Tbetta’s Bullets: Round 9
As a DT community, we’ve been throwing the term ‘carnage’ around a little too loosely lately. Round 9 wasn’t carnage – it wasn’t even that destructive really. What hurt our scores was a league-wide lull in scoring, rather than a select few popular DTers who rained on our parade. I review Round 9, look towards Round 10 and check out everything in between. Check it out!
You Call Yourself a Premium?
As a DT community, we’ve been throwing the term ‘carnage’ around a little too loosely lately. Round 9 wasn’t carnage – it wasn’t even that destructive really. What hurt our scores was a league-wide lull in scoring, rather than a select few popular DTers who rained on our parade. With the rookies, we expect scores of a Katy-Perry nature. No, it was our ‘Premiums’ that let us down in Round 9. All you have to do it check out Calvin’s Captains this week:
Just to clarify, I’m not bagging the Irish Pirate’s choices – I’m saying that these 5 guys were supposed to be some of the most reliable high-scorers this week, and could only manage an average of 94 between them. Add in Boyd’s 111, Watson’s 91, Rockliff’s 76 and Mitchell’s 89 and it’s no wonder scores our scores suffered!
It’s pretty hard to call par in a week like this, and probably a bit pointless, but 2100 would have slotted you into the top 20,000 scores for the week. I’d be pretty happy with that.
The Mid-year Draft
Every week a random thread gets picked up by the national media, and this week it was the Mid-Season Draft concept. While I could make some profound comment on how the media are a pack of fickle vultures, I’ll keep it DT related: How cool would that be?!
From an AFL stand-point, there’s hardly a downside. Contract issues would need to be worked through with the AFLPA (half-year guaranteed contracts with a second-year option, etc.), timing of the event (would need its own weekend) and the determination of the Draft order could be tricky. But the benefits are huge; it adds another spectacle (clearly playing to Demetriou’s ego), it increases interest and exposure of the VFL and the other second-tier Leagues and their players, and it increases the competitiveness of the sides at AFL level. You only need to look at Fremantle’s injury woes last season and St. Kilda ruck issues this year to see the clear benefits of having a top-up player or two. I won’t even get into the advantages of player movement in the age of free-agency, or the increased importance of recruiting and player development at all levels.
I’m going to neglect the issues it would cause the second-tier Leagues and the families of those players asked to relocate because it doesn’t really support my argument, but I acknowledge there are issues to work through.
For DT, it would be amazing. Imagine all the new downgrade options we would have! We would know which players would have the best JS based on whether they’re filling holes (ie. any ruckman drafted to St. Kilda would be hot property), and we’d have all the stats, facts and figures on their recent form to help us decide whether they’ll become DT heros.
Thankfully, the AFL has said they are ‘open-minded’ to the idea, which is encouraging. The Mid-Season Draft has been used in the past to some degree of success, and it can be again. To quote Spiderman, “With free agency comes great opportunity”. Let’s make this happen.
It’s a very delicate stage of the game, a week out from the MBR’s. Any trades you want to make are accompanied by that nagging voice in the back of your head that says it’s foolish to trade a player in now, when they’re just going to have their Bye in a week or two. For me, that voice has multiplied to a high pitch wail. As a result, I’ve shut up shop and begun the nervous wait until after Round 11.
Because of this, I’m hoping that some of our finest downgrade options start debuting over Rounds 10 and 11. Unfortunately, those like Darley and Sexton have arrived at an awkward time for us because they would both be very handy downgrade options if used in conjunction with a bye-avoiding upgrade over the Bye rounds.
So who does that leave us with? Here are a few downgrade options on the radar, which hopefully get a gig over the next few rounds.
Thomas Couch – Melbourne – $85,800 Mid/Fwd
Couch is the obvious one, and probably the best-poised player to force his way into the side, although we’ve been saying that for a while! He’s been on the radar since day dot, resulting in him being owned in 15,500 teams without even playing a senior game. Of the 6 games he’s played for the Dees’ VFL affiliate Casey Scorpions, he’s been in the best players 5 times. Unfortunately, there was a general bye in the VFL this week, which hinders his progress in finally getting a game. He averages 27 disposals a match, which is about 4 more than Melbourne earn as a team every week.
Sam Gibson – Kangaroos – $85,800 Mid
Gibson was another rookie-listed player we had in our sights over the pre-season, and the best way to describe him is ‘ball-magnet’. He’s played 8 games for the Werribee tigers this year, averaging 114 DT in that time and finding himself named in the best players on 5 of those occasions. This included a huge 3-goal, 40 disposal, 8 tackle and 8 mark effort against the Geelong Reserves side; good for 175 DT points. The kid (well, man. Another mature-ager.) can play, but unfortunately we have to wait until after Round 11 before he can get be upgraded (due to the AFL’s rookie elevation guidelines) as the ‘nominated’ rookie for the Roos.
