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Premium picks not worth the premium? How the top 10 picks are now un-selectable in Dream Team

Damian looks at how high draft picks cost us more for AFL Dream Team and which of the draftees you are better to look at.

In preparation for this year’s Dreamteam, I have been looking back at the old preseason guides and Prospectuses when I was struck by what Mr Fantasy stated in the 2008 NAB Cup Guide – sticking to high draft picks was one of his top ten keys to winning Dream Team. In his mock team that year, he selected 6 of the top ten picks.

Which got me thinking how times have changed, as I put together the early draft of my 2012 team, I am struggling to fit 1 of the top ten picks in my side. A quick review of the My Team 2012 section on DT Talk shows that most teams only have one or two tops – Tyson, Coniglio and, maybe, Wingard.

Shouldn’t we all be picking more premium draft picks this year?  With 13 of the last two years top 10 picks at Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney, they are basically guaranteed selection and game time and thus should score points. But nobody is picking these guys.

So how come premium picks, players the football industry nominated as the best rookies, aren’t making the grade in most Dream Teams?

Simply – cash money. In times where the real-life economy highlights every day the value of a dollar, Dream Team owners have recognised that these premium picks aren’t worth the extra premium.

Have the makers of the game, in developing this year’s prices, priced the premium rookies out of Dream Team in 2012?

To evaluate this hypothesis, let’s review the evolution of the top picks’ and rookies’ relative starting prices:


Total salary cap was $7,431,000
1st pick: Matthew Kruezer – Carlton, his starting salary $123,500.
Proportion of Kruezer’s salary against the cap:  1.66%
Average for the season: 54.3 in 20 games.
Cheapest salary: $72,500. % of salary cap: 0.98%
Best rookie was Rhys Palmer, pick 7, starting price was $99,500. Average was 87.55 ppg.


Total salary cap was $7,706,000
1st pick: Jack Watts – Melbourne, his starting salary $150,600
Proportion of Watts’s salary against the cap:  1.95%
Average for the season: 33 per game in 3 games
Cheapest salary: $86,600. % of salary cap: 1.12%
Best rookie was Daniel Rich, pick 6, starting price was $126,600. Average was 77.18 ppg.


Total salary cap was $7,962,500
1st pick: Tom Scully – Melbourne, his starting salary $157,500
Proportion of Scully’s salary against the cap:  1.98%
Average for the season: 79.1 per game in 21 games.
Cheapest salary: $89,500. % of salary cap: 1.12%
Best rookie was Tom Scully.


Total salary cap was $8,225,000
1st pick: David Swallow – Gold Coast Suns, his starting salary $160,500.
Proportion of Swallow’s salary against the cap: 1.95% of salary cap.
Average for the season: 76.29 per game in 21 games.
Cheapest salary: $80,800. % of salary cap: 0.98%
Best rookie: Dyson Heppell, pick 8, starting price was $132,500. Averaged 84.09 ppg.


Total salary cap is $8,780,000
1st pick: Jon Patton – Greater Western Sydney, his starting salary $179,700.
Proportion of Patton’s salary against the cap: 2.05% of salary cap.
Cheapest salary: $85,800. % of salary cap: 0.98%

What do the figures show us?

  • The overall salary cap has risen $1,349,000 over the past 5 years – an increase of 18.1%.
  • The salaries of the cheapest players, rookie listed players, have increased slightly by $13,300 over the past 5 years but most importantly the relative cap position of each rookie, 0.98%, has stayed the same.
  • The starting salary of the number 1 pick has increased $56,200, or 45.5% over the same time.
  • The cap figure for the number 1 pick, the inflation adjusted cost of selecting the number 1 pick has increased to 2.05% of your salary cap in 2012 compared to just 1.66% in 2008. An increase of 19.1% or broadly in line with the overall salary cap increase.
  • Patton is 4.9% more expensive, on a salary cap proportion, to select than David Swallow last year.
  • The difference in price between the top pick and the cheapest rookie listed player has increased from $51,000 in 2008 to $79,700 in 2011 before topping out at $93,900 in 2012.
  • In 2012, based on prices, the game rates Patton twice as valuable as rookie listed players.

So why are the premium picks so relatively expensive?

