Andrew Swallow – Deck of DT 2015

Name: Andrew Swallow
Club: North Melbourne
Position: MID
AFL Fantasy: $508,000
AFL Dream Team: $506,100
Bye Round: 13
2014 Average: 89.7
2014 Games Played: 15
Predicted Average: 104

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Why should I pick him?

Swallow is flying well under the radar this pre-season, I’m here to uncover his potential. Straight of the bat, there’s no doubt he is underpriced. Priced at an average of just 90, you are getting a bloke well capable of averaging upwards of 100. Look back to 2012, when Swallow was an emerging gun of the DT landscape. He averaged 103, including a massive 5 scores of 130+! The pinnacle was his 160 against Melbourne, including a whopping 17 tackles. The man has some serious DT potential. He kicked off 2013 with scores of 141, 114 and 123 and was on everyone’s watchlists. Now we have a chance to pick him at the prime of his career, at peak fitness and at a bargain price. How did this happen? One ping of the achilles.

“Oh shit, steer clear” I hear you say. Wrong. Swallow has picked up a tag for being injury prone, which quite frankly has me baffled. He is one of the most durable players in the AFL, and the stats back it up. He had played an insane 106 games consecutively before picking up that freak injury, playing 22 games in the 4 seasons prior. The only other injury during his career was an ankle injury sustained when he was dropped to the VFL in 2008. 2 injuries throughout a whole career doesn’t sound prone to me. Now I know achilles can be tough to come back from, but he proved himself beyond reasonable doubt last season by playing the next 18 games consecutively (Including 3 finals). If you need an example of a player coming back from an achilles setback, look at Roughead. In the 3 seasons since returning, he has played over 20 games every year. Funnily enough, all 3 seasons are by far and away his best (Averages of 92, 87 and 89).

Not only is Swallow durable, he’s also consistent. He averaged 99 in 2010, 99 in 2011, 103 in 2012 and 95 (98 discounting sub) in 2013. You know you’re going to get an average at least in the high 90’s, and his high ceiling means his price will definitely spike at some point this season, making him the perfect stepping stone to a top midfielder or fallen premium. That’s a safe scenario. Best case scenario he finally puts everything together and averages 105+. How will he make that jump?

Nick Dal Santo’s arrival has him attracting the number 1 tag most weeks and will continue to do so, while Harvey’s incredible form has him attracting close attention also. This will allow Swallow to run free, and provided he is back to peak fitness he can easily get back to his 2012 level. Can he go past that? Aged at 27 and coming into the prime of his career, North coach Brad Scott stated that he thought the skipper would “play the best football of his career over the next few years”. That should be true in Fantasy as well.

Thus we get to the cherry on the cake. Hearing him speak about his fitness levels last month made him unmissable value for me. “I didn’t start running until well after now (last year); end of January, early February was when I actually started. So to be running around, feeling fit, doing all the drills and pretty much every part of training – I’m a mile ahead.” After signing a contract extension last week he also stated that his achilles was “stronger now than it’s ever been.” Every piece of the jigsaw seems to be in place.

On top of his potential to make a mockery of his price tag, there are some added benefits. He has a round 13 bye, which personally I have been struggling to fill. The GWS boys and Joel Selwood are the only other solid alternatives in midfield, and there’s not much competition at his price tag. We must remember that we can’t fill our starting teams with the most expensive players for Round 1. Sacrifices have to be made somewhere, so picking a guy like Swallow may free up the cash to upgrade another mid to a gun captain like Rockliff. He’s also a genuine POD (Currently selected by under 5% of players), which is also nice to have.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

I made that all really pretty, and for good reason in my books… However there are some downfalls. He is at an awkward price, so he may not fit into all squads depending on what tactic you are planning on. He is also facing direct competition for a spot in a lot of teams with Brad Crouch, who many (including myself) expect to see him enjoy a massive breakout season.

There is a plethora of great midfield alternatives, so selecting Swallow is taking away a place for another gun mid that you may believe is in for a stormer of a season. Rockliff and Ablett aside, Barlow, Pendlebury, Selwood, Greene, Treloar and Sidebottom are all hard to ignore. Fitting him in to your starting squad isn’t easy.

The biggest downfall in my books is that he’s unlikely to be a top 8 mid. That doesn’t bother me in Fantasy as he can easily be used as a stepping stone and shifted out later in the season (or during the byes if things don’t go well). However I like to pick premiums I believe will be in the top 8 mids in RDT and even though it’s a possibility, it’s highly unlikely. An average of 100-105 seems more realistic, which could leave you short come the end of the season. It may end up as a wasted trade.

