Numbers… it’s what DT is all about. Price changes; averages; break-evens… the list goes on. Round 8 was another great week of high DT scores – as the best teams are starting to really click into gear. With 2300+ scores becoming more frequent, it’s only a matter of time before 2500 is a regular occurrence. With injuries still a thorn in the side of many coaches, how we navigate these coming into the MBR’s will go a long way to determining where we stand at R23.
Let’s have a looks at this week by the numbers…
2 – A slightly more predictable round (only just) this week, with just the two major upsets in the round of 9 games. Port Adelaide started us off with a nail-biting finish that saw them finish the victor over the struggling North. Sunday afternoon saw the firing fellow-Adelaide team the Crows power home against a flat Carlton. With this year’s competition more even than ever – the top 8 (and top 4) is far from settled as each week throws up more than a few surprises. Whilst frustrating for tipsters, it’s great for the AFL as it will be benefiting from fewer blowouts and predictable hidings in season 2012; bringing more fans through the gates.
4 – Number of weeks that coaches are looking at facing without current #2 overall, Dane Swan. After 7 straight hundreds, his season came to a sudden halt on Friday night as he came from the ground with a hamstring injury. Similar to Gary Ablett’s knee injury a month ago, almost 87,000 coaches now face the same tough situation with Swan possibly sidelined until after Collingwood’s R12 bye. With trades extremely valuable, coaches will face a tough task this week. Ironically, many coaches would’ve traded Swan in when Ablett went down, and may be faced with the exact opposite trade now that Swan is out.
7 – Goals that defensive anchor-come-power forward, Lion Daniel Merrett scored on the weekend against GWS. After a 5-goal first quarter, he smashed his previous best DT score by 58 points as he powered onto a game-high 149 points. The young Giants were helpless as they watched the Lions forwards run them around the park for four quarters, with Brisbane also holding the Giants to their second lowest score of their short career (40 points).
10 – In one of the most promising (and accurate) starts to an AFL career, Jeremy Cameron from the Giants had kicked 10.0 prior to R8. Whilst his reputation as an emerging talent hasn’t been tarnished, his reputation as a sharpshooter has been taken aback, with his 0.4 against Brisbane frustrating his fans and coach as GWS struggled to hit the scoreboard against an unforgiving Lions outfit.
11 – New premiership odds for earlier title-favourites Carlton. After previously sitting first at $4.50 for the flag, recent bad form and injuries have set the Blues back – with them now sitting in 7th on 20 premiership points. Whilst not out of top-4 calculations by any stretch, Brett Ratten will be looking to arrest their slide down the ladder if they’re to seriously threaten for the title in season 2012.
38 – Disposals by Pies’ young gun Steele Sidebottom on Friday night against the Cats. In the absence of Luke Ball, he has stepped it up on his way to a 110 DT average for the season. Along with Dayne Beams and Scott Pendlebury, the Collingwood midfield is in good stead for many years to come.
43 – 100 + scores that Melbourne has now given up thus far in season 2012. At a rate of over 5 per game, opposition teams are getting a lot more of the ball than the Demons; and the results are starting to show. With the ‘soft’ tag being thrown around, as well as ‘lack of heart’, they have had one of the worst starts in AFL theory. Can they turn it around? Check out my recent article where I discuss this in light-hearted humour.
46 – Hitouts by Demons’ ruckman Mark Jamar at the weekend. What should be lauded as a huge feat, was overshadowed by his teams huge loss to the Swans; as well as his own inability to get hold of the Sherrin, only managing 7 disposals for an underwhelming 72 DT points. In contrast, R18 last year saw Dean Cox gather 22 touches and 42 hitouts. That day he scored 137 points. Whilst hitouts are the easiest way for ruckmen to score, it often doesn’t translate to a great DT score.
106 – Four round average of 2012’s cash-cow king, Kyal ‘The Horse’ Horsley since his debut. With excellent consistency and a high scoring ceiling, he’s shaping up as a possible M6 keeper based on his form. At the very least, we’ll be able to upgrade to a super premo for cheap after the R13 bye. At this rate, he will be worth over $430k as at R13 – a stones throw away from a super-premium.
80,900 – Amount of spectators that packed the G’ on Saturday for the annual Dreamtime clash between Essendon and Richmond. This game continues to be one of the games of the season, as evidenced by the Bomber’s 19 point win this weekend. With crowds up from last year, the AFL continues to blaze away from opposition sports in terms of game day attendance and viewing numbers.
Send me your ‘Numbers’ for the week @McRathDT
At the R8 juncture of season 2012, I thought I’d take another look at the overall current leader of the competition. I must say it’s great to see a fellow Blues supporter in the lead, with team Carnablues, coached by Tim at the top with an average of 2211 as at R8. His score of 2,363 was enough to take him from 6th to the #1 spot this week. He has a great looking team, with Lids, God, Waters, Broughts and the WB boys in defence; whilst Stanton, Boyd, Pendles and Hayes make up his midfield; Cox and Giles make up his rucks; and Sidey, Danger, Robbo, Chapman, Buddy, Beams and Martin give him a crazy looking forward line. He’ll likely be looking to get in Ablett soon, but other than that this looks to be a team that could win it.
