Chook’s Rooks: Round 11

The AFL coaches and Aussie Pim need to get their act together. To raise our national rankings in DT, we need fresh meat to cash in our maxed-out cows. To raise our nation’s chances of progressing in the World Cup, we need some fit and firing guns in our forward half. Unfortunately, the list of one and two-game AFL rookies is as poorly stocked as the Socceroos’ strike force, piling a whole lot of pressure on a few blokes named Cahill, Kewell and, um, Gysberts.

Three-or-more gamers

It’s a sign of the times that there are now heaps more rookies in the Red Zone (higher average than their breakeven) than those with negative breakevens. As Paris Hilton will undoubtedly discover one day, the cash fountain will dry up eventually. Melbourne midfielder Tom Scully is in the most trouble, having dropped $17k this week and going into Monday’s match against Collingwood with a BE of 113. Unless you reckon he’s due for another 130, then it’s selling time. At least Scully’s made his owners some decent coin. Teammate Jack Watts has started to dredge up memories of his underwhelming rookie year by scoring 27 and 23 in the past two games. The mid-20s are a great period of your life, but they don’t cut it as a DT score. Like last year, Watts is in real danger of slipping below his starting price, which makes him about as useful as Kim Myong-Won – the North Korean striker who can only play as a goalie at the World Cup after being listed in that position on his country’s final 23-man roster. While we’re making World Cup comparisons, Fremantle midfielder Michael Barlow must be France’s Franck Ribery – a hard-working, no-frills player, but one who’s undoubtedly world class. In his return from a hamstring strain, Barlow racked up another big ton in the Dockers’ loss to Adelaide, taking his season average to 107. That puts him just outside the top 10 this season, while his average over his past three games, 127, ranks only behind Leigh Montagna and Brendon Goddard. Definitely world class.

Two gamers

As I alluded to at the top, Jordan Gysberts must be carrying the weight of the DT world on his shoulders at the moment. The drought of midfield downgrade targets recently means that the Melbourne midfielder would’ve been hot property regardless of his scoring potential, but a century on debut had coaches drooling. The test came this week when he had to share the midfield with Scully and Jack Trengove, who returned from round-10 rests. A 75 at three-quarter time had him on track for an A+, but he lost some marks (and m0nty’s flame) with a 3-point final term. Still, it’s a hard-to-please coach who wouldn’t be happy with 78 points from their 7th midfielder. He’s priced at $117,500 and isn’t a lock to play every game this season, but coach Dean Bailey has stated he wants to get more games into him and Watts, so remains your best bet. Who knows how long you’ll wait for another bandwagon as good as this one. Oh, yeah, and Geelong ruck Dawson Simpson played his second game too. Simpson might be an option for those that picked Jackson Trengove as their third ruck and are now looking to squeeze some cash out of the Port big man, but even those coaches might need some convincing, given that the Cats’ first-choice ruckman Brad Ottens is a chance to return after the split round.

One gamers

Ottens isn’t the only Cat close to rejoining the reigning champs, with late withdrawal Cameron Ling as well as Cam Mooney, Matthew Scarlett and Joel Corey all expected to return within the next couple of weeks. That suggests Taylor Hunt’s taste of the big time will be restricted to a nibble at this stage. For the record, the Geelong defender scored 53 in his first match.

World Cup fantasy

All this talk about the beautiful game has inspired me to find a fantasy game for DT Talkers to muck around with. There are plenty out there, but I’ve settled on the simple offering from Virtual Sports. No budget, just a limit of two players from any one country. Have a crack.

League code: 309981