Category - 2011 – Round 04
Richmond vs Collingwood:
- Brett Deledio continued his up and down season to date with another great game, playing the majority of it running off half-back. He has had a lot of media attention this past week, so it was good to see him perform well. Anyway, despite his average game last week, he has still been one of the better defence options so far this year.
- Dustin Martin also looked pretty impressive, really for the first time this year. He racked up 28 disposals as well as kicking two pretty cool goals. He isn’t really worth considering this year, but in years to come he should be a pretty good option.
- Bachar Houli deserves a bit of a mention about his sub-par start to the year so far – I’d say he would have been in a large amount of teams had he been back eligible, but it is probably a good thing that he was kept out of most teams. Despite Hird’s promise to play him in the midfield, he has spent most of his games in the back half and has hardly racked up much ball in any of his games to date.
- Reece Conca had his best game yet this year, starting in the backline before moving to the midfield for the second half. When in the midfield he looked really impressive and is already justifying his selection so high up the draft order. Whilst you wouldn’t trade him in now, those who do have him should have a pretty decent cash-cow on their hands.
- Dane Swan again justified his selection as captain, going absolutely metal in the first half – sitting on a whopping 86 DT points at half time. Unfortunately he copped a knock late in the half which caused him to spend most of the third term up forward having a rest (to the tune of 10 points). He did bounce back in the last though, scoring another 35 points to come home the top scorer of the game… Again!
- Daisy Thomas was really impressive, especially early, playing through the midfield. He was one of the Pies best and has really improved on his own ball-winning skills from where they were a couple of years ago. Everyone is talking Swan and Pendles this year, but after their two byes, I don’t know why you wouldn’t consider this bloke too!
- Alan Didak would have impressed his owners when he turned an average game into a good one with a prolific 66-point last quarter of junk stats. This would have annoyed the plenty who don’t own him though, as well-laid plans to trade him in after their bye turned to scrap. Not fair…
- Andrew Krakouer’s form has been pretty average this year to date, minus the good form he showed in the opening round. As has already been discussed on this site, he is constantly chasing the ball outside packs and often seems a second or two behind his teammates with grabbing the ball. Most of the disposals he had were quick grubbers and he really had very little effect on the game. I wouldn’t be holding my breath of him playing again next week.
Hawthorn vs West Coast:
- Lance Franklin finally looked like dominating a game, despite his first two stats being frees against. He worked pretty hard on Mitch Brown, not just in the forward line, but won a lot of ball further afield too – not only did he finish with six well-earned goals, but he won 24 possessions too – pretty good numbers for a forward.
- Sam Mitchell came back from his week off in pretty good form and spent the majority of the game running off half-back, winning plenty of ball. He was a prolific DT scorer last year when playing in this position, so hopefully it can continue this year.
- Cameron Bruce is making things very hard for his owners – do you trade him or don’t you? After a couple of stinker games he has finally racked up the ton… However it wasn’t in any sort of spectacular fashion – he again played in the back half, but also had some stints on the wing, giving him quite a number of marks and kicks as the link-up player out of defence. If you could trust him to back this up next week you would keep him, but personally I can’t see him showcasing any sort of consistency this year.
- Luke Hodge was played purely out of defence, ala the role he played a couple of years ago and he only really looked OK. It is pretty obvious he is still coming back from injury and he is scoring accordingly. Hawthorn will likely use him in the midfield again when fit, so it is important to keep an eye on his decreasing price – once he hits rock bottom, you would be very wise to pounce!
- Jack Darling gets first mention for the Eagles – So far this season I have been so impressed with this kid, but never so much as in this game. His work rate is really impressive – often going on 100 metre leads up the wing before doubling back to present an option in the goal square. There aren’t many forwards in the game that can do this consistently and it is great to see him getting rewarded by his teammates as they go to him as much as anyone else.
- Matt Priddis played his typical in-and-under game through the midfield, winning 26 disposals, although it was his 14 tackles that impressed the most. I’ve always liked him as a unique midfield option, and at his current price he presents some real decent value.
- Josh Kennedy was another Eagle to impress me – despite the huge wraps he comes with I have never been a big fan of his, but in the last quarter of this game he really threatened to win the game off his own boot with some great contested marking and hard running in the forward line. He does have ability to make it, but I really think he needs to take his game to another level before he can justify the hype.
- Adam Selwood has been a massive disappointment this year after his great 2010. The signs were pretty clear in the pre-season when he looked uninterested in many of the training sessions and it appears to have translated into his games. Whilst he is still working hard as a tagger, he isn’t giving that extra bit of work rate to have an attacking side of his game as he did last year.
