Category - 2010 – Round 18
ESSENDON v ST KILDA
B: Heath Hocking, Dustin Fletcher, Courtenay Dempsey
HB: Mark McVeigh, Michael Hurley, Kyle Reimers
C: David Zaharakis, Jobe Watson, Travis Colyer
HF: Kyle Hardingham, Scott Gumbleton, Brent Stanton
F: Angus Monfries, Jay Neagle, Sam Lonergan
Foll: Patrick Ryder, Bachar Houli, Ben Howlett
I/C: Cale Hooker, Alwyn Davey, David Hille, Brent Prismall
Emg: Leroy Jetta, David Myers, Nathan Lovett-Murray
In: Hille, Lonergan
Out: Jason Winderlich (hand), Leroy Jetta
- No massive surprises here as Essendon had already flagged their intentions coming into this game. Hille returns after missing seven games, whilst Winderlich has been put in for surgery. Surprisingly, NLM did not get a recall after impressing in the VFL.
- Also, watch the final teams for this game as Jobe Watson is coming in under a lot of injury speculation.
B: Zac Dawson, Jason Blake, Sam Gilbert
HB: Jason Gram, Sam Fisher, James Gwilt
C: Brendon Goddard, Nick Dal Santo, Farren Ray
HF: Clinton Jones, Justin Koschitzke, Leigh Montagna
F: Tom Lynch, Nick Riewoldt, Stephen Milne
Foll: Michael Gardiner, Lenny Hayes, Adam Schneider
I/C: Jack Steven, Ben McEvoy, Brett Peake, Sean Dempster
Emg: Adam Pattison, Jarryn Geary, Andrew McQualter
Out: Andrew McQualter
New: Tom Lynch (Sandringham Dragons)
- As a Saints supporter, I must admit I am VERY excited about the debut of Tom Lynch – he is the type of player the Saints have been crying out for for the past year and a half (a third tall forward), but has had to bide his time developing in the VFL before getting a chance in the seniors. In juniors he was personally coached by Stewie Loewe and played at the CHF to Jack Watts’ full-forward. He is a fast leading player with good hands and a good kick, but prides himself on his aggression and tackling. All Saints fans dubbed him the next Aaron Hamill when he walked through the door, so there is little wonder why we will be an excited bunch to see him on Friday night. His junior numbers are also very good, suggesting he will be reasonable at Dream Team.
- McQualter makes way (a few weeks too late) and will likely find the going tough to push back into the side.
- Keep an eye on Montagna for a late withdrawal.
COLLINGWOOD v CARLTON
B: Nick Maxwell, Simon Prestigiacomo, Ben Reid
HB: Harry O’Brien, Tyson Goldsack, Alan Toovey
C: Sharrod Wellingham, Dane Swan, Jarryd Blair
HF: Luke Ball, Travis Cloke, Leon Davis
F: Dayne Beams, Leigh Brown, Steele Sidebottom
Foll: Darren Jolly, Scott Pendlebury, Dale Thomas
I/C: Alan Didak, Ben Johnson, Brent Macaffer, Chris Dawes
Emg: Tarkyn Lockyer, Josh Fraser, Simon Buckley
Out: Tarkyn Lockyer
- Despite Collingwood acting coy as to whether Cloke would play this week, it is no surprise to see him named, nor is it a surprise to see Lockyer dropped. Whilst Tarkyn has been decent over the past month, he is clearly on the outer at the Pies.
B: Aaron Joseph, Michael Jamison, Paul Bower
HB: Andrew Carrazzo, Jarrad Waite, Jordan Russell
C: Heath Scotland, Chris Judd, Shaun Grigg
HF: Kade Simpson, Brad Fisher, Andrew Walker
F: Eddie Betts, Lachie Henderson, Shaun Hampson
Foll: Robert Warnock, Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy
I/C: Dennis Armfield, Jeff Garlett, Chris Johnson, Chris Yarran
Emg: Marcus Davies, David Ellard, Mitch Robinson
Out: David Ellard
- Ellard is probably a bit stiff to miss (but may be a late inclusion for Dennis Armfield who is not quite 100% after his big his last week), whilst Fisher is a good news story coming back into the team. Fisher is a great marking forward – unfortunately it is his accuracy in front of the sticks and his workrate that have been questioned. He is coming back from LARS knee surgery on the ACL he blew in the NAB cup. He has played several VFL games though so should be fit. Probably too pricey to bring in though.
