Chook’s Rooks – Round 18

As someone lucky enough to have stepped foot on all of the continents this planet has scattered about, (well, all bar Antarctica but I’ve seen Aliens vs Predator so I can pretty much tick that one off the list, too) I feel somewhat qualified to say that much of the best this world has to offer is right in our own backyard. Not our actual backyards – weed-riddled, unmowed grass strewn with empty stubbies is not the best this world has to offer. What I mean to say is, Australians can search far and wide but fail to find gems the equal of those right under their nose. I better get to the DT-related bit before I drop any more awkward rhymes, tired clichés or drift from proudly patriotic to red-necked idiocy. It’s just that, as I scour the back sixes of AFL teams, looking for a suitable replacement for Heath Shaw, I start to think I may have been ignoring the gem right under my nose. As a Melbourne-supporter with a particular interest in rookie-priced players, my backyard includes one Stef Martin. Whether he’s the best backman the DT world has to offer is debatable, but he’s certainly in the mix after a string of high-scoring games since round eight that has seen him rise to 10th in the list of top-performing defenders and ahead of a seemingly profitable run home. On Sunday, Martin was one of the few Demons to do any damage on the DT scoreboard against a dominant Hawthorn, chalking up 101 points to follow his 113 the previous week. In fact, Martin has had five hundreds in his 10 games since round eight, dropping under 90 just twice in that time for an average of 98.8. They’re not the kind of numbers that’ll excite the Calvin’s Captains research team, but impressive all the same for a utility-type player whose output was expected to drop with the return from injury of first-choice ruckman Mark Jamar. Instead, having Russian back on board has helped strengthen Martin’s scoring potential and consistency, making him a legitimate trade target despite having risen by more than $200k already this season. A soft schedule during the DT finals that includes West Coast, Richmond, Gold Coast and Port Adelaide, and Martin’s status as something of a unique pick, adds even more allure. A risk? Maybe, but so is flying to foreign shores. Oh, hang on, what was that? Fisher’s dropped to almost $300k? For real? But I’ve just written the whole bloody intro bit about that Gwen Stefani bloke from Melbourne, Warnie. I made up this whole “the best shit is right under your nose” kinda metaphor thingy and everything. $300 grand? Really? Okay, whatever you say, Warnie.

Guys, forget Martin. Get Fisher.

Three-or-more gamers

This could’ve been the Stanley Show for the second week in a row after Danny defied his club’s tweet about possibly missing out against his old team to score his first century this season, but no one likes a re-run unless it’s Monkey Magic, The Mighty Boosh or early-season Scrubs. Stanley’s partner in crime of recent weeks, Nick Lower, failed to deliver in round 18, managing just 66 points in the Western Derby. Lower had plenty of company in the under-performing category, with several Freo stars unable to reach their averages, but Tendai Mzungu wasn’t amongst them, scoring a healthy 83. The biggest rookie-priced scorer of the round was Geelong’s Allen Christensen, who knocked out a 113 to follow his 120 from round 17, making him a better seventh mid than teammate Jimmy Bartel right now. Elsewhere, it wasn’t a terribly high-scoring round by the rookies, especially when compared to the massive numbers pumped out by the premiums, but it didn’t really matter with very few rookies making the starting line-ups of most teams at this time of the year, at least not when Port Adelaide have the bye anyway. The injury to Matt Suckling left some teams short in defence; here’s hoping you were able to fill the hole with someone other than Paul Puopolo, Josh Toy, Nick Duigan or Daniel Talia, with each of those blokes – who all have at least 30,000 owners – failing to crack the half-century. It wasn’t just the defence that struggled to produce the points, however, with other popular forward picks like Luke Tapscott, Tom Lynch, Isaac Smith and Cam Richardson all making a minor impact in round 18. You’re not going to find any long odds on Richardson winning this year’s most disappointing DT rookie award. In fact, I might as well call the engraver now.

Two gamers

Carlton midfielder (for DT purposes) Wayde Twomey is the only rookie-priced player to have featured in the past couple of games, but there’s not much point trying to talk him up. I could have every set of steak knives in the world and still be unable to sell you this bloke, as his job security and points potential just don’t endear him to Dream Team coaches determined to use their final few trades on a sure thing. I can’t even talk up Ian Callinan for the forty-third time this year, with the Adelaide multi-positioner due to miss the next two weeks with an injured hamstring.

One gamers

It doesn’t get hugely better down here either, with second-year Blue Marcus Davies, a defender, the only rookie-priced player to feature in his first match of 2011 in round 18. Davies failed to break through the 50-point barrier in any of his five games last year, (and subs vests weren’t even around back then), although he managed a 58 against the Bombers on Saturday night. He might come in to calculations next week as a downgrade target for those with bucket-loads of trades, although he’ll be useless cover for the likes of Bryce Gibbs and Heath Scotland, of course, when Carlton have their bye in the penultimate week of the DT finals.


  • Bad luck to the trade hoarders out there, slim pickings for downgrade targets

  • I did trade in Talia last week. With suckling out and heath shaw yet to be traded, robbed me of a score close to 2500. Did anyone see his game. The whole (except Scotty) seemed to struggle, is he destined to be dropped or score 25-40pts like that old busted up “Toy” i have in 3rd reserve or expect he may strong 50-60’s going forward. Unfortunately watched the 2H of the game and didn’t see him get a touch.

    • Talia should be fine because he is sort of the future of the crows. The players who are gonna be dropped are probably the 2nd tier players like Reilly but you can’t be too sure after a coach change. I reckon they should make 21 changes (all except Thompson).

      • Agree – Talia will continue to get games. Might not set the world on fire in a DT sense, but should have good job security and be there as bench cover with 50 or so points each week.

