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Deck of Dream Team

Dane Swan – Deck of Dream Team 2013

To finish off the 2013 Deck of Dream Team series, Warnie has been dealt the Dane Swan card. While we all want him, his price of $688,100 could make it hard for everyone to fit him into their starting squads. So the question is… do we start with him, or do we look to upgrade to him?

jan31_swanName: Dane Swan
Club: Collingwood
Position: Midfielder
Assistant Coach 2013 Price: $688,100
Bye Round: 13
2012 Average: 133.56
2012 Games Played: 18
Predicted Average: 127

Why should I pick him?

It’s Dane Swan. Enough said.

Umm… ok, I probably shouldn’t leave it at that being our last Deck of Dream Team article for 2013, so here goes.

There is no doubt that Dane Swan is the most prolific Dream Team player in the competition. His average of 133.56 last year is the highest season average we’ve seen in the game and this is after the previous three years finishing the season with averages of 119, 123 and 121. Add to that averages of over 100 since 2006, he is a fantasy beast… or as we affectionately call him, a fantasy pig.

Swanny’s ‘piggery’ on the football ground is amazing. Last season he only scored under 100 once and it was a 95 against Geelong. Swan averaged 150 over his last 5 games with the highlight being his 187 in the final round of the season; the DT Grand Final. This was something special. 42 touches, 12 marks, 6 tackles and a goal. We had our DT Talk Grand Final Meet-Up this day and we were pretty excited with his quarter breakdowns of 55, 50, 27 and 55. Wowee. Anyone who can do this has to be on the priority list for your team.

Now I’m sure I don’t have to sell him too much more as we all know what he’s capable of, what he is about and what we will expect this year. Much of the same! A captain option week in, week out. I will just add here that as Calvin says, you’re not just picking Swan, you’re picking two of him!

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Ok, there is no reason why would wouldn’t want him. So I’m going to change this to “Why shouldn’t I startwith him?”.

The main reason is his price. Getting a guy who averaged over 133 last season comes at a cost – he is priced at that average and in 2013 that means $688,100 (7.5% of your starting salary cap). That’s a fair bit! There is some value in other premiums out there. For example the other big dog in Gary Ablett saves your $45K which could come in handy or jump on his team mate Scott Pendlebury at almost $120K cheaper.

With being priced at that average, while he is a fantasy pig, he’s going to have to do a bit to maintain that price. If you’ve ever followed prices of premiums, you would notice that they all drop in value. This year may not be as big as the last two with no expansions teams giving us multiple rookies, but there will still be a drop.

I’m not sure Swan will score enough early on to reach what his break even will be. Anthony highlighted this in an article a couple of weeks ago. The Pies start the season with games against North Melbourne, Carlton and Hawthorn to get his prist set of price changes. Swan didn’t play against the Kangaroos last year but knocked up a 148 in their only meeting in 2011. In games against Carlton last season he scored only 109 and 105 and last time against Hawthorn he scored 106 (he did have 165 earlier in the season against the Hawks though). What can we read into this? Well, not much… but if he has his lower scores, his price – based on his average of 133 – will drop a fair bit over those first couple of price changes.

Swan’s Round 13 bye is shared with his Magpie team mates (obviously), Gold Coast, Essendon, Carlton and Adelaide who all have popular premium midfielders that could make your team (plus the Giants share that bye too). I will say here that I would have Swan over all of them… and by Round 13 you would want to have him floating in your team anyway. While our bye rounds are easier to manage this year with the best 18 rule for the MBRs, we probably still don’t want one of the rounds to be down a heap of premium mids as our scores will suffer for it that week. This is a whole different story though! (Stay tuned for articles on this strategy).

Hmm… tough to say don’t start with him as I am a huge fan, but it would be the right call if he does start quietly.

Deck of DT Rating.

ACE – I want my walk up captain to be Swanny each week. A 133 average probably won’t be seen this year, but I have no doubt he will be the highest scoring and averaging player in 2013. I’m locking and loading from Round 1 at this stage. Articles like this one give me confidence as he’s having a crack and as Maxy said, he hasn’t seen him like this in his time at the club. Swanny can be lazy on the track and he was questioned a bit last year with his work ethic – even that pic I have used for this post was all about his supposed weight issues. Ahh… it will be one of the hotly debated topics this pre-season… to start with Swanny or to look at an upgrade. My answer is to start with him!

Are you starting with Dane Swan in 2013?

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FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: @WarnieDT for all things DT (and more). Got something to say about the deck? Use the hashtag… #DeckofDT.

Thanks to all who have tuned into the Deck of Dream Team this year but a big thanks must go to our writers: Tbetta, Dunny, TeeTee, Griff, JimBob, Jeppa, Rainman and McRath. Top blokes who have given some awesome insight into the players covered in the deck. Cheers boys!Warnie, Roy and Calvin.

