Following the second round of the NAB Cup, players have again changed in their perceived fantasy value. Unfortunately as we all know, scores and stats are not available yet from the NAB Challenge games, but at least we were able to have a decent look at the players from the 8 teams left in tournament. And this is why we are all secretly glad that the Suns were able to make it through, so we could have a good look at their personnel over a (almost) full match. Here are some players of note – please discuss your thoughts on them in the comments, along with some of your own!
Jack Grimes MEL
Grimes was already on most coach’s radars, but now he is surely locked into more than a few teams. His 90 points included a game-high 25 disposals, of which more than half were by foot. After a drop in production in 2010, he is poised to reach his fantasy potential this year, with two consistent outings in the NAB Cup so far. At $340,200 he is a bargain and a premium in the making.
Josh P. Kennedy SYD
I thought his first round performances (84 and 24) were exceptions rather than the rule, but his 30-possession, 93 point game against Collingwood made me think twice. Especially as the Pies are obviously a much better side than Western Sydney, where that 84 came from. His kick to handball ratio is a bit of a worry, but that’s what you get from lockdown Sydney-style football. At $306,200, he could be a chance to push as your fourth midfielder with a view to keep – his average looks like it will increase from his 73 per game posted last season.
Mitch Duncan GEEL
The young West Australian topped the Cats with a 112 point effort, to follow up on his good showings in Round 1 (23 and 51). While these scores need to be taken with a pinch of salt – there was some serious midfield firepower absent – they are still very impressive. The 112 was not only a team high but a game high, rare in a 55 point loss. It’s unclear where he is in the pecking order as far as Geelong youngsters go, but with performances like this he must be considered for Round 1 of the home and away.
Alistair Smith STK
I know very little about this guy (which is probably fair enough seeing as he’s never played a game of AFL) but he scored 79 points with 10 tackles on the weekend. I think it’s fair to say this was an anomaly – I don’t care whether you’re a ninja, you won’t get 10 tackles a game consistently. From a quick internet search, he was drafted in 2008 late and hasn’t pressed for a game since, although Osteitis Pubis hasn’t helped his cause. No idea if he’s a chance to play this season, but at least he’s on the radar now, being a $97,600 option.
Alik Magin GC
I was at the Eagles v GC game on Sunday, and I swear I spent half the game wondering who the long haired number 6 was because I was too cheap to buy the Record. This guy was everywhere doing all the little things, and ended up with 7 tackles, 2 goals and 79 fantasy points. Interestingly, he is named as a backman but played up forward, so he could be a different option if you aren’t keen on trying to split Toad and Coy. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s a little cheaper at $92,500.
Dion Prestia GC
It’s impressive how much strength this little fella has. Being outsized didn’t matter; he looked classy and composed on his way to 71 points. Everyone was hoping he’d have a good game because of how valuable his DPP between the forwards and mids will be, and thankfully he delivered.
Luke Shuey WC
Looked really fresh, and this is one of those times when a player’s effectiveness matched up with their DT scoring, as he managed 14 touches and 51 points in a half before being subbed. Discounted due to injury last year, he can only go north from here barring more bad luck. Well worth a look at $280,300 as a mid-priced follower.
Bradd Dalzeill WC
Luckily this is DT and not that other fantasy game, because he wouldn’t be winning any prizes for his efficiency after the weekend. But not to worry, clangers mean sweet nothing in DT and made his 23 disposals and 79 points look better than his game actually was. Unfortunately he is pricey ($333,300), but will be a consistent mid-range scorer.
Other players like Cox, Selwood, Montagna, Swan and Stanton played great games, but we already knew these guys were guns. Heppell also impressed, but was locked into most teams already.
Aaron Davey MEL
Not his best game. Heavily and impressively tagged by Slattery, he only managed the 7 touches and 24 points. Hopefully this was just a one-off, but at $313,900, you shouldn’t have been considering him too seriously anyway.
Daniel Hannebery SYD
His name is being thrown around as a smokie at the moment, but the talk will dampen slightly after his injury-induced subbing in the 2nd quarter against the Pies. I think it was more of a precaution that he was subbed, but it is still sure to play on DT coach’s minds.
Sam Gilbert STK
If Saturday’s game against the Cats was an audition as a FWD/DEF DPP option, it’s fair to say he didn’t get the job. Only 7 possessions and a behind while starting forward did not tickle my fancy one bit. And with Riewoldt and Goddard locked into most teams, it’s too much of a disadvantage having to cover the byes, especially if this is the role Gilbert will play.
Callum Wilson WCE
It’s fitting that he’s being mentioned after Gilbert, as some are considering drafting them both as FWD/DEF links. After their combined efforts in Round 2 I think these coaches will reconsider. Only scored 18 (was a half time sub) but was barely sighted, and his only possession was a sift-wrapped goal from a 50m penalty. Honestly, Jack Darling looks to be ahead of him after the weekend.
Stock to Watch
Andrew Gaff started as a sub and entered the game at the half, and looked skilled and energetic if a bit baby-faced. Played an outside role and scored a goal in 36 points. Ashton Hams was prominent and effective, but his value didn’t equate well to DT and he only finished with 69. Both Selwoods were serviceable, while Swallow and Matera were impressive while not standing out (57 and 72 points respectively).
Stewart Crameri scored well again for the Dons with 63, tying with new draftee Dyson Heppell who’s looking very encouraging for 2011. Trengove scored 85 in Scully’s absence, and Jack Watts scored 41 with a goal, although he did look stronger and smarter than last year. Karkouer confirmed his ‘lock’ status, while Dennis-Lane surely drifted out of planning in a few teams. Gamble backed up with a serviceable 58 and a goal, but faded late when the result was beyond doubt.