Chook’s Rooks – Round 16

You’ll have to forgive me for taking a pretty relaxed approach to rookie hunting in round 16. The lack of league games meant most of my thinking actually revolved around next year’s DT season as I soaked up the match reviews from that annual showcase of future first-round picks, the national under-18 championships. Add to that my personal situation of having already used as many trades as there are arms in an underwater orgy involving two octopuses, a water rat and a walrus, and it was really hard to work up much enthusiasm about the kids coming through and making their debut at the moment. Even if you do have trades left to throw about, you can forget about downgrading and do a bit of sidewaysing instead, snapping up a fallen premium like Jimmy Bartel with a fattened-up cash cow like Dave Swallow. Speaking of Swallow, here comes our segment on “veteran” rookies, the three-or-more gamers…

Three-or-more gamers

So my nephew has been staying with us for a few days and, man, has the kid been giving Tiger Woods on the PS3 a thrashing or what? He plays as Tiger, “coz he’s got the maddest skillz”. He might speak like it’s 2005, but he speaks the truth: Tiger does indeed have the maddest skills – he’s a monster off the tee with a silky short game to boot. I mean, the man is so whack/prime/whatever that EA Sports went and named the whole game after him. With that in mind, I won’t be surprised if the AFL changes its name in a few years to the ADSL, or the Australian Dave Swallow League, because, by then, Swallow will be good enough to have earned the naming rights, just like Tiger. We’ve been privy to just how good he’s going to be for a little while now, but caught a glimpse of the post-Ablett possibilities when the Bald One broke down in the first half of the Gold Coast’s game against Sydney on Saturday night. Swallow scored a rookie round-high of 114 points in the game, which proved a profitable one for our young guns. Seven of the week’s top eight rookie scorers played in that game, with the only Swan amongst the Suns, Luke Parker, more than doubling his previous best with a 107. Essendon’s multi-position maestro Dyson Heppell, the fast-firming favourite for the Rising Star award, was the third-highest scorer with a 102 – his third strong score on the trot following a couple of 50s in rounds 12 and 13. A rest for Heppell is on the cards after coach James Hird flagged it last week, apparently, but one of my trusted Bombers sources – Ossie, Ossie, Ossie, Oi, Oi, Oi – says Hird will be guided by the player as to whether he needs a rest or not. One of the challengers for the Rising Star award, Jack Darling, will be hoping to pull a similar form reversal out of the hat after the West Coast forward’s 48 on the weekend meant he has failed to break through the 50-point barrier in any of his past four games.

Two gamers

According to my dubious book-keeping, there are currently 18 rookie-priced players who have played two games this season – all poised on the precipice of their crucial first price rise – but only three of them played that second game as recently as last week. Those three are Western Bulldogs forward Andrew Hooper, who’s listed as a defender in DT, Richmond tall forward Ben Griffiths and Collingwood midfielder Luke Rounds. Just a couple of points separated the three of them in round 16, with Hooper and Griffiths grabbing 45 points, while Rounds managed 43. Griffiths has been subbed off in both his games, the first after a knock with just 13 points to his name. That’s the same score that Rounds managed in his debut match too, in which he started as the sub. Hopper was far more productive in his first game, scoring 61 first-up, but damaged his chances of a third consecutive call-up with a pretty poor game on Sunday. A decent fourth quarter went some of the way to winning over Rocket Eade, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his name was missing from the Dogs’ team sheet on Thursday.

One gamers

Just the three debutants in round 16, including a couple of DT-listed rucks in Gold Coast tall Rory Thompson and Collingwood’s Lachlan Keefe. Hawthorn defender and Saturday sub Riley Milne is the third, with Thompson taking the honour of being the highest scorer with a 77 against the Swans. Keep an eye out for Adelaide utility Daniel Talia and possibly Melbourne middie Sam Blease as well, as these guys got their first chance before last week’s bye and could hold their places in round 17.


  • Good read as usual. As you say, many of us with few trades probably wont be downgrading. I have only 5 trades left.

    • I’m in the same boat. 5 trades, looking at fallen premiums for trading.
      There must be people with more trades though, shame the decent downgrades are few and far between!

      • I cant recall there being a better year for decent downgrades

        • I’m a member of the 5 trade club too.

          And I agree, it’s been a very good year for downgrades.

          • +1

          • I know a bloke at work who set up a team at the start and has not looked at it all year. He told me last night and we logged in and seen that glorious 24 trades left so we are going for the round highest score last round. Best get cracking on those trades at least it still gives me trading relief without having to touch my team. I can still be a trading addict woohoo

  • Only 4 trades so will probably only do one more downgrade to free up some cash. Some of the fallen premiums look tempting (Montagna, Bartel) but at this end of the season I want to trade in the maximum possible points for dollars. My picks at the moment are Pav or Dal.

    • I have my eyes on Daisy or Redden. Not sure on Dal.

      • Daisy or Redden would be fine. Don’t forget the Brisbane bye coming up, and the possibility that Daisy may be rested.

        • Daisy had that extra week off when he was suspended

          • He is also having knee soreness, which if it continues will see him rested at some stage prior to their finals!!!

    • Yeah im thinking the big Pavlova could come in for an underperforming J Riewoldt

  • no mention of Lobbe for three or more gamers… still dirt cheap, and should average around 70-ish as the Power’s main ruckman.

