Category - 2012 – Player Of The Week
Toby has a look at the merits of bringing Matt Priddis into your midfield – is his price a bargain, or a trap?
Firstly, welcome to my new Thursday timeslot – in here I plan to discuss players worth targeting for your team, whether it be a bargain player, a premium, or perhaps a smokey pick that may not have been on your radar.
This week I am looking at one of the bigger bargains in Dream Team and SuperCoach at the moment – Matt Priddis.
Priddis is a proven DT and SC stud of years gone by, managing an average of 96, 94 and 106 (DT) and 104, 109 and 114 (SC) over the past three seasons. He started 2012 reasonably with an average of 93 DT and 104 SC points over the first five rounds, however he went down with an early injury in round seven which has subsequently made his price plummet.
Bad luck, hey?
The good news is, the injury was nothing major – just a standard case of concussion which saw him subbed out at quarter time with only 17 DT and 24 SC points to his name. Due to this injury, Priddis has already leaked some major bucks and the trend is set to continue this week with some large breakevens to achieve. In Dream Team he has dropped over $56k since the injury and has a round 10 breakeven of 143; in SuperCoach he has leaked 85K and has a breakeven of 144. This means he should bottom out at the end of this weekend.
There is much talk about ensuring you trade the top-6 mids into your team by season’s end – arguably these are Swan, Pendlebury, Ablett, Stanton, Boyd and Scott Thompson – and clearly, Priddis really sits in the bracket below these stars. Still, there should be a pretty good argument for trading him in.
Personally, as a coach who has both Horsley and McDonald in my side, I will likely have the ability to trade one of these guys to Priddis next week for a very little additional spend. To me this seams like a great idea, even if Priddis doesn’t become one of my top-6 mids by season’s end. At this stage, Horsley is a great cash-cow, while I am still a little nervous about relying on McDonald – whilst he is scoring well when playing, we know he will be regularly rotated through the Giants lineup and is therefore an unreliable emergency option – ‘unreliable’ is the last thing I want with the byes approaching (and Swan out).
With all the byes coming up, plus the knowledge that no premium is immortal (as proven already this year by Swan, Murphy and Ablett), Priddis could prove very decent cover in the coming weeks. West Coast share the round 11 bye with GWS, Brisbane, Adelaide, North Melbourne and the Dogs – the only premium options from this group are Scotty Thompson, Boyd, Redden and Rockliff – all of which (except Boyd) are not hugely popular options. This means he will be good cover for when the likes of Collingwood, Geelong, Carlton, Essendon and Gold Coast have their byes.
There is nothing to say Priddis can’t be a good 6th midfield option either – whilst his average is unlikely to be too much higher than about 105, he does have the ability to pull out some whopping 150+ scores, whilst also remaining pretty consistent – for example, last year he managed to score 100+ points in 21 games (SC) and 14 in DT, whilst never scoring below 75 points in either competition.
West Coast’s upcoming couple of months of footy is pretty solid – whilst they have games against the Blues and Pies, there are also games against the likes of Brisbane and Gold Coast. Though as a tough inside midfielder, I can’t imagine him struggling too much against many of these opponents.
On the flip-side, using multiple trades to bring in Priddis (more-so in Dream Team) could be dangerous. Take into account his potential scores – as I mentioned earlier, he scores well and consistently, but it’s not at the level of Ablett or Swan. The last thing you want to do is bring in Priddis at the expense of a Stanton or Boyd. This is not to say you can’t have them all though. Priddis is at a price you don’t see too often for a premium midfielder, which makes it hard to ignore him. But when hitting that trade button, ensure you know why you are doing it – his inclusion to your team will allow you to hold off from upgrading in your midfield for now and focus on your forwards or defence. In my opinion, it is best if you look at him as a glorified bench option. Some teams will be able to afford this luxury, but my advice is not to trade for the sake of it. Look at your overall structure and plan – don’t just get sucked in by price.
