Patty Karnezis – Deck of Dream Team 2014

jan22_patrickkarnezisName: Patty Karnezis
Club: Collingwood
Position: Forward/Midfielder
2014 AFL Fantasy Price: $212,700
2014 Dream Team Price: $244,200
Bye Round:  Round 8 (shared with Adel, Geel, North, GCS, Rich)
2013 Average: 49.6
2013 Games Played: 3
Predicted 2014 Average: 73


Why should I pick him?

Despite all the residual negative feelings we might have towards him after an empty 2013, there’s no denying the guy can score.

After four NAB Cup outings off a wing, Karnezis had the entire fantasy world buzzing. He was Brisbane’s most prolific midfielder over the pre-season, pumping out 119 DT points per 100mins of action – ranked 5th in the league (of those who played at least 150 minutes) over the NAB Cup. All signs pointed to an unmissable break-out… Then Voss came along.

A lukewarm Round 1 outing – which, by the way, included many lesser performances than his 19 touches for 66 DT points – sparked a green vest and just 9 DT points the following week, which completely blindsided DT coaches. Only Michael Voss can turn a sure thing into a fantasy wasteland with such speed and finality.

Forced to cut his teeth at NEAFL level for the majority of the year, Patty went back to doing what he does best – pumping out points. 116 per game, in fact. 28 touches, 7 marks and 2 goals per game are huge numbers for someone of his size, and it highlights a rare blend of height, footy-finding ability and nous around the big sticks.

You can bet that the folk at Collingwood were watching closely. When Karnezis was only granted one more game in 2013 – despite his rampant reserves-level form – the Pies must have been licking their lips. With Dale Thomas departing to Carlton, it would seem that Karnezis is being groomed as a direct replacement in the loping wingman role that Daisy filled so effectively for the Pies. As we know, big-bodied midfielders are in vogue at the moment, and at 191cm, he’s exactly the same height as the prototype tall midfielder and new teammate Scott Pendlebury. This can only aid his attempts to break into what is admittedly a very tough 22 to crack. While his unusual repertoire meant he didn’t fall into a specific category at Brisbane and may have attributed to being constantly overlooked, it’s this same versatility that might shoot him ahead of the pack at Collingwood.

Fantasy-specifically, he has all the bells and whistles any prospective coach can ask for. Not only will he roll into 2014 at bargain status with a 10% discount in Dream Team and a 21% discount in AFL Fantasy, but he’s also a Fwd/Mid DPP. Gotta love the extras.


Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Does the saying “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me” mean anything to you? Or maybe you’ve been a repeat offender when it comes to picking guys like Shaun Higgins, Jack Grimes, Greg Broughton or Heath Shaw – players that just suck you in with a cheap price and fantasy-friendly gamestyles, yet burn you year after year. There’s a fork in the road for Karnezis ahead, and the Never Again list is certainly one of the possible destinations.

Job security is the prime and only concern for me at this stage. If he gets a full game each week, he’ll score. Simple as that. But a spot in Collingwood’s best 22 is far from guaranteed, and even then, the threat of a substitute vest is an issue.

I keep asking myself “why would a club like Collingwood would actively chase a guy like Karnezis if they weren’t going to play him?”, then the devil on my right shoulder points out that clubs have been recruiting for depth for years. It’s very possible that Collingwood just landed a great insurance player, and that the Collingwood Reserves just gained a future Fairest & Best winner.


Deck of DT Rating.

JACK Playing for the same club he grew up supporting, the scope for Karnezis is huge this year. Will he be yet another Reserves-level gun who simply acts as a depth player (how Bradd Dalzeill made a living), or will he be another club-change success story, scoring his way into our fantasy teams and our hearts?

To be honest, I have no idea. I’m just selling you his undeniable potential here – we’ll all have to wait until the NAB Cup to figure out whether he or not he’s Fool’s Gold in Collingwood colours.