Why should I pick him? Prior to an injury plagued season in 2011, Brian Lake was coming off a career best year, averaging a whopping 99.7 which was over 18 better than any of his previous 8 years. Throughout that year he was of of the standout defenders and one of few back there capable of big 100’s, which he managed 12 times. The highlight of his breakout year was round 9 vs North Melbourne where he collected 41 possessions and 22 marks on his way to a lazy 192 (no, that is not a typo). When Lake is injury free and playing his best football be is an outstanding mark, whether it be in a contested situation, switching play or my favorite Lakey move of running the clock down with some kick to kick. Either way, marks were a massive contributor to his scoring, racking up double figures on 11 occasions. He can also be a good accumulator of the ball for a defender, 15 times collecting over 20 touches in 2010. Before last season, Lake was a very durable player, missing just 2 games in 6 years.
Why shouldn’t I pick him? Brian is approaching his 30th year which is an automatic cut off for many coaches, especially considering his horrible run of injuries at the age of 29. Its fair to say the odds are against the big fella having an uninterrupted season. In 2011, the combination of injuries and the consequential loss of confidence, left Lake looking like he had forgotten how to actually play the game and his basic skill errors increased to the point his selection in the best 22 was questionable. Even if he has an uninterrupted pre season, there is every chance the Dogs new style of play won’t allow him to score in his free flowing 2010 fashion which was assisted by the Dogs having a top 4 caliber lineup.
Deck of DT Rating: Jack- There is no doubt that Lake provides value at his deflated price given what he was capable of just 2 seasons ago. There would be a lot of risk with this selection but if he has a good pre season, and is a lock for their best 22, it is possibly a risk worth taking. Despite his age and obvious high risk, its hard to ignore that a season and a half ago he scored 192, How many players can you say that about? At this stage he is a 60% chance of lining up with destROY.
Follow me on Twitter: @RoyDT