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Guns N Rookies Sample Team

Declan Jamieson has put together a “Guns N Rookies” sample team for you to have a bo-peep at. Is this the structure that we must use to be successful this season? It has been hotly debated over the last month. What do you think?

The coveted AFL Dream Team 2011 season is finally upon us all. The question remains however, will we learn from our silly mistakes that we committed last year? Or will we keep buying those pesky mid pricers that we end up trading down to rookies anyway? It is evident of course that some mid pricers rise in value but it is a minority. Take Gray, Dangerfield, Ballantyne and Big Bad Barry Hall, just to name a few players who have fallen drastically short of their predicted average rise.

There is one solution however, to this problem that many DTers find themselves in throughout the Dream Team season, it is rookies. Especially with the Gold Coast Suns, the latest addition to the list of AFL clubs, many rookies from GC will find themselves acquiring many games and consequently rising in price.

Rookies are cheap and rise in price, allowing for you to have more premiums on your field. I have made it a goal to incorporate as many mature agers as I can into my team, take Michael Barlow AKA ‘the messiah’ for instance, we all know how he averaged a whopping 109.8 points over 13 games, what was even more exciting was that he was bought by many for the measly price of $105,800. Now I am not saying that we will see another Barlow type player this coming season, but we can expect good scores from the likes of, Daniel Harris (GC),who averaged over 100 in the VFL, Ian Callian (ADEL), Andrew Krakouer (COLL), Tendai Mzungu (FREO), Mzungu is going to be something big in 2011, he averaged 29 disposals in the WAFL and is almost guaranteed a game. Michael Hibberd (ESS) who was awarded the Fothergill-Round medal as the VFL’s most promising footballer.

As you will see I have the Goddard and Gibbs, two players that will be essential to every serious Dream Team. I also see upside in  Grimes and Otten. Broughton performed in the NAB Cup so I have all but penciled him in for a round one berth in my team. Heppell is my 7th defender although he could be switched with Coad who is a likely starter for the Gold Coast Suns.

Now the midfield, where the guns and rookie approach becomes more evident, Swan is a week in week out captain choice so he is a must. I have chosen him over the cheaper Ablett of the Gary variety as Ablett has been burdened with a groin injury and will not be given the protection and easy kicks that he had become so accustomed to at the Cats. But that’s not to say that he won’t be in my team at some stage this season, once he becomes ripe after completing his 2nd bye I will jump on him, I may even go as far as sticking the Big C on him as he faces his Geelong teammates in rd 10. I see upside in Bartel who is priced at a juicy $437,800 and may return to his 110+ average in his Brownlow winning year after having an injury for part of last season. I have chosen 3 rookies in the midfield. David Swallow came 4th in the VFL Best and Fairest polls and Harley Bennell looks a likely starter in round 1. You will see that I have Hibberd and Callinan so I can utilize the DPP in my FWD and BACKS.

In my rucks I would have selected Drew Petrie but he has is suspended round 1 and I am not confident that there is sufficient cover from my bench rucks in Derickx and Zac Smith, so instead I have picked Sandilands and Cox.

In the forwards I have risked getting the injury prone Chappy. Franklin will almost certainly build on his 2010 average as David Hale will be getting more FWD time and hence, Franklin gaining more time in the lucrative midfield position. Didak is a bit of a risk for me since he is coming off surgery whereas Riewoldt and Slyvia are almost locks. Krakouer and Mzungu, as I have already stated are going to be good picks for 2011.

Here is the final product. I have a bit of spare cash for easier upgrading.

The Team

Goddard Gibbs Deledio Broughton Grimes Otten Heppell (Coad Duigan Puolpolo)

Swan Boyd Bartel Bennell Swallow Harris (Krakouer Hibberd Callian)

Sandilands Cox (Smith Derickx)

Chapman Franklin Goodes Sylvia Brown Mzungu Richardson (Prestia Matera Smith)

$25,700 left over

By Declan Jamieson



  1. jb

    March 3, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Where is riewolt ? and 3 gc in mids bit risky for round 1…

    • Virgil

      March 3, 2011 at 10:46 am

      With dual-position coverage three GC rookies in round one will be pretty simple to cover.

      • timb

        March 4, 2011 at 10:52 am

        Also you know who’s playing in rd 1, so the only risk is late withdrawals

    • Coasters

      March 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      Very similar team to mine which means that pretty much everyone else will have a very similar team as well!

