Category - Player Of The Week
We’re in the middle of restructuring a bit on Footy Tragic for 2010. With the launch of Toby’s new “Who’d You Rather?” article, I’ll also be doing something a bit different and a bit more statistically themed this year, based on the feedback from the poll last week. Failing being able to think of a different sort of spin this week, I’m just going to do another POTW article, but really smash the stats in.
But in a perverse way, I’ve gone and made it difficult for myself by writing about a kid who’s only played five games. I guess I don’t like giving myself much to work with. Anyway, an option in the midfield that has presented himself in the first two weeks is Jordie McKenzie from Melbourne.
He’s been a mini Dream Team revelation in Melbourne’s midfield with two scores over 100 this year. He’s only in 1883 teams and I dare say at least half of them will be dud auto select teams, so he is unique as all hell. I wanted to bring awareness to him, but not necessarily sell him.
I do quite like McKenzie, but it’s important not to just look at his DT scores and lock him in. At a shade over $200K only Barlow presents better value with the scores McKenzie has pulled so far. However, $200K is an awkward price for a trade in target. Do you want him to be a potential keeper, or will you use another trade to on trade him, using his anticipated price rise?
If you’re looking at McKenzie’s numbers and expecting him to keep it up, don’t be too surprised if he suddenly stops pulling tons. He should remain an efficient enough scorer, I don’t really doubt that, but if you look at the source of his scores he’s racking up an insane amount of tackles. 12 and 11 tackles in his first two games this year! I wouldn’t really be banking on him keeping up numbers like that for the whole year – he’s currently on track to pretty much double the tackle numbers Libba would rack up at the peak of his career.
As I said above, he should still remain an efficient enough scorer, but let’s just say he gets back to a considerably less insane four tackles per game, then you’re already down about 30 points per game. I know I’m speaking hypothetically, but it’s not unreasonable to expect his tackle numbers to drop – in fact, it’s completely unreasonable to think that he’ll keep them up.
The big question you’ll need to ask yourself as a DT coach, is can he make up the disposals? He hasn’t had over 20 touches in a game yet, so there’s the possibility that he can improve his other numbers to supplement any future drop in tackles. Personally I don’t like that there’s more of a higher likelihood that his tackle numbers will drop and no particular evidence to suggest his disposals will go up. They definitely can, but it’s a big risk to use a trade on an awkwardly priced player.
He was never a huge ball winner in TAC Cup, with his best games possession wise hovering around the low 20′s. His kicking isn’t a particularly big strength, so Melbourne have no reason to work the ball into his hands, so I see that as him needing to win a lot of his own ball.
He’ll be a very interesting point of difference for those that do pull the trigger on him. His numbers read potential keeper, but it’s very unlikely that he’ll maintain a 100 average, so if you do trade him in before his significant price rise this week you’d want him to keep generating enough cash over the next 10 or so weeks to bring a falling premium into your reach. The reservation I have with this is that I feel I already have those guys in Trengove and Martin (Barlow potential keeper, dare I say?) and the value of a trade is easily underestimated at this time of year. Maybe if you’ve decided to give up on your mid priced midfield smokey, McKenzie becomes a bit more relevant…
I have to admit I had a hard time figuring out what sort of player I should write about this week. I was thinking an underperforming premium might be a good idea – someone like Dean Cox to keep an eye on for a few weeks time, or an underpriced gun who performed well like Robert Murphy, but I don’t really want to be giving trade advice after Round 1.
Sure, Cox and Murphy are two guys to keep an eye on for different reasons if you don’t have them, but this week I just want to give props to a DT lord with only one game experience. Michael Barlow was amazing on debut and would be pretty stiff if he doesn’t poll three Brownlow votes from his first AFL match.
His ball winning capabilities were well known before the season started and his NAB Cup form indicated that he was going to find it at AFL level, so he was the most obvious rookie choice for me this year. I doubt there’d be many people who go to the extent of reading a site specifically for DT research that wouldn’t have him, so I’m sure we were all rejoicing each of his 33 touches as he cut up the Crows – I’m sure even the Crows fans were secretly psyched that he pumped out a 128 to pad their DT stats.
