Downgrading Sandi is a very attractive option. It frees up a stack of cash, which will easily fund your finishing-trades to complete your team. While there are plenty of non-playing rooks to downgrade to, if you actually want cover then you’re struggling. Here are a couple of sub-$150k targets to consider.
Matthew Lobbe $126,000 (Pt Adelaide) came in as a late call up last weekend and put in a huge 95 points to kick-start his DT career. He has been talked up at the Port and while he’s a little under-done, they are likely to give him a few games, so there’s some chance of cover if you downgrade to him. He’s a RUC/FWD DPP as well, so there’s added flexibility if you already have Petrie or Hale in your forward line.
Max Gawn $129,900 (Melbourne) has just gawn 3 games and had his first price rise, but the likelihood of a recall are poor with Jamar back on deck and Miller sharing the ruck load.
Valued at $379,500, Sandi can still get you almost any ruckman with 1 trade and a bit of cash. However, the stock of premium rucks is a bit lean this year. IMHO, the only rucks to replace Sandi are…
Dean Cox $402,700, average 111. Let’s be honest, most of us should already have him. If not, he’s the only super-premium ruckman by a mile now based on DT output. With a bye this week and Sandi’s price not fluctuating while he’s injured, you can wait a week to trade Cox in with a $23,200 spend.
Todd Goldstein $379,900, average 101. He has a bye in the first week of DT finals, so work out if you will have cover for him before pulling the trigger. If he fits your team structure, he will give you some nice, consistent numbers in lieu of Sandi. If he keeps up his current output to the end of the season, then he’ll have elevated himself to super-premium ruck status!
Ben McEvoy $383,900, average 93. Saints’ byes are all done, so if you have $4,400 in your kitty to cover the minor ‘upgrade cost,’ he’ll be a worthy keeper if he maintains his current form.
Drew Petrie $367,700, average 93. He’s come back stronger than ever after his freakish foot foibles last year, but falls into the same category as Goldy with a DT finals bye.
For those with finished teams or for those with plenty of trades remaining, another viable option is to restructure your forward and ruck lines with 2 trades. It will depend on your current team structure.
Trade 1: Downgrade Sandi to Matthew Lobbe or Gold Coast’s Joel Tippett ($114,400).
Trade 2: In your forward line, upgrade one of your cash cows or mid-pricers to Petrie.
As I mentioned, this really depends on your current team structure. If you already have Cox/Sandi/Smith, these two trades effectively have you keeping and playing Zac Smith as your second ruck, adding Petrie to your forwards as a premium keeper and allowing you to swap Petrie into your rucks through Lobbe/Tippett if you need cover for one of Cox or Sandi. The risk (again) is a possible donut in week one of DT finals if one of Cox or Smith is unavailable and your fourth ruck isn’t playing.
Of course, if you already have a solid ruck line and/or DPP cover with your forward line, you can save a trade or two and bench Sandi for his comeback in a month or so. Sure, it’s a lot of money sitting on your bench, but those trades are mighty precious at this end of the season!
To Sum Up…
At this late stage in the DT season, it’s all about making every trade count to strengthen your team’s balance and structure. Weigh up the pros and cons of each rucking option carefully and look ahead at all the remaining byes, especially the finals byes, to see how they will potentially affect your ruck and make sure that the trade(s) you pull don’t end up unbalancing your team.
Submitted by TeeTee.