in back lines this week. There’s talk of Maguire being hurt, Davis got hit by “125kg of tree” in the immortal words of David “Ox” Schwarz and some may be holding onto Kennelly, Silvagni and Hargrave, who are no guarantee of a return.
What you will notice about Duffield, is that he is one of the biggest scorers in spurts. What I mean by that, is that you’re sitting there looking at live scores and Duffy hasn’t done anything for 15 minutes. You start thinking maybe he’s injured or something and then all of a sudden he’ll rack up 18 points in two minutes. It can get frustrating, but the end result usually means he’s averaging 90 this year (after averaging 89 last year).
This is where the highs and lows come into it. If he doesn’t manage too many of these scoring spurts in a game then he is liable to score the odd 70 (he’s had three sub 70′s this year and had five in 2009). However, if he’s a bit up in this regard then he has the ability to score big tons. He cracked 120 three times last year and already has one score of 135 this year, plus three more tons. You take the good with the bad and at the end of the day, you can feel pretty safe that he’ll get a 90 average, generally with a basement of 60ish, but capable of massive tons.
Jack Grimes – Melbourne ($326,600, BAC, Break even: 101, price drop this season: $65,700)
For a slightly more budget model of Duffield, have a look at one of everyone’s favourites from 2009, Jack Grimes. There’s generally a bit of a trend where popular rookies from the previous year find their way into a mass of teams the next year, possibly due to some sort of sentimentality. That doesn’t seem to have happened with Grimes this year. He’s only in 16,408 teams and is priced very reasonably.
He started the season with remarkable consistency. In the first four weeks his lowest score was 81 and his highest was 94. After that we started to see a bit more of a roller coaster with 58, 128, 79 and 112. His last three weeks haven’t been great, averaging 67 over that period, but he’s shown to also have a basement score of about 60. His lowest score is 57 and it’s really hard to picture his scoring lower than that in a game (mid game injury permitting).
Grimes is already one of the more mature football brains on the Demons team in only his third year on the list. He knows the right spots and will get plenty of cheap stuff through across half back and when moved into the midfield he’s more than capable of winning his own ball. If the news is bad on Maguire, then it’s only $40K to upgrade to Grimes. Even though he’s got a break even of 101, your situation may require immediate action, and furthermore Grimes is a chance to get that, so I’d look closely at him.
Shane Mumford – Sydney ($324,900, RUC, Break even: 17, price RISE this season: $82,000)* NOTE: I normally have guys that have dropped in price, Mumford is still looking like a bargain though…
I will preface this by saying that if you have no cover for Hille and you’ve decided to move him on and thank him for the memories, Dean Cox is an obvious option. I did already write about him a few weeks ago, so I won’t waste the column space, but Cox is putting along nicely and as NicNat is tiring a bit, Cox should be good to go in the run home and a Cox to Hille trade will only cost $7K. Gold, considering that trade was my loose plan at the start of the year.
However, if you’re looking for someone a bit cheaper, it’s worth putting the microscope on Shane Mumford’s recent form. First of all, he’s been greatly advantaged by Mark Seaby’s injury, handing him the #1 role. Since Seaby’s injury Mumford has scored 94, 113 and 114 (he also missed two weeks through suspension in this time).
The big advantage with Mumford is that even if he isn’t playing that well he’s a tackling machine (just ask Gary Ablett). He’s had 40 tackles in nine games this year, including 20 in his last three (where he has had a lot more TOG due to Seaby being out). What I like about this is that it indicates he doesn’t need to be playing particularly well to put points on the board.
He’s been filling a few other columns though, but do be wary that his last two games have been against Hawthorn and Essendon, who notoriously leak points to ruckmen. Don’t just take his past two scores on face value and consider that his opposition have been conducive to high scoring for a ruckman.
Jonathan Brown – Brisbane ($305,500, FWD, Break even: 41, price drop this season: $110,300)
It’s weird seeing forwards not traditionally associated with DT like Mitch Hahn, Tom Hawkins and Kyle Reimers priced higher than Browny, but that’s how it is right now. Some rotten form, no doubt injury related has restricted the great man this season.
