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Deck of Dream Team

Christian Howard – Deck of Dream Team 2013

For those of you who are wondering A) who Christian Howard is and B) Why Howard is in the deck – here’s why. JimBob looks at both sides of this awkwardly priced Defender in today’s Deck.

jan09_howardName: Christian Howard
Club: Western Bulldogs
Position: Defender
Assistant Coach 2013 Price: $309,100
Bye Round: 11 (shared with Brisbane,  Freo, Hawthorn, Richmond and Port Adelaide)
2012 Average: 60.0
2012 Games Played: 11
Predicted Average: 75 -80


Why should I pick him?

Christian who?

For those of you who are wondering  A) who Christian Howard is and B) Why Howard is in the deck – here’s why.

Christian Howard is a young Bulldogs defender who was pick 15 in the 2009 draft. Howard didn’t play a game in 2010 due to injuries, but made his debut in 2011, playing 6 games and backed it up in 2012 with 11. Howard should of probably played more Football in 2012 had he not injured himself in round 1 but came back in round 12 and played all but 2 games for the rest of the season and finished with an average of 60.  Referring to Howard in the 2012 Prospectus (while I patiently wait for the new one) Freako notes  that he was ranked 2nd at Williamstown for uncontested marks once he made his AFL debut in 2011. Hopefully this boy likes to play a DT friendly role and will keep getting loose – surely he learnt something off departing dogs Hargrave and Lake? 

While he did put up some less than desirable numbers like 39, 48 and 42 in the second half of the 2012 season, he was in a young team who was likely experimenting with roles in the team and getting spanked every week. (experimenting roles and getting spanked – ha!). When Howard was let loose, he showed his DT potential with a high of of  102 points against Geelong which included 28 disposals, 6 marks and 2 goals.  With the old dog Ryan Hargrave departing from the dogs in 2012, Howard is likely near the top of the list to replace Hargrave’s quarter back role in the dogs or move up to a wing as he builds his aerobic tank and establish himself in the bulldogs best 21.

Howard is priced at a 60 average, which I think he can eclipse if he is in the right role and if he stays on the park consistently – which I think he is very capable of.


Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Firstly – he is super awkwardly priced. At $300k he is likely going to give you a potential similar output to a rookie for almost triple the price and this is why he will be very unique in 2013. If he does manage to achieve an 80 average in DT –  is he a keeper? Can you make cash quicker with a cheaper cash cow in the same period of time? The questions to all these answers will probably help you make the decision to not pick him.

Howard will also be in a young Bulldogs team who are likely to be on the end of a few more spankings  before they start to rise back up the ladder which generally doesn’t bode well for DT (despite the ball likely to be in their backline frequently). There is a lot of unknown in this bulldog and for the price, is not really worth the risk.


Deck of DT Rating.

JACK – Picking Christian Howard in your initial squad is a massive risk.  He’ll cost you almost 3 times the price of  a rookie and could take too long to mature in cash compared to said rookie, although can easily be traded down to an upcoming rookie and is unlikely to lose any cash.If you do, however pick the young Bulldog, it is in the hope he can average north of 85 and become a keeper. He will be  a very unique pick, a good POD and is currently in my team ( it is only January and he suits a strategy). Like every player in the AFL (excluding Dawson) he is on my watchlist and am looking forward to seeing his role in NAB, and whether that is DT friendly and will transfer into the real season.



Follow me on Twitter @jimbobholder for DT and cricket musings! Got something to say about the deck? Use the hashtag… #DeckofDT.




  1. Avatar


    January 9, 2013 at 8:07 am

    He is not for me this year. i think ill be going for a Guns n Rookies strategy excluding Leuenberger.

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      January 9, 2013 at 8:19 am

      I agree Shorty. Guns and rookies for me except Ball, Leuy and Varcoe ( subject to NAB).
      For 300k I want a ninety potential.

    • Avatar

      deez go

      January 9, 2013 at 11:46 am

      +1 Guns and Rookies looks good, as this year’s mid-pricers are a bit awkward.

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    January 9, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Not on my watchlist at the moment.

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    Big Feller

    January 9, 2013 at 8:24 am

    How dare you sully the good name of Zac Dawson!
    Top article but I’d be more inclined to go with Atley if I was looking for mid price backs (which I’m not).

  4. Avatar

    Ridley U

    January 9, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Spot on Stubby!!! (as always)

    Last year when Howard got back into the team he played a lot of various roles. It was like the coach was auditioning him and a couple of others for the spots left by Gilbee and Hargrave. The game he scored 102 he was out on a wing running amock. There were also plenty of times that I noticed that he was in the open and wasn’t used. Higgins was moved back a bit late in the season and was often the culprit. I reckon that with a preseason of training for the role along with Tom Young that this will change.

    I still think that 2014 might be the year that we should start seriously considering Howard.

    Great read mate!

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    January 9, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Christian Howard will definitely be the Bulldogs playmaker out of defence this year. He has had 3 years in the system and is physically quite mature.

    Has been unlucky with injuries.

    Bulldogs coach was asked to name one player from his entire squad who he thought would be the biggest improver of the year before the 2012 season commenced, and he named Howard, stating that he is a supremely talented player who they are expecting big things from.

    2012 didn’t go his way, however this may be the year. I’m not convinced i’m going to go with him however i believe that if given an injury-free year, he will average 85-90.

    Hard decision…

  6. Avatar


    January 9, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I was very critical of the Daniel Menzel deck as it wasn’t fantasy relevant but Christian Howard is a true left field selection..
    Well done! Very good article…

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    January 9, 2013 at 10:57 am

    As stated in the article he’s awkwardly priced, id rather take a risk with a rook

  8. Avatar


    January 9, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Cheers Champ. Not for me this time but keep the left fielders coming. Choosing the right smokey is bragging rights gold.

    And there’s gold in them thar hills!

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    January 9, 2013 at 11:33 am

    heez in mine atm ,but i only made one team so far in order to not do my head in too early

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    January 9, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I wanted him last year but it never panned out. With Lake and Hargrave gone i reckon he’ll get a lot of whyatever ball the Dogs can get.

    Price really sucks though for a relatively unknown quantity. If he was 250 or less he’d be pencilled in but at that price he might not make a cent if we get unlucky, and i could have sacrificed some points and gained 200k on a rook instead.

    Tough one because he’s someone i’ve always had my eye on but it doesn’t feel right this year.

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    January 9, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Nice work JimBob.

    I’m not really a fan of Howard and have never considered him. I think he could push a low 70’s average, but I don’t think he will become DT relevant until 2014.

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    January 9, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I’ve had big wraps on this bloke for a while but is probably priced out of contention for my team at this stage.

    NAB cup will tell all!

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    Green Ninja

    January 9, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Not for me Jim Bob but the deck is about sorting out the wheat from the chaff so there will always be a couple unpopular payers profiled, someone has to do the dirty work! Nice work anyway.

    On another sour note I had just replaced Crouch with Morabito in my Fan Planner and Bang! He goes down with a 3rd knee, poor bugger.

    Welcome back Crouch.

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