Dustin Martin – Deck of DT 2015

Name: Dustin Martin
Club: Richmond
Position:  Forward/Midfielder
AFL Fantasy: $553,000
AFL Dream Team: $551,000
Bye Round: 11
2014 Average: 97.6
2014 Games Played: 21
Predicted Average: 103

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Why should I pick him?

Where to begin. Firstly, he’s incredibly consistent. Last year Dusty didn’t have a score under 70 all season, you’d take that from a forward in a heart beat. He also goes consistently big, notching the ton in over 50% of games during 2014. This proves that not only is he going to bank you safe points every week, he can win you games as well. 11 tons including 6 over 110 proves he has got the ceiling to go with the consistency. Cotchin and Deledio will continue to attract the majority of the tags (for now), so he is free to roam around each week and avoid any potential ‘shockers’.

One of my favourite stats is his durability. To put it simply, it doesn’t get any better than this. He has played over 20 games in every season over his entire career, missing only 4 games out of a possible 112. Take for example Lance Franklin. Over the past 5 years Franklin has missed 20 games compared to Martin’s 4, not completing a 20 game season since 2009. He could have averaged slightly more over that period, but averaging 3 less games per season means you will be relying on a bench fodder on each occasion. In the long run this can hurt, and potentially cost a few head to heads. Martin is as reliable as they come.

Some may look at him as an upgrade target, but early fixtures suggest otherwise. Sure he struggles against Carlton (Past 2 seasons average of 65), but then he faces Western Bulldogs (102), Brisbane (103), Melbourne (102), Geelong (100) and North Melbourne (106) in the next 5. In fact he averages under 100 over the past 2 years against just 2 teams before the bye, Collingwood being the second in Round 7.

He is yet to reach his prime, however turning 24 this season he is ready to take his game to the next level. He played in the midfield during 2013, boosting his average up to 97. Unfortunately it was a step too far too early for Dusty, his tank let him down on numerous occasions and lead to a tag of the fade out king. Aside from his poor second halves, there were positives. He managed three 130+ games including 2 monstrous scores of 144 (Still career highs). When he gets his opportunity in midfield he can go huge. Last season he was used more conservatively, playing the majority either up forward or down back, conserving his energy yet maintaining his average. This was due to the added consistency to his scoring. 2 years later we sit here contemplating him for our squads, and only one question should be asked. Is he ready to break back into the midfield and maintain it? Why trust my mere conjecture, here you have Dusty’s free pass into every one of my squads and hopefully yours as well.


This is why you lock and load him. Hardwick basically guarantees him more midfield time. It will allow him to crank out those massive 120+ scores more regularly, while his improved tank will help him turn from the nearly man into an uber premo forward. This is his year to breakout. This is the year you don’t want to be passing on Dusty.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

There’s not many convincing arguments I can come up with to ignore him this season. He disproved the theory that he can’t run out games with his uber consistent 2014. Discipline issues seem to be an issue of the past, regardless he is proven to be the most reliable forward option going around.

Sure there are a lot of alternatives in the forward line this season, but that becomes irrelevant if you believe he can be a top 3 forward, which I’m totally sure he can and will be. At this stage Deledio may miss out on an appearance in the deck (I’m sure he will be covered elsewhere) because I think he has peaked, where as Dusty is yet to reach his full potential. That being said, he is direct competition for a spot in your teams and many will side with the more experienced option.

I guess the only real downside is that compared to the alternatives around him, we haven’t seen him deliver an average near what they’re capable of. Franklin, Deledio, Goddard and Swan have all pumped out monstrous 100+ averages before, while we are relying on natural growth and progression with Dusty.

Deck of DT Rating.

Ace. There’s not much left to say really. Everything is set up for Dusty to push his average well above 100 this season, my predicted average was fairly safe. I get the feeling this might be the final season we get to select him as a DPP, so enjoy it while it lasts. I reckon Martin is one of the safest picks this season and should be locked into everyone’s starting teams.

Is Dusty a round one starter or upgrade target?

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  • Real toss up for me between him and Deledio. This article gives the nod to Martin

  • Really compelling argument Matt, great write up! I had reluctantly decided to pass up on Dusty before reading this but now he’s straight back in my plans.

    Was going to start with Goddard and look to Dusty as an upgrade target, but I think I’ll do it the other way round now.

    • Cheers Oz! I was in a similar boat, however there was too many uncertainties picking Goddard. Not to mention I am overloaded with Round 11 byes in my forward line. He’ll be an early upgrade target, but I feel Martin is the safer starter

  • Dusty is as good as they come and always gets a starting spot in my side

  • Too many bargains up front to start him, Taylor Adams or ziebell to name a couple, and save u a fair bit of coin

    • I’d take points over money in the bank mate.

    • Huge calls. I tend to agree when it comes to the other premiums as I like my players to have room to grow, but I think Dusty fits that bill anyway. Need some safe points.

      • I’d still prefer Ziebell + 70k then just upgrade him later on. Horses for courses I guess!

  • About as safe a lock as there is. easy pick

    • I agree about Dusty, but it should be noted that safe locks are supposed to be difficult to pick… ;)

  • Very convincing write-up, answers the crucial Martin v Deledio question emphatically. Never got a chance to get Martin in RDT last year and boy did it cost me, not going to repeat that error this year. Lock.

    • The research answered my own Martin v Deledio call haha. Expect Lids to continue being used up forward. Still a viable upgrade target.

    • Remember Deledio is the number one target for a tag, Cut out his run and carry and the opposition has a great chance of a win. How can you tag a bull with an arm that’ll don’t argue you to china while kicking suasige rolls

  • Great article Matt, I think I’ve been too excited by the new Fwd eligible players and have been overlooking Dusty as a possible starter. After this read, I’d tend to agree with Dusty just edging out Lids as the better option. I can probably afford 3 elite forwards and one Titchell/Wingard type, my 3 big dogs at the moment are BJ, Swan and Buddy but Dusty’s challenging for one of those spots now.

    • Thanks mate. Fresh blood is always hard to resist! I’m in a similar boat. Swan was a lock for me, and I think I’m leaning towards Franklin at this stage (Unless Hird thrusts BJ back in the mids). At the end of the day owning 3 round 12 premiums + wanting Mitchell was too much, and Dusty is as good a pick as any.

  • Locked and loaded for me Matt! Awesome article justifying my decision more!

  • Still got spots in our league.

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  • Over priced

    He plays forward and doesnt get 100

    Late last year he was coping a tag more, he will get a hard tag this year

    Upgrade target

  • So in fantasy if you believe this is the last chance to see dusty as a dip option is there the chance he will change mid season and loose it. Or are they not doing that this year

  • out of him and Ziebel. Ziebell saving you 70k can get you better mid premiums. I’d rather someone like fyfe or Greene for 20k more and scoring 10 points more

  • Seems I’m the only one going with both Martin and Deledio, gifts as fwds imo, and the only Rd 11 bye fwds I have so can’t see it being a problem.

    Who’s the other Rd 11 fwds everyone’s so keen on?

  • Great article Matt!

    Locked and loaded for me.

  • I’ve got a reason not to pick him. He got bumped off the ball by Jake Neade in the Elimination Final. All tatts and no ticker.

    Pity Fantasy is not based in football reality. I’ll be picking him haha.

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