Steve Johnson – Deck of Dream Team 2014

dec30_stevejohnsonName: Steve Johnson
Club: Geelong Cats
Position: Midfielder
AFL Fantasy: $641,600
AFL Dream Team: $646,600
Bye Round: 8
2013 Average: 118.4
2013 Games Played: 16
Predicted Average: 110

Why should I pick him?  

Because it’s Stevie J. Johnson averaged a phenomenal 16.7 kicks, 12.6 handballs, 5.6 marks, 4.9 tackles and 1 goal per game in 2013. He played purely as a midfielder and that role will not change next season.

No news is good news regarding Johnson on the injury front. He’s been training well so far this preseason and like most veterans will build his fitness base early in the New Year. When you are in your 30’s, completing a full preseason is invaluable and relatively uncommon in modern day footy. There is no doubt that Johnson will be hard to ignore if he is cherry ripe for Round 1.

With regard to Fantasy scoring, it’s one thing to ton up but it’s another to score BIG at a relatively consistent rate. Johnson finished with 125 or more Fantasy points in 7 of his 16 games last season. His ability to go that extra mile is a huge advantage, more so when you lock him in as captain. The 2013 season also saw Johnson as one of the more consistent scorers. He only had three scores below 100 and two of these were in the 90’s.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Johnson will again be a Top 8 midfielder in 2014. Lock it in.

Why shouldn’t I pick him? 

The Cats are well renowned for ‘managing’ their players throughout each season and with recent retirements and delistings, Johnson is now the oldest player on the Cats list. The odds of Stevie J playing all 23 games in 2014 are almost nil however, a bye in Round 8 and a split Round 18 will help the veteran. Johnson’s poor suspension record and injury risk at the ripe old age of 31 are other issues to consider. There will be a no risk mentality if Stevie goes down during the season and his tendency to get rubbed out for a week or so will be difficult to manage.

For the first time, Steve Johnson will be a midfielder only next season. The luxury of having one of the most prolific ball winners in our forward line up has passed us by. Not having Johnson as a DPP means that there will be fewer options to cover him when he’s rested, suspended or injured. To add fuel to the fire, Johnson is another Fantasy gun with a Bye in Round 8. Ablett, Swan, Pendlebury, Beams, Cotchin, Bartel, Dangerfield and Stevie J…we can’t have them all.

Johnson is the most expensive Fantasy listed player in 2014. Being the most costly means that you provide very little monetary value. Let’s look at Stevie’s average (last 3 games) against his first seven opponents to start next season:

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Crows

Lions

Pies

Eagles

Hawks

Port

Tigers

BYE

87.3

98.0

108.7

120.0

121.3

117.7

127.0

From the table above, Johnson averages well below his priced 118.4 in Rounds 1 to 3 but will likely rack ‘em up against the Eagles, Hawks, Port & Tigers before gaining a rest in Round 8. If his average is relatively low by the end of Round 4, Stevie could drop by as much as $50,000 early on. Is that enough to put you off?

Deck of DT Rating.

ACE – There is no doubting Stevie’s Fantasy talents and that’s why he will be in all of our teams at some point next year. His ability to find the footy and finish in front of goals makes him an elite player and well respected around the league.

Johnson, Swanny & Gaz are the three most expensive players next season and all have the Round 8 bye. The way I see it, you can only pick two of these three at best. At this stage I’m going with Gaz and Swanny only because they are likely to suit up for all 23 regular season games. Stevie J will have to wait.

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