Carlton vs Essendon:
- In last week’s article I said Andrew Carrazzo was the ultimate DT-tease and deserved to be dropped… fortunately he proved me wrong with a massive game playing much more time through the middle – he won 24 touches and 11 tackles, but unfortunately, this is exactly what is wrong with Carrazzo – 142 this week and 37 last week – the difference between his best and worst is way to large to be seriously considered.
- Nick Duigan had his best game yet for the Blues, providing a good amount of rebound off Monfries. He is good one-on-one, as well as doing well as a loose man, suggesting he should be able to keep his spot in the team most of the year.
- Bryce Gibbs had a great first half, scoring 70 DT points, but was rather quiet for the rest of the game as he scored just 19 DT points in the second half. Again he played in the middle and proved that he is capable of dominating. It wasn’t a high-possession game, so that could be part of the blame for his low score. Although still, 89 points shouldn’t be too disappointing!
- Jarrad Waite was impressive up forward, although he did have a very quiet start to the game. He only kicked the one goal, but his work higher up the ground was quite good – he still only threatens to win a game on his own boot, so is a bit disappointing from that angle – I really believe he can take his game to another level and perhaps we may see him improve even more this year if he can have a consistent run of games.
- Dustin Fletcher was surprisingly one of the best for the Bombers, turning back the clock with a vintage display out of the backline. Won 18 disposals and kicked his customary goal whilst a bit further up the ground. I would probably take this game as a one-off though unfortunately – although Fletch used to be a great DTer, his days of winning stacks of ball are now over.
- Jobe Watson was again rampant through the middle for the Dons, winning 30 touches, despite an attempted tag from the Blues. Has really become a consistent player over this past year and I reckon he should be a great choice for any dream team… if it weren’t for that blasted bye in the last round of the season!
- Dyson Heppell was again very good, playing predominantly off half-back. His confidence at AFL level is so impressive and he would have to be favourite for the rising star so far this year, and if not, put money on him now!
- Jason Winderlich and Courtenay Dempsey both ruptured their ACL in the first term of this game, putting them both out for the season. Devastating news for the Bombers… may help Hibberd owners though…
Sydney vs Geelong:
- Shane Mumford has continued on the 2011 trend for high-scoring ruckman with his 14 disposal, 36 hitout game – not bad when up against an experienced ruckman such as Ottens. Big Mummy isn’t as expensive as Cox or Sandi, and if you are in need of a ruckman sometime soon, he could be a very good choice. He is also great to watch, which is always nice!
- Josh Kennedy finally had his first big game of the year, pulling in 29 disposals and 10 tackles. He loved playing in the wet and won plenty of his own ball, despite going head-to-head with the likes of Selwood and Bartel. Whilst he doesn’t look like scoring this sort of number consistently, his large score should at least help push his price up over the next fortnight.
- Ryan O’Keefe was pretty quiet this game, playing between the forward line and the midfield. Like last year, his fast start to the year has quickly halted and the past fortnight has seen him post a couple of sub-par scores. Stick with him, even though he may be leaking a bit of cash – we all know he is good for it!
- Andrejs Everitt would have had the few coaches who stuck with him pulling their hair out. He again played a defensive role down back to absolutely zero effect, and then was subbed off in the third term, ending him on just 25 DT points… I think it may be trade time!
- Paul Chapman had another great game, destroying any chance of him bottoming out in price any time soon! He looked right at home playing in the wet, despite copping a bit of attention from Kieren Jack. He finished with 27 disposals and 9 marks and was one of Geelong’s best on the day. So it seems Chappy is a ‘must have’ again in season 2011.
- Steve Johnson was impressive, playing the game around half-forward – he only managed the one goal, but fortunately his 25 disposals and five tackles helped kick him over the ton for the second time this year.
- Andrew Mackie disappointingly played a very defensive role in the backline, mainly matched up on O’Keefe, and it really didn’t help him from a DT perspective – only managed the 13 touches.
- Cam Mooney was the real disappointment – despite spending a lot of time on the ball as a ruck he just couldn’t get near it. His best is clearly behind him and he should definitely not be considered for any dream teams this year!
Port Adelaide vs Adelaide:
- Justin Westhoff was one of the big reasons for this come-from-behind win with his fantastic second-half. Played a high half-forward role on Thompson (the first gamer) and ran pretty rampant, picking up 24 touches and booting two pretty important goals.
