Fremantle Dockers: 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.

Tbetta’s Five from the Dockers:

1. Nat Fyfe (FWD/MID) – $488,600

Fyfe was considered a must-have for 2012 at the close of last season, but off-season surgery on his troublesome shoulders coupled with persistent groin issues had him exiting calculations early on. Now, two weeks out from the season proper, Fyfe has successfully negotiated his rehab, dominated an early intra-club despite being underdone, and played three Nab Cup games in which has made him the most productive Docker this pre-season. And he has claimed he isn’t even at peak fitness yet! Fyfe’s star should continue to rise, as shall his scores – expect him to better the 98.4 points he averaged last year.

2. Greg Broughton (DEF) – $416,200

Broughton is the definition of a Dream Team slut, but sometimes he can’t seem to rid himself of the chastity belt that is the lockdown role. With Lyon taking the reins at Fremantle, we can only speculate about Broughton’s role with the aid of a few Nab Cup outings. However, given the relevance of St. Kilda defenders in recent years (Goddard, Fisher, Gram and Gilbert have all had premium-calibre seasons under Lyon) I’m going to take an educated guess and predict that Broughton will play a DT-friendly role regardless of whether he plays through the guts or down back this season. His unpredictability can be frustrating at times, but ultimately I think he’ll end up being a top 7 Defender by year’s end.

3. Aaron Sandilands (RUC) – $469,900

I’ve been a big advocate of Sandilands this pre-season, and I continue to be. Sort of. I see a lot of value in him as he’s priced at only 95 due to his toe issue last year. Unfortunately, he’s gone and done exactly what the naysayers said he would, and pulled up with a pre-season injury. A small calf tear shouldn’t keep him out of Round 1 calculations according to Lyon and the Dockers’ camp, but I’m not so easily convinced. I’m torn here, because I 100% believe that he will average the ton if he stays fit, but who wants to be the guy who ignored pre-season injury reports and got burnt?

4. Lachie Neale (MID) – $98,700

Neale has been this year’s pre-season bolter, but he’s been brought to an abrupt halt in his race for a Round 1 berth. The culprit was a small ankle injury sustained in the Dockers’ recent effort against Port Adelaide. Neale has featured in each of Fremantle’s Nab Cup matches so far, meaning his chances of a Round 1 appearance was looking more probable than possible. The rumours suggesting he’s a favourite of Lyon’s (not a known rookie fan) only increase the likelihood that he’ll get a big run this year. But do you start the nuggetty forward knowing that his ankle could keep him out of the first week or two? It’s a big call… At any rate, he’s shown us he has the hunger and the ability to score well at AFL level, and it won’t be long before he gets his chance.

5. Nic Suban (DEF) – $272,100

If you were to put a gun to my head and force me to pick a Fremantle roughie, it would be Suban. He’s priced at a 55 point average and he’s unique, currently residing in only 2.2% of teams. But can he score? He averaged 59.9 in 2010 before enduring an injury affected year last year, halting his career scoring curve. Natural development and the aforementioned Lyon-Defender effect means he will definitely increase his average in 2012, but by how much? A pre-season snapshot shows his scoring being solid without being particularly notable, and he seemed to play as the designated kicker at times, although Duffield assumed that role most often. A 70 average is my conservative guess, but he has the ability to go better. Will that be enough to justify the mid-price selection? That’s up to you to decide.

OTHERS ON THE WATCHLIST:  It’s not Fremantle without Pavlich ($466,200 FWD/MID) in the mix. Lyon seems to want to play him as a focal point in attack, Riewoldt-style, but will it result in the scoring we’ve seen from the Roo or the Pav in the past? Ballantyne ($356,700 FWD) has been encouraging this pre-season playing a midfield role, but will it survive the transition into the season proper? Morabito ($168,000 MID) and Barlow ($424,800 MID) are two underpriced midfield options, but be wary – both have had interrupted pre-seasons. Of the rookie bunch, we have far less options than Fremantle has had under Harvey in the past, with mature-aged backman Lee Spurr ($107,800 DEF) the only rookie besides Neale in the frame for Round 1.


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42 Comments

  • Fyfe & Pav are locked!

    • One player i am looking at is the duff man. Had his worst season by far last year so is rather cheap. Could thrive in a Ross Lyon back line.

  • Broughton was in my team but while i trust him i don’t trust Lyon.

    oh, and thanks tbetta.

  • Broughton a tenative lock as he burnt me early before repaying my faith later in the season. Would like to think taking the punt on Duffield instead of Broughton will pay off but just not convinced.