  1. Expansion teams will play rookies more.
  2. The increasing salary cap and point scoring dictate it.
  3. The guys behind the game are trying to make Dreamteam harder.

I think it’s a mixture of all three.

Before looking at the potential impact of the premium 2012 players, lets quickly review the performance of the top ten picks from the 2011 Draft which shows the risk of picking premium rookies.

Heppell and Swallow were the standouts. Heppell played above all preseason expectations and you could argue, given his DPP status, that he was one of the most valuable players last season. Swallow faced a mission impossible in 2011. He was considered the most AFL ready rookie ever; he had already done two pre-seasons before his debut and he was the third best midfielder in his side. Many selected Swallow and figured he could average above 80. So his 76.29 average, which was nearly identical to Scully and Rich averages in their debut seasons, could be considered a disappointment from a keeper/cash cow perspective.

Caddy and Polec were injured and played 5 games between them. Day and Gorringe are developing key position players that never translate well to Dream Team. Bennell, Gaff and Prestia average between 63 and 67 but only played between 14 and 17 games, with each copping multiple vests. Conca only went up value only 26% over the course of season.

The best value selections in 2011 came from draft picks outside the top ten (Isaac Smith, Darling, Puopolo and Duigan) and rookie lists (Ed Curnow, Tendai Mzungu, Cameron Richardson, Danny Stanley and Nick Lower).

Based on 2011, top ten picks are just as risky as all other rookies despite expansion teams playing more rookies than ever before. So what can we expect in 2012 from the top ten picks from the last draft?

  • Jonathon Patton – Greater Western Sydney. He is recovering from recent knee surgery performed in Sweden and won’t play until May. With Patton missing at least 6 games, he would need to score at keeper level, 85/90, to be worth picking. Given the scoreboard impact of the Suns last year, this is exceedingly unlikely.
  • Stephen Coniglio and Dom Tyson both Greater Western Sydney and Chad Wingard – Port Adelaide are the most game ready players of the top ten. All will play in the midfield, rotating across half forward this year which will hopefully add some points from goalkicking. To pick one of these guys from a cash cow perspective, they well have to average over 80. History shows us that one of these three will likely do this and win the Rising Star.
  • Matt Buntine – Greater Western Sydney is an expensive defensive option.
  • Billy Longer – Brisbane Lions and Adam Tomlinson – Greater Western Sydney are key positions prospects that will take longer to develop.
  • Will Hoskin-Elliot, Nick Haynes and Liam Sumner, all Greater Western Sydney will play in 2012 but the likelihood of them averaging above 75 seem limited.

To demonstrate that this year’s top ten picks are unpickable for Dream Team, let’s look at the merits of selecting Dom Tyson vs Dylan Shiel.

  • Tyson costs $170,700 vs Shiel at $104,200.
  • Both are expected to average 70/75 in 2012.
  • By picking Shiel over Tyson owners will initially save $66,500.
  • If they both rise to the same price level of around $280,000, Shiel owners will make another $66,500.

Simply by picking Shiel over Tyson, Dream Team owners will have an additional $133,000 cash to spend. This equates to 1.51% of their initial salary cap.

So where to look for rookie selections?

Draft picks outside the top 10 such as Kavanagh, Docherty, Brendan Ellis and Clay Smith.

Father/Son selection – Tom Mitchell.

Mature Aged Rookies – Stephenson, Morris, Clifton, Saad, Giles and Rowe.

Rookie listed players – Pfeiffer, James Magnar, Sam Gibson and Kyal Horsely.

GWS Pre listed 17’s from last year – Miles, Shiel, Treloar and Hampton.

Previously overlooked players – Zorko and Luke Brown.

Look for more review of these guys in the Chooks Rooks section closer to the season.

As we evaluate all the rookies during the NAB Cup, you have to weigh up whether it’s worth spending your scarce cash paying the premium on safer high picks or taking potential risks on cheaper players.

Right now for me, with the first pick in this year’s draft, I’m taking the extra $133,000 and Dylan Shiel.



  1. Avatar


    February 9, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Boooom FIRST !!!!

    • Avatar


      February 9, 2012 at 10:15 am

      So glad for your contribution.

    • Avatar


      February 10, 2012 at 12:24 am

      And boom goes the dynamite!

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    February 9, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Good article, thanks.

