Category - 2009 – Round 16
Western Bulldogs vs Essendon:
We expected this game to be possession happy, and we weren’t disappointed, as a high percentage of the game seemed to be played between the two 50-metre arcs. For a game ticketed as being a shoot-out, it was instead a battle of the defenders, with the backmen of each team being some of the best and most influential players on the ground. In my opinion, Brian Lake was the standout, closely followed by Dustin Fletcher and his clone, Michael Hurley. Whilst neither Lake nor Fletcher are very tempting for DT purposes, first year Bomber Hurley certainly is! It was his third game, meaning his price has now increased, although not a massive amount (he is now priced around $160,000) – he is showing bucket loads of potential with fantastic skills and the body of a 25-year-old. What excited me the most about him was his move to the forward line in the last quarter. If this move becomes at all permanent, he could be a great back-up option this year, or certainly for 2010. Another DT star to impress was Higgins – he is now playing even better footy than the first half of the year – I am just thanking my lucky stripes that I was not one of the many coaches who dropped him after his injury scare!
Get on: Daniel Cross - Played another very good game, and it is fair to say that he is in season-best form. He is a well priced mid and should average over 100 for the remaining rounds.
Get off: Scott Lucas - Whilst this low score is his first in a while, it was how he was used that troubled me - Knights used him as a decoy in the forward half, meaning very little ball was sent his way.
Carlton vs Sydney:
Whilst not a lot of DT points were scored across the board, it seemed that there were several players hogging them all - not the least of which was Ryan O’Keefe who has been on fire for the past couple of months. He scored the biggest score of the year with 173! I spoke to many coaches this week who were very disappointed he wasn’t their captain - personally, I think you should be just very happy to have him in your team (don’t get too greedy!)… Think of all those people who made Didak their captain… (Or who were like one person I spoke to – Didak captain, ROK vice… Bad luck!). Another player from Sydney who shined was Jesse White, making a claim to be included in our next Great Ruck Debate! He kicked four goals as Barry Hall’s replacement at full forward – he is a massive unit, so should have the ability to continue this form for the remaining rounds! For Carlton, Kade Simpson got back in touch with his pre-season form, playing as the dominant outside midfielder, and staking his claim as the fourth member of the ever-changing ‘fab-four’ Carlton midfielders.
Get on: Jesse White – He won’t set the world on fire, but he will have the ability to score well whilst placed at full-forward. He is priced under $200,000, so is an absolute bargain!
Get off: Heath Scotland - Finally made it back into the lineup, only to have little effect on the game. Needs to step it up a notch to keep his spot!
Injury: Ted Richards - Got broken ribs and a punctured lung from a marking contest late in the match. Will miss the rest of the season.
Geelong vs Melbourne:
Everyone except Melbourne were happy to see the Cats back on the winning list, after we realised what a loss will do to their dream team points! It was also three of the most popular Cats who led the way, with Chappy, Ablett and Selwood coming home with the cake. Of these three, Selwood was the most impressive as the in-and-under specialist, he was able to get his mitts on anything he wanted and played an amazing game! A word of reminder/warning about the Cats – remember that they still have some of their star players waiting on the sidelines before trading any of their fringe players into your squad – whilst players such as Hogan and Tenace are scoring well, they will unfortunately be some of the first to leave the squad when these stars return. For the Dees, I was most impressed by Ricky Petterd and Cale Morton. If you are one of the Petterd owners currently musing over which mid-priced player to offload, do not pick him. His game really stepped up against the Cats, and he looks to have been given a bigger midfield role for the remainder of the season.
Get on: Joel Selwood – After a couple of poor scores a few weeks ago, he is back in top form and at a very good price ($368,300). Assuming the Cats don’t rest him, his remaining season form should hopefully keep consistent!
Get off: Brock McLean - Brock will be a good player, and is a good player, but he has not yet learnt the art of breaking tags. Until he rectifies this, it will be a continual problem for the remaining rounds.
Collingwood vs Hawthorn:
Well… could this have been the day where we can finally announce it? Is it true? Or am I going to be laughed at next week for saying it? Buddy and Hodgey are BACK! More so Hodge than Buddy, however – Hodge played his second game in a row where he has come very close to, or has been the best on ground. He was pivotal in the win over Collingwood with his move back to the midfield. How loudly do I have to yell!? GET ON HODGE! As for Buddy, many people are now jumping on him (personally I am not!), but I am still very scared of getting burnt by the big guy – right now he can smell finals… but if Hawthorn miss out, I sense that we may be seeing a bit more of buddy circa rounds 1 – 14. For Collingwood, it was Mr.Reliable, Dane Swan, who once again packed on the points, however he was unfortunately not accompanied by Alan Didak – his ball-winning buddy of the past few weeks. The concern of this is that Didak was tagged a lot tighter than in previous weeks – we can only hope that no other AFL coaches watched this game to get any hints!