Despite the above, I think Priddis’ price will be too hard to ignore next week – he will sure up your midfield depth for the rest of the season, regardless of whether you eventually want to move him to the pine, or keep him on the field. He is a strong performer who will play each week, barring injuries, and can score very well, especially in SuperCoach. If you can knock together the $80k or so to upgrade to Priddis from McDonald next week then I think this trade should be a total no-brainer! Do it!
The football world was waiting for this. I know I certainly was, after all I have picked him in my team three years in a row. Possessing a rare combination of power, speed, and courage, it was really only a matter of time. Though I must admit, even I was starting to think he was just a tease. If you had the patience, I applaud you; it was certainly worth the wait. Patrick Dangerfield has become a genuine star.
As a fantasy prospect for 2012, perhaps the most appealing thing about Dangerfield was the draw the Crows had been handed. Facing the Giants twice, the Gold Coast twice, and Port Adelaide twice, you could book him in for at least decent scores in those matches. In the past that has certainly been the case. This season, I think that is now irrelevant. It doesn’t matter whom he’s up against, Paddy Dangerfield is going to have an impact.
Last weekend, the Crows faced Carlton interstate. It was supposed to be their hardest challenge yet. A 69-point win suggests otherwise. It’s hard to believe that less than 12 months ago, this same Adelaide team was a bottom four side.
If there was ever the situation to prove a point, it was Sunday for the Crows. Leading the way was Patrick Dangerfield, to the tune of 35 Disposals, 8 clearances, 2 goals, 8 inside 50’s and 6 tackles. Second only to Daniel Merrett in SuperCoach output with 174 points, and fifth in Dream Team with 142 points. The highest and 2nd highest scores for players listed as a forward eligible in the respective fantasy games.
Tagging Dangerfield is proving to be a pointless exercise. The Blues first tried Gibbs, and later Ed Curnow, but when a player is winning more than half of their disposals from the contested situation, there is really nothing you can do about it; they’re going to get their share. From a fantasy standpoint, this is exactly what we want. While his points per possession might not be as high as others, he’s only gone below 20 disposals once. This is priceless for a forward.
No longer is Dangerfield floating in and out of games, perhaps the biggest knock on him in year’s prior. His lowest point tally for any quarter against Carlton was 23 points in Dream Team and 29 in SuperCoach. This further emphasises his newfound ability to force his way into a match.
Personally, I have now labeled Dangerfield as a premium forward player. If you missed out on getting him at a bargain price at the beginning of the year, you should still definitely consider him as an upgrade target. He will have the chance to face both the Suns and Giants again, as well as Melbourne and Port Adelaide – all bottom four sides at this point of the year. At the very least, I expect him to score handsomely in these games. As I’ve stated though, I no longer believe Paddy is a downhill skier. Much like an Ablett or Swan, there is not much you can do to stop him, and for that that reason I’m quite confident his hot form will continue. Watch and enjoy.
Upon entering the season, one of the hardest jobs for a fantasy coach is the task of selecting your back line. Unlike other positions, the number of ‘locks’ in the backs is somewhat limited, with only two real standouts presenting themselves in 2012, Brendan Goddard and Brett Deledio. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing however. I like to think it helps to open the window of opportunity for coaches to take a risk. Perhaps a player set for a break out year, or a player returning from injury.
Brian Lake was just that, the ultimate risk. After a horror year in 2011, Lake loomed as one of the more fascinating fantasy prospects in recent times. A proven fantasy star, the upside was obvious, but at 30 years of age and returning from an injury, could he turn back the clock?
Brian Lake would be the first to admit that 2011 was a season he’d much rather forget. Only a year prior, Lake was coming off what was undoubtedly the best season of his career. An elite defender, Lake was named the All-Australian full back for 2010, earning selection for the second year running. Even though he wasn’t able to train during the 2011 pre season, I don’t think anyone predicted just how badly that would hamper him throughout the season, proving to plague his entire year. After failing to have his usual impact at senior level, Lake was dropped from the side, exiled to VFL. Even there he wasn’t himself.
