Chook’s Rooks – Round 1

AFL coaches might have you believe differently, but the main purpose of first-year footballers is to make quick cash for our Dream Teams. Who’s with me? Fresh-meat five! (Sorry, been channelling The Todd quite a bit this week).

Pity, then, that we have to wait until the third round until we get to see some price rises and, even sadder than that, some rookies won’t be generating more than spare change unless they improve on a woeful round one. It’s not unusual to cop the odd dud score from this crowd – rookies are notoriously inconsistent – but there were some popular picks at the impotent end of the scale. Sixty-six points would’ve been a handy return for Richmond defender Brandon Ellis or teammate Steven Morris, but individually, not as a combined total. Western Bulldogs forward Tory Dickson couldn’t muster more than 37 points, a performance made to look even more miserly when compared with the outstanding DT debut by midfield teammate Clay Smith. Geelong ruckman Orren Stephenson might be one of the AFL oldest-ever draftees, but even he should be able to outscore his age. He didn’t on Saturday night, though, collecting just 22 points before being subbed out.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however, with the aforementioned Smith and Melbourne midfielder James Magner delivering on their pre-season hype with some big first-up scores.

For the uninitiated, the Chook’s Rooks format for the past four or five years is to monitor the progress of our three-or-more gamers in order to sell them off at their highest price, to highlight the crucial two-gamers before their first price rise and, lastly, recognise the one-gamers after their first appearance at AFL level. We’ll return to that arrangement next week, (well, for the one and two-gamers, at least), but no one’s changing price just yet so there’s little else to do but to head around the grounds for a quick round-one review…

GWS v Sydney

This one got the full rundown last week, but it’s worth mentioning, now that the other rookies have had a turn, that Tommy Bugg not only ended the round as the top-scoring rookie defender, but as one of the top-scoring defenders across all price brackets. His 97-point haul beat long-time demi-god of the defence Brendon Goddard and was bettered by only Brisbane pair Jed Adcock and Pearce Hanley, Hawks duo Grant Birchall and Matt Suckling, and Carlton’s Andrew Carrazzo.

Bugg wasn’t alone in his first-round heroics, with seven of the top 10 scores by rookie-priced players being produced by blokes wearing the orange and charcoal. If you remember, fwd-mid Adam Kennedy topped the charts with his big-time 116, no doubt tempting those who left him out of their initial squads to burn their first trade of the season. Wait, if you can, until he’s played his second game. It’s, like, a golden rule of DT, or something.

Richmond v Carlton

A decent game of footy was ruined for those who fielded one of Richmond pair Steven Morris (27 points) or Brandon Ellis (39) on the ground, especially if you had Bugg riding the pine. Both avoided the vest to finish with nine touches and two tackles apiece, with Morris condemned to a far lower score by his horrible kick-to-handball ratio of 1:8. In comparison, Ellis kicked it six times.

Hawthorn v Collingwood

Another cracker of a game, but not from a DT perspective, with Hawthorn blooding the best of their youth last year, and Collingwood only playing kids to plug injury-enforced holes in their defence. The Pies are expected to get back a few best-22 players this week, meaning we might not see Jackson Paine (40) and substitute pair Peter Yagmoor (8) and Paul Seedsman (17) for some time now. While not like-for-like replacements, the Hawks will soon need to find room for fit-again forward Jarryd Roughead and midfield hard-nut Liam Shiels, meaning debutant defender Jarrad Boumann (18) might make way after copping the red vest on Friday night.

Melbourne v Brisbane

Melbourne midfielder James Magner got his own minute’s applause when he started his DT career with a bang – goaling with his first kick in the AFL and then getting a gimme seconds later following a wrestle with Pearce Hanley. He finished with 103 points, but possibly an injury too following a tackle from Mitch Golby. I haven’t heard anything official (although he’s tweeted that “the ankle feels fine”), so here’s hoping he’s okay, as I imagine he’s among the four players that coach Mark Neeld thought broke even against the Lions. A big shake-up is promised ahead of the West Coast game, opening the door for mid-fwd Tom Couch to make his debut. Defender Josh Tynan has already had that honour, though he was far less prolific than Magner, scoring 46 points.

The Lions had about plenty of players priced in the $200k-$300k bracket, but none under the rookie cut-off (Jon Patton’s $179,700).