PORT ADELAIDE v HAWTHORN
B: Paul Stewart, Alipate Carlile, Nick Salter
HB: Nathan Krakouer, Troy Chaplin, Matt Thomas
C: Kane Cornes, Domenic Cassisi, Travis Boak
HF: Cameron Hitchcock, Jay Schulz, David Rodan
F: Justin Westhoff, Daniel Stewart, Brett Ebert
Foll: Dean Brogan, Danyle Pearce, Robbie Gray
I/C: Mitchell Banner, Matthew Broadbent, Andrew Moore, Jack Trengove
Emg: Jasper Pittard, Danny Meyer, Scott Harding
In: Krakouer, Trengove
Out: Tom Logan (concussion), Josh Carr (retired)
- Krakouer has passed his fitness test and will finally return to the squad, whilst Trengove is the other good inclusion.
- We say goodbye to Josh Carr, but don’t thank him for all the incredible tagging jobs he did on our Dream Team captains over the years…
B: Brent Guerra, Stephen Gilham, Thomas Murphy
HB: Grant Birchall, Josh Gibson, Ben Stratton
C: Jordan Lewis, Sam Mitchell, Clinton Young
HF: Chance Bateman, Lance Franklin, Shaun Burgoyne
F: Cyril Rioli, Jarryd Roughead, Michael Osborne
Foll: Brent Renouf, Luke Hodge, Brad Sewell
I/C: Xavier Ellis, Rick Ladson, Wayde Skipper, Brendan Whitecross
Emg: Shane Savage, Ryan Schoenmakers, Matt Suckling
Out: Campbell Brown (suspension)
- Brown will miss two weeks with suspension and Ladson will come into his spot.
SYDNEY SWANS v GEELONG CATS
B: Paul Bevan, Ted Richards, Martin Mattner
HB: Nick Malceski, Heath Grundy, Tadhg Kennelly
C: Daniel Hannebery, Brett Kirk, Jarrad McVeigh
HF: Ryan O’Keefe, Jesse White, Josh Kennedy
F: Ben McGlynn, Adam Goodes, Jarred Moore
Foll: Shane Mumford, Jude Bolton, Kieren Jack
I/C: Lewis Jetta, Brett Meredith, Mike Pyke, Rhyce Shaw
Emg: Trent Dennis-Lane, Sam Reid, Patrick Veszpremi
B: Darren Milburn, Matthew Scarlett, Josh Hunt
HB: Andrew Mackie, Harry Taylor, Corey Enright
C: James Kelly, Cameron Ling, Gary Ablett
HF: Shannon Byrnes, Cameron Mooney, Travis Varcoe
F: Paul Chapman, Tom Hawkins, Steve Johnson
Foll: Brad Ottens, Joel Selwood, Joel Corey
I/C: David Wojcinski, Mathew Stokes, Tom Lonergan, Trent West
Emg: Taylor Hunt, Simon Hogan, Daniel Menzel
In: Byrnes, West, Hawkins
Out: James Podsiadly (soreness), Jimmy Bartel (ankle), Mark Blake
- We knew it was coming, but when you finally see it on paper it is a blow – Pods is being rested again after he commented through the week that the long season was certainly taking a toll on him. Geelong want him 100% for the finals, and with Hawkins’ return, there is no point pushing him.
- Bartel, to many, will be an even bigger blow thanks to the lack of good midfield bench options. He will hopefully miss just the one week, but be sure to brace yourself as the likes of Chapman, Enright and Ablett are rested over the next fortnight, as anticipated by Bomber Thompson.
