Richmond Tigers: Dream Team Preview

This is the next of our submitted Club Dream Team Previews. Thanks to fightingfury for sending this one in! You will receive a stubby holder and if your article is one of the two that gets the most Facebook “Likes’ (just above this blurb), you’ll get yourself an AFL Prospectus! Read on!

Coach: Damien Hardwick

2010: 6 Wins, 16 Losses, 15th Place

2011 Byes: Rounds 11 & 19

List Changes

In: Shaun Grigg, Reece Conca, Jake Batchelor, Brad Helbig, Dean MacDonald, Tom Derickx, Bachar Houli, Ben Jakobi (Rookie), Brad Miller (Rookie)

Out: Andrew Collins, Ben Cousins, Alroy Gilligan (Rookie), Jordan McMahon, Graham Polak (Rookie), Dean Polo, Relton Roberts (Rookie), Troy Simmonds, Richard Tambling, Adam Thomson

Injuries

So far there have been few injuries to complain about at Tigerland. The only injuries of note are those which occurred in 2010, including the hamstring injury to Daniel Jackson, the shoulder worries of Ben Griffths and the ongoing recovery of Nathan Foley. There are a few player training in the rehab group but without further injury all players should be available for Round 1.

Review

2010 was a year of new beginnings for the Tigers. A new coach in Damien Hardwick arrived at Punt Road and with him he brought new assistants, a new gameplan and a whopping 14 new players. It was expected that the season would be a year of learning for the Tigers, but no one could predict just how dramatic that learning curve would be.

After nine rounds Richmond’s record read 0-9 as they easily sat in last place with a percentage of just over 50. The team was struggling in all aspects of the game and were fighting off comparisons to the former 90’s ‘death row’ team Fitzroy. Some Betting agencies had already paid out punters who backed Richmond in for the spoon. It took a downpour at AAMI Park and a lot of courage from the Richmond players to record their first win of the 2010 season and Hardwick’s first ever win as coach.

Since that win, Richmond managed to win 5 more games for the season including a streak of 4 games in a row. They even managed to scrape themselves off the bottom of the ladder thanks largely to a Coleman medal performance from Jumping Jack. There was no doubt the young Richmond list had improved throughout 2010 under rookie coach Damien Hardwick, but what does that mean for 2011?

2011 will be another learning curve for the Tigers but you wouldn’t expect it to be quite as steep as that in 2010. With another large influx of players there will be many who will be learning their roles within the team structure and the Hardwick gameplan. It would be expected that we will see natural improvement coming from the developing young players and this should result in a few more wins. While finals aren’t out of the question for any team, expect to see Richmond in the bottom 4 or 5 teams again in 2011.

2011 sees Richmond with a fairly neutral draw for Dream Team coaches. Their bye in Round 11 will provide benefits for those shooting for the car while their Round 19 bye coincides with a week off in Dream Team matches for those aiming for a league win.

Dream Team wise Richmond have always had their share of players who shined in fantasy land. Joel Bowden is one who comes to mind as one of the first ever defenders to rack up huge Dream Team Scores. 2010 saw the emergence of Riewoldt as a crucial forward line cog in many AFL Fantasy Teams across the globe while players like Deledio, Tuck and Newman continued their usual output of large scores.

While Hardwick’s simple gameplan of ‘kick it long to Jack’ meant fewer Dream Team points for Tiger players last year, in 2011 there will still be several players to again keep an eye out for. Having them in your team could make or break your season.

Stars

Brett Deledio (Back/Mid) (2010 DT Avg: 89)

Make no mistake, Deledio should be one of the first players picked in your fantasy team this year. After spending much of 2010 as a half back flanker, Brett is now listed as Defender as well as a midfielder. Deledio has always been a consistent scorer and as such can be relied on to score at least 80 points for your team every week, which is particularly pleasing if he is selected as a defender.

Deledio’s new dual status will also come in incredibly handy this year, allowing you to switch him into either the backline or midfield depending on Byes and/or injuries. Perhaps best of all, Lids is an incredibly durable player, having missed only 4 games since 2006 meaning once you lock him into your side you can be rest assured he will be playing close to every game of the year.