Gold Coast v Adelaide

Mature-age Gold Coast recruit Aaron Hall features in plenty of forward lines this year and didn’t disappoint greatly with a 55. There’s certainly scope for improvement, though, with 10 of his 17 touches by hand and no goals amongst his seven kicks.

North Melbourne v Essendon

Not a rookie-priced player to be seen here.

Fremantle v Geelong

I’d have put money on Ellis and, to a lesser extent, Morris, outscoring Billie Smedts, but the Geelong def-fwd managed a half-century, easily eclipsing the Tiger duo. Fellow rookie-priced Cat, defender Cam Guthrie, had seven tackles to push his score up to 61.

Western Bulldogs v West Coast

After Magner went big on Saturday, Western Bulldogs midfielder Clay Smith rightly realised he’d have to pull out something special to lure coaches away from the Melbourne ball-magnet. He succeeded, chalking up 79 points in three quarters but ran himself into the ground doing so, needing to be substituted before the fourth term. Dickson, as mentioned above, fared less well, crawling to 37 points.

Port Adelaide v St Kilda

Port Adelaide mid-fwd Darren Pfeiffer missed the cut when the extended bench was reduced to four players, and St Kilda midfielder Tom Ledger was a late withdrawal, but we still had a couple of Power rookies in midfielder Chad Wingard and ruckman Jarrad Redden to keep an eye on, as well as Saints first-gamer Terry Milera and fellow forward (for DT purposes) Jamie Cripps. Redden and Milera scored strongest, with 68 and 74 points respectively. The red vest stopped Redden in his tracks, as it did to Cripps, who snagged 48 points before being subbed in the third term. Wingard couldn’t use a vest as an excuse; he simply didn’t have a huge impact en route to 50 points.

A “proper” Chook’s Rooks next week with breakevens and everything! Follow me on twitter @ChookDT.


  • great article thanks chook

  • You da bom diggaty Chooky!!

    Keep up the great work. I would also like to say thanks to rider for not saying “you know what”

  • Chook – top stuff again, can I suggest a table showing scores against TOG also forecasting potential score with full game time for say the top 10 and bottom 5???

  • Will Hoskin Elliot looks like a unique gem. Great write up by the way.

  • Great article as per usual Chook.

    I have a sad feeling that Kennedy will be rested in a couple of weeks with him being so skinny, hopefully I’m wrong

    • Agree with you mate, Sheedy said that some of the GWS boys would be rested every few games

      • Wrong post, should invest in a ‘delete comment’ option

        • You might want to get that multiple personality disorder checked out mate

          • +1 (BPD)

            Oh, don’t be such a stick in the mud. Come on, repeat after me: ‘borderline personality disorder’

          • haha good call, was starting to wonder if I actually read that or not it was that weird

          • Ha ha! That was F%#king funny. I was getting confused reading it. Actually still am !!

        • What a muppet, take the hand out of ur butt and you might be able to hit the delete button

  • Thanks cook good stuff.

    Any suggestions as to what to do with Morris and elis? Give them another round on the bench i was thinking

    • Seems to be the obvious choice.

    • You’d be mad to trade them after one game. That’s usually when they pull a big score and your new backman gets subbed. Wait until you’re sure they’re terrible, and you find a better rookie option thats named for their 3rd game.

  • As always, a good write up Chook.

  • was there any reason redden was given the red vest? 68 from 50% game time seems stupid to take him off if he wasnt injured

    • Generally when the team subs the ruck in the last quarter not due to injury they are trying to inject some extra run into the side by putting in a rested player who can summon the energy to run out the quarter at full speed and win them the game… in theory.

      Also heard a rumour that Redden is suffering from gastro early this week – related reason perhaps?

      • It worked too, Rodan was fresh legs for the Power and had a great last quarter. May have even won the match imo

  • Hey Chook, what are your thoughts on Terry Milera?

    He’s one that came out of left field for me but looked great against Port for his 74.
    Any info on his job security or his scoring potential?

    • Agree that Milera surprised, not on the radar over NAB cup.

      His bio listed as weighing 64kg! Must be old data. Not much on the Saints site.

      Also, any talk on Ledger withdrawl. Had great preaseason form despite inflated price.

