Category - 2009 – Round 15
Western Bulldogs vs Collingwood:
Close matches are typically great for Dream Team purposes, and this game was certainly no different with many players from each team scoring large. The bulldogs were particularly impressing in the DT abilities with 8 players making the magical ton - they are rapidly proving themselves as worthwhile commodities in your team! There were several players to impress in each team, and just as it has been for the past month, it was Didak who led the way with 140 points! He is playing magical football at the moment, and those who were able to scrounge the cash to get him a few weeks ago have been heavily rewarded – he has been averaging 139 points over the past five weeks, the most in the competition! Close on his heels is teammate Dane Swan – the most expensive DT player, and the only over $500,000, yet he is worth every cent, having not dropped below 100 since round 8 (with a score of 97). As already stated, this was not a one sided encounter – plenty of bulldogs proved their masses of talent. My three favourite dogs were Robert Murphy, Ryan Hargrave (who I TOLD you to pick up last week!) and Matthew Boyd. Now, whilst all three of these players are very consistent, they are strangely in very few teams. It is pivotal come finals time to stock full of talent in few other teams – trading in Ablett when against one of the other 128,000 coaches who own him will just see the scores cancel each other out. These three listed players are in their best form of the year in a winning side – what more do I need to say to convince you?
Get on: Matthew Boyd - Plays as an attacking tagger, but in the process racks up plenty of touches, tackles and clearances. Also bags himself a few goals. Has averaged 104 points the past five weeks and is under $400,000.
Get off: Leigh Brown - Played poorly and what’s worse, marked over the top of Dane Swan (costing us three points) in the forward 50 when it wasn’t kicked to him, then missed the goal (and we know Swan would’ve kicked it!). Therefore, not only did Brown play poorly, but he cost us Swan owners a further 12 points! Grrr…
Sydney vs Essendon:
The Dons did well not only winning over at AAMI stadium, but also scoring well (as far as DT points are concerned) - AAMI is typically a poor DT ground. Back into form for Essendon was Brett Stanton, which was great to see - he is a great player when playing well, but has been going through a rather dull patch the last month. He is currently great value for those interested - only $379,100. For Essendon, it was also great to see the return to form of Paddy Ryder - we were a little concerned after his poor show last week against Collingwood - but our fears were fortunately alleviated with a great performance against Darren Jolly. For the Swans, it was usual saviour, Ryan O’Keefe who led the way with Brownlow Medallist, Adam Goodes not far behind. Both are having great seasons – it is just unfortunate that the Swans aren’t as strong as they used to be as these scores could be getting even higher! I also liked the looks of Patrick Veszpremi (as I know one of my fellow Footy Tragic Panellists does!) – whilst he is not set for stardom in 2009 – keep him on your list of players to look at in 2010!
Get on: Brett Stanton - Is back to the form that can see him pull in some massive numbers. See Dan’s player of the Week article of a couple of weeks back - he said to watch for his return to form and it is now here!
Get off: Ted Richards - whilst he is playing forward, don’t touch him. I like him more playing loose man in defence!
Carlton vs Richmond:
The re-match of one of the most disappointing games of the season was fortunately a little more competitive. This time we saw the real return of Ben Cousins - whilst it wasn’t his first match back, it was the first match back where he has looked like the Ben Cousins of old. He has certainly found some form – the only query is whether he can sustain it. Speaking of back in form, Brendan Fevola was the star for Carlton, kicking nine goals – a personal best. The great thing about this is not so much the fact he kicked nine goals, but rather, how hard he worked for them with his forward line pressure. Whilst forward pressure doesn’t score you any DT points, it can be a good way to gauge the form of a player. In saying that, Fev is known for his inconsistency – he is one of the best players is the AFL that you DON’T want in your dream team. The Carlton midfield kept chugging along, with neither of Judd, Murphy of Gibbs shining (although all still played good games!). It is the improved form of Carrazzo, however, which is of interest – he is a defender priced a little over $350,000, and if previous form is anything to go by, he is a bargain! It appears that Chris Johnson has taken over his early season role, meaning that he could be in line for some big scores! Also, for Richmond, Jayden Post played his second game – whilst not being blown away by him, he played well and looks likely to hold his spot for the remaining rounds. Could be a good bench option in defence for those looking at doing a two-for-one trade.
