For those of us that take the Guns N Rookies approach one of the many challenges that we are all faced with each week is who do we leave on the bench and who do we play on the ground.
Each week I will try and give you some guidance as to who you should be playing and who you should be leaving on the bench. I will mostly consider the fringe guys and those guys who are under $200k opening price. As the season goes on and some of these guys become keepers we will focus on some of the newer guys coming up through the ranks thanks to Chook’s Rooks that should be on your teams.
In the first week of the season this decision was made for us with the Gold Coast guys being the ones that we left out as many of us have quite a few of them, but going forward now we need to make some tough calls.
There are a few things that we need to take into account when we are considering who to play.
- Substitutions. Who has had their scores affected by being a sub over the previous weeks and who is likely to be a sub in the current round. This is going to be harder to pick than a broken nose early, but as the season goes on we should be able to have an educated guess.
- Teams playing Gold Coast. We have seen that they weren’t very competitive in the first round and gave up some massive scores. So if your bench/cheaper players are playing them, it might be time to put them on the ground.
- What quality is the team they are playing. If they are playing a team like Collingwood you would think that the defenders are going to see a heap of the ball whereas the forwards are going to feel like Aker at a Brisbane Lions old scholars function… bloody lonely.
- Make sure that your player is actually playing! Check the teams and check them twice on a Thurs night and on Friday. Also taking note of where they are. If they are named on the ground it should be a good indication that they will get a full game or at least most of it by starting, but if they are on the end of the bench list, it should be an alarm (visualise Gary Lyon’s warning dance) that they may be the sub or at least see the least time in a game.
All that said, picking these players can be a bit of luck, but I have tried to take some of the guess work out for you and have rated the guys who you should consider having on your ground this week.
There are 3 stand outs here that should be considered every week to fill that last couple of spots on the ground. Nick Lower has had a 98 and 41 so far, but don’t read too much into the 41, he was the victim of the red vest in that game and was on track to score at least 75 – 80. Nick Duigan is another guy that we all have, he has put in a 51 and a 73, but remember that the 73 came against the Suns. This week he is up against the Pies so the ball will be down back a fair bit, but it could be going straight over his head. Dyson Heppell is a DPP Mid Back so he does spend some time in the midfield which can boost his score. He has had a 76 and 80 and is up against the Saints this week and this may put a bit more pressure on him but he still should put in a good performance.
Of the rest I would consider Brodie Smith who had 50pts in round 1 where he was subbed on early for Jason Porplyzia. He was on for the majority of the game and a 50 in his first outing against the Hawks was nice work. I think he will be better for the run and should do nicely against the Dockers this week and shouldn’t be subbed again. Jesse O’Brien is another that is well worth a look. His 58 and 82 in an average side should see him with good job security but something tells me that he could be in sub contention this week. Jeremy Laidler from Carlton may have slipped under a few radars with only 11,518 teams selecting him yet for $177k he has returned 68 and 86 giving him a nice BE of -30 so he should be a good chance to score again for the same reason as Duigan.
For the Suns we have Stanley, Tape and Toy who scored 61, 64 and 53 respectively, although Toy has missed out this week, but I want to see another game or two from these guys anyway before I trust them with that last spot on the field. They should be in consideration for an Emergency spot though. If you have to play one, Stanely should get the nod given his bigger body and experience.
There are any number of good options here. The guy who will be most added this week, Ed Curnow will start on a lot of grounds this week by virtue of his 107 and 91, but remember he is playing the Pies and not Richmond or the Suns, he is a good option, but maybe not a safe one as he will be up against it with that Collingwood star studded midfield. He is named at the end of the bench and looking at that side I must say I think he is a massive chance for the Green vest this week, so beware and make sure you keep an eye on this and check the final sides before lockout as you will know the subs by then.
His opposition this week, Andrew Krakouer is also a popular choice for being on the ground with his 96 and sub affected 48. Also of note here is that he was subbed off in their first game and then started as the sub in their second. You would think that he should be a chance to get a full game, but who knows with Mick! Is this the role he will be in for most weeks? Mick is worried about his stamina after a couple of years out of the game and is trying to ease him through. I think he will get a few full games now.
One guy who has been very solid has been Rohan Bewick. His 71 and 73 are as solid as they get. His job security is pretty good too since the Lions just don’t have anyone else, although I note that he is on the end of the extended bench behind new boy Polec so he may be a chance to get a breather this week, once again, check the sides on Fri night before lock out to see if he made the final squad (I think he could be the sub if he plays). Daniel Harris with his 97 was the best of the Suns in the cheaper price bracket and will rack up the possessions given that someone other than Gazza and Riskytelly have to get the touches. David Swallow had a slow start so I think I want to see a bit more of him before he gets a run on the ground for me again.
Tom Liberatore has been great with 72 and 116 so far and given he is up against the Suns this week and has a week off next week he should get heaps of game time and I would highly recommend him for the field this week. Gaff has been a sub both weeks so far and Conca was a little disappointing last week with 42 and I reckon he is in line to be a sub this week. Rhys Palmer has been a popular cheaper guy… but NO. Harvs has him permantly vested up so until I see something different keep him on the pine.
Only guy to talk about here is Zac Smith. Many of us put him on the bench for when Fraser fell over, but he surprised and played really well last week scoring a tidy 83. With Petrie out on a bye this week, consider him if you really need cover particularly now that Fraser has fallen over after only 2 weeks!
A couple of the guys I have already spoken about can play here too in Krakouer and O’Brien. The one guy that most teams have now is Luke Tapscott he has been fantastic with his pair of 80’s. I would have no hesitation putting him on the ground. With the bye in Rd 5 I reckon Bails will let him play through to that before giving the kid a break.
I saw Jack Darling in person last week and he looks like a player with confidence. His 64 and 65 have shown he knows what he is doing and he should continue to do that this week against the Swans at home. The big spaces of Patterson’s Stadium will give him plenty of lead up space to use and without the crazy frenchman Le Cras he is fast becoming a focal point up forward.
David Hale was a bit of a surprise last week with 88 after 53 in rd1. If you have Petrie up forward and Hale in the ruck as a bench guy, consider swapping them and using Hale as at least the emergency up forward as I expect that he should score well against the Tigers. For the Suns we had Brandon Matera with 64 and I expect he should be able to repeat that performance this week.
Overall I am just a bit concerned about the Carlton guys being able to keep up the scoring they have been doing against the weaker teams this week when they are up against Collingwood. So to my rankings for who to put in those last one or two spots on the ground are…
- B. Smith
(although check for sub info on Curnow and Krak before lockout)
Let me know who you are going to play on the ground this week in the comments .
Follow me at pkd73 on twitter to send me questions on players you would like reviewed next week.