    Have you double counted the $66k in the Dyson vs Shiel example. $110k gain vs $176k gain = $66k gain.

    The point is still valid and not lost on me. $66k arguably is also more valuable at start of season when budget restraints and players yet to score cause us to make poor selection decisions. Thanks for the info.

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      February 9, 2012 at 7:08 am

      One point to consider is probability of success. Swallow was highly likely to succeed last year and whilst not providing the greatest return on $$ invested in him, punters were still well rewarded. Once you start looking at $100k type players, if the success rate falls to 50% or less then you are burning trades to fix mistakes.

      If you assume that a trade is worth $75k (aim is to make $150k on a rookie trade and then another trade used to upgrade another player averaging the cost out), it can be costly.

      Whilst many like me had a Darling, Duigan etc last year, Toy (drafted in after a def injured himself last year) and my Brisbane/Port Adelaide rookies barely made me money. I didn’t go Heppell (went Hibberd because cheaper) and Swallow last year which did cost me.

      Maybe the point is to have 1-2 higher draft picks and then a balance of $100k players.


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      February 9, 2012 at 7:28 am

      Great write up Mate

      must admit though, i am lost with how you got the 133,000 as well. All i can see is a gain of 66,500, unless shiel averages more and goes up by more? Am i missing something?.
      Regardless, i see what you are going for and i agree. These sort of decisions are what differentiate informed dream teamers like ourselves from the ones who just go by the big names the media have been talking about (eg high draft picks).

      However, it would appear everyone is set on marty clarke for 150,000, even though he is no more guaranteed of a higher average than that of the first round draftees. Maybe a sign of the extra emphasis on mature age and a possible reason to avoid him! Just my two cents worth, but i say save the money just like you are saving the money on shiel vs tyson!

      keep the good work up though, loving all the articles on dt talk this year.

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        February 9, 2012 at 10:19 am

        It makes sense, because you are saving the 66k to begin with, and then if they both average the same score, they will end up the same price.
        Shiel will go from 104k-280k
        Tyson will go from 170-280
        Therefore shiel is giving you an extra 66k because he has caught up to tyson.
        Make any sense?

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          February 9, 2012 at 11:22 am

          You are doubling up.

          Say you start with $500k and only need to buy one player.

          Sheil: buy for $104k and sell for $280k leaves you with $676k.

          Tyson: buy for $170k and sell for $280k leave you with$610k.

          Therefore the cash gain is $66k. I think the value is that you have this to play around with at the beginning.

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          February 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

          It makes sense. You save the $66.5k and spend it elsewhere. Your cheaper player catches up and makes an extra $66.5k —-> $66.5k saving + $66.5k profit = $133k

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            February 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm

            precisely my point before

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            February 9, 2012 at 6:37 pm

            @James + @Pittbull, I think you just broke mathematics…

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            February 9, 2012 at 10:06 pm

            u r all derps if u think its 133k
            it is only 66k and ur better getting quality then scabbing over a few k

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            February 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm

            It doesn’t make sense. I’ll try to break it down.

            just for argument sake, I’m going to round the prices to shiel at 100 000 and wingard at 160 000

            they both average the same in this scenario, and you have exactly 160 000 in the bank

            both average 75 and end up topping out at 300 000

            Shiel Wingard
            100 000 160 000
            +60 000 0

            round 10

            300 000+ 60 000 300 000

            sold to a 100k rookie
            200 000 + 60 000 200 000

            60k difference.

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    Dr Bones

    February 9, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Noob Fodder. Fantastic Article, totally agree with everyting, just making it real easy for the 10 year old down the street to finish higher than you this year guys.

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      February 9, 2012 at 8:06 am

      Maybe helps you also bonehead?? 10 year olds are entitled to read this forum last time I checked just as you are. Live in fear mate go the 10 year old!

      • Avatar


        February 9, 2012 at 8:07 am

        Awesome article by the way..for all ages

    • Warnie


      February 9, 2012 at 9:02 am

      That’s the point of this website. Helping people be better at DT. We’re not going to win the car… if more people are successful, they’ll play more and therefore spend more time on our site and support our projects – like The Fan Show when/if it happens.

