Harley Bennell – Deck of Dream Team 2013

dec24_bennellName: Harley Bennell
Club: Gold Coast Suns
Position: Midfielder
Assistant Coach 2013 Price: $438,200
Bye Round: 13 (Shared with Adelaide, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Gold Coast & GWS)
2012 Average: 84.9
2012 Games Played: 22
Predicted Average: 103


Why should I pick him?

Smokie Alert! Harley was the shining jewel in the Gold Coasts young brigade last season. He was one of only three players to play every game last year for the Suns, and his uninterrupted run of 29 games (since round 16, 2011) is the longest consistent string of games from any of the Suns playing group, demonstrating his importance for the expansion team. Bennell had the fourth highest Dream Team average for the Suns in 2012 (although with Caddy & Iles being shipped out, he’s second on the current list), and kicked the second most goals for the side, a touch behind Gary Ablett Jnr.

Last season, the youngster showed his Dream Team ability, with great scores of 156 (in Round 19 against Melbourne) and 128 (in Round 6 against the Dockers when GAJ was out with a knee complaint). Harley found himself in the middle for a majority of last season, and his overall game improved, averaging 24 disposals per game in 2012, up from 17 disposals in his debut season.

Obviously this had a benefit to his Dream Team value, and although only managing a maximum score of 79 from his 14 games in 2011 (where he averaged 67), he managed to increase his season average to 85 in 2012. That’s a nice increase of 18 points per game. If he can do the same in 2013, he’ll be looking at an average nearer to 105, making him a promising M7 or M8 at a bargain price.

Bennell is also approaching the mystical third year, where a players AFL Dream Team score supposedly goes through the roof. Although not even remotely true, it is fair to say he has now had three solid, injury free preseasons and as the Gold Coast chase down their 20-1-3 aspirations, he will be an integral cog of the Gold Coasts midfield.


Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Price. Unfortunately for Bennell fans, you’ll have to fork out quite a bit of moolah ($438,200) to fit him into your midfield, for the risk that he will break out in his third year. Although this is still relatively cheap if he can bring up his average towards 100+, depending on your structure he’ll be directly competing against the likes of fellow youngsters Toby Greene, Nat Fyfe & Andrew Gaff as a potential break-out mid-priced midfielders in your team. Then add in the midfield options of the injured duo Andrew Embley & Luke Ball to further complicate how he would fit in your team, and multiply this by the fact he is nested between DPP options Dustin Martin & Dyson Heppell and you can see the problem. Where does he fit?

On top of this, despite showing that he could go big last season, but he has only breached the 100 point mark on three occasions in his 36 game career (although they were all last year). He also showed that he still has a way to go with consistency, with four scores of 55 or lower last season. On top of this, he shares his bye with ultra-premiums in Garry Ablett Jnr, Dane Swan, Marc Murphy, Scott Pendlebury, Jobe Watson, Dayne Beams & Scott Thompson. Ouch.


Deck of DT Rating

KING – It’s hard not to see Bennell improving on his 2012 season. By all reports he is having a solid preseason, he is entering his third season and he is being mentored by the best midfielder in the game, Gary Ablett Jnr. The Suns team as a group are on the up, and he will have more support around the ball next season. If he can improve his consistency, he could just explode next season.

Oh, and by the way, see all those uber-premiums he shares his bye with? Well to this point in his career he has already averaged more points, and played more games, than any of them at the same point in their career. If you are after a mid-priced midfielder with a point of difference and a large upside, or you’re playing the new AFL Fantasy draft game and just looking for a break-out smokie who fits your structure; Bennell may just be your man.


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  • As with all of the previous deck entries, another thought provoking article. This one is probably a little out of left field Griff after all the guns we have had recently.
    Certainly a very speculative bet if you decided to go with him based on the assumption he will jump to a 100+ average. I’m not really sure I agree and as such will so a NO. I again feel there a “safer”, more predictable and better value options available.

  • Interesting Griff. But I won’t be going anywhere near him even with a breakout year, just too many better options in the mids with rd 13 byes. I like your way of thinking though

  • Unfortunately lost his relevancy after losing DPP.

  • Great article – this is what the deck should be all about. The uber premo’s, or the much talked about guys, people already have an opinion on and will have them in their team or not… These are the kind of guys that could make or break 2013 for us uber coaches…

    That said, he is a pass for me. But another “watch in the pre-season” sort…

  • Yep, he’s locked in my team. hopefully a unique pick. :D

  • He is one of about 5 i’m currently considering as a POD for M5. I currently have O’Keefe in the spot.

    • I can’t see Bennell scoring more then O’Keefe. O’Keefe is underpriced in my opinion, had a slow start to the year

      • Yeah O’Keefe is very under priced for what he did in the second half of the year. After his bye and if you included his 3 finals, O’Keefe averaged a huge 118!

        • I’m locking him in at the moment, due to O’Keefe losing his dpp he will be more of a unique (same as beams but cheaper). I don’t reckon his age is gonna affect him too much, it didn’t last year haha

  • Nice one Griff. Can’t fit him in my team, but if I could I would tend to lean more towards Treloar – just my preference as he did a great job for me this year.

    • mmmmmmmmmmm risky aswell, you would think that bennel would be a greater chance of success than treloar, treloar great rookie pickup but it would be better goin bennel here. or to be safer going okeefe or fyfe who arent too much more but feel safer and more promising

  • Had him locked until VS stripped him of DPP

  • Bennell is very “Katy Perry” and I strongly doubt he’ll average 103!!

    • Because he kissed a girl and he liked it?

      And before I cop a life ban from the site, that’s the only thing I know about Katie Perry I swear.

  • Should improve his average, but probably not enough to make him relevant. I’ve got Lower as the guy I’m considering as a smokie mid choice, to slot in alongside Embley.

    • Agreed Benny!

      Too many very nicely priced mid pricers in 2013 to be considering Bennell. Lower represents amazing value for 2013 especially since his move to the Bulldogs.

    • Lower looks like an interesting option, feels like he could score 90+. Still, he’s priced similar to Ball & best case scenario he’ll score similar to Ball. Another one to watch eh :)

  • Would have him if he was a fwd, not anymore

  • I wasn’t even considering Bennell as a forward, massive pass from me. Nice write up though Griff!

  • Anyone reconsidering after his best on ground Polly Farmer medal? Not a bad call there Griff.