The A-Z of Upgrade Targets

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The Dream Team Analyser makes some predictions on who will drop in price. Gary Ablett looks perfect to jump on in Round 10!

Dream Team Talk chat is filled with discussion about the formation of initial Dream Team squads; which players will be the best rookies, the best gun players and the best value for money selections for 2011.  Who would have expected to be saying the name Mzungu in excitement in mid-2010?  Yet one of the most important keys to winning dreamteam is smart trading; locating those gun players who have devalued early and trading them into your team at the best time.  Buy low, sell high.  It seems simple, but who is expected to devalue and have you arranged a starting squad that will allow you to trade all of these bargain players in?  I always seem to trade too early and miss some of the truly great bargains, so this year I will attempt to plan ahead.

I have compiled an A-Z list of some of the guns I expect to drop in price; feel free to correct me if you believe I am unfairly disparaging certain players.

Ablett (GC) – The logic is simple:  When you leave the highest possession team in history to join a bottom four side, your statistics will suffer.  Ablett will continue to win the contested ball, but he will lose the huge number of uncontested possessions that Geelong like to share around.  Everybody knows he will drop in value and we will all trade him in after Round 9.  The selection of Ablett for Round 10 is as simple as selecting Swan as captain.

Barlow (Fre) – An interrupted preseason due to that terrible broken leg is likely to cause Barlow to drop in value early, but he is likely to finish the year strongly.

Cassisi (Por) – He suffered a big drop early in 2010 and may follow suit this year although there are likely to be better midfield players available around midyear.

Didak (Coll) – Tearing your pectoral muscle doesn’t help your preseason, so he will start late and slow.  A great upgrade target after Round 13, Collingwood’s final bye.

Enright (Gee) – Geelong fans hate Hawthorn, so they will truly hate that the Jordan Lewis tag showed the football world how best to neutralize Enright.  Expect most teams to play a defensive forward against Enright, meaning he will devalue early.  However when you consider Geelong’s Round 21 bye, Enright probably won’t make a good upgrade target late, even if he learns to manage a tag.

Fisher (StK) – Fisher often starts a little slowly but with Gilbert’s relocation forward, he may become the rebound king as he did in the Grand Final.  With a second bye in Round 14, Fisher may be a great upgrade target if he devalues significantly early.

Gilbert (StK) – The photographer is playing forward early, perhaps to take a few more close-ups of Reiwoldt, so he may decrease in value early.

Goodes (Syd) – There is no real reason for Goodes to devalue early, except that he often does.  A great forward upgrade if he follows his trend of starting with scores in the 80s and finishing with scores in the 100s.

Grima (NM) – An injury has derailed his preseason, but if he looks to be finding form when he returns he may be one of the top scoring defenders.

Hayes (StK) – A big game specialist, Lyon often starts Lenny’s season with reduced minutes (TOG 69% in first four rounds of 2010) and gradually increases his workload so he is hitting peak condition for the latter half of the year.  Another great upgrade target that you can rely on late in the year.

Kreuzer (Car) – This needs little explanation; knee reconstructions take time to recover from.  Hopefully Kreuzer finds his feet early as it is not uncommon for Ruckman to take a whole year to fully recover.

Lake (WB) – Another player who has suffered an interrupted preseason and will start the year late and possibly slowly.  Good value backline players are hard to find so Lake will be a popular upgrade if he devalues early.

Montagna (StK) – Despite his great durability and generally consistent scoring, Montagna did devalue midseason last year and was a great pickup for many teams in 2010.

Oakley-Nicholls (WC) – Sorry, just joking but I hope he gets a game and plays well.  High draft picks who struggle at Richmond suffer more than most.

Pavlich (Fre) – No longer the only decent player at Fremantle, Pavlich is likely to devalue with less emphasis on him.

Rischitelli (GC) – Many experts have tipped Rischitelli to receive no attention while playing alongside Ablett, but why not?  Surely coaches will aim to shut down Ablett and Rischitelli and force the kids to prove their worth.

Selwood (Gee) – Surely Selwood will cop a hard tag every game.  He is a champion and may cope with the attention, but I won’t risk selecting him, especially not when you consider Geelong’s Round 22 bye.

Tippett (Ade) – This human rollercoaster is the slowest starter in the league.  Gains momentum midseason but tends to finish well enough to be worth considering, especially with his dual-position player tag.


  • Every team has put a heavy tag on Pav for the last 5 years. So less emphasis on him potentially means he’ll maintain value and score more consistently.

  • I would add Johnno Brown in there. Coming back from injury I dontthink he will explode out of the gates like last year.

