Chook’s Rooks – Round 8

Three-or-more gamers

A glance at the Chook’s Rooks back catalogue might have you thinking I’m a pessimistic little bastard but, honestly, I really do believe it’s important to look for the positives in life. Like, if you were a Lovatic, (an obsessive fan of nearly-no-longer-a-teen singer-actress Demi Lovato, but as if you didn’t know), then you’d be spewing that the Camp Rock star will be getting just a million bucks for her work as a judge on the US version of X-Factor, while that no-talent, washed-up hack Britney Spears will pocket 15 times that for doing the same job. The positive? Having a co-judge as crazy-bad as Britney will make Lovato seem like a pop genius and genuinely nice gal in comparison. Sorry for the reality TV singing show reference, (I’ll leave them exclusively to RL Griffin from now on ;)), but I just wanted to use an analogy that the 13-year-old Dream Team coaches would understand when I point out that there’s even a silver lining to the poor round-eight effort of their classmate, Greater Western Sydney midfielder Toby Greene. Sure, scoring a lowly 50 points – lumping the usual high-flyer with the Sam Days and Tim Mohrs of the DT world – might’ve brought Greene’s soaring price to a screeching halt, but at least it’s made the often stressful decision of which midfield rookie to cull next an easy one, right? And, just for good measure, he even got himself rubbed out for a week in case you weren’t totally convinced. Positives, people, positives!
After that diatribe above, I’ve got to say Greene, right? Um, I don’t want to. Greene has shown he’s got a higher ceiling than both of the others and, although the GWS kids are being touted as getting capped at 14 games this year, the fact that Greene is having an enforced rest this week increases his longevity, in my mind. Plus he had five free-kicks against in that 50, meaning he could’ve quite easily scored a more respectable 60+ – not terrible in a team that got smashed. Classic fence-sitting by me.

It certainly won’t be Gold Coast’s Kyal Horsley on the chopping block any time soon, with the mature-age mid again turning a modest number of possessions into a staggeringly awesome Dream Team total. Okay, 27 touches isn’t exactly modest, but there’s no doubting that The Horse is raking in the big scores on the back of his willingness to tackle like a man possessed. He had seven in his score of 108 against the Western Bulldogs, actually dragging his average tackles per game down to 8.5. After four games he’s averaging 106.8 ppg, putting him on track to pass previous rookie greats like Joel Selwood, Rhys Palmer and even Michael Barlow. Long may it last.
While Horsley has scored big before, the rest of the top five from round eight were breaking new ground. Port Adelaide’s Darren Pfeiffer and Brisbane’s Dayne Zorko, both mid-fwds, had sub-affected 26s to their name in their previous games, but smashed out 90s when given a full game on the weekend. The next best were a pair of ruckmen, with Adelaide’s Josh Jenkins notching a 92 and Zorko’s teammate Billy Longer grabbing an 81. Zorko and Jenkins are on the bubble, so more about them later.

At the other end of the scale, Greene wasn’t the only GWS rookie to score lowly in their big loss to Brisbane, with mid-fwd Taylor Adams and Adam Treloar also struggling to make much of an impact. Unlike Greene, however, they’ve still got reasonable breakevens. That’s not the case for Brandon Ellis, with the Richmond defender copping his second consecutive green vest. A much earlier appearance this week meant he was able to scrape together a respectable 44 (better than non-vested teammate Steven Morris, who had 40), but he still dropped $16,600 and enters round nine with a breakeven of 76.

Two gamers

Either my radar is broken or there are only six rookie-priced players on the verge of their first money-making round, and four of them – Sydney forward Trent Dennis-Lane, West Coast midfielder Koby Stevens, GWS ruckman Andrew Philips and North Melbourne midfielder Brad McKenzie – won’t interest Dream Teamers either because of their starting price, job security, points potential or, simply, because there is a better option in the same position. That leaves Brisbane mid-fwd Dayne Zorko, who should be making his way into your team this week if you didn’t take the punt last week, and aforementioned Adelaide ruckman Josh Jenkins. If you’re a tad GWS heavy and are trying to downgrade a few Giants to make the first multi-bye round easier to swallow, then neither Zorko or Jenkins are particularly helpful, with both sharing that round-11 break. Well, suck it up, because Zorko ($104,200) the 22-year-old winner of last year’s NEAFL best and fairest award, was a must-have before teammate Todd Banfield suffered an injury that looks set to keep him out for six weeks. Now he’s an, er, must must-have. After a sub-affected 26 in his first match, Zorko grabbed 96 points last week. Just bear in mind he won’t be part of many, if any, Lions wins as big as that this season, so an average of somewhere between 65 and 75 is probably a realistic expectation.