As a result, Lake’s numbers took a major hit. His fantasy averages for the year were the lowest he’d recorded since 2005. From a fantasy standpoint, this was great news for 2012, particularly AFL Dream Team, where Lake was a major scorer when up and running. Any player capable of averaging 100 points per game is a clearly an asset, especially one that is back line eligible. Brian Lake is one of the rare defenders who had achieved this in the past. At a starting price of $255,000 in AFL Dream Team, and $286,900 in SuperCoach, Lake’s name certainly a stood out amongst a lot of those lesser known. Despite encouraging signs in the pre season, whether he’d return to form remained to be seen. The Jury was out on Brian Lake…
The start to the year proved to be a disaster. Matched up against West Coast forward Josh Kennedy, Lake was no match for him, watching his opponent kick 7 goals to help the Eagles to a 49 point win. Luckily goals against doesn’t effect fantasy points! However, not only was Lake comprehensively beaten, his fantasy game was also non-existent. The contested marks weren’t sticking, he wasn’t providing a link up option, and the Bulldog’s high possession brand of football we saw during the NAB cup was all but abandoned. In all honesty, I thought it was 2011 all over again for Lake. His confidence looked shot.
Facing Adelaide in round 2, I was expecting much the same with Lake likely to be lined up on one of the Crows’ key forwards in Taylor Walker or Kurt Tippet. But only one week on and you could’ve sworn it was a different player. After scoring only 27 DT points in round 1 the Brian Lake of old was back, taking 10 marks, and gathering 23 disposals on his way to 93 Dream Team and 110 SuperCoach points. The turn of form was amazing.
Since then Lake has averaged 9.4 marks in the five games he has played. He has competed against some big names in those weeks, including Travis Cloke and Drew Petrie, proving his ability to play well regardless of the opposition. This places Lake 2nd in marks per game in the entire league. More importantly he has rediscovered his confidence. The Brian Lake that zoned off his opponent to intercept marks is back. He is comfortable attacking the ball, and looks every bit the player of 2010 again. It’s great for football and it’s great for fantasy scoring.
If you missed out on Lake, don’t stress, I think there is still value to be had. With the low score of round 1 rolling through his average, coupled with the 1 week suspension, Lake has not risen in price perhaps as much as he could have. He is clearly the best defender in his price range as of round 7. If you’ve got some cash to spare, I’d jump on before he rises. I believe Lake is a premium this year, and if you can get an upgrade target at a discount price, then why not!
Surprise surprise, another week down, and yet another monster performance by none other than Brent Stanton. Did someone say 193? I take it I’ve made my point :) So with that said, I turn my attention to someone else.
While there were higher scores across the board, I couldn’t go past the performance of a bloke sporting the most impressive mullet in recent history. A career high 46 hit outs combined with a career high 20 disposals helped this man record a career high 116 AFL Dream Team points and 129 SuperCoach points. It has to be said, there’s not a whole lot not to like about Ivan Maric right now.
Maric is one I made mention of before the year began – though I didn’t expect such a drastic scoring increase in his game. If I saw anything like this coming he’d have been the first picked player in my team. As of round 6, Maric stands as the 4th highest AFL Dream Team scorer of all the ruckman in the league, averaging 90.8 points per game. Just shy of the 91.7 Dean Cox is averaging – who would have predicted that!
It was easy to see some improvement coming though. Maric’s arrival at Richmond meant that for the first time in his career the number one ruck mantle was his to lose. This meant more responsibility and more time on ground – both of which translate to stat increases. I wasn’t sure however, that improvement would be enough. I didn’t see Maric as a keeper, and I was unsure he’d increase enough in price to be a worthwhile cash cow.
