Finally! The DT plague equivalent seems to have abated this week, with the number of injuries, late withdrawals, and sub-vests back to its normal, manageable level. The popular players all seemed to fire in Round 6; so with the right Captain, you could have entered the fabled waters of 2300. Most though, would have been happy with 2100 this week.
We have a lot to get through this week, with Cash Cowing all the rage at this stage of the season. Let’s delve straight into the biggest issue of the week then: The Horse!
Saddle-up, because I’m getting on the Horse this week, and so should you. I really shouldn’t need to convince you, but here are 5 reasons why, if you’re not sold on him or you’re scared of his $119,800 price-tag:
1. Let’s take a look at his back-story. A gifted junior but ultimately a late-bloomer, the Horse played all 23 games for Subiaco in 2011, eventually finishing runner-up in the Sandover Medal (WAFL Brownlow equivalent). He averaged 91.4 DT points in the WAFL that year, playing in a notoriously strong midfield. He’s now 24 years old, making him a mature-ager – and we all know how successful they’ve been in DT over the last 3 or 4 years.
2. He’s scored two tons on the trot so far, 101 and 123. Yes, it’s unlikely that he’ll average anywhere close to 110 this year, but his blistering early form guarantees his first two prices will be absolute belters.
3. Injuries to the other ‘experienced’ players are building up at the GCS, increasing his JS even more. Ablett is still missing, Rischitelli is still winged, Harbrow is out for two months minimum, and Bock has just broken his leg. Given his form and his status as a ‘bigger body’, you can be assured Horsley will be around for at least the medium term.
4. There are no other downgrade options on the horizon, and definitely not any of this quality. Giant Taylor Adams is the only other option, and I’d argue that his Mid/Fwd DPP doesn’t quite make up for his inferior JS, scoring and higher price. You need someone peaking around the MBR’s and beyond, and the Horse is your guy.
5. That brings us to the Byes. Horsley is valuable in the way that he’s a rookie NOT from the R11 Bye, unlike all our GWS rookies. That’s potentially one less donut right there.
So how do we get him in? As he only has MID eligibility, it has to be someone from that line. The problem here is that most of our rookies haven’t peaked yet (thanks to huge games on the weekend – cheers boys!) – and those that have, such as Adam Kennedy, could be part of an important Mid/Fwd DPP link. The way I see it, these are your options.
Bite The Bullet and Upgrade/Downgrade.
You decide to keep your DPP link (very important over the MBRs) and trade out one of your other Mids. For many, this leaves you with a choice between Magner ($260,100, 17BE), Shiel ($259,100, 8BE), or Coniglio ($250,600, 20BE) to make some cash, despite their potential to make even more in the future. The other downside here is that many of your other Mids haven’t peaked either, so you’ll have to upgrade to a defender/forward to avoid shooting yourself in the foot too badly.
Cash-Grab and Run
You decide that you want to give your cows another week or two to swell before you cash them in and pull a midfield upgrade, but you don’t want to miss out on this Cash Horse. You make a compromise of sideways trading a non-cow like Clay Smith ($149,100, 2BE) or Wingard ($167,500, 41BE).
The Horse over DPP
You decide that getting Horsley in is more important than the DPP link at this stage, especially with the downgrade stocks so barren (and maybe you think that Zorko is a good chance to have debuted by the MBRs?). So you trade out Adam Kennedy ($201,800, 50 BE) or Devon Smith ($256,300, 31BE). The downside to this is that downgrading Kennedy doesn’t really give you enough cash for an upgrade (in which case you may as well do the Cash-Grab and Run), and Devon Smith hasn’t fully fattened yet (in which case, you may as well go with the Bite the Bullet option).
Keep Mooing, Keep Falling
Yep, more Cash Cow talk. I make no apologies though, as it’s a crucial month for cash generation and it’s something that you really need to get right, because we don’t get another shot at it.
I said last Round to give your Cows another week, because one big score will keep them ticking over, while a poor score will engage the breaks almost immediately. Well, we actually had more of the former this week, which means that the cash growth will continue for another fortnight at least for some of these guys.
I’m talking about guys like McDonald (92, -25BE), Greene (122, -22), Shiel (72, 8BE), D. Smith (97, 31 BE) and Coniglio (97, 20BE). These scores will stick in the three-week moving averages and will power their cash-rises for the next few weeks; keep them and enjoy the cash. In the meantime, keep a keen eye on the fallen premiums and net yourself a bargain. Here are a few options to keep an eye on:
DEFENDER: Grant Birchall – 84.8 avg – 126 BE
Birchall had only the 60 this week, so his score will fall over the next fortnight because of that. He’s still a gun and the Hawks still want to use him at every opportunity, so consider him as a defence upgrade in two weeks for around $390k.
MIDFIELDER: Sam Mitchell – 107.2 – 147 BE
Mitchell is the one I’m really excited about. In 1-2 weeks time he should be absolutely bottomed-out, thanks to the 63 he eeked out in Round 5, which will likely not be repeated again this season. I’m looking at picking him up at around $470-$480k, just when my midfield rookies have peaked.
FORWARD: Travis Cloke – 83.3 avg – 113 BE
Not an unassailable BE for Cloke, but with back-to-back 76’s in his rolling average, he’ll surely dip over the next few weeks regardless. Travis is one of the few fallen premiums still on the way down, with Stevie J and Chapman reversing a slow start to the season. My forward line’s almost complete, but I’ll definitely consider him at around $360k in 2 or 3 weeks.
Makers & Breakers
Stanton! The +6 Combo King. The Striped Seagull. The Cheap-Mark Colonel. The Hard-Running Hombre. Whatever you want to call him, he had 193 of the best on the weekend, a DT record (since the DT competition has been running, anyway)! His inconsistency and hatred of a tag can be frustrating sometimes, but when you’re regularly reaching the dizzying heights of 170 and beyond, who cares? Stanton currently has the highest total points of any DTer in the game at the moment.
