St Kilda Saints 2012 DT Preview

St Kilda has gone through some major changes since their 2010 Grand Final loss to Collingwood, 21 players from their 2010 list are no longer at the club. That means nearly half the Saints list is first or second year players. The Saints have 23 players 22 years old or younger and 22 players that have played less then 20 games, 15 of those haven’t played a single game. Whilst they added so many young players they have managed to keep their core group together which is why heading into 2012 they are the oldest list in the AFL.

But whilst they have maintained their core group the simple fact is there will be only about 10-15 players from that group that will automatically get selected each week as new coach Scott Watters keeps an eye on the future. This means at least half the spots in the team is up for grabs for the younger players to fight for and that in turn there is potentially some Dream Team & Supercoach gold out there. Gone are the days that you just wouldn’t bother looking at the Saints youth for your fantasy teams, that’s now Fremantle’s problem!!

The Saints have a great run early, facing Port, Gold Coast, Fremantle, Melbourne, Bulldogs in the first 5 rounds. Up until their round 13 bye they face only 3 teams that played finals in 2011, including Gold Coast twice inside 11 rounds.

I’ve decided not to worry about looking at the “premiums” from the Saints as most people know what to expect from them by now, but if you want to know something particular feel free to ask. Instead I thought id look at the younger guys that are showing signs having a breakout year.

FALLEN PREMIUMS

Lenny Hayes is back to full training and has been looking extremely fit and trains with no visible sign that he is coming off a serious knee injury. He seems to have full movement in his knee and hasn’t been afraid to twist and turn and put his body on-line in the tackling drills. Hayes will be very cheap for his standards in dream team this year, BUT remember he will be 32 by time season starts, is coming off his second serious knee injury and before 2011 his average were slowly in decline. Personally think he will be rested throughout the season to ensure he is in tip top shape for finals. Other negatives is the rise of Jack Steven and David Armitage. Watters will want to get them into the midfield as much as possible. Is one to watch throughout the preseason but there is massive risk in picking him.

Nick Riewoldt, is he recovered from his hamstring fully yet or will his knee hold up? That is the biggest question of the preseason. Roo has been training since the season finished, weeks ahead of the rest of the team. He will be cheap compared to his high standards and with the Saints great early season fixture he must come into calculations especially when looking at who he will be matched up on. Port have no one that can normally stop him, Gold Coast will be Bock-less, Bulldogs have Lake who is also in twilight of his career, Fremantle have Dawson.

KEEP AN EYE ON

Jarryn Geary (Def) $212K – During 2011 he only averaged 43, down from 65 in 2010. The drop in “form” was mainly due to being sub on couple occasions. Geary is currently having his best preseason to date. He is as fit as ever and it’s showing in all the endurance running and sprint work. He adds some pace off the backline that StKilda desperately need and can break lines. Is my early tip to have a “breakout” year in 2012.

Beau Wilkes – If this bloke isn’t an F/B then there is something terribly wrong with how the hand Dual Position out. He played half season as defender in WAFL and then went forward in second half season and averaged 3.8 goals a game. Will hold down full back and swing forward, but personally believe he will be used as Saints 3rd tall up forward. At basement price he is a lock. Will easily play 15+ games due to fact Saints lack key defenders/forwards.

Ahmed Saad  (Fwd) – Is having impressive preseason to date. Having spoken to a few players and coaches I fully expect Saad to be a regular in 2012. Has speed and knows where the goals are. Fully expect him to play 15+ games. Is worth a spot on your bench.

Jamie Cripps (Fwd)  $174K – Injured his quad at some stage early in preseason but seems to be running well and he reckons he’ll be in full training after the Christmas break. He finished 2nd in the Mornington Grand 1200-metre ocean swim. Has also been front runner in few of time trials. Scott Watters has also hinted that Cripps could play a lot more off the backline in 2012, making him bit more tempting. He is basically priced as a rookie due to fact he played 4 games in 2011 as a sub. He averaged about 35-40 in 4 half games, where he also kicked 7 goals. Is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Tom Simpkin (Def) $197K – Simpkin played 2 games in 2011 and was subbed off at half time in both matches. But what was impressive is he was able to average 50 in dream team in those matches. He has bulked up and is probably as big as Dawson ever was. Watters has hinted he will be given first crack at holding down full back. He is probably overpriced to come into calculations this year, but if you’re after a player around that $200K price you could give him a crack. Should play every game if his VFL form is anything to go by last couple years.

Sebastian Ross is probably the only new draftee that looks like playing a bit in 2012. But even still would be wary of selecting him. Tom Ledger who is same price would be a better bet; Scott Watters loves him after having seen him play in his junior days over in the West.

DO NOT TOUCH

Nicholas Winmar (Def)  $163K – Has had few ankle problems and from what I gathered when I spoke to him before Christmas he is a bit off resuming full training. Probably wouldn’t expect to see him early in the season. Keep away from him this year.

James Gwilt, who is recovering from a serious knee injury hasn’t seemed comfortable whilst running on the few open training sessions we attended. Had a clear signs of a limp, and he never seemed to be able to bend his knee, runs with straight leg. At B&F he himself flagged a Round 5 return, but {keep in mind I’m no doctor} I wouldn’t be surprised if its more like Round 8-10 that he returns. One to keep an eye on for 2013.

Justin Koschitzke is looking the fittest he ever has and is possibly going to have his first ever uninterrupted preseason of his career. Will play as 2nd ruck but still shouldn’t come into anyone’s fantasy calculations.

