Paul Duffield – Deck of Dream Team 2013

jan05_duffieldName: Paul Duffield
Club: Fremantle
Position: Defender
Assistant Coach 2013 Price: $426,800
Bye Round: 11 (Shared with Brisbane, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, Richmond & Western Bulldogs)
2012 Average: 82.8
2012 Games Played: 19
Predicted Average: 95


Why should I pick him?

Because barring injury, Duffield will be a top six defender next season. Big call? Maybe. But how’s this for a stat? In the past three seasons, Duffield has averaged 80 points per game over 62 games as a defender. Not good enough? Well, 47 of those games were alongside Greg Broughton & 15 games were played without him. In the games with Greg Broughton, Duffield averaged only 75 points per game. As he will be for the entirety of next year, in games he has played without Broughton, Duffield averaged 97 points per game! Boom! Just can’t get enough of that wonderful Duff!

Duffield went down with an untimely “injury” last year (technically he was dropped, but anything out of Ross Lyons office is questionable), missing from rounds 12 to 15, adding to the list of donuts for coaches across the bye rounds, but in the past four seasons, Duffield has actually only missed 2 other games, so despite his negative wrap, he is consistently getting on the park. His 2012 season average was affected by injury and a sub-vest, giving him a nice little discount, but he ended last season on fire, with an average of 102 points per game (without Greg Broughton), with a string of 104, 113, 125 & 109 in the last four rounds.

Despite missing three games in 2012 and a sub-affected score of 30 in round 15, Duffield was still the 17th highest scoring Defender in AFL Dream Team, with the 10th highest average. Taking out his sub affected 30, and his two shocking games against the Suns and the Swans, Duffield averaged 91.5 across the season. Priced at an average closer to 80, it makes him very tempting, just like Duff beers new nectar honey larger – if Gods sweat, they’d sweat Duffs nectar honey! Oh yeah!


Why shouldn’t I pick him?

A natural hatred of Ross Lyon by some coaches may influence things. The man hates Dream Team. For all we know next season Ross will treat Duffield like he did Sam Gilbert and have him playing out of the forward pocket instead of rebounding off the half-back flank, or maybe feeling like he needs a spell of eight games in the WAFL to improve his hand-balling accuracy or marking technique or… something. Oh no! At the same time, he may play him like Brendan Goddard, which is what I see happening, but who the hell knows? Add in the x-factor of Danyle Pearce and his role next season, Duffield’s exact role is still a little cloudy.

Putting Lyon aside, as mentioned earlier Duffield did have two very poor games early last season (consistency), scoring just 40 against the Swans in round 2 (although he did score all of these points up to the half way of the second quarter – and then flat-lined) & 38 against the Suns in round 6 (when Campbell Brown sat next to him in the front row behind the Suns goals).

For others, it’s that they just won’t get over the pain of carrying Duffield through the bye rounds, only to be rewarded with a sub affected 30 and followed by a 66 on return. If you were one of the few that traded him out for him to go on and average over 100, that probably wouldn’t have helped his chances in returning to this years line-up. That’s a mug you don’t want to chug!


Deck of DT Rating

QUEEN – Duffman has to be considered due to his ability to score well and his durability over the past four season, but obviously with only six defender spots to fill next year, you’d want to be sure he will up his game. For me, I can see him doing it and look forward to a near 95 average from him next season. For a defender, that’s approaching auto-lock territory. He’s in my team – Oh yeah! Are you ready to get Duffed?


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  • Great article. Needs to be strongly considered.

  • Nailed it beautifully! End of last season suggests we should pick him, but his coach IS Ross Lyon… I don’t know what to believe :p

  • Last year Ross tempted us with Broughton…….this year Duffield. Wait till NAB cup when he plays him in the midfield so he really suckers us in…………

    interesting choice and on the watch list. Question is whether other teams will follow Gold Coast and shut down the run of Freo defence by taking Duffman out of the equation. From memory, was a close game.

    Good news is with some many trades, Duffield could be my value player in defence and trade him out early if he disappoints.

    • ps. Thanks Griff for article, appreciate these types of articles (whether they highlight a player for +ve or -ve reasons). Picking right players as important as avoiding the value traps (which can quickly turn into lobster pots).

  • Nice write up Griff. Duffield burnt me a little last year but is on the NAB watch list for sure.

    PS: iPhone autocorrect tried to change Duffield to Dud field :D lol

  • I think last year showed us how few quality defenders there actually are. Duffield’s ceiling is high but his consistency is fairly low. The positive is when the Dockers were flying late last year so was he, so keeping him in that juicy role will make sense, but also he is the most likely to receive the forward tag as Campbell Brown did to him last year. Good little player will figure strongly.

  • Thanks Griff. He’s worth considering.

  • Great write up Griff. He is my 3rd starting defender. As locked as you can be in early January

  • He is locked and loaded in my side!! Great article Griff! Really well done!!

