Koby Stevens – Deck of Dream Team 2013


Name: Koby Stevens
Club: Western Bulldogs
Position: Midfielder
Assistant Coach 2013 Price: $204,800
Bye Round: 11
2012 Average: 39.8
2012 Games Played: 4
Predicted Average: 73


Why should I pick him?

If you read last year’s Deck of DT article I wrote on him, then you know I rate the guy. The Eagles do too, with list manager Craig Vozzo declaring “Koby is a young player with terrific attributes” and that losing him would be “extremely disappointing because we saw him as an important player in a developing midfield”. Obviously, the Western Bulldogs are fans themselves. As much as I loved Koby at the Eagles and hated that a player with such potential left us, getting a new start at a rebuilding club where he will be offered more opportunity only pleases me from a fantasy perspective.

The best thing about Koby is that he’s scored significantly below his capabilities over the last two seasons, due to a combination of lack of opportunity and the sub rule. In fact, he’s has been substituted in 5 of the 6 games he’s played since the rule was introduced. Stevens averaged just 39.8 per game this season in four outings, but in his only full match (Round 3 versus GWS), he collected 19 disposals to go with 7 marks and 3 tackles to total 83 DT points. To me, that’s much more indicative of his scoring potential than 11 stunted games over three seasons for West Coast.

So the question is, what can he do with unrestricted playing time? Unfortunately, it’s hard to know how far along Koby is in his development because we’ve seen so little from him. However, his form for East Fremantle in 2012 placed him in the infamous club of players who dominate at WAFL level but can’t get a regular game for the Eagles, like Swift and Dalzeill before him.

What he does have is job security, a massive rig from years in the system and a healthy appreciation for taking your chances when they come. He has all the tools to put together a season like Dustin Martin’s 2010 (21 games, 71.4 avg) or even Luke Shuey’s 2011 (22 games, 83.5 avg); two inside midfielders who’ve had solid seasons amongst young midfields.


Why shouldn’t I pick him?

His main deterrent is price. At $204,800, he’s basically twice as expensive as last year for a similar expected return. It also makes him $20k dearer than the priciest rookie in Lachie Whitfield, and almost $100k more expensive than the surest bet we have in Jaeger O’Meara. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that he won’t score twice as much as these basement priced rookies, so it all comes down to this: Is Koby’s seemingly strong job security worth the extra cash?

There’s always been a question mark over his durability, with knee injuries and osteitis pubis plaguing his first couple of seasons in the system. However, 2012 was essentially injury-free (ignoring a concussion), which is encouraging, even if it doesn’t erase any doubt completely.

One nagging concern I have is that Koby may still be 2nd-string in the midfield rotations. With Boyd, Griffen and Cross guaranteed midfield time, it means that Koby will have to compete with fellow up-and-coming midfielders like Clay Smith, Liberatore, Wallis and Hrovat for significant time spent in the guts (not to mention part-timers in Higgins and Dalhaus). He should be fine… But then again, he could easily end up playing a high-half forward role which he suffered in at the Eagles; or worse, the vest.


Deck of DT Rating.

JACK – If he does get the extra midfield time he’s been seeking, then I can see him approaching his 2012 WAFL stats of 21 disposals, 4 marks and 3 tackles a game, where he averaged 88 for the year. But as much l love the guy and I think he has all the talent in the world, his price is a massive hurdle for me. His NAB Cup form will go a long way in convincing me of his job security, role and scoring ability, but if there are enough promising rookie-priced midfielders playing in Round 1, overlooking him will be a no-brainer.

VISION: BulldogsTV interview, Koby Stevens Goal (European Challenge)



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  • Thanks Tbetta.

    One to watch. More likely competing for a mid priced spot in peoples team than a rookie selection. Given the increased midfield positions, expect we may need to look at some mid price options which Koby could fit.

    Does anyone know what role Nick Lower is to play at the Bulldogs, is it more likely defence?