That’s what I did last week: Zorko in for long-time absentee Aaron Hall, of the Gold Coast, apparently. While there’s plenty more cash to be made from downgrading a Greene, Shiel or Smith, I wanted to have as many players on the park as possible during the bye rounds, so dumped Hall. In the same week, Hall pops up in the best players for the Suns’ NEAFL team, despite not registering a goal. I don’t think he’ll return this week, but certainly keep an eye on the teams tomorrow night.

Jenkins (also $104,200) has impressed in both his outings at AFL level, but was able to trouble the statisticians a little more in his second match, racking up 92 points against Carlton last week after scoring 54 against Geelong on debut. The ruck isn’t typically the most common line to wangle downgrades in, but some are considering ballsy moves like this one by RamboTambo below.

Giles’ performances this season have seen him elevated to keeper status by plenty of coaches, with his 84.75ppg average seeing him ranked equal 10th with Sam Jacobs in the ruck department, and only five points per game behind fourth-placed ruck Hamish McIntosh. While Jenkins has shown an ability to score highly, the fact that Giles is now the first-choice ruck at his club gives him a big advantage in the consistency stakes. Jenkins will ride the roller-coaster that comes with playing forward and pinch-hitting behind number-one ruck Jacobs. It could be a brilliant trade if it comes off, and will only take one trade to fix if it doesn’t, but I don’t have the guts to go through with it.

Similarly, I can’t bring myself to trade out Redden for Jenkins either, as it’ll net less than $50k and, depending on your team structure of course, isn’t likely to improve your doughnut-dodging chances in the multi-bye rounds. That might sound contradictory to my Zorko advice, but he’s a must-have, whereas Jenkins is a maybe. Better off hoping that big Jarrad gets another run during the MBRs, I reckon.

One gamers

I broke a golden of rule of Dream Team by bringing in a one-gamer last week, adding Zorko in a bid to avoid a forward-line doughnut. It worked out swimmingly and now I’ve got a hankering to do it again this week in order to afford an upgrade elsewhere. The trick is working out which one deserves a place in your line-up. It’s hard enough when they’ve played two games, let alone basing your decisions on a sample size of one.

Like the two-gamers, there are six rookie-priced players who played their first AFL game (of 2012, at least) in round eight, with Sydney forward Tommy Walsh the highest DT scorer of the group. The St Kilda reject scored 85 points against Melbourne but, like Zorko, won’t find the opposition as generous every week. The long-awaited debut of GWS back Sam Darley also eventuated in round eight, with the former North Hobart midfielder making a great first impression with 44 opening-half points before cooling to finish with 64 for the game. North Melbourne forward Ben Warren, a familiar face in these parts, scored a 60 on his return to the Kangaroos unit, while Gold Coast mid-fwd Alex Sexton, Western Bulldogs forward Zeph Skinner and GWS defender Matthew Buntine had their scores restricted by Reptile’s green vest. If you’re clever, you’ll wait another week before jumping on any of these blokes. If you’re not, like me, then it’s at least worth narrowing it down to Walsh, Darley and Sexton. The highly-rated Gold Coast youngster excites me the most, scoring 22 points when he got his chance in the final term, with all six of his disposals by foot. Great Dream Teaming, although I’m concerned about the number of games he’ll get due to his young age. Darley is the other I’m keen on, but would love to see both he and Bugg in the same team first – it didn’t happen in the pre-season.

Apologies for not getting to all the tweets (@ChookDT), or clucks as I like to call them, that people sent in, but I’ll endeavour to do a better job of it next week. And sorry for the lack of feedback from me in the comments during the day, but I spend Wednesdays running around at my day job like, well, me with my head cut off. Thanks for the comments, advice, etc, over the season so far!


  • Great article Chook.

    Guys, a bit off topic but, who will score more:

    Beams and Deledio


    Stanton and Zaha?

    • Well Beams is the best forward and Deledio is the best defender (by a mile)…

    • Just for this week or for the rest of the season?

      For the rest of the season i would think

      Deledio 110 average and Beams 105 = 215 a week
      Stanton 125 and Zaha 95 = 220 a week.

      But thats just my opinion.

  • Should i go Bartel to Stanton ?

  • Who should I get rid of for zorko milera or hall

  • Is Spurr’s JS good atm ?

  • For those who have him start thinking about cover for Hep D this week.

  • Brought Murphy in two weeks ago :-(

    Tossing up two options, but pretty much sold on cashing Greene in:

    Greene -> Zorko
    Murphy -> Stanton

    This will give me mids of Stanton, Boyd, Pendlebury, Rockliff, Ablett, Horsely [McDonald, Zorko]


    Greene -> Zorko
    Porplyzia -> Beams

    to give me forwards of Beams, Sidebottom, Robinson, Franklin, Zaharakis, Martin, Smith [Treloar, Dickson]

    So in a nutshell I can strengthen my mids or forwards and then rely on either Horsely/McDonald/Zorko to carry two mid spots OR Porplyzia/Smith/Treloar/Dickson to carry two forward spots.