  • i have 6 trades left going to downgrade Yarran to Talia next week and then all upgrading with my 400k in the bank

  • pavs a worry as scores have come against two qld sides. I ahve 11 trades left but am struggling to find decent down grade targets. Luckily i have 228000 in the bank and still have sandi tipprtt petrie in fwds in rucks so could make between 100-200000 depending who i trade in/out. tinking smith to lobbe for security rather than making 200000 and having no spare ruck

    looking at getting in rok for dawes this week and and doing the ruck trade then the following weeks it will be all up grades with about 250000 in bank.

    will be looking at stanley/lower to another hawks def (already have suckling and poo) and somone for yarren

  • Hey Guys

    I started a team for shits and giggles a few weeks back for a bit of a challenge, the goal is to have 22 premiums running around by seasons end.

    Given the lack of downgrade options at this stage of the season im finding it harder than i thought.

    You thoughts would be appreciated. Team is as follows.

    Gibbs : Lids : Enright : Suckers : Broughts : Goddard : Pederson (Jacobs,Nicholson,Golby)

    Boyd : Sean : SMJ : Mitchell : Hibberd : GU (I.Smith,H.Jolly,Evans)

    Cox : Z.Smith (Curnow,Tippett GC)

    StevieJ : Higgins : Buddy : Peetree : Lynch GC : Howe : Breust (Callinan,Harper,Retzlaff)

    Plenty of trades and 55k in the bank.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.


    The Unemployed

    • Doesn’t really work at this time of the year cause you can’t make cash out of the rookies on offer.
      Just try getting in underpriced premiums (or ex-premiums as some may say) like Bartel, Sylvia, N.Roo asap.

    • Am I missing something?

      You’re asking for advice regarding an upgrade strategy for your “just for fun” team? Is that right?

      You really do need to get a job mate!

    • For this I can see only one plausable option. Delete team

    • i did the same 6 weeks ago it has 14 trades left:
      Gibbs, Scotland, Deledio, Suckling, Shaw, Goddard, Broughton (Puopolo, Hunt, Mulligan)
      Ablett, Pendles, Mitchell, Bartel, Nicky Dal, S.Thompson (Mzungu, Green, Hine)
      Cox, Griffen (Bailey, Vardy)
      Goodes, Pav, Cloke, Franklin, Green, Riewoldt, Didak (Dahlhaus, Lobbe, Callinan)

      Mainly players who were ‘bargains’, but looks ok on paper for how many trades left. No value on the bench tho

  • is hibberd, lower and howe keepers?

    • Not really as permanent starters IMO, as fill-ins on the odd weeks they are fine.
      Best to worst – Howe&Lower then Hibberd.

      Not much between Howe & Lower………….Lower better JS but with Freo blokes returning from injury reckon his midfield time will drop as will his scores.

    • All are fine as cover, Lower is good enough to start most weeks. But be mindful of Fremantles injury list as Barlow, Suban, McPhee are close to returns and that could see lower go out of the side or be subbed more oftern.

  • I met Dyson Heppell on Monday night, real modest guy.

  • Current Rucks = Cox, Sandilands, Petrie/Hale and Bailey.

    I am adamant Petrie will return to form with 80 odd this week and am keeping the faith. I am also pretty keen on keeping 211 in the team.

    However, the question is should I trade Bailey out for one of the two ruck rookies simply to free up cash. Bailey has been on my field once all year and I’m not convinced I’ll need him again. $150,000 or his $240,000 could be used on points elsewhere. Is not much of a discussion in the article about either rooks JS or scoring potential.

    Other option is Sandi one of the rooks which would mean come finals R1 (ha like i’ll be there) I’d have Hale playing in the rucks when he’ll be up against the Port.


  • Hey guys, this is second season of DT and im a little stuck. I have 6 trades and $159k in the bank. This is my current side;

    Backs – Goddard, Rawlings, Shaw, Suckling, Enright, Adcock, Heppell (Gilbert, Pedersen, Hunt)
    Mids – Swan, Pendlebury, Thomas, Redden, Griffin, Mitchell (Hibberd, Jacobs, Mzungu)
    Rucks – Cox, Smith (Lobbe, Curnow)
    Forwards – Fyfe, Goodes, Pavlich, Sylvia, Riewoldt, Higgins, Menzel (Darling, McKernan, Richardson)

    I feel like im still a forward short of complete but with only 6 trades left i’m unsure when to do it.. Could possibly do with a better ruck too.

    I thought to get Franklin in but if I use two trades to downgrade im worried i’ll be short. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.


    • Menzel to Franklin next week. It will leave you with 35-40k and it’s only one trade

      • I would downgrade Hibberd or Darling. Their times up.

        Then upgrade Menzel.

        Or just upgrade Menzel and hold onto the other trades.

  • This is my strategy i have 4 trades left and i have 86000 so i am going to go go this week lower to Fisher and then next week get rid of jacobs for talia and then puopolo for suckling that will leave me with one trade left but i would have a extra premium Back and a extra Premium down foward as well only downer would be that i have Zac smith as my perment second ruck

    • why not wait another week on Fisher, his 33 will bring his score down again unless he smashes it this week….Lower is pretty consistant now and won’t go up or down much either way

  • But i would rather have fisher playing then Stanely

  • Am i the only one who wishes Gazza was out for more so i could straight swap him back to selwood against the lions?

  • is this real life?

  • If Abletts fit he’ll play, richmond are a very beatable team right now so there gonna have there best 22 playing. If it was collingwood he prob would be rested

  • whos better scott thompson, dal santo, priddis?

    • Scott THompson has a higher ceiling.
      Dal Santo is relatively consistent and same with priddis.

      I’d go with Scott Thompson, though Priddis and Dal Santo have tasty draws coming up.

    • Shouldn’t matter if you wait a week or two on Thompson either, his price isn’t likely to change much.

  • 9 trades left and I bought in Wilkinson last week. JS is a concern, but he still got 91 (I think) in a team that got flogged so hopefully he can continue playing a few more games