He started like a house on fire with 138 and 141 in the first two rounds. I’m sure many people brought him in for Nick Riewoldt after Round 3, only to be served a fair bit of tripe since then. He has managed four scores in the 90′s since then, but no tons. It’s a little bit worrying that his ceiling seems to be set so low. When he stinks, he stinks. If he’s not scoring 90′s, he’s scored 37, 38 and 52 (also an 87).
His last couple of weeks have seen some semblance of form though. He is, no doubt, an injury risk. If Brisbane’s season continues to head south (I mean south in the context of the ladder, because obviously they’re heading south whenever they’re not playing at home) I would be very surprised if they don’t put him in for an early surgery. There’s all sorts of rumours flying around about how badly hurt he is playing, so more than anything this is a cautionary tale. I think Brown is great value and while he’s on the park, while you might have a few down games with him, at a shade over $300K you won’t find a better buy. But buyer beware! You’d want to hope Brisbane stay in the finals race this year…
Dawson Simpson – Geelong ($94,500, RUC, Break even: -16)
First two games: 56 vs. Freo (L), 31 vs. West Coast (W) = 43.5 avg.
NOTE: His first two games were in Rounds 3 and 11.
With news of Tom Hawkins developing a hot spot in his foot, Simpson could be in line to keep his spot in the team for a little while. Brad Ottens is listed as 2-3 weeks away (but wasn’t he listed as that for all of 2009?) and who knows how long Hawkins could be?
Big Daws (and I mean real big, he’s 206cm) won’t score too well. He doesn’t provide much around the ground just yet. I like his future but it might take him a while to really get there at AFL level. Furthermore, I’ve seen Geelong VFL play a couple of times this year and I wouldn’t write Trent West off from getting a couple of games to back up Mark Blake.
Jordan Gysberts – Melbourne ($117,500, MID, Break even: -92)
First two games: 103 vs. Geelong (L), 78 vs. Carlton (L) = 90.5 avg.
Is he our last great hope? When I look at the rookies yet to debut, there is not a whole heap screaming immediate impact to me, so that might make downgrade options tough to come by late in the year. Gysberts has been very impressive in his first two games against arguably the two best midfields in the league.
He’s got a good inside game and hopefully coming into the side late will mean he won’t need a rest. However, his spot wouldn’t be locked from what I see. If he had a bad game or two, he’s got the similarly inside Jordie McKenzie breathing down his neck. I think he has good job security, but put it this way, I’d be slightly uneasy in the run home with a mid bench of Gysberts and one of Howlett/Moles/Shuey.
Gysberts would be a great money maker if you’re able to keep someone like Jetta/Banfield/Martin/Trengove/Scully as your 7th mid. I’m not saying he won’t play the full season out, but I just think we should put his first two games into perspective and not lock him in for the rest of the season (Beau Muston 2009, anyone?)
Colin Sylvia – Melbourne ($315,000, MID/FWD, Break even: 68, price drop this season: $103,700)
This one might hurt the 12,393 who have endured his 67 average over the last five games, especially when many would’ve traded him in after he opened the season with a 125 and 112. Ouch, this one will particularly hurt those that traded him in after two games – he scored 237 points in those first two games and 335 in the five games. If you take out his 107 in that period he hasn’t scored over 70.
It’s not the most glowing preamble, but what it does mean is that right now Sylvia is ridiculous value, because he’s not as bad a player as his recent form suggests.
I’m also not going to come on here and say that’s he’s a must buy just because he’s cheap. For a start, he is easily tagged out of games, which explains a lot of his low scores this year.
Melbourne are a better team now, and this oddly seems to be negatively affecting Sylvia. Now that they’re doing better, teams need to work on shutting down their damaging players, so Sylvia is copping a bit more serious attention than he has in the past. His awesome form in his first two games probably made a few teams stand up and notice how important he can be to Melbourne if he’s up and going.
With Sylvia though, you’re definitely getting value. He’s priced at about 70, and yes, while he has scored less than 70 four times this year, I can’t see him being this horrible. Even without finding form he should still be able to average about 80 from here on in. He had a cracking pre-season until his broken jaw, so his fitness base should be fine.
For $315K it wouldn’t be a terrible roll of the dice for someone who could turn out to be a premium. Immediately Melbourne don’t have a cracking fixture, but his last month of the season is pretty favourable DT wise (Richmond, Hawthorn, Port, North) so he could be a handy asset to have at the end of the year.