Shane Tuck (Mid) (2010 DT Avg: 96)

He may have been out of favour early last year but Shane Tuck proved once again just how big of a stat machine he is. Shane doesn’t have the prettiest disposal by foot but he gets the job done in Fantasy terms, amassing an average of 25.5 disposals across his 20 games in 2010. The best thing about having Tuck in your side is that he isn’t the most popular player amongst Fantasy Coaches despite his huge scores. This means that you may very well get the jump on your opposition with a different midfielder to most.

Jack Riewoldt (Fwd) (2010 DT Avg: 84)

2010 was a breakout year in every sense of the word for Jumping Jack. He managed to play all 22 games for his club, win All Australian selection and win the Coleman Medal as the league’s leading goal-kicker, all career firsts. As you would expect, Jack’s breakout season came a huge increase in Dreamteam scores. The great thing about Riewoldt was the ability to post huge scores when on song, as evidenced by his huge 10 goal performance against the Eagles. These huge scores can be invaluable for your team and can be the difference between winning and losing a match.

Just one word of caution: before coaches select Jack make sure you understand the risks involved. 2010 was a breakout year for Jack and as such clubs will be much more wary of him in 2011. This coupled with Richmond’s attempts to find other avenues in goal could actually result in lower scores for Riewoldt. This may be countered however by Jack shedding a few kilos in an attempt to move further up the ground. (http://tinyurl.com/4mdoy2e) Either way, picking Jack could just be the wildcard you need to win your league or even the car.

Bargains

Nathan Foley (Mid) (2010 DT Avg: 71)

Foley could very well be one of the most selected players in Fantasy teams in 2011. Foley’s price should be incredibly low thanks to injuries that saw him miss 26 games through the last 2 years, including only 4 games in 2010. The coaches that can remember will recall a Foley that burst onto the scene in 2007 and 2008 which culminated in a Tribute State of Origin game and consistently large Dream Team scores. Even last year Foley managed to post large scores despite recovering from an injury, before he succumbed to yet another injury. That is the big risk with Foley, if he can stay fit then he could provide a very valuable cash cow or perhaps even remain a keeper in your midfield, if he falls to injury yet again then you may have to use up a trade to get him out.

Smokies

Mitch Morton (Fwd/Mid) (2010 DT Avg: 76)

It may be news to some, but Mitch Morton may very well be a linchpin in your Fantasy Team in 2011. After a troublesome start to 2010 Morton was asked by his coaches to go back to the VFL and work on becoming a midfielder. Mitch did just that and finished off his year with a bang in the Richmond side. In the last 6 games of the season Mitch averaged a whopping 24 disposals a game as a midfielder/forward. The only thing yet to be seen is wether Mitch can continue this short run of form for an entire season. While Morton won’t score enough points to really consider as a midfielder, there is no doubt he should seriously be considered for a permanent forward position in your team.

Bachar Houli (Mid) (2010 DT Avg: 77)

Bachar comes to Richmond after managing only 5 games for Essendon in 2010. It’s somewhat hard to see why Houli wasn’t given more games last year as when he played he averaged a solid 20 disposals including 24 touches in Round 18. Bachar should see a marked increase in games at Richmond though as the Tigers had been wooing Houli for some time before Trade Week and obviously feel he fits the team well. Under Hardwick, Houli could very well have a breakout season and at the very least offer a decent cash cow.

Avoid

Ben Nason (Fwd) (2010 DT Avg: 55)

Don’t get me wrong, Nason had a very good year in 2010 and has all the makings of a handy player, but Dream Team wise I would stay away this year. After starting off 2010 by playing the first 15 games of the season, Nason’s form and disposals dropped off as the season wore on. This is not uncommon for a first year player but in 2011 I’m not expecting enough improvement stats-wise to warrant what will be a higher price tag than 2010.

Rookies of note

Reece Conca (Mid) (2010 DT Avg: N/A)

One benefit of Richmond having such a young list is that many of their first year and therefore cheap players will play several games in 2011. Richmond were deeply infatuated with Reece prior to the Draft and nabbed their man a lot earlier than others had predicted. With his skills and leadership qualities, Reece Conca will definitely be the first Richmond Rookie to debut in 2011 barring an injury. In fact it is quite likely that we will see the Tiger’s first round pick play the majority of games in 2011, including the Round 1 blockbuster against Carlton. Don’t expect to see huge scores from this kid, but there is no doubt he will play enough games to warrant selection in your team as an avenue to purchasing a better midfielder later in the season.

