Deck of Dream Team 2012: Michael Barlow

Name: Michael Barlow
Club: Fremantle
Position: Midfielder
Assistant Coach 2012 Price: $424,800
Bye Round: 12
2011 Average: 85.9
2011 Games Played: 9
Predicted Average: 111

Why should I pick him?

Because Barlow was the Messiah in the first half of 2010, and , like Jesus, we believe he’ll rise from the dead and become the scoring machine that we know he is. It’s just taken longer than 3 days is all…

Barlow was still sidelined by the horrific leg injury that he sustained in mid-2010 (even more horrifically,  Palmer was unscathed). When he finally made his 2011 debut he was fantastic, collecting 25 possessions on his way to a highly respectable 98. Unfortunately, snapping your leg clean in two tends to have lingering side effects, and one of these was soreness following the weeks after his first game in 12 months. So when he returned 4 weeks later he was green-vested, but from that point on he continued to show us why he was such a loved DTer in early 2010.

He is priced at his average of 85.9 (no discount), but that includes his vested 25 in Round 17 – remove that, and he went at 93.5 points a game. Now, considering the fact that having your leg turned into a deck chair has serious repercussions on your confidence, fitness and ability, and that he is also undertaking his first full pre-season at AFL level, I think it’s fair to say that he can only get better in 2012.

If he attains an average close to the 111 I’ve cautiously predicted (a bee’s dick away from the 109.8 he averaged in 2010 – his debut year!) he’ll make you more than $120,000. Or probably more appropriately -as Mick will become a Midfielder keeper by season’s end – you get a Gun in your mids at 23% off! Absolute bargain if you ask me.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Maybe you’re short-sighted and are mistaking the 13 games in 2010 and the 9 games in 2011 as poor durability. Forget about it! Snapping a leg is a freak injury, it’s not even comparable to the soft-tissue babies like Higgins or the bad-luck boys such as Jack Grimes. And Palmer isn’t even there anymore to ruin his career.

Maybe you’re worried that players who snap their legs never come back and regain their form. Well, I decided to look back over 3 players who broke their legs in similar fashion: Michael Voss in 1998, Nathan Brown in 2005 and Chris Newman in 2006.


Average Year Before

Average Year After

Average 2 Years After

Voss 66.2 73.4 89.1
Newman 66.9 76.4 81.8
Nathan Brown 93.5 60.0 82.3

Just a bit of background : Voss was coming into his prime years at the height of Brisbane’s reign, almost equally his career-best year with that 89.1 average in 2001 at 25 years of age. Newman was also coming into his prime, having a then career-best year (his best was 2010, 82 average) at 26 years of age. Nathan Brown was slightly different; he took much longer to recover from his injuries (he later said that he regretted coming back too early), only playing 10 and 11 games in the two years following. However, he did play 18 games in 2008 (his 3rd year after his injury) and averaged 91.8, much closer to his best.

Anyway, I rambled on a bit there, but the two main things to take out of this are;

  1. All three of these players increased their average significantly from the year after (low on confidence, fitness, etc.) to two years after they suffered their broken leg.
  2.  All three of these guys had their career-best years in Dream Team when they were 25-26 years of age. Guess who turns 25 in 2012?

As always, structure could be another issue. Maybe you’re going full Guns and Rookies (which by the way, is sort of like going Full Retard a la Tropic Thunder – you never do it, man.), and don’t want to take a risk on someone at his awkward price (don’t like bargains, hey?). Or maybe you’ve committed yourself to a midfield full of Collingwood, Geelong or Essendon players, and can’t fit him in.

Deck of DT Rating:

Barlow displays Queen qualities – someone who could make you a bunch of cash by increasing their average by more than 20 points – as well as Ace attributes – someone who could be a must-have midfielder by season’s end. But I’ll play it safe and rate him a KING, because I can guarantee you that Barlow will be a premium midfielder this year based on my favourite stat – Barlow scores over 95 DT points 76% of the time!

At this stage, mainly due to his great value and low risk, Barlow is a 95% chance of lining up for Tbetta Than You in 2012. Don’t miss the boat!


  • This guy is locked and loaded…. Can’t pass up a great bargain like this

  • If you can guaruntee he will get 111 he is locked. Unfortunately I am not that confident. I’m only picking 3 midfield premo’s at this stage and I want them to be in the top ten Midfielders at seasons end.
    He may be an upgrade target if he gets back to his old form though.

    • If your not on the boat as it’s leaving the Freo docks. We aint stopping to pick you up.

      • Not so concerning. A modified program could mean something as little as 20 minutes less running 20 minutes more on the bike. Not going to have too much impact on his fitness. I think it would be more to do with making sure it’s not overstressed when it really doesn’t need to be.

        The part of that article that attracted my attention was Zac Smith playing as a key forward. Freo desperately need a tall target upfront, and he is not a stationary one either. With Pav going forward this year he will draw plenty of attention. This could allow big Zac Clarke to get some easy +9’s. Hmmm

  • Good write up Tbetta. At this stage he doesn’t fit my midfield structure, but he is on the watchlist.