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        February 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm

        Warnie mate,

        I think you should do a fortnightly show on the site! I know it would be tough, but you guys already do great segments without sweating bullets. I’m sure you could do fairly ‘off the cuff’ segments that would still be good.

        Add in a few segments from demented DT addicts who are budding filmakers and Wallah! DT Talk TV

        I think it could be fun to see ‘Members vids’ where people make a quick vid’s answering questions like, ‘What is your single biggest mistake in the finals?’ or ‘What is the biggest fluke trade you have ever made?’

        You could have a guys vs girls segment and get in some gun women.

        Anyway, peace out, love ya work, GJB

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          Big Lance

          February 11, 2012 at 8:01 am

          They already do a weekly show during the season GayBee.

      • Avatar


        February 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm

        Articles and Sites like this help people out, which will keep people playing as they feel closer to mastering the harsh mistress that is fantasy footy. The more that play the more likely they’ll increase the prize pool which means its better for everyone.

        Keep up the good work.

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      February 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

      Why are u on here bones? The whole Point of this site is to help people with DT. Im guessing your a know it all like tkol. P.s. thanks to the boys for all your help over the years.

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        Magpie Mayhem

        February 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm


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        February 10, 2012 at 12:58 am


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      February 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      Sounds like abit of jealousy there Dr Bones. Why isn’t a 10 yr old allowed to finish higher than you if they’ve done the research??. I’m not a fan of the 10 yr d that post their team every 10 mins and not willing to make a decision themselves. But credit to them for reaseaching the same info we all have access too and making an educated decision like the rest of us

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      February 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      I reckon for a percentage of people on this site this is their research, without this site there would be either a lot less good scores or a lot less players. Good luck to you going further and using your own ways of doing it, I’ll just be out there enjoying a life while you do that. And Warnie’s point is the important one, this site is for doing exactly this, if you don’t need it don’t read it, you’re going to do better than all of us anyway because you have better info.
      I don’t want to be mean or take it to far but I guess if you’re going to come on here, either keep your comments to yourself or provide completely misleading info under a different name in the spirit of helping everyone so you can fulfill your goal of being a proved and recognised for it DT genius. You won’t be the first…

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        Dr Bones

        February 9, 2012 at 10:47 pm

        Like I said…fantastic article, No need to be harsh.

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    February 9, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Good article.I am considering MIles; any extra info on him?
    What about Clay Smith??

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      February 9, 2012 at 7:29 am

      i’m on miles too….. i hope everyone get sucked into sheil or cliftton or whoever else… miles racked up nice numbers last year.

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        February 9, 2012 at 8:42 am

        Thanks adzman. ATM I have Miles and Shiel. We will have to wait and see the NAB cup.

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          February 9, 2012 at 9:26 am

          i dont want to load up on gws mids too much.. once you have miles/shiel then you need macdonald.. then theres also clifton… 2’s enough for me – macdonald and miles i reckon.

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            February 9, 2012 at 10:41 am

            I dont think macdonald will play alot of game time

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            February 9, 2012 at 11:31 am

            Agreed. I have Mitchell, Stevens,Shiel and Miles atm. I guess we all have to wait for the NAB cup and see how Clifton, Horsley and others go. I am not sold on Macdonald either.

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            February 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm

            McDonald will play loads of game time. What are they scared of? burning him out for next season?. The dude is there to do a job and that job needs to be done from round1. I think they will throw him out there like a human punching bag, and he will play till he falls over. The young guys are the one’s who will be wrapped in cotton wool not McDonald.

          • Avatar


            February 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm

            McDoanld did a recent video interview on and was asked if he would pick himself in DT. his answer was this year he is a bargain and if he played DT he would pick himself

      • Avatar


        February 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm

        Good DT numbers does not equal good AFL player, look at Presti!

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        February 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm

        I’m on Miles and Shiel and McDonald and Clifton hahahahah. I don’t see why it’s a bad idea. I plan to have three of them upgraded by rd 11 anyway.

        I’m running a crazy, no gun’s with the rd 11 buy, team. This way, I take a hit in 12 and 13, but my team is the best I can possibly guess, for the rest of the season.

        How weird is it that no good back’s have the rd11 bye. That may be being a bit harsh, but there are no back’s their I want.

