Deck of Dream Team 2012: Andrew Gaff

Name: Andrew Gaff
Club: West Coast Eagles
Position: Midfielder
Assistant Coach 2012 Price: $322,900
Bye Round: 11
2011 Average: 65.3
2011 Games Played: 14
Predicted Average: 84

Why should I pick him?

Because he’s Kermit! Or at least, that’s what his teammates call him, due to being green-vested so regularly over his debut year. Gaff showed us last year that he will be a fantastic fantasy player for years to come, but, due to the sub rule, his first year numbers don’t really reflect that at a glance.

On the surface, his season average of 65.3 doesn’t appear so promising. Looking deeper, you’ll see that of the 14 home-and-away games he played last season, he was subbed in 6 of them. In those game, he averaged a measly 37.3 points per game, mainly due to being unleashed only toward the end of the 3rd quarter. This leaves him with 8 unaffected games, in which he averaged a sizzling 86.25, with his best game coming against the Bulldogs in Round 19 with 119 DT points, backed up two weeks later by a 103 against the Dees which also earned him 3 Brownlow votes.

When not the sub, Gaff averages 13 kicks, just over 10 handballs and nearly 6 marks a game. His hard-running, free-flowing, outside brand of football gives way to plenty of +6 combos and keeps his kick-to-handball ratio healthy. Given the opportunity to complete a full pre-season, Gaff’s natural development should see him increase his endurance and strength, which will result in a small increase in possession numbers, and I’m predicting a significant jump in his low tackling rate of 1.07 a game.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Gaff is firmly entrenched in the Eagles’ succession plans, so whether he sees action over the 2012 season is not an issue. But that doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily avoid the sub vests, with fringe midfield spots being hotly contested between himself, Masten, Swift, Stevens and McGinnity.

Besides that, there isn’t much downside to selecting Gaff, unless of course he doesn’t fit your structure. He’ll definitely improve from his misleading 65.3 point average, but will it be enough to justify the mid-price selection?

Deck of DT Rating.

QUEEN – Gaff is at an awkward starting price and you’ll need a hefty set of balls to go with him, but the upside is definitely tempting… Whether he stays vest-free will be the deciding factor, so (I’m getting sick of saying this) watch his form over the nab cup for a better idea of his position in the pecking order at West Coast. I’m looking for a midfield mid-pricer this year, could Kermit be the one?


  • Thanks for the write up but no thanks. Too awkwardly priced for my liking. I’d prefer to go with one of the many good midfield rookies and use the cash somewhere else.

    • he has all the signs of being the nat fyfe of 2012 (i cant think of any nat fyfes prior to 2011)
      if not he is deffinately my 3rd year rule player for 2013
      he averaged was one of 3 players (d. heppell & b. jacobs) to average over 100 dt points in u18 championships

  • Thanks again for the write up tbetta, but not for me.

  • If I was going the mid price approach, he’d be one of the first I picked.

    I think he’ll average in the 90’s this year, so you could justify having him as your 6th mid and leaving him for one of your final upgrades, if it’s even worth it at all.

    He’s going to improve his average massively, 100% certain, but it all depends if you can fit him into your structure. Saying that, how can you not fit a player who will probably rise 100k, into your structure.

  • One of the first guys I had on my watch list at season’s end.
    But with the squads back down to 30 & the inflated player prices, I’ll be going with the G’n’R approach in the mids.
    Plenty of value and $ to be made elsewhere, IMHO.
    Nice write-up.

  • It’s a pity that he played all those full games late in the season. He would have been at a tastey price with a discount or a few more green-vested matches.

    But at over $300k he’s too expensive to be a cash cow and is not going to average enough to be a keeper.

  • This guy can find plenty of ball but there are other options.

  • Not even considering
    good read though

  • Gaff is at an awkward starting price and you’ll need a hefty set of balls to go with him,… Nothing more too say !!!

  • Cheers tbetta,

    I knew this guy was class but now I can call him Kermit at work and act surprised when my work mates don’t even know how he got his name. The fools!

    I had Fyfe from the start last year. I don’t think I will have the balls to go for another similar priced player this year because starting Fyfe as my 4th FWD wasn’t to much of a risk. I even had Duncan as my 5th FWD, so I went some mid priced forwards like I was MItch Robinson going in for a contested ball.

    Gaff is such a good choice for the Deck of’, because Gaff has been singing ‘So lonely’ on the bench, like he was Kim Jong ill in Team America, he is relevant. Hell, to average 61 in your first season without the green vest is a good effort. Players have gone from that position to keeper every year, despite the dreaded 2nd year blues, which could just be the most annoying DT concept.

    I’m starting to go full G’n’R. Even looking for the cheapest mature age players that look like being a good angus. I’m already worried about Zaha and Fyfe though. Going for Monty after wispers of his form last pre-season was a mistake I will never make again. So, I’m scared that after falling in love with a full M/F party, I won’t be able to have it. And Fyfe and Zaha were gonna DJ, with Sidebottom on the bar, Buddy minding the door, and Martin being the host! Sure, a FWD line like that will hurt you in the MID’s, but it was beautiful man.