Co-captain of DT Talk since we started this thing in 2007. Best finish was 13th in 2009... that was a long time ago. Follow on Twitter: @WarnieDT



  1. Avatar


    January 31, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Another great series lads, well done. Obviously locking Swanny in this year again. First picked for me. Saves the sweat of picking a captain.

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      January 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Quick write up for Jobe Watson Deck of DT??

      • Avatar


        January 31, 2013 at 7:33 pm

        I could write something on him but it wouldn’t be a deck, just a summary. Can see him having a very similar year in 2013, consistency personified.

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    January 31, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Locked for Me!! And another great Deck from the great guys at DTTALK! Well Done!

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    Big Feller

    January 31, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Great way to finish Warne Dog and the first player picked in my squad.
    It’s gonna feel good initially coming up against teams that haven’t invested in him!

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    Dream on!

    January 31, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I’ll probably take the risk of not starting him. I was initially planning to grab him after round 6, however he has averaged 176.33 against the Bombers in their last 3 encounters, so I may use all these extra trades to nab him after round 4.

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    DT Tragic

    January 31, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Good way to finish the deck. I am risking the biscuits to start with but hope to get him in after the first decent price drop.

    On another note, it will be interesting to see how everyones midfield strategy plays out this year. With 8 now taking the field, your 2 benches will have to be expected to take the field every week as well, to cover the chances of an extra 2 players being injured or rested.

    Midfield rooks are the money makers, but how many do you have and increase the risk a donut?

    The smart teams may be the ones with a midfield of consistent players that usually take the field week after week, and only select a couple of ‘gun’ rooks and premium elites?

    There has been talk of the DPP being not so important this year, but maybe the opposite is true…

  6. Avatar


    January 31, 2013 at 10:08 am

    For the past four years it’s been the same old story; Swan is too expensive and will dive in price, so let’s all pick him up when he is cheap and you’re laughing. Here’s the catch.

    Firstly, Let’s say you pick Swan over Ablett. For Swan to drop to Gary Ablett’s price by round 7, he needs to average 124 or below. That’s a $46,000 drop, and is possible as this is what he has averaged in years past, but as you either start with Swan &/or with Ablett, Swan dropping to the same price of Ablett isn’t exactly a win, as it would be players below these uber-premiums who you pick instead.

    A better example is picking Pendlebury over Swan. For him to drop the $125,000 to get to Pendlebury’s starting price by round seven, he would be looking at a drop around 22 points every week, or an average of 111 over the first seven rounds. This takes into account a reduction in the Magic Number, and sustained averages. This isn’t very likely, and it’s all for a gain of $125,000 in your starting squad (A rookie over Bock or Embley over Ball delivers similar results). It’s a big risk.

    Secondly, to upgrade to Swan is a lot harder than upgrading to a normal priced Premium ($560,000 odd). To go from a starting rookie to Pendlebury, you need to find $450,000 odd in coin. To do the same thing to get to Swan, you need to find an extra $130,000, or $580,000 in total. So although you may have an extra $125,000 running around on the paddock to start with, you are upgrading slower, and scoring less points (unless you are quite lucky/astute with your initial pick). Meanwhile, Swan owners are using him as captain to make the gap even further; points wise.

    And finally, as good as it is to have a plan and run against the pack, doing it with the best players in the competition because you think under-priced players will do better isn’t the brightest strategy with two trades every week. For example; If Bock comes in to the Suns in round 2 and smashes out 120 every week for the next four weeks, come round six he will be one of the most owned players in the compeition. People will downgrade/direct swap out of form premiums to ride the wave up, and then ditch him for a profit, or sit him on the bench as backup if he starts to spud it up. Whereas if Swan comes out and smashes 160 for the first four rounds, and you don’t own him, there is now way for you to possibly trade him in without sacrificing at least two players. Ditto with Ablett.

    So as per every year, when Dream Team opens tomorrow, and you’re looking for extra cash, drop Swan and upgrade everywhere, it’ll feel good. But when the Pies open up their 2013 season against the Roos on March 31st in round one, make sure he is in your team. It he drops in value, so what, if he is out of form he will still average 111 every single week. Not bad for a KFC loving, heavy set, tattooed, Pie. Run Fat-boy Run!

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2013 at 10:16 am

      Final point is the killer, anybody can swap to a well performing mid-pricer/premium, but you can’t flick the switch to Gazza or Swan. Massive risk to start without them, I won’t be.

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2013 at 10:40 am

      You my friend are a bloody legend. Exactly my thoughts, but with a whole lot more research and far more coherent. Well done.

      The last 2 years (I am a relative newbie to DT) I have thought Swan was too expensive, and gone with Gaz and a couple of other premo options. Both years Gaz and co have served me well enough, but getting Swan into the side has been near impossible without radical trading. The simple fact is this: he is TOO GOOD. If he drops in price it will be negligible to the amount of points you have missed out (2x that with him as a reliable captain option).

