Category - 2012 – Toby’s Prolific Premiums
Dreamteam and SuperCoach forward lines in 2012 will be very interesting, mainly due to the sheer amount of premium choices. From looking at many mock teams, there are a some names which I am seeing an awful lot and others which I am surprisingly seeing very little of at all.
Looking at our own Submit Your Team threat, almost every team has Buddy Franklin, Goddard, Deledio and Martin, with Ablett, Zaharakis, Lake and Selwood all very popular too.
Then there are some names people seem to have forgotten; Matthew Boyd, Travis Cloke, Steve Johnson Bryce Gibbs, Jack Redden and Dean Cox. These guys have certainly done nothing to disprove their worth to you, but it just appears to be the trend from year to year that ultra popular players from one year may not always be as popular the next, for various reasons. Gibbs was in almost every team in 2011, but with no back eligibility in 2012, many seem to have jumped off him. Cox is getting ‘replaced’ but younger guns, but the fact he averaged more than 10 points per game more than the next best ruck in 2011 shouldn’t be forgotten. Cloke is lost amongst all the DPP forwards this year, as is Stevie J. Boyd had a frustrating quiet patch in the middle of the year, but he averaged 120 DT and 119 SC in the last eight games… Surely people can remember that?
Anyway, I thought I’d use this article to focus on a couple of premiums that people seem to have forgotten about in 2012:
Cloke is a player who has been threatening to become a DT/SC premium for a few years now, but finally delivered in 2011 with an average of 97.1 in DT and 100.57 in SuperCoach. That is not to say his year didn’t have it’s inconsistencies, but he still managed to deliver some very good games, especially in the second half of the year.
As the key forward for the best team in the home and away season, it was about time that we saw Cloke string some big games together. He is now physically at a size which will trouble opponents and has worked hard to increase his tank, allowing him to spend more time up the field. The emergence of Chris Dawes has surely helped him too – Dawes plays much closer to goal, as well as requiring a good defender, meaning that Cloke can spend more time getting marks and kicks up the ground and is also less likely to get double-teamed when he moves into the forward line.
Collingwood will again go into 2012 as the flag favourites and it is little wonder why – whilst they lost the flag to Geelong in 2011, the expectation is that Geelong may slide a little this year due to the age factor. That said, everyone said the same in 2011. But the point is that Cloke will continue to be the focal point of a team likely to be kicking plenty of goals in 2012, meaning that he should at least be able to sustain his numbers from 2011.
His second half to 2012 showed a real rise in form and consistency; he averaged 83 DT and 84 SC from the first ten rounds, then averaged 107 DT and 110 SuperCoach for the rest of the year, showing a significant increase in scoring ability. These are the numbers I would expect him to take into 2012, assuming he has a good pre-season. So far his pre-season has been uninterrupted, and whilst there has been little news on him, as far as I am concerned, no news is good news.
Cloke has the potential to be a top-3 forward in 2012 – whilst the likes of Zaharakis, Martin, Sidebottom and Robinson all look appealing, I would be surprised if any of these guys averaged over 100 points a game. He is at an age where consistency should be a strong part of his game, so hopefully we can see this throughout 2012.
Matty Boyd is a player who has been a sensational DT and SC player for a number of years, but often due to his low profile in the AFL world, he goes forgotten when it comes to selecting your Dream Team or SuperCoach. That was until 2011 when he become one of the most selected midfielders in the pre-season. He backed up his popularity with an average of 115 in DT and 114 in SC – fantastic numbers.
But now he appears to be off everyone’s radars again. Those wanting to spend the big bucks are looking at Ablett or Swan, or focussing on some of the new younger midfielders in Pendlebury, Murphy, Rockliff or Redden. But I still don’t understand why Boyd gets left out of the ultra-elite pack – his 2011 numbers were both very high and consistent. He scored below 100 points on just four occasions (the lowest being a 70), but proved to be a fantastic captain choice with 14 games over 115 points (including five over 130 and a top score of 162) in DT and 11 in SC (top score of 164).
Boyd is a prolific ball-winner, capable of running all day, meaning he is often able to work over his opponents. Also, with the likes of Cooney and Griffen in the team, he is less likely to cop the tags each week. Often opposition coaches will play another in-and-under player head-to-head with him, although more often then not it is Boyd who comes up trumps due to his fantastic clearance skills and incredible fitness base.
Whilst in 2011 Boyd was in all teams, in 2012 it looks more like he will be a unique selection again. This is a massive bonus in itself – so often premiums become frustrating when all your opponents have them too, so picking a player in fewer teams gives you an edge. If the popular Swan has a poor year and Boyd flies, it is going to significantly separate you from your competition.