Reports that Stevie J traded himself into his own fantasy team this week should have been an omen that the fallen premium was ready to explode! Johnson has 163 on the weekend, only his second ton of the season, thanks to 35 disposals, 10 marks, 7 tackles and 3 goals. Now that’s a stuffed stat sheet.
He’s been quietly getting it done, moving strings behind the scenes – and that’s exactly how Heppell likes it. Many shied away from the Bomber defender in the pre-season despite his encouraging debut year, perhaps wary of the infamous second-year blues. HeppD has had no such ailment, scoring 137 points in Round 6 to take his yearly average to 96.7, with all of his scores 73 or above. Get on him!
Beams was a popular sideways trade option for the Fyfe LTI, and didn’t he reward those who paid top dollar for him! His 137 points from the weekend follows his 121 from Round 5, meaning that if you’re going to get on board, it has to be soon.
Toby Greene and his 122 points sneak into the Makers this week, just ahead of fellow rookie Kyal Horsley (123). Tobes gets the nod purely because he is more highly owned league-wide (last week anyway). The Greene Machine had 28 disposals, 9 marks and 5 tackles, which all contributed to his team-high score. It’s also done wonders for his progress as a Cash Cow, boosting him another $40k this week; and with a BE of -22 heading into Round 7, it ensures there is plenty more to come.
It’s hard to find 5 players to hate on this week, but I’ll try! And although he didn’t even play, Joel Selwood makes it onto the Breakers list for Round 6. Many of us were rejoicing mid-week when he escaped a suspension, and for what? So he could sh*t the entire football public and become yet another obvious-in-hindsight late withdrawal? Actually, no. I don’t believe this is his fault – I know he’d have wanted to play if possible. This was a tactical manoeuvre by the Cats’ Selection Committee, so they can take his spot in the Breakers. Pricks.
Old School DT logic says to wait for a fallen premium to bottom-out, then snaffle them up for unders. Well, the way Dal Santo is travelling, we might be able to get him for $350k! The guy is stinking it up, plain and simple. He hasn’t tonned-up since Round 1, and with 59 this week, things aren’t looking much better for him anytime soon.
It seems that each week, the Dockers have a high-profile under-performer. This week, it’s Duffield and his 38. He was making great progress with three 80+ scores on the trot, especially as a non-R13-bye defender, but pulled one of those customary sub-40 scores that are absolute week-killers. The good news is that for those who don’t have him, his price will be slashed over the next few weeks. Watch closely.
The much-awaited return of Grant Birchall was much-disappointing. I mean, 60 wasn’t terrible, but when one of your premiums decides to be a late withdrawal two weeks in a row, you kind of expect them to make it up to you when they finally get out there on the track. Especially when those who held Shaw were rewarded with 111.
Adam Kennedy is a dirty tease. 116 on debut followed by a solid 72 had us all salivating about this eminent Angus-grade Cash Cow. Since then, we’ve been rewarded for our optimism with 58, 41 and 40, split by a DNP. With a BE of 50 next week, he may just be ripe for the picking. I use ‘ripe’ loosely, as he’s only valued at a shade over $200k.
Tough break with Burgoyne – and I guess this question sort of applies to those who have Enright as well. My personal inclination would be to hold – I’ve learnt that the backline is so highly volatile, that anyone you trade in is almost guaranteed to get injured or experience a sudden role change. For that reason, I would hold fire, at least until after the MBRs when there is less room for error and no byes to manoeuvre. Besides, maybe Burgoyne will get his act together in the meantime.
Wow, the ruck crisis just keeps getting worse! McEvoy joining a long list of injured ruck premos… Anyway, in your situation, I would either hold or downgrade. You have Cox and Giles! The 2nd and 7th ranked ruckmen, by overall points! I honestly think you’d be better served by selling down to Longer and using the cash for an upgrade elsewhere, or holding McEvoy until he returns from injury. Especially with Brogan injuring himself again and leaving the door open for Giles. As for the MBRs – you’re going to cop donuts somewhere no matter what; may as well be in the rucks.
Great question! I haven’t really talked about backline Cash Cows (despite this edition of the Bullets being almost exclusively about our little money-makers), mainly due to the lack of downgrade options, as you say. When our only options are first-gamers Spurr (22), Bootsma (30) and Brennan (31), you know we’re in trouble. And it’s not just the low scoring that’s worrying; it’s the JS, of which Spurr is the rated the highest at ‘poor’. Brennan will be gone as soon as Schofield returns from suspension, and Bootsma’s next game may well be when they next play the Suns or Giants.
With that said, we need to pull the pin on Morris/Ellis at some point, especially if (like me) they are both languishing, unused, on your bench. They both have great JS, and still with some more room to grow, I’d recommend keeping them until someone decent comes along. Although, in scanning some of the names, our best hopes are probably Sam Darley or Jeremy Webberly. Ouch.
Lucky Number 7
All eyes will be on the Gold Coast Suns vs GWS Giants clash this week. Who will win? Or could they somehow both lose? Will Gary Ablett get up and play? And, of course, will our rookies make us some more cashola?
Other issues that will plague the DT community this week are:
# With Goodes out for 6, who should we trade him for?
# Will Broughton be in trouble for sliding into, and injuring, David Swallow’s ankle?
# If Gablett does play, would you be man enough to chuck the ‘C’ on him?
# What should we do with the injured McEvoy?
# Will Thomas Couch finally get a game after yet another BOG performance?
I’m sure there’ll be plenty of discussion about these issues and others over the week, and, of course, DT Talk has you covered.