  • Does anyone have an old freako which might say something on his points per minute? I’d be interested to find out this stat

  • waste of time this deck of dream team to anyone going the guns and rookie approach. mid pricers too risky too pick, PASS!!!!

  • cheers for the writeup Tbetta

    looks like he will be a ‘unique’ this year!

    currently locked in my M5 position. would love him to become a keeper at M6 but will be very happy if he is one of my last upgrade targets (well said, tbetta)

  • In the middle you pretty much have to go guns n rooks this year. We all know about the guns eg Swanny, Ablett, Rocky, Murphy, Selwood etc and then there’s a lot, and I mean a LOT, of great rookies/cheaps to pick up like Horsely, Clifton, Shiel, Miles, McDonald, Zorko, Kavagnah, Tyson, WIngard, Hoskin-Elliot, Stevens just of the top of my head.

    Gaff offers some good but the rookies will average just a bit less with a lot less risk involved and you gain 200k. Having Gaff with somebody like Brown will give you about 165 points per week. Having instead a rookie like Clifton and Stevie J will give you about 180 points in addition to a few extra grand.

  • Food for thought but no room for mid pricers in my midfield.. Only midpricers in my team are set for the backline (Lake, Waters) and the ruck (McIntosh)

  • To the ones saying Gaff doesn’t fit Guns + Rookies structure, they probably aren’t remembering 2010 players like Rockliff who went from 87 avg to 112 avg in one year.

    You don’t just have to buy “recognised” guns in the guns and rookies strategy, if you think someone sitting at a “mid price” now will become “gun” this year then that player also fits in the “gun” category.

    Given Gaff scored 86 in 2010 when not getting subbed, he is very close to Rockliff’s 87 avg, I don’t think you should rule him out without seeing what he does in the NAB Cup.

    If I can buy a future “gun” for a middle price like $322900 then I’d prefer that over paying $544200 (Rockliff’s 2011 price) for a “recognised” gun.

    Good write up Tbetta – thinking outside the box and not getting involved in Groupthink.

    • It’s about the byes too though, with West Coast having the same bye as Adelaide, it would mean dropping Scott Thompson to bring in Gaff.. And Adelaides soft draw is just too tempting.. He’ll definitely be one to watch, but maybe as an upgrade target from say a Kyal Horsley after round 11 to avoid the round 13 bye that he has?

      • If you’re going to consider a mid-priced player, surely you’d have to take them from the start? By Round 11 if he turns out to be a winner he’ll be 100k+ more expensive.

        • I’m not sure Gaff will be a permanent fixture in West Coasts mids from the get go though, I definitely think his spot will be cemented by mid season but in the first half I think Woosha will be rotating Masten, Gaff, Stevens until he gets the right fit. I think you’ll still be able to pick Gaff up for around the $370-$380k mark which if your rookie has made $150-$200k is a small hit to take.

          I think Gaff will be an absolute gun by seasons end and will be in a lot of teams, It’s just it’s either him or Scott Thompson for me so I’m doing my best to talk myself out of it ;)

          • As an Eagles fan, I’d say Gaff will be in our best 22 for the entire year. Masten/Stevens won’t take his spot because Masten/Stevens are more inside players and Gaff is more outside like Embley. Gaff played every game from round 17 onwards including all of our finals. We need to get games and experience into him because we are still on the rebuild – so I think the Eagles will definitely play him when he’s available. Just my opinion though – I could easily be wrong :-)

      • Yep agreed – if he is no good for byes then sure don’t pick him, but I was specifically addressing the guns+rookies reason for not picking him.

  • Nice timing on this. Yesterday I was reading up on Cruize Garlett’s stats for the same reason. Ultimately I’m not sure these guys have the same upside as a high-end rookie (Selwood, Heppell, Barlow types), but if one of them turns out to be the next Liam Shiels you’re laughing.

  • Weighing him up against Lenny Hayes at this stage as my 6th mid

  • I chose Fyfe and Rockliff from the start of the last year correctly and that set me up for the whole year with me never leaving the top 3 thousand that season.

    Choosing the next lot of improvers is very important to league rankings and overall in cases as well.

    So many people I knew wasted trades for getting Fyfe and Rockliff afterwards.

    If you read reports from well informed and trusted sources that a player like Gaff is going to rocket this season and fit in somewhere in your structure pick them.

    Just remember it worked for Shiels, Rockliff, Redden and Fyfe last year.

  • Watched him play some very good footy against Geelong in last year’s prelim. The kid’s all class and will be a superstar one day. Season high of 119 against the Dogs in Rd 19 shows he’s got the DT chops. If he brings that form to the table on consistent basis, you’d be happy locking him in. Just takes some big plums to do it in the MIDs.

  • For me he is to awkwardly priced and not guaranteed playing time every week. Or atleast a full game. Will monitor him for the rest of pre-season though.

  • Not sure if I will go a mid pricer in the mid’s this year but if I change my mind it will be between this guy and Brad Ebert.

    Really good write up tbetta.