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52 Pickup – The Clubs

Today we have the Clubs. These are the players that have potential, and might bolt from nowhere. These players are risky picks, although not as risky as The Spades, but they also have the ability to make or break your season.

52pickupclubsEvery year, there is the bolter. The Ivan Maric, Patty Dangerfield, Dayne Beams, Steele Sidebottom et al from 2012. The Jed Adcock from 2011. The players, that for whatever reason, come from nowhere and become DT relevant. However in 2013, with two trades per week, every week, we can pick these players in our initial starting squad, knowing that if it doesn’t work out – the chopping block is waiting.

In 2013, who will it be? Crutton Hutton takes a look at some of the options, the players that might have a breakout season, or just another season at the top of the perch and is overlooked, that will make you wish you passed up on Swan, and selected that player instead (unlikely, but you get my point).

Introducing 52 Pick Up – the players that weren’t looked at in the #DeckofDT, but who are well worth considering for a spot in your starting squad!

Up second – the Clubs. These are the players that have potential, and might bolt from nowhere. These players are risky picks, although not as risky as The Spades, but they also have the ability to make or break your season. These awkwardly priced players might save you $100K on some proven performers, and by seasons end you could get the same output.


Jack Steven (StK) – $433,300

One of the St Kilda midfield youngsters to really look like he belongs. Tough around the stoppages and he knows where the goals are. Will be a B&F winner at St Kilda one day. As Montagna, Hayes, Dal Santo get older, he needs to be the one who steps up. Four scores over 100 in 2012, including a season high in Round 1 against Port Adelaide of 115. If he can have those scores more consistently, he will average better than the 83.5 of 2012. Also interesting to note he kicked 17 goals in 2012, which is a pretty nice return for a small inside midfielder. Awkwardly priced $433K, will you take the risk on him? I think he can average 95+ this year, as the younger St Kilda midfield brigade comes through.

Mitch Wallis (WB) – $427,600

Here is one you should seriously consider. 19 games in 2012 with an average of 83, a huge increase on his 55 average in 6 games from his first year in 2011. Pumped out four scores over 100 in 2012, and considering the midfield of the Bulldogs consists of Boyd, Griffen and Cooney (when he is on the park), he just flied under the radar. Another pre-season under his belt, and entering the infamous third year. With the Bulldogs midfield looking stronger on paper (the three seniors above, plus Libba, Koby Stevens, Daniel Cross, and Clay Smith – see below), don’t be surprised for Mitch to push the 100 point average barrier in 2013.

Pearce Hanley (BL) – $425,300

I just don’t know how to take this guy. Between Rounds 13-15 in 2012, he scored 134, 120 and 119. That was sandwiched between a 34 and a 64. Five scores under 60 are a bigger turn-off than Warnie and Liz on Twitter, but the 7 scores above 100 are a bigger turn-on than Warnie in his prime on Boxing Day. Maybe with a Brisbane Lions team on the improve, and another year mastering the game from the Irishman…?? Potential top 10 defender this year, potential for you to lose your hair as well.

Heath Shaw (COLL) – $422,800

Probably a bit harsh to have him on the Clubs list – but he could be a Club, and he could be a Heart… if you have one. Please note: Prone to injury, league suspension, club suspension, fits of rage, fits of CBF… and spends too much time with Alan Didak. I’ll leave you with this. Since 2006, he has averaged a minimum of 81.8 come seasons end, including a high of 91.7 in 2011. For a defender, that is nearly unmatched. Will pump out some 100’s, and when he wont… well, he wont. But we will always be grateful, for “the Heath Shaw rule”… reversible trades. Cheers Heater!

Jed Adcock (BL) – $418,000

Jed was one of the best buys of 2011. Jed of 2012… well was borderline Greg Broughton. Could pump out a first half 50… and a final game score of 54. Finished the year with a respectable average of 81, however his final 11 games only netted him an average of 75 (including 6 scores below 68). Expect an 80-85 average, but whether the 120’s are enough to satisfy you between the 50’s and 60’s… well that depends on your state of mind. I’m fragile enough.

Tom Bellchambers (ESS) – $412,800

I don’t know about you – but I’m not sure if I’m able to trust him just yet. All but assured of the number 1 ruck mantle at the bombers this year according to (current) Coach James Hird. Increased his average by a whopping 16 points in 2012, up to 80.1 from 16 games. Injuries, form and tough competition (Hille and Ryder) over the years have cruelled him, but now as the number 1 ruck for the bombers, we should see some consistent scoring. Three scores above 110 in 2012 show us what he is capable of when he is on the park. Definitely worth a chance – keep an eye on him.

