Chook’s Rooks – Round 11

Like Motion City Soundtrack, the future freaks me out. According to segments of the science community, the first person to live to 1000 has already been born. That might be old news to some, especially Essendon supporters who realised long ago that Dustin Fletcher was on track for a four-figure birthday, but I was genuinely blown away. It got me thinking – not so much about serious stuff like how much more excited you’d be at retirement age knowing you’ve got 935 years up your sleeve as opposed to 35, or how China would not only be forced to revive its one-baby policy but ramp it up to one baby per suburb – but more on the impacts it would have on our Dream Teams.

For example, I consider myself a pretty devoted Joel Selwood DTer, having had him in my team almost every week of his AFL career, from his outstanding rookie season and in each of his, um, outstanding subsequent seasons. Now, the boy’s only been in the league a few years, so it’s no great claim to fame. But imagine if in, say, 300 years’ time, you could brag about having had him from the start? You get the feeling that Dave Swallow owners will be in that boat. An absolute jet in his first season of AFL, Gold Coast’s Swallow promises even more in the years to come and there’s little doubt that he’ll be an elite Dream Teamer sooner rather than later. He’s the kind of kid who could feature in your DT for the next 5, 50 or 500 years, if these scientists have got it right. This week, though, they’ve got a decision to make. With his byes out of the way and a tasty average of 76 points to date, Swallow presents as an excellent option for your seventh midfielder, someone to back up your big guns when they’re resting or injured. However, after producing his worst and third-worst scores of the season in the past two weeks, Swallow has stalled somewhat, dropping $5 grand this week, getting slapped with a new breakeven of 113 and looking primed for an upgrade to a fallen or on-the-rise premium. The absence of Swan for the next fortnight only intensifies the decision. So, what are you doing with the number-one draft pick? Are you going to suck him and see, or swallow a trade and put Dave in a DT grave? Let us know which route you’re taking in the comments.

Three-or-more gamers

While Swallow failed to reach the heights of his pre-bye form, two of his GC teammates had no problem cracking the tonne. Trent McKenzie, or more specifically, Trent McKenzie’s booming left boot, picked up 102 points on the wide expanses of the ground formerly known as Subi, while ruckman Zac Smith went even better – scoring a season-high 107 points, making that three centuries in his last four matches. Aaron who? The ruck’s proving a pretty lucrative role for Melbourne’s Stefan Martin, too, with the DT-listed defender making the most of Mark Jamar’s absence to chalk up a 97 that takes his season average to a very healthy 83 ppg. Another rookie-priced player available in the backline but playing elsewhere, Fremantle’s Nick Lower continues his hot form since many of us dumped him, this time racking up 89 DTs to send his price soaring to $273,500. He’s now the second-biggest money earner of this year’s rookie crop, just behind Smith. Essendon’s Michael Hibberd out-pointed teammate and fellow def-mid Dyson Heppell for the second time this season, but there was only a handball in it, with Heppell scoring an 81 and Hibberd among three rooksters to reach 83, the others being Sydney def-fwd Alex Johnson, who did it for the second week in a row, and Melbourne midfielder Michael Evans, who held his spot despite the return of Tom Scully and Jack Trengove. Late surges helped Carlton defender Nick Duigan and West Coast forward Jack Darling, both candidates for your eighth def/fwd position, get to 78 points apiece, while Geelong’s Nathan Vardy continued to tempt us to make a mountain of cash from a Sandilands downgrade trade with his second consecutive score in the 70s. All in all, it was a pretty solid week of scoring for our rookies, with the major frustration coming from Gold Coast defender Danny Stanley (season-low 48), Suns midfielder Daniel Harris (a 58 that saw him drop $11k), Port Adelaide def-mid Ben Jacobs (52 after 27 in the first quarter) and Brisbane midfielder Rohan Bewick (just 16 points makes him the biggest disappointment of all). You wouldn’t be happy if you’d held on to Gold Coast fwd-mid Dion Prestia this long either – his 27 and 43 points on return from a five-week break hardly inspiring – while a lot of the blokes who filled the Buddy-sized hole in our forward lines fluffed their chances to impress. I’m looking at you, Tom Lynch, Kieran Harper and Arryn Siposs, who all scored under 50 in what could be their only on-field action this year in many DTs.