In an era of DT and SC where the top-end players can come under significant scrutiny, it’s simply bizarre that Boyd isn’t in more teams. He is ultra consistent and has a massive ceiling. The only worry is how he will perform if the Doggies spend a lot of time closer to the bottom of the ladder, but it is worth remembering that they spent a lot of time there in the second half of 2011 and he still managed some mighty numbers.
Also, you may all be excited to hear – our full Monday-Friday AFL DT & SC content starts NEXT MONDAY 16th January! So make sure you jump on and check it out!
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The past few years have become almost too predictable with ruck selections, with Sandilands and Cox being the first two big-men selected more often than not. Even if you tried to look outside the box over the past years, you often got burnt – until 2011 that is. Mid-way through the season, Goldstein, McEvoy, Leuenberger and Mumford had all established themselves as bonafide premium ruck options. Cox still dominated the year, and Sandi frustrated everyone with his turf-toe (which he has apparently now recovered from).
Now looking towards next year, there is a plethora of decent ruck options, so I thought I’d spend this article looking at a couple of a younger, improving options. There are others worth of a mention too – Leuenberger, Mumford and even West, Maric and McIntosh (but I’ll leave those few for Kristian if he is interested…) – but I thought I’d focus on these two for now. There are certainly some positives and negatives of picking each, so I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
*Click players names for full stats breakdown from previous seasons*
Todd Goldstein (RUCK):
DT: $491,600; SC: $613,600
Goldstein has been gradually improving over the past few years, first announcing himself to the football world when he booted five goals as a resting ruckman in round 19, 2009. 2011 was clearly his best and most consistent year though, averaging 100 DT points and 114 in SuperCoach.
He has proven himself to be both a valuable ruckman in the air with his tapwork, but also strong around the ground. He has a great tank and a great set of hands, causing him to be a major threat to opponents and a major asset to his own team through the midfield.
His stats from last year were great, averaging 36 hitouts, 13.75 disposals, 3.5 marks and 4.2 tackles a game – all very good numbers for a ruckman. His consistency was also a highlight, only dropping below 80 points in DT twice and once in SuperCoach.
He also had a fantastic run home, closing the season with nine tons in SuperCoach at an average of 121.4 – this just further goes to show how much he improved through the season, only getting better the longer it went on.
His main threat in 2012 will surely be Hamish McIntosh and how much midfield time he may steal from Goldstein. H-Mac spent the entirety of 2011 on the sidelines, nursing an Achilles injury. He managed to play just one game for the year – round 24 against Richmond. In that game, McIntosh mainly played up forward alongside Petrie, with Goldstein still assuming #1 ruck position. Somehow I doubt he will play solely as a forward in 2012 though – especially when they already have Petrie (another ruck-cum-forward) already playing there. They begin to look a little too tall.
This will have to be something we watch very closely through the pre-season. Unfortunately, as McIntosh is no mug himself, I’d be surprised if Scott didn’t find a way to play them both in the same team. Goldstein owners will have to be wary, and may risk receiving a lower average than in 2011. However, the positives behind picking Goldstein are just as strong – he is still young (2012 will be just his fifth season of AFL football), has shown fantastic improvement over the past couple of years and has already established himself as a premium (so it’s not all entirely speculation). An average similar or the same as 2011 would be a win I think, although I’m personally hoping for a 5PPG improvement.
Ben McEvoy (RUCK):
DT: $447,500; SC: $548,800
Big Ben was another young ruckman to have his breakout year in 2011, modelling his game around his aggression, aerobic capacity and fantastic contested marking. His tap-work does need some improvement (and it is improving), meaning he can often get beaten in the middle by the better tap-ruckmen in the competition, but his workrate around the ground and tackling pressure at the bounces can often make up for this shortfall.
With Michael Gardiner sidelined for the entire 2011 season (bar round 24), McEvoy was another young ruck forced to shoulder his team’s entire ruck brigade for the whole season. Fortunately for the Saints, he did a brilliant job of it too, cementing himself as one of the better young ruck prospects in the competition.
Unlike Goldstein who has McIntosh to compete with, the Saints have no real foil for McEvoy in 2012, so he will be expected to carry the ruck division once again. So God-forbid he gets injured – the Saints will be stuffed! Koschitzke is the only other player capable of playing in the ruck, and from listening to Watters’ press conferences, he expects Kosi to play a similar role to 2011 – forward, with stints in the ruck. For what it’s worth, Kosi has slimmed down and is currently having his best pre-season ever… But don’t worry – I’m not about to recommend him! Rhys Stanley is also being groomed for the ruck, but at best he will play 2nd fiddle in a few games, with stints up forward. So essentially, if you decide to recruit McEvoy to your DT or SC, you can at least be guaranteed (barring injury) that he will be the Saints #1 ruck for the entire year – a great guarantee to have.
