Essendon Bombers: AFL Dream Team Picks

This series of ‘club preview’ posts are written by DT TALK regular contributors choosing their 5 players they have on their watchlist from the respective club. These aren’t who we think will be the top 5 highest scoring players… and are not necessarily in order. They are just our opinions of the 5 players who we have on our watchlist heading into the 2012 season.

Adzman’s five from the Hangar.

Hard to get a read on the Bombers after they missed the game in Wangaratta because the 30 minute plane ride couldn’t land. Rumour has it they intend to get to Adelaide mid-season by hot air balloon…. I wouldn’t suggest making any bomber captain until you have read the wind charts that week.

1. Jobe Watson (MID), $492,500.

Tim’s boy seems to get better and better every year. He was close to the best player in the competition for the first half of last year leading the Brownlow and averaging 117 DT points until the hamstring injury. He never really got back to full fitness for the rest of the year hence his average dropped to 99.5. In his first NAB hit out this year he scored 107 and looked a class above, his decision making was first class and his kicking seems to have stepped up another level. Watson is owned by 5.4% of players making him slightly unique. If he stays fit he will be a great pick at a bargain price.

2. Brent Stanton (MID), $528,300.

We all know Stanton is one of the ultimate DT sluts. What he lacks in decision making or disposal he makes up for with pure gut running and sometimes just plain mooching of the ball off others. Toward the end of the game when somebody takes a mark just watch him hook around and take the handball… your DT eyes will roll with dollar signs every time! He averaged 105.8 last year and had a score of 107 in his only NAB appearance this year. Owned by a measly 1% Stanton is a unique premium capable of massive scores that could make the difference for your side.

3. Dyson Heppell (DEF), $415,900.

Last year’s rookie hero straps on the boots for a second year. Can he replicate or better last year’s efforts of 83.4? It’s a tough ask. He played a somewhat unaccountable game style last year just hanging off half back being the link man however he did show glimpses of time and poise when in traffic. In his NAB cup game this year he scored 55 while playing an accountable midfield role however he did seem to get loose a lot to receive ball at half back like old times. The bombers want to get the ball in his hands and he does look bigger and fitter, should be a good pick up.10.4% ownership can’t be wrong!

4. David Zaharakis (FWD/MID), $443,200.

The man who kicked the winning goal on ANZAC day a few years ago says he is sick of talking about it and doesn’t want to be remembered for it. He went some way to fixing that by winning the Best and Fairest last year averaging 91.1. He really ramped the average up in the second half of the year when he moved into the middle. He seems to have been nursed through this pre-season carefully only having a few sub affected appearances, so not too sure what to glean from the NAB score of 34. He looks fit, strong and confident; he has just been sitting in the pockets like he’s been told to take it easy! I still think he’s ready to break out into the 100s, so do 8.2% of other players.

5. Courtnay Dempsey (DEF), $244,800.

Dempsey is coming back from a knee reconstruction but has shot the lights out so far this pre-season. He has looked every bit as good as he was…in fact his head seems to be in a better place and it has taken his game to a new level. He is the man at the bombers who links defence and attack; He may be the player the profits from Heppell’s move further up the ground. Dempsey was about to break out when he went down last year, He had averaged 75 the year before and ended the year with a few hundreds in a row. Don’t expect a massive break out into the high 90s from him this year but for the price he could be a good value pick that scores well and keeps the cash ticking over. If for no other reason pick him for the beard!

OTHERS ON THE WATCHLIST: I need to mention Paddy Ryder (RUCK, $394,400) here. He dominated the NAB game scoring a breezy 83 but crucially he had hunger and desire, if he continues in that vein he could be a good pick in the competitive ruck spots. Cory Dellolio ($85,800) is a cheap rookie who again played well for Bendigo this weekend, I’d say he is a monty to be upgraded but his main competition for s spot Alwyn Davey kicked 5 goals… so keep watching that space. Jake Melksham ($344.400) has looked noticeably bigger pre-season and has been getting a lot of it, numbers last year indicate a break out this year and it is very possible. Another rookie Brendan Lee ($85,800) carved it up for Bendigo this weekend also and looks to be one or two injury’s away from getting a spot in the bombers best 22.

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47 Comments

  • um… first?

  • Ryder could be a very good smokey ruck this year.

    • Ryder probably has the biggest upside of any bomber, could be anything!

    • Oh I’ve ridden the Ryder train the last couple of years, and let me tell you, it ain’t a pretty ride… But as a Bomber fan, here’s hoping the Ryder Rollercoaster is looking up, up, up!

      • just getting over my last skin graft, Ryder burnt me real bad…….never again……

    • On my never again EVER list.

  • Awesome write-up Adzman!

    Question for you ADZMAN, what are your thoughts on rookies KAVANAGH and BAGULEY? They weren’t mentioned in your watchlist but what are their chances of round 1 and their DT potential?

