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Thanks to Tom for sending in his thoughts on some players he has been pondering between.

Heath Shaw ($532,000) V Jarrad McVeigh ($538,000)

When dashing defender Heath Shaw joined the Giants for the start of the 2014 season, he looked a decent option straight away. Although Shaw has been a solid Fantasy performer over the duration of his career, not many would’ve predicted he would have his best season in 2015 at 29 years of age. Not since 2005 has Shaw averaged under 80, a remarkable statistic. Whether he’s sprinting off down the wing or rebounding from the half-back line, the former Magpie rarely has a game under 20 disposals. In fact he only went three games under the 20 disposal mark last year, highlighting his promising ball winning ability. Shaw averaged a respectable 23.5 disposals, 6.6 marks and 2.8 tackles per game, resulting in a Fantasy average of 96.05. Another handy point worth acknowledging is Shaw’s kick to handball statistics. He loves to run, have a bounce, create something, then dish it off by foot and his Giants team mates love the ball in his safe hands. Whilst averaging 19.1 kicks he only recorded an average of 4.4 handballs. This can only be a positive for Fantasy owners.

Swans veteran Jarred McVeigh has been an ultra-consistent part of a Sydney team packed with superstars such as Franklin, Kennedy and Hannebery for many years now. Like Shaw, McVeigh has got better with age in the Fantasy side of things. Despite recently undergoing knee surgery, a highlight of McVeigh’s game is his knack of staying on the park. He has played 22 games in a remarkable seven seasons all whilst constantly averaging over 80. As stated above, McVeigh has been brilliant in the past three seasons, averaging 91, 97 and 97. However he did post under-par scores of 72, 55, 66 and 65 in 2015 but they were his only scores under 80! Again up there with the best Fantasy defenders in 2015, McVeigh managed ten tons including seven of over 110. You know your going to get quality form McVeigh so lock him in if you’re after a consistent point scorer.

Verdict: Both players are in their 30’s but are still going as strong as ever. Shaw has had his fair share of controversy over the coarse of his career but is coming off his best Fantasy season to date. Adding to his list of positives is McVeigh’s ability to play through the midfield at times. Shaw scored eight tonnes compared to McVeigh’s ten (finals included) and I think we’ll see a better season from McVeigh this time around, but if you can afford it, why not go with both?

Which defender do you take?

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Steele Sidebottom ($565,000) V Brandon Ellis ($568,000)

Steele Sidebottom endured an injury interrupted start to season 2015. After playing just 55% of the Magpies round one clash with the Lions, Sidebottom was taken off with a thumb injury, eventually resulting in six weeks on the sidelines. However after his return, Sidebottom resumed his role in the Collingwood midfield whilst also proving a worthy selection for AFL Fantasy. At his best, Sidebottom is very good. He’s a great accumulator of the ball, highlighted by the fact he had just one game under 20 disposals since his return to full fitness. Sidebottom posted scores of 118, 131, 106, 107, 128, 130, 113, 131 and 111 as well as a 91. Staggering statistics considering the ‘pies won just three games when he ‘tonned up’. Another highlight of Sidebottom’s game is his marking ability, recording under four marks in just four games. He has also averaged 104, 96 and 108 in years gone by. However with the addition of Treloar and Aish adding to a midfield already consisting of Pendlebury, Adams and Swan, what role will Sidebottom have in the team?

Richmond midfielder Brandon Ellis was Mr.Reliable in 2015. Incredibly, he posted just two scores under 80 in the 24 games he played in. Ellis didn’t miss one match and recorded a whopping 13 tonnes for the season, which is well and truly up there with the best midfielder’s in the league. Despite averaging 96 in 2014, Ellis never really caught the attention of many people in pre-season. Like Sidebottom, Brandon Ellis loves to collect the cheap +6’s around the wing zone which has caused some people to question his ball winning ability. Although Ellis prefers to sit at the back of packs looking for a quick release handball, his Fantasy owners were blessed with ultra-consistent scores and hardly any bad games. However perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Ellis Fantasy season was that he went through the entire season as a POD with low ownership levels. But will he have the same role and be as consistent as last year?

Verdict: Incredibly tough decision here. Huge upside in both players but I like Sidebottom here. Hopefully he can play a Fantasy friendly role somewhere in the midfield, perhaps on the wing, and rack up some good numbers. Will teams start to pay more attention to Ellis this year?

Which midfielder do you take?

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Sam Jacobs ($533,000) V Mark Blicavs ($539,000)

Crows ruckman Sam Jacobs, nicknamed ‘sauce’, is as durable as they get. The big man has hardly missed a game since fleeing Carlton ahead of the 2011 season. Whilst having to play the vast majority of his games in the blue, yellow and red as the lone ruckman, Jacobs has been a consistent fantasy performer. Jacobs’ 2015 season was yet another ultra solid one. He recorded thirteen tonnes in 24 games. Interestingly, of those thirteen tonnes, eight were over 110, proving his ability to go big. He averaged 15.5 disposals, 4.2 marks, 37.3 hit outs and 97.7 Fantasy points (Finals games included). Jacobs has been one of the leagues best ruckman for numerous years now and there’s no reason why he can’t do it again. With the sub rule gone, Jacobs will likely find himself resting in the goal square more whilst Josh Jenkins pinch hits in the ruck. This will hopefully result in a few more goals from ‘sauce’. If your tight on money and can’t afford the likes of Martin and Goldstein, Jacobs will save you around $100,000 and still score you good points on a regular basis.