Get on: Andrew Carrazzo – this boy has one of the highest DT ceilings going around, meaning that when he scores big, he scores BIG. He has played midfield the past two weeks and is playing it well. Get on him before his price rockets!
Get off: Jeff Garlett – Call it sour grapes, but 31 points isn’t quite enough to make up for the loss of Stevie Johnson. Kick some goals Jeffery!!
Brisbane vs Geelong:
It’s fair to say that this game had some coaches experiencing some sleepless nights - and it all started Thursday night at the selection table when Geelong named a line-up without Stevie J, Scarlett and Milburn, amongst others. We could deal with this, but then Ablett pulled out… and then Mackie! The DT world as we knew it was crumbling around us! We were then dealt the final punch on Saturday night at the Gabba – it is fair to say that Geelong don’t score nearly as well without all their stars! They tallied their second lowest possession tally since the start of their streak in 2007! This amounted to some pathetic scoring from stars such as Bartel (49), Stokes (43), Enright (71) and Selwood (84). The saving grace was Paul Chapman – ironically one of the few uninured Cats. We will hopefully see them bounce back to their winning, high possession ways next week against the Demons. But, we didn’t come here to talk about the losers, but the winners, and there were plenty at the Gabba on Saturday night! Led by Jonathon Brown and Ash McGrath, the Lions smashed the ‘undermanned’ Cats (although last time I checked, they still fielded 22 men!). Brown was dominant, pulling down mark after mark and going back with the flight of the ball. Drummond also came back into the side with aplomb – he played very well off half back, showing what magic he can weave when not being tagged. The only sour note of the game for the lions was the injury to Jed Adcock – unfortunately, he has done his ACL and will miss 12 months of footy.
Get on: Jonathon Brown - hard not to commend the big fella after such a courageous game – and when Brown is in good form, he is like a train – unstoppable!
Get off: Mark Blake - He seemed to redeem himself from last week’s poor performance for about the first 20 minutes of the game. After that, he was poor again, being beaten by Mitch Clark.
Injury: Jed Adcock - Gone for the year with an ACL injury - trade for Carrazzo!
Adelaide vs Fremantle:
As shocking as Fremantle was, Adelaide were terrific! They rebound the ball so easily (granted, it seemed more like a training drill than a game of football)! But it was not the win that the Crows will be most happy with, but rather, the form of some of their younger players – Dangerfield had his best game for the club, Tippett kicked another lazy five goals, and Otten was one of their pivotal architects off half-back. If you have any of these players and have been considering a trade, it may be time to think again, as they are each coming into some classic form! For Fremantle, I think the best players to look at are their defenders (because lets be honest, it’s down their a lot!). Key example would be the form of Greg Broughton – those who own him will agree with me – he is a star! He’s a hard-nosed small defender who loves his kick-to-kick and tackling! If you own him, my advice is to keep him on the field (and I would chose him over Grimes if you are in that dilemma!) – he has now proven his ability to score, showing that his initial high-scoring was not just the result of some fun kick-to-kick moments, but also some of the hard stuff like tackling and working hard for contested possessions.
Get on: Nathan Bock - he has far from shone this year, but he is consistent. Come finals time, you will much prefer a guaranteed 80 - 100 from Bock than taking the risk on a player like Drummond whose scoring fluctuates constantly!
Get off: Kepler Bradley - Gets the ball a bit, but always, always sells his teammates into trouble. Surely Mark Harvey won’t keep him around for much longer!
Hawthorn vs North Melbourne:
Ironically, Buddy Franklin had his best game for the year in conditions so poor for a big man, you would understand if he had a shocker! But it’s not the (sort-of) return to form of Buddy, nor the midfield role for Luke Hodge that I want to talk about… no, it’s the form of a North Melbourne third gamer – Liam Anthony. He was a star for North, and did it all – kicks, marks, tackles and even a goal. The blonde wonder carved up the midfield for the first three quarters until he succumbed to tiredness in the last. Whilst he has already jumped in price by $70,000, he is still a bargain! He may well be worth bringing in to replace any players around that $300,000 mark who are in poor form and leaking dollars (of which there are plenty!) – Not only will he average you an extra 20 – 30 points a game, but he will also make you plenty of money in the trade! Enough said on the young fella, and time to talk about Hodgey! We have been gagging for it all season – and so have Hawthorn by the looks of it – finally Clarkson moved Hodge back where he belongs – to the midfield, and allowed he and Buddy to win the game for them! Whether you’ve never had Hodge, or got fed up and traded him, now is the perfect time to bring him into your line-up! In a post-match press conference, Al Clarkson commented how happy he was to play Hodge in the midfield and inferred that this is where he would stay for the remaining rounds! This was music to the ears of many DT coaches around the world!