    Fyfe is now a lock and Pav has crept into my side to make quite a happy looking forward line :)

    Had Sandilands in my early sides, but my ruck is now Cox and 3 rooks which has helped enormously (still have $250k in the bank!)

    • “Tentative Lock” has now replaced “Semi Unique” in the race for Oxymoron of the pre-season.

    • Fyfe is now locked in for me too instead of Robinson

      I also had Sandilands in my early side with 3 rooks.

      But it was hard to avoid Cox.

  • Fyfe, Duffield and Broughton for me, especially if Freo carry on being possession hogs.

  • Fyfe was on the team sheet well before pre-season. Pav is always a late upgrade target.

    Well done again Tbetta.

  • Great write up Tbetta! Broughton, Fyfe and The Pav all locked in barring any round 4 terrible news. Cheers

  • Well done Tbetta, Fyfe and Broughton for me.

  • Great work TBetta.
    I initially stayed away from Fyfe given his shoulder / groin / haircut concerns but I’ve now given Zaha the boot to bring him in!
    It’s amazing how trying to find an extra $40K can absolutely change the whole look of your team but he looks cherry ripe for a big year so it has to be done IMO.
    By the way I’m stunned at the level of content you guys are pumping out (and it’s all quality stuff as well).
    Having trouble keeping up and the only solution I can see is to quit my job and take up DT full time!

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      • I want in.

        I’m good with blotter paper ;)

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          2. Setting your sights on that thing
          3. Reaching for that thing
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          This my friends is how you win Dream Team! Ha ha – Rub!

  • Nice article Tbetta,

    I know Broughton can be an absolute dirty whore at DT, but I can’t keep buying new tvs everytime he plays the lockdown role.

  • Great Stuff Tbetta! Fyfe in, Broughton a chance. If only we knew where he was gonna play everyweek!

  • Fyfe all the way

  • Duffield or Malceski as a 4th back?

    • ps, good write up tbetta
      i matched up on neale at under 18 level when he was at glenelg, strong through the hips and good disposal
      loves to slut up, will make an immediate impact at AFL level when he is fit

  • waters or duffield?

  • UNFYFENBELEIVABLE only Dorker I’ll be picking – too many ? on broughton, Big Toe, Pav

  • Waters

  • Tendai Mzungu might be on some radars about mid year, he can rack em up

  • Fyfe – LOCKED
    Duffield – MAYBE (before rd1)
    Broughton – Upgrade target if in mids
    Pav – Upgrade later in year

    • I reckon if you want to get Pav, you grab him early. In the past couple of years he has gone BOOM! in early rounds and then tapered off a little in the last month or two of the season.

  • Great writeup as per usual Tbetta!

    I really like Duffields prospects this year. Reckon he will be in top 7 defenders come seasons end

  • Good stuff tbetta

    Tossing up between Heppel and Duffield, I reckon Heppel can continue his form from last year but duff man is looking like he’ll be playing that quarterback role down back this year, or am I just imagining things?

  • Just to let those who don’t have Twitter know, I’ll be running a DT Talk Tbetta League this year to fill up my final league spot. To reward my followers, the code will be released via Twitter sometime over the next week, first in best dressed!

    Follow @tbetta9 if you’re keen for the chance to battle it out with me in 2012!

  • I think that Sandi should be ok, he’s had a pretty flawless pre-season and when they rested him for the tight calf it was just a precaution…

  • Heck of a lot of potential at Freo this year. Pav and Fyfe are pretty much locks, also considering Ballantyne (damn that bye) and Duffman. Broughton is too much of a rollercoaster for me.

  • Great write up tbetta gonna have to go Fyfe just purely because he’s a gun and Duffield cause at that price, hard to go past!

  • Got Fyfe & Duffman atm. I really think Duff will bounce back this season and average mid 80’s.

  • My loved Dockers….

    Swapped Broughton for Duffield after the Port game last weekend. Scared of Broughton playing that shut down role every now and then – altho i hear McPhee maybe doing alittle off half back and shut down stuff more this year!? Broughton has a better ceiling than Duffield but if Duff can be consistant they shud average around the same….

    i’m taking a risk with Balyntyne hoping to pick a unique. never was a confident choice and now Neales down for a month or so – i’m bit worried Lyon might push Bally’ back forward abit more than first planned!?

    Wish i could fit Fyfe and he’ll be an upgrade target asap! Pav i think i might rollercoaster so i’ve gone eleswhere.

    Go u Dockers!!!

  • Fyfe and Broughton for me, Pav, neale and balla were very close to being in my team

  • Dockers Vs Tigers League… Good competition!!!! With a bit of banter…. 699246