I’m sure I’m preaching to the wrong crowd here, because like I said, I’m sure pretty much everyone here would have him, but if you don’t, seriously, get around him! This massive score didn’t come from nowhere and for as much as I see scoring potential in Dustin Martin and Jack Trengove I was nervous watching them, because I wasn’t necessarily expecting them to chop straight away. I’m not just being a hindsight hero, but I was actually expecting Barlow to make a huge impression – though I must admit, not as much as he did!
His mature body and couple of years experience in the VFL has made the transition into AFL an easier one for him. Last year we saw how mature agers such as Greg Broughton and Liam Anthony came in and made a mockery of the competition. We can only hope that Barlow continues this form, because at what point would you upgrade him? All going well, you wouldn’t need to, but that’s obviously a very, very long way off. I mentioned before in the pre-season that you never bank on rookies being keepers, but if they do end up being that it’s to be considered a massive bonus that you hadn’t planning on.
OK, so we’ll basically all have him, so it kind of makes his scores redundant in a competitive sense, but at the very least he should make our scores look prettier. Generally for Player of the Week I’ll look for someone who could be a good trade in option (and oddly Barlow is only in 25% of teams). I really just wanted to give Barlow a hug after his score on the weekend, but I can’t do that, so I did the next best thing and wrote an article on his awesomeness.
The Brisbane Lions of 2010 hardly look much like the Brisbane Lions of 2009 after their mass trading in the off-season. They lost key players Bradshaw, McDonald and Hooper, but gain Fevola, Buchanan, Staker, Maguire, Raines and more! It is an exciting time of Brisbane fans with Vossy one more year into his coaching tenure (and therefore one more year experienced) and with what is arguably the best forward combination in the AFL; Brown and Fevola. The only question is how will all these changes effect the club – Will Brown and Fevola gel well together, or will they detriment the other’s games? Will injury riddled recruits, Maguire, Raines and Clarke ever even play? All this aside, Brisbane players are great to have in your dream team – Vossy’s game plan is simple and is based around the high-possession game of Geelong, meaning oodles and oodles of Dream Team points! Brisbane do have plenty of senior citizens in their line-up, so be careful selecting any of these due to their increased possibility to break down with injuries.
Daniel Rich ($358,400): Said to have stepped up his fitness with an even bigger pre-season last year when he was heavily monitored (due to being a first year player). The bonus of Rich is he only really started scoring highly towards the end of the season, therefore he is underpriced from his potential.
Brendon Fevola ($416,000): Has only missed one session and is training well, settling into his new home up north. He won’t be joined by Brown in the NAB cup so we will be unable to see how the combination will work.
Jamie Charman ($179,800) Having his first pre-season in six years. He will be determined to slot back into his ruck role this year, and at 27 he still has the abilities to do so.
Jack Redden ($312,600): Bulked up considerably and looking really good on the track – showed last year that he is quite a dream teamer, and just the kind of player Vossy likes. He seems determined to succeed!
Jared Brennan ($394,600): Training exclusively with the midfield group – this is very exciting news if he can still be picked up as a key-position player, or even as a ruckman!
Xavier Clarke: I still recovering from the ACL injury he suffered at the start of last season – knowing his history, he will still take a while recovering.
Callum Bartlett: Still recovering from a knee injury so will take a while to get into full training. Due to his first year status, no chances will be made on him.
Jamie Charman ($179,800): Charman only played three injury riddled games in 2009 to a total of 116 dream team points – definitely not a great display of point-getting ability! However, to get a bargain, you must take some risks – and Charman is certainly one. If fit, and so far this pre-season he is, he could fit in (at best) as your second ruckman, allowing for much more spend in other positions. The risk of course is whether his body will withstand the high-pace game of AFL, and whether he is even best 22. Even at his best, Charman was not a brilliant dream teamer, but he was at least consistent, often bringing home a score of 70 – 80. If he did this for the first 8 – 10 rounds of 2010, you may have just made yourself $150,000! He is definitely as risk, but one that could certainly pay off! Keep your eyes on his NAB Cup!