- Troy Chaplin has always been a favourite of mine at Port – it would be great if he could have more games like this, playing as a rebounding defender. He won over 30 touches, playing on Henderson and provided plenty of run and attack for Port off half-back.
- David Rodan was one of Port’s best later in the game as his four goals really helped get the side over the line. Not a player you would really ever consider for your Dream Team, although his good games can be very good in SuperCoach.
- Daniel Motlop will not feel my wrath today… Although he started the game really poor and I thought ‘here we go…’ he really turned it around late in the game, and along with plenty of his teammates, gave Adelaide a real hiding.
- Scott Thompson again won prolific amounts of ball and was already on 53 DT points at quarter time! Whilst he unfortunately didn’t finish on 212 points, he did try his best, racking up 32 touches and 11 tackles as the Crows best player.
- Ben Rutten loved his mismatch on Ebert in defence and proceeded to play loose man pretty effectively. This is one score you can not EVER be tempted by – he has never and will never be a dream teamer!
- Nathan Van Berlo went about his business pretty quietly and was one of a few Crows which actually looked like keeping them in the match later on. He has never been a player worth considering for dream team, although a few more scores like this may make us change our minds.
- Ivan Maric was poor (again) in the ruck as Adelaide preferred to use Tippett instead, with McKernan stationed forward. This may be the last game we see Maric for a little while – I’d say Neil Craig will either resort to using just Tippett and McKernan or perhaps bring in the more versatile Brad Moran, who has been emergency three times already this year.
Melbourne vs Gold Coast:
- Jack Trengove was the classy player gifted a large score by Gold Coast this week – he did as he pleased through the middle and used it as an opportunity to showcase his beautiful foot skills. Pulled in 29 disposals and 2.3 for the day.
- Colin Sylvia junked it up big time in this game, finally passing the ton for the first time this year. Despite being on just 3 DT points at quarter time, his 59 point binge in the last quarter helped him to be the highest scoring player on the ground.
- Brent Moloney bounced back from his ‘urination’ incident to win 32 sorta-hard fought disposals against the young Suns midfield. This is his second massive game in a row, suggesting he could still be a good option at his reasonably low price.
- Cale Morton (our mate) looked a lot better this week than he did in his brief stick last week. He got himself 17 touches and three goals, mainly playing on the wing and around half-forward. He will leak a bit of cash up front, but could be an option to consider for the back half of the year.
- Michael Rischitelli was again the pick of the Suns and the only one to pass the ton in dream team. He has been pretty consistent so far this year, but I would think he is still too risky an option to be considering for his price.
- David Swallow had his first real good game for the Suns, picking up 19 disposals and two goals. He has gotten a bit better each week so far, so those who have him have hopefully made a good investment in him as he should be able to pull in some pretty good scores for the rest of the year.
- Josh Toy is already a bit of a favourite of mine – he has a bit of mongrel and certainly isn’t afraid to take the game on. He won a reasonable amount of ball in the backline and seems like he is one of the more senior members back there. Will hopefully be a consistent in the team this year and should be another good cash cow.
- Dion Prestia was pretty poor after his great game last week. He was tried as a tagger, but failed pretty badly, plus seemed unable to win any ball for himself in the meantime. As only a third gamer, this surely isn’t a huge issue… unless if you played him over Darling!
Fremantle vs North Melbourne:
- Nat Fyfe… oh what a star this kid will be… or already is! I can’t help but feel a little jealous for all the people who do have him in their sides this year… he feels a bit like the one who got away after his brilliant opening to the season. Again he absolutely killed it in the midfield and up forward, seemingly without an opponent for long stretches of the game. Finished with 32 touches and two goals for the game.
- Matthew Pavlich had a ripper of a game through the midfield, but especially turned it on in the second half when the game was on the line. He racked up 34 disposals and seemed totally unstoppable at times, seemingly having the ball on a string. I have always been a bit reserved about Pav in this role, but this performance certainly went a way to convincing me I was wrong.
- Hayden Ballantyne was incredibly exciting for the Dockers, albeit he does need to work on his goal kicking, with a final score of 4.5. He is a real livewire on the wings and across half-forward and has a real knack for losing his opponent. Whilst these scores shouldn’t be expected, it is great to see his is capable of them.
- Paul Duffield was disappointing again, playing purely defensive roles in the backline. With a number of injuries to the Dockers defence, he looks likely to be holding key posts for a little while. Hopefully we can see him turn a corner later in the year when the likes of Roger Hayden and Mzungu return.
- Andrew Swallow, as usual, was one of only a few Roos who could hold their heads up high after this loss. He fought hard under the packs all day and won himself 31 disposals.