        Peace out, GJB

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        February 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm

        Prolific ball winner he may be, I don’t see him being in there best 22 imo. Will be an excellent downgrade option.

  5. Avatar


    February 9, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Great write-up. I also believe some high draft position players are being overlooked as punters are more savvy about where they want to spend their money and more and more emphasis is being payed on recycling players ala Macdonald and the like. This in the belief that they will get more (hopefully) return for their $.

  6. Avatar

    Roid Rager

    February 9, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Best Rookie 2010 — M.Barlow, nuff said.

    • Avatar


      February 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      … oh you already said it

  7. Avatar


    February 9, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Yeah, the recent influx of mature age draftees into the AFL system has really messed with Virtual Sports pricing system.

    Crystal balling this, but I reckon that prices for mature draftees will start to increase to reflect their expected output now that ChampionData have stats on these guys from outside the traditional system.

    Assuming that the salary cap remains constant, then this would then decrease the cost of the other players (including the overpriced early round draftees).

    • Avatar


      February 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      no crystal balling needed, it happened this year already

  8. Avatar


    February 9, 2012 at 9:26 am

    You didn’t really put Cameron Richardson as a value pick of 2011 did you? Oh dear I thought I had wiped that name from my memory, almost as good as Relton “Give me another hamburger” Roberts.

    Good article though :)

  9. Avatar


    February 9, 2012 at 9:31 am

    me and a mate always discussed that all you had to do to make the game harder and less cookie cutter was to increase the price of the rookies…. it has kinda happened but they havent increased enough of them. i reckon the real duds should be base.. then they step up 10-20k as per draft round pick..with first round close to 200k.

    really, a player priced at 200k is priced at a 40av .. so its still probably too cheap and too much of a bargain. Its too easy to play guns and rookies and rake in the money with the cheap kids. Bump up the prices i say!.. make us work for it.

    • Avatar


      February 9, 2012 at 10:12 am

      I hear what you say and don’t totally disagree, but i think if you factor in the risk on unexposed AFL form and that very few rookies can be considered keepers, meaning that they’ll use up valuable trades upgrading/downgrading, then they’ve probably got it close to the mark. Besides, it’s the same for everyone…

    • Avatar


      February 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      lots of cookie cutter teams out there..particularly the forward line. Martin, Sidebottam, Christensen, Franklin, Robinson..probably for good reason.

      • Avatar


        February 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm

        Theres only 1 proven premium in your list

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          February 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm

          Thats right. The hope is two or three of the others will make it.

  10. Avatar


    February 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Well done, this is what it is all about, picking the right rookies. Most of us will go in with 13-14 premiums that will differ here and there but collectively will score at a similiar rate, captain choice aside, and a few midpricers.
    Assuming you pick some good rookies, which I guess most of us will, the 2 or 3 mid pricers take on utmost importance. If you pick any of Brown, Lake, Grimes, Armstrong, Conca, Winderlich,Suban etc, these could make such a difference.

    • Avatar


      February 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

      i keep meaning to ask; what do most consider the base price of a premium? Is it $400k? Would Christensen at $338,800 be considered a mid pricer?

      • Avatar


        February 9, 2012 at 10:30 am


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        February 9, 2012 at 10:35 am

        I dont know if there is a right answer to that, but for me a premium mid fielder is some one who would average 110+, a backman 90+, forward 90+, ruckman 100+. Christensen is a midpricer that hopefully will turn into a premium.

        • Avatar


          February 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

          That would make Dean Cox the only premium ruck in the game.

          • Avatar


            February 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm

            ..true, make that 90 odd plus. One could still argue Cox/Sandi though..probably average 200+ between those two for the year.

        • Avatar


          February 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm

          I agree with that definition but I think you want 95+ from a forward. Think Stevie J, Chappy, Buddy in years past

      • Avatar


        February 9, 2012 at 10:36 am

        IMO a premium depends on what position they are playing. A premium mid is someone who averages 110+, premium back = 90+, premium ruck = 95+, premium forward = 100+. So all prices are representative of their average, or expected average this year. By then end of the season, or by the time your upgrades are complete, i think 22 premiums, based on those numbers, is not unrealistic. It would give you an average weekly score of 2,180, without a captain. Christensen is definitely considered a mid pricer, however if you think his average could be pushed towards 100 this year, then at 338K, he is a bargain.