      • The Man

        March 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm

        I have a few 4-5 mid pricers as this year more than ever the guns/rookies approach will let you down. In every previous year all ur guns play every week (baring injury, where you can trade them). This year however every week 1 or 2 or maybe even 3 Guns will be out each week for only 1 week. The team shown in this article will be without 4 (broughton, Sandi, Chapy & Buddy in RD6). The guns and rookies strategy will leave u massively down on points for week 6 and a little bit every other week as your rookies will be forced to actually be on the field covering for players more than ever. If you have more midpriced players you clearly have less rookies which limits the big points loses achieved by covering guns with rookies. Also unlike with injuries where you just trade ur guns for other guns in previous years, this year you cant do that as more of your guns will be out, and only for a week which isn’t worth the trade. So i would say get a few mid-pricers or be prepared to have your rookies taking up scoring spots on your field more than ever.

  2. Mr Magoo

    March 3, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Have you been looking at my team? Ha Ha

    • Fatty McButterpants

      March 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      It’s scary how similar that team looks to mine too.

      But I’m puzzled with everyone’s love of J Brown. He prob won’t play a scratch match so will surely be underdone, he’s 1 year older, in a shit team, and will get more attention with Fev out of the picture. Would love to be proven wrong as I’m going for a league win so I want as many Brizzy players as possible.

  3. adam88

    March 3, 2011 at 8:30 am

    hey man you stole my team lol jk.. mostly…….

    this is my 2nd year of dt.. and last year i finished in 2nd place in my league and ended up getting double-floggged and out in straight sets from finals.. the reason? lack of trades and research

    so this year guns n rookies is my strategy… just got to watch those GC lads for rounds 1 and 9

  4. Varc

    March 3, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Nice team. Bennell and all your other Suns players are not Round 1 starters because of the bye, so you have a significant risk of a donut if say you can’t cover Hibberd, Callinan and Smith if they aren’t named in Round 1. Or, who knows.. they could all be named and you’ll be fine!

    • swans2011

      March 3, 2011 at 8:59 am

      Yeah, maybe Gaff or Polec instead of Bennell

      • oldhawk72

        March 3, 2011 at 11:36 am


  5. spock

    March 3, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I’m guessing the Smith on your forward bench is Issac? In that case the round 6 multi bye will hurt you having four players from haw, freo and gee. even with dual positioning its still risky.

  6. sylvinator

    March 3, 2011 at 10:15 am

    who is brown in the forward line?

    • Virgil

      March 3, 2011 at 10:31 am


  7. Alex_Totton

    March 3, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Wow! Your Midfield is extremely weak in my opinion. Harley Bennell isnt even good! He is just another one of those flashy players who can kick 3 goals in a quarter but thats about it. Very Risky!

    I would get rid of one of your expensive defenders for someone abit cheaper (Adcock/Krakouer??), also change either cox/sandilands for someone like Paddy Ryder who is in good touch and should save you about 50K.

    I live by the rule, no risk = no reward but u do not stand a chance with those 3 GC Suns rookies in your starting line up.
    I have not got 2 players from the same team in any position…

    • oldhawk72

      March 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm

      in my opinion if u choose a weak line to make other lines stronger i would weaken the midfield.
      most of ur upgrade targets during the season will be midfield players so leave room to upgrade there.
      most people will find it harder to strengthen their rucks backline and forward line through the season, so make it as strong as u can from the start.
      ive gone with swan and boyd as my only 2 guns in the midfield followed by d swallow, gaff, a krakour, harris, mzungu, i smith, heppell.
      by seasons end if all goes to plan my midfield could be something like swan, boyd, ablett, bartel, montagna, hodge and if players such as krakour, mzungu and heppell have a kick ass year i can sub them to my forward or back line

      • Cal

        March 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm

        that might be so but I found last year the forward line was the line that was easier to upgrade. a player misses out on a couple of goals in a game and all of a sudden his breakeven sky rockets. Backline is where you need some rock solid stability and then yes upgrade throughout the season your midfield and forward line.
        I’m goin with a depleted team but having around 950k in the bank to start with as per one of the previously written articles.

        • bobfossil

          March 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

          +1 to the forward line theory. Forwards will always (chappy exception last year) have a dip somewhere. So know who you want, wait for their dip and then swoop. On it.

          • oldhawk72

            March 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm

            we all imagine who our upgrade targets will be through the year, my mind sees ablett, judd, motagna, del santo, hodge, bartell, etc. u see forward line players which is fair enough

      • stevie_wonder8

        March 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm

        shut up, you have no idea.