- Daniel Wells continues to show some very good signs that he is/will be a great player. He has a fair amount more confidence in his game than he used to and looks comfortable playing through the midfield. Still not consistent enough for DT, but it is good to see him trying.
- Drew Petrie started really well, but ended up scoring more than half his DT points in just the first quarter of the game. Only managed the one goal from 9 disposals, which was poor.
- Lachie Hanson was really poor again, only kicking the one goal as the main focus up forward. I wonder if that means Brent Harvey will be asking for him to be dropped for next week then…
RICHMOND V COLLINGWOOD
New: Brad Miller (Melbourne)
- Wow… a couple of surprising outs here! At least Connors was forced out, but Morton is a bit of a worry to see getting dropped, especially considering he spend quite a bit of time in the VFL last year too.
- Brad Miller in is interesting, but has no DT relevance.
In: Cameron Wood
Out: Darren Jolly (Knee)
- Jolly exclusion is no surprise, and his replacement is just as predictable. Wouldnt be surprised if Wood was subbed off at 3/4 time for a runner, allowing Brown to ruck out the game.
- Good to see Dick on the emergency list rather than the injury list!
HAWTHORN V WEST COAST EAGLES
- Osbourne shouldn’t be out long, but Stratton will miss the year.
- Rioli and Mitchell in – can’t complain about either of those inclusions!
West Coast Eagles
In: Bradd Dalziell
Out: Patrick McGinnity
- Triple D comes in for McGinnity – once upon a time this would be relevant, but not anymore.
- Darling and Gaff on the interchange bench again, but I’d say both should be safe from the sub shirt this week.
CARLTON V ESSENDON
- I TOLD YOU SO!! I said all pre-season that Thornton wouldn’t last, despite his form, so I am glad this justifies me (as I was starting to worry). Watson also out is disappointing – I thought he was good against the Pies – he will get more games this year though, so if you have him, hold onto him.
In: Brent Prismall
Out: Alwyn Davey
- Prismall is back, which is nice to See.
- Still no David Hille, who is sitting on the emergency list. You’d think he was still at least a chance to play!
SYDNEY SWANS V GEELONG CATS
- No change for the Swans so nothing to talk about! Except Everitt on the bench – how many people are looking at that and freaking out!? ;-)
- Interesting to see Hawkins out, but shame it was a forced out. Lonergan, Mackie and Wojo are three pretty boring inclusions for DT.
- Duncan out is a shame after he was nominated for the Rising Star. That tight victory over Port obviously took it out of him.
PORT ADELAIDE V ADELAIDE
- Some huge news here! Kornes (for those new DTers around up, Kane was the Dane Swan of DT before Dane Swan) is out for the first time since 2003!! Ridiculous…
- Pearce is another big out – not as surprising as Cornes though.
- Irons will also hurt a few teams.
- Salopek is the only inclusion of any excitement (especially for Kristian).
New: Luke Thompson (Geelong Falcons)
- Two defenders out for the Crows, but fortunately neither are DT relevant
- Thompson will make his debut – he is a tall defender elevated from the rookie list at the end of last year. He is promising, but won’t add much to your DT.
GOLD COAST SUNS V MELBOURNE
Gold Coast Suns
- Amazingly, and unsurprisingly, Krakouer has been dropped! Brown is suspended and Bennell is also gone.
- Nothing particularly exciting coming in, except for Toy, but some coaches will be worried seeing Prestia, Magin and McKenzie on the bench. Surely Prestia will be safe though after his big week last week.
- The rumours are abound that Watts will be dropped this week and rightly so – he needs to go back to the VFL and dominate before getting another chance at AFL level, in my opinion!
- Petterd back is justified. Strauss was interesting in the pre-season, but he is too inconsistent for my liking.
FREMANTLE V NORTH MELBOURNE
- Ibbo into the team is very good news and I think he will be the only change. I am a bit worried Lower may make way, but Walters and Roberton will probably also be in the gun.
- Really happy to see Pederson given another shot – his first game was fantastic! Warren shouldn’t play and Pratt probably will. I reckon there will be only one change though – and it could be Atley or Edwards out for Pratt.
With Swan a little bit down last week (not that you wouldn’t take his score) there was a bit of an opportunity to get a sneaky few points on those who lock him in. How did everyone go? After my Round 2 Goddard over Swan debacle, like a gambling addict desperate to make up his losses by better more money more often I decided to avoid Swan in DT (had him in SC) and went with Boyd. Nine point win for me! Now I’m only -81 points when I go against Swan.