His stats in 2011 were very solid for a fourth year ruck and only got better as the season progressed. He averaged 23 hitouts, 14.65 disposals, 5.5 marks and 4 tackles a game. As I already mentioned, due to his average tap-work (it’s not horrible, just not great), he does get beaten by some of the better ruckmen in the competition. His season-low was against Mumford, who absolutely cleaned him up, limiting him to just 44DT/49SC. However, he managed only six other games under 80 points – four of them coming in the first five rounds of the season.
Overall I think McEvoy is a great option – he is a little cheaper than some of the other premiums due to his slow start to the year, but we all know how he rocketed home. He will be the first ruck for every week in the Saints lineup, and with it being his fifth year in the season, he should only get better. His pre-season has been fantastic so far, so apart from the worries over his ability against some better rucks, I think he is a very solid option in both DT and SC.
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Hi all, now it’s time for a few more premiums we should all be considering. These guys are all ones we would have had in our teams at one time or another, and now with potential role changes in 2012, should we be considering them again?
Deledio was one of the most selected players in both Dreamteam and SuperCoach in 2011, and fortunately managed to justify his selection with a very good year, averaging 92.10 in Dreamteam and 105.43 in SuperCoach.
He spent the majority of the year in the backline, using his creativity and skills to set up the Tigers’ attacks. He was quite consistent, although did have a few games where he hardly saw the ball, or perhaps just managed to rack up some junky late disposals to pump up his score. This is always going to be the case though in a team like Richmond. This is not meant as a slight on the Tiges, but as a team who finished in the bottom-eight, they are bound to be inconsistent through the season. But for what it’s worth, I’d be expecting them to finish 7th or 8th in 2012.
Still, his scores only dropped below 75 in DT three times and twice in SC, which shows that at least when he has a shocker, it’s not too bad. His scoring ceiling could certainly do with some working on though, with a top score of 119 in DT (one of only three games over 110) and 138 in SC.
One thing that could really aid an increase in points would be a move back to the midfield – and Damian Hardwick is already alluding that this could happen in 2012. With the likes of Conca, Houli, Grigg already in the team, and the addition of Morris and Ellis, Richmond have a plethora of options to play Deledio’s role off half-back. Hardwick said earlier this month, “With the players who we’ve brought in we probably think Brett will play more midfield next year than he has previously.” These are great words to hear for Dreamteamers – whilst his SuperCoach average hasn’t changed much over the past few years, he actually averaged 6 points a game more when he played through the midfield in 2008 and 2009. And now at 24 years of age, and the team around him getting better, he really should be capable of getting even better.
You can select Lids as either DEF or MID in 2012 again, so I see no reason why you shouldn’t pencil him for a spot in your backline from round one. He is currently injury free this pre-season, is apparently a very good worker on the track, and has the skills and ball-winning ability to be a very good midfielder for Richmond. We will need to monitor him over the pre-season (we hear so many of these ‘returning to the midfield’ stories in the off-season), but still, even if he lines up off half-back in round one, I reckon we could see some great improvement from him in 2012.
Gibbs was another player selected by a fair percentage of Dreamteamers and SuperCoaches in 2011, due to both his scoring potential and the fact he was a dual-position DEF/MID. Unfortunately, in 2012 I expect the number of coaches picking him to dramatically reduce, not because his scoring will go down, but because he can now only be selected as a midfielder.
It is a shame to see him lose his DPP link, but for those coaches already sold on his potential for 2012, well then this may not be such a bad thing. Obviously, it can be very hard to fit in all the players you want into your midfield year-to-year, so often when a player loses his DPP link, coaches just forget about him, regardless of his ability. This means that if you do want him in 2012 he will be somewhat of a unique, rather than in almost every team like he was in 2011.
So, why should you pick him then? Well, firstly, he has already proven through this year that he is capable of scoring big and scoring consistently, averaging 106 in DT and 105 in SC, including an eight game streak at the end of the year where he didn’t score below 100 points in DT or SC and averaged 121 DT and 113 in SC.