Tom Mitchell – Sydney – $98,700 Mid
As a Father-Son pick, Mitchell is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing; he has all the ability of a top 10 draft pick but we get him at the bargain price of $98,700. In some ways, his pre-season knee issues have been a blessing in disguise, just as Mzungu’s were last year. We know we have a bona fide downgrade option on our hands, and he’s closing fast on an AFL opportunity. He’s slowly building up game time and fitness, resulting in a break-out 42 disposals, 6 marks and a goal for the Swans NEAFL side two weekends ago.
Hayden Crozier – Fremantle – $98,700 Fwd/Mid
Crozier is a bit of a smoky as a DT pick, but he was named as an emergency last week (culled from the 7-man interchange from Sunday’s teams) so obviously Fremantle like something about him. He’s been playing as a high-impact half-forward for East Perth, asked to make a contest with the high ball and crumb it when he can’t get there. He reminds me of Fyfe in his debut year – he looks skinny and out of place but still manages to win one-on-one contests. He’s been averaging 15 disposals and 1.5 goals a game but let’s himself down with just the 0.75 tackles a game, meaning he averages 64 DT a game this year. I’m not euphoric about those numbers, but he is in the mix so keep an eye on him.
Luke Brown – Adelaide – $98,700 Def/Mid
With Darley already earning a game and Sam Docherty on the comeback trail (and a little overpriced as a rookie), much of my hopes rest on Brown cracking a game over the next few weeks so that we have a downgrade option in defence. He was in the mix pre-season, but suffered that unprovoked pub attack in which he sustained dental issues that disturbed his training load. With Adelaide playing so well, earning a senior spot might prove impossible, but a DTer can hope, right? He’s been named in the best players for Norwood in their last two matches, which has to give him (and us) a fighting chance.
Others to Watch
Murray Newman – West Coast – $98,700 Mid
Elliot Kavanagh – Essendon – $98,700 Mid
Jordan Lockyer – Sydney – $98,700 Def
Sam Docherty – Brisbane – $139,200 Def/Mid
Makers & Breakers
Do we have a new super-premium on our hands?! Brett Deledio is doing everything right to be considered in that elite bracket of DTers. Let’s tick them off; He has the scoring – he boasts the 5th-highest average competition-wide this year with 117.6 points per game – he has the consistency – he hasn’t dipped below 100 since his Round 1 score of 91 – and he’s regularly producing those huge Captain-escue scores – the 141 he scored this week means he’s topped 140 on three occasions this year, after only reaching that figure once before 2012. He won’t be a DPP next year, but maybe he’s worthy of a spot as a pure midfielder?
Stevie J was simply everywhere on Friday night. He mark-kicked his way to 148 points, playing much further up the ground than we’ve become accustomed to. Johnson also notched career-highs in disposals (36) and marks (14), highlighting his new-found ability to be a valuable link-up player. If you’re in need of a forward, consider Stevie – he’s in some rare form, averaging 129 points in his last 4 games after ticking over at 80 points per game prior to that.
No matter what you do, it’s just inevitable that in any 50-50 you’ll end up playing the wrong rookie on the field. That’s what I’ve come to realise, and it’s stopped me losing precious sleep… Treloar was the one who got me (and many others) this week, but for those who benefitted from his 119, well done! Treloar’s living up to our pre-season expectations, scoring erratically but solidly overall. He’s now up to $288,600 with a BE of 12; a variable that’s likely to remain low while his latest effort hangs around in his rolling average. At this rate, he’ll be a great cash-in option at around $350k any time after Round 12. Hello, Swanny.
Well done, Zorko. Whilst I was always convinced of your JS in a struggling Lions outfit, it was your scoring ability that had me cautious. A vested 26 followed by 96 against a hapless GWS made it very difficult to gauge your scoring potential. But after 94 on the weekend I can sleep easy knowing that you’ll grind out a reasonable score for me, unlike the nervous sweats and uncontrollable shakes I get when I’m forced to start Morris.
A speedy and deliberate reply is the perfect response to finding yourself in the Breakers, and Mitchy Robinson has given us just that. His 146 points was partly facilitated by Murphy-issued midfield time, but was highly valuable nonetheless. Hopefully, we can rely on this extra on-ball time while Carrazzo and Murphy continue to find themselves on the sidelines.
Travis Cloke is possibly the biggest underperformer in the competition this season. He dominated at will last year, but he’s stumbled, and badly, so far in 2012. Is it all this conjecture about his contract situation? As we all know, contract hysteria is only a good thing when you’re playing well – if you’re down on form, it’s just a massive distraction. Sort it out mate, and hopefully dish out something more than 24 points to the 38,000 DT coaches relying on you.
It’s not often that you score -3 and miss out on the Breakers, and this week is no exception. After all the downgrade-option hype on the back of Tommy Walsh’s 85 last week (against the Demons, remember), we’ve all been brought back down to earth this week. It’s just shades of this pre-season, when everyone was smitten by his masterful round-ball skills in the International Rules tests until he almost embarrassed himself in the Nab Cup. While Walsh has a BE of -14 this week, forget about him as a downgrade option – he won’t earn you the points or the cash to make it worthwhile.
