Deck of Dream Team 2012: Brian Lake

Name: Brian Lake
Club: Western Bulldogs
Position: Defender
Assistant Coach Price: $255,200
Bye Round: 11
2011 Average: 52
2011 Games Played: 5
Predicted Average: 78

Why should I pick him? Prior to an injury plagued season in 2011, Brian Lake was coming off a career best year, averaging a whopping 99.7 which was over 18 better than any of his previous 8 years. Throughout that year he was of of the standout defenders and one of few back there capable of big 100’s, which he managed 12 times. The highlight of his breakout year was round 9 vs North Melbourne where he collected 41 possessions and 22 marks on his way to a lazy 192 (no, that is not a typo). When Lake is injury free and playing his best football be is an outstanding mark, whether it be in a contested situation, switching play or my favorite Lakey move of running the clock down with some kick to kick. Either way, marks were a massive contributor to his scoring, racking up double figures on 11 occasions. He can also be a good accumulator of the ball for a defender, 15 times collecting over 20 touches in 2010. Before last season, Lake was a very durable player, missing just 2 games in 6 years.

Why shouldn’t I pick him? Brian is approaching his 30th year which is an automatic cut off for many coaches, especially considering his horrible run of injuries at the age of 29. Its fair to say the odds are against the big fella having an uninterrupted season. In 2011, the combination of injuries and the consequential loss of confidence, left Lake looking like he had forgotten how to actually play the game and his basic skill errors increased to the point his selection in the best 22 was questionable. Even if he has an uninterrupted pre season, there is every chance the Dogs new style of play won’t allow him to score in his free flowing 2010 fashion which was assisted by the Dogs having a top 4 caliber lineup.

Deck of DT Rating: Jack- There is no doubt that Lake provides value at his deflated price given what he was capable of just 2 seasons ago. There would be a lot of risk with this selection but if he has a good pre season, and is a lock for their best 22, it is possibly a risk worth taking. Despite his age and obvious high risk, its hard to ignore that a season and a half ago he scored 192, How many players can you say that about? At this stage he is a 60% chance of lining up with destROY.

Follow me on Twitter: @RoyDT


  • I remember that game he got 192, it was ugly viewing.
    Lake and his buddy Ryan Hargrave played kick to kick!
    Was in my early draft teams, but I’ve decided to leave him out.

    • lol, Hargrave got 129 in that game!

      • It was a very different Bulldogs outfit that day, they won over the roos by 70 points. Not sure we’ll see that this year. Lake was also allowed to zone off O’keefe all day and as eepobreci stated played kick to kick across half back with Hargrave.

        Player DT SC
        Brian Lake 192 179
        Adam Cooney 147 171
        Ryan Hargrave 129 106
        Mitch Hahn 115 94
        Matthew Boyd 108 120
        Ryan Griffen 107 104
        Nathan Eagleton 107 62
        Josh Hill 102 86

        He is in my draft team at the moment but I will watch his preseason to see if he is fit and playing in a potentially lucrative position. Needs to be playing that sweeping role, not the stay at home full back which he may cop this year.

  • He’s in my team for now. At $255K he represents good value.

  • Good choice for the deck of DT and thanks for your efforts Roy but the article is slightly contradictory. You start off by saying he is durable – only missing 2 games in the last 6 years (bar last year) and then go onto say given his recent run of horrible injuries he shouldn’t be considered.

    You heard it right here first from the Sloth – Lake WILL NOT even come close to reaching his previous average, 2010 was a one off. Remember about 4 or 5 years ago when Dustin Fletcher had an awesome dt year when the dons were slutting it around the back half? Well that was the cheap c*nt lake was of 2010, he was awesome to watch that year but with a new coach no way he will get within 10 – 15 points of a 100 average. Pick himst your own peril.

    The views and opinions if this post are of the author of this post – the Sloth.

    • Read the words, Sloth. Before last year he was durable. Then Roy went on to talk about at 29 (last season) that he struggled with injury! I wouldn’t call that contradictory.

    • Not to mention sloth that his predicted average is below 80. Not the 99 like his best season. God i hope we don’t have another 2011 Tkol on our hands and you were just too tired to read the article fully.

      What to you think Warnie, a sold but expensive cash cow, or too much risk?

  • Could be a goer with the lack of good defenders going around but will need a good NAB Cup to make my squad

  • This time last year he was going in for the surgery on pretty much anything that moves. Hopefully this time around he will be ready to go in round one and could be a solid cashcow for your team.

  • Have hardly heard a word on how the Dogs’ preseason is going…with a new coach I thought there would be a bit more publicity.

    Lake is priced at a level where he can still just be considered a cash cow, potentially the last player in the backline to upgrade after the byes are done. If he improves by 20-25 points/game over last year, that’s around a $100-125K increase and some OK scoring, but you wouldn’t want to keep him. More than that and he might sneak in for the D7 spot to the end of the year.