  • He’s been locked in to my 2012 teams ever since Round 13 2010

  • He’s underpriced and a proven gun in a team which is slowly getting better.


  • The key has been long thrown out for me.

  • Micky B- lock and load. Simple

  • close to a lock but Fyfes production will take a little away from him imo. will crack the ton for sure dont know about 111 though.

  • Great post tbetta! Eagerly anticipating MB’s come back at full strength in 2012.

    Will bring consistent tons to my starting lineup and end up as my M6 – if he gets close to his rookie average, I’ll happily take that for an M6!

  • The guy in my gravatar pic was locked and loaded months ago. If you don’t have him in your team there’s something wrong with you. Keeper for me

  • Current premo mids are Swanny, GAJ, Selwood and Scotty T
    With the Rd 12 bye I would have to get rid of Swanny or Selwood. Getting Barlow in would let me get in Heppell for Grimes though.
    So Swan/Selwood + Barlow + Heppell
    Swan + Selwood + Grimes
    What do u guys reckon? :)

    • That’s a real tough one…but Swan,Barlow and Heppell would be my first choice it’s just Grimes may be stagnant an ave 80ish yet Selwood could go crazy and ave 120…DECISIONS. Hepp’s lock in for 90-95 IMO Swan- you know what ya gonna get!! and Barlow well… 110 is a manageable number.

  • Ablett, murphy and this guy are my 3 premo midfielders LOCKED

  • Already got his teamate……

  • Tbetta great write up, “a bee’s dick away” classic saying that I haven’t heard in ages!! 70% chance Mr Barlow will line up in my team.

  • Great write-up Tbetta!
    I’m showing my age here, but to quote a famous tag line from an ad on tele ages ago,
    “Grand Sale, Grand Sale, Grand Sale…. Megalo, Megalo, Megalo!!!”
    (hmmm, Megalo = indicating Greatness!)

    Woohoo- must be, “Ruckman- free day!” (Just joshin.)

  • hmmmm what an interesting year its going to be….

    usually during pre-season scouting you make a short list of the players you think are the best..then try and shoe horn them all in.

    Not this year!. this year you make the list of who is the best then realise that you can’t even use half of them anyway because of the byes……

    Barllow is another that by rights could make any team but its just dependant on who else you have chosen and if the bye works in with them…

    i can’t wait for this year to start, its going to be so much more hands on, not so much auto pilot

    • How much of a factor are byes going to play this year?? I am relatively new to DT… could you please explain this years byes to me and why you cant have all your best players in your team, if possible? would be much appreciated. cheers

      • Basically, if you make a team without the byes in mind, you have a much greater chance of copping donuts over the 3 Multi Bye Rounds.

        Simply put, we have 30 players per team. Over three weeks of byes, that’s an average of 10 out a week (before trading). Obviously, we only have 8 bench positions to stash these players, meaning it’s likely we will be looking at donuts each week.

        If you don’t structure your side accordingly, you could end up with a disproportionate side, say 8/8/14 in the form of R11Bye / R12Bye / R13Bye. Obviously, you are looking at multiple donuts in Round 13.

        Not to mention that if you don’t structure properly across each line, you could end up with even more donuts. Say your midfield comprises of Swan, Selwood, Watson, Barlow, Morabito, Shiel, Clifton and Mitchell. Not a bad midfield… But you have a bye structure of 2/6/0! So in Round 13 you will cop a heap of donuts, while in Round 13 everyone will be playing, so you’ll have two perfectly good languishing on your bench while you eat donuts in other parts of the ground.

        Good question, hope I’ve answered it clearly! My suggestion is to make a team that you think will be competitive, then look at the bye structure and edit your fringe players to suit.

  • Micky B is a must imo, Locked and Loaded!!

  • Spot on tbetta great write up!
    Barlow will definitely be the fourth mid for the Autobots…

  • Barlow is a lock for me. At this stage starting with Ablett, Murphy, Selwood, Barlow and then rookies.

  • Off topic…Clarke and Punter both notch up tons…Brilliant.

    • maybe its a sign from MIcky B the Messiah. I better lock him in then

    • Punter would have been out by a meter had they hit stumps.. Was never a single there! He wont watch that replay too many times lol

  • I’ve been tossing up between this guy and JB vs Hayes and Sidebottom as my m4/f5 combo. Now I’m almost ready to lock the former. Although neither Hayes nor Sidey have featured in the deck yet. Hmmmm

  • havent seen punter celebrate like that ..ever!

    pressure must have been wearing him down

  • Another compelling article! Wasnt considering him until now (due to having my mid premos “locked”)

    A reason you could have for “Why I should’nt pick him?” is the uncertainty regarding a new coach/new gameplan.. but then again Lyon might let Barlow play that “Leigh Montagna” role which is a very outside game and advantageous to DT scoring!
    Definitely on my list to keep an eye out for the preseason!