    As for the others, no matter how much I love Zaka I can’t pick him because of his less than ordinary NAB cup hit outs. Watson and Stanton are tempting as is Heppell but other than that it looks like I’ll have a Bomber-less team for me

    • Kavanagh and Baguley are no chance whatsoever for Round 1. In fact, Friday night made it pretty clear that there are no rookie priced players in contention immediately.

      I would expect to see at least Kavanagh and Dell’olio at some point through the year based on injuries, form, etc. However, I’m reasonably bearish on Baguley getting elevated and playing this year.

    • Yeh i reckon both are unlikely to start right away but both will get games this year… maybe 12 each? good downgrade targets i guess.

      I reckon Baguley once he gets in will score pretty well, like Hibberd last year, Kav will be your typical first year 60 averager.

      Dell’olio is the one i reckon will get upgraded before round one and i still think hes a solid chance to play round one.

      I have been hesitant about zaka too, but the more i think about it the more it just looks like they are nursing him through to be fresh round one. if he plays well this weekend vs the lions i’d say get on!

  • Watson is a bargain for what he can produce.. a POD well worth consideration.

  • No bombers for me… Like every year

  • Robbo from carlton or Zaka? thoughts

    • toss a coin on that one!

    • seriously? I realise that DT is bigger than any one team concept, however – I just canot understand how you can be considering a Carlton pretender over an emerging icon!! (obviously no bias here)

    • For me, neither…for you, whichever fits your bye structure better. Zaha is Round 12 and Robbo Round 13. These things matter

    • Sidebottom?

      Assuming your not already loaded with Pies players or already have him.

  • Great article Adzman! After watching watson tear it up on the weekend he has just got me thinking…..

    Thoughts on Winderlich? Could be a good F6 or F7.

    • hmmm i figure winders might play defensive forward like he did last year before going down. it dosen’t seem to conducive to high point scoring. I know he has some history in the 90s but i can’t see it happening again

  • Watson or Andrew Swallow?
    Stanton or Marc Murphy?
    Zaharakis or Dustin Martin?
    Heppel or Deledio/Goddard/Birchall?

    Thoughts please guys

    • jeez… there’s some tough ones there!

      i’d have birchall ahead of heppell
      martin ahead of zaka….. martin should be the biggest improver in the game this year.
      the other 2… toss the coin.. what ever works for your byes.

    • Watson, Murphy, Martin, God(although Hep D is a fair bit cheaper)

    • WatsonMurphyMartinGoddard

    • My Team?

  • The only bomber I have is Watson.

  • Adzman love your work, and comments back to the followers that read it! I loved the quote… “Rumour has it they intend to get to Adelaide mid-season by hot air balloon…. I wouldn’t suggest making any bomber captain until you have read the wind charts that week”.
    Heppel for me is the only one I would consider but not in my team atm

    • Same boat for me Lenny, can’t decide between Heppel or Suckers………………..prob go the latter.

      BTW, great work adz!!

      • cheers lads!

        truth is i dont have any bombers… but that may change on one of my 50 daily changes… watson is knocking on the door at that price.

  • Stanton is in & out of my team at the moment – has a huge ceiling and decent consistency.

    Ryder is the same – if he actually decides to PLAY for a full game he can rack up the numbers.

    I think there are better value options than Heppell.

    Jobe – I’d LOVE to pick him, but I just don’t believe he’ll play enough games.

    Dempsey is locked into my D6 spot to start the year. Consistency will see him in D6 or D7 by the end.

    Zaha – dunno. In and out every week.

    Nobody else even worth thinking about at the moment.

  • Great Read Adzman!

    So many Unique options as my forth mid at the moment, Gibbs/Stanton (as mentioned above)/Thomas/Watson struggling to decide!.

  • Jelwood and Fyfe or Watson and Stevi.J???

    Selwood and Fyfe are 2 of my favourite players in AFL but Watson and Johnson are more unique and should score bout the same…

  • No Bombers…got burnt LY by Watson and just cant see him being a top 6 mid- unless he stays uninjured but he’ll miss a couple for something. Zaha/Heppel close but slightly better options available.

  • what about winderlich????

  • Stanton is in at the moment. Good point of difference.

  • Who do oeople think will average most – and higher ceiling – out of Winderlich and Dempsey?

    i realize they are different postions but same price region and can fit one- so i’m deciding between them two out of the bombers……

    Wud love Watson at that price but got Selwud Penduks and Sidebum <—–mayb upgrade!?

    • dempsey i would think, hes flying! could get 80+

      winders might be lucky to get in the 70s i think

  • Is Melksham due for breakout year got some big scores last year?

  • Watson is going to become a star in the next couple of years, I mean hes close now!

    He will be locked in a few years time, Swanesque!

    However the only Essendon player I was considering was Zaharakis, but he has been very underwhelming in the NAB Cup.

    No rookies really tickle my fancy either.