Huge thanks to Luke for sending this report in. If you head to any intra-club matches, shoot us an email with a report and we’ll put it up.
I am interested to see which (if any) St.Kilda players fantasy coaches select in their teams for 2013. With a list full of ageing stars that are still good but not as good as the younger, up-and-coming premiums in the competition, and a group of younger players that may be good in the future but are still yet to prove themselves, St.Kilda could have the lowest number of player selections for the season. Despite the growing perception that St.Kilda is now fantasy irrelevant, and at the risk of sound biased (given I am a member and a loyal fan), I believe that many St.Kilda players could offer great value for coaches in 2013.
I attended St.Kilda’s intra club match at Linen House this morning, and will write a summary of some of the players who I think could be fantasy relevant in 2013. I should mention that Lenny and N.Roo didn’t play in today’s game due to their modified pre-season programs.
Armitage has been tearing up the track in pre-season 2013. He looks ripped and has taken his fitness to a new level. He also starred in today’s game. He won numerous clearances, ran into space for plenty of +6s, laid many strong tackles and kicked a fantastic set-shot goal from the pocket. With his recent elevation into the leadership group, Armo will assume more responsibility in 2013 and should bring his game to a new level. What I like about Armo is his ability to win both contested ball and then rack up loose possessions on a wing while pushing forward. His playing style suits both tight, contested games of footy as well as the free-flowing, uncontested games. It would take guts, but I think Armo could be an interesting unique option for a M4 or M5. At $459, 000, he will definitely improve on his 89.19 point average from 2012. I think he could push up to 95+ points a game and beyond.
Steven has had a ripper pre-season and didn’t disappoint today. He played the entire game in the guts and was easily the leading clearance player on the ground. He ducked and weaved out of packs and has improved on his long-range kicking. If he had MID/FOR eligibility, I think he would be in a lot of coaches’ forward lines. At $433, 300, he is underpriced for a player who should average 90+ in 2013. However, I believe he is better suited to Supercoach. Unlike Armo who is a mark/kick player, Steven takes few marks and is an impact player who doesn’t rack up huge possession tallies. But he is a smoky for 2013 and he may feature is some sides.
I have noticed a lot of buzz about Siposs among dream team coaches this pre-season. Many coaches believe that he will assume Goddard’s ‘free-man’ half-back role. I am sure everyone will be pleased to hear that Siposs lined up on the half-back flank today and didn’t spend any of the game in the forward line. In the first quarter alone, he took 5 marks, 4 as intercepts from opposition kicks, and one contested mark running back with the flight into a pack. At centre bounces, he pushed up onto a wing and became involved in the midfield contest. He was the number one link player running off half back, and other players always looked to dish the ball off to him. He was composed with the ball and was sizzling bullet-like 50m passes all over the ground. And, he was ‘loose’ for pretty much the entire game. I think it’s safe to assume that, at least at this stage of the season, Sippa is being groomed to play the ‘Goddard role’ in 2013 and he should therefore push his average into the 90s. Watch in the NAB cup to see if his role changes, but at $325, 000, he is a very safe and smart option for coaches.
Lee was a little disappointing today. He only took a couple of marks and didn’t have a lot of game awareness. I think he will be a good player, but I am not sure he will be in the Round One starting 22. I should also mention that Beau ‘The Master’ Maister (formerly known as Beau Wilkes) was BOG today: he kicked 3 or 4, took at least 10 marks, and was the dominant forward on the ground. If Beau keeps up this form, Lee may be nudged out of a forward spot in the early rounds. With Rooey still running around, Stanley improving, and Kosi (why, I’m not sure) still on the list, I doubt Lee will play much in 2013 unless he has a drastic turn around in form. Maybe watch in the NAB cup and check the Round One line-up before selecting him as a forward bench player.
Nick Dal Santo was a bit quiet today and his $471, 200 price tag may seem a little much. But Dal is more than capable of averaging 100+ and could be a good unique selection for coaches, considering St.Kilda’s early draw (Gold Coast and GWS in the first 3 rounds) and the fact that if the Dal selection doesn’t pan out, he can easily be traded out. ‘Joey’ Montagna had a fantastic game and ran into plenty of space for +6s. He should average 95+ again with the potential of 100+. But his price of $498, 100 may put a lot of coaches off. ‘Chips’ Fisher looked good in his recovery from a minor toe injury, but played a lock-down defensive role today. His fantasy relevance may be non-existent until a tall, key defender is recruited. Fisher plays his best footy off half-back but I think he will be used as a key defender in 2013. Big Ben McEvoy didn’t play much of today’s game and didn’t dominate by any means against new recruit Hickey. With most coaches opting for Cox and Leuneberger in their rucks, I doubt McEvoy will be selected in many teams.
I can’t see too much value in many of the other players. Nathan Wright looked good off a half back and may be a good downgrade rookie option mid-season if he gets a call up to the seniors. James Gwilt is a cheap defender option at $269, 400 and at his best could average in the 80s. But in today’s game, he played as a lock-down defender and didn’t see much of it. Selecting him is risky, but some coaches may take the punt considering his potential scoring ability.
That’s about it. I will personally be selecting Siposs and possibly Armo as a unique in my midfield.
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