Austin Wonaeamirri – Melbourne ($138,700, FWD, Break even: 7)
First two games: 47 vs. Port (W), 51 vs. Geelong (L) = 49 avg.
Everyone’s favourite cult figure from 2008 has remarkably strung together two consecutive games. Back then he averaged 62.5, so he wasn’t too bad as a bench option. You could probably expect similar scoring from him this year too, but the big question is whether or not his body is up to it. He has been dogged by injuries for the last 18 months. It’s great to see him back out there, but his body has proved to be pretty frail. Scoring potential and job security wise, he’s a great option…but it’s his durability that worries me.
Nathan O’Keefe – North Melbourne ($94,500, FWD, Break even: -41)
First two games: 58 vs. Bulldogs (L), 55 vs. Freo (L) = 56.5 avg.
Last week I was thinking it’ll only be a matter of time before O’Keefe loses his spot in the Roos team, considering they named Petrie, Hale and McIntosh. Petrie going down with a six week injury again might be a good thing for O’Keefe, but even if he gets picked this week he’ll have Aaron Edwards and Josh Smith breathing down his neck from the VFL. I quite liked his debut game against the Bulldogs. He generated a few shots, but couldn’t convert – it’s not like Smith will threaten him with remarkable conversion (2.7 in his nine game career) but I couldn’t recommend O’Keefe with any great enthusiasm. He’s a very good mark, but I’m not sure that he has enough to his game for him to hold onto a spot (or score particularly well) at this stage of his career.
Daniel Stewart – Port Adelaide ($89,500, FWD, Break even: -5)
First two games: 33 vs. Geelong (W), 40 vs. Richmond (L) = 36.5 avg.
Nothing to suggest he would score well or keep his spot in Port’s team. Meh.
Rhys Stanley – St.Kilda ($94,500, RUC, Break even: -5)
First two games: 44 vs. West Cost (W), 33 vs. Adelaide (W) = 38.5 avg.
He hasn’t scored that well, but Stanley isn’t going too bad so far. With Kosi half way between anonymous and literally absent, Stanley provides an athletic tall target for the Saints. I feel safer having picked up Skipper last week, because I like his job security better, but I think the Saints will persist with Stanley for a bit. For a ruck bench, you’re not exactly shooting for the stars with scoring potential, so if he can get out there and he’s on your team, it’s a win. Wouldn’t be the worst option if you missed Skipper last week.
Campbell Heath – Sydney ($94,500, BAC, Break even: -47)
First two games: 71 vs. Freo (L), 48 vs. Hawthorn (L) = 59.5 avg.
Heath was really promising in his first game and scored a lovely 71. He looked a bit more shaky in his second game and made a couple of silly decisions. He might keep his spot for a little while, but I think he’s just keeping Craig Bolton’s seat warm. If he can last that long then he’ll make a bit of cash, but if you’re a trading in a rookie at this stage you shouldn’t be looking to trade him out – you’re looking for bench coverage right now. Heath is a decent option and I’d go for him if I needed to free up some cash, but I’d be fully aware that I’m probably leaving myself exposed with back coverage.
Adam Goodes – Sydney ($362,600, MID/FWD, Break even: 67, price drop this season: $72,200)
Adam Goodes has surely bottomed out by now. While he has generally been considered more of a SC specialist in the past, consider him strongly for your team this year.
The one constant with Goodes over the years is that he comes home with some absolute belters. Take 2008 out, because he was playing hurt late in the year and his record in the run home is amazing. Last year in the first nine games of the year he averaged 88.2 compared to 106.4 in the last 13 games (including an average of 128.75 in the last four games and a low score of 117).
In 2007 his highest score was 83 until he got a 110 in Round 9. He came home with a bang, averaging nearly 100 from Round 9 onwards. Basically Goodes is typically a slow starter. He’s already averaging 91.4, has had four tons, yet has still gone down in price every single week! You can now pick up Goodes for $72,200 less than his starting price.