BRISBANE LIONS v MELBOURNE
B: Xavier Clarke, Daniel Merrett, Ashley McGrath
HB: Luke Power, Brent Staker, Joel Patfull
C: Jack Redden, Daniel Rich, Tom Rockliff
HF: James Polkinghorne, Jonathan Brown, Albert Proud
F: Jared Brennan, Brendan Fevola, Todd Banfield
Foll: Mitchell Clark, Simon Black, Michael Rischitelli
I/C: Pearce Hanley, Cheynee Stiller, Ryan Harwood, Matthew Leuenberger
Emg: James Hawksley, Aaron Cornelius, Justin Sherman
In: McGrath, Clarke, Stiller, Black
Out: Amon Buchanan (quad), Matt Maguire, James Hawksley, Aaron Cornelius
- Whilst Brisbane haven’t been one to go light at the selection table this year, this week certainly offers up a few surprises – in a week where they are clearly trying to make a statement by dropping Maguire, Hawksley and Cornelius, they bizarrely didn’t drop Fevola!
- McGrath and Black return, but the big story is the first game of Xavier Clarke for his new club. Clarke crossed from St.Kilda in last year’s trade week and came with a broken body, having ruptured his ACL early in 2009 after many series of hamstring issues. It is great to see him back on the park, but maintain plenty of speculation about his body holding up – he has had a rough career to date – every time he looks like he is reaching form, he suddenly re-injures himself. He is a mega bargain, but personally i think he is not worth the risk.
B: Colin Garland, Jared Rivers, Clint Bartram
HB: Cameron Bruce, James Frawley, Joel Macdonald
C: Rohan Bail, James McDonald, Brad Green
HF: Lynden Dunn, Jack Watts, Tom Scully
F: Jamie Bennell, Paul Johnson, Austin Wonaeamirri
Foll: Mark Jamar, Colin Sylvia, Aaron Davey
I/C: Jordie McKenzie, Cale Morton, Liam Jurrah, Nathan Jones
Emg: Addam Maric, Matthew Warnock, Jack Trengove
In: James McDonald
Out: Addam Maric
- McDonald is the only inclusion into the side that thumped Sydney on the weekend. The real surprise is seeing Trengove on the bench though – surely he is not far away!
RICHMOND v ADELAIDE
B: Chris Newman, Luke McGuane, Will Thursfield
HB: Brett Deledio, Kelvin Moore, Daniel Connors
C: Mitch Morton, Dustin Martin, Shane Edwards
HF: Ben Nason, Andrew Collins, Jake King
F: Matt White, Jack Riewoldt, David Astbury
Foll: Angus Graham, Shane Tuck, Daniel Jackson
I/C (from): Ben Cousins, Andrew Browne, Mitch Farmer, Jeromey Webberley, Alex Rance, Robbie Hicks, Troy Taylor
In: Moore, White, Jackson, Thursfield, Taylor, Hicks
Out: Dean Polo, Robin Nahas, Jayden Post
New: Robbie Hicks (Calder Cannons/Rookie list)
- Another wealth of changes for Richmond, with forgotten man Troy Taylor making a comeback (sorry kids, no Relton Roberts) and debutant Robbie Hicks named on the extended bench. Hicks is a small forward (a VERY small forward; 176cm and 67kg) who averaged 11 disposals (8.5 of those uncontested) through the TAC cup and kicked nearly 2 goals a game. Small forwards can be good DT scorers, but i feel that Hicks may just be a bit too small to play yet at senior level. Keeps tabs on him certainly, but this is not the time of year to be picking up speculative rookies.
B: Michael Doughty, Ben Rutten, Scott Stevens
HB: Brent Reilly, Nathan Bock, Nathan van Berlo
C: Rory Sloane, Scott Thompson, David Mackay
HF: Ricky Henderson, Taylor Walker, Matthew Jaensch
F: Jason Porplyzia, Kurt Tippett, Richard Douglas
Foll: Ivan Maric, Bernie Vince, Patrick Dangerfield
I/C (from): Tony Armstrong, Phil Davis, Jonathon Griffin, Jack Gunston, Chris Schmidt, James Sellar, Brad Symes
In: Sellar, Schmidt, Davis, Gunston
Out: Graham Johncock (suspension)
- Adelaide have returned to the well of youth, topping the team up with youngsters Sellar, Schmidt, Davis (WHY was he dropped!?) and Gunston.