Whore of the Week
The WotW award typifies absolute DT domination and applauds the extraordinary feats of the AFL’s best. R8 was topped by some new faces, with Lions duo Daniel Merrett and Jonathan Brown dominating the Giants, and young guns Cotchin, Dangerfield and Sidebottom leading the way for their respective teams. But the #1 scorer this week was Tigers midfielder, Brett Deledio. His 160 points was undisputedly the king of R8 – totalling 35 touches, 7 marks, 10 tackles and 1.2 goals. With the regular preseason talk of DT defenders ‘moving to the midfield’ (Gibbs and Broughton, I’m looking at you), Lids is proving to be heads and shoulders above the rest in this category – with a current avg of 114 from 7 games. In another year where defenders are either out of form, injury-prone or just underperforming, he has been a shining light to well deserve his nomination in this year’s competition.
It is of no surprise to note this week’s Pet as Brisbane mature-ager and preseason bolter Dane Zorko. With many (myself included) taking the brave step of bringing him in after one subbed game of 26 points to cover donuts, the Mask of Zorko paid us back in spades, motoring along to total a nice 96 points. Now on the bubble and ready to skyrocket in price, Zorko presents us with the only real sure downgrade at a time where options are very lean. Much like the Horse a few weeks back, the Zorkmeister is a must have going into the middle of the season. Over 7000 coaches have already pulled the trigger, with many more likely to do the same by Friday this week. So don’t think about it – just jump on!
There has been a lot of talk about popular preseason super-premo breakout candidates Bryce Gibbs and Brent Stanton in recent times. Unfortunately: for very different reasons. If you were like me and started with the Carlton utility, you’ll be very disappointed with his input to date. On the other hand, Stanton has dominated in almost every game to be the best DT player in the land up to R8. Consider this – before the season started, Gibbs cost $529,000 based on his 2011 avg of 107. Many expected him to breakout into a 110+ average; however this has since been proven wildly wrong, with him only mustering a paltry 85 avg to date. He has also dropped over $120k to $406,900. Stants on the other hand has gone wild – starting at a similar $528,300, scoring 6 tons including 4 x 140+ scores, along the way breaking all the DT records. He now stands at $614,300 (up $86k) to sit on a nice 133 season average.
If you’d chosen Stanton over Gibbs, you’d have an extra $226k in value, an extra 390 points and be a very happy coach. For those of us who started with Gibbs… well, let’s just say – hindsight’s a b*tch.
(Worst) Trade of the Week
Luckily for me, my trades are starting to pay off so I’m out of the firing line this week. Unfortunately though, a few coaches weren’t as lucky, with @EdHundertmark and @MattCraigDT bringing in Murphy (27 – injured) and Pearce (42) respectively last week. Also, thoughts are with coaches who brought in Heppell 2 weeks ago (@JasonSymons7) after scoring 111 and 137 a few weeks ago. Having scored 61 and 62 the past 2, he joins the list of currently underperforming premiums. The good news however, is that we’re going to have a lot of bargains around MBR time.
The Round Up
Highlights – Deledio, Danger and Sidebottom smashing the scoreboard; Barlow and Rockliff bouncing back to form; as well as Stephenson finally making his 3rd AFL appearance to total a solid 77 points at a time where ruck cover is crucial.
Lowlights – Murphy going down as the Blues were well beaten by the Crows; Gibbs and Robinson failing to step up thereafter; DT defenders for letting us down with Hargrave (56), Adcock (67) and Heppell (62) all underperforming; and Swannie (95) for selfishly injuring his hamstring in the Pies win over the Cats.
Team McRath – the signs are good for the boys, with inclusions Zorko and Boyd having blinders. The team is still carrying a few underperformers in Adcock and Gibbs. But once they gel with their new teammates, I’m sure they will bounce back to help projecting us back into a respectful position. Am considering taking advantage of some defensive bargains this week, with the team almost complete going into the MBR’s. I’d just like to also make a sidenote – this year more than ever has proved the importance of picking the right players from the start. If I’d have chosen Lake, Hargrave and Stanton; as opposed to Adcock, Golby and Gibbs – I’d probably be in the top 1000, as opposed to my current situation. Maybe next year those calls will go my way.
Also, I’d like to give props to our mate Griff for the new Numbers banner – hope you all like it. I’m looking to reinvigorate the article next week with a self-administered challenge… check back next Tuesday morning to see how it goes (and what it’s all about). Until then, enjoy the weekend’s games, including a fight between the Cats and Dogs; as well as a battle of AFL minnows Port and GC.
Feedback appreciated as always. Also – if you’re not already… follow me in the Twittersphere: @McRathDT