Jack Redden ($312,600): Redden was selected at pick 28 in 2008 as a tough as nails inside midfielder – and that is exactly what he has shown so far in his 10 games of AFL (including two finals). He throws himself under packs and tackles ferociously, but the thing I have liked about him the most is his ability to stay calm under pressure and hit up a target. He always looks composed and trusting of his own decisions and skills. This year, his pre-season has been strong – he has put on a lot of bulk (important for inside midfielders), and has an already established fitness base that has increased. Being in just his second year, his spot in the team is far from guaranteed, but watch for him to fight hard for it – I expect him to surprise many in 2010 as he was definitely one of my favourite first year players in 2009!
Jed Adcock ($393,000): Again, I have chosen a player on the verge of premium classification. The main reason that I see Jed stepping up this year due to a predicted role change; with Brisbane’s recruiting of half-back types Maguire, Raines and Clarke (and therefore taking Adcock’s half-back spot), I can see Adcock moving to the midfield, a position which Voss had earmarked him for since round one, 2009. Unfortunately for Jed at the time, injuries to the backline relegated him to a more defensive role in defence than he would have normally wanted. But with these new recruits taking his 2009 position from him, my money is on Jed getting his chance again at playing through the midfield. Two years ago, we saw the effect that playing midfield had on his game with multiple 100+ DT scores (and this was even in Leigh Matthews low-possession game-plan!) – So now we can watch the pre-season with our fingers crossed for getting to see Jed line up in the square.
Jared Brennan ($394,600): All the reports coming from Brisbane are that Brennan has been training exclusively with the midfield group – a fact that I am VERY excited about! Brennan has always been a player who has irritated Dream Teamers with his inconsistency – one week he is flying through the midfield or off the backline, then the next he is playing as a stopper on the opposition’s key forward, resulting in a very frustrating up-and-down score line. Fortunately, Voss has decided to make this flamboyant freak of a footballer a Jack of one trade, rather than a Jack of many. Not only will this help his overall consistency as a footballer, but also the fact the position given to him is as a midfielder/ruckman it will mean his scoring potential is even greater! It’s not going to take much to convince me to put Brennan in my team for 2010 – I am very excited about his potential this year!
I’ve decided to take a different approach to my article this week. If you have a trade left, well screw you, I’m jealous and sick of giving you advice. I’ve been sitting here with no trades left for what feels like the last 10 weeks! Besides, for the few people who do have a trade left it’s impossible for me to predict where you’d be best using it, so no point featuring one value player to trade in.
Instead I’m going to look at a few sweet captain options to take you to Grand Final glory! Besides, on Tuesday in our weekly poll there was a resounding call for more statistical analysis on Footy Tragic and I’m a people person so will add a bit in that regard today. Also, I assume the lack of votes for humour was due to amount of witticisms I already include in my articles.
By the way, they’re all in alphabetical order, so it’s not a countdown list or anything. For what it’s worth, I considered Hayes, Murphy and Selwood for this article too, but their form line stacks up as pretty indifferent. There’s nothing super outstanding in their numbers one way or the other.
Super sweet captain choices
Jimmy Bartel vs. Freo at Skilled Stadium
Last 5 games: 94, 121, 87, 109, 100 = 102.2
Last 5 vs. Freo: 126, 85, 85, 134, 113 = 108.6
Skilled Stadium in 2009: 119.6 in six games (only one sub 100 score)
As if the stats needed to convince you. Just look at that title. Jimmy Bartel vs. Freo at Skilled Stadium. Does that not just sound like a scoring explosion waiting to happen? Jimmy ticks a lot of boxes as a captain this week. He loves playing down at Kardinia Park and has a strong record against Freo. On top of that he’s in great form. His form line reads better than anyone’s this week. NOTE: If the forecast is for rain (and it is so far), do not consider anyone else for captaincy. Jimmy is even better in the rain.
Joel Corey vs. Freo at Skilled Stadium
Last 5 games: 111, 101, 81, 139, 122 = 110.8
Last 5 vs. Freo: 74, 130, 112, 121, 132 = 113.8
Skilled Stadium in 2009: 101.0 in seven games (two sub 100 scores)
Once again, sexy heading, sexy form line. Corey has been in good form lately and over the last few years against Freo. It’s important to note that Freo invest so much time in stopping Ablett (with some success, might I add) that it allows Bartel and Corey a bit more freedom. The most impressive stat is how much Corey really carves Freo up. Take out that 74 from five games ago and all of a sudden his average in his last four against them is a remarkable 123.75.
