Round the Twist
Welcome to tbetta’s bullets Griff’s Grenades! Tbetta flagged earlier in the week with the Dream Team Talk crew that he would not be able to write up the bullets over the next fortnight as he was busy studying something other than Dream Team. Personally I think he knew what was coming and wanted out… The first round of our Multi-Bye Rounds (MBR) came, saw, and they were nothing short of repulsive.
On a long weekend (for most of the country) when all is right in the world, we are supposed to sit down and be able to enjoy our football. For a brief moment in a thrilling game on Saturday night we were allowed to do that. But even a four point thriller couldn’t hold out reality.
Our weekend of misery started on Friday night. I knew we were in trouble early when Joel Selwood was on 2 points with eight minutes to go in the first quarter. Bryce Gibbs was tagging Stevie J out of the game in defence, Mitch Robinson was in the line for a hot pie from the end of the first quarter until the final fifteen minutes, Stephenson was subbed out on 26 points, Matthew Kreuzer was running water and Corey Enright played as if he was a late withdrawal.
It didn’t get much better on Saturday. Aaron Sandilands was subbed out in the first quarter after stubbing his toe scoring just 10 points (one for each toe?), Deledio came crashing back to earth with 78 points, Dustin Martin gave us reason to argue, chipping in with a 68. Jumping Jack Riewoldt who had a negative breakeven of 35 coming into the round after two monster scores of 135 and 147 hurt his ankle in the first quarter and score 58. To make it worse, De Boer scored a massive 147 points which just pissed us off more as only 1% of coaches actually own the bugger.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, over at Metricon Stadium, Gary Ablett Jnr was raising his middle finger to all those who said that last weeks fifty-three possessions meant nothing to the side, by refusing to go near the ball. The whole Dream Team universe went into meltdown when Ablett limped to a mere 61, raising the bounty on a certain Irish Pirates head to near the starting value of Ablett. If you happened to have the other Roo in Nick Riewoldt, or second year player Arryn Siposs, then you may have been feeling optimistic heading into Saturday night. It wouldn’t last.
In a thriller at Etihad, the Swans got off to a flyer, which is the exact opposite of what Brett Boo Stanton was doing, who had a total of 23 points at the half time break. Nick Malceski was keeping the bench warm for the swans as the starting sub and Shane Mumford just kept shedding the dollars as he finished with 68. Watson was the only standout in a match that will be remembered for Dempsey running out on the Buddy Arc, hearing the siren, realising that he shouldn’t be on said arc, and the umpires telling him it was all too late.
Come Monday, nobody really cared about their Dream Teams anymore. 1,500 points was looking like a solid score, and quite frankly, the sooner the MBRs are over the better. Oh but wait, we have another game. And it’s the Pies vs Melbourne. Surely only good things could happen right? Well as much as I would usually think Alan Didak having a sore groin would be both entertaining and good, having personally traded him into my team this week, like so many others, his red vesting on 6 just about saw my laptop disappear out the back window about as fast as when Didak made a run from that car crash.
Eventually, Beams and Sidebottom had a massive one, but by the end of the round, who gave a toss? Swan’s back! But he has the bye this week. Thomas was tagged or something, Grimes did good, I guess, and Elliot and Williams didn’t get subbed off thanks to Alan… sigh. Let’s look at the Makers and Breakers, this is all too depressing.
His first quarter on Friday Night may have resembled the start Jack Watt’s career thus far, but Joel Selwood really brought it home. Joel piled on two 34 point quartes and a 42 point quarter to finish with a respectable 122. After an absolute shocker last week, the Geelong captain gave us something to smile about in the Cats two goal win over the Blues. He wasn’t the only captain to have big ones this weekend with two others both smashing out decent scores.
Both Nick Riewoldt and Jobe Watson were standouts for their teams, scoring 136 and 131 respectively. If you were lucky enough (and I do mean lucky) to put any of these three captain of your team then you did well. All three were not showing signs of great form coming into these games, so your captaincy choice here would have been very risky, and well done to you.
The other two to make the makers list were last week villains, in Dane Beams and Steele Sidebottom. Scoring a massive 305 between them, or 155 and 150, the two Dual Position Players from Collingwood almost made this week bearable. Turning around last weeks atrocity (okay, Beams wasn’t that bad), the dynamic duo were everywhere for the Queens Birthday match posting a combined 76 possessions, 13 tackles, 16 marks and two goals.
Others who deserve mention: Jack Grimes, Dane Swan (he’s back!), Kade Simpson, Trent Cotchin, Matthew De Boer (except nobody owns him), Brad Ebert and Arryn Siposs.
There are some very popular names in the breakers this week. Be it a Pirate curse, or a general state of who gives a… care in the world, Gary Ablett Jnr this round ripped the hearts out of Dream Team coaches everywhere. Although having an average over the past two rounds of near 130, his 61 in a round where for many he was a sole captain choice is just devastating. I’m sure he will be back to his best soon, but the auto-lock captain option will not be selected anytime soon.
