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Chook’s Rooks – Round 6

Like those rotting carcases the Americans chasing a million bucks on Survivor mung into from time to time, a few of our rookies are now well past their use by date.

If you’ve got the cash in the bank, you’ll find plenty of fallen premiums – or cash fowls – littering the DT landscape at the moment. Upgrades, then, aren’t the issue.

Those looking to make some dough with a downgrade could be in trouble this week, however, with slim pickings in the two-game ranks.


Quite a few coaches picked up Jarrod Kayler-Thomson last week when Richmond mid and pre-season stud Dustin Martin had a visit from General Soreness, the leader of the army charged with taking out our favourite rookies. The 17,000 coaches who brought the Hawthorn youngster in would’ve been disappointed by the bad case of third-game smalts he suffered, scoring 46 after a 65 and 101. Still, he enters round 7 with a breakeven of -48, which is the best of this lot if you don’t count injured Melbourne midfielder Rohan Bail (-49), who’s listed as a test this week.

If it wasn’t Kaylor-Thomson, lots of people were bringing in one of three rookie defenders for peaked Geelong back Josh Hunt. Concerns over Simon White’s job security at Carlton meant he was the least selected of the three, but the tall fella outscored both Adelaide’s Phil Davis (56) and West Coast’s Ashton Hams (68) with an 84.

Fremantle midfielder Michael Barlow convinced another ten thousand or so coaches that he’s keeper material with his fourth ton in six games. After a slow start, Geelong’s mature forward James Podsiadly got to triple-figures too, resulting in a $60k price rise. That’s $130k overall, then, which has got to be slightly annoying for the coaches who opted for Brisbane’s Tom Rockliffe instead. Rockliffe’s teammate Todd Banfield busted out his best score yet – a 90 – and picked up a Rising Star Award nomination for his troubles, not to mention a shiny, new BE of just 20.

At the other end of the scale are the blokes with the bigger breakevens. Mentioning rotting carcases well past their due date might have been a bit of an exaggeration, but there’s no denying midfielders Ryan Bastinac, of the Kangaroos, Tom Scully, of Melbourne, and Lewis Jetta, of Sydney, are all gradually closing in on their ceilings. All will make less than $10k this week if they maintain their season averages, while Fremantle’s Anthony Morabito has already started bleeding cash.

Two gamers

While it’s not panic stations yet, Morabito, Bastinac, Scully and Jetta owners should at the very least be window shopping at this point. In the window this week are another Docker kid, Nathan Fyfe, a couple of rucks in Matthew Lobbe and Jordan Roughead, and the highly rated but, thus far, poorly performing Ben Cunnington. Well, we can write off the rucks straight away, as no one’s downgrading Robbie Warnock, especially to someone like Lobbe, who’s scored a pair of 28s. For all the hype, Cunnington hasn’t fared much better, making 48 on debut followed by a 36 last week. At least with Cunnington there’s a reasonably decent chance that he’ll feature in plenty more games this year (cue his omission on Thursday), but his price tag of $140k is a major drawback. That leaves Fyfe, a forward, whose scores would make him the most attractive downgrade target of the bunch if it wasn’t for concerns over his long-term chances and the fact that anyone in need of a rookie forward would’ve already snapped up JPod, T-Rock or Davis. Our best hope in the two-gamer bracket has been plying his trade in the VFL for the past two weeks. After being named in Bendigo’s best both times, Ben Howlett can’t be far from a return for the Dons. His BE is -79.

One gamers

If my rookies are almost ripe but the two gamers stink, there must be some good downgrade targets on the horizon, I hear you hopefully exclaim. Well, not really. Just two players debuted in round six – Adelaide handed a start to Matthew Jaensch, while Fremantle blooded Dylan Roberton in the WA derby. I don’t want to write a post randomly inserting Ss into people’s names, so it’s Roberton, okay? No Ss. Anyway, he’s listed as a back in DT, while they have Jaensch down as a forward. Let’s have another look at them this week but, for the record, Roberton chalked up a 57 and Jaensch scored 68.

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