  • Hey Chook, and fellow DT-ers. I am stuffed. For some stuffed-up reason, I started without THE MAGNET! :O :( Who do I trade from? Coniglio and Shiel are going to be guns, need Hampton for DDP and Clay Smith looked VERY impressive as you said Chook. What do I do?

    Thank you to anyone who replys. Cheers

    • Do you really NEED to have a dpp link? With no byes every round this year it’s not like you’re gonna be eating heaps of donuts. And with the new rules this year you can bring in a DPP at anytime eg When Clay Smith maxes out, trade him, bring a DPP into the mids (Kennedy) and then bring a forward in.

      The other I would be looking at is Coniglio. If you’re confident he’ll be a gun then fine but he has another sub 60 score, strongly consider him.

      • im also in the Coniglio situation, if he scores another 50-60 im considering trading him, Toby Greene looks like a good pick…hoping he backs up his 99, Adam Treloar should be in this week. hes one to watch also

    • Buddy you don’t really need the DPP link. You can trade out a forward put Hampton into your forward line and bring the magnet into your mods with the other three guns! Bang! Easy as that!!

    • if you have a foward who fails again this week, for instance maybe dickson, trade hime out, move hampton to fwds because you really shouldnt need dpp, at least not until the byes, then bring in magner,

  • Chook who would you have given this weeks rising star to?

  • hmmmm…..

    magner listed as indefinite as a 2-6 week injury on injury update.

    could be a chance for sub if he does play?

    • Also saw that, however he is not on the AFL or Melbournes Injury list. I suppose we find out tomorrow.

  • after this week thinking bout trading mcdonald for smith. is this a good idea

    • A few variables, which Smith? I assume Clay. How many rookies are you running through the middle? How much do you value you trades? How many games and how well will each player score over the next 4-8 weeks? That question is a bit harder to answer, but I personaly would probably hold onto McDonald, punting that he does get regular games, his suspension should give him enough time to feed his coaching bug.

      • Roy tweeted Clay has an “ankle injury” and is likely to miss this week. i think hes just got a case of general soreness

    • No. Bad idea. Who else do you have in your midfield?

  • Magner: 103 points from 62% game time…..mouth watering!

    • has anyone heard anymore about magner after last week coming off the field?

      • Magner tweeted himself that his ankle is fine, and that Doc Larkin guy said he should be fine for this week. Plus he’s not on the afl or melbourne injury list.

  • Good Doogs Chook

  • great article Chook.

    Just out of curiosty does anybody know what the lowest ever DT score was????

  • by an individual player? I’ve seen negative 3 before I think

  • Round 2 scores are double the importance of round 1 as they will impact 2 price rises instead of just the 1. Therefore trading based on Rd 1 performance before seeing what happens in Rd 2 is quite silly!

    Very much looking forward to chooks next rooks and hitting the trade button maybe (note to Ellis & Morris, my trading finger is getting itchy!)

  • Playing the following sub 200’s
    D: Bugg
    M: Kennedy, Magner
    F: D Smith

    On the bench:
    D: Clarke (E), Ellis
    M: Parker (X), Shiel (E)
    R: Giles, Redden
    F: Hall (E), Dickson

    I think playing Bugg over Clarke is ok.
    Undecided over Kennedy vs Shiel but will go with last week’s form.
    D Smith over Hall is a toss of a coin.
    Ellis and Dickson dont deserve the (E) after last weeks numbers.

    Thinks that all I can do (without trading, which isn’t going to happen).

    Opinions appreciated.

  • On another topic, one of last Saturday’s games saw a ruckman subbed out.
    Port followed that strategy, subbing off Redden and we just got over the line with one extra runner in the last quarter.

    You would expect clubs to pore over why teams got up.

    Which clubs will sub a ruckman this week?
    GWS (if Brogan plays)

    Could affect some of the rucking rooks.

  • Who’s gonna score better T DICKson or D Smith?

  • Kennedy (GWS) for Cameron (GWS)? I know not to burn a trade early, but this guy doesn’t look like he’ll be getting much ball in the forward.

    • A few reasons why not to do that silly move:
      1. Kennedy scored 116 and cameron scored 77….
      2. Why would you just waste a trade trading a $104,200 player to another $104,200 player?
      3. You don’t trade after round 1