    He’s a tough one, but I think everyone will have a much clearer idea after NAB Cup. Role and fitness need to be confirmed. For the SC fans out there he’s a much more solid pick, has always scored well and will be a chance for top 7 defenders, just the fitness aspect to check.

  • at his price i’d happly take a 80-90 average which anybody of his calibre is capable of surely….

    I dont expect him to get back to the high 90’s. He’s in my draft at the moment fighting with armstrong fopr a spot.

    • I just checked Armstrong. Interesting. Have you seen him play or heard any word on him mate? Cause, I’d imagine that you must have some reason other than just the 20% discount to play him.

      • He was in the deck earlier. Had some off field issues, apparently can score really well. plays a running game out of defense.

      • Even though he hasn’t had many games, has found it easy to rack up points as an outside mid/sweeper, including a big hundred in just his second game. He was affected by the vest a bit last year, but, given Sydney’s track-record on recycled players; their willingness to give them a chance to establish themselves in the best 22; their need for outside speed; and the vacancy created by Tadgh’s departure – he’s certainly worth a place on the watchlist.

  • We all had a laugh this year when he was popping up on the injury list carrying 3 different injuries – some people said they should just put “body” instead. If he manages to stay fit and gets through NAB cup with no issues I will seriously consider him.

  • I think Brian is finished. Way too risky and has proven an inability to carry injury.

    • agreed. too old for a team with a new coach. even if he does play well, wont appreciate enough to be picked over a rookie who just needs to get a game to increase > 100.

    • The be fair he didn’t have to carry an injury last year. He had to carry three. A shoulder, A knee and a hip all needing surgery around Christmas time… And he still managed five games in the AFL, and more in the VFL. All without a preseason. And then he almost went blind due to a freak eye injury.

      So I think as far as carrying an injury goes, if I were on a battlefield and needed someone to carry me to safety, I’d be picking him over glass-bones Sylvia, turf-toe Sandilands, knocked-over-with-a-feather Higgins or you-name-it-i’ll-break-it Grimes, all of whom have been touted as ‘good value this year’.

  • Brian.. you dont get too many Brians out there these days…

    off topic… anyone think Bernard Tomic will breakout this year?

    and if so could you actually cheer for somebody called Bernard?

  • Nice Roy, been waiting for Lake to see what you gents thought of him and honestly im still scratching my head on what to do with him, i found this other article on him on the afl page for anyone who needs any more help then what Roy has provided

    Boring response but i think we will all have to wait for nab cup to see what Lake does, wondering if Lake will fall like Hargrave….Premo one year not the next

    • Wow cheers for pointing out that site, basically another DoDT that I can read over and feed my DT addiction! Yay! Although seems like the players covered are similar! Whos copying who here? :P

      • DT boys don’t copy, they do all the hard work for all of us. Somethings like this everybody can see especially when talking bout players etc so certain thing will be mentioned by more then one person

      • I dont think there’s any copying going on. Everybody that’s interested in DT is interested in the same group of players we all want to talk about.

      • Without pointing any fingers, DoDT has been around for years while DT Builder is in it’s first year.

        Not exactly a unique format though.

  • he’s in my team now but like everyone else it seems, without great confidence. If they stick him at full back all year its a no for me. Bring on the preseason comp please! too many players floating in limbo in my squad.

  • Pass

  • Here’s my take on the Brian Lake argument.

    For $529,300 I can get Lake ($255,200) & Conca ($274,100) or someone like Mohr ($115,800) and maybe someone like Hanley or Bock for under the $413,500 left over.

    Between Lake and Conca I figure they’ll average something like 80 points a pop. With Hanley or Bock I’ll probably get 90 points and with Mohr he could go the way of Heppell (85 ave) or Tapscott (50 ave).

    Out of Lake and Conca one of them will become a 7th Defender and the other should allow a reasonable upgrade later in the year.

    So in this case I feel 2 mid prices are safer than a gun and a rookie.

    I’d also like to think that Brian’s pride has taken a beating and if he’s any sort of warrior then he’ll look to step up and prove to everyone that he can get back up there! There are no more excuses for him given his injury concerns are dealt with and he has a new coach – so the Big Feller is backing him in!

    Lake = Lock!

    • Your assuming Lake stays injury free. Although I like your thinking and believe Conca is a great pick. I believe Bulldogs will put lake under possibly a early season blanket and maybe not risk losing him for the rest of the season again as we all saw what happened to the bulldogs when he wasn’t playing. I still think he will be a very closely watched player in NAB but personally im going to take a mainly gun and rookie approach with a couple of mid priced players (possibly 2). Another thing to look at is if you are considering including possibilities like maybe J.Brown or N.Fyfe or The king Barlow. how many 2011 injury struck players are you willing to take the gamble on?? And is Lake one of the best returning from injury??