  11. Avatar


    February 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    BORING! Bring on the NAB Cup.

    • Avatar


      February 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Bro for a guy who’s so DT addicted how can u you say boring?? Your so ungrateful. Would you rather read nothing? Why dont you actually write something constructive for once and try and write an article for the site??????

      • Avatar


        February 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm

        Drill him mate

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        February 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm


        I try and contribute matey, I’m just honest in this instance because I thought that this article was boring!
        Love the passion though mate, bring on the NAB Cup “rooooaaaarrrrr”

        • Avatar


          February 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

          strike a nerve much?

  12. Avatar


    February 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Great article, especially for those with Coniglio/Dyson/Wingard in their squads.
    The fact that astute football judges have said that Sheil would have most likely been top 3 if he was in the draft, makes him a ‘no brainer,” for mine.
    But like TKOL said, Bring on the Nab Cup!

  13. Avatar


    February 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Great article Damian!

    You could become a economist. Just remember not to use your power’s for evil.

    Interesting stats that are proof of what a lot of us have been thinking.

    I didn’t pay top dollar from rooks last year, except for Heppell, Who was expensive. Guy’s like Darling, Harris, Stanley, Z. Smith and other’s did great for me. I guess some of there were fairly expensive. But I didin’t go near the Swallow’s.

    I did get Trengrove in 2010 and that was a great buy. It makes me think that Coniglio might be worth it.

    If you could bank on a player who is under $200,000 getting an av of 75+ and playing 22 games, you’d take it wouldn’t you?

    Kick ass, GJB

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      February 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Shannon Byrnes?? ;)

  14. Avatar


    February 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Is anyone else considering Shannon Byrnes??

    He’s fwd only listed @ 197,900 with an ave of only 40 but this is due to an injury wrecked year.
    he seams way undervalued and if he can regain his 09/10 form is a decent forward smokey. Take a look at his stats from 09/10

    > 2009 he had scores of 85,98,84,89,136,140,100,88,85,86 amongst his 19 games for a 85.3 ave

    > 2010 he had scores of 141,90,105,126,108,124,84,94 amongst his 20 games for a 79.4 ave

    He also has some shockers in there though in the 40’s-60’s. Just dont know if i could stand that much inconsistancy….

    • Avatar


      February 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      I don’t see Byrnes getting a game to be honest.

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      February 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      Was added to watchlist when Varcoe went down.

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        Reece Utd

        February 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm

        I think he is definately worth a sneak peak at in the NAB cup. NO varcoe, ling, milburn. definately room for a player with some experience, however with a couple youngsters coming through migh be restricted to a fwd pocket or green jersey???

  15. Avatar


    February 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I disagree with this one. Players like Heppell, Palmer, Selwood, Scully, Trengove and Swallow have shown that paying a premium for a rookie is worthwhile. The reason it hasn’t looked as attractive this year and last is because of all the pre-listed 17 year-olds and the number of mature age players now being drafted each year.

    I’d say Coniglio or Tyson are perfectly fine if they play every game and average around 75. People are perfectly willing to take a punt on mid-pricers like Winderlich, Porps and Conca, who in all likelyhood won’t score anymore than Coniglio (who is also cheaper), but because the premium rookies are perceived to be overpriced people overlook their value.

    Now, I think most people will agree that guys like Clifton and Sheil are looking like better picks, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the top priced rookies are still great value.

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      February 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      I dont think any of the young giants will play every game. I think sheeds will rotate his guys a lot to build depth and experience. imo

  16. Avatar

    my blue roan

    February 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Great article. Most helpful. Thanks.

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    February 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Can we get this type of write up done for the 2nd year players? I know the vest will play a part in the stats but TOG should be able to be equated.

    I am for some reason stuck on Luke Parker, captain for every club he has played for and subbed in and out all year last year. I just kicked him out of my team and then they played the Syd v NW game last night on FOX. I am too lazy and stupid to figure out these stats on my own.

  18. Avatar

    Reece Utd

    February 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    How is $170,000 (Coniglio) too much to pay for a player that has a stack of potential, a pretty big body to mix it with a lot of afl players, a pretty much garanteed spot in the middle of the ground most weeks, not going to attract a tag from any opposition clubs and has a bit of talent around him to get some cheap stats???