My biggest concern was Maric’s ability to win the hit out, essentially the easiest point a ruck can get. He’s not the most athletic ruckman, which means that quite often he’s out jumped – particularly at the centre bounce. Hit out averages from previous years supported my cause for concern. What I didn’t account for though, is his ruck work at the stoppages, where jumping isn’t such an issue.
The increase in the sheer volume of stoppages means there’s more ruck contests than ever, and as a result hit out totals have increased across the board. This has particularly favoured Maric. His hit out numbers are a huge surprise, averaging 29 per game, the fifth most in the league. A remarkable 17 more than his 12 per game average in 2011. This has clearly been a driving factor behind his emergence. Another surprise is the disposal increase, jumping from up to 15 possessions per game.
All of this after one of the toughest starts to the year imaginable, facing Carlton, West Coast, Geelong and Collingwood in 4 of the 6 games.
What I like most about Maric is his consistency, showing through in both fantasy games. In Dream Team he has topped 85 points in all but one game, and in SuperCoach 94 is his lowest score.
So is he a legitimate up grade target? I don’t see why not. Right now he’s as safe as anyone. Unlike others, his role is certain. With a particularly favorable bye week in terms of ruckman, along with an easier draw ahead, Maric shapes as one of the true finds of 2012. Get on while he’s cheap!
At the start of the pre-season I was presented with the exciting task of picking out the bargain players of fantasy football for 2012. I had a lot of fun writing about these players and in hindsight I’m pretty happy with most of the names that I put forward, in particularly Chris Masten, Ivan Maric and Ryan Hargrave. One of the things I factored into consideration was the actual club that players play for. I’ve always preferred having players in my team that are a part of winning football sides. I find that being in a successful team generally translates to better fantasy scoring from an individual standpoint. So with that in mind, I found myself intrigued by a lot of the Carlton players, and had particularly high hopes for Fremantle and their players under new Coach Ross Lyon.
The first 5 rounds played out largely as expected, but the season has not gone without a surprise or two. The biggest of which would have to be the 5-0 start from the Swans. Despite being 2nd on the ladder they’ve gone about business very quietly. Even after Sunday’s win it wasn’t the Swans we were talking about, but instead the form of Hawthorn. I suspect Sydney like it that way.
The Swans are much the same side as last season, in fact, when I was watching Sunday, I didn’t see one new face out there. So where’s the improvement coming from? In terms of individual performance, look no further than ex-Hawk Josh Kennedy. Kennedy has improved in just about every facet of the game. Not only is he winning more of the football, he’s also having greater scoreboard impact this season kicking 6 goals already, only 4 short of the 10 goals he kicked in the whole of 2011. He has continued to be a tackling machine, averaging 6 per game – also an increase on last year. Kennedy’s stats are as impressive as anyone’s in the competition right now, and this shows in his fantasy averages. In Round 5, the Hawks watched their former team mate go to work as he gathered 27 disposals, 11 tackles and 3 goals in another best on ground performance – numbers that place him right alongside the elite names of the competition. His 173 SuperCoach and 145 AFL Dream Team points left him with the 2nd highest numbers in each competition. In fact, as of Round 5, he’s the 2nd highest scorer overall in the SuperCoach competition, averaging a massive 133.8 points per game – 6 points clear of the next best.
If you’re thinking about a unique upgrade I wouldn’t shy away from Kennedy. Perhaps the most exciting thing about him is what’s yet to come. With games against the Bulldogs, Demons, Gold Coast and Giants still ahead this season, the potential for huge scores are definitely there. If you haven’t seen much of Josh and worry about a tag affecting his performance, rest assured, he won’t be affected much. Kennedy, much like a Judd, Mitchell or Ablett wins his own footy. He’s a contested possession machine. Even with the hardest of tags he’ll have an impact. What you have in Kennedy is a pure footballer. Well done Sydney, you’ve got another one….