  • will u do one on david munday
    would like to see that

  • I reckon he’s a 95% chance of making my team. I literally created 100 teams to verify this pledge I am solemly making before you.

    Barlow will either go bang, or worst case scenario, if he lags in the 90s it will not cost much to upgrade him.

  • Automatic selection for me so long as he has a half-decent pre-season. The only real reason not to take him as far as I’m concerned is if you intend to load up on Swan, Pendles, Selwood, Watson, etc. who all have the same bye.

  • Locked and loaded for Ben FC, awwwwww yeah!

  • Clarkey – 200!

  • I’ve been torn between Barlow Mundy and Fyfe as my final starting mid. But probly leaning towards Ffye due to his DDP status.

    It’s interesting that most people are on here saying you have to lock the DDP’s such as Martin and Christianson in the forwards but the midfields they are listing are all the premo mids you can’t swap/sub them with!? I spose thats where rookie mid/fwds come in?

    Also someone commented on Lyon possibly putting Barlow in Montagnas wing role but i dont think he has the pace for that and could get tagged out of the contest in that position. He wil play in and under the same as Mundy and push forward from the mids.

    Lyon would owe Barlow an apology for denying him a spot at the Saints tho!! Might have helped in those close Grand Final losses!

    • I would be going Barlow. He’s considerably more undervalued than Mundy, and if you really want Fyfe you should be playing him in your forward line. Think of it this way- the highest averaging non-dpp forward rookie last year was Christensen on 68, followed by darling on 67. Both of these players were outstripped by Krakouer (who wasn’t really a rookie), as well as I Smith and Mzungu, who played midfield mostly (hence their lost of dpp status this year).

      Compared to that, the mid rookies averaging more than the above forward ones were Savage on 77, swallow and curnow on 76, Mckenzie 73, Iles 72 and Liberatore 69.

      Basically, by playing fyfe in your middle rather than forward, you’re missing out on the chance to pick up a midfield gem that can average more up to 10 points more, earn more cash and score you more points.

      Because of the DPP rule change, it is far LESS necessary to start with dpp links. As well as that, given the comparitive depth in this years draft with midfielders compared to forwards/ defenders, it isn’t really a good idea to start a DPP player in the mids.

      *note* just remembered Christensen was only a mid last year… just adds more support to my point.

  • He’s currently on a modifed program due to shin soreness. “If” he regains full fitness then he must be considered.

  • gee, i wish he didn’t have the bye with selwood, swan, pendles…..

  • Love ya’ work Tebetta,

    Solid article and your comments on the mid season donut festival are also tasty.

    Barlow has had a massive injury and until I read the stats on Voss and Newman, I didn’t think anyone could get their average back up after such a bad break.

    I am not confident Barlow could av 110 or play 22 games. I would love to see it, but I’m not sure if I can risk it, with only two bench spots next year.

    If he gets up, you guys will have me covered for a few points no doubt.


  • sorry to throw a spanner in the works but on ten news perth tonight it said barlow had a minor calf op pre xmas that was related to his bro0ken leg. apparently all good today though and he joined in training for a 45 minute session.

    nothing to worry about really but may be just enough to plant a seed of doubt into some dt coaches minds!


    “FREMANTLE midfielder Michael Barlow is approaching full training after it was revealed he was forced to undergo follow-up surgery on his injured leg.

    Barlow snapped the fibula and tibia in his lower left leg in a sickening colission with then-teammate Rhys Palmer in Round 14, 2010, and had to have a plate and screws inserted to assist the healing process.

    Stoppages coach Mark Stone said the injury had led to Barlow requiring additional surgery on his calf in the post-season, but the gun on-baller almost back in full training.

    “Apparently it’s fairly common with that type of injury,” Stone said.

    “It was nothing that alarmed us, it was just something that needed to be adjusted, it was a minor operation, but he’s back and he’s fine.”

    Barlow almost completed a full training program today, putting in 40 minutes in his first session back with the team and Stone said the feedback was that he was feeling no pain, soreness and was moving well”

    • On an interesting side note the West said that Morabito, Fyfe, Mundy and Mayne were absent from yesterday’s training session.

      They reckon Fyfe is ahead of schedule following both groin and shoulder surgery!

      • Nothing to worry about with those guys I’d say. should all play round one. after last year horrendous run with injuries the dockers will not be pushing these guys early in the preseason

        Dockers flag this year if they are injury free! :) put $30 on them at $34 for the flag on sporting bet the other day. mock me if you will!

        • If the Shockers can hold close to a full strength team this season, i reckon top four is on the cards.

          • I would love to see them do well, but can’t see Ross Lying getting them to top four (with an amazingly ugly style) in his first year there. Then again, they seem to pull mature age studs from out of their buts and if they got it together it could be scary.

            Lucky they can’t play at the MCG ah ha ha haaaaaaa!

        • Haha, good luck with the bet mate.