There’s a few common names missing this week with the Bulldogs and Saints both having a bye…essentially that just dilutes the pool of guys you could feasibly run against Swan. Except Goddard. Him having a bye does not dilute the captain pool one bit.
Also, I didn’t mean to completely ignore the Carlton vs. Essendon blockbuster. I had a look at Murphy, Gibbs, Judd, Stanton and Watson, but no numbers really jumped out at me. Judd and Murphy’s SC numbers stacked up OK at best, but there wasn’t a whole heap to jump up and down about, in my opinion.
Before I get into the best options this week, I just thought I’d point out a few warning signs I noticed while researching the article.
- Buddy has a career high score of 80 in DT and 82 in SC against West Coast – they tend to keep him quiet, even when Glass was out.
- Gibbs has a really poor head to head record against Essendon in DT, apart from one good game. His last three against them in SC have been pretty good though, but it’s still a bit of a worry.
- Sandilands seems to struggle against North Melbourne, plus he is still under an injury cloud with his eye – some rumours from out west are suggesting he could miss this week. The Roos are the only side he’s never scored a ton against in both DT/SC (also never had a DT ton against Adelaide and Melbourne).
- Watson, O’Keefe and Scott Thompson are a couple of unique types that have had good starts to the year, but don’t have good records against their respective opponents.
Lord Dane shapes as the best captain option this week. His numbers compared to everyone else make it a bit of a no contest. I can’t see anyone from Richmond being able to restrict his ball winning – at best someone like Jackson could make him scrub a couple of kicks, but I can see a truly dominant display. Those without Swan can read on, those with Swan might as well just lock him in.
Last three rounds: 138.3 DT, 142 SC
Last three vs. Richmond: 115.7 DT, 136 SC (including a 190 last year)
Last three at MCG: 111.7 DT, 116.7 SC
I’m guessing a lot without Swan will have Pendlebury and while historically he hasn’t dominated Richmond, his recent form and love for the MCG is a good combo. Pendles was held pretty well by last week, but his early season form has been fantastic. He’s at the right age to move into the competition’s elite and is therefore always a strong non-Swan captain option. Like Swan, it’s hard to see him not running rampant against Richmond. It will be interesting to see who goes to him this week. I’m sure some sides consider Pendles more damaging than Swan, but he still works well when receiving close attention. I asked Kristian what he thinks Richmond will do, but he said they normally tag Didak (he thinks White will get that job) and go head to head in the midfield.
Last three rounds: 119 DT, 125.3 SC
Last three vs. Richmond: 98.7 DT, 95.7 SC
Last three at MCG: 110 DT, 106 SC
Some of us like to get a bit more technical than others. Those of us more statistically minded will probably know that York Park (Launceston) is a very high scoring ground (a few years ago it was the highest scoring ground, so I think that still stands until teams start racking it up at the new Gold Coast Stadium. The Hawks are pretty major beneficiaries of this (except not necessarily Buddy, see above) and Hodge is one of the leaders in that regard. His record against West Coast is only solid in DT, but good in SC, but his scoring down in the Apple Isle is amazing. He’s not overly common, but those with him would have to at least consider putting the VC on him. He was pretty scratchy in his first game this year against Melbourne, but I thought he looked a lot better against Richmond last week.
Last TWO rounds (only played two this year): 83 DT, 114 SC
Last three vs. West Coast: 90.7 DT, 118 SC
Last three at York Park: 126 DT, 137.7 SC
I think I mentioned it last week, but I’m loving having Cox as a captain option again. I must admit, I quickly forgot what it was like to even consider the big fella, but his early season form brings me back to 2008. He’s got a particularly good history against Hawthorn, largely because it’s been a while since they’ve had much of a ruck division. Nothing has changed there, so you can expect him to run around and get kicks at will. He’s also performed well in his handful of games in Launceston.
Last three rounds: 129 DT, 138.3 SC
Last three vs. Hawthorn: 114 DT, 124.3 SC
Last three at York Park: 116.3 DT, 138 SC
How bloody good was he last week? He pretty much picked the Swans up and dragged them over the line against West Coast. I mentioned in my article yesterday that Goodesy is typically one I like to trade in later because he’s a slow starter who comes home strong. In Round 1 I bet all of us who went there were stressing history was going to repeat, but his average performance against Melbourne seems to be an early anomaly, because his last two have been massive. I’m loving his form, but his numbers against Geelong are really inconsistent. I’m more inclined to discredit his low scores against them, because they’re generally early in the year when he hasn’t got going yet. His last four against them are 121, 117, 63 and 119 in DT with the 63 (27 SC that day!) being in Round 7 last year. That shocking game bring his numbers down vs. the Cats in both comps, but I think we’re seeing a different Goodes at the moment. His last three at the SCG are maybe a bit misleading – they were obviously all late last year when he was coming home storming!