Best of the Rest

Defenders

Chris Newman (Back) (2010 DT Avg: 82)

The Richmond captain should again be a solid scorer in 2011. While it is rare for Newman to post incredibly large scores you rarely, if ever see him post incredibly low scores either. If you pick Newman it will be as a keeper and you can lock him in knowing he will score his 80 odd points every week.

Daniel Connors (Mid/Back) (2010 DT Avg: 92)

Connors is another who improved markedly in 2010, increasing his average Dream Team score from 36 in 2009 to 92 last year. While Connors isn’t quite as reliable as Deledio in terms of scoring, he has the ability to find plenty of the ball across half back and subsequently post big scores. The only question mark over Connors is his consistency in playing games as evidenced last year when he missed almost half the season due to ‘misdemeanours’. If you want an alternative option to the usual defenders the there is no doubt that Connors presents a viable option. Pick him though knowing that there is no guarantee of him playing every round despite his ‘keeper’ status.

Midfielders

Dustin Martin (Mid) (2010 DT Avg: 71)

Martin had a wonderful beginning to his AFL career, averaging 20.2 disposals and having an incredible impact in the guts for the Tigers. This year should see further development from the young gun even though he managed to turn up to training a little underdone after the Christmas break. Picking him however would pose a risk as he will now come with a much more expensive price-tag and a lot more attention given to him from the opposition.

Forwards

Shane Edwards (Fwd/Back) (2010 DT Avg: 70)

Edwards had a solid year in 2010, managing to play all 22 games for the season. Shane found himself as somewhat of a swingman, playing both up forward and down back, as well as playing the occasional role in the midfield. If he can find himself in the midfield more often this year then Edwards may provide an option for those coaches looking for a forward or backline option.

Rucks

None

If you are looking for a ruckman in 2011 then it’s probably best not to look at any Richmond players. All of the Tiger’s ruckmen are developing youngsters and as such struggle to have a large impact against their bigger bodied opponents. If you were to look at a player for Richmond then perhaps it would be best to look at a mature aged rookie in Derickx who could play at some stage an offer somewhat of a pathway to an upgrade.

Best Lineup

B: M. Farmer, K. Moore, C. Newman

HB: D. Connors, D. Astbury, B. Deledio

C: T. Cotchin, D. Martin, S. Grigg

HF: M. Morton, B. Griffths, S. Edwards

F: J. King, J. Riewoldt, B. Nason

R: A. Graham, S. Tuck, N. Foley

INT: B. Houli, D. Jackson, T. Vickery

SUB: R. Conca

EMG: L. McGuane, T. Taylor, M. White

28 Comments

  • Very nice write up

    You left out Pat Contin who can be considered a smokie (watch NAB Cup).

    Jake Batchelor will play, so he could be a downgrade target.

    I will find the article later on and post the link.

    • Yes keep an eye out for these two for sure. Contin is a rookie so wait until the promotions are announced before selecting him. He’s a rough chance to debut early on, especially if Foley is unfit. Batchelor should play the second most amount of games behind Conca of those Tigers that were drafted last year but I don’t think he will line up in Round 1.

  • Contin and Batchelor definitely worth keeping an eye on. Jakobi will be a good downgrade target later in the year, I think.

    The other thing that comes to mind is that Graham, being such a hack, will have his ruck spot seriously challenged by Derickx. He’s a mature-age recruit and known to kick a few goals.

    • With all of Richmond’s rucks being so young I am sure Derickx will get a shot at some point for sure, but Graham will get first crack and will line up in Round 1. Big Gus may not be effective DT wise but he has been improving his game from year to year.

      • Yeah, I guess as a Richmond member, my first post had more than a little wishful thinking.

        Really not a fan of Gus (I still vividly remember him getting a free kick against Melbourne last year and lining up for goal… at the wrong end of the ground) and would very much like to see Derickx take the mantle and Vickery to bulk up a little more while getting some match fitness up forward.

  • Great write up on the tigers. Definitely my fave so far. I only have delids and am tossing up between riewoldt and Morton but this definitely gives us more insight into Richmond. Pity you didn’t mention Grigg as he should play a big part this year after Richmond went after him.

    • Glad you enjoyed it. Personally I would be opting for Morts but really there is little between the two. Grigg will play most, if not all of the games this season so is a valid selection. Unlike Houli however, his pricetag is quite high for a player we know little about in terms of his role for the Tigers. He’s a risk that could provide divedends though as an altrnative midfielder to most sides.