Two gamers

The number of rookies who have now reached or exceeded their breakeven is so high that I didn’t even try to mention them all by name in the previous section. Clearly, then, we’re crying out for some viable downgrade targets so we can bank that cash, but it’s slim pickings in the two-game bracket once again. While Melbourne might not be a very DT-friendly club from a premium perspective, with it’s top two options – Jack Grimes and Colin Sylvia – also massive injury risks, the Demons are doing their best to provide us with some high-quality fresh meat in recent years. Michael Evans this week made $63k for those brave enough to pick up the hard-running-but-wayward-kicking Melbourne midfielder, while teammate Dan Nicholson looks the pick of those on the verge of their first price rise. Nicholson as shown the potential for rich points production, scoring 41 and 57 despite serving as the sub in both matches. He’s also attractive for his dual-eligibility as both a defender and midfielder, making a like-for-like recplacement for those with a Simon Buckley-type. The big question mark over his head is whether Dean Bailey has him ear-marked as a perma-sub in the same way that West Coast’s Andrew Gaff has been oft-used in the role. There’s also the question of job security, although Bailey seems willing to give the kids a chance and shelve some of the under-performing older players instead, and Aaron Davey’s injury looks to be a couple-of-months-er. If that’s scared you off Nicholson, then Geelong mid Josh Cowan might be your man. He’s had a go as the sub, too, scoring 53 after whipping off the green vest on debut in round 10, but then managing just 46 with full game time against the Western Bulldogs in round 11. Bulldog defender Christian Howard played his second game in the same match, working his way to 59 points against the Cats, following a 49-point performance in his first game against Hawthorn. Like I said, slim pickings.

One gamers

If you’re eager to downgrade a forward, then you’ll have to skip the two gamers and take a chance on one of these blokes. When I say “one”, I really do mean it, with only one forward among the nine rookie-priced players who played their first game in round 11. That’s Melbourne’s Jeremy Howe, a high-leaping forward who made the most of the Demons’ strong second half to grab 86 points against Essendon. While he’s not the power-forward that the Demons are crying out for, he did enough on debut to suggest he’ll be given more opportunities this year. Also in the 80s for the Demons was James Strauss, a defender who cops a $149,500 price tag courtesy of the fact that he played the first two home-and-away games of the 2010 season. The high price is off-putting enough, but the fact that Strauss still seems to lack confidence at the top level makes him a hugely risky pick, in my opinion. It’s a shame, as he’s a terrific kick and was talked up as a chance to play the lucrative “quarterback” role in the pre-season. Yet another young Demon entered the DT fray on Friday, with 207cm ruckman Max Gawn rotating with Martin though the ruck and forward line. That resulted in 56 points for Gawn and I wouldn’t think you’d get much more than that out of him each week, plus Mark Jamar doesn’t look to be too far away, either. After threatening to break into the Hawthorn side for a few weeks now, Jordan Lisle finally got his chance when Buddy Franklin’s calf ruled him out, although Lisle had to be content with a bit over a half, getting subbed out of the match against Fremantle in the third quarter with 47 points to his name. In an increasingly common theme, St Kilda, Carlton, Essendon and the Gold Coast also made their round 11 debutants wear the subs vests, helping to explain the low scores of Tom Simpkin (Saints defender, $92,500, 40 points), Tom Ledger (Saints midfielder, $92,500, 35 points), Zach Tuohy (Blues defender, $92,500, 12 points), Alex Browne (Bombers defender, $92,500, 12 points) and Taylor Hine (Gold Coast def-mid, $97,600, 5 points). It didn’t help Hine’s case that he was asked to hold Big Cox, either.


  • In the next two weeks I am considering getting in Nicholson and Howe and have 2 upgrades to go to complete my team and have $78300 in the bank. I am leaning towards trading like this

    Duigan ($251,300) – Nicholson ($104,400) = $146,900
    Matera ($199,400) – Goodes ($361,500) = – $162,100
    which leaves me with $63,100

    Next week:

    Tapscott ($196,500) – Howe ($92,500) = $104,000
    Toy ($161,600) – Adcock ($311,200, which is projected price for next round) = – $149,600
    which leaves me with $17,500, 5 trades and a complete team.

    DEF: Gibbs, Scotland, Deledio, Goddard, Adcock, Rawlings, Heppell (NIcholson, Jacobs, Puopolo)
    MID: Pendles, Boyd, Swan, Thompson, Bartel, Selwood (Hibberd, Prestia, Smith)
    RUC: Cox, Sandilands (Smith, Derickx)
    FWD: Johnson, Franklin, Sylvia, ROK, Goodes, N,Riewoldt, Knights (Mzungu, Howe, Richardson)

    • What about DT Finals?

      I see you being quite thin come finals time. Hope you have thought about his??

      Dont get me wrong, that is a pretty strong team, provided every one plays.


      The Unemployed

      • I think he’s factored in his 5 trades will be for sideways trading come finals time. And isn’t everyone hoping there guns play?