  • The only reason I am even considering someone who had such a catastrophic previous season is because of the lack of good defenders this year.

    Because of the lack of premiums, in my backline, I am looking at 3 premiums (Goddard, Lids, Scotland etc) and 2 cheap/injured premiums.
    Which 2 should I pick out of Waters/Lake/Heppell/Grimes/Adcock

  • im looking for a unique midfield rookie this year, do you think clay smith from the bulldogs will be very dt relevant?

  • For me, it boils down to:

    If I take a punt with the single premium ruck strategy (Cox) then Lake is in (along with Jonno Brown and Chad Wingard).

    If I go the more traditional dual premium ruck then Lake, Brown and Wingard are out (replaced by low price rookies).

    So the question is – do I feel lucky, punk?

    • A 2nd premium ruck this year is pffft. There is no upside. Your paying for a 90 avg and that’s exactly what your going to get. Lake and Brown can only go up up up. Do i feel lucky. Hell yes.
      2012 the rise of the crippled premiums !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • He’s in my team for now- watch his NAB Cup performance and will decide. too early to think about DT and will be seriously planning it when Feb 1 rolls in and when I get my hands on the all-important Assistant Coach and the AFL Prospectus.

    • So its too early to think about DT but he’s already in your side! & I thought I was crazy :)

  • White the Bulldogs run the tan time trial Brian Lake is in a wheel chair at the shrine waiting the ANZAC parade.
    Lock him in!

    • Yo! Ron Burgundy! What’s up dog? Post-season’s over dude, you’ve got to have a shave, put on your best cheap suit, lay off the booze and start talking English.

  • He is in my side pending NAB cup form and position. Big risk taking him and Grimes but big risk = big reward :)

  • Tossing up between him and Brian Harris

  • Like most people, will have to wait until NAB cup, but prob leaning towards a no at this stage.. will have to play FB due to lack of talls in the WB defence (I remember poor Dale Morris having to cover for a game and play on a tall forward and got slaughtered! Dont remember which opponent tho..)

    Plus he may be lacking confidence to zone off his opponent and may just stick to blanketing his opponent to impress Macca the new coach and convince him he’s best 22!

    Great article and good to see a defender! Time for another ruck tomorrow? :p
    Nah seriously, I know we have Conca coming up, would love to have more tho ie: Hargrave, Gilbee (one of the best kicks in the comp can surely get his spot back!), Malceski, Tommy Walsh, J.Russell, Mackie, H.Shaw, Grima, Surjan, Hanley.. even Houli!
    All potential mid-pricers (most playing that suitable HBF position providing run from defence) that must be considered to fill our premo-depleted backlines this year.

  • At the moment Ive currently got Conca ahead of Lake but will keep an eye on his role in NAB Cup.

  • Saw that someone mentioned A.Mackie in this post. Contemplated him when the year finished with that great game against the weagles during the finals. Currently got enright in my backline but would mackie be a better bet (should play all 22 games this year) and pocket the cash.

    BTW- Great article, i have got lake and conca in my team at the moment, feel that at worst 1 will become a 6-7th def keeper. Is adding mackie to these two too much of a risk?

    • Brian is locked in for me. More upside than downside. At worst he may gain only a hundred G without a great average. Worst thing that can happen is injury but we’ll all know before season starts.

      Low risk/reward factor with Brian imo

      • it does look like his hair is thinning out though, maybe I need to rethink…..

        • No chappy or gazza ablett for you than mate, wouldn’t have one strand of hair between them I would have thought.

  • Like a lot of others, in my side pending NAB form. Tempting at the price.

  • Nice write up Destroy.

    Lake is a bit scary. I think I’ll spend an extra $3000 and get Raph Clarke hahahahah

    Seriously, Lake has to be considered but I don’t think I have the guts because if he ain’t going to become a keeper, I don’t want to pay that much for a cash cow.

    If there are four rookie defenders that will get games then I will overlook Lake. Mohr and Bower are tempting at this stage, but I’m sure that this time last year Duigan, Heppell and Stanley were all looking good. I can only hope that rook defenders come out of the woodwork and I can avoid the Lake dilemma.

    Still, it would only take a good NAB cup to have me freaking out!

    • I have heard some good reports on Conca, but I am very surprised that everyone is so keen on him.

      • Well he was a 1st rnd draft pick, given a DEF status, almost guaranteed to play the whole season with lots of midfield time and his folks own a great pizza place!

      • I think the lack of standout rookies and concern about game time is making those lower mid price players look very tasty in the back line. For me it’s about security by getting as close to the bench as i can before i see a rookie’s name in my line up.

  • All i can say is no…its just not going to happen…there are those who are discounted and its great.. and there are those who are discountd for a reason

  • Calf strain. Hmmm.. he is crossed out for me now!