  • Nice summary Tbetta. As you stated it is all about the price and whether he gets enough on-field time.

  • Caddy,Embley or Stevens for that 6th Mid Spot, I must admit I havent seen alot of Stevens, but may give him a go if hes in a good role

  • Great write up Tbetta! The only thing that puts me off Koby is price. I’m sure he will be in the midfield rotations but he will also have Cooney to compete with for time.
    I’m sure NAB cup will reveal better priced midfield rookies.

  • Top write up tbetta, he is somewhat a surprise packet but I think a good rookie will go close to him. I think your predicted average is a typo. Cheers

  • With a predicted average of 110 he’s the biggest lock of 2013!

    • Where does a predicted ave of 110 come from… If he didn’t ave that even in WAFL, how does he instantly jump to a top 5 scorer this year?

  • Good stuff as usual tbetta! NAB Cup watch for me, definite scoring potential but as you say has a lot of midfielders to share points with.
    I take it that the predicted average of 110 is a typo?

  • Hmmmm. i would love to see the eventual winners starting line up. If he had rason for picking certain POD players opr just purely fluked it. Take last year – my main rival for the league picked hargraves, i picked lake. by the end of the year it was actually one of the reasons that i beat him and won the league (not that i did all that well nationally). Why did i pick lake? because he was a PROVEN peformer with a HUGE ceiling. he wasn’t the greatest, but he played most games and came good when i needed him. cost me buckly’s and was my D7 by the end of tne season. Yet my mate had no trades left to get rid of hargraves as he had broughton and a few others that killed it for him and copped a few donuts along the way.

    Also, How good was Sam Gibson at thenend of last year? worth a crack this year? What about Zorko? or are they too much risk and wont do any better?

    As for Koby Stevens, thats a big Maybe, but depends on where they play Lower as to how mid time he gets.

  • Yep, 110 was a tiny typo. Fixed, cheers.

  • I’m trusting tbetta’s predicted average and that’s probably not enough for the price, the article written about how much Whitfield needs to beat O’Meara’s average by deters me. 60k more and you’ve got Embley, who should average 15ppg more and would make nearly as much cash.

    • I just looked at the article you’re talking about, where it says that Whitfield will have to average 31 points more than O’Meara to profit the same amount. I’m not sure what mathematics Dylan went through to come up with that.

      O’Meara is priced at an average of ~ 21 (with Magic Number of ~ 5000), Whitfield is priced at an average of 37 and Koby at an average of 41. With the way the pricing system works (I think, with the simple maths I’m doing in my head), if 2 players average a score the same amount above their starting average, they will increase in price at the exact same rate.

      For example, if O’Meara averaged 75, Whitfield would have to average 91 and Koby average 95 to increase in value at the same rate. Obviously it isn’t quite that simple, as a player scores a different amount each week, but that’s the simple logic. Correct me if you think I’m wrong.

      • No I think that’s all fairly sound. It also supports my argument that Embley is a way better option. Embley is priced at 51.3 and Stevens roughly 40. Embley might average 86.3, a 35-point improvement, meaning Stevens has to average 75 (about what’s been predicted for him) just to improve the same amount. Then obviously the extra points you’d have with Embers before trading him out tilts the scales in his favour. Koby’s more here in case all the Mid rooks flop, which is basically unheard of.

  • His price doesn’t put me off, i just need to get some good mail on his JS, fitness and role. If all three boxes are ticked i’ll definitely consider him. 110? Bit generous! I’d take an average of 85+ provided he doesn’t miss any games.

  • If he kicks more and handballs less in the NAB, jump on

  • Ill keep an eye on him but i think ill go a cheap rook over Koby

  • Still not guaranteed games bulldogs have a lot of similar players.

  • Great analysis tbetta.

    Agree – he has the makings of a top-notch midfielder and just needs a go. Job security versus starting, rookie priced kids will be the deciding factor. Hope he gets some good game time in the NAB Cup.