Every AFL season seems to bring about a new feel good story, and the media love em’. Last year was it the return of Andrew Krakeour, and the year before that we had James Podsiadly. This year has a comeback kid too. Remember the Irish lad from Collingwood? Marty something…. Yeah, he’s back this year. You wouldn’t know it though. For whatever reason we haven’t heard a thing about him!
The return of Marty Clarke has simply gone unnoticed. I blame the coaching turnover. A positive story out of Collingwood, that doesn’t sound right. The players don’t like their coach, haven’t you heard?
For whatever reason, Marty Clarke has slipped through the cracks. I think it’s time we give him some recognition. What he’s achieving is incredible. The man hasn’t played an AFL game in over the 3 years, and has walked back into the team like he never left. Not only is he back in the side, he’s been one of Collingwood’s most consistent, and reliable performers. It just shouldn’t be that easy. The luck of the Irish… hey?!
I always liked Marty Clarke as a footballer. He impressed me in the very first game I saw him play. I can clearly remember how annoyed I was. Of all the clubs, it had to be Collingwood… Even so, It was sad to see him leave. But even though I’m a fan I admit I had my doubts this time around. It wasn’t whether he’d make it or not, but how long it would take.
Sure, Clarke is talented, but Collingwood are a much stronger line up than the side Clarke was a part of back in 2009. Would there still be a spot for him? Not to mention the game itself. In 2009 we hadn’t even heard of “The Press”, and nowadays that term is universal. The tactics are always changing, we see that every season, and 3 years is a long time to be away from the game. Once again, I doubted whether he’d simply slot back.
But Clarke is a quick learner. He burst onto the scene back in 2007 and he’s doing it again this year. Unlike most converts, Clarke is simply a natural footballer. Although the game has changed there will always be a spot for smart players out there. Clarke is one of those. His game translates well to the fantasy footy too.
He reads the play exceptionally well, has a knack for being in the right spot to receive the ball, and his trusty left boot make him an ideal player to have the ball in hand. Collingwood love using Clarke to set up play from the half back.
Clarke’s numbers are proof of this, where he records similar averages to players like Nick Malceski and Dyson Heppell, two players known for their attacking games in the backline.
It really only took Clarke one week to blow the cob webs out. In Clarke’s last 3 games he hasn’t recorded below 19 touches, at an average of 80 AFL Dream Team points. His SuperCoach scores are even more impressive, averaging 89 over his last three.
Marty Clarke is giving us exactly what we wanted him from. A low priced, reliable scoring defender that’s making money. If he keeps performing as well as he is, he might even end up a keeper.
I’m certainly happy he’s back and I’m sure the other 79,000 AFL Dream Team owners agree. Let’s show some love for Marty. You my friend, have earnt the player of the week. Welcome back son!
I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed writing last week’s article about Brent Stanton. Its been increasingly frustrating for me to hear fellow Bomber supporters always blaming Brent when things go wrong, so it’s nice to give credit where credit is due. But Stanton’s not the only whipping boy around. In fact, I think it’s pretty standard across the board that each team has their very own version, most of the time unfairly so.
Once you’ve got the mantle it’s near impossible to shake, and quite often I think the media like to run with it, which just makes the situation worse.
This was most definitely the case on Saturday night when watching Richmond take on Collingwood at the G. Hearing Brian Taylor bang on all night about Alex Rance was sickening. The basis of his attack was upon Rance’s “poor disposal and decision making”, which was funny, considering just how wrong Taylor actually was.
Anyway, the Pies walked away on Saturday night with the win, but it certainly wasn’t the landslide affair that many expected. The Tigers proved competitive for all but 5 minutes of the game, and the scoreboard didn’t do their effort justice. I think a lot of that should be credited to a much improved effort shown in the back half of the ground, an area that Richmond clearly struggled with against Carlton in round 1. Unlike the previous week Richmond had no trouble maintaining possession in their defensive half. The Tigers went out of their way to hit up the safe options, adopting a low risk, very patient approach requiring a lot of discipline to be sustained over four quarters. Very reminiscent to style of play we’re accustomed to see from St.Kilda.