    • I agree

    • To be honest I left a few out because I wouldn’t trust them enough to trade them into my team. Would you trade Brown into your team midseason and trust him to be playing in Round 24, especially considering Brisbane’s predicted low finish?? He may be sent to the surgeon for a clean up before Round 24.

      The point I constantly read about Goodes not being a slow starter is only partially correct. His start last year wasn’t terrible but he did devalue by about $72000 by Round 10, 2010. He devalued in 2009 as well. The difference this year is that he is starting from a lower price so he is unlikely to drop as much, so may be worth picking first up. For mine, I will look to pick both Goodes and Didak up midseason.

  • would like to point out Goodes is not always a slow starter.

    last year he started with an 86, 100, 106, 90 & 93 in first five rounds.

    i will be starting with him @ $393,200 and have no worries about a slow start this season

    • good write up though. well done :)

      • Longmire’s use of him in the forward line on the weekend was a little worrying, I was hoping to see him running through the midfield. Hopefully we see him there this weekend coming.

        • thats because sydney had no forward line structure. no bradshaw, white,grundy or o’keefe. everyone in their forward line were kids. this will change when they get a few back over the next couple of weeks.

  • There are certain players you can get buy cheap. What I look for is players that go through patches of form, and might have a period of 4-5 weeks each year where they stumble and plummet in price.

    JBrown and Goodes are 2 perfect examples of guys who you will be able to pick up at some stage throughout the year at <350k. Goodes ussually plays in patches of form, as does JBrown.

    Other players like Stevie J or Didak, you will rarely get cheaper than 380k because they play a 130+pt game regularly (once every 4 weeks) and therefore their price rarely plummets. Other guys like Swan, Chappy etc you will never get <440k because they simply never play a bad game.

    • +1.
      I guess this is where hopefully, the asistant coach will come in handy.

      • how much does the assistant coach thing actually cost? i didn’t look very hard but there wasn’t much of a mention of pricing.

        good post also, i think any team without swan or chappy is dreaming!

    • montagna another he had a couple of 60-70 games last year his price goes up and down like a yoyo

  • aarrrgggghhh damn u dt, need some serious opinions here ppl!

    My major drama is Enright vs. Broughton

    I dont like broughton away from subi but at the same time jordan bloody lewis has got me worried about enright. Dont know whether to stick with the proven champion in enright or go with the emerging jet from over here in the west.

    Opinions people!!!!

    • Just curious as to why these are your 2 options?
      I would personally say neither and go someone like Grimes.

      • i’ve got the same dilemma… mainly cos i’ve already locked in grimey. enright’s inability to handle a tag is worrying, but broughton is not as consistent as enright imo.

        i’m gonna make a big call and say that this year’s DT will either be won or lost in the backlines!

        • Enright is someone who i have locked in the last two seasons during the pre-season however, this season looms as different because teams are more concious of putting a forward tag on him. I currently have both grimes and broughton as i believe they will both at least maintain their average and improve it. Enright however will probably have a number of 30-50 point games to go with his 90-110s

          • Broughton should get more midfield time this year, there has been talk over in the West about that.

        • Slick, Enright will play every week and give you 90+ pw over the season.
          I would love to have Grimes in my team but worried about his durability

    • What about duffield?

  • I want to believe that enright will b consistent so will watch next few rounds of nab closely

    Orbs already hav grimes champ and rko13 i rate duffield even worse away from subi than broughton (im from the west and watch lot of dockers games) and can see broughton becoming more consistent than duffman.

    Current back line is Goddard, Gibbs, Enright, Deledio, Grimes, Otten, Coad (Toy, Duigan, Puopolo) and am happy with the rest but just still undecided on enright.

    • That is IDENTICAL to mine except I have Heppell as a starter instead of Coad (although that might change). So I have the same dilemma as you. I think the middle 3 players are causing me the most concern, but I guess with backlines you have to cop a few bad games even from premiums. Will probably end up sticking with Enright over Broughton unless the NAB can convince me otherwise.

  • I think Kurt Tippett could be a surprising one this year. He has a lot to prove after a forgetful season, and could come out of the blocks firing. I think its a little too risky for my liking, but definitely one to look out for.

  • One of the ways in picking up a gun very cheaply is if they were to have a game where they get injured early in the game. Assuming a “Swan” was to get injured in the first ten minutes of a game and had 15 points at the time. His price will plummet not only the next week but for the next three weeks (as pricing is based on a three week cycle).
    As sson as you see someone get an exceptionally low score (to their average) add them to your watchlist.

  • I have Taylor from Geelong in my back line, does anyone rate him, even from last year, as this is my first year in DT..