Get off: Paul Medhurst – Poorly out of form, which is a shame as we know how good he can get. Last thing you want going into finals is a forward who isn’t kicking any goals.
Fremantle vs Brisbane:
This was a terrible, terrible game for us dream team coaches - it was riddled with plenty of low scores, as well as several injuries. Best on ground was once again Daniel Rich - his kicking into the forward line is simply amazing - the only problem with Rich is that he is more of a SuperCoach player, rather than a DT player. This means that he can have just 20 possessions, yet still gain BOG honours. In the Ruck, Mitch Clark thanked all those coaches who picked him up with a dominant display over third gamer, Zac Clarke. May they continue Mitch… May they continue! Still on the topic of Brisbane, Jack Redden played his second game, and it was a beauty – Voss has been talking him up, and I can certainly understand why. Whilst he is no Daniel Rich, he looks capable of getting plenty of the pill and will hopefully play out the season! For Freo, it was once again Paul Duffield who was their best, playing his regular sweeping role. Many coaches were also disappointed by the pathetic score of 64 from Broughton – come on mate, we expect at least 120 from you! Terrible…
Get on: Bradd Dalziell – back into the Lions side to make his ritualistic end of season run in the seniors. He is a good footballer, but a fantastic dreamteamer! He is well priced and could be a fantastic point of difference come finals!
Get off: Tom Collier – I got all excited when I heard he would be playing Adcock’s role, but as it seems, this did not eventuate with any real effect.
Injury: Brennan (ankle) and Bradshaw (Hammy) each were injured and are going for scans on Monday to determine the damage. Realistically, we wouldn’t expect to see them for a few weeks. Andrew Foster from Fremantle also injured his ankle and will be facing a similar prognosis.
Port Adelaide vs West Coast:
Once again, this was a game where the best on ground honours went to a first year player - Jason Davenport. I’m sure there are plenty of coaches who (like myself) have watched him over the past few weeks and been drastically disappointed that he has not been playing since round one! He is another class player whom Geelong have let go. Unlike last week, Port had many more players in great form – Rodan was dangerous whenever near the ball, Salopek was great through the centre and Cassissi once again led from the front! Now we just need to hope this form continues! For West Coast, Chris Masten had one of his better games for the club, affirming their early draft pick for him was well spent. I also quite like Patrick McGinnity, who played his second game. I was a big fan of him leading into the year, but unfortunately was injured before round one, meaning we have waited a while for his debut. Looks to be another good $86K mid option if you are in need.
Get on: Domenic Cassissi – Plays his heart out for the team, despite the scoreboard. He is a good player for the money and with Port’s easy run home could get some hefty scores.
Get off: Danyle Pearce – his inability to break tags, even when his side is winning, makes him a bad target. Opponents will see this and target him each week.
Richmond vs North Melbourne:
In our first draw for the season, we saw two young teams and two young coaches battling it out… for nothing much more than bragging rights. The best on ground medal was given to Brent Harvey, who is doing a fantastic job at confusing Dream Teamers as to whether he is in or out of form. For this reason alone, I recommend staying clear. On the other side, Chris Newman was the best for Richmond, with his ‘bomb it long’ philosophy working well - he is another great pickup in the backline, often forgotten about due to the fact he is playing for a team not competing for the finals. It was disappointing to see Deledio didn’t step up a gear in his 100th game – especially after he criticised his form during the week, inferring that he was going to push himself over the remainder of the season. Lets just hope that is still in his plans… And once again, a ruckman stepped up to prove a point – this time it was Hamish McIntosh, who had a great game rucking against a bunch of first year players (always helps!). One young Richmond player to keep an eye on is Jaydn Post – whilst he may not be necessary this year, he looks and plays like a Richo clone – great mark, can’t kick. Hopefully he builds up a bit before next year and he could become one of the good 2010 smokies!
Get on: Chris Newman - this time of year, it is more about bringing in consistent players, rather than those whose form fluctuates rapidly. That’s why Newman is a great choice – always tries his guts out, and you can often be guaranteed a minimum 75.
Get off: Angus Graham - I have been impressed by him in some games this year, but in others he looks a long way off. Probably not the ruckman you are after to solve all your problems.