Get on: Luke Hodge - Whilst yet to crack the ton, his form is solid, and the weather conditions of this match must be taken into account. As stated above, this midfield move sounds permanent. He is worth the cash if it proves true!
Get off: Lachie Hansen – He scored 36 points, yet played well… Oxymoron? Not really, as the problem with Hansen is his lack of position. His role changes every week, so so does his scoring ability.
Port Adelaide vs Melbourne:
Unfortunately, Port were unable to prove themselves as a team who can win on the road, after a strong win at home only a week ago. It is unfortunate for Port, as they have some strong leaders and some quality kids, but it is a group of half dozen or so players somewhere in the middle order who seem to let them down. Despite their loss, Captain Cassisi was far and away the best player on the ground – he just needs to get his troops to stand up with him. For Melbourne, the star (whilst not necessarily being their best) was Liam Jurrah – he is amazing to watch, and will continue to be for years to come – Melbourne certainly have a real talent on their hands! Of the players to come into DT calculations on each team, I though that Salopek was again the most appetising (as I seem to say most weeks!) – he returned to his early season role off half back, and looked like he was back to some form. He is still dirt cheap, and will be a good point of difference come finals time!
Get off: Nathan Jones - why he seems to be on the outer beats me - was given a tagging role and scored accordingly. His lack of job security worries me.
Injury: Daniel Bell - injured his right shoulder and needs to be assessed.
St.Kilda vs West Coast Eagles:
For those who were already angered by the Cats low scores on Saturday, this game was not going to make you much happier, with St.Kilda, the second highest DT team, also scoring much lower than usual. Surprisingly, it was midfield general Lenny Hayes whose score hurt the most – it was his first score under 100 since round four, and lowest overall for the season. Fortunately, many coaches were saved from more low scores as Riewoldt and Fisher played kick-to-kick for ages in the last quarter… Definitely the highlight of the game for me! Despite all the low scores, Leigh Montagna was the star of the show with 43 possessions, 12 inside-50s, 9 tackles and 10 clearances, bringing home a massive 166 points! In the West Coast camp, Priddis again proved that no tagger can stop him, and Shannon Hurn continued his ball-winning ways of the past fortnight. Unfortunately for West Coast, and the 98,000 coaches who kept him in their teams, big fat Cox again went down injured in the last quarter. He has re-injured his groin, and by the sounds of it, there may be a chance we don’t see him for the rest of the year… can he be trusted to come back by finals time? Unfortunately, I worry that the answer is no.
Get on: Nick DalSanto – whilst not mentioned above, he played a great game and was the player who kept the Saints in the contest for most of the game. His price is still fair and the best news is that the Saints don’t face either Geelong or Port Adelaide for the rest of the year – his two nemesis teams (Ling and K Cornes kill him), meaning that we should be able to expect some big scores from him.
Get off: Luke Ball - What has happened to him? 45% game time against Geelong for no effect. And same against West Coast. I worry about his form, his spot in the team and whether he has really gotten over his OP…
Injury: Dean Cox - Woosha didn’t sound too confident that he would be back soon. Personally, I don’t like my chances of waiting it out…
Team: Hank Scorpio EDT
Round 15 Score: 1,804
Overall Ranking: 4,856
Trades Remaining: 3
Remaining Salary Cap: $66,300
Team Changes This Week: None
Team: Fiora’s Hardnuts
Round 15 Score: 2,064
Overall Ranking: 187
Trades Remaining: 3
Remaining Salary Cap: $79,800
Team Changes This Week: None
Team: The Redbacks
Round 15 Score: 1,900
Overall Ranking: 3,511
Trades Remaining: 3
Remaining Salary Cap: $43,800
Team Changes This Week:
In: Robert Murphy
Out: Taylor Walker
These articles are getting harder and harder to write. Most people by this stage will be running low on trades, so the ol’ double trade where you downgrade one player and upgrade another is starting to become a lot harder to do. Over the next couple of weeks the Player of the Week articles are going to start casting an eye over some possible 2010 selections, because so many different teams will be looking at doing so many different things with their last few trades, which I assume most people are hovering around.