Nick Dal Santo vs. Melbourne at MCG
Last 5 vs. Melb: 141, 64, 96, 121, 114 = 107.2
MCG form: Unfortunately not good. Saints haven’t played there yet this year, but he last scored a ton in 2006 at the G.
There’s a few more question marks over NDS than most of these other guys, but I’ve got a bit of faith in him. His recent form has been good, apart from an absolute stinker last week. Yes, that last game is a bit of a worry but when he got his next lowest score this season (60) he bounced back with a 114 against none other than Melbourne. Obviously the Saints haven’t played at the G this year and he’s actually got some pretty ordinary form there, but that last ton he scored at the ground back in 2006 was an epic 141 vs. Melbourne. Probably the riskiest option of the guys I’m looking at. Massive upside, but equally massive downside.
Alan Didak vs. Western Bulldogs at Docklands
Last 5 games: 96, 103, 141, 109, 61 = 102.0
Last 5 vs. Dogs: 85, 69, 53, 80, 140 = 85.4
Sometimes you don’t have it all laid out for you and you have to go with your instincts a bit more. Didak is an appealing option as far as I’m concerned, even if he doesn’t have the greatest form line. I just remember watching him rack it up with ease against the Doggies when they met earlier this year at the Dome. Same settings this week, so can he provide a similar score? Big call, but he’s at least worth mentioning. I almost put him in “tread with caution” but he’s a risk I’d be more likely to take.
Brendan Goddard vs. Melbourne at MCG
Last 5 games: 121, 136, 95, 66, 112 = 106.0
Last 5 vs. Melb: 85, 96, 108, 116, 132 = 107.4
MCG form: Once again, Saints haven’t played there in 09 but it’s his second highest scoring ground behind Gold Coast (only a small sample of two games at GC too)
Any bloke with a 105+ average in the top two categories has to be considered. Melbourne are his second best side to match up on DT wise over his career and as I mentioned above, he has a good history at the G. His 66 a fortnight ago isn’t a huge concern for me. I’m more likely to consider that a blip on the radar compared to NDS.
Leigh Montagna vs. Melbourne at MCG
Last 5 games: 118, 96, 129, 109, 106 = 111.6
Last 5 vs. Melb: 63, 81, 108, 102, 146 = 100.0
MCG form: Not much to speak of form wise, but the big ground should suit his outside game well.
Montagna is a slightly more unique choice being that he’s only in less than 30,000 teams. His last three scores against Melbourne are the ones to look at, because he’s really come of age over the past two seasons (this year especially). He’s not got a great history at the G, but combine the fact he’s only recently broken out as a DT star with the fact the Saints haven’t played there this year. I’d say he’s unproven on the G rather than no good and to be honest, the bigger ground should really suit him (he scored a 166 over at Subi this year for example).
Nick Riewoldt vs. Melbourne at MCG
Last 5 games: 126, 131, 82, 101, 114 = 110.8
Last 5 vs. Melb: 105, 84, 98, 108, 110 = 101.0
MCG form: Once again, no games in 2009, but he has a great history at the ground.
His recent form against Melbourne probably isn’t as good as you would expect, considering they are completely devoid of experienced key defenders (I actually quite rate Warnock, but he’s still learning). St.Nick needs a good solid hit out before the finals, so he certainly won’t be taking this one lightly. Melbourne’s midfield won’t offer much protection, so the Saints will have pretty easy access to the big man.
Brent Stanton vs. Hawthorn at MCG
Last 5 games: 103, 94, 88, 100, 104 = 97.8
Last 5 vs. Hawks: 99, 105, 110, 123, 147 = 116.8
MCG form: It’s his second best ground. Good numbers, but not stunning. Wide open spaces should suit though.