I wouldn’t even be adverse to starting him in the midfield. As you may have noticed, I am a fan of the DP system and think it could really be beneficial in the run home. I look at it this way, if you can get someone with the capability of averaging over 100 while you have him in your team for $360K, you’d be crazy not to take him. It just so happens that you can take him in the forward line too. If you can spend $100K less to complete your midfield, I’m yet to hear a substantial reason not to take him there, if your structure demands it. You open up DP capabilities, which can save you trades, and at the end of the day points are points – where they are coming from is immaterial, especially when Goodes can post an average as good as nearly anyone.
Another way I look at it is that you’re likely to find a forward keeper for around Goodes’ current price later on. Don’t expect a midfield keeper to be available at this price for the rest of the year though. I’m not categorically saying take Goodes in your midfield, only consider it if your structure permits it.
Wayde Skipper – Hawthorn ($95,800, RUC, Break even: -6)
First two matches: 37 vs. Richmond (W), 41 vs. Carlton (W) = 39 avg.
If you’re looking to make a bit of sneaky cash on the bench, or maybe just shore up your ruck coverage, Skipper could be a good option. First of all, he’s surely got good job security, for the simple fact he is a Hawks ruckman and he is not currently on the LTI. By virtue of standing on two feet, he seems to have a spot in the side, unless they revert to rucking Renouf alone with a chop out from Roughead.
Scores of 37 and 41 haven’t been fantastic, but depending on your situation he can help out in a couple of ways. If you’re a Warnock owner needing a bit of cash you can downgrade him. Warnock doesn’t look like getting back in any time soon, especially with Jacobs’ great form. Also, if you have no ruck coverage at the moment (maybe your bench is two of Warnock/Lobbe/Roughead he’ll at least be able to give you some coverage if one of your starters goes down.
Bear in mind that Rhys Stanley is ruck eligible and has only played one game. This time next week I might be writing about Stanley too, so Skipper might not be the last cheap ruck to present us with this opportunity.
Jack Watts – Melbourne ($145,000, FWD, Break even: -7)
First two matches: 53 vs. West Coast (L), 63 vs. Port (W) = 58 avg.
Watts comes at a pretty lofty price, but I thought I’d include him in this spiel. A lot of teams will be at the point where you are close to (or already have) a locked in top seven forwards. If you’re staring at your bench and you don’t like the look of their job security, or maybe you just want to make a bit of cash from fully matured cash cows like Gumbleton or Peterson, then Watts should be a safe option to hold his spot and give you decent scores as a back up.
I’ve got a feeling we’ll start seeing a couple of big games from Watts too, so not only might he make you a bit of money to sit on your bench, he might be able to sneak a decent score late in the year when one of your forwards is inevitably rested leading into the finals.
Nic Heyne – St.Kilda ($94,500, FWD, Break even: -4)
First two matches: 40 vs. Essendon (L), 35 vs. West Coast (W) = 37.5 avg.
Can’t see him holding a spot in St.Kilda’s team, to be honest. He’s a cheaper option than Watts, but at this stage of the game you need to get players who can help you in the long run, not just free up a bit of cash. Considering he hasn’t really looked that flash in his two games so far, it’d be a pretty desperate move to bring him in.
Henry Playfair – Sydney ($101,800, FWD, Break even: -54)
First two matches: 62 vs. Bulldogs (L), 69 vs. Fremantle (L) = 65.5 avg.
In my weekly rounds of lurking other clubs forums I came across this relevant gem from the Swans reserves match report. “Sometime in the 4th quarter White went off and had his ankle iced and at the end of the game was helped off by Vesz. Jesse couldn’t put his right ankle to the ground and was hanging onto Vesz, hopping.” Oddly White hasn’t showed up on the Swans injury list today, which is a bit weird…
Playfair hasn’t been awful in his two games this year. Keep an eye on team selection this week, because Mumford will be back. If Playfair keeps his spot with Mumford coming in, then it’s a good sign, but with that said I feel Playfair is only a temporary measure for the Swans. I have serious doubts he’ll be there at the pointy end of the season, but I would pin him for better short term job security than Heyne IF he can get named this week.
We apologise for the delay in posting this morning’s article. There were some technical difficulties.
PLAYERS ON THE BUBBLE
Tony Armstrong – Adelaide ($94,500, MID, Break even: -88)
First two games: 36 vs. Fremantle (L)*, 123 vs. North (L) = 79.5 avg. *Note: his first game was Round 1 and was dropped after that.