  • Griff, you were right on Twitter. You may just convince me yet. For my 3rd def it’s between Duff, Birch and Suckers. Would like Grimsey but missing the cash. At the moment I have Birch as he was good to me last season, but as I mentioned you may yet convince me on Duffman.

    Thanks for the great article yet again!

    • Bahaha! Just noticed the little Duffman character in the picture at the top. Well played :)

  • Wow – talk about boiled lollies to chocolates! Dawes to Duffman.
    Cracker article RL.
    Given my complete lack of trust of Ross I’ll look to Duffy as an upgrade target once his role has been set.
    Great DODT.

    • Yep agree with you Big Fella, will play it safe early on…. Yeah NAB Cup can tell you a bit but its fairdinkum come round 1 and thats when you will see the real Ross Lyon. Big fan of the Duffman but not quite yet.

  • Great write up Griff.

    Just so people are aware though, Duffield was actually dropped not injured.

    He was running around in the WAFL for South Fremantle. I had him all last year and it drove me insane when it happened just in time for the MBR’s.

    He dominated in the WAFL games he played as well which drove me even more crazy haha.

    click on the + next to the 2012 season ;-)

    • Surely with Broughts gone even Ross would realise he needs to play Duffman… Surely!…Right?

      • Let’s just say that Duffield isn’t the tightest of backmen. Ross Lyon however loves the defensive style of the game.

        Spurr, Pitt, Ibbotson, Suban, Faulks and few others all can play a similar role. Duffield is obviously first choice but any slip up in regards to his ability to defend could very well see his spot being in jeopardy.

        Who knows with Crazy Lyon haha

    • Cheers mate. Updated to reflect this.

  • Griff,
    nice article and it is good to get another “will I or won’t I” selections.
    It’s true that Duff scored significantly better last year when Broughts was not playing alongside him and that alone suggests he should jump up to that 90+ average but your comment about RLyon is soooooo true. What will he do with him next year?
    I’m initially inclined to back him in for 2013 and assume he will play the rebounding role. With McPhee gone, I can’t see too many other Dockers playing that sweeping role off half back (other than maybe Suban).
    So he is in my team at this stage.

  • Excellent read Griff! The perfect sort of player for the deck. I’m going Goddard, Grimes and Gibbs and will probably have the room for one more (or two if all the Def rooks flop for some reason) so a choice must be made out of Broughton, Hartlett and Duffman (and Heppell if he looks like getting some midfield time). Will monitor all through the preseason and NAB.

  • Wouldn’t have considered him till i saw this article but the ross lyon factor scares me about him

  • Hmmmmm bit sceptical about Duff. It all depends on what role Danyle Pearce will be playing this year. He was tagged every game whilst at Port Adelaide, when on song he is a fantastic player. He is now walking into a team where first of all Crowley is in the same team!!!! Handy. And Fyfe and Hill and Mundy or Barlow will cop the hard tag. I have a feeling Danyle Pearce will run amok at Freo this year either playing at half back, half forward and running through the midfield. Smokey

  • Perfect card for the deck.
    Had Duff on the radar with my post mortem of 2012 but have deliberately not thought about him because I thought he was nearing the end of his career.
    Considering he is in his prime (27), Duff will be finding his way to my team this year.

    Well done boys.

  • Good write up, i’d love to pick him but i’m staying strong and not picking Freo players this year. I just can’t do it. That team is dead to me. Fyfe will trip over a guinea pig, Sandi will stub his toe in the shower, and Ross Lyon will make all the other DT relevant players into taggers.

    Not going there unless they’re a rookie cash cow.

    Now if i wasn’t so mentally strong and able to resist the lures of the purple jersey, i’d probably have the Duffman on my radar at least. After Goddard, Grimes, and Gibbs, i’m kinda not sure who to pick for my other defenders. The case for the Duffman is definitely convincing.

    I’ll say this though, Broughton leaving was win win for everyone.

    • Fyfe looks stronger and fitter than ever and Sandi has said he’s never been more confident in his feet (odd thing to say), they should last the season and both average over 100+.

  • Out of curiosity, why are people talking about starting wth hartlett from port??? dont you know his hamstrings are made from glass? he’s a great player and IF he can stay on the park will show what a talent he is. but thats a massive IF.
    Plus hes never played more than like 15 games in a season. Too much for some1 so unrealiable.
    Duffield could be an ok pick as a lot wont go him. I would’ve thought possibly Bock might be slightly safer as long as plays rnd 1. save cash too.

    • I’m with you on this Bugger! Alot of promise, but far too risky. I’m still dealing with my Grimes phobia.

  • He’ll be in my team this year, but we need a few more pearces of the puzzle……..Sorry.

    Without Broughton and Mcfee the Duff Man will play a significant role in 2013. Suban, Pitt and Spur are not as prolific ball winners as Duff and he learned his lesson about being hard at it after being dropped last year. Ibbotson has his role at CHB and in the mid so he won’t get in Duff’s way.
    I think Batt Batt has nailed it, Pearce will more than likely drift between back and mid. Freo has a sh#t load of small to medium forwards so he won’t be needed there.