Matthew Kreuzer (CAR) – $403,700

Matthew Kreuzer is entering his 6th season at the blues. This former number one pick has had his fair share of bad luck, including an ACL and complications from that, which killed his 2010 and 2011 seasons. Averaged a healthy 78.2 in 2012, however his last 6 games netted him a very nice average of 90! Could 2013 be the year that he stands up and takes control of the competition, like he has looked like doing in bursts for years now? Like Dean Cox, he is an agile big man who can also play as a ruck rover, has great hands, skills and can kick goals. Always looks dangerous in the F50. Might be the number 1 ruck at the end of the year… Watch this space.

Colin Sylvia (MEL) – $393,100

Keep reading. A very popular pick in DT circles for a years now, but last year was bad. Averaged only 75.6 from 17 games, after averaging in the 90’s for the three seasons before that. Now entering his tenth season, there are a few queries hanging over his head. He has never played 20 games in a season. Since 2005, his game total has gone 16, 15, 16, 18, 17, 15, 19 and 17. That is a lot of missed games, and is not only because of injury, but form and attitude problems as well. After a horror start to 2012, he went on to average 91.7 from Round 13 onwards, without missing a game. I expect a marked improvement from him this year, especially if he can keep that form up, and priced below $400K, could be a real buy.

Travis Cloke (COLL) – $383,600

I’m going to try and not let me personal opinion of him get in the way. I jutht want him to take markth and kick goalth. Let’s try and forget last year. Try harder. The Travis Cloke saga of 2012 was one hell of a messy circus. But let’s not forget, he was a proven performer in 2011. Now that the circus of last year is behind him, it is reasonable to expect him to bounce back. One of, if not THE, best contested mark in the AFL, if he can get his mojo back, and if he and the big Dip Q-Stick can gel early, can be a great pick up at a very reasonable price, gloves or no gloves. But after he burnt many of us last year, are you willing to forgive and forget? Tough choith.

David Swallow (GC) – $380,400

Probably one of the real breakout choices under the “third year rule”. Number one draft pick, plays like his brother (more to come on that), entering his third season with a team that is (apparently) improving around him. Tackles hard, and will push the 25+ disposal per game. Not to mention his captain cops most of the attention from opposition taggers. Averaged 73.8 from an injury interrupted 2012 (only played 12 games), after immediately looking like he belonged in his (and the Suns) first year in 2011. But take out his two red-vested scores (both due to his troublesome knee), and he averaged a very respectable 81.8. Might take over as a mainstay in your DT in the years to come post Ablett/Swan/Boyd etc. This year? Maybe. I’m going out on a limb, and I think he will average 100 on the season, provided he has recovered from his knee troubles. Uber premo? Probably not. But very, very good return for a player priced at a tick over $380K.

Dan Nicholson (MEL) – $367,200

I’ve heard Nicholson bandied around for a little while now this pre-season. And for good reason when you look at his stats. In his first season (2011), he averaged 53.8 from 9 games. Last year, in his second season, he increased that average to 71.2, although only playing 11 games, which were all after Round 9. Plays a tagging/defender role, where he is often pitted against dangerous opposition small forwards. If the demons improve this year, I would expect to see him get more of the ball and providing some run and carry from the backline. He looks like a genuine candidate under the 3rd year break out rule – although is very awkwardly priced. Definitely keep an eye on him in the NAB cup.

Sam Wright (NM) – $344,900

my personal opinion is that he will have a ‘break out year’. Playing off half-back, highly skilled and tough as nails, his durability and also somewhat questionable job security are the only concern I have. Averaged a paltry 66.9 in his 20 games in 2012, however this did include a high of 129 in Round 20 against the bombers. This was an increase from his 55.1 average from 8 games in 2011. No doubt he is risky, but picks like this, if they come off, which will make you look like a genius… Just don’t think about how you will look when if it doesn’t come off. Thank god for two trades per week!

Clay Smith (WB) – $331,000

Bulldogs assistant coach Ashley Hansen likens him to a young Chris Judd – and Ashley Hansen knows a little something about Chris Judd. Kicked 4 goals in his first game before being subbed out in the third quarter with 79 points on the board – that probably gives you a fair indication of what he is worth. In his last 5 games of 2012 he averaged 85 points, with a high of 109, against the Swans – showing that he can score against the big teams as well! Huge chance to show his potential this year, and average 90+ on the season – unless the second year blues kick in!