Deck of DT Rating

Queen – Swallow is by no means perfect, however I have him locked into all my squads leading into the NAB Cup. If he gets through that fine, I can’t see him going anywhere. You can almost guarantee him an average of 100, not bad for a bloke priced at 508k. The only way is up.

Will you be starting the North skipper?

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  • Matt,
    great write up as always. Every time we read a DoDT article we seriously consider that player who previously wasn’t necessarily even on the radar.
    I am considering Swallow not only because of everything stated above but also he is the only Kangaroos player likely to be in my squad. I find it far more enjoyable watching a game if I have DT players involved in it.
    My dilemma is if I was to put him in it would be at the expense of either Wines or B Crouch. I’m not sure he is a better value pick than either of those.
    Your thoughts.

    • “Every time we read a DoDT article we seriously consider that player who previously wasn’t necessarily even on the radar.”

      Awesome! That’s what it’s all about! :)

    • Great to hear! I reckon owning 2 potential breakouts is too risky, pick one and then go safer with the more experienced Swallow. Crouch>Wines for me. If Wines did explode you could bring him in anyway! (Presuming that is fantasy)

  • Had written him off as a value pick for last year who had done his job, but this does all seem very promising. Quite tempted to swap Griffen for him currently, much more likely to average over 100 I think. Wouldn’t trade out Crouch for him in a million years though.

    • Then it comes down to Wines or Swallow. Have the same problem with both of them – Wines is the only Port player I currently have and Swallow would be the only Roo.
      At this stage I think I will stay with what I’ve got but Swallow certainly would be an option if wines was to go down in the NAB cup.

      • Honestly, I’d be spending a little bit more and upgrading to Boak. He’s going to explode this year, what I hear from Port at the moment is he has taking his training to another level this year and I think with Ollie’s development Boak is going to get a lot more ball this year.

        • lol haven’t heard that about any player this year.

          • Agree, Recall.
            I can’t remember anyone else who’s had their best preseason yet. Boak’s obviously the only one. :)

          • I agree, I get where you are coming from. But I’ve been reading literally every article that pops up on the all of the afl apps, Wines and Boak are going to be beasts this year, I’m willing to put money on it.

      • Bandicoot you are a wordsmith….
        Port,Wines,Swallow,go down.
        Well done !!

        • Very clever Smallmen,
          I should have picked that up myself. Maybe I do need to keep all three.

  • I think there is too much upside to Swallow to not have him in my team. Ripping article Matt!

  • You must be kidding, where is the i wont waste a valuable midfield spot on this guy option in the vote?

  • Sphincter, spot on mate. Room for 5 premos a Rich or VB and two rooks. Not wasting one on Spits

  • Good article. I currently have Beams in my side for obvious reasons. But i can save around 100k by getting Swallow.

    Reckon it’s worth it? The other 4 premos i have selected so far are Gaz, Sidebum, Treloer and Crouch.

  • @Toasted, I wouldn’t downgrade a premo for him, he’s definitely in that Griffen sorta crowd, likely a reliable 5-15 point increase and passable scores until you have a complete team, but he isn’t one if the 600k guys for a reason.

  • Great article and has had me playing with my midfield all afternoon, Ablett, barlow, heppell, Greene and trelor With rich and then the rookies, which one would you guys downgrade to him?

    • if its to suit a certain structure your going for, then i personally would say greene, i think trelor is the better giant at the moment

    • Cheers! The uncertainty surrounding Essendon makes me question Heppell’s value to be honest

  • Good article. Naturally he is value for money. However I’m a firm believer that the mids you start with ideally finish the season there (in fantasy and realDT) so its a tough pass for me.

  • Fair call matt I hasn’t really considered that too much, I think heppD has massive upside with watson in the side but will be watching the saga unfold and see what happens

  • I think I might be the only person in the world who starts with two Swallows and two Crouches in my midfield

  • To be honest I don’t know about m crouch. He might not be best 22. And I don’t know your team but van Berlo and rich are a million times better. Having 3 guys around that price of 520k could be risky but could pay off. Like I said I don’t know your team, but I would trade m crouch to rich, NVB or rookie depending on who you have. Then upgrade one of those three guys to a premium like barlow

  • I don’t know what I’m doing yet but I really like one of Matt Crouch, Daniel wells or Shane Biggs as a unique midpricer as opposed to the rich nvb borefest. Will be watching nab to decide