This is the first time I have ever used these four letters in this permutation. Ever. I have always stayed away from this terrible acronym because I think it’s overused and reminds me way too much of highly pimpled and bespectacled 14 year-old boys and their desire to shorten everything. But in the wake of Round 7, I think I can make an exception to my rule.
This was supposed to be the week where we returned to the pre-MBR standard of 2000 plus. Sure, the Pies were out with the bye, excluding Swan, Pendles and the like, but we adapted to having so many guns out from Rounds 4 to 6 that this was barely a concern. But instead, we weathered a DT holocaust fraught with LTI’s, late replacements and downright sh*t scores.
If you registered a score beginning with a two, you have every right to be proud of yourself this week. The norm was 1800s, with a large amount even unlucky enough to post in the 1700s. Surely, this week we will be back to big scores and even bigger smiles? Wait, Carlton has the bye. No Gibbs, Duigan, Curnow, Judd, Murphy or Yarran.
I can’t wait until Round 12 when Port has the bye.
The Barlow Curse
In another edition of the Bullets I talked about the Gysberts Curse, but that is nothing compared to the epidemic sweeping teams across the country. The phenomenon I speak of is the Barlow Curse. We’ve been talking all season so far about whether Curnow could be the next Barlow, and it seemed like he could. Mature-ish ager, huge average in his first year, 6 letter name ending with ‘ow’ – the comparisons go on. But I can’t help but think that we prayed a little too hard that Curnow would repeat the feats of Barlow last season, because that’s what he’s done. Barlow went down with his horrific broken leg mid-season, and now Curnow has decided to try and get the one-up on him and injure himself even earlier!
I’m probably over-reacting. He had an obvious shoulder complaint halfway through the1st quarter in the Saints-Blues clash yesterday, but returned after receiving some extra strapping and a shot. He may as well not have though, as he didn’t do a thing when he returned, looking very tentative in a perfect Dal Santo impression, hanging around off the edge of packs.
My point is that it may not be a season-ending injury like Barlow’s. His BE is around 35 so he still has some value if it’s only a few weeks on the sidelines (Edit – used dodgy BE. Actually more like 90). The good news is Carlton has the next bye, so you have two weeks to monitor his injury and trade if you need to.
I think it’s time we start praying that he becomes less like Barlow.
I don’t want to spend this week’s entire edition talking about injuries, but it has been a common theme over Round 7. I’ve already talked about Curnow, but his 13 was devastating in the midfield, especially in the return of the League Matches.
Stevie J was a late withdrawal with a shoulder niggle, further depleting forward lines already missing Krakouer, Dawes and (Missy) Higgins.
But the big news his week is the season-ending injury to Jack Grimes. He was a solid backman for close to 24% of teams this season, averaging a touch over 87 in his first 5 games. His 6 against the Crows was an absolute week-killer. Add that to Higgin’s girliness and Otten’s demise, and it’s not making a good case for players with histories of injury. Next thing you know, Adcock will break his funny bone and Knights will pull an ear muscle or something.
I’m just hoping we have used up all our bad luck as far as DT is concerned for the next few weeks, and we can get back to feeling good about our teams again.
Trade n’ Brave
Upgrades. In theory they’re the best thing since sliced bread. In practice, I’m starting to hate them. Here’s my track record:
YARRAN to O’KEEFE. Yarran is getting tagged out of games, I have 150k burning a hole in m pocket, and ROK is setting the world alight. He’s coming off two 100+ games and I want to beat his price rise. Good call you say? I thought so too. But his next three games read: 68, 68, 56, and he has dropped $41,200 over the year. Let’s not mention Yarran has shot up 26k.
SHUEY to CHAPMAN. My big trade last week was to get in Chapman, while shedding Shuey, who had reached his price ceiling. Good call there, Shuey scored 50-odd and dropped 8k. But Chapman? He scored 76, his lowest score in 2 years. The kicker? I had Selwood as Captain all week until I changed last minute to you-know-who, losing me almost 50 crucial points.
Lessons learned: 1. Never change your Captain last minute. It can only give birth to pain. 2. Whenever you make an upgrade, expect them to score about half of their average – that way, you won’t be disappointed.
Makers and Breakers
I’m going to start with the Breaker’s this week, which is fitting given my pessimistic outlook on DT at the moment.
1. Grimes 6
2. Curnow 13
3. Knights 43
4. Redden 64
5. Martin 62
Grimes and Curnow are the obvious choices, as they were easily the most damaging scores of the week. Knights is third for his 43, which was mostly junk time touches. His scores have been hovering around 90 lately, so such a big backward step is disappointing. Redden is next with his 64 – against the Suns! Many took a gamble with him as Captain in the absence of Swan, and he could only muster the 16 disposals against the youngest midfield in the competition. Someone pointed out last week the red-hot form of himself and Rockliff and their absence from the Makers lists so far, and they have a good point. Their scoring has been magnificent, but with more exposure now, these below-par scores will cop more scrutiny. Same goes for Martin, who was the flavour of the week before the round commenced. Apparently Fremantle noticed, and sent DeBoer to him. Expect more of these scores while he gets used to the hard tag.
Honourable mentions go to Chapman and Goddard, who both scored well below what their ability and price warrants.
I’m not going to order them this week, it’s too hard. Anyway, Nahas makes the list this week for his second straight 130+ score on the back of 30 touches and 4 goals. With Martin absorbing the tag, he just ran free all day. I thought this guy wouldn’t be a good DTer, but he’s averaging 124 from his last three, and is well on his way to proving me wrong. Rischitelli also makes the list for the first time based on his solid recent form. He is relishing his freedom given that Ablett takes the tag, and is averaging a tidy 105.5 for the year. He could be a good unique pick after the Suns Round 10 bye. Watson was fantastic against the Eagles and his 127 reflected that. Another big score in what has been a huge year for him individually. Kerr finds a place in the Top 5 thanks to his 110, marking a return to form for the winged Eagle. Interestingly, it’s his first ton since Round 14, 2008! Gibbs rounds out the Makers with an overdue 121, breaking his streak of sub-100s. It was impressive in itself given he was given the tagging job of Goddard, no easy task.
This week maybe?
Could Round 8 be the long-awaited return of decent scoring? Carlton being out with the bye doesn’t help, but hopefully our other players can step up – I’m sick of sub-2000 scores.
As always, make sure you check the teams and do NOT trade until Friday. Hopefully you’re not in the same position of my mate who reckons he ‘needs to do 4 trades this week’!
Also, seeing as I couldn’t make up my mind on the order for the Makers list, tweet me @tbetta9 yours and I’ll retweet the most popular!
Until next week…