Stanton’s record against Hawthorn is absolutely phenomenal. I know that I hadn’t long traded him in when he scored that 147 against them last season. I could have kissed him in a totally non-gay way. His form over the last five doesn’t look as strong as some of the other candidates, but he’s been consistent lately, scoring five tons in his last seven games (consistency has been a knock on his DT game in the past).
Dane Swan vs Western Bulldogs at Docklands
Last 5 games: 131, 122, 103, 125, 90 = 114.2
Last 5 vs. Dogs: 114, 56, 76, 85, 121 = 90.4
Docklands form: 6 tons in his last 9 games there.
His recent history against the Dogs isn’t that great at all, but let’s face it, the waddling duck had scored 12 consecutive tons before Sydney broke that run on the weekend (the Swans are renowned for doing just that). I wouldn’t worry about his history against the Dogs too much, because he’s never been in form as good as this year. A 121 against them earlier this year at the same ground is solid enough for a guy scoring so well in 2009.
The following guys worry me for various reasons. I’m happy to go into more detail in the comments section, given that by now I’m currently running on a Toby length article, but for now I’ll just list them and give a quick line why I’m not a fan this week.
Gary Ablett – has struggled badly against Freo in his last three against them (granted he got injured in one of them, but has been shut down twice – some say Crowley factor, but Crowley didn’t play last time they met).
Jonathan Brown – Bolton keeps him quiet. Never scored a ton against Sydney.
Brendan Fevola – Rutten usually shuts him down. Never scored a ton against Adelaide.
Sam Fisher – one Saint I would stay right away from. Shocking history against Melbourne (ball not down there very much?)
Bryce Gibbs – never scored a ton against Adelaide
Luke Hodge – poor history against Essendon (note: he did get injured against them last time making that history look a bit worse than it really is).
Chris Judd – never scored a ton against Adelaide (even when he was at West Coast). Shirley usually beats him, but he’s out this week. Even so, Judd’s not been scoring well lately.
Matthew Pavlich – is playing against Geelong at Skilled. Yuck!
If you’ve been saving up trades for the Preliminary Finals you’ve done well to get this far with them in tact, especially after the debacle of Round 19 (and let’s never speak of that round again). By this stage you have to look really closely at the run home your trade in target has. This combined with current form is the key to finding the right trade in target.
I’m not gonna lie, I ran out of trades many weeks ago, so my crude attempt to find you a super sweet bargain is a bit half arsed. Not to worry, I looked through about 10-15 unique-ish midfielders around the $375K-$425K mark and picked what I reckon looks to be the best of the lot.
Marc Murphy is part of Carlton’s Fab 4 (that consists of three people) and the good news for guys that aren’t Chris Judd is that they’re not likely to get the #1 tagger. Murphy is a beautiful accumulator of the ball and he uses it well, to boot. Not that it matters how well he uses it, but hey, if you’re Bryce Gibbs and you’ve got Andrew Carrazzo and Murph free, who are you gonna pass the ball too? Every little bit helps.
He’s got an average of 109.2 over the last five weeks, so he ticks the box for current form. A few of those have been tough games as well. Even though Sydney aren’t the DT killers they once were, they’ve still claimed a few scalps this season. Collingwood and Geelong don’t concede too many points either and he posted 111 and 97 against them respectively.
As for his run home, well, the great news is that he plays Melbourne, who after winning on the weekend will not be taking any chances to lose their priority pick in the remaining two games. To make sure they don’t win as if they’re going to pay proper respect to their gun mids. They’ll probably stick Michael Newton on him or something. Anything less than 120 would be a disappointment, that’s how much I expect Murph to chop this weekend.
For the final game and the all important DT Grand Final week he’s up against Adelaide, his second best DT opponent in the league. He averages 95.8 against them across his career, so it’s a good match up. Shirley usually goes to Judd (and be wary Judd owners because Shirley generally does well on him and has never let him score a ton against the Crows, not even in his WC days) so you’re more likely going to see Murph going head to head with someone like Thompson or Edwards. Maybe Doughty will get a job on him, but whatever the Crows have tried in the past hasn’t really hampered his scoring against them.
His ripping form and solid run home makes it an ideal trade if you’re looking to bolster your mids for these all important last couple of weeks (I hope it’s the midfield you’re looking to trade into).