Rhys Stanley (Fwd) $164K – Has really impressing the new coach so far this preseason and has visibly bulked up a fair bit. Watters seems to rate him highly but not sure he is fantasy relevant at all. Personally don’t think he is a ruckman, doesn’t show anything as a forward either. Don’t pick him unless you want someone to average about 30 for you.

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23 Comments

  • Thank’s great write up :)
    Will definately being looking at Beau Wilke’s

  • Nice write up mate.
    Wilkes is an obvious choice for a bench spot / cash cow position in the back line, and Saad seems to be in everyones cookie cutter team at this stage of the year. I’ll be putting Roo in the ‘too hard basket’ for now and keep an eye on him, but I don’t think he will be starting in Griffo’s Fury in 2012 after the Fury he caused me in 2011.

    • Hayes is the one I’m not sure on. He seems to be a great bargain ifyou consider his abilities vs his price tag. But then I think about the snapped bones in his leg having to rejoin and heal when hee will be at 32 years of age next week. He has been in my team most of the preseason so far, but the more I think about it, the more he is slowly working his way out of it.

  • I’m considering both Wilkes & Saad for my starters.

  • Nice write up Warnie. Considering Jack Steven as a breakout player. Around $360k and DPP in mid/fwd. Is entering his 4th year and will get more ops in the midfield this year. Could be a smoke to avg 100+?

    • was thinking the same thing

      • Don’t think he is a mid/fwd in 2012. If he was I would say would be in same boat as Zaharakis, Sidebottom, Beams etc etc. I do think he’ll have a breakout year but not sure will be enough to make him top rated midfielder.

        • he has a long way to go to be ranked up there with sidebum, zaha etc. Take off your underachieving rose coloured glasses

    • Actually Steven is entering his 5th year at the club. He has only shown glimpses in 4 years so i would pass

  • Also – whilst I agree Wilkes will get games. Will he scored decently? I’d be looking for an avg of 65+ for our rook backs. Can he get there?

  • “BUT remember [Hayes] will be 32 by time season starts, is coming off his second serious knee injury and before 2011 his average were slowly in decline.”

    Not sure what you mean by this, Hayes’ 2009 and 2010 seasons were easily the best of his career DT wise. That said your point on Armitage is very valid, and I think at least initially Hayes will be slow to get going. Barlow is a far safer option IMO.

    I’d like to know what Watters has in plan for Sam Gilbert. If he returns to his 2010 role he is a steal.

    • Gilbert is an interesting one. Whilst Gwilt is out I think he will play that 2010 role but when Gwilt comes back he will take it over again. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gilbert used in FB position a fair bit. Personally he is in my “bottom 10” players that will be fighting with the kids for a spot. Is one to keep an eye on during NAB Cup and evaluating after that after we see what possible role he gets.

      As for Lenny your right, I was getting confused with his supercoach averages over the same period. Even still I don’t see him averaging enough over the year to warrant a spot in your final midfield. 85-90 max IMO. I also believe he will be used up forward a bit (aswell as being rested) to ensure he gets through the season.

  • The other is Montagna can he get back to his 2010 potential?

  • Wilkes for me maybe Saad if he is good to go round 1

    • no word on goddard or he is just an automatic starter in everyones teams, he is in mine

      nice article thanks for that will watch wilkes. saad im already watching :)

      • Figured everyone would have him locked into their teams and they know what to expect from Goddard, Dal, Fisher etc.

        But probably important to note that BJ had post season hip surgery and is still at least 2 weeks away from resuming full training.

  • I haven’t seen much of Saad but from what I’ve seen, he appears to be a bit of a poacher who may run around all day without doing much to help his dt score. Can anyone give a bit of an insight into him at this early stage?

  • Great review, love that you’ve actually attended training sesh’s and talked to players personally! Top effort!

    Keen to hear more on Montagna as well? Surely he’d be counted as a fallen premo as last year was certainly not his best without Hayes there to dig it out for him and has the potential to return to his ACE premo status? Plays a very DT-friendly game, not too old (in his prime?) and role shouldnt change too much? Would be a nice lil unique.. Had him for the last 2 years so quite used to seeing him in my team!

    Goddard, Dal and Fisher are prob priced accordingly and yer, we all know what to expect from them.. however tad concerning re news of Goddard’s hip op?

    • Cheers mate. Its hard to know what Joey is going to do this year. As you say with Hayes back in the fold he should be able to go back to his usual role. Is still in prime age but i think the the rise of Dal Santo, Steven etc last year cost him dearly dreamteam wise. Any role change would be him playing up forward a little more but he already kicks plenty of goals a year. I havent really been tracking him when ive attented training etc, and not much news on him filters through but ill try and suss some info out and keep you updated..

      Goddard was carrying hip injury for most of 2nd half year and had op straight after season finished. Has been running laps etc, no doubt will be cherry ripe come round 1.

      • Thanks for the reply, guess we just have to wait until NAB cup like for most players.. this new coach factor is such a big unknown and theres too many new coaches this year to stress about!

        From my uneducated perspective, I felt that Dal, Steven, Armo, etc could still score well is coz they could dig it out and get their own hard ball while Joey suffered by not having that “inside-mid” string to his bow.. which is acceptable because his best spot is on the wing and as you said kicks plenty of goals for a midfielder. Will keep him on my radar.

        Would be crazy to start off without Goddard for sure.. (although a few brave souls did last year and paid off!)