- The only omission so far is Johncock, who has been suspended for one week.
WESTERN BULLDOGS v NORTH MELBOURNE
B: Jarrod Harbrow, Brian Lake, Dale Morris
HB: Ryan Hargrave, Tom Williams, Lindsay Gilbee
C: Daniel Cross, Matthew Boyd, Liam Picken
HF: Robert Murphy, Liam Jones, Brad Johnson
F: Jarrad Grant, Barry Hall, Shaun Higgins
Foll: Ben Hudson, Ryan Griffen, Adam Cooney
I/C (from): Dylan Addison, Nathan Eagleton, Andrejs Everitt, Daniel Giansiracusa, Brodie Moles, Jordan Roughead, Easton Wood
In: Dylan Addison, Andrejs Everitt, Liam Jones, Nathan Eagleton
Out: Callan Ward (hip)
New: Liam Jones (Tasmania U18)
- The Doggies have said a couple of times this week that they are looking forward to giving Jones his first game and that is exactly what they have done here, naming him at CHF. Jones is a 195cm key position forward and was highly rated when he came to the Dogs at the end of 2008. He is still relatively light, so don’t expect him to score very much, but with his athleticism and AFL heritage, there is a very good chance he will be a good player for years to come.
B: Michael Firrito, Scott Thompson, Brady Rawlings
HB: Jamie MacMillan, Josh Smith, Scott McMahon
C: Leigh Adams, Brent Harvey, Sam Wright
HF: Matt Campbell, Aaron Edwards, Ben Speight
F: Ben Cunnington, Lachlan Hansen, Lindsay Thomas
Foll: Hamish McIntosh, Andrew Swallow, Levi Greenwood
I/C: Ed Lower, Todd Goldstein, Ryan Bastinac, Brayden Norris, Marcus White, Leigh Harding, Gavin Urquhart
In: McMahon, Thomas, White, Wright, Norris
Out: David Hale , Ben Warren (back)
New: Marcus White (Calder Cannons/Rookie list), Brayden Norris (Murray Bushrangers)
- The Roos have now all but resigned to missing the finals, but it means they will give more youngsters a game. Speight and Macmillan get a second run, whilst White and Norris will debut if they make the final cut from the extended bench.
- Norris is an athletic mid with a super tank, reaching an impressive 15.06 in the beep test at Draft Camp. He isn’t necessarily a big ball winner, averaging just 15 disposals in the TAC cup, playing mainly on a HFF, but Bastinac has already shown us this year that he is able to turn a big tank into a decent footballer.
- White is in his second year on the Roos rookie list and is a midfielder. He played VFL last year for North Ballarat as a tagger, a role which may prove to have adverse effects on his DT scoring at AFL level. Watch to see where Brad Scott plays him first, but don’t be expecting a very attacking role.
FREMANTLE v WEST COAST EAGLES
B: Chris Tarrant, Antoni Grover, Greg Broughton
HB: Justin Bollenhagen, Luke McPharlin, Roger Hayden
C: Garrick Ibbotson, David Mundy, Nathan Fyfe
HF: Jay van Berlo, Matthew Pavlich, Stephen Hill
F: Adam McPhee, Michael Johnson, Hayden Ballantyne
Foll: Aaron Sandilands, Nick Suban, Paul Duffield
I/C (from): Michael Walters, Dylan Roberton, Matthew de Boer, Paul Hasleby, Jesse Crichton, Anthony Morabito, Kepler Bradley
In: Bradley, Mundy, Walters, Bollenhagen, Tarrant
Out: Rhys Palmer (shoulder), Clancee Pearce (knee)
New: Justin Bollenhagen (South Adelaide)
- Bollenhagen is again named to play (I talked about him in last week’s article), but this time is named on the field, so will definitely line up. Palmer and Pearce will miss, whilst Harvey complained during the week that he had too many first and second year players in the squad. Therefore, the likes of Crichton, de Boer, Roberton and Waters must be a little nervous with their names on the extended bench.
- Mundy will also return after being a late withdrawal last week with stomach cramps.