He also played the first half of the year in a variety of positions – backline, midfield, forward and even as a tagger. This caused a lot of fluctuations in his scoring and made him a frustrating player to own for quite a while. It was not too dissimilar to 2010 when Ratten played him in the backline for big chunks of the season to varying degrees of success. Fortunately, in the back half of 2012 he found his position, playing mainly through midfield and across a HFF. He actually looked very good close to the goals, booting 12 goals from his last six games, including four against North Melbourne. I expect this is the sort of role we will see him play in 2012.
Already Ratten has been on the blower about a more permanent midfield role for Bryce, stating in a press conference this week, “I expect him to be the one that really jumps up a cog or two and really challenges (Marc) Murphy and (Chris) Judd for that sort of midfield and ‘best player at your football club’ title. I expect him to have a big year.”
He HAS been training very well this pre-season, impressing with both his workrate on the track, but also his leadership on the track, both vocally and also with actions. He is still recovering from the shoulder injury he sustained in last year’s finals series, but it hasn’t effected him majorly, still being able to complete most drills and sessions.
At 22 years of age and heading into his sixth season, Gibbs should still be expected to improve even more. He won’t come cheaply and his MID only status makes his selection even harder, but I would be surprised if he went backwards at all in 2012. If anything, my expectations would be for him to improve. We saw Marc Murphy’s rise this year into a legitimate elite footballer, so with Gibbs one year behind him, hopefully we can see the same.
Well, if you thought the theme of this article was players returning to the midfield, then you’re wrong. In fact, it could be quite the opposite for Pav in 2012…
For the past three seasons, Pav has been playing much more time as a midfielder than up forward – his best position. Whilst for so many players this would appear to be a great move, it has seen Pav’s DT and SC potency reduce markedly. 2007 and 2008 were the past two seasons where Pav played as a permanent forward, averaging 101 DT and 113 SC points from those seasons. Compare that to his three years in the midfield, where he has averaged 92.7 DT and 101.5 SC points and you will see a 9 points deficit in DT and 12 points in SC. Whilst this may not seem huge, it is a big loss for a premium player – you don’t want your premiums averaging 92 points a game – it should really be 100+ or they aren’t worth having.
It’s actually quite ironic – for the years when Pav was a dominant forward, we used to comment how great it would be to see him in a top-8 team and get the delivery that the likes of Riewoldt and Brown used to get. But now that Freo are a top-8 side, they have him playing in the midfield… Dumb.
However, now with Lyon at the helm, he has already stated that Pav will find himself back as the key forward target for Fremantle in 2012. Again, whether this happens will be dependant on whether Freo can keep their players on the park again in 2012 – they had a shocker with injuries this year, which was part of the reason Pav had to assume a midfielders role. But with Morabito and Fyfe looking ready to go round one, Pav should hopefully assume his role at CHF.
Pav will still be quite expensive in 2012, so there will still be risk. Whilst his midfield form can still be good, he tends to be quite inconsistent. There are also plenty of exciting younger forwards to consider in 2012 too, plus questions on whether Jon Brown and Nick Riewoldt can return to something near their best. So there are plenty of forwards to choose from. I do like Pav though, but have avoided him these past few years as I haven’t been a fan of his new role. If there is one this Lyon will instil in the Fremantle Footy Club, it’s structures – if Pav is playing forward early in the year, expect him to stay there. And I expect that if he does get the opportunity up front again, we could potentially see 10+ points added onto his weekly average.
Thankyou all for reading – have a great Christmas and Happy New Year!
- Footy Tragic
Well, the other two boys have had their turns looking at rookies and smokies, so it’s now my turn to run you through some of the players that will either make or break your season in 2012 – the premiums.
Without good premiums, your team will sink. There is no arguing with that. Fortunately, 2012 won’t have the same pressures on premiums as 2011 did – multi bye rounds and finals byes made many coaches wary of picking the likes of Murphy, Watson, Goldstein and Scotland. Fortunately, this year is only effected by the byes mid-season, and fortunately we won’t even have league games on those weeks anyway!
So, without further ado, here are my first few premiums of 2012:
(Click the players name to check out their Footy Tragic Player Search profiles!)
It’s fair to say that Roo was a fairly touchy subject for those who picked him in 2011. After tearing his hamstring from the bone early in 2010, Riewoldt just hasn’t proven to be his usual self. With ongoing knee concerns and the lack of a solid pre-season in 2011, Roo’s year was horrible by his own standards. There were moments of the elite form we know him capable of, but nothing consistent.
So, when picking an ‘underpriced’ premium each year, there are several points you must consider; how bad was the injury (is it ongoing, ala Cooney?), how is their pre-season this year (if they still aren’t on the track, that is a worry)? Also, where is their team looking for 2012? Are they a bottom-8 side that could afford to rest him, or are they gunning for the top-8 and unlikely to put him out to pasture early?
