5 Squared

5 Squared is a new series that will aim to give you the best advice and educated opinions on the big topics facing DT coaches. This edition features the 3 DT Talk pioneers Warnie, Roy and Calvin, rookie expert Chook of Chook’s Rooks fame, and weekly Bullets writer Tbetta.

1. Do you think Hawthorn will remain the high-scoring DT side that they were last year?

Calvin – Yeah I do, can’t see why not. But in saying that you’d be paying top dollar for the guys who went through the roof last year due to their high possession footy. I can’t see their ‘style’ of game changing one bit.

Chook – Rather than hoofing it long and hoping, Hawthorn developed their pin-point, short-kicking (and DT-lucrative) game plan to counter the zone. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few teams changed their defensive structure against the Hawks to pay a little more attention to their high-quality kickers, such as Matt Suckling, this year. At any rate, the chickens have largely flown the coup – 2011 was the year to load up on Suckers and Liam Shiels, not 2012.

Warnie – Yep! Sure thing. They will win more games this year too which will be a bonus to their scoring you’d like to think.

Tbetta – I’m not sold. While their game plan will ensure they remain one of the higher fantasy-scoring teams, I don’t think it should influence player selection like it did last year. Other clubs seemed to catch on, and you’ll notice young accumulators in Suckling (avg 98 R1-14, 80 R15-24) and Shiels (avg 111 R1-15, 88 R16-24) had significantly lower scoring over the 2nd half of the season.

Roy – I think they will win more games and their scoring will reflect that with a slight improvement from most of the relevant DTers.

2. Team Ablett or Team Swan? 

Warnie – Ahh, Team Ablett. As much as I love the fantasy pig in Swanny, Gazza has the nice draw and more ‘upside’ for the early part of the season. Swanny will grace my team a few weeks in.

Tbetta – I had always been a Swan man myself – I used to jealously despise any team that Ablett graced, especially through his golden years at Geelong. But after Gaz saved my season by stepping up in Swan’s absence in the middle of 2011, I can safely say I’m on Team Ablett.

Roy – Due to having a pre season this year, being on a rapidly improving team and having a sensational draw I say Ablett by a nose. Having said that, traditionally I’m a Pig fan so I need to find a way to get them both. Let’s face it, a team is not complete until they are both sitting there. I don’t want another year of hoping 1 of these guys have a bad game only to see 150 against their name and 300 as my opponents captain.

Chook – I’m yet to start a season with Swan and that looks unlikely to change this year. The Pig will be there by season’s end, but it’s Team Ablett for me. As a DT coach who spends more time rookie-watching than anything else, I always stuff up these “which premium?” decisions anyway. Can I say Team Shiel?

Calvin – Being the captain expert… I’m Team Both. Trying my arse off to start these guys when round 1 ticks over. Yeah they will both drop in price and others will pick them up cheaper… but I would have had them for 5 rounds before people jump on, double it as my captain! – Calvin off to a flying 2012 start!

3. Who is the one player you’ve banished to the ‘Never Again’ list – forever? 

Roy – Shaun Higgins…… words can not describe how I feel about Higgins. He has a life ban from destROY, I’d sooner pick Zac Dawson.

Chook – I ‘ve managed to avoid the Higgins and Heath Shaw pain of recent years, so I’ll finger Colin Sylvia. As a Demons supporter, I expected so much more.

Calvin – Where do I start… Higgins, Sylvia, Montagnahhh oh Montagna is cheap this year with a really good draw, but I just can’t do it out of pure hatred!

Tbetta – Normally I like to stay calm and look at every player at his merits (I mean, am I really considering Porpz again?) but the one player I refuse to touch is Higgins. Never, ever, ever again. Ever.

Warnie – There are so many, but I think Shaun Higgins has finally done his dash. Colin Sylvia a close second.

4. What are your thoughts on the ruck situation this year, given the burst of options we seem to have? 

Chook – Firstly, how nice is it to have a wide open ruck race again this year? With viable options in the premium, mid-price and rookie categories, it’s difficult to go too wrong. At the same time, nailing the “perfect” combo is perhaps harder than  ever. Mummy is tempting me, but at this stage it’s McEvoy and Stephenson/Giles, although I’ll likely wimp out before lock-out and opt for a second big gun.

Calvin – Starting one premo ruck with a cheapy. With my plans to upgrade the ‘cheapy’ to a premo come bye time. Which premo to start with… Tossing up between McEvoy and L’Berger.

Warnie – Ben McEvoy is a lock as #1 for me with Big O and Giles safely in there. Still deciding whether to play a rookie in the #2 slot, or just go a Set and Forget. Then there is the DPP I am playing with to slot Sam Rowe in there mid season.

Tbetta – I’m having some sleepless nights thinking about the ruck-line this year! I’ve always been a Set & Forget sort of guy, and all my pre-season planning has started out that way. But, with the seemingly solid job security of some of the rookies there this year, I’m actually considering going in with only one premo… Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Roy – I’m being very mindful of teams that have either recruited or have a second ruck returning from injury Eg. McIntosh and Hudson.

5. Who’s your pick for break-out player of the year? 

Warnie – As a Bombers man, I’m going to throw it out there and go with David Zaharakis. He’s a massive chance to boost his average well over 100 ppg.