West Coast Eagles
B: Will Schofield, Eric MacKenzie, Ashley Smith
HB: Beau Waters, Mitchell Brown, Shannon Hurn
C: Brad Ebert, Matt Priddis, Matt Rosa
HF: Andrew Embley, Josh Kennedy, Andrew Strijk
F: Mark LeCras, Quinten Lynch, Nic Naitanui
Foll: Dean Cox, Chris Masten, Scott Selwood
I/C (from): Brett Jones, Patrick McGinnity, Ben McKinley, Brad Sheppard, Lewis Stevenson, Tom Swift, Callum Wilson
In: McKinley, Jones, Wilson, Swift, McGinnity
Out: Adam Selwood (shoulder), Ashton Hams (suspension)
- Hams is gone for three weeks with suspension, whilst Selwood may miss a couple.
- A raft of inclusions are named, but expect Jones, Swift and McGinnity to be the few with any chance of playing.
- Once again, no Koby Stevens – in fact, he doesn’t even make the emergency list.
Morning Footy Tragics.
Due to technical difficulties, Ben’s ‘Gold Coast Kids’ article will be unavailable until mid afternoon.
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The Team @ Footy Tragic
It’s impossible to go past the Great Dane in his current form. Since Round 10 his lowest score has been 110 (Round 13), which was also his only score until 125 across that period. In his last two against Carlton he’s scored 131 and 140. Glasses down, easily the best captain choice this week. If you’ve got him I wouldn’t recommend anyone else. Sure, someone might outscore him this week, but his form line is just too ridiculous to risk NOT having him as your captain.
Now for those who don’t have Swan…
GAJ has really been on the wane lately. His 126 last week was a return to form, however he scored five goals, which isn’t all that common an occurrence. Goals are just cherries on the top of his scoring when he’s at the top of his game – rather than the focal point. He’s still a great option and he typically massacres Sydney. His highest score this year (and the third highest out of anyone, behind Lake and LeCras) was a 167 against the Swans in Round 7. Bare in mind, that was after he’d had a week off and it was down at his beloved Skilled Stadium.
Montagna’s form was great until last week. There’s no reason to suggest it wouldn’t have continued to be great either…all until he slipped on a dodgy piece of grass at Etihad Stadium and tweaked his groin. Even if he’s named this week you’d have to be wary of naming him captain, purely because you suspect he’d be playing hurt. It’s a pity, because Essendon leak points to pretty much any position and he chopped them for 137 earlier this year (despite St.Kilda losing that game). Form and opposition says yes, injury cloud says no. He might even miss, though he hasn’t appeared on St.Kilda’s injury list, but never take that thing seriously. St.Kilda treat submitting an injury list with unparalleled contempt.
The most underrated DT’er in the league is a legit captain option. Boyd gets a lot of his own ball, so it’s entirely in his hands as to how well he scores, and being such a determined player he usually comes out with great numbers (aided by plenty of tackles). He scored a modest 108 against North earlier this year, however that was in the month of footy where he was a bit down on form coming back from his broken hand. Since Round 11 his lowest score is 114 and he’s cracked 120+ four times in that period.
Despite GAJ getting a massive 167 against Sydney earlier in the year, I’d say Chappy was best on that day. He snagged a handy 140 himself and was everywhere, kicking goals, laying tackles and taking marks. Historically though, Sydney have kept him fairly contained over the years. They’re not the same Sydney they used to be, but it’s something to be aware of (last year I’m pretty certain his 73 against them was injury affected, but I can’t exactly remember at what stage of the game that was).
Hodgey completely dominated Port last time he played them and did everything but convert in front of goal. He kicked 1.5 but still scored 131 in a fantastic display. He’s been playing good lately, not great, but pretty good. He’s been a little up and down over the past 5-6 weeks actually with 140, 61, 119, 87, 126 and 101. Port kept Hodge pretty quiet both times they met last year.
Goddard hasn’t quite got to any great heights since being a late withdrawal against Brisbane with illness. He’s scored 96 and 109 in the past two weeks. Before missing he’d scored 120+ in six straight games – the only player to do that this season (I don’t count Ablett’s run of six in a row, because he missed a game during that streak). He also only scored 101 against Essendon earlier this year. He only scored 66 against the Bombers the time before that as well, so current form and recent history doesn’t sound too compelling.
