First up I thought I’d say that having looked through Saints list quite a lot over last few months and tried to access where we are at as a club, I’ve come to the conclusion that in fantasy world we probably aren’t the best option. Aside from couple of players we are either too old (nearing end of their careers to be fantasy relevant) or the young guys just won’t get enough game time to warrant being worthy cash cows. Apart from James Gwilt who I will touch on below, I really struggled to find players and as such have gone different approach and given some decent options given the Saints relatively easy draw early in season that you can jump on and then trade out once fixtures get bit harder.
STKILDATHUNDA’S FOUR FROM THE SAINTS
2012 Average: 52 (down from 70 in 2011 & 72 in 2010)
2013 Price: $269K
Before his season ending knee injury in 2011 James Gwilt was showing signs of becoming one of better defender options. Last year he just wasn’t able to recapture his pre-injury form and for majority of season his elite kicking skills went missing. He also didn’t seem to have full confidence in his knee. In last few weeks of season he started to show signs that he was getting close to his best. He is remarkably cheap in 2013, at priced only $269K you could really get yourself a bargain and make some cash. We know from previous years he’s priced 20 points below what he can deliver, and there is no doubt he could lift his average to 80-90.
In St Kilda’s Intra Club and opening round of NAB Cup, Gwilt was once again used as key playmaker out of defence, a position he played back in 2011. In opening round of NAB Cup he scored impressive 48 and 30. He looks like he will cash in on scores available from departure of Jason Gram and Brendon Goddard.
2012 Average: 97 (down from 98 in 2011)
2013 Price: $498K
Leigh Montagna has long been one of best Dream Team players from the Saints, averaging under 96 only once in last 6 years. Last year he was played in various roles, including as run with player which heavily affected his output. So far in 2013 he has been played prominently on the ball and looking like he is going to recapture his form of years gone by. In 2 NAB Cup games he has scored 76 (opening round with both scores together) and 120 last week against reigning premiers. Before putting him in your side check his role carefully when Lenny, Steven, Dal and Armitage are all in one side and if he is still being played on ball or on wing then don’t be afraid to jump on… but note that he is suspended for round one.
Nick Dal Santo
2012 Average: 92 (down from 104 in 2011)
2013 Price: $471K
With 2 trades every week this year coaches can afford to take a put on players that are under-priced on previous seasons due to their fixture and there is none better then Nick Dal Santo. The 3 years prior to last season he averaged 104, 103 & 104. In 2013 he is only priced at 92 averages and when you consider his recent form vs his opening 4 opponents he could be decent POD in first month. If he fails to deliver you can just use one of your 2 trades that week. Below is his recent form against them (most recent score first)
Vs Gold Coast: 87, 91, 154 = 111
Vs Richmond: 113, 145, 70, 99 = 107
Vs GWS: 96 = 96
Vs Essendon: 105, 102, 91, 118, 115 = 106
Dal Santo has played in defence in parts of the preseason so far, racking up the touches down there in Intra Club. Whether he plays there in real season is the big question. There’s no doubt he’s bit of risky pick but with Gold Coast and GWS in opening 3 weeks he really could go bang.
2012 Average: 64 (up from 36 in 2012)
2013 Price: $325K
Arryn Siposs has been talked about a lot so far this preseason as the most likely candidate to play Brendon Goddard role at the Saints. He has trained majority of preseason across half back and has spent time down there during NAB Cup and has been quite impressive at times. The biggest concern I have with him is his ability to run out games and fact he floats in and out of games, which last year saw him used as sub on multiple occasions.
On limited time we’ve seen him in preseason it appears this is still a major issue. In opening round of NAB Cup he scored 35 vs Adelaide from 8 touches from 85% game time; however in game 2 against Port Adelaide he had 1 touch from 87% game time. It probably is important to point out that Saints had to back up 2 games in row in 38 degree heat but still its concern he could only manage 1 disposal. In last week’s game against Sydney he had 12 disposals for 45 DT points. Most of those touches were in first half of game before fading in and out.
Siposs appears to be showing all the signs of breaking out if he plays the Goddard role, but buyer beware he might still be inconsistent and struggle to run out games especially given added workload he’ll be given.
Lee has been one of the most “hyped” forwards in Supercoach and Dream Team so far this preseason. People are saying that because St Kilda gave up high draft pick for him then he’s locked into playing 22 games, but realistically that is so far off the mark it’s not funny. Others are saying they need a forward that can make an impact on scoreboard. Are those people forgetting that St Kilda averaged 106.7 points per game in 2012?
Tom Lee kicked 60 goals in 16 games after being moved from defence. Interesting to note Beau Maister kicked 44 goals in 10 games after doing the exact same thing. Maister dominated the VFL before finally getting games for Saints. WAFL form doesn’t always translate into dominating AFL.
Tom Lee will be fighting for spot in forward line against Rhys Stanley, Justin Koschitzke, Beau Maister and if they play 2 ruckman, Tom Hickey & Ben Mc Evoy will be rotated through forward line. Then you throw in all other forward options the Saints have; Stephen Milne, Adam Schneider, Ahmed Saad, Terry Milera, Trent Dennis Lane.
Tom Lee will need a big NAB Cup to force his way into the Saints forward line and, unless a few positional changes free up a spot. So far he has been less than impressive; he had bit of a shocker in Intra Club, and then backed that up with -4 & 28 in opening game of NAB Cup against Adelaide and Port Adelaide.
The Saints now have ton tall forwards fighting for one or two spots that they haven’t had in past. One or two bad performances and good form from others in VFL will see their spots in side gone.
Yes due to lack of forward rookie options that there appears to be at this early stage he has to be strongly considered for bench spot, but don’t be surprised if he only plays 8-10 games (if that) throughout entire season.
It’s also important to keep in mind that key forward aren’t exactly highest scorers in DT/SC, so when Lee plays you can probably only expect him to average 50-60.
Fisher is set to play stopping role in defence again this year given Saints lack of tall defender options. He played this role in 2nd half of last season. His days as running defender/loose man appear to be over with Sean Dempster the preferred option. Don’t get sucked into what appears as bargain price on the surface.
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