        • Jimmy 09

          March 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm

          yeaah you have no idea oldhawk72

  8. Ashie.1

    March 3, 2011 at 11:16 am

    This team is going to be the same as 300,000 other teams. You have done well with your strategy as its the only way forward. Just unfortunate that every news paper and magazine is displaying the same team. This year is all about unique picks and selecting those couple of mid price and rookie listed smokies. The byes are going to hurt a lot of coaches by not having coverage.

    Good article though

    • shishan

      March 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      It’s fine if everyone has the same team, it’s when and who to trade that makes the difference.

      In any case, let me know how many teams have the exact same score as you after the first round, i’d imagine it will be surprisingly low, maybe even 0…

      • timb

        March 4, 2011 at 11:19 am


        There are at least 50 players that have been mentioned seriously on this site. That means that there’s at least about 5 trillion different combinations from just those players. If we assume that there are 5 players that everyone has there’d still be about 500 billion combinations; 10 players the same (which is a real stretch), 45 billion combinations. While there will be certain combinations that start the same, it won’t be as common as people might think.

  9. swanlow36

    March 3, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Doing lots of DT research this season after two horror seasons of Dream Team.

  10. DavidChiem

    March 3, 2011 at 11:58 am

    you will have 3 players missing in your backline in rd 16 if ottens becomes a keeper too

    • oldhawk72

      March 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      by round 16 the structure of all teams will be very different from round 1

      • Spot the Dog

        March 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm

        I’ve got to assume that DavidChiem means Otten, not Ottens (who isn’t a DEF)

        Oldhawk – The team will be different, but David’s right… if you are buying Grimes or Broughton as anything other than a keeper, you’re an idiot. So if Otten becomes a keeper, that’s 3 out. Trades are meant to upgrade your worse players, not swap your good ones…

        Structure all the way should be to trade in your bad/injured players to get a team of keepers… And like Beau Waters last year, Andy Otten MAY (if we’re really lucky) become a keeper right through…

        • oldhawk72

          March 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm

          well i dont have grimes or broughton in my side atm (could change), i do have otten.
          its hard to pick ur side around a structure for round 16 especially when at this stage we should be mainly concerned with the first 6 rounds.
          i have the belief that once ur team is finalised for round one the players values for ur keepers are forgotten, if a rookie out scores one of ur keepers and u have to choose one to trade out, ur keeper is not a keeper any more. so in the above example otten becomes the keeper and one of the other gets traded before round 16. if it turns out that grimes broughton and otten all turn out to be keepers then thats the luck of the draw

  11. Cal

    March 3, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I’m going this year with a massively depleted guns and rooks side seeing as there is a lot of talent in the draft this year it might be a good chance to make bulk money. I also must stress that i’m going my first league win and not too worried about ranking. I’ve seen this plan last year and it worked well… a little too well as i got knocked out by the guy who did it.

    DEF: Goddard, Gibbs, Deledio, Grimes, Otten, Heppel, Toy (Puopolo, Duigan, Cripps)

    MID: Swan, Boyd, Anthony, Prestia, Harris, Jacobs (Hibberd, I. Smith, Callinan)

    RUC: Ryder, Cox (R. Cambell, McCauley)

    FWD: Reiwoldt, Higgins, Zaharakis, Dangerfield, Knights, Kraquer, Matera (May, Tapscott, Mzungu)

    Having ryder instead of sandi might be a bit of a smokey, also saves 50k

    I understand the first few games i’ll be gettin smashed most likely however will hopefully reap the rewards when the rookies mature

  12. PieMan

    March 3, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I’m doing the guns and rookies strategy.
    I am going with two starting rookies in the backs, midfield and forward line.
    Although after yesterday when I saw how disappointing Knights went I am thinking of going with three forward rookies starting (Krakouer, Richardson and Mzungu). That will save me 91k.
    My other forwards would be Chappy, Buddy, Sylvia and Nick Riewoldt.

    Good write up mate :)

    • PieMan

      March 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      Who agrees with me that starting three rookies in the forward line will be better then starting 3 in the midfield? There seems to be a lot of very good forward rookies this year.

      • totes magotes

        March 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm

        Great call starting those 3 in the forwards, exactly what I am doing. I genuinely expect that Krak, Mzungu and Richardson will easily average 200 between them. The money you save here can be used to get another premium elsewhere on the field.

        • oldhawk72

          March 3, 2011 at 1:09 pm

          i have krakour and mzungu in the midfield but i have callinan and prestia up forward along with sylvia chaps and higgins, ALL DPP’s

      • Superted

        March 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm

        Agreed on the good fwd rookies. I just traded knights out to bring prestia in. Gives me cash and allows me more flexibility with another DPP. Also really want Ryder and Cox as my rucks but just traded Ryder for Sandi as I keep thinking about round 24…… It’s doing my head in atm

        • Bandicoot

          March 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm

          Can’t believe you would make decisions on just 1 game – and a NAB cup game at that.