Last three rounds: 103.7 DT, 104.7 SC
Last three vs. Geelong: 99.7 DT, 83.7 SC (remember that includes a 63 DT/27 SC)
Last three at SCG: 125.3 DT, 136.7 SC
I know last week in the comments section of my article last week Moo suggested Selwood. A couple of us said let’s just see how he bounces back before making a big call like captaincy after his huge Round 1 knock that cost me the car (he says tongue in cheek). Well, what an amazing call that would’ve been Moo! 129 DT and 134 SC was some return for the hard man – admittedly he’s always good for about 10 frees for because of high contact. He generally goes well against Sydney. His last two have actually been 107 and 111 in DT, but a 69 back in 2009 brings down that three game average I like looking at. Here’s a weird one for you though…he’s never played a game at the SCG. Ever since he joined the league the Cats have played the Swans at Homebush.
Last TWO rounds: 78 DT, 79 SC (was on 27/24 in the first quarter against Saints before copping that hit)
Last three vs. Sydney: 95.7 DT, 95 SC
Last three at SCG: Needs a map to get there.
Melbourne player vs. Gold Coast
Hmmm…I’m gonna go out of my way to talk about gun players against Gold Coast early on, but Melbourne…you’d be a brave man to go Colin Sylvia or Jack Grimes as your captain…
Wasn’t it good to see GAJ doing his thing again? It was kinda sad watching him struggle (in comparative terms) against Carlton in Round 2, but a bit of that magic was back against the Bulldogs last week. He was running hard and linking up for those little one-two’s he’s so good at. This brings him into legitimate captain discussion, not just the fact I was paying him due respect by mentioning him the past couple of weeks. Nathan Jones has gone to him the last couple of times he’s played against Melbourne, so I reckon that’s how it’ll go again. I know not many have him, but I’ll be making him captain in my girlfriend’s SC team that she has very little say or care in.
Last TWO rounds: 105.5 DT, 116 SC
Last three vs. Melbourne: 111.7 DT, 117.7 SC
Last three at Gabba: 93.3 DT, 97.3 SC
Submit MY Team – Boats N Hoes
OK…heading into Round 4. Is it late enough for this one to slip under the radar? I’m a bit lucky to have the last crack at the rotating article, because I haven’t been that keen to dissect my 2011 effort.
This is my DT, by the way. If my SC team was going better I’d have a look at that for this article…but I’ve struck out badly in both comps so far.
Brendon Goddard, Bryce Gibbs, Brett Deledio, Paul Duffield, Andy Otten, Danny Stanley, Nick Lower, (Nick Duigan, Ryan Lester, Josh Toy)
I don’t think it was too uncommon to go after four premium backs this year and my first three are the three most common. Goddard and Gibbs picked themselves as far as I was concerned and I gave serious thought to my last two. In the end I went for Deledio and Duffield, not just because I like alliteration, but because of their durability and scoring potential. Well…the good news is they haven’t missed a game yet. Deledio has been a bit up and down so far, but I’m not too concerned yet, because I’ll back him in to end the year as one of the top seven scoring backs. Duffield, on the other hand, is a major concern. He’s currently the 51st ranked defender in total points scored, having being eclipsed by notorious fantasy spuds such as Daniel Merrett, Nick Smith and Stefan Martin.
I found the cheap end backs pretty abundant this year, so I went for a pretty large price gap between my fourth back to my fifth. I toyed with the idea of a mid pricer, but that was either going to be Easton Wood (who suffered a long term injury in Round 1) or Andrejs Everitt, who I probably would’ve traded after two mediocre scores (sorry Kristian!) As it turns out Jed Adcock is the clubhouse leader and while he was in my team for a short while wasn’t in serious contention for me because I was worried about him playing a deep role (which he did in Round 1).
I’m leaking a lot of points by going so cheap with my fifth back. I was expecting Otten and Lower to have been performing better to this stage. Lower jumped out of the blocks in Round 1, so I thought I was on track, but I’m still backing him in to get around a 75-80 average. Bear in mind his 61 last week included five frees against, which hurt his score. Ryan Lester is a bit of an interesting one and I just thought his ability to swing back and forward, along with Brisbane being kinda crap meant he’d be a good chance to get a solid run of games.