There’s so many more I could mention (Selwood particularly stiff to miss out) but I thought it’d be worth keeping a sneaky eye on Goodes. Earlier this year I wrote about how he usually storms home in the second half of the year. Well, it took him a little while to get going (largely because he was playing as a full time forward) but he has blitzed in his last three games with 158, 116 and 124. He was very ordinary against Geelong earlier this year, with a 63, but last year he scored 121 and 114 against them. It’d be a risky option, but in his current form you could throw him into the mix.
We discussed this a bit last week in the wash up from my article, and it is the theory that at this time of year you shouldn’t bring in anyone but the best. Many ask about the idea of sideways trading and I wanted to confirm the definition of this; a sideways trade is one that nets you little noticeable points value - i.e. a trade to a player who will only score an extra five or so points is considered a sideways trade - especially at this time of year. What we want at this stage is a player who will regularly score at least a ton. There are only a few players who fit this bill, and my recommendation to you as finals approach is to hold tight on sideways trading. If you have any of the frustrating players such as Gia, Higgins, Pods, Pav, Cox, Enright, Waters, Carrazzo, Harbrow (and I’m sure everyone could name a dozen or so more), it is now probably best to hold tight – keep them as your 7th forward or 6th mid or whatever and just hope they fire in finals. The grass can always seem greener, but don’t get sucked in to trading one of these guys to someone who is likely going to frustrate you as much.
However, if you can afford a proper upgrade of any of these guys, then I can certainly see the merit - an upgrade is a noticeable points increase, as discussed above. If you have a fair amount of trades left, it could even be a consideration to do a two-for-one trade to bring one of these guys in to strengthen your side. My suggestions of the real premiums are detailed below; please note though I have only picked a couple of midfielders as there are quite a few who could fit the bill.
Good Luck! (and apologies for the lateness of the article!)
Brian Lake – $457,200; season avg. 104.29; last five avg. 118.8:
I think coaches started waking up to Lake as a dream teamer when he scored a whopping 192 points in round 9. At the time I wrote it off as a blip on the radar, never to be seen again. As it turns out, I was proven wrong. Although playing a full-back role, a position typically inhabited by players with no interest in finding the football, he plays a very creative attacking game – and what’s more, he is very capable of shutting down his direct opponent in the process.
Lake is a fantastic reader of the play and is ranked first in the AFL for marks from opposition kicks, showing that he is almost able to play the loose man role in the backline whist still actually having an opponent - he knows exactly when to zone off his opposition and intercept a foray forward. He has brilliant marking skills too, ranked number one in the AFL for marks and number five for contested marks. Even lately, opposition coaches have attempted shutting him down and this became laughable against Carlton when the Blues forwards spent more time trying to spoil Lake from marking, rather than marking it themselves.
Whilst he has had 137 contested possessions for the year (remembering that backmen will typically have a very high contested count), he has had a whopping 235 uncontested possessions, which for a backman is typically consisting of either rebounding out of the backline with no pressure, or kick-to-kick football. Lake loves a bit of kick-to-kick, and it often the middle man when bulldogs play the game – last week he racked up 30 points in under five minutes of play and this is not the first time it has happened. With the Bulldogs killing games early, Lake is able to get plenty of ball later in the game as they chip it around.
By now it is hard not to think of Lake as a dream team star - he has done it consistently now for most of the year, only dropping below 80 twice – both times in the first four games. You could do much worse than bringing Lake into your squad, and being in just 11% of teams, there is a strong chance you won’t have too many opponents who have him too.
Dane Swan – $539,000; season avg. 124.41; last five avg. 136.6:
There is little more to say about a man who is so prolific in this game we play - he is a star, plain and simple. In fact, looking at his season stats, he has only dropped below 110 points on three occasions, and two of those times in the first five rounds! That’s mammoth! He is a ball magnet, but more so is a ball winner. His incredible fitness allows him to run all day and run into space to pick up plenty of ball from his teammates. He is also great at clearances, regularly seen streaming out of packs with the ball and kicking it long into the forward line. Another stat line he seems to be succeeding at is tackling - he averages nearly five per game.
