In a year when plenty of rooks are pumping out premo-like scores right from the get-go, you have to go the extra mile to stand out from the crowd. That’s just what Adelaide defender Brodie Smith did in round three… and I’m not talking about his more-than-handy score of 77 in a week that many of the top-dollar defenders failed to fire.
In a blatant bid to curry favour with this rookie reporter, Brodie gifted me a much-needed league win when our two sides went head-to-head in round three of the DT Talk “All-Stars” league. He clearly had the better team, but left bye boy Drew Petrie on the field with no emergency selected in order to let my duds win, like a dad lets his six-year-old son knock over his leg stump time after time instead of swatting those pies for big-time sixes, Shane Watto-style. Anyway, it worked and I’m now a big fan of this Crow bloke Smith. You should be too, as he’s one of a several Adelaide, Gold Coast and North Melbourne players still available at their starting price courtesy of the bye system this season. More about them in the “Two Gamers” section further down the page, but first to the kids who’ve already started accumulating the cash.
The headline story amongst the three-gamers is the battle between Carlton’s cracked-leg comeback kid Ed Curnow and Western Bulldogs fro bro Tom LIberatore. After both were drafted in to DT squads at a feverish pace last week, Curnow won the first round with another 100 to is name, this time against clearly the best team in the competition, while Libba hurt his hand and could only manage a 76 against clearly the worst. Curnow has round two of the bout wrapped up already, with Libba to sit this week out with the bye. Both made monumental climbs in price this week, with Curnow making his beaming new owners a tidy $77,000, while Libba shot up $66,400. Their breakevens remain brilliant, with Curnow at -61 and Libba, when he next plays, at -73. As forecast, a bunch of players jumped $40k+ this week, including popular picks Luke Tapscott, Dyson Heppell, Nick Lower, Nick Duigan and Jack Darling, although the fourth-biggest mover in the rookie bracket was a far less-selected player – Hawthorn midfielder Shane Savage – who leapt up $46,900 after averaging 70ppg over the opening three rounds. At the other end of the spectrum, owners of high-draft picks (and therefore highly-priced rookies) Reece Conca and Andrew Gaff will be getting a little nervous after those two rose less than $10k each and carry breakevens of 34 (Gaff) and 40 (Conca) into their round four matches.
Much like last year’s draft, the top positions in this week’s list of best breakevens are dominated by Gold Coast players. Few will be surprised to see Daniel Harris (BE -73) in pole position, although his underwhelming round three score of 62 will affect future price rises. For as long as I can remember, we also have a rookie cash cow in the rucks, with Zac Smith occupying second spot with a handsome BE of -68. Gold Coast teammates Trent McKenzie and Dion Prestia are next with mid-60 breakevens, with all four Suns expected to rise between $40k-$50k if they keep up their current averages of about 70-80ppg. There a bunch of non-midfielder options also available, with Shaun McKernan, Danny Stanley, Jayden Pitt, Robbie Tarrant, Brodie Smith, Cameron Richardson and Brandon Matera all offering decent breakevens this week.
Of the blokes to make their debuts on the weekend, GC defender Michael Coad scored best with an 82, while Brisbane’s Jared Polec played well for his 67. Bear in mind that both come at a higher price than your bargain-basement rooks.
Apologies for the tardiness and brevity of the Rooks post this week, peeps. Been a busy Chook, running around like my head’s cut off, trying to get school reports done. A better effort coming next week, I promise.