Mark Blicavs had an incredible 2015 season. Who would have thought the former steeplechaser, who was vying for selection ahead of the 2012 olympics, would become a prominent figure in the Geelong team. Taken with pick #54 in the 2012 rookie draft, Blicavs came out of the blue in 2015 to average 97.3 Fantasy points. This year, Blicavs comes in at $539,000 and is, along with Jacobs, a great selection without splashing out the big bucks for the games most expensive players, Martin and Goldstein. A highlight of his game is his running ability which has to be said, isn’t always ruckman’s strength. Geelong used Blicavs through the centre of the ground often and despite averaging just 16.3 hitouts, used his big frame to record an impressive average of 18.2 disposals, 4.6 marks and 6 tackles. So flexible is Blicavs, that he comes with the unique Ruck/Midfield combination for the second season in a row. Geelong have also stated they plan to play Blicavs in midfield and across half-back so look for his disposal numbers to improve.

Verdict: I’d personally be going for Blicavs here. If he does end up playing a role across half-back and up into the midfield, then he is capable of pushing for an average of 100. Jacobs could well do this too, but for now, I think Blicavs just wins here.

Which ruck do you take?

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Brett Deledio ($530,000) V Luke Dahlhaus ($540,000)

At his best, Brett Deledio is damaging and quite capable of finishing the season as the top averaging forward. Since his debut in 2005, Deledio has averaged 61, 77, 76, 97, 96, 89, 91, 110, 95, 96 and 95. So there is no doubt he has what it takes to become the top forward. Last year didn’t quite get of the ideal start however, playing just 69% of the Tigers Round 1 game before being subbed off with injury, resulting in a score of 53. When he did return to AFL ‘footy’, Deledio scored 61 in just 64% gametime. But it didn’t take long for the dangerous midfield/forward to return to peak form, and fitness for that matter. He posted eight tonnes in the remaining games including a big 137 against Collingwood. He was suspect to a few under-par performances throughout the season, however. Deledio has had an interrupted pre-season and faces a battle to be fit for round 1. If he’s fit and firing, Deledio is crucial for the success of the Tigers and his Fantasy owners.

Unlike Deledio, Western Bulldogs 178cm powerhouse Luke Dahlhaus endured a brilliant start to his 2015 campaign. After averaging 74, 70 and 87 in previous seasons, Dahlhaus lifted the bar in 2015 and finished with an impressive average of 97.6. With eight tonnes in the first ten matches, Dahlhaus continued to reward his relatively low percentage of owners. With just two matches under 20 disposals underlining his excellent ball winning ability. Despite scoring just three tonnes in his final ten games, Dahlhaus still proved that he was a genuine option, finishing the season as the forth top scoring forward. Although he is highly priced this year, the Bulldog has a chance to be even better given team mate Tom Liberatore’s likely return to the big time. Hopefully this strips Dahlhaus of any chances of collecting a tag from the opposition.

Verdict: Both forwards come with the Forward/Midfield DPP ability and will both be looking get off to good starts. Dahlhaus and Deledio are definitely chances of being amongst the top six forwards. If you have the funds, both players are great options. I prefer Dahlhaus at the moment as Deledio is coming off an annoying achilles injury and may not even make it to round 1. But if Deledio does prove his fitness in time, I’d certainly be inclined to select him instead.

Which forward do you take?