All of Grimes, Morris, Houli, Bachelor and Rance had 20 disposals or more. But in spite of having the toughest task manning Travis Cloke, Rance actually topped the disposal count with 34 touches, at an incredibly high efficiency rate of 84%.
Not exactly numbers of a turnover king, right? Admittedly Cloke was effective too, kicking 3 goals and getting 18 touches of his own, but in no way was Rance disgraced in their one on one match up. His offensive game was brilliant, having the most running bounces, the equal most rebound 50′s, and the 2nd most possession total on the whole ground. At time’s he’ll makes you nervous, that’s just his style of play, but if you can look past that he’s actually quite efficient with his disposal, winning unusually high possession numbers for a key defender in the process.
Rance, like Stanton, is another that I think cops it more than most and unfairly so. Yes, he had a tough start to his career, but if anyone could be given some slack surely it’s a key position backman developing in a side that’s being belted most weeks. He was fed to the wolves, so what were we to expect? The football media is too quick to write someone off. If you can look past reputation and perceptions that might cloud your judgement, Rance has come a long, long way. At age 22 he’s still young and has much improvement left. He’s not quite the lock down defender that Matthew Scarlett is, but in fantasy terms he’s the closest thing to Sam Fisher I can think of. We should keep a close eye on Rance in coming years. He was a ball winner as a junior, and deserves credit this week after a whopping 138 AFL Dream Team & 125 SuperCoach points. Call me crazy but I like the kid.
After many months planning and preparing my team, like everyone else, I was absolutely pumped to see the season proper finally get underway.
But now that we’re here, we’ve now got the responsibility of monitoring our teams, and in order to do that we need to know what’s going on at all times throughout the season. Whether that be injury, suspension, form slumps, debutants we need to aware in order to best manage our team. However, it’s also important to be aware of who’s actually playing well. This has its obvious benefits, whether that’s making the right captain decision or trading in a bargain, every advantage we can get helps.
This part of being a fantasy coach has always come easy for me. I pride myself on my football WATCHING ability and round 1 was indeed no exception, having viewed every game played. It certainly didn’t take long for the cream to rise to the top as all the regular names in Ablett, Pendlebury, Franklin, Murphy and Mitchell etc went about their stuff and proved their worth right from the get go.
But no one set the bar quite as high as Bomber midfielder Brent Stanton. Having averaged an enormous 142 AFL Dream Team points in his last three Round 1 encounters Stanton was fast growing a reputation for coming out of the blocks as hard as anyone.
He certainly didn’t let the 1.22% of all dream team coaches down that own him (why?1), recording a near perfect game from a fantasy stand point. He tallied a total 35 possessions, 7 marks, 5 tackles and 2 goals, while receiving 4 free kicks and giving away none to the opposition. Topping off the Stanton performance was his incredibly high kick:handball ratio of 2.9. The final result: 153 AFL Dream Team points and 180 SuperCoach points. Brent Stanton – the king of Round 1.
Aside from being a Bomber, Stanton’s a local lad and I’ve always had a soft spot for him. I’ve never understood why a blue collar player like Stants that busts his gut as hard as anyone could be jumped on at any given chance, and be so prone to criticism.
He might not be the prettiest player out there, his kicks might not always spin the right way, but you only have to look at the numbers to see how hard he works, and he’s one of the few you can rely on to give his all week in week out and rarely miss games.
I just don’t understand why nobody picks this guy. Take the name away, and you’ve got a player aged 25 that’s coming off a season where he averaged the 4th highest across all players in the second half of last season (118.1 points per game), a player that’s proven to be as durable as any, and a player that’s once again had an excellent pre season leading into the year.
I just can’t believe that only 1 % of teams own the bloke, he’s a scoring machine. Anybody?