So a move Toby and I ridiculed Ben for a couple of weeks ago was actually a good call. He traded out Grimes. Well, it’s semi final week in Dream Team and Grimey is out for another 1-2. Call me pessimistic, but with three weeks to go, a history of back injuries and that sort of time frame the teams still in Dreamteam finals might not be able to afford his sort of point scoring sitting idle on the bench.
On top of that, St.Kilda are continuing their DT bastardry by listing all of their players as ‘assess’ on the injury list. If any of Goddard, Gilbert or Fisher don’t get up it’ll cause even more backline headaches right at the business end of our season. Don’t these coaches realise what’s at stake here?
Anyway, all that preamble is why I’ve targeted an underpriced defender this week, because I’ve got a feeling there will only be sporadic joy on Thursday night when teams are announced. If you’re unlucky enough to be light on in defence after team selection, have a good look at Paul Duffield.
I was remarkably close to writing about him a few weeks ago (when I did my Hargrave article). He’s very unique being in only 12,000 teams and after two bad weeks in a row (one in which he had a heavy tag applied to him) he’s dropped immensely in price. He’s actually fifth in averages for a defender this year and when one of those blokes ahead of him is Bowden, who has only played 11 games, you might as well consider him fourth. So for the fourth highest averaging player in any position you’d usually need to fork out a bit of coin.
Well, for the very low price of $323,200 you can drive away with a defender averaging 92.33. That’s almost $20K cheaper than the next defender averaging over 90.
A player’s fixture is pretty important at all times of the year, but it’s absolutely crucial with so few games to go. You wouldn’t want to trade in Lenny Hayes the week he plays Sydney for example! A glance over Duffield’s draw (I’m not even going to recognise Freo as a team…they can henceforth be known as Sandi/Pav/Duff/Broughts’ team) is pretty good reading.
Admittedly he’s not got a great history against Melbourne or Essendon, however he’s only played Melbourne once (back in his rookie year) so there’s no real evidence to suggest he doesn’t do well against them. He’s also only played Essendon twice and his last score against them was a solid 85 last season. Bear in mind that he’s had a massive breakout year this year, so history doesn’t matter as much with breakout players. For that reason I’m expecting him to score well against those two sides.
Round 22 is a much tougher assignment against Geelong, but I’ll back him in. He scored 123 against them earlier this year (his third highest score of 2009) so he’s shown he can find it against the Cats. The one concern I do have is that it’s down at Skilled Stadium, which can suck the DT points out of visiting sides. I’ll counter this with the positive that the ball will be down in Sandi/Pav/Duff/Broughts’ defensive end a hell of a lot. There’s two blokes back there who you know they’ll be getting the ball to at every chance. HINT: the second half of their new team name.
For those of you who have saved a few trades for the finals you’ll probably be looking at making your last upgrades this week. Depending on your salary cap situation you might not be able to afford the Swan’s or Ablett’s of this world (well, maybe Luke Ablett) so if your hands are tied financially you don’t have to scroll too far down the highest averages in the midfield to get a gun for under $400K.
I’m going to have a look at Corey this week, however Pendlebury, Gibbs and Sewell are all in the Top 10 midfield averages and are under $400K. With that said, Sewell hasn’t scored a ton for three in a row and is playing DT killers St.Kilda this week – I would be advising against him this week).
OK, I got Joel Corey in mid season and apart from three games at a very crucial point in the season he’s been absolutely fantastic. In fact, in 10 of his last 11 games he’s scored a ton (oddly his one sub 100 was against Melbourne). His DT form has been electric and the beauty of Corey is that the opposition just don’t give a stuff about him.
It’s no slur on Corey’s name that when an opposition coach is shuffling magnets around the attention goes to Ablett, Bartel, Selwood, Johnson and Chappy (if he was playing). By sheer weight of quality at Geelong you just can’t sit someone tight on Joel Corey and DT coaches love it!
As far as premiums go, he’s probably less likely to bust out a 120+ score. He’s only topped that mark three times this season. However, he’s only had three sub 100 scores all year as well, so obviously he’s good for a safe 100-120 pretty much every week.