Don’t be fooled by his shiny 123 last week. Armstrong has very low job security and Saturday night was the sort of game where a lot of cheap stuff was going around. Did you notice the names of Adelaide’s Top 6 scorers? They were mainly defenders getting a lot of cheap marks for the most part. Adelaide has a long injury list, which we assume will get shorter at some stage (not that it’s showing signs of doing that). Knights, Mackay and Symes sound pretty close to a return though and Rory Sloane is back playing SANFL (and is much better than Armstrong).
Armstrong had 13 marks to his name. I will be surprised if he has that many for the rest of the season, to be perfectly honest. I don’t really rate him as a player (poor decision making, limited hurt factor) and Neil Craig seems to have a “last man in, first man out” selection policy, so even though he had a good game he’d be pretty close to getting dropped in a couple of weeks, in my opinion. Obviously he’s set to make a quick buck, but only expect him to be there for a good time, not a long time. For what it’s worth, the last player I used that phrase on was Jarrod Kayler-Thomson…
Danny Hughes – Melbourne ($94,500, FWD, Break even: -66)
First two games: 63 vs. Bulldogs (L), 74 vs. West Coast (L) = 68.5 avg.
I missed Melbourne’s game against last week, but he really impressed me in the wet against the Bulldogs a couple of weeks ago. He’s a strong marking player and while his form for Casey hadn’t been fantastic, I thought there were a couple of things in his game that looked good.
His work rate is pretty good and given limited competition for key spots in the Melbourne forward line, he should be good to go to make a bit of cash. At this stage though, you pretty much want your guys to be able to play the season out. Is Hughes that safe? I wouldn’t put my house on it, but with Petterd out for the year he’s some chance. Jurrah will come back at some stage and maybe they wheel out Brad Miller again, but for the most part the job is Hughes’ to lose and he’s done well to date. Not a bad downgrade option.
Jeromey Webberley – Richmond ($89,500, DEF, Break even: -45)
First two games: 61 vs. Adelaide (L), 52 vs. Hawthorn (almost W) = 56.5 avg.
Some have been waiting for this guy for some time. I know that he was hovering around a few Dream Teams in the planning stages of 2010, but it took him a while to crack the formidable Richmond line up.
Richmond are the lowest scoring team in the league for DT points, but that’s not near as important with the rookies. Webberley looks very secure in his job and will score pretty well for a bench player, so he’s an ideal downgrade option at this time of year. His debut game was 17 touches at 100% efficiency…that sounds very un-Richmond like, but it’d be a welcome change that should see him stick around in their 22.
Gary Rohan – Sydney ($137,500, FWD/MID, Break even: 12)
First two games: 40 vs. Geelong (L), 52 vs. Bulldogs (L) = 46 avg.
Rohan is an absolute jet and easily the most exciting player to watch out of last year’s draft. However, he is NOT a DT’er! He’s a great impact player, but while he’s learning his trade the Swans are using him as a defensive forward a fair bit. His tackling pressure down there is very valuable for them.
Rohan has never been a high possession winner, but when he gets the ball he can be so mesmerising, but don’t let that attract you to him. I’m not saying stay away completely, but I would be treading with extreme caution. The advantage is that he’s a dual position player, but he also comes at a pretty heavy price tag for a rookie.
Mike Pyke – Sydney ($128,500, RUC, Break even: 23)
First two games: 47 vs. Geelong (L), 27 vs. Bulldogs (L) = 37 avg.
If you are looking for a back-up ruckman wait and see how Wayde Skipper goes this week (even if he shows nothing or gets dropped it’s not like Pyke is going to bolt in price). Skipper would have better job security, scoring potential and is cheaper than the big Canuck.
Pyke might get games while Mumford and Seaby are out, but with Mumford due back next week they might not use Pyke as back up. Jesse White could do some part time work, or they might want to give Daniel Currie a shot. Avoid, even if you are solely looking for bench coverage.
Brad Sheppard – West Coast ($133,500, DEF, Break even: 1)
First two games: 35 vs. Hawthorn (W), 65 vs. Melbourne (W) = 50 avg.