The worry is, none of the above questions are easily answered with Riewoldt. Firstly, the injury he had was bad, but he seems to have recovered from that. His real worry is his knees, which continue to give him grief. That said, he has had some surgery in the off-season which could potentially make his issues more manageable. His pre-season this year has been much easier than the last one – for one he doesn’t have the whole Kim Duthie saga to deal with, and secondly he has already been training for quite a while. In fact, he had surgery and then spent the next month and a bit on the track (on his own) before taking his holidays a little later. There is no doubting his determination to get back to his best. The third question – the team around him – is a tricky one. I believe the Saints have one last legitimate shot at a flag next year. There is a fresh vibe around the club and there are very few players in the rehab group. A new game-plan won’t go astray either.
Speaking of new game-plan, Watters has said (and it has been apparent in training drills) that the Saints will be playing a much more attacking game of football in 2012. This will greatly help the likes of Riewoldt who really struggled in 2011 with the slow ball movement when coming forward, often allowing two or three opponents to be standing on him by the time they kicked it at him. There have even been suggestions he could play more game-time on the wing, although I will believe that when I see it.
Riewoldt is not only a champ of the game, but also a champ of both Dreamteam and Supercoach in years gone by. Now after two off-years, could he come bounding back to his elite status? I believe he can – certainly track his pre-season, as well as the form of the Saints. If he looks switched on in the NAB cup, then I would say you have to pounce. For a guy who can average over 110 points in either competition, he is drastically underpriced.
I think sometimes people do focus a bit too much on the ‘underpriced’ or ‘unique’ premium options, and whilst there is certainly a time and a place for these players (as I just discussed above with Riewoldt), you simply can’t go past simple, organic improvement.
We saw a massive rise in form and consistency from Marc Murphy in 2011, and I reckon it went highly unheralded due to the sheer lack of teams he was in. He averaged a fantastic 112 DT points and 118 SC points, whilst only dropping below 90 twice in DT and once in SC – they’re some very good numbers. He also proved himself to have a very high ceiling, with eight scores over 120 (including a top score of 145) in DT and nine in SC (high score of 147).
Murphy is still young – just 24 – and is still improving each year. He is now coming into his peak age, so if there is ever a time to pay top dollar for him, it is now. He has proven an ability to not only knock out the high scores, but also deliver on them weekly. His workrate around the ground is amazing to watch – and it becomes pretty obvious he has been watching one C. Judd at training for a while. He simply runs all day and continues to find ways to outsmart or outposition his opponents.
To be already giving my own plans away for 2012, I am looking at a midfield consisting of Murphy, Pendlebury and Selwood – the three mid-20s young guns, all capable of getting better. Whilst we are (and deserve to be) attracted to the likes of Boyd, Judd, Montagna and Chapman, it’s the likes of these younger three (and perhaps Redden and Rockliff too), who I see as better value for your money. It is much more unlikely that they will go backwards in 2012 than their older equivalents.
Ok, Now I’m hoping that Kristian won’t cry foul that I am stealing one of his smokies, because I legitimately believe that Zaka will be a premium option in 2012. He had somewhat of a breakout year in 2011, but still didn’t show what he was capable of consistently enough. He played a lot more time through the midfield (although fingers crossed he is still forward eligible too), which had some true best on grounds, especially amongst Essendon’s mid-season streak of form.
He averaged 89 DT and 91 SC for the year, but was somewhat inconsistent with his scoring – whilst he had nine games over 100 in DT and ten in SC, there was seven DT games under 70 points and six in SC.
That all said, the form he did produce this year was very good for just a third year player. He is clearly improving – in fact, he only had one game over 100 points in his first two years – and interestingly that was his first game. He was given more and more trust this year by James Hird, who allowed him to roam between the midfield and half-forward line, using his speed and long kick as a weapon.
He even showed a significant form improvement throughout the year – he averaged 16.5 disposals until round 12, then 24.5 disposals from round 13 until the end of the year. In fact, he only dropped below 22 disposals twice in that period. In that time frame all his other stats went up too: Marks 3.7 vs 5.2; tackles 3.4 vs 4.6; DT 77.6 vs 101.5; SC 83.5 vs 98.7. So even if he took his form from the second half of this year into 2012, you would be doing pretty well for his current price.
Dual position players become even more important again in 2012, so players like Zaka (assuming he keeps his Mid/Fwd eligibility) become even more valuable to your side. But hopefully you won’t be wanting to trade him anyway. Put him in from round one and watch him have a true breakout season.