St.Kilda vs Adelaide:
This is quite possibly one of the best dream team games of all time - assuming you have plenty of Saints in your team! Exactly half of the Saints scored over 100 points - a feat which we haven’t seen before this year. Whilst the Saints thrashed Adelaide in the first half, they spent the second half playing kick to kick around the backline as Adelaide flooded into their forward line. This meant we saw some huge defender scores from players such as Baker (142), Fisher (124), Gram (134), Goddard (121), Blake (104), Gilbert (100) and even Zac Dawson (70). Whilst this is fantastic as a one-off, don’t expect it to happen all the time – Adelaide simply went into percentage-preservation mode, which caused all the kick to kick. More notable for the Saints was the form of midfielder Farren Ray, who took the best afield honours – he really stepped up and played a pivotal role along side Lenny Hayes and Gram. Whilst Ray’s season has been somewhat inconsistent, it may be worth looking at his form over the next fortnight, as more time in the midfield (and some new found form) may see his numbers remain high. For the Crows, Bock was the highest scorer, whilst not necessarily being their best. In fact, I thought the shining light for the Crows was first-gamer Brodie Martin – he played with such excitement and enthusiasm, I was reminded a bit of Mitch Robinson’s debut earlier in the year. Martin has been in the system a couple of years, so he is strong bodied and seems willing to take the game on. Of all the debutants and second gamers who played this week, he is by far my pick of the bunch. If you need a midfield rookie – definitely bring him in!
Get on: Nick Riewoldt – Now is the time of year that you bring stars into your sides – players you have been saving for all year. Nick is in stellar form and now ranked 3rd overall in dream team – a feat rarely seen from a forward.
Get off: Brett Burton - I’m probably being a bit harsh on the birdman in his first game back, but he showed no signs that he will back to his old self straight away. May be a good cheap option come 2010.
Injury: Justin Koschitzke – Split the webbing on his left hand, which may see him miss 1 – 2 weeks. David Mackay – Hamstring, should miss 2 – 3.
Team: Hank Scorpio EDT
Round 16 Score: 2,222
Overall Ranking: 4,037
Trades Remaining: 1
Remaining Salary Cap: $125,500
Team Changes This Week:
In: Kurt Tippett, Ryan Hargrave
Out: Jed Adcock, Dean Cox
Team: Fiora’s Hardnuts
Round 16 Score: 2,297
Overall Ranking: 136
Trades Remaining: 1
Remaining Salary Cap: $12,400
Team Changes This Week:
In: Lenny Hayes, Mitch Clarke
Out: Luke Ball, Dean Cox
Team: The Redbacks
Round 16 Score: 1,950
Overall Ranking: 4,826
Trades Remaining: 2
Remaining Salary Cap: $103,400
Team Changes This Week:
In: Mitch Clarke
Out: Dean Cox
I reckon I’m almost at the end of giving players a write up for 2009 purposes. As I mentioned last week, pretty soon I’ll start casting my eye to next year. Given the season ending injury to Adcock all of a sudden there’s 40,000 teams looking for a new elite defender.
Unfortunately Adcock got injured early in the game, so he leaked $26K after only scoring five points. I can’t stress enough how important it is for players to get injured LATE in the game, if they must do so. Or at the very least, be like Hargrave’s teammate Daniel Giansiracusa and come back on to score a further 84 points before being ruled out for six weeks (THAT’S Dream Team commitment!)
Anyway, as we’re all scrambling around the $350K mark for a defender, there’s plenty of really sweet options. Enright, Gilbert, Lockyer, Cornes, Carrazzo who is looking like his old self, or even Broughton. OK, so you could have got Broughts for about $250K cheaper a few weeks ago, but he’s a legitimate option being one of the few backmen averaging over 90 and one of the few Freo players with basic motor skills.
Enough preamble, because I’m putting the microscope on the only defender in the league to have scored four consecutive tons – Ryan Hargrave. Yeah, he costs a bit more at $381K, but it’s not unreasonable to think a lot of you will have $32K up your sleeve.
His recent form is probably the best of his career and the Bulldogs are getting a lot of their rebound through him. He’s a lovely raking kick and certainly loves putting it on the shoe. His kick:handball ratio looks great from a DT perspective. In seven games this season he has had at least twice as many kicks as handballs.
On top of that, the stats are there to say that he’s getting plenty of it too. In only four games has he been kept under 20 touches this season and on all four of those occasions he collected exactly 19, so he’s got a pretty consistent output.
