This series of ‘club preview’ posts are written by DT TALK regular contributors choosing their 5 players they have on their watchlist from the respective club. These aren’t who we think will be the top 5 highest scoring players… and are not necessarily in order. They are just our opinions of the 5 players who we have on our watchlist heading into the 2013 season.
CALVIN’S FIVE FROM THE LIONS
1. Matthew Leuenberger ($233,600 – Ruck)
Leuenberger will be one of the most selected players in Dream Team for 2013. He is currently the 6th most selected player (34%) in 2013. He played all 22 games in 2011 to average 93 for the Lions and after playing just 3 games last year before being injured, the big man is ready to roll this year.
2. Tom Rockliff ($481,700 – Fwd/Mid)
Rocky is named as a forward/midfielder this year and like Leuenberger, he’ll feature in many Dream Teams in 2013. Rocky averaged 112 in 2011 only to find with less midfield time in 2012 (avg. 93). In the NAB Cup over the weekend, Rocky went nuts with huge scores of 39 and 40. He is a bargain and in a recent interview with him he let us know how his pre-season was going and his thoughts about where he’d be playing this year.
“Pre season has been really good for me to date. I have done the whole preseason and running PB’s in my time trials. Ready for games to come around. Well I hope I find some good form again and build on last year and spend a lot more time in the midfield.”
3. Sam Docherty ($108, 500 – Def)
The rookie backman we all need. He’s 19 years old and was named as an emergency in the last 3 games of the home and away season but failed to get the call up. With Josh Drummond out of the picture, Sam will get his chance this year and be great from our Dream Teams and Mr. Rockliff agrees… “I think Sam will play senior footy this year and will be valuable to Dream Teams.” Thanks Rocky. Docherty played 15 games in the NEAFL last year averaging 21d but after his recent NAB games, I’m not as sold as I was. He scored 13 and 14 over the weekend and when you compare that to Nick Vlastuin (Def – $147,700) who is worth a little more but produced much better numbers (23pts and 24pts) and maybe Docherty isn’t as locked as we first thought.
4. Dayne Zorko ($487,800 – Fwd/Mid)
Second year player Zorko is well and truly on my radar as he is still named as a forward after ripping his debut season up with an average of 95. Wow! He’s 24 years old and averaged over 6 tackles a game last year, and thrived last year after missing the 2007 draft. Absolute beast of a player who had some big scores from his 16 games. 140, 140, 120, 113 and 113 were his best but he should get more attention this year. Can he maintain his average of 95? There’s no reason why he can’t… it will be tougher for him this year, but he’ll give it a fair shake I reckon.
5. Jack Redden ($531,100 – Mid)
Not to be confused with Port Adelaide’s Jarrad Redden, but when he’s scoring you 100+ a game, you’ll know if you have the good Redden or the dud one. Jack is the good one and should rip it up this year. He averaged 103 last year, 6 less than he did in 2011. He is under priced and is set to average 110+ if things go his way this year. A tackling machine who shares a matching tattoo on his arse with Rocky.
OTHERS ON THE WATCHLIST:
Brent Moloney ($309,800 – Mid) arrives at the Lions this year after averaging just 60 with the Demons last year from his 15 games. When he is in full flight, he has averaged 88 before (2009 & 2011) and must be looked at over the pre-season. He scored 28 and 42 over in the NAB Cup recently and is at the top of the list when it comes to mid-priced on ballers.
Brent Staker ($132,600 – Def/Fwd) suffered a set back in February when he injured his left knee… not as bad as what Barry Hall did to him a few years back (CLICK). He’s already locked in many Dream Teams, he went under the knife for minor surgery. There is still a chance that he may be ready for Round 1 and although he called it “only a minor setback…” I’m tipping a round 2/3 comeback for the luckless 28 year old.
Sam Mayes ($152,200 – Fwd/Mid) was the #8 pick in the draft and should feature at some point as this year. He averaged 77pts during the U/18 Championships mainly as a forward and 61 in the SANFL. Certainly one to watch as the Lions look to re-build.
Claye Beams ($334,900 – Mid) is Rocky’s tip to be the man who has a big year. He is awkwardly priced but Rocky rates him as his #1 man to be watching over the NAB series.
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