Deck of Dream Team 2012: Dyson Heppell

Name: Dyson Heppell
Club: Essendon Bombers
Position: Defender
Assistant Coach 2012 Price: $415,900
Bye Round: 12
2011 Average: 84.09
2011 Games Played: 22
Predicted Average: 88

Why should I pick him?

2011 Rising star winner and Essendon wonder kid Dyson Heppell had an amazing debut season playing all 22 games with an average of 84. Hep D managed to score 90+ 9 times and crack the ton 5 times over the season. His last 5 games came at an average of 92 which included a below par 68 against the Bulldogs in Round 21. This ranked him the 12th best defender, on average, in 2011… but the 5th best on total points due to him playing all 22 games.

At any rate, it was a pretty damn good debut season Dream Team wise. Nice and consistent. (Click here for his season stats. Source: FanFooty.)

What made me choose Dyson Heppell as a card in the Deck of Dream Team was that I have seen his name pop up a lot in some Team Picker teams. I usually stay away from second  year players, especially if they have had such big debut seasons. I think he is priced pretty well as he is unlikely to drop in value/output.

Heppell has spent a bit of time in the gym this off season judging by this photo. In 2011, he looked like a scrawny, gangly dude but now looks to have bulked up a bit. This should definitely help his ball winning ability and allow him to shake any attention – which may come a little more this season in the form of a tag. However, at the Bombers, Jobe Watson will always cop the #1 tag.

As a junior, Hep’s numbers were pretty good. In his 5 Under 18 Championship games for Vic Country, he averaged 87 Dream Team points while for Gipsland in the TAC Cup he averaged 109 (from 15 games). Solid efforts. He will be a DT star for us over the next decade.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Most people will be thinking, can he back it up and improve in 2012? In my opinion, he will at least back it up, but I’m not sure how much of an improvement he will make on his already decent average of 84 from 2011. I like to look for players who have some upside in them. For me, you’ll be getting what you paid for with Hep D (and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing).

His ceiling isn’t really huge. Even with a 30 possession game against Geelong in Round 15, he only just cracked 100 points. 108 against Richmond was his highest score of the season which came from 29 disposals.

This is a petty thing, but he is only listed as a defender this year, so I feel as though I am being ripped off after having him as a DEF/MID last season. (Dumb argument, Warnie). But really, he should be listed as a midfielder as that is where I believe he will play and showed a lot there last year… maybe this section should be up in the why we should pick him?!

As a player with the Round 12 bye, there are a lot of defenders who are on my radar this preseason who might make the cut and I obviously can’t have them all. Collingwood (Heath Shaw), Fremantle (Greg Broughton, Paul Duffield), Geelong (Corey Enright) and Melbourne (Jack Grimes). Sydney also have the bye. Plus, who knows what defender rookies might pop up from those clubs also.

Deck of DT Rating.

QUEEN – I feel that selecting Dyson Heppell will be a relatively safe pick for your AFL Dream Team! He should at least average his 84 that you’re paying for him and continue to be fairly consistent – most likely grow his consistency – over the 2012 season. Hep should smash out some decent scores early on in the season with a nice start for the Bombers against North Melbourne, Port Adelaide and Gold Coast. I’m not sure if he makes the grade for the Warne Dawgs just yet, but I know one day he will be a big DT star.

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: @WarnieDT for all things DT (and more).


  • Good call Warnie. I can’t decide if I can fit him in this year.

  • Heppell will average 90+ imo. Fitter, stronger, faster! Will be watching all defenders closely though

  • Can’t decide on Heppell or “risking” a Grimes or Waters to take the last premo defender spot. Thinking that I will pass on him at this stage but will probably be proven wrong

  • cant have him warnie! i’m going to find this years heppell.. thats what the games about

    • You are so right Adzman………..Heppell will be lucky to rise in price by any more than 80 – 100 thousand,
      we need to find a new Heppell and make 200,000 plus.

  • Going by last years numbers against teams he plays in the first half of the season this year, (+GWS,)
    I reckon with natural improvement he could average 90-95.

    Plays Port, Rich, & Coll twice, his averages vs these teams are, 102,(1game) 105,(2gms) 102,(2gms).
    Plays Rich & Coll in rnds 23 & 24 so could be handy for DT finals.

    Will he suffer from 2nd year blues? I highly doubt it!

    Now, before I get attacked for using averages based on 1 year……..they’re all I’ve got!
    Seriously, the kid ooozes class, has great skills, shows tremendous poise.

    You won’t be wasting your $$$ picking this kid!

    Great write up & nice choice fort the deck!

  • 2nd year he will consolidate at 84 (best case 90). Not ready but maybe an upgrade target later in the season.

  • Don’t know why I just can’t seem to warm to adding him, the logics sound enough (maybe I’m just stubborn because I payed bugger all for him last year). But for some reason my gut says no. The dools gut has spoken… beware of being infected with Hep!!!

  • He’s floating around my team at the moment I’m not sure whether i’m going to chose him or not yet though

  • please please include Pearce Hanley in the ‘DoDT’ along with Jordan Lewis!!!!

  • “This ranked him the 12th best defender, on average, in 2011… but the 5th best on total points due to him playing all 22 games.”

    Hirdy loves this kid and I see value!!! locked.

  • ATM pass but if Broughton play lock-down roll, he is in. Sorry but of topic, the Sportal ODI Cricket Dream Team is open, so please join my league! 200997

    Thank You!