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  • Dalton:
    Over the period of 1803-1808 Dalton presented and published a precise definition of the invisible building blocks we now know as atoms. His atomic theory can be summarized as follows:
    – Elements are composed of extremely small particles called atoms.
    – All atoms of a given element are identical having the same size, mass and chemical properties. Atoms of different elements have different size, mass and chemical properties.
    – Atoms are not created nor destroyed or changed into different types during a chemical reaction
    – A chemical reaction involves only separation, combination, or rearrangement of atoms.
    – Compounds are formed when atoms of more than one element combine in a specific ratio.
    His idea that atoms were indivisible was held to be true for the next 100 years.
    Through using the Cathode Ray Tube J.J Thomson noted that the nature of the cathode rays was independent of the material of which the cathode was made of and that a metal plate exposed to cathode rays would become charged. These observations led Thomson to conclude in a paper published in 1897 that cathode rays were not a form of radiation but consisted of a stream of negatively charged particles with mass.
    By the end of the nineteenth century it was generally agreed amongst scientists that matter consisted of tiny particles called atoms. Matter was known to be electrically neutral and Thomson had shown that negative particles which made up cathode rays, now known as electrons, had an estimated mass of around 1/1000th that of the smallest known atom. This lead J.J. Thomson to propose a new atomic model for the atom that could account for these observations. Thomson’s atomic model consisted of numerous very small negatively charged electrons imbedded within a much larger uniform positively charged sphere. The large spherical part of the atom accounted for almost all of its mass. His model, which became known as the ‘plum-pudding’ model of the atom, however, would prove to be short lived due to the experimental work of Earnest Rutherford.
    Between 1909 and 1913 Earnest Rutherford and his co-workers, Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden, carried out a series of experiments in which a beam of alpha particles, α (+2 charged helium nuclei) were targeted at a very thin sheet of gold foil. Rutherford was particularly interested in how the alpha particles would be deflected as they passed through the thin gold foil. If Thomson’s ‘plum-pudding’ model of the atom was correct then all the alpha particles would pass through the gold foil with little or no deflection. This he concluded as the positive charge as the positive charge of and mass of Thomson’s atomic model was thinly and uniformly spread throughout the atom. In 1911 Rutherford proposed an improved model for the atom that would account for these experimental observations.
    He proposed the atom consisted of empty space occupied only a very low mass and negatively charged particles called electrons. The electrons orbited a tiny central region he called the nucleus. In Rutherford’s model almost all of the atom’s mass and all of its positive charge are located in the nucleus with the positive charge being carried by particles called protons. This model explained why most of the alpha particles in Rutherford’s gold foil experiment passed through the relatively empty region of the atom occupied by the very low mass electrons. The very few particles that passed through close to or directly toward the tiny but dense positively charged gold nuclei would show significant deflection or even deflection backwards.
    Rutherford’s model was consistent with the current experimental with current experimental observations (1911) and gave a good account of the charge and mass distribution within the atom. The model, however, could not account for all of the atom’s mass. Experimental data by Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden on the extent and frequency of alpha particle deflection showed the number of protons in the nucleus equaled half the atom’s relative mass. At best this meant the protons in the nucleus could only account for half the atom’s overall mass. Some other neutral particle must be present in the nucleus. A search for this particle proved difficult as detection methods at the time involved using electric or magnetic fields to deflect particles found by their detection. The charge and mas of a particle could be inferred from the direction and the extent of the deflection. These techniques worked on charged particles but were no use on neutral particles.
    The search for charge less particles, the neutron, finally ended at the University of Cambridge Cavendish Laboratories in 1932 when Sir James Chadwick (1891-1974), a previous student and collaborator of Rutherford, identified neutrons as a product of the alpha particle bombardment of metal beryllium. For this pivotal discovery he was awarded the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society in 1932 and layer the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1935.
    A remaining limitation of Rutherford’s atomic model was its inability to provide an explanation for the then well-known phenomenon of emission spectra, also known as line spectra. These spectra are produced by electrically excited low pressure gases and vaporized elements. Furthermore, Rutherford’s idea of the electrons orbiting the nucleus was problematic. Such orbiting, according to classical physics principles, continuously emit radiation causing the electron to lose energy and speed then presumably spiral into the nucleus. Atoms based on the Rutherford model appeared to be inherently unstable.
    In 1913 Niels Bohr applied concepts from the newly developing field of quantum theory to propose a modified version of Rutherford’s nuclear atom. Bohr’s model solved the problem of the unstable electron orbits while precisely accounting for the line spectrum of hydrogen gas. His model proposed that electrons moved about the central nucleus in circular orbits, as was first proposed by Rutherford, but that only a certain orbit radii are allowed. He also postulated that the electron in each orbit had a specific amount of energy with the lowest orbital radii corresponding to the lowest possible energy. Contrary to classical physics principles he proposed the electrons could orbit without losing energy.
    Bohr hypothesized a single light photon would be emitted from an excited atom when one of its electrons fell from a higher energy orbit to a lower energy one. The energy of the emitted photon would equal the difference in energy of the two orbits. The frequency of the emitted photon depends upon it’s energy.
    Bohr was able to determine, by a mix of quantum theory and classical mathematics, the energy associated with each of the electron energy levels of the hydrogen atom. This enabled Bohr to theoretically calculate the wavelengths of light that should be present in the line (emission) spectrum of hydrogen. His results showed an excellent agreement with the experimentally measured wavelengths of light seen in hydrogen’s line spectrum.

  • Nice write up Tom, has made me rethink one optin and justified another.

    Shaw, Ellis, Jacobs and Dahl for mine although Cavs was closest

  • Speaking of defenders…
    What are your thoughts on Rory Laird?

  • wow I thought McVeigh was more reliable but only 22 games in seasons speaks for itself. Have to take him out of my team.

  • I am amazed at how bullish people are with McVeigh considering his pre-season injury concerns. I’ll be aiming for him to be an upgrade target mid-season for sure.

  • Very good article on compatible premos.
    I am torn between a few of them.

    I selected Shaw in my original team last season as a safe price holder with the intention of upgrading him with a rookie to a premo. Ended becoming a keeper.
    Apart from the rookies, he was my only decent original pick in defence.
    I am not making the same mistake this year with going too cheap in the backline

    • Cheers ProwlingTiger! I think starting with guys like Shaw and McVeigh will hold you in good stead by the end of the season. Others may disagree though.

  • Awesome write up, love the votes!

  • great article.

    my preoccupation right now is Buddy or Billings….

  • 1 small point….Deledio FWD only