    • Talia did keep Gamble goalless, which is a good sign from him.

    • Yeah Talia played well just not DT well. He played like a Presti or Tarrant but he should be picked every week from now on and hopefully averaging like 60

  • Cam Rich may get the most disappointing award but what about Bewick for the most frustrating? All those green vests and if not a green eat then a red one! And when he finay gets a couple of decent scores and his price is finally on the move, what does vossy do? Gives him another green vest. Stops his price rise in it’s tracks! And then what does he do? Drops him! Give the lad a decent crack vossy!

  • HAHA love the first paragraph chook, classic ! i will probably go delids to fisher this week as i am only focused on scoring well for two more rounds and hopefully getting second in the state schools comp.

  • Im downgrading Hibberd to free some cash up for finals… but to who?

    • if your not planning on using the player your downgrading to and have enough coverage on the bench pick somone at $80k, this time of year why pay 30k-40k for someone who is playing but not scoring enough to have selected in your 22

  • Bit off topic but there arent mamny rookies around.

    A must watch.. :)

  • Chook great write as always – and top stuff through out the year.

    I think we all agree that this time of year picking a rookie (cheap) who is going to play in your team and give you a solid return is highly unlikely as the main purpose for doing so is to grab the cash and upgrade an ave player to a premo or trade a player who has a finals bye.

    Thus why I think if you have at least 2 of your 3 bench players playing trade to a player who has the lowest value – something a lot of us did for the fourth ruckman at the beginning of the year, you don’t need this player to play (as you have coverage on the bench) and therefore you can maximise the cash return on a trade up.


  • Agree with sentiment on lack of fresh product in meat rack.

    I’ve been sitting on a double trade since round 16 – Prestia and Knights >>> Ablett and Callinan, waiting for for Ablett to bottom and Callinan to return.

    I am going to get GAblett this week. But have given up on Callinan – even when he returns from injury I can’t see why Bickley is going to give him (28 year old on rookie list) much game time in last few weeks. Also Knights might find better returns with new coach. Knights isn’t in my starting 7 anyway so I can afford to give him another chance.

    Instead I have decided to close out the 4th Ruck position and sell Bailey to $80k space holder, gaining $167k. I have trades to spare but need more cash to reach GAJ.

    Does anyone have a view on which $80k Ruck has better (i.e. any?) chance of getting game time – out of:
    Bart McCulloch (Brisbane),
    Ryan Bathie (Geelong),
    Mitchell Curnow (Port).

    My thinking is Curnow at Port.

    • As a cats supporter I can tell you bathie is no chance unless Hawkins ottens vardy simpson west mooney and Blake all die in a plane crash…..

    • Last I checked Curnow was playing U/18s and getting promoted to the SANFL reserves, so not much chance of him playing either.

  • Sorry, not a rookie related question, but does anyone know the deal with Missy? Heard he’s 50/50 to play this week and sure could use him on the park.

    • He’s not listed on either AFL or WBD injury list! So he’s probably now 60/40. Tomorrow night will tell.

      • thanks mate. “in the mix” said he was suspect to play yesterday, but thats encouraging!

    • Wrong – Out!
      AFL_JenWitham Cooney & Higgins out v Eagles, Morris 50-50, Djerrkura unlikely, Cross & Murphy to be assessed later in the wk #afldogseagles #godogs

  • Good news everyone… Higgins set to miss this week will really test the depth of some teams.

    With the likes of goodes, okeefe, delidio and riewoldt missing through suspension teams will be tested.

    • I feel bad for the people who have been fooled after seeing Higgins ability to avoid missing games through injuries.

      • Are you two still in the running for the car? If not, why wouldnt you want Higgins to play. This way he has every chance to come back after the bye fully fit and fresh.

        Or is he out for weeks?

  • Off topic I know, but the guys above me got away with it :)
    4 trades, no spare cash, too many mid-price/fattened cows in my fwd and back.
    Ruck: Cox, Sandi, Zmith, Hale/Petrie.
    Should I down Sandi or Zmith for cash to use my other 3 trades upping midpricers..? I am still tempted to hold onto Sandi cos he could come good as I’m sure to go deep in finals.

  • I am keeping Sandi, he will be back next week if not this week. He will be the smokie that no one will have.

    I have also decided to go Goddard as my C this week. I could be crazy…….

    • nah not crazy mate, i dont have a montaga/dal santo so im going goddard as well, he is hitting some good form with 4* 100’s in a row and will make a mockery of the young suns

  • Thank you Simon Buckley, Covering for Suckers you’re 93 was awesome! Especially as I decided to put you on the field over Pederson, and his 81 had me worried that I’d made the wrong decision :)

  • Ive got three trades left, higgins out for at least two weeks.

    I can only afford Okeefe, or Le Cras, or Harvey – NOT FYFE!!! :(

    Im leaning towards Le Cras at the moment.


    Do nothng and wait two weeks, start Mzugu and hope Fyfe drops in price or Higgins returns?

    Was going for highest overall position, this doesn’t help.

  • I don’re know if anyone has read in the mix but it says that higgins is in doubt with a knee injury. No goodes rok deledio cotchin adcock riewoldt and maybe higgins and suckling for me this week. Hopefully most decent teams will be in a similar position so I don’t slip too far down the rankings

  • “Rocket hopeful Higgins will be back after bye in R21. If injury doesn’t improve it’s off to surgery to get ready for 2012”

    -Tweet from Footy Tragic

  • For those that still had Coad, he won’t play for the rest of the season. Ripped his hammy off the bone…. again.

  • Hmm a little bit harsh on Wayde Twomey, i think he can pull out some scores around the 70 mark, he just hasnt found it yet.
    Im talking about his first game, in the first quarter he was on 35, you see he can do it, hes just not consistent in quarters enough.