I’m a big wrap for Sheppard and reckon he could make a good DT’er in years to come. As I said in the Hughes write-up, I missed the Melbourne vs. West Coast game on the weekend, but it seems as though Sheppard played much better than his debut game (where, to be fair, he did cop a knock in the head early).
I’m not sure that he’s worth the extra price tag with Webberley set to rise in the same week though. I think Webberley has better job security and scoring potential (well, for 2010 anyway) than Sheppard.
Steve Johnson – Geelong (FWD, $381,400, Break even: 19, price drop this year: $55,500)
So Jared Brennan owners will be looking for a replacement (who, by the way, turned out to be teasing us once again!). Well, if you initially took the risk on the roller coaster ride of Brennan, you’re probably the sort of DT’er who wouldn’t have a huge beef with the similarly up and down Steve Johnson.
Stevie J has looked fantastic in his past two weeks. Granted, they were against the teams he scores first and third highest against. Also, they were both at Skilled Stadium, which is a ground he notoriously slays. However, he has been moving a lot more freely, which is the most important thing as far as I’m concerned.
His break even is only 19, so he’s definitely on the way up. Well, I say definitely, but it’s buyer beware with Stevie J, because when he stinks, he really bloody stinks. Last year he scored a 35 and a 62, plus three annoying scores in the 70s. Hopefully his sub 70 scores are out of the way, as he already has a 35 and a 69 this year.
One thing to note, however, is that he hasn’t scored a ton away from Skilled Stadium in 2010. In fact, all three games Geelong have played at Skilled have resulted in three tons and all four games away from Skilled have been less than a ton. While he’s a Skilled Stadium specialist, I wouldn’t expect his form to remain exclusive to that ground.
On the bubble
Matthew Jaensch – Adelaide (FWD, $77,800, Break even: -48)
First two games: 68 vs. Port Adelaide (L), 38 vs. Richmond (L…wait, I mean W…force of habit)
Jaensch came to Adelaide as a mature aged recruit from Sturt, as a reasonably accomplished SANFL player. He’s a fantastic kick of the ball and is best used across half forward, or maybe on the wing. But what we know about Neil Craig is that he loves playing players out of position (see: Walker, Taylor).
His 38 against Richmond was playing in a lock down role on Nason in the back pocket, which is pretty yuck for DT scoring. If Craig persists with him, he could be a good scorer, but with an injury list you would expect to one day get shorter his job security might not be great. I don’t think he’s a bad option if he can get another game this week, but if you’re desperate for a forward rookie I’d have to wonder why you didn’t jump on Fyfe or Grant last week – there’s not been a shortage of forward rookies lately.
Dylan Roberton – Fremantle (DEF, $89,500, Break even: -29)
First two games: 57 vs. West Coast (W), 39 vs. Brisbane (W)
First up, I’ve gotta be honest and say I haven’t seen Freo over the last two weeks, so I haven’t seen Roberton in action at AFL level yet, but he’s a very good kick of the ball coming out of the backline, so in time he could be one to keep an eye on.
For this year, he could also be not such a bad option. Nason, Silvagni, Hunt and Maguire are popular options who have either maxed out, or are close to doing so. The attractiveness with all of them (except maybe Silvagni when Grover comes back) is that they’ve got a pretty secure job, so provide great back up for your team. Roberton might not be there yet, but Harvey isn’t afraid to play the kids, which is a plus. He’s quite skinny though, so it’ll be tough to see him play out the season – just note that I said the same thing about Stephen Hill last year and was horribly wrong.
Lewis Stevenson – West Coast (MID, $94,500, Break even: -65)
First two games: 56 vs. Sydney (L), 79 vs. Hawthorn (W)
Another good kick of the pill is on the bubble this week. Stevenson had a pretty good debut against Sydney, but was dropped the next week unfortunately. After a week off he was back in and scored a 79, including eight marks and looked comfortable in the AFL.
I’m a little bit worried about the midfield downgrade options in the coming weeks, so if you need a bit of cash for a rookie who has maxed out, I don’t mind Stevenson. West Coast are pushing games onto their kids this year and hopefully Stevenson is a part of that. He’s been on their rookie list since 2008 and has improved fantastically, especially in the early parts of 2010.