Dane Swan, Matthew Boyd, Joel Selwood, Bernie Vince, Andrew Krakouer, Daniel Harris (David Swallow, Tom Liberatore, Michael Hibberd)
Swan and Boyd, nothing to see there. I got desperately unlucky with Selwood, who I’ve incidentally had in my team every year – I just love him. As I was watching that Round 1 game against St.Kilda I was rubbing my hands together with glee as he racked up 27 early points before a collision with Farren Ray made me give up on DT 2011 only 20 minutes into the second game of the season.
My justification for picking Selwood is that while I was predicting Geelong to slide down the ladder a bit, I thought without Ablett that Selwood will relish in the mantle of being their gun on baller. I’m not worried about him getting tagged, because his inside game makes him hard to effectively tag and he’ll maintain a high tackle count, a lot like Lenny Hayes, but about a decade younger.
I’ve got a habit of taking someone completely unique every year in Dream Team and I suppose Bernie Vince was that guy this year, being that he is in less than 2% of teams. He had a tough run last year with injury and missed six games on his way to an 85 average, which was 15 points down on his 2009. I really rate Vince and am backing him in to improve on his 100 average in 09. Any time you can get a 100+ average priced at 85 I think you’d be crazy not to take it – the contentious issue is whether or not I’m barking up the right tree with him. He’s got a huge ceiling and I think he’s capable of 105-110.
I wanted a DP link back and forward, so Krakouer is nominally the guy I have in my midfield and even though he wasn’t named in Round 1 I thought I’d be patient with Hibberd. I’ll be breaking my back link this week because I’m happy enough with my other mid rookies and I can’t go another week without having Ed Curnow. I know he’s already had one price rise and I’ll concede that I made a mistake by not doing that trade last week, but it’s no reason to not do it with an extra week of watching Curnow (I thought Collingwood would really show him up).
I gave a bit of thought to saving a bit of money on Swallow having a cheaper rookie instead. Pre lockout I was only really keen on getting Bewick and Savage in. I let Bewick go because I already had Boyd and Libba, so with a mind to the Round 4 group bye I didn’t want to leave myself vulnerable and unfortunately I let a Hawk fan talk me out of Savage citing a lack of job security. Sigh. I’m not unhappy with Swallow, by any means, but damn Savage would’ve been a good get…
Aaron Sandilands, Dean Cox, (Zach Smith, Joel Tippett)
I kept it pretty simple with my starting pair. I viewed them as 15-20 points per game better than the next best ruckman. Smith was obviously popular, but without having much of a pre-season, nor seeing him compete against AFL teams I wanted a bit of security by creating a DP link with J.Tip and Drew Petrie. If I had have known Smith was going to look this solid from his first game I’d not have worried about the link, but I didn’t feel safe not having back up for my back up, especially considering 211 and Cox had byes pretty early in the year.
Lance Franklin, Adam Goodes, Steve Johnson, Nick Riewoldt, Chris Knights, Gary Rohan (already traded out to Luke Tapscott), Drew Petrie, (Jack Darling, Cam Richardson, Brandon Matera)
Buddy and Roo were pretty obvious choices for me. I was mainly lured by Buddy’s scoring potential. His recent history of missing games was somewhat of a worry, but with what he is capable of averaging I can cop him missing a few games and back my bench coverage for a few spot starts.
Goodes and Stevie J were selections largely based on impressive pre-seasons. Goodes has historically being one I’ve liked to trade in because he’s a notorious slow starter, but I’ve never seen him look this good at this time of year. Stevie J is an incredibly frustrating fantasy player, but I found myself finding less negatives with him than the other players I was looking at for my fourth premium forward. I was impressed by some of his midfield work I saw in the pre-season and he’s being a good scorer for a few years now. The chance of more midfield time due to the absence of Ablett and him being a possible beneficiary of the sub rule.
Obviously I went for a mid priced forward line and this was a combination of not being too fond of too many rookies and what I thought was a bit of value. Knights had been out of my team for a while until I saw him rip Richmond apart in the last NAB Challenge match. He looked too awesome to leave out. Petrie I’ve already explained and I don’t feel it was compromising my team to pick him for his DP link, as I was very comfortable having him as a starting forward, even if he was missing two of the first three rounds.
Gary Rohan was an abject failure. He is one guy who I got sucked in by in the pre-season. I loved his role across half back and while people were keen on Yarran’s move to defence, I was more captivated by Rohan. Look, the less said about this the better. I’ve already moved him on and even though he looked good on the weekend against West Coast (as a sub) I’m chalking this one up as an error. The thing that really kills me is that I went for him as the budget option over Mitch Duncan and Nathan Fyfe. Ouch!