Two players came from nowhere to average 90 after Round 7; I’m talking about Whitecross and Clancee Pearce. With Fyfe and Goodes going down, there’s a fair chance you considered both these guys given their bargain prices. If you went down that route, hopefully you picked Whitecross and not the tattooed Docker. Pearce was in great form until Round 8, where he sustained a head-knock and was subbed out for 42. Whether that affected him this week, who knows, but it’s a wonder he even got to 32 in the Derby, he was that rarely sighted. You’d have to say the Clancee experiment has failed so far.
I’m going to keep this brief, because I’m still seething that I ‘upgraded’ Golby to this guy. Hargrave has scored 56 and 64, his two lowest scores for the season, in the last two weeks. Not good enough old man.
I questioned whether Geary was a legitimate option this season in an earlier edition of the Bullets. To paraphrase, I said that he was over-performing but would remain solid for the remainder of the season. I was half-right – he was over-performing alright. What I failed to realise was the affect that Gram’s absence was having on his scoring. With Gram out of the side, Geary averaged 84 points. With Gram back, he’s averaged just 34 points per game, including only 21 against the Swans this weekend. Umm… my bad.
There were some great questions send my way this week – keep them coming guys!
I had another few tweets asking the same thing, and I’m just glad I don’t have this issue confronting my team.
Firstly, we have to consider whether he can turn this form around. I think yes. At least, he can’t get any worse, but with 24 in his scoring rotation, are you willing to bet another $50k that he’ll wake up? Secondly, what can you get for around his price? Not a lot unfortunately. Whitecross is $40k dearer if you have the spare change, and he’s been pretty consistent over the journey. Didak’s also a little more expensive at an extra $20k, and he’s scored 110 and 80 in his two unvested games. Maybe you think he’s worth the risk? Lastly, do you really want to ‘upgrade’ Cloke? That’s two trades to bring in a Gun, for someone who’s supposed to be a gun. Stinks of wasted trades to me.
If it were me, I’d probably hold on for dear life and hope he finally gets his head right. But I’m very glad I don’t have to.
Great question, and again, one that a few people have been sending through. If you had asked me two weeks ago, I’d have said his JS was about the same as Miles’; He’ll come in for a game or when Sheedy feels it’s time to give others a rest, but other than that, pretty weak. But after he managed to: 1. Hold his place after about six guys came back from the General, and 2. Score a massive 42 in a quarter of footy, I’m starting to second-guess myself.
Thursday’s Teams will reveal more, but I can’t help but feel like he’ll retain his spot this week and be given a full game based on that quarter of footy. He couldn’t have done much more, and surely Sheedy has to reward that. So, it’s a week-by-week proposition for me, but overall I think he has shaky JS. Our mate RLGriffin thinks he’ll be in and out of the side all year, and I can’t help but agree with him there.
Definitely. If you’re worried about going forward the Steel Beam combo, don’t be. Beams proved last year that he’s a Gun, averaging 124 points in the last 5 games of 2011 when Swan was killing it and notching Brownlow votes almost every week. He’ll find the footy regardless of who else is around him.
Sidebottom is different in the way that he’s only just exploded this year. Again, I’m very confident that Swan has little to no effect on his scoring. Steele averaged almost 118 in the 6 weeks leading up to Swanny’s injury, so it’s fair to say I’m not worried at all.
Great stat! And this is the problem with how the Byes have worked against us this year. Ideally, the bulk of our rookies would be from R12 or R13, so we could trade them out when they reach their bye. Not so – most of the rookies are from R11, thanks to the Giants and some others from the Lions and Bulldogs. In a perfect world, there’d be an abundance of R11 Premiums on fire, so we can get upgrade to them after Round 11 and avoid their bye. But as you said, Dangerfield is the only one in the top 15 Forwards (18 actually), just as Waters is the only candidate in the top 10 Defenders, and Boyd and Thompson are the only two options the rate in the top 13 Midfielders.
As a result, I think we’ll see those guys, along with possibly Rockliff, as the most traded-in premiums immediately after R11. There are simply no other decent options.
As always, let’s look towards next week. We have our Geelong, Essendon and Collingwood players lining up against the three minnows, and we can usually expect extra points from them. Although, Stanton (94) and Watson (91) both failed to capitalise against a gritty Giants outfit, especially Stants who junked it up late but was well-held by Scully to 52 until 3Q time. Stanton for the Magner tag? What about Selwood’s scoring with a McDonald/Scully following him around?
The other pressing issue is whether to trade or not. I’ve already outlined my reasons for holding, but it’s a unique decision depending on your bye structure and strategy. Darley and Sexton are the two impressive rookies on the bubble, but remember, if you get them now you won’t be able to squeeze much cash out of them in a downgrade over the MBR’s.
Let’s finish off with the Meme of the Week. It’s probably a week late, but given their effort in the Derby I think it’s still relevant.
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