        • That is all well and good but what about LTI’s?

          Dont get me wrong im not trying to have a go or anything im just voicing my opinion.

          I just think that with only 5 trades left and with Carlton : Geelong : North : Essendon having bye’s in DT Finals and only 5 trades left for sidewaays movement and LTI’s you could be a bit weak in the Mid/Def. That will be 2 prem’s out in one week and then 3 prem’s out the next.

          I would hate to hear that you lost your league prelim by 10 points because you had StevieJ : Jelwood : Bartel on the pine.

          I would be holding onto my trades like gold for the next month or so. I hope for your sake that you do not have any LTI’s between now and DT Finals.

          Good Luck Sir


          The Unemployed

          • Mate it comes down to luck regarding LTI’s, I have Selwood,Bartel,Stevie J and Chappy. I’m not really that fussed personally about the finals and if my teams good enough I’ll have the Geelong bye off as a holiday anyway- players like Selwood,Stevie J and Chappy will win you the premiership in your league and/or the car if that’s your desire!!

          • Dear,

            The Unemployed

            I am playing for no LTI’s but if that happens to one of my premiums it will happen to most of the top 10,000.
            I am going to trade
            Rawlings – Round 21
            Bartel – Round 22
            Scotland + Gibbs – Round 23
            Heppell – Round 24

            I also think that as you say it would be sad for me to lose a Prelim by 10 points because of having Bartel/Selwood/Johnson all out, it would actually be a Semi so as long as I win my Qualifying Final it wouldn’t matter anyway. I also think that most people would have three or more Cats out of Enright/Bartel/Selwood/Chapman/Johnson, nearly every decent team has Gibbs and most have Scotland and I don’t have Watson as some people do.



          • I don’t think most have Scotland coz they already have Gibbs.

            Better options eg Fisher, Shaw, Broughton who don’t have finals byes.

          • As I said earlier good luck sir. I hope or everyones sake that there are n LTI’s but history tells me other wise.


            The Unemployed

  • Hayden

    Currently have 45k in the bank with 11 trades left.
    Only have two backs in lower and stanley to uprgade and was thinking of going Lower-Enright this week, but my mids are extremely shaky so its got me thinking. With Swan, Pendles having the bye and Monty a chance to miss again next week and possible Rockliff missing if he doesnt pull up with Swan, Monty this week im contemplating going Monty (avg 98) to Boyd (avg 114). Is it a waste of a trade?

    • montags is an absolute gun, yes it’d be a waste. Boyd is good but bring him in as an upgrade for someone way worse than montags if posssible, if not use ur money elsewhere. Dont burn a trade just for the sake of avoiding a zero or a bad score for one round, think long term cos its a long season with little trades!

      • More like Montags is a highly inconsistent/unpredictable gun!

        Trade if you have a spare trade up your sleeve (14+)

        • +1

          • Yes it is true Monty is inconcistant, he can pump out a massive 150+ or he can give you a 70-80. Do not waste a trade, especially a sideways trade unless you are going to cop a donut that is!!

            Also with the numbers that Lower is pumping out at the moment i wouldnt be trading him at all. I think his ave is 97 over the last 3 rounds. Thats as good as any premium defender this year. Dont burn a trade by going sideways to Enright. Surely you have another defender you could upgrade to Enright or Suckling or Fisher or Broughton.


            The Unemployed

  • Trade out Darling or Krak for I SMith (if named!)?

  • Brak

    I couldnt justify Swallow’s hefty price tag sitting on the bench so cashed him in. Now I have Mzungu and Jacobs in Mids giving me DPP when needed and I feel pretty happy with the cover I have and should not cop a donut come multi-bye rounds. Makes keeping Prestia in my team as a FWD almost seem like a good pick…..

  • I’m ROFL @ all these teams that have traded out Sandi who are/were desperate for ca$h…it is going to be your demise!!!

    • Yeah there’s about 5 or 6 rookies you can slash who will make you at least 150K, why the need to slain Sandi?

      I sure as hell ain’t putting all my eggs in the Zac basket, we’re not even half way through the season yet.

      I do have Petrie/J. Tippett but would like to keep Petrie up forward, he looks the goods.

      • So 8-10 weeks with a guy that averages 105 odd but have an injury niggle? Or 14 weeks with a guy who average 85 odd, plus 300K. I know what I would choose any day of the week. All the guys that hold onto him may outscore me in the rucks for the back end of the season, but overall I’d have made it up and then some already. Just because he’s Sandilands isn’t a good reason to hold.

    • How so Sir?

      Most people went to Smith (GCS) who is putting out some nice scores. Then using the 100k to upgrade elsewhere also.