      Locked, round 1.

    • Warnie


      January 31, 2013 at 10:42 am

      This deserves an article in itself…

      • Avatar


        January 31, 2013 at 11:25 am

        Off you go, copy/paste + add thoughts.

        • Warnie


          January 31, 2013 at 11:26 am

          Haha. ;)

          Massively awesome thoughts tho… it will be a hotly debated topic this preseason. If only we had a crystal ball. Haha.

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      I should point out that these are all mathematical facts around not picking Swan. There are strategies to limit these factors influence; such as using midprices to get to Swan, VC loopholes to limit the points damage, sideways trades in the first few weeks to help generate cash etc.

      But the maths: the need to find extra points, increased cash generation compared to anyone priced lower & the ease in downgrading compared to upgrading will still be relevant factors no matter what strategy you go.

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks Griff. It makes compelling reading and has persuaded me to put in Swan instead of waiting. I should have known better as I have had Robin Van Persie all season playing in FPL.

  7. Avatar

    Big Feller

    January 31, 2013 at 10:39 am

    This’ll be the last year for the Pig!
    He’ll win the Brownlow, Norm Smith, a premiership and the DT crown!

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2013 at 10:41 am

      And a KFC sponsorship.

      • Avatar


        February 1, 2013 at 6:32 pm


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    Genghis Khan

    January 31, 2013 at 11:09 am

    A big shout out to all those teams not starting with Swanny this year! Makes it that much easier for the great GK to take out the FJ!

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    January 31, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Last year I picked Swan Ablett Boyd as the first three mids. I see no reason to do the exact same thing this year.

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2013 at 11:15 am

      no reason *not to do the exact same thing this year.

      • Avatar


        January 31, 2013 at 12:07 pm

        I have those 3 in my starting side as well.

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      same here worked well imo

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    dirk diggler

    January 31, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I’ve locked Swan the extent that you need voice recognition and retina scans to unlock him

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2013 at 12:24 pm


  11. Avatar


    January 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Surely Jobe Watson needs a Deck of DT write up??

  12. Avatar


    January 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Swan will average the most points in 2013…

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      However there is a difference between average the most points and score the most points.

      • Avatar


        January 31, 2013 at 3:16 pm

        Something weird happened in that post, should read “between average points and the most points scored”.

  13. Avatar


    January 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    The only reason you shouldn’t pick Swan is if he has a career threatening injury during the NAB cup and misses the season. He’s a lock for me.

  14. Avatar


    January 31, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    i dont buy into it when people say ‘they are running really well this pre season’ what else are they going to say? but i still will get swan as he will be the highest DT scorer again. most likely swan, ablett and boyd + cotch and murphy for me

  15. Avatar


    January 31, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Swan’s a definite lock!
    If I was to pick any 3 ultra-premium mids regardless of price, who would I pick?
    Swan and Ablett and ?
    Am leaning towards Beams at the moment, but also considering Boyd, Cotchin, Pendlebury and Watson.

    • Avatar

      dirk diggler

      January 31, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      I probably go with Pendlebury just because he looks great value. Watson and Boyd look like decent upgrade targets…..

      • Avatar


        January 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm

        cheers for the advice :)

  16. Avatar


    January 31, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Still deciding on him, I have a feeling if i don’t start with him and Ablett they’ll burn me.. So might try and fit both in.

  17. Avatar


    January 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Another great series boys and I am of course going to pick him. You’ll be mad not to. Swan, Ablett, Cotchin, Selwood, Pendlebury will be my ultra-premo mids.

    Not long to go before AFL Dream Team opens for 2013. Love your work guys for the last 7 years and looking forward to the upcoming season of DT :D

  18. Avatar


    January 31, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Pig, Piglet and Gazza from the start. Don’t want to go crazy trying to get them in!

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Rainman, don’t forget Buddy! Be a fun year, look forward to it!!

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      Aye, starting with them is much easier. I just… i don’t want to go through the agony of trying to bring in 600k+ players into my team, and i don’t want to sit there in the early part of the comp and miss out on all those 150+ scores.

      It’s not even about numbers for me. It’s mental health.

  19. Avatar


    January 31, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    what hapened to zorko may have missed him but i’ve been threw and couldn’t see his name anywhere surely u would do the zorks? :(

  20. Avatar


    February 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I don’t really see the worry in his price tag and trying to pick him up after price drops… no one in the competition will get similar to him (closest will be GAJ), however if you start with him he’s staying there all year, so the stress of his price tag is irrelevant. What’s the point in missing out on an extra 10-20 points for the first 3-6 rounds at least to save yourself no more than 30K. Definitely a lock for me!

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