Follow me on twitter @cruttonhutton, and use the hashtag #DTsmokies for anything and everything DT smoky related! (not to mention the #DTshiva… picking up steam!)

Crutton Hutton loves his DT but most of all he loves a Tweet. Give him a follow for plenty of #AFLFantasy banter... @cruttonhutton.



  1. Avatar


    February 13, 2013 at 8:08 am

    David Swallow and Dan Nicholson are definitely on my “keep an eye on” list. Particularly Nicholson. I think he has the potential to surprise everyone this year.

    Also, anyone wanting to jump in an South Aussie league, feel free, but better hurry… Only 5 spots left. 154922.

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      February 14, 2013 at 11:42 am

      I’d love to pick D. Swallow, and watch him have a monster year. He is definitely capable, but the past injuries are a concern… Still, 3rd year rule, he has a big body, plus the Suns should improve… and at only $380K.. Could pay huge divedends!

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    February 13, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Nice work. Looks like I’ll be on Sylvia again and D. Swallow a chance depending on whether he smashes up the NAB (thank god that starts this week).

    Don’t believe in “never again lists”, funny how the same players screw me year after year. Go Broughts.

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    February 13, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Had a good laugh reading Heath Shaw’s section :D Considering Swallow as a POD, but his Rd13 bye isn’t helping. Nicholson was a good pickup for me last year after the bye, was happy enough.

    Thanks for the article, few more things to consider!

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    February 13, 2013 at 9:46 am

    So Sam Wright is a club and Ben Cunnington is a spade (more risky)… As a huge north melbourne fan i hope everyone gets sammy over cunners.

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      February 13, 2013 at 9:59 am

      It’s a fair point you make – One thing that seperates them is the position they play. With Cunnington being a midfielder, there is obviously much more competition and points to be scored by other players. Sam Wright, as a defender, doesn’t have the same competition. It will be very interesting to see how they both go this year.

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        February 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm

        True but wrighty plays as a lock down player in big matches (which north have a lot of)so not decent dt potential. Think Goddard v kangas. Cunners has been BOG in intraclub matches and a lock for me. Definitely not a spade, that’s for sure. Cunners will be 90-95+ player guaranteed.

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    February 13, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Cheers Curtton!

    Hanley, Bellchambers, Kreuzer, Sylvia all strong considerations

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      February 14, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Yep, the more i look at Sylvia, the more interested i become. But i must admit when Higgins had a purple patch last year i considered him… Glad i passed him up!

      Hanley scares me… i can just see some huge scores again, mixed in with somme sub-60’s.

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    Steve Ford

    February 13, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Wow great read mate, gives me alot to think about. Totally understand about Cloke haha

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    February 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Great article mate. I was hoping Wallis would stay a secret. He’s shit everybody, don’t go near him. Another thing on Hanley, against his first six opponents this year, he averaged 109 on them all last year, including a 134 on the Bulldogs, 2×120 on the Demons and 119 on Sydney.

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      February 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Some good stats there! THe Mitch Wallis one is very interesting… with two trades per week, the risk is very much minimised if he doesn’t take off the way it is expected!

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    February 13, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    please do a write up on blair

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      February 14, 2013 at 11:44 am

      If Blair was going to be in 52 Pick Up – he won’t be in the Diamonds or Hearts. Very risky pick, still has green/red vest potential, and will be very hot and cold, like most crumbing/small forwards!

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        February 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm

        Ummm….Blair isn’t really a crumbing/small forward. More like a high forward flanker/inside mid. Definitely gets his minutes in the mid rotations. Krak, Fas, Dids, Elliot and Caff will spend more time close to goal than Blairy will. I’m not picking him but he’s definitely not a bad punt. Strongly doubt he’ll see many vests…Dids could become a professional super-sub this year, then there are the youngsters to blood – Josh Thomas, Williams, Dwyer, Frost, Mooney, Seedsman… just my opinion

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          February 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm

          Points noted – i however just doubt his ability to be DT relevant… might get some mid minutes, likely not enough to gurantee an 80+ average? I’m definitely not going near him, but then again – i didnt think i was going near Beams last year!

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    February 13, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Nicholson or Atley??

    Also I am in a keeper league and would love to see a write up on which players ( rookies and young guys probably not on lists yet) and how they should go over next 3ish years. Just an idea.

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      February 14, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Nicholson for me, hands down. Atley hasn’t really shown enough to me that he can be consistent enough, and average high enough to either make money off him or become a keeper, whereas i see a lot of upside with Nicholson.

      Both very much worth watching over the NAB cup.

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