  • Love Deledio – but I am looking at Bruce this year. Likewise I would love to fit Houli into my team but I think Anthony is better value as my 5th midfielder.

  • Thanks for the feedback everyone, hope you enjoy it. The big thing with Richmond DT wise is that Hardwick is still looking to give the young players a go. This means pretty much everyone on the list will get a shot at some point in the year meaning there will be lots of downgrade targets during the season.

  • I’m wondering whether Trent Cotchin is a possible mid to high priced midfielder who may start posting regular tons for DT as he has looked the goods in the previous 2 seasons but has been plauged by injuries. I think if deledio plays across half back again they will be feeding him the ball as often as possible to deliver to jack which could result in a high kick count.

    • Cotchin is an interesting one. He is currenty completing his first ever ‘full’ pre-season (touch wood) and seemingly looks in better shape than ever. I believe Hardwick is also wanting to free Cotchin up and use him as more of an outside player which should result in a higher kick/handball ratio. He’s an option for sure if he can increase his output but is located in that awkward price bracket.

  • Just tossing up between Daniel Connors and Brett Deledio atm

    • same here, connors good comeback from the drink makes him very tempting. given nothing held deleldio back last year, i don’t find his numbers that great and think he’s getting overrated because hes a DPP. only question mark on connors is potential for brain farts, or if his great average from last year was the result of a swift kick up the arse which has faded this year

  • I am going both, I was so stoked when I found out Conners was a defender!!

  • Great read!
    Delidio & Morton for me ATM, but I really like the way Connors goes about his footy, & could sneak his way in.
    Morton for mine is the big smokie- I think he will benefit from the new sub rule having rotations thru midfield and resting up forward.

  • My only worry about Morton is getting a regular gig and playing every game but I guess only Hardwick knows!

  • Good article..

    However it rubs salt in the wound of the fact that I had Jack Riewoldt in my dream team for about 2-3 weeks in the pre-season then dropped him a few days before round one thinking he’s a spud that’s too inaccurate and only kicks behinds…

    lol. What a fuck up.

  • Just wondering if DT Talk is hosting any DT Pro leagues this year?

  • Don’t if there is a regular spot in the midfield for morton according to your “Best Lineup”. And looking at the other players in there, just seems like we will see morton playing a steve johnson half forward role, is Mitch morton as good as stevey J? or even better? hmmm NAB Cup will decide that one most likely. Otherwise he would be an instant lock for me!!

  • Excellent write up Fighting Fury. Tucky is too high priced for my liking this year, I personally think Foley and Grigg could be excellent additions to a Dt line up, but there is probably better to be had in the price ranges. Deledio will be ine of the most picked players this year no doubt.

    Again, Excellent write up!

  • Has anyone heard about how Foley is travelling this pre-season?? Is his body looking like its gonna hang together this year?? If so he will be a great pick up

  • Great write up. Lot’s of possibles at the tiges this year, although a lot of players in that slightly too expensive bracket. I was tossing up whether Jack was good for forward line, but you are right – he’s a big risk.

  • Good read. Well laid out and comprehensive.

    Delideo, Conka are locked.

    Jumping Jack and Conner are contenders.

    Morton is to risky for me and Foley is a bit expensive for a walking mishap.

    I’ve got a mate from Carlton that won his League undefeated last year, who re’cons Grigg will be a big improver, but not for me.

  • will trent cotchin be a good pick this year? bit pricey at $307,800 but could be his break out season with a strong pre seson?

  • Backs- goddard, gibbs, connors, deledio, grimes, smith, stanley (duigan, puopolo, lower)

    Mids- swan, boyd, j selwood, Pendles, Prestia, heppell, (Atley, harris, Hibberd)

    Rucks- sandi, cox (smith, Bailey/moran/derickx)

    Forward- buddy, johnson, n reiwoltd, sylvia, knights/petrie, richardson, krakouer (Talia, Darling, Mitchie)

    25 000 left

    • Looks good, only worries I’d have is I’m unsure if Atley is going to be named Rd 1, I’d get Mckernan instead of Talia. He has been playing alot better and they’re both same $$ and DPP but both aren’t def starters Rd 1 either. I’ve changed my mind on Matera from GC- his now on my Fwd bench. I like how you have got Swan and Pendles in your mids!!