    • Option 2

    • That mid will be awesome. If u do that. And the team is held together by the engine room so make that damn strong.
      And u have a dpp with zorko who can swap with treloar and smith so you should be alright

  • Just traded Greene for Zorko, then Ellis for Shaw

    Good trade, bad trade ?

    • Yeah I like it. Shaw seems to be back to his DT ways of just being loose in defence and his scores are showing. Good trade.

  • DEFENDERS: Deledio, goddard, birchell, hargrave, bugg, Lee spurr, townsend, smedts, sam darely.

    MIDS: swan, boyd, thompson, murphy, Stantonl, Devon smith, macdonald, Horsely.

    RUCKS: cox, giles, stepheson, redden.

    FORWARDS: sidebottom, robinson, franklin, dangerfield, D Martin, cloke, J cameron, A hall, D piffier.

    Thoughts…? im concerned about my defence :/
    and suggestions on what i should do with swan and murphy..?
    should i get zorko or not..? personally im not sure :/

    rd 11: 12 players :/
    rd 12: 7 players
    rd 13: 11 players :/

    17 trades left
    $42,200 in salary atm

    • I think that u will need to get rid of one. No point in keeping about 900000 dollars in your bench.
      So need to get rid of at least one this week..(Murphy) cough..

      Look at Watson who got easy weeks coming up or jelwood who looks all so tasty

      Yes get zorko.. Everyone is so if he goes wrong you won’t be the only one coping it. If hall is not named this week get rid off him. Or maybe Cameron

  • Again a great article Chook, thank you………. Fellow DT’rs i need some advice on this weeks trades. Out – Greene, In – Zorko is easy…..Out – Murphy, In – ??? Thompson, Watson, Pendlebury or Jelwood. Do not want Stanton as he is overpriced . Not worried about byes. Leaning towards Jelwood or even Pendlebury. Already have GAJ, Swan (keeping), Dangerfield and Boyd in the mids. Opinions and advice will be appreciated, thanks.

    • Thomspon – Unique for whatever reason., Guy is a DT legend. Fuck I wish I had him.

  • Right so there are a few ideas running through my head.
    One, I think it might be time to get Bugg out. I kept him last week because he wasn’t playing (hence no cash loss) and i needed to trade Ellis.

    1st Option
    Milera -> Zorko
    Shiel -> Pendlebury

    2nd Option
    Shiel -> Zorko
    Milera -> Beams

    3rd Option
    Milera/Shiel -> Zorko (Shiel gives me DPP back but Milera probably won’t be good for much else now)
    Bugg -> Premium (Birchall, Suckling) or down to (dare I risk a 1st gamer) and go Darley.

    Cash 272 K
    Trades 19

    DEF: Lids, God, Broughts, Hargrave, Enright, Shaw, Spurr (Bugg, Morris)
    MID: Boyd, Ablett, Rockliff, Mitchell, Shiel, Horsley (JMac, C.Smith)
    FWD: Sidebum, Chap, Frank, Lewis, Martin, Smith, Adams (Hall, Milera)

  • Don’t know who to trade for Zorko.

    Mids are currently Ablett, Pendles, Jelwood, Thompson, Horse and Congis with Magner and Clay Smith on the bench.

    Forward options to trade are Porpoise and Hall. Neither I really want to trade.

    Would rather trade someone in my mids, but dunno who as I would prefer not to get rid of Magner or Conigs as they are solid M6s at the moment, but Clay Smith is nowhere near maxing out and is playing still.
    Any thoughts appreciated.

    • I’m actually thinking the Porpoise might be the best option, would give me Danger and Zorko as my only 2 round 11 mids, which I can cover if Hall and Pfeiffer play. He could be a solid M7 keeper though.

  • sounds like a sexy cheeseburger

  • Your point Jack? Pity Stants is not on the selection committee.

  • J.Selwood, Thompson or Watson and why??? Am pulling my hair out for this decision!1

  • Swan- Ablett
    Greene- Mitchell?

  • HEY! I’m up against Chooks Rooks in Eliminator this week!
    Time for me to hit my straps

  • I’m seriously considering Couch>Zorko this week if he is not named (again). Can’t really bring myself to trade cows who still have BEs <20. Might consider Shiel but I did want to turn him into someone without a rd 11 bye. Is Zorko really worth it? All of my other rookies (bar Couch) have pretty good JS and are making nice amounts of cash, only have 13 trades left too so might just sit this one out…..



    Tom Mitchell among the best players for the Sydney Reserves last week. Got 35 possessions, 6 marks and kicked a goal.

    Surely he will play this week ?