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.
stkildathunda’s Five from the Saints:
1. Jamie Cripps (Fwd) $174,400
DT Points Per 100 mins – 70
NAB Cup Ave – 53
Jamie Cripps played 4 games in 2011, but all 4 games he was used as a sub which is good news for Dream Teamers as he is dirt cheap for second year player. He played all 4 games as a forward, where he kicked 7 goals but he has had a role change for 2012 and has played every game so far off the half back line and he looks set to play Round 1. If Cripps can break into Saints lineup (and I think he already has) then there is no doubt he can improve on his 35 average quite dramatically.
Cripps has averaged 13 possessions, 3 marks, 3 tackles & 4 rebound 50’s during the NAB Cup.
2. Tom Ledger (Mid) $163,200
DT Points Per 100 mins – 73
NAB Cup Ave – 51
Tommy played 2 games in 2011 where he found himself in the coloured vest on both occasions. Despite only basically playing a bit over quarter of actual game time he managed to average 8 disposals. So far in 2012 he has averaged 15 disposals a game. What makes this bit more impressive is in last Saturday’s match he collected 13 touches in only 62% game time. This kid is and has always been a ball magnet, which does mean he is perfect candidate to be used as the sub again in 2012.
Ledger is right in the mix for round 1, and has been the standout of the preseason. Most Saints fans originally didn’t really have him in their thoughts to breaking into side early on, but has worked his arse off and it has shown with his performances that he is ready to take the next step. Also the fact Scott Watters absolutely loves him might help him that little bit more.
3. Sam Gilbert (Def) $345,600
DT Points Per 100 mins – 52
You’re probably thinking, have you gone crazy dude. Selecting Gilbert is one craziest things you’ve ever said. But when you look past his horrendous 2011 he averaged 93 & 89 the two previous years. He is priced at only 70 average after a change of roles last year and well the much publicized “scandals” he was involved in. The thing to keep in mind is so far this preseason, and im talking the Saints Intra Club (inc Wang one) and all NAB Cup matches he has been used in the exact role that made him one of first picked in Dream Team in 2009/2010.
By no means am I saying lock him in, but if you are looking for cheap fallen premium you could do lot worse then taking the gamble on Gilbert.
4. Jack Steven (Mid) $394,500
DT Points Per 100 mins – 77
NAB Cup Ave – 51
In 2011 Jack Steven started the season up forward where in his first 5 games he only averaged 12.2 disposals a game. In about Round 9 he was shifted into midfield and stayed there for last 15 games of season, where he averaged 22.1 disposals a game. Over this period Steven averaged 84.8 points a game.
So far in 2012 Steven has been used only in midfield and floating forward every now and then. The club has been very big on fact his best position is in midfield and that he “fits into our midfield structure” that they have setup. A lot people would have been all over Steven if he was still dual position as everyone expects that he is primed for big breakout year. He improved his average by 20 overall in 2011 and there is no reason why he couldn’t improve on that again, he showed in last half of last year what he is capable of doing.
Personally if you are taking thinking of taking risk on Lenny Hayes ($382,800) who is 32, coming off second knee reconstruction in hope he can recapture his form of old then Jack Steven is a much better option for same price. To put it into bit more perspective, Lenny Hayes had career best years in 2009 & 2010 and averaged 108. But 5 years prior to that Lenny only averaged 93, 93, 103, 92, 93. Can Lenny recapture his 09/10 form? It’s highly unlikely that he can get anywhere near that form, which means the best you can probably hope for is 90 average. Steven could easily break the 100 barrier this season.
Steven also makes a very nice POD as he is currently only in 0.4% of teams, compared to Lenny who is in 14%.
5. Ahmed Saad (Fwd) $115,800
DT Points Per 100 mins – 59
NAB Cup Ave – 48
Ahmed Saad has only played one NAB Cup match so far after missing Wang-gate after the club decided to monitor his workload in lead up to possible Round 1 debut. He then missed the trip to Perth due to a virus, but has been named to play this weekend against Collingwood. Saad has been the most impressive of all new recruits this preseason, his work rate is first rate and he knows where the goals are.
One worry around Saad is in recent interview on Triple M, Scott Watters said Saad would play games at some stage this year. What I took out of those comments was his job security might not be quite there given he has only managed to play 1 game and few other guys might have passed him for Round 1 with really solid performances. Saad also isn’t really a high possession player, think he only averaged about 14 touches game last year in VFL.
6. Ben McEvoy (Ruck) $447,500
DT Points Per 100 mins – 88
NAB Cup Ave – 48
Obviously everyone knows that St Kilda has only one ruckman on their list, He is currently only in 4.8% of teams which makes him nice POD with added bonus that he doesn’t share the bye with any of the other popular ruckman. McEvoy isn’t the greatest tap ruckman in the world but the work he does around the ground more then makes up for it. In 2011 he averaged 14 disposals a game & was ranked 3rd in contested marks. He will have to shoulder the ruckload for entire year, which gives him the best job security out of any player in AFL.
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