    I agree there is definately some cheaper options that may pluck some decent scores however I think Coniglio has to be close to the top of the rookie prospect list, similar to swallow last year. There is nothing stopping this Kid producing a big average.

  19. Avatar

    Magpie Mayhem

    February 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Lets all remember, this just another fantastic article to give us another direction to build our team a little more unique, make no mistake you will go alright with the cookie cutter sides on this site but you will win the car with a well researched UNIQUE side.

    Thank you so much for a well presented and researched article Damian

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    February 9, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    I disagree that Coniglio is unselectable just because he’s $175200. It just comes down to what you think his expected average and games played will be. This question, especially early in the season, is not just about money gained, but also points scored as most teams will have at least 2 midfield rookies on the ground.

    The difference in price between Coniglio and Shiel is $71000, which at the start of the season equates to 14.4 points per week. So if you think Coniglio will beat Shiel by more than this, say 90 to 75, then he will actually make you more money.

    Another thing to keep in mind is when are we going to be trading out these GWS rookies. I believe most teams aren’t going to be overloaded with Rnd 11 bye players, so to minimize donuts we will problably have to keep at least 3 or 4 of them through Rnd 11 and hence through Rnd 13. So realistically I believe your best midfield rookie will be in the 22 for 12-15 games before finally being traded out. So if Coniglio’s average is something like 10 higher and you select him over Shiel, you will make most of your $70k back plus you will have up to 150 extra points overall, which can be a big ranking shift.

    The final reason to think more carefully about this question is what is the chance of striking the jackpot and a rookie priced player turns into a keeper. (Admittedly this is more likely in the defence or forward line, eg. Heppell, but Barlow showed anything is possible.) If Shiel does his job and makes you 220k, but Coniglio averages 102 and is M6 in a lot of teams for the whole year you will have got smoked.

    So things I will be trying to quantify for each rookie are:

    Expected Average
    Expected Games Played (Especially in the first 15 weeks)
    Chance of being a keeper (Average of 100 in mid, 90 in ruc/fwd, 80 in def)

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    February 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    At the end of the day most of us are going to do the same thing. We will watch all the Nab Cup games, crunch the numbers, hopefully confirm what we already predicted and lock and load.

    Then there will be the guys who watch no games, crunch no numbers and wait until The DTTalk Boys, Dr Dreamteam or The Herald Sun prints a team they they can copy!

    I am counting down the days until next Friday to go and watch some footy!!!

    The wait is nearly over!!!

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      February 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      Hope they listen to Dr Dreamteam

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    Aus vs Magpies

    February 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm



    strong league 4 spots left

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    February 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Great article. Just another variable and the reason why we will all start with different teams and learn from our mistakes for next year.
    cheap v’s costly (this article)
    2 premium rucks v’s premium/rook
    tank one bye round v’s try to miss a donut
    Keep em comin boyz

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    February 9, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Who are the top 3 rookies for def, mid and fwds?

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      February 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      please comment!

      • Avatar


        February 9, 2012 at 9:57 pm

        No. Work it out youself :)

        Believe me, it’s more fun that way

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      February 9, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      Watch NAB and see who is likely to get early games. Doesn’t matter if you are pick one or pick 60, it only matters who plays.

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      February 10, 2012 at 12:49 am

      Buckley, Neeld, McCartney

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    February 9, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    just a quick question, is fyfe still worth it or should i some some cash and go with rbinson or martin, already got beams frank zaha? if not fyfe who?

    Plzz comment and thanks :)

    • Avatar

      Reece Utd

      February 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      I think Fyfe will struggle first few rounds coming back from shoulder surgery

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    February 9, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    What about Lee Spurr?

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    February 9, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    What is everyone’s thoughts on Gibson, does anyone have any info on him, will he get games for the kangas ?

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    Uncle Fester

    February 10, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Some good analysis here.

    I guess this just points out another set of variables to be aware of when building your side. Personally I tend to rely on the assumption that I wont need all 24 trades to get to my best side, which means you can go a few higher priced rookies in order to keep pace with the pack early in the year. Then just trade other bench rookies hard.

    The lesson, as always is that you need to get your starting team spot on, with no passengers (earning you no money).

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