Anyway, fire away. I’ve consistently hovered around the 2000 mark each week so far, so it’s been a very slow start. Trading is more my strength, so I’m still hopeful I can trade myself into a better position and get some respectability back.
WHO’D YOU RATHER?: JASON GRAM VS COREY ENRIGHT
Let me guess, you spent your entire Monday cursing over your failed premium backline players? I wouldn’t stress too much though, I’m pretty sure we all endured a nightmare weekend, and if you didn’t, you sir are a genius!
I’m tipping most of the hatred comes from the backline premiums. Who would’ve thought all of Brett Deledio, Cameron Bruce, Paul Duffield, Greg Broughton, Sam Gilbert, Daniel Connors, and even Brendon Goddard would be ABSOLUTELY stinking it up in the first three rounds of the season?
The guys who are doing well are the players most us would’ve looked over in the pre-season. I’m assuming a lot of Dream Team Coaches this week will be looking to trade out their under-performing premiums before it’s too late so I’ll be looking at a few options you should consider brining into your side.
I will be forever livid at myself for not going through with my gut feel that Jason Gram would continue where he left off in 2009. His stats were down last year because he was interrupted with injury throughout the year but he still averaged a very nice 84 from his 14 games. Season 2009 was his break-out year in terms of Dream Team stats, averaging 92 from 21 games. Of course playing in a high-possession style team that was successful boosted his scores but now he’s shown he still has the game while the Saints are currently struggling.
The annoying thing about Dream Team is that if you took his pre-season form on face value, you would’ve instantly said ‘no way’. I thought during the NAB Cup he played terrible and looked a shadow of his former self, which swayed me away from picking him. Then little would you know, straight away in round one he’s playing a full time midfield role and looking great!
I got to watch his game closely against Richmond, and although it isn’t a great indicator, he was floating around the middle all by himself, in a head to head role with Bachar Houli if my memory serves me correctly. What I’m getting at is that his role has changed, even from 2009, and he’s now playing exclusively midfield, playing that outside receiver role. Lenny Hayes going down doesn’t really affect Gram all that much, but it will consolidate his spot in the midfield if it was ever in any danger.
Gram has the bye this week, which is great news. His price won’t go up any further for another round, and he’ll be defender who you can bring in whose had one of his byes out of the way.
I know I’ll be doing all I can to get him in as soon as possible because I think by the end of the year he’ll definitely be in the top 10 defenders for points scored.
How could we ever doubt the ‘general’ down back for the mighty Cats? In hindsight, he should’ve been one of the first guys picked in every team, but for some unknown reason, the majority of us over look him.
Over his last five seasons he’s averaged an elite 89, and missed just 2 games. He’s showed no signs of slowing down, and even though he’s turning 30 this year, it was only last year where he recorded his best statistical season of his career, averaging 92 Dream Team points.
Much like Jason Gram, Enright’s pre-season looked very sloppy, and I think we all thought Geelong would come back to the pack this year and Enright would naturally slow down with age.
Three rounds in and this is far from the case. Enright looks awesome, marshalling the troops in defence as well as having brief stints in the midfield.
I wouldn’t be too alarmed by his score of 62 on Sunday though, the ball barely reached his side of the ground at all, and I think he did very well to get you a score like that if you have him.
After his bye in round 5, Enright is a must-have in your defence as he will offer durability in consistency.
So who will be your first defensive upgrade? In my opinion these two are the two best targets by far at the moment, but personally I’d be leaning towards Jason Gram. I think he’s a little bit more unique, probably less consistent, but is far more capable than Enright of knocking off those big 130-140 scores.
OTHER PLAYERS TO CONSIDER………
Heath Scotland has continued on his stellar Dream Team form with an average of 88 to kick off the year. His role is very much similar to last year, basically providing rebound off half-back as well as kicking it inside 50.
Robert Murphy is a guy who I never really rated as a Dream Teamer when he made the move to half back, but this year so far he’s proved me wrong. I think with the exclusion of Jarrod Harbrow and the injuries to Easton Wood and Ryan Hargrave, Murphy shoulders a lot of responsibility in that defence. I don’t think it will be long before opposition teams sit a forward tag on him to nullify his influence.
Apart from obviously Bryce Gibbs, there really aren’t any other defenders setting the world on fire at the moment. Once you get yourself one or both of Enright and Gram, you can probably sit on trading in your defence for a while because there are some great rookies in this line who are doing just fine anyway.
I look forward to your opinions guys!