Currently he is as cheap as he’s been all season having dropped $95K this year. The reason for his current dip in price is that 75 he scored against Melbourne. That score is about to go out of his three week rolling average, which prices are based on, so he’s very likely to start moving up in price from this game.
Furthermore, his run home isn’t too bad. A team’s fixture is always something to have a look at whenever you’re making a trade, but it’s especially relevant this late in the year. In his last four games he’s up against Carlton, Sydney, Bulldogs and Freo. I’m not going to pull any punches. His worst team over his career is Carlton, BUT he has scored 100 and 120 in his last two games against them, so it looks like he’s learning to play them better.
Even though Sydney have traditionally been the DT devils to play against Corey has never really had huge worries against them. He’s scored four tons in his last five games against them. He generally fares pretty well against the Bulldogs and significantly he murders Freo, along with most other midfielders in the league. The reason this is so significant is that will be GF week in DT. NOTE: Geelong play Freo and St.Kilda play Melbourne in the last round – many DT Grand Finals will be won by the amount of these guys you have beating up on minnows.
Given the security that he brings to the table and the fact his price has been below $430K on six separate occasions this year I can’t believe he’s still only in 27,000 teams.
OK, it’s getting tough going late in the season, but those of you who have structured their team specifically to go for a league win should still have a few trades left. There’s also a decent chance you’ve been struck down like the Bulldogs forward line. Shaun Higgins is out for a few weeks, so it’s a tough call to make. Bob Murphy isn’t too common, but given that we were singing his praises on here a couple of weeks ago he might be a little more common for Footy Tragics.
This is the last week of the DT H&A season, so you already know that you’ll be without Higgins for the first week of finals given that he has a 2-3 week diagnosis. If he only misses two games then you’ll have him back for the second week of finals, but will that be too late? If you need the points for to secure a finals spot this week, or even an all important Top 4 berth then it wouldn’t be unwise to make the move on him.
Matthew Pavlich is a pretty common player, but so is everyone else that’s any good around Higgo’s price range. Hopefully this will be relevant to some of you, rather than excitedly clicking on this morning’s article and being disappointed because Pav is already in your team!
First of all, last week was his return from injury and significantly that injury occurred against Collingwood when he was only on 16 points, so it has driven his price right down. He’s dropped almost $30K in his last couple of games as a result. Once again, he’s got a fairly high break even. Not unachievable, but I’d be surprised if he reached the 133 he requires to go up in price this week. With that said, you can usually expect Pav to be in the ball park of that figure.
He’s got a lovely run home from a DT perspective. This week will be pretty tough against the Bulldogs, especially if Brian Lake goes to him. The beauty with Pav though is that he can use his amazing endurance to move up the ground and take marks around the wing. I don’t reckon the Bulldogs defenders will mind too much if Freo’s only decent inside 50 target is taking marks up the ground, because there’ll be no one for him to deliver to with confidence. Still…should be good for his DT points even if it removes all of Freo’s attack from their forward 50.
After this week though he plays Port, Melbourne and Essendon. The way those first two teams are going you might as well remove the comma between the two teams and line him up against Port Melbourne of the VFL. Those two games should be an orgy of points for a gun like Pav. As for Essendon, they’re Pav’s favourite team to play against. His highest average against any one particular team is against Essendon.
The one downer in his draw is that all important Grand Final week for DT sees him up against Geelong down at the Cattery. It’s not all doom and gloom though. His last five games against Geelong have seen him average 105.6. I won’t stuff you around and post only numbers skewed in his favour though…be warned, he’s never scored a ton at Skilled Stadium.
Just a few quick names around his price, just in case you already have Pav but desperately need to trade out Higgo/Murphy I also considered writing about:
Leon Davis – form has been much better since Didak has been getting more attention.
Brett Deledio – disappointing this year, but at the end of the day averaging 90.
Aaron Davey – I’ve got him, has been frustrating, but can pull off big scores
Buddyyyyyy – the swagger is back (I’ve already written about him, so I can’t feature him again)
Travis Cloke – smokey, has scored three convincing tons in his last five games.
It’s really hard to try and makes these articles relevant now, because most teams primarily aiming for the best possible overall ranking will probably have done their upgrades by now. However, for those of you shooting for league supremacy it’s impossible to predict where you need upgrades. I guess I’ll just check out the best value that I see on the board and that man is Triple D.