Essentially, at this point of the game, if you don’t have Swan you are making it very very hard for yourself. With those clever enough to have kept him captain over the past month would have been treated to scores such as 322, 282, 276 and 266 – all immense figures. Compare this to players using Ablett as Captain over the past month – 216, 218, 162 and 252 – that’s a huge 298 points difference in four games of football!! So it is worth not only thinking about what he may bring to your team as a player, but think about what he may bring to your team as Captain! He could quite easily be the difference between you winning or losing your final.
He is not slowing down either, proving himself untaggable again this year. Fortunately, the likes of Didak, Pendlebury and Thomas are all having good years too, meaning Swan is not regularly at the attention of taggers, and if he is, it is generally not the primary one. Teams have learnt not to let the likes of Didak off the leash as he is much more damaging by boot.
Essentially, I think you need Swan this year. Most years it is not as easy to suggest one player as a necessary addition, but he is simply so far ahead of everyone else it is just ridiculous. If you don’t have him, he may be the guy who squashes your own finals hopes, being your opponent’s captain.
Matthew Boyd – $489,700; season avg. 115.8; last five avg. 125.4:
Boydy is way too unrecognised for his amazing DT skills – in the past month or so he is in fact not too far behind Swan. Since round 11 he hasn’t dropped below 110 and has been over 130 on three occasions. He is Mr. Consistent this year, and whilst his best may not be as high at Swan, he is consistently around a very good level.
One of the best things about Boyd is his lack of owners - he is only in 11% of teams, mainly thanks to his lack of media attention, but this doesn’t make him any less great. He is currently ranked 15th in dream team and 10th for disposals in the AFL, despite missing two games earlier in the year – if he had played them and gotten his average in each, he would have been ranked 3rdfor disposals and 2nd for dream team – not bad figures at all!
Boyd is another untaggable, but that is mainly because he typically plays a role on opposition mids. Boyd is very good at stopping the tougher in-and-under mids in the competition, but will often try to hurt them the other way with his own fitness. He will often play on players who lack much of a defensive side to their game, meaning that they will rarely stop him from sneaking forward for a goal, as he does quite a bit.
I don’t think Boyd is a better pick than Swan, but he is cheaper by $50k and won’t average significantly less than him for the rest of the season. He is also a lot less common, so if you are looking to beat your opponents rather than be the same as them, Boyd could be a fantastic way to go.
Paul Chapman – $454,500; season avg. 117.25; last five avg. 112.6:
We all know the highs and lows that are Chappy – whilst he is far and away the best DT forward option this year, averaging nearly 20 points better than his nearest opponent, most of those who don’t have him are clearly paranoid about his hammys going ‘ping!’ But so far in 2010, Chapman has missed only the one game, a stat which certainly goes against what history would suggest of him.
Chapman claims that Geelong’s new fitness guru has cured his plight with hamstrings, so we have to choose whether to believe this or not before trading him in. The worry is, if the issues really aren’t gone, history suggests that Chapman will miss most of his games at the back-end of the year. For example, these are the games he missed for the past three years; 2009: Rd 8, 10, 19, 20, 22; 2008; Rd 9, 10, 18, 19, 20; 2007: Rd 7-9, 17-19. Get the gist? Knowing that rounds 19 – 22 are DT finals time, Chapman has missed 6 of a possible 12 finals games, including last year’s Grand Final! So if you were to trade him in, you’d want to damn well believe his word!
Also, Bomber Thompson has signalled he will be resting his stars over the next month or so, putting further doubt into the minds of many. But all this aside, perhaps we have to look at the positives – you won’t win dream team without taking risks and Chapman is certainly a big one. He doesn’t appear to be carrying any injury and we know that he would certainly have been rested if he was. I really like him as a pre-finals trade. Just before (or maybe after) week one after assessing all the current media about him. I have a gut feeling that all will be OK, but still, you would want to have some fair cover. Personally I don’t have him, but I will shortly be doing the maths to find out how possible trading him in is.