Stevie J is another who had a massive fall from grace, and his 60 was infuriating for anyone who has recently traded in the live wire. Luckily he wasn’t cited for any wrestling offenses by the MRB and can have a week off to think about what he has done. He may be down at the Cattery this week, but for many he lays squarely in the dog house.
The second you hear Aaron Sandilands, Toe & Injury, you fear the worst, and for big 211 the worst is what we get. Not only was it a mere 10 points in the ruck when stocks were thin devastating, the news that he will now miss 8 to 10 weeks rubs salt into a very painful wound.
Bryce Gibbs and Alan Didak round out this weeks breakers and there isn’t much that needs to be said. Dids will be rage traded out by those who can afford it, and for those who can’t, you’ll just have to suck it up. With any luck he can be a floating bench option late in the season between your forward and midfield lines. If not, all who traded him in knew what they were getting. As for Gibbs, it’s clear that Ratten just doesn’t think he is best winning the ball. When McLean is the go to ball user before Gibbs, you know what you have to do. Yes he has plummeted funds, yes he could turn it around, but the fact is, until he does turn it around, he is a very expensive bench warmer as you can have no faith in him anymore.
Dishonourable mentions: Corey Enright, Orren Stephensen, Jarred Redden, Nick Malceski, Dustin Martin, Jack Riewoldt and Matthew Kreuzer.
The current reports out there are that Sandilands will be out with Turf Toe for eight to ten weeks. No matter how much you may love him, you have to trade. Any other year having nine trades remaining at the end of round eleven would be terrible, this year however with the amount of Long Term Injuries (LTI) we’ve seen, it’s almost good. Your obvious option to trade is Cox, Goldstein or Jacobs. All have had their bye, and it means you can sit tight with them for the rest of the year. Cox is the obvious option, but he will cost you about $60,000 to reach him with Sandilands expect to drop nearly $30k.
Goldstein has been in great form, and with McIntosh out for another month, he could hold his form, and scoring power, he’s close to a straight swap. The riskiest option is Jacobs, who has been, well, average this year. He is the sole ruckman for the Crows, they have a good draw to end the season, he’s averaging 80 points, and is unlikely to get dropped. He’ll also net you a nice $50,000. The choice is yours, but for me, if you can find the money for Cox, that’s where I’d look.
Firstly, let me say how disgusting it is that the AFL allows Essendon to name Zaharakis on Friday evening, to play Saturday, when he strained his quad before lodgement! Now to the question: If you don’t have Beams, get him. Take him as a mid, forward, whatever, he can score massive and should he stay fit, could average close to 110 for the rest of the year.
As for when you get him this week or next as a direct trade for Zaharakis depends on if you are in a must win league game next week. Unless you really need someone on the field, consider Dangerfield or if you really want the cash and don’t have him, Zorko. Both have had the bye and based on current form could average similar to Zaha for the rest of the year. Just understand the risk in bringing in a rookie to play on your field for the rest of the year. That said, if you don’t need to win next week, and you want Beams, just take another donut. It the current climate, it will go by unnoticed.
I can, but put simply, probably not. Armstrong has a history that needs to be considered when drafting into your team almost as long as Heath Shaw’s. But since people are still considering Heater, let’s take a glossy look anyway. In 2010 when at the Crows he was found guilty of drink driving, putting him on a club imposed suspension for a month. He also spent twelve weeks working with a crash victim rehabilitation centre in an attempt to get him on the straight and narrow. Thankfully he credits the Crows for salvaging his career and managed to play a few late games last season. He does however have a history of knee injuries, the most recent of which is why it has taken him so long to break into the Swans team this year.
An elite kick, he finally got a full game this week and we saw a nice 77 from the young defender who does have the potential to score decently. Unfortunately he is priced at near $270,000 and has been the starting sub twice suggesting he isn’t match fit. As much as I would love to see Armstrong up and running and reliable in any Dream Team squad, I don’t see it happening this season.
Looking ahead at next week we have more of the same with Collingwood, Essendon, Fremantle, Geelong, Melbourne and Sydney all missing. This means that of the 41 players who scored over 100 points this round, 25 of them will be playing minigolf instead of AFL. More so, it means the likes of Selwood, Johnson, Chapman, Beams, Sidebottom, Swan, Watson, Stanton, Broughton, Barlow, Grimes and Mumford will add to a very expensive bench for Dream Team coaches.
Hopefully our premiums won’t put on another showing of limbo (how low can you go?) and pump out some big scores. To be honest, I’m not holding my breath. Instead, I might go to the movies Friday night, golfing Saturday, and visit the in-laws on Sunday. After all, anything is better than nothing when it comes to these bye rounds. I need a drink.
Keep dreaming dreamers!