Tbetta – I think it has to be someone who was regularly vested last year. Someone who can now crack the first 21 and stay there (avoiding vest-affected scores), on top of natural development. For that reason, I’m looking at Gaff and Christensen, and I’m edging towards the latter of the two at this very, very early stage.

Roy – I think Koby Stevens will have a really good year providing his body holds up and Steele Sidebottom will increase his average by at least 15 ppg.

Chook – I’m with Tbetta on this one. Christensen and Gaff loom as massive breakout candidates if they can steer clear of the green and red vests and continue their late-season form from 2011. An Angus (the bull, not Monfries) sized nut sack is required to take the punt on Gaff, given his price and position, but everyone should be clambering aboard the Christensen bandwagon.

Calvin – Swanny to break out a 140+ average ha ha… nah, maybe not so much a ‘break out’ year but a ‘Bounce Back’ year. I’m tipping big things from Browny, Porpz and maybe even Didak who are very under priced in 2012 due to injuries/form.

151 Comments

  • Thoughts on Gibbs, considering he’s lost his DPP ability. Is worth of a lock for the rest of the year?

    • My only concern with Gibbs is if Ratten decides to give lock down jobs like he did last year. Gibbs is an out and out gun, but until Rat’s removes those tagging roles from Gibbs’ duties, that is a fair risk to have in one’s midfield, especially at that price tag. I think most of us remember the job Gibbs did on Goodes last year …

  • I have him, he’s the standout player at preseason training from the blues camp, will get plenty more midfield time and is a certainty to improve on last year imo. lock

  • I know theres just been a rather brilliant article on this but which 2 of these 3 would you start with Hep D, broughton, Houli?

    • It depends on your structure and who you already have in your backline … Considering Houli shares his bye with Goddard, Delidio, Scotland, Suckling, Birchall etc. you might have trouble finding room in your backline for him. I dare say Houli is on track for a very good year, having said that I think he will average less than the other Round 13 guns, and will average around the same as Broughton and Heppell, especially if Broughton and Heppell get midfield time. If you only have 2 Round 13 players then you can squeeze Houli in, if you have 3 or more then you would be stuck with Broughton and Heppell.

      • yeah I have room for houli and am surprised more teams don’t have him. I think he’ll have an excellent year. Hep D v broughts is tearing my hair out! Love broughts high ceiing, if he could just get some bloody consistency about his game! Really need to wait till nab cup to see where he’s playe to make the final call. Hep D is the safer bet atm butmy gut says broughts.

        • I have been thinking the same thing in regards to Broughts and Hep D … I am thinking about playing both of them and getting rid of Enright, saving myself just under $40K. Having the extra money would make me feel a bit better about having a Swan, Pendles, Ablett, Rockliff, Barlow midfield. Come round 12 I will look to trade Barlow out for Boyd and Round 14 I will trade Rooks out for a Premo Round 13 Bye Mid. :-)

        • I’d definitely consider Houli if I didn’t already have 4 backs (2 premiums, 2 rooks) with the Rnd 13 bye.

          At moment have Hep D.

    • heppel for consitenency and a higher cieling

    • heppel bombers have easy start to year with port and gc in the first 2 weeks

  • Any news on Morabito? is he worth the extra cash or just go a rookie?

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  • As far as a breakout player is concerned, Calvin mentioned he is tipping big things from Browndog. I currently have him in my team. He is a proven gun and is my team atm. What are peoples thoughts on taking him this year after a shocking injury last year. Apparently he is fit as drovers dog and has currently no pre season injuries. Good value at $ 331 400? and thats based on an average of 67 last year from 10 games with that injury.

    • He’s as big a lock as ablett is for me. His “injuries” were only because of himself and with the lions kids gaining more experience i think they can only improve from last year. When Brownies on he’s on and at his price yo cant go wrong ;)

  • What does every1 think of Christensen?

    • Gonna be a good pickup this year. If you take his subaffected games out last year he averaged 85-86 if i remember correctly.So he’s not exactly shit when he plays a full game. Now with Varcoe out of the side for a small portion of the season he’s gonna go alright. I know a lot of people are worried about him but its geelong! and hes a $336k mid/fwd. He’s in my team

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  • Considering going the ruck option with one premium and Stephenson/Giles. Anyone have any thoughts on who #4 could be? Looking at maybe Gorringe (though 160k for a bench player probably too high). Any thoughts?

    • Plenty of options but you just need to see who looks good in the NAB cup and (more importantly) gets named for round 1. Rowe, Derickx, Redden (with Lobbe and Renouf injured), Jenkins, and Witts are a few who are on my radar.

  • great write up guys. im with you all on higgins, burnt me sooooooooooo many times. if i even mention his name as a potential starter i want someone to knee me in the balls

  • Hey yall, you should do your individual write up without looking each other’s first so we can get direct opinion rather than, Oh that’s right Shaun Higgins is a spud (he has been wiped from the memory bank so I don’t even recognise his name when I scroll over it, I just see a big sore thumb) I know you all would have picked him anyway but it seems you all conferred together rather than giving us individual points of view.

  • This is good on ESPN and its good here too! Keep up the top work!

  • Great Write up, agree with Higgins, one thing :

    Reece Conca or Brian Lake????