          • Superted

            March 3, 2011 at 7:41 pm

            Knights is struggling with both a groin and quad complaint as neil Craig has mentioned as not so serious. However I find this quite worrying for a player returning from injury

      • Benatration

        March 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm

        Oh it’s worth considering. At this stage I’m tossing up a 5/3/2/5 gun stratergy OR a 5/4/2/4 gun stratergy. Chapman is making it hard to select him. If he keeps stuggling with this groin injury he might force me to use the 5/4/2/4 stratergy

    • eeepobreci

      March 3, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      Krak, Richardson & Mzungu locked as starters in my fwd line weeks ago!
      Imo, these 3 should not be wasted on the bench!
      And in round 2 when Matera/Prestia/Dixon etc, is most likely available……could be doing some coin flipping!

      • PieMan

        March 4, 2011 at 9:50 am

        Yeah I have Prestia in the midfield to add to the other 3 up forward.
        This really is the best year of rookies ever!

  13. bobfossil

    March 3, 2011 at 12:53 pm


    • Warnie


      March 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Good work Warne Dawg! ;)

      • mattyb

        March 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm


      • jb

        March 3, 2011 at 6:10 pm

        hey warnie just wondering if you got my article i sent you on unique players.. i sent it a couple days ago..

        • slickReynolds

          March 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm

          they wont be unique after that :P

  14. jbu88

    March 3, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Very similar to mine and thousands of other teams lol! Only thing doing my head in atm is to start with Josh Fraser or Jolly in number 2 ruck spot. Jolly finished the year off really well and will he spend more time in the fwd line with the new sub rules? Or should I stay with Fraser and then upgrade him mid season as he’s sure to increase in price and then I will know who the best performing options are by then? Also have Z Smith as a ruck rookie so may be facing a donut come rnd 1 with fraser.

  15. stevie_wonder8

    March 3, 2011 at 4:34 pm


  16. The Riz

    March 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Hey guys, Brad Green or Stevie J….?????

    • Jimmy 09

      March 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm


  17. Jimmy 09

    March 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    this is such a good team i espire to be as good as you one day jamster

  18. teza

    March 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    this team is more than likely common but anyone care to comment ? Not enough DPP ?

    DEF: B. Goddard, B. Gibbs, B. Deledio, P. Duffield, J. Adcock, A. Otten, D. Heppell (M. Coad, N. Duigan, P. Puopolo)
    MID: D. Swan, M. Boyd, L. Hayes, L. Anthony, N. Foley, D. Swallow (A. Gaff, D. Harris, M. Wallis)
    RUC: D. Cox, D. Jolly (M. Bailey, T. Derickx)
    FWD: C. Sylvia, A. Goodes, N. Riewoldt, M. Pavlich, D. Petrie, A. Krakouer, D. Prestia (B. Matera, T. Mzungu, C. Richardson)

    CASH LEFT: $29,500

    • Jimmy 09

      March 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm


  19. shishan

    March 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Does anyone think A.Krakoure (COL) will be used as a sub? therefore only get about 30-40 ppg??

    • Crichard

      March 3, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      collingwood already have the perfect sub in leigh brown so i wouldnt be to worried about it

      • PieMan

        March 3, 2011 at 9:15 pm

        Yeah Brown is a perfect sub.

  20. thommo

    March 3, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I love Chapman and how he goes about it, but his disappearance in the preseason has me concerned. There are few forwards who will definitely fire this year, so he will be hard to replace if I drop him. I have Reiwoldt and Franklin, but what other premium forwards are worth looking at? I won’t select Sylvia…. brilliant player but too injury prone.

    I’m also not sold of Broughton/ Why is he so popular – can anyone confirm the rumours that he will spend time in midfield??

  21. tkol

    March 4, 2011 at 8:59 am

    What a joke of a sample team and theory that was.
    Tune in to my rnd 1 team to see how GUNS N ROOKS is implemented.

    • leegend

      March 4, 2011 at 10:10 am

      Is there an article in the wind?

  22. SD

    March 4, 2011 at 9:41 am


  23. YPJ

    March 6, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Danny Stannely or Sam Illes?

  24. Nick hectic

    March 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    wow this team is good may just copy it and use it as my own lol jokes im not Elliot Chalmers.

  25. imofm

    March 9, 2011 at 11:02 am

    you guys seem to know your stuff…I’m a novice…how do you actually move a DPP from one position to another (eg. def to mid)?

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