    DP may bite into his numbers but I’m still on the Duff. Ohhhh Yeah!

  • Great article, Duffman is a maybe pick for me only if my rookie defenders fail to get a game in round 1. I already have three Dockers so I may have to go with Broughton or Heppell over him.

  • DoDT. Awesome value. Huge thanks to all involved. DT seems to bring with it a level of hysteria that amuses me. I wonder who was bitching about Lyon when he gave us high scoring locks like Hayes, Dal Santo, Montana, Reiwoldt, Goddard and Gram, despite being a ‘defensive’ coach. He rewards consistent effort and gets the best out of players who are willing to put in the hard yards (go ask Clancee Pearce and Walters). Lyon dropped Duff and he comes back at us with tons. What do you want, tons with a couple of dropped games or 60-80 playing every game? (Less than a third of the top 100 avgs last year played every match). Doesn’t seem right for Lyon to be blamed for Broughton being a princess (which was a problem in 2011 under Harvey as well). We play a fantasy game based on a real game called AFL, not the other way around! Lyon certainly isn’t a coach for lazy and demanding DT coaches who can’t be bothered reading deeper than the stats sheets. Rant over! Duff is a watch for me.

    • The point everyone is trying to make is that Broughton is a great player when played in the Midfield but since Ross Lyon came along he played him in stupid defensive fwd positions.

  • @shorty. I hear ya. I have had broughton in my team for the last two seasons and was burned last year along with everyone else! I just don’t feel that it was Lyon’s ‘fault’. Zac Clarke was bloody awesome when he was playing thru the middle too.

  • was in my team, will stay in my team
    definately feeling more confident about it now… phew

  • Great write up Griff!

    As many people would have noticed, (and are probably sick of) I have been talking Duffman up since the 2012 season ended. He finished with a bang, and should go 90+ playing in the right role.

    I found that stat with Broughton a while ago as well, but this just confirms him as a lock in my squad.

    Btw, that 40 he got in round 2 was because of a punctured lung, which resulted in him going to hospital… even more tasty ;)

  • Not for me.

    From what I saw last year, M.Johnson was stealing all his possessions along half back, and whenever the ball came near him and/or needed to tackle he would cower away. He seemed a spud.

    He was in my team last year, and I did get burned by him during the byes, and he does play for Ross Lyon, so no thanks.

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  • Good article Griff! The only thing I’m worried about is Pearce coming in and Morabito coming back from injury. They both play on the wing which means that Duffield would get very limited time there.
    For me, even though he’s a bit underpriced he’s probably more of an upgrade target so I can have a look at his role.

  • Cracking write up Griff, as always the balance between facts and wordsmanship is excellent.

    I don’t doubt the Duffman’s DT scoring ability but will be keen to see his pre-season role (not that it means anything under Ross Lyin’) before locking him in. Currently have him selected as my fourth defender and will be watching him closely – very jealous of my mate who traded Broughton to Duffield after Broughton’s injury last year. A couple of extra trades this year means a sideways trade after 2 rounds could be on the cards.


  • Duffield vs Grimes???

    • Grimes is a lock if, like me, you think his injury troubles are behind him. After his first 3 games and a week on the sidelines (his only for the year) he averaged 96.5. He is young and should only improve with maybe some more midfield time and a team that HAS to improve. Start the 3 G’s (Goddard, Grimes and Gibbs) and you will have the top 3 defenders all underpriced. But if you’re having a 4th premo defender (like most) then Duffman should be considered alongside other guys with potential improvement like Broughts, Hartlett, Lake, Heppell, Hanley etc. So head to head I’d say Grimes is the bigger lock but as the El Paso hero says, “Why don’t we have both?”

  • He is too expensive. Last year he went through an injury, a comeback, and then was dropped. He was at the time flayed as being not hard enough. He came back with a vengence and finished the year very well. Have to admire that in a player.

  • Duffield or Hartlett?

    • Hartlett probably has slightly more of both risk and reward. New coach, consistent midfield time and less injuries could see Hartlett get close to the 100ppg mark, or he could play 15 games for mid 80’s as well. If Duffman comes off then he could push 95ppg but if not could be mid 80’s but playing more games than Hartlett.

  • Nice write-up Griff you make him tempting.

    Why was he scoring ok without Broughton its not like Broughton was racking up the possies when he was there :b . I wouldnt be relying on the fact that Broughton has left for him to pick up his average .. from memory he was dropped at one stage last year.

    Who coaches Freo..Ross Lyon :0 . Not for me, but i wouldnt say he was a bad pick.

  • I just want to clarify some info in this article. Duffman was dropped due to form and a lack of hardnes – this was openly said by RTB in the Perth media.

    Duffman then went and averaged around 30 touches a game at WAFL level (ok, might be 25 but clearly had some impressive games) and then was brought back in to the team.