It’s good to see Tom Williams back for the Doggies too, because this really frees Hargrave of defensive responsibilities and highlights his role as a linkman. Lake, Williams and Morris in the same back line allow Hargrave a bit more liberty to find space.
For this week I could have just as easily written about Paul Duffield as well. I really wanted to choose a unique player for the article and Duffield and Hargrave are similarly rare this year. Both players are only in about 10,000 teams, which is ridiculously low for the third and fifth highest averaging backs (second being Bowden and his touches for Coburg aren’t helping DT much at all, so bump those two up a spot). I chose Hargrave because I’m really liking his role at the moment.
View Macca’s Maurauders’ Team
Round 15 Score: 2,049
Current Overall Ranking: 269
Trades Left: 0
Remaining Salary Cap: $13,000
Dear Maccas Maurauders,
Thank you for submitting your team.
At first glance, your team looks great with 22 players scoring for you in Round 15 & 3 non - scoring players in reserve. What’s more, you have both Gary Ablett & Matthew Pavlich to return in Round 16. However, you have gone out too hard, too early & you have already run out of trades with 7 rounds remaining.
Ideally, we should all be aiming to keep 1 trade up our sleeve for each round remaining. While this sounds great in theory, it is very easy to get caught up in the early season hype & waste valuable trades.
The temptation to trade early can be uncontrollable when we see other teams scoring 2000 plus in Rounds 1 - 10, while we battle on manfully with our scores around the 1800 mark. The key here is to stick to your long – term strategy & ignore your overall ranking. We must focus on making our own dreamteam the best it can be, rather than worrying about falling “too far back to catch the leaders”.
I’ve seen hundreds of dreamteams submitted for analysis this season & I can tell you that early season bolters don’t finish in the top 10 overall. The most successful teams stick to a long term strategy, hold their nerve by conserving valuable trades & then come home like a steam train.
In 2008, my dreamteam was ranked 26,546 after 5 rounds. I decided very early in the season that I would save my trades & focus on the eliminator (which started in Round 6). History shows that my team finished 19th overall last year, a massive turnaround from Round 5. What I found was that the longer the season went, the more I jumped up the rankings. My team kept improving, while the early bolters dropped away at a rate of knots. Teams that were scoring 2100 early in the season were scoring 1700 in Rounds 20 – 21, while I was scoring between 2100 – 2200 & gaining 400 – 500 points per week. The message here is to be patient.
Back to Maccas Maurauders. With no trades left & Dean Cox in your side, I’m afraid you have no choice but to live in hope that he returns sooner rather than later. For all the other teams with Dean Cox in your side & trades available, here are my thoughts on the most likely replacements:
- Aaron Sandilands – Fremantle – $415,200 – I’m a massive fan of Sandilands (he’s been my 2nd ruck all year), but I’m concerned about his hamstring injury. If he is 100% fit then he is your man, but Fremantle will take a no risk policy with Sandi because they are no chance of playing finals.
- Hamish McIntosh - North Melbourne $360,300 - McIntosh is averaging 95 points per game, but I’d be very wary. McIntosh damaged his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) last season & played only 14 games. The PCL is also known as the “ruckman’s curse” because it is very common amongst ruckman. With North Melbourne no chance of playing finals, any little niggling injury would see McIntosh put out to pasture in preparation for 2010.
- Josh Fraser - Collingwood – $341,400 - Stay away. He has an ongoing PCL injury concern which may see him miss 1 or 2 of the remaining home & away matches.
- Darren Jolly - Sydney – $348,800 - Jolly has averaged 92 over the past 5 weeks & he is a viable option. He carries a massive workload at the Swans which often translates into high dreamteam scores.
- Drew Petrie - North Melbourne – $343,600 - Petrie has averaged 87 points per game over the season, but I prefer others. Personally, I think he is highly over rated as an AFL player.
- Mitch Clark - Brisbane – $358,500 - The young man from East Fremantle has carried the Brisbane ruck stocks admirably in the absence of Jamie Charman & Matt Leuenberger due to injuries. Clark has always been very highly rated by the Lions, since they took him at pick 9 in the 2005 National Draft. The extra responsibility given to Clark this season resulted in a new star being born. With Clark playing a major role in Brisbane’s push for a top 4 spot & an average of 99 points per game over the last 8 weeks, Clark for me is an automatic selection.
- Kurt Tippett - Adelaide – $327,200 - Tippett has had a breakout year in 2009 & has averaged 100 points per game over the past 5 weeks. The young man from Southport in Queensland is very much on the Gold Coast radar & I suspect he’ll also be on the radar of thousands of dreamteams this week! A word of caution though, he can be inconsistent.