In the lead-up to Round 4 we all thought 1900 would be a good score, and 2000 would be a huge effort. With so many quality scorers like Boyd, Cross, Higgins, Riewoldt, Goddard, Gram, Montagna, Dal Seagull, Adcock, and Rockliff riding the pine last week, most if not all of us were forced to play some cash cows we’d feel better leaving chained to the bench. But the rookies were having none of this, and they pumped out some very handy scores like they knew we needed them. I’m thinking of Duigan (93), Heppell (90), Otten (87), B. Smith (87), Pittard (87) Curnow (90), Conca (87), Swallow (96), Pitt (87) and Darling (100). As a result, many teams scored better than the Great Drought of Round 3!
Long-term limb injuries were all the rage in the AFL this week. And Suban was the coolest. He was the most fantasy-relevant player to go down with an LTI, a broken fibula in his right leg. His 17 caused him to drop only $3,000 this week in what has been a very solid season for the Docker’s rebounder. Then of course was the dual tragedy of Winderlich and Dempsey, who both suffered nasty ACL injuries within 5 minutes of each other. The good news is that they aren’t popular DT players, and that it gives other Essendon players the opportunity to step up and take their place. Michael Hibberd played a great game in the VFL and could be a chance to step up this week.
Better Late Than Never
The completion of Round 4 also marks the first price rise of the Adelaide, North and GC players. For the Crows, Otten, B. Smith, and McKernan all enjoyed 33k-plus price rises, while underpriced forward Chris Knights rewarded his suitors with a $22,000 jump.
The Roos youngsters weren’t as impressive, with C-Rich ($31,900), Atley ($23,000) and Robbie Tarrant ($22,900) experiencing modest increases. These guys will need a bit of time to generate any useful upgrades.
The Suns obviously shot up right across the board, but the biggest movers were Harris ($46,800), Smith ($43,800), Swallow ($37,500), Danny Stanley ($37,000), Prestia ($33,600) and my replacement for Jarrad Irons in Mckenzie ($40,700). From now on, it’s all about picking up rookies on the bubble and selling them at their peak, so check out Chook’s Rooks for the best rookie options and advice.
One of the rule interpretation changes for this year is the Advantage Rule. As we know, in the past it has always been at the umpire’s discretion whether advantage should be allowed, and in many cases, teams were able to get ‘two bites at the apple’. But apparently this was too inconsistent and the AFL found themselves flooded with complaints week after week regarding Advantage rulings. Then, as I imagine it, the Rules Committee were sick of copping heat for a what is ultimately a rule with the best intentions, and said “Stuff ya, it’s up to you now”, which is fair enough.
I personally think it’s a great idea, giving the players the choice to take the advantage or not, and in theory it should solve all said problems. But at the moment the players don’t know the nuances of the rule as the umpires are still getting used to the change, and we have seen many awkward moments over the first four weeks where this was evident. It reminds me of when the Hands-in-the-back rule was changed, and players couldn’t get a grip of it at first, but now we hardly see it, and when we do it’s clear-cut. It’s great idea and a great rule and I think once everyone gets used to it will turn out to be a great success.
Duds and Studs
I want to do something different this week. I enjoy picking my top 5 duds and studs every week, but I often struggle to order them. So I’m going to put out some nominations, and you can vote on the poll, and we’ll have our Top 5 for Round 4.
MAKERS (in no particular order)
Nat Fyfe 137
Scott Thompson 141
Sam Mitchell 129
Andrew Carrazzo 142
Dane Swan 131
These are the nominees for Round 4, all posting some very high scores in the first multi-bye round. Nat Fyfe was someone I considered in pre-season but I ended up passing on him because I thought his game wasn’t suited to DT. How wrong I was. He is having a stellar year, scoring 137 yesterday, averaging 103.5 for the year and shooting up $50,200 over the last two weeks, more than a lot of rookies. Thompson’s season is on the same trajectory, boasting the 2nd highest average in the league with 124.33. Hawthorn guns Mitchell (37 touches) and Franklin (24 touches and 6.2) carried the Hawks over the line against the Eagles, but the former skipper was the most inlfluential. The highest scorer of the round, Carrazzo, finds himself in the nominations after starring in the Duds section in last weeks Bullets. And the last nominee is everyone’s favourite Captain, Swan, who kicked 4.3 on the way to 131 in basically 3 quarters of footy after giving himself a break in the 3rd. Honourable mentions go to; Chapman, who continued his magnificent DT record, with 120 in a best-on-ground performance; and Deledio deserves a mention for delivering an entertaining DT ride so far this year, with scores of 74, 103, 51 and 118. I’ll put my house on him having a disappointing week in Round 5.
So those are the options, vote away (at the bottom of the post).
I’ll take the liberty of assigning my top 5 (or should it be bottom 5?) breakers as normal for Round 4.
1. Andrew Krakouer 40
2. Ryan O’Keefe 68
3. Drew Petrie 60
4. Greg Broughton 55
5. Dean Cox 79
To be honest, there wasn’t many in the running for this list. Krakouer gets the top spot thanks to some personal frustration with him, although I know many other coaches feel the same way. He showed much more promise over the pre-season than his 40 point effort against the Tigers and 58 average suggests. According to the Assistant Coach, at this rate he will reach a price high of only a touch under 190k – could be involved in the first upgrade… O’Keefe is another I have personal issues with, after trading him into my team after Round 2 and two 100’s. Since then, he has done nothing – dual 68’s aint good enough. Petrie was touted as a major piece in the DT puzzle pre-season, but has lost his allure after some average scores on his part and some very handy scores from Zac Smith. His DPP was supposed to be critical, but with some great scores from rookies like Darling and Tapscott in the FWDs, and Smith holding his own as a backup ruckman, Petrie is next to useless. Broughton once again disappointed (But he’ll come good, hey Warnie?) and it’s at the stage now where we have to ask – is it just a form slump, or has his role changed permanently? Maybe with Suban out, we’ll see him back at his sluttiest soon. Rounding out the 5 is Cox, who admittedly is a victim of his own lofty standards. A bit of a harsh call, but as I said earlier, there wasn’t many to choose from. 79 was particularly devastating to those who picked him as captain after all the signs pointed to him having a blinder down in Launceston.
Taking It One Week At a Time
It was a bit of an anti-climax this week having no league matches and therefore any real short term goals, but expect the same feeling for the next two weeks. Don’t forget to sub out all your Eagles, Demons and Swans asap as it’s their turn for a week off. Note that Round 5 is a weird one due to the Easter weekend, with a Thursday game as well as Monday and Tuesday matches. So have your team sorted by the partial lockout on Thursday, and sort out those emergencies! More about this over the week from the other boys.
In regards to trading, as always, wait until Friday before touching that ‘T’. With this being the first year of byes in DT there is no precedent or proven trading structure, so have a good think about your season plan and make a call. I’ve heard some are trading hard over the multi-bye rounds to get a leg up on the competition, but there are also those who are using these rounds as a good excuse to hold onto some trades until the cash cows fatten up. For me, it will probably be more of the latter.
Feel free to give me some feedback or bring something interesting to my attention by hitting up @tbetta9 on Twitter!