      I personally dont think that 211 will be back until after Freo’s bye. At first he was listed as a 4 week injury. now 2 weeks into that 4 weeks, he is listed as a 3 week injury. Does any one else see a pattern here?

      That will make it 7 weeks he will be out for. That is too long in my book for a “premium” to be out for.

      I dont see anything wrong with getting in young Smith and upgrading to another premium with the extra $$ you made from the downgrade.

      If Smith keeps pumping out 80-100+ scores and i get another premium elsewhere in exchange for 211. That is a massive win for me sir.

      You keep holding onto him if you wish. Mark my words, he will NOT be back until after their bye.


      The Unemployed

      • Most teams have Smith already anyway?

        Just go straight to Goldstein, he is a monster now days.

      • If you were any good at DT Smith would have already been on the pine to begin with. The “most teams” you describe as trading Sandi out should have been re-phrased the “most dud” teams..i.e 8/10 current top 10 teams in the overall ranking still have Sandi.

        As for using the cash to upgrade other players is purely a desperate act given the ample rookie cash cows available this year. Sandi’s return is up to the Freo medico’s to decide. What I do know for sure is as Z.Smith is very young he will tire as the season moves along and Sandi will be totally refreshed and once up to match fitness will dominate the comp.

        In closing my team has 21 premiums (inc Sandi) and I for one will be laughing when he’s smashing out 130’s and a fatigued Smith is belting out 70’s.

        • +….1

        • Rookies don’t tire. Look at the stats of all the good teenage players over the years, no evidence to show they tire. Complete speculation.

          • How many rookies in previous years have had to shoulder the work load of a key position such as ruck??

          • Good question. I am going to investigate that. First name I’ll chuck out there is Kreuzer, pretty sure he didn’t tire or drop form in his first season.

          • Kreuzer: First year he averaged 54.3 in 20 games
            Second year 75.2 in 22 games

            Kreuzer was 18-20 in these seasons, Smith is currently 21.

          • In his first full year 2009 first 11 games ave=77, next 11 games ave=73. He dropped off half way through the season- not much but still he didn’t continue his form.

        • That’s a positive outlook. It can just as easily become a reacurring issue for him and he could come back and smash out 80’s while everyone that traded him is LOL at all those top teams that were in the 10 and suddenly aren’t anymore.

          • It hasn’t affected their scoring so far having him on the pine….

          • Yeah because Zac Smith has been scoring tons. Actually I don’t know why I would try to convince you trading Sandi is the right option, because in the end I’m going to do it, and you are not. Could end up being a small different in the end, or a large difference. But from all the angles I can take, trading Sandi and in turn doing 3 upgrades is a lot better than keeping him on the pine for 3-7 weeks and having to use 6 trades for the same result 4 would give you, which also may lose a nice 8th or 9th back or forward like Lower or Darling in order to do these upgrades.

          • Fair enough mate, everyone has their own idea/strategy for this game. Best of luck

    • 400,000+ on the bench for 6-7 weeks really doesnt justify the xtra 15 points he may score over Petrie for 8-9 rounds when the upgrades i made have been making more then that from week 1 of his injury. Petrie vs Sandi in a finals match anything can happen. Petrie bags a few goals and he can outscore Sandilands.

  • Great write up as always Chook and love your work.

    Think it is time for me to jump off the Stanley and Krak boat and I think that I am going to have to hold onto Harris for just one more week to do a double upgrade.

    I’m thinking of going Stanley to Sam Fisher which would leave me with about 375K for the Krakouer upgrade. THe forward line consists of:

    Chapman, Buddy, Sylvia, Riewoldt (N), Knights, Higgins, Krak (Mzungu, Lynch, Richardson)

    Who would you guys recommend for me to get in, considering that I still want a bit of cash spare next week for when Harris gets traded and I more then likely have to do a couple of downgrades as well to free up some cash for a final trade.

    I was thinking Cyril but I’d hope that there are other alternatives out there that would be able to do a better job then him..

  • I’m not trading as I don’t have enough trades left. Maybe one more to set my team up? NO STAY STRONG! But Broughton is under priced. It will take a double to bring him in. MY MIND V MY BRAIN. Everyone make sure I DON’T TRADE AND IF I SAY OTHERWISE IGNORE ME!

  • Heppell to Broughton with final in mind?

  • lower or stanley to start on the field

  • Looking to down grade Stanley.
    Who would you pick? Nicholson or Stanley?

  • Slappers

    who should i bring in to cover hibberd.

    C.Perderson, N.Duigan or C.Howard?

    T.Lynch or T.Mzungu?