Dalziell was a DT’ers dream, so to speak last year. He came in from Round 16 and dominated with a 94.7 average all at a rookie price. Dalziell is all grown up now and is priced around the same mark as other DT guns, but to me he’s presenting great value for the run home. Injury cost him points back in Round 5 when he scored 48 points. In his first game back after a long lay off Razzle Dazzle showed no signs of missing a beat with a 103 (granted, against Freo).
Maybe it’s just the romanticism of last season, but so far this season he has scored four tons in six games (one of those was when he got injured against Geelong). That’s already more tons than he scored in his impressive run home last year.
The thing I really like about Dalziell is that he’s a very average kick of the ball. The opposition are more than happy to let him have the ball, because there a better chance that it’ll result in a turnover than if they allowed someone like Luke Power or Simon Black. If you’re an AFL coach, really you’re pretty cool with Dalziell having his hands on it by comparison to some of Brisbane’s silky users.
His run home is neither here nor there. Brisbane don’t play any of the teams Top 5 teams for DT points against, however they don’t play the three stingiest teams. Their run home of North, Collingwood, Essendon, Bulldogs, Port and Sydney is mostly full of teams that are around mid table for DT points conceded. It should be noted that although Sydney have typically being DT shockers, that’s starting to change a little bit (they’re the fourth most restrictive team this year).
The one thing I will point out about Dalziell is that he has a very big break even score this week, so he’s not quite at his cheapest. If your structure demands an extra gun midfielder this week, then Dalziell presents the best value in my opinion. Bear in mind though, if you are in no rush to make an upgrade that you should be able to get him a little cheaper next week. At this stage of the year, money won’t be a huge issue for most coaches (the amount of trades left is the big issue!), but I thought I’d just throw that out there.
I reckon I’m almost at the end of giving players a write up for 2009 purposes. As I mentioned last week, pretty soon I’ll start casting my eye to next year. Given the season ending injury to Adcock all of a sudden there’s 40,000 teams looking for a new elite defender.
Unfortunately Adcock got injured early in the game, so he leaked $26K after only scoring five points. I can’t stress enough how important it is for players to get injured LATE in the game, if they must do so. Or at the very least, be like Hargrave’s teammate Daniel Giansiracusa and come back on to score a further 84 points before being ruled out for six weeks (THAT’S Dream Team commitment!)
Anyway, as we’re all scrambling around the $350K mark for a defender, there’s plenty of really sweet options. Enright, Gilbert, Lockyer, Cornes, Carrazzo who is looking like his old self, or even Broughton. OK, so you could have got Broughts for about $250K cheaper a few weeks ago, but he’s a legitimate option being one of the few backmen averaging over 90 and one of the few Freo players with basic motor skills.
Enough preamble, because I’m putting the microscope on the only defender in the league to have scored four consecutive tons – Ryan Hargrave. Yeah, he costs a bit more at $381K, but it’s not unreasonable to think a lot of you will have $32K up your sleeve.
His recent form is probably the best of his career and the Bulldogs are getting a lot of their rebound through him. He’s a lovely raking kick and certainly loves putting it on the shoe. His kick:handball ratio looks great from a DT perspective. In seven games this season he has had at least twice as many kicks as handballs.
On top of that, the stats are there to say that he’s getting plenty of it too. In only four games has he been kept under 20 touches this season and on all four of those occasions he collected exactly 19, so he’s got a pretty consistent output.
It’s good to see Tom Williams back for the Doggies too, because this really frees Hargrave of defensive responsibilities and highlights his role as a linkman. Lake, Williams and Morris in the same back line allow Hargrave a bit more liberty to find space.
For this week I could have just as easily written about Paul Duffield as well. I really wanted to choose a unique player for the article and Duffield and Hargrave are similarly rare this year. Both players are only in about 10,000 teams, which is ridiculously low for the third and fifth highest averaging backs (second being Bowden and his touches for Coburg aren’t helping DT much at all, so bump those two up a spot). I chose Hargrave because I’m really liking his role at the moment.