Hopefully your squad is nearing completion, so I’m going to have a look at someone who could finish off your midfield – this is especially relevant for Rich owners. Rich has been good this season, but is starting to leak cash, has been scoring around the 70′s consistently of late and has a high break even again this week (that’s if he even comes up after suffering a heavy knock last week). $294K isn’t a lot to spend on a midfielder, but hopefully you have a bit of cash up your sleeve.
As you scroll up the list of mids worth $300K, the one that really catches my eye not too far up the list is Brad Green. He’s priced at $339,200 and is on the way up. His form since coming back from a jaw injury has been pretty good, except for Queen’s Birthday against Collingwood.
Given that he’s one of Melbourne’s best ball users they’re always trying to get it into his hands and he appears to have made a move back to the midfield after playing a bit more forward when he was on the comeback trail. The midfield is where he scores his best points obviously, so this is a positive move for the run home.
I must admit, I worry a little bit about his durability. He’s quite literally never played a full season, however he has never missed huge chunks of the season, so hopefully he’s already missed his quota for the year (he missed four with the jaw and in a positive he’s actually never missed more than four in a season).
At this stage of the year as trades are running low you want to make sure that your guy is going to stay on the park. Even though it’s something to consider with Green, I think it’s only a small risk. His role is generally a bit more outside with McLean, McDonald, Jones etc. winning a lot of inside ball. This usually keeps him pretty clear of impact injuries (OK, the jaw was just one of those things…unlucky) so if he can avoid soft tissue injuries on the way home you’ll be laughing.
View Burgerboys’ Team
Round 14 Score: 1,796
Current Overall Ranking: 6,707
Trades Left: 6
Remaining Salary Cap: $119,600
Thank you for submitting your team.
Overall, you have selected a solid squad of 30 players; however, it appears you have been decimated by injuries over the last 2 – 3 weeks like many others. For this reason I’ll be focusing on injuries & how to deal with them during this article because it doesn’t matter how good your team is, injuries can stop a train.
One of my dreamteam golden rules is to never select a player over the age of 30. While any player can potentially get injured regardless of age, statistics prove that players in the twilight of their career miss more games through injury than players in their early 20′s. The proof has been in the pudding in 2009 with plus 30 year olds such as Brent Harvey (31), Matthew Richardson (34), Nathan Brown (31), Troy Simmonds (30), Anthony Rocca (31) & Max Hudghton (32) all missing a large chunk of the season due to injury.
I’m seriously considering amending my policy to not select any player over the age of 27 in 2010, given injuries this year to Matthew Pavlich (27), Dean Cox (27), Chad Cornes (29), Brad Ottens (29) & David Hille (28). The common thread with these five players is that all five are very popular dreamteam players.
Many of us spend hundreds of hours pouring over pre - season form; reading articles about which players are burning on the track in February & determining which players we think are under priced. Unfortunately, our best laid plans can often by way laid due to injuries to key players.
However, rather than blame injuries for our poor performances, we must develop strategies to reduce their impact on our teams. In addition to my rule in relation to plus 30 year old players being out, I believe that picking your 30th player is just as important as picking your 1st player. It’s so important to have depth in your squad, particularly when one of your premiums picks up a 1 – 3 week injury.
I’m forever hearing excuses about injuries to key players “killing my team”, but what do you expect when you pick up an injury prone player such as Josh Drummond, Paul Chapman or Matthew Richardson? Don’t tell me how good your team is when Chapman scores 151 & then blame injures for your poor form when he misses the next 2 weeks with a hamstring strain. Now when I hear dreamteamers out there bleating about injuries, I ask them:
Where the depth is in your squad?
Why didn’t you pick up Hayden Ballantyne, Brad Dick, Beau Dowler or Liam Jurrah to cover your injuries to premium forwards?
Why didn’t you pick up Greg Broughton, Jack Grimes or Nathan Grima to cover your injuries to premium backs?
Why didn’t you pick up Daniel Rich or Liam Anthony to cover your injuries to premium midfielders?
Why didn’t you pick up Shane Mumford, Tyrone Vickery or Nick Naitanui to cover Dean Cox?
My point is injuries are a part of the game which AFL clubs must deal with. They are also a massive part of dreamteam, so we should be prepared when they hit our big guns.
PROPOSED ACTION THIS WEEK – No trades, save them for the finals.