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Deck of Dream Team

Sam Docherty – Deck of Dream Team 2023

Can you spend up for the top-priced defender? Holmesy has his say.

Player Sam Docherty
Club Carlton
Position DEF
Price $977,000
Bye 15
2022 avg 110.2
2022 gms 22
Proj. avg 105-110
Draft range First defender off the board

Click here for 2023 Fantasy Classic prices.

Why should I pick him?

If there is one thing we know about Sam Docherty, it is that he is an absolute fantasy star. Since breaking in his fourth season Doch has always put up top 6 defender numbers, with averages of 101 and a massive 117, before missing back to back seasons with a number of documented issues. He would then slowly build back, putting up averages of 88(adjusted), 98, and last years average of 110 which comfortably sat him as the highest averaging defender.

Coming into last season, it was documented that Doch was dealing with his cancer treatment. You will often hear coaches talk about the value of having a full uninterrupted pre season, ensuring that players can start the season off with a bang due to having a high fitness base and plenty of work with the main training group. More often than not, when a player misses large parts of the pre season, it takes them a fair chunk of the season to catch up and begin to play their best footy. Last year, Doch essentially missed the entire pre season. Off the back of one practise game in the reserves, Doch sensationally got up for round 1 when no-one expected him to. He began slow for his lofty standards, averaging 102 for the first 5 rounds of the season. This is crazy considering even the slow start has him comfortably inside the top 3 defenders. After the bye Doch would average 114, being the clear number 1 defender in the game. If he can replicate this form, which isn’t a one off as we have seen him average 117 before, that 110 price tag could potentially be unders and he could see himself being the best defender in the game by 10+ points. From this position if you don’t start him, how do you get him?

This last point may be a stretch, but with Carlton’s midfield injury woes last year, Doch was put into the midfield in the last 2 rounds. In rounds 22 and 23, Doch had 75% and 88% CBA’s respectively, putting up monster scores of 123 and 137. It is documented that Sam Walsh will be missing the beginning of the season. He didn’t just score well, he played some very good football in that midfield. Just have this information in the back of your mind and if we see some midfield time in the pre season, it could be an indication of a potential role change. Big if I know, but worth noting.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

The only reason you don’t start Doch is that you back in a slow start like last season that helps drop his price and he can be one of your first upgrade targets. With the way the AFL Fantasy pricing mechanism works, the beginning rounds see the largest shift in prices due to so many rookies outperforming their starting prices. For Doch to maintain his price point, he will actually have to outperform his average by 3+ points, which is no easy feat for someone priced at 110. You are basically taking a gamble that you will be able to pick him up at some point at a cheaper price, which at the end of the day is one of the main objectives inside this trade based game. Whether you start him or not, Doch is someone you will want to have in your final team and you will want him sooner rather than later.

Deck of DT Rating.


Sam Docherty is a gun, plain and simple. It is always tough to start players at such a high price tag, but all the information and research we have currently suggests that starting Doch has to be a serious consideration for your starting squads. At the end of the day, it will come down to your structure and whether you can fit him in without having to butcher your team too much elsewhere. I am currently right on the edge of whether or not I start Doch, but whether I do or not, he will be someone I am targeting to get into my team as early in the season as possible!

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  1. Euman

    January 25, 2023 at 7:35 am

    Currently D1 after struggling last year to get him into my side due to so many other crisis in my team

  2. Daicos4Brownlow

    January 25, 2023 at 7:46 am

    Thank you, Holmesy. A very balanced realistic preview. Genuine Ace, but Doc is too expensive for me to start. However, you just know what he is going to do, so he must come in as soon as practicable.

  3. Dan

    January 25, 2023 at 8:44 am

    A lock for me I think. Been training with the midfield group, can see 110-115 this year. 10 points clear of the 2nd best defender. Will
    Be tough to bring in early if he jumps out of the gate

  4. The Chosen Won™®©

    January 25, 2023 at 9:20 am

    Set and forget!

    Good Luck 2023

  5. NC

    January 25, 2023 at 10:04 am

    Ok this is the way I see it.
    1. Whether or not he drops in value is irrelevant as you are looking at him as a guaranteed keeper, and as an added bonus VC /Cap material.
    2. As he’s a set and forget, there is no stressing about having to chase him later at a price you think he’s accessible.
    3. In relation to point 2, as we all know other injuries occur always, and at times that don’t suit IE when you’re chasing your targeted premo that has dropped in price, suddenly you’ve got bigger issues on your hands.
    Why give yourself the headache. I’m not. Locked.

    • Scott

      January 27, 2023 at 3:41 pm

      Whether he drops in price or not IS relevant though. If you pay 980k for him and he starts slow, others will be able to pick him up for below 900k, and use the money they saved by not starting him on having a more balanced starting side.

      • Squid

        January 27, 2023 at 8:09 pm

        It’s only really relevant early and If is the operative word, he may also start with a bang and never looks back or your ruck goes down the week he bottoms out when you planned to pick him up and you miss out.

  6. Squid

    January 25, 2023 at 10:06 am

    Lock and load, can’t afford not to have a bloke almost certainly 10+ points better than next best in his position.

  7. Oskar

    January 25, 2023 at 10:24 am

    When you see what he did last season after not just an interrupted preseason but one battling cancer, how could you not start him after a full preseason? One of the easiest locks for the year so far

  8. D Nutz

    January 25, 2023 at 11:18 am

    The question I’m left with is would you prefer S Docherty or J Dunkley.

  9. Squid

    January 25, 2023 at 11:28 am

    Why not have both?

    I think those 2 are the easiest premo picks in fantasy this year closely followed by Taranto and English, after that things become more difficult.

    Blokes who are likely to outscore the next best in their position by 10+ points a game pretty much pick themselves.

  10. a.jay

    January 25, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    didn’t have Doc in my original team, went mostly fallen premiums to bounce back, but realised the error of my ways, shuffled some things and got Doc in..

  11. Double Parked

    January 25, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    A lot to like about Doch but I reckon I prefer to spend up on the value premiums in the midfield and forward lines this year.

    Haven’t looked through the stats closely enough, but from memory he has always started a little slowly before going gangbusters

    • Dulcify

      January 25, 2023 at 4:16 pm

      Tend to agree DP, the only way I can fit Doch is to take out Touk or Oliver and I don’t want to do that at this stage. If Doch goes gang busters so be it.

      • MiseryBestowed

        January 25, 2023 at 7:19 pm

        I’ve got Doch, Oliver, Touk as well as Brayshaw and Kelly.
        I regretted not starting with Doch last year.. Not making the same mistake again.

  12. Roger

    January 25, 2023 at 10:36 pm

    Definitely starting Doc as unfortunately couldn’t get him into my side last year due to the carnage everywhere else lol

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