  • not for me

  • Hep has a quality DT game. Loves a mark and is all class. I agonised over Fyfe last year due to second year blues concernes and ended up passing – regretted that call all year. Obviously Hep’s priced a lot higher so there’s not the upside that Fyfe had but from an overall perspective, it’s hard to go past the 5th best DEF.

  • Tough call. 50/50. He is looking stronger. Prospectus says most of his possessions were uncontested last year. If he moves to the mids, which prospectus suggests, his uncontested poss will dry up. Can he make up for that with more contested possessions/tackles?

    • Excellent point Wayne.
      NAB role will shed some light on this.

    • He is my boy.

      I reckon that he will get increased midfield time this year but one of the most valuable things that he gave the bombers last year was sound decision making and the ability to hit a target coming off half back line, in my opinion the dons will rotate him through the midfield but predominately play him out off defense.

      The dons have quite a few mids that will step up to the plate for more time spent in there this year eg, Melksham, Colier, Zaha, Ross, Winderlich returning, add that to Watson, Stanton, Hocking, Lonergan, Howlett.

      By the look of him he will be able to hold his own inside but he is an outside player and that characteristic will bump his scores up even more. He took 132 marks last year which was the most at the dons and 22nd most in the league so there is a lot of +6’s for you!

      Get on him!

  • Great call. But it’s either hit or miss for me.

  • The way I see it Hep, Broughton, Houli and Adcock are all around the same price so I’ll wait on NAB cup before making a final decision.

  • Who is the lesser risk between Heppell and Broughton? Struggling to see how Broughton will fit into the midfield structure of the Dockers with Mundy, Barlow and Mzungu all fit and the talk of Ballentyne being thrown in as well. Lyon isn’t really known for using smaller defenders as rebound players either. Can see Heppell playing mid a lot more but Broughton on his day can be the top weekly scorer

  • Nice choice for the deck Warnie!
    Heppell is LOCKED! im not a believer in the second year blues, the kid has bulked up, was very consistent in his first year, so now those 50-60’s should be gone. The only thing that will deny him of earning a spot in my team is if Broughton plays midfield and smashes out some big numbers.

  • Breaks my second year rule

  • Great Write up. I have loved the site for a couple of years now. This is the first year I have joined up and this is my first post.

    This guy is a lock for me this year. He oozes class. The best thing about his scores last year was the ease that he went about it. He really is what I would call a natural footballer. Even if he does get more time in the midfield, can’t see him being an in and under type especially with Jobe and co playing. Will still pick up the uncontested possies but hopefully may even float into the forward line a little. Wouldn’t put it past him kicking a few goals.

    This year has a definite feeling of the ‘changing of the guard’. Guys like Hep D, Dusty Martin, Rocky, Goldy, Zaha, A. Swallow etc are now in line to take the next step and become DT royalty.

    Best of luck guys and girls. Look forward to chatting throughout the year.

  • I’ve had him locked since the end of last season.
    I think the Bombers will improve this year, and he will improve with them.
    Hirdy loves him, he played every game last year, got better as the year progressed, put on 4kg of muscle so far in the pre-season.
    All good signs.
    Only negative I see is the superstition of the 2nd year player and fyfe put that to bed.

    • wow, hammerhead, just cut and paste someone elses post. seen ur cookie cutter team and the only thing you know is darren glass will be your fullback, by the way i”ve heard you say you have had over 80 players locked in since the finals last year. and your a muppet

      • You on the drink early?

        You know you don’t have to check in to DT Talk everyday when you’re just going to click “Auto-pick my team”.
        It’d be sick if our league match happens first up – Braggin’ rights for a whole year… yieew!!!!

        • my autopick team will still beat a team chosen by you. u will probably fall for this years relton roberts. i hope we play each other around rd 8 so you make panic changes every round till then. who ever you pick out of swan and pendlebury for captain. the other one will do amazingly. but being your third season you might have a breakout year and crack the top 100,000.
          how about who ever gets the worst ranking overall has to wash the other persons car.

  • I had him from the start last year. He was really consistent and a great rookie buy. I have him in my team this year atm, however I am now gunna watch him closely in the NAB cup before a final decision to lock him due to the comment made by wcarey earlier …”If he moves to the mids, which prospectus suggests, his uncontested poss will dry up. Can he make up for that with more contested possessions/tackles?” Great point to consider.

  • He has been locked in my side since last year. He will average well over 90. Great write up Warnie! :D

  • Not seeing a whole lot of reason not to pick him honestly. His scoring rate per possession should hopefully improve with more midfield time (more tackles, etc), he didn’t miss a game last year, he plays in an improving side, has a good DT role and has an advantageous bye. I think you at least have to consider him, and he’ll be a lock for quite a few (myself included).

  • Locked

  • Boys love the Fan Show idea
    I love Alex Williamson funniest guy on Earth

  • the guy is a gun, no doubt about that. I am still sceptical though of how he and the bombers will go this year. I think they will be around 6th again and i cant see him breaking into the mids with zaha hocking melksham and king jobe watson in the frame. also i hear that they are grooming angus for more upfield time so could be a unique pick there. Ill wait till NAB form to finalize my team like everyone does but for the time being he is not in my calculations

  • Nice Warnie,

    This guy is so freaking blessed. Last year he said that in the morning he played kick to kick with his girlfriend (who is smoking hot!)

    The brains trust at the dons must be so happy they spread those dodgy groin rumors at draft time!