With the deadline gone for elevating rookies under the veterans rule, time to look for fantasy buys.
Those of you who were on the ball with the rookie rules would have loaded this post up a few times, as I did, to remind yourself about which teams had spots open for rookie elevations under the rule allowing clubs to elevate up to two rookies if they had zero veterans outside their list (VOL) – a rule ensuring that clubs were allowed a list of 40 players from which to select senior teams. (Note that I made a mistake with the previous post – I thought you qualified to elevate one rookie if you had only one veteran outside your list, but it turns out you need zero veterans to promote any.) The deadline for nominating rookies under this rule has now passed, with all eligible spots filled. In addition, some teams have already moved players to the long term injury (LTI) list, meaning that a rookie can be nominated at any time within the minimum 8 week period that the LTI player is ineligible to be selected for any team.
Adelaide: 2 VOL, 0 LTI.
Brisbane: 2 VOL, 0 LTI.
Carlton: 0 VOL, 1 LTI (Robert Warnock). Elevated Sam Jacobs and Aaron Joseph. 1 spot open until at least R7.
Collingwood: 2 VOL, 0 LTI.
Essendon: 2 VOL, 0 LTI. Could put Andrew Welsh on LTI.
Fremantle: 2 VOL, 0 LTI. Elevated Greg Broughton and Matt DeBoer.
Geelong: 2 VOL, 0 LTI. Could put Matthew Egan, Josh Hunt and Tom Harley on LTI.
Hawthorn: 2 VOL, 0 LTI. Elevated Cameron Stokes and Matt Suckling.
Melbourne: 2 VOL, 1 LTI (Mark Jamar). Elevated Jake Spencer until at least R7.
North Melbourne: 2 VOL, 0 LTI.
Port Adelaide: 2 VOL, 1 LTI (Jackson Trengove). 1 spot open until at least R4.
Richmond: 2 VOL, 1 LTI (Kayne Pettifer). Could put Graham Polak on LTI. 1 spot open until at least R3.
St Kilda: 1 VOL, 0 LTI. Could put Jarryd Allen on LTI.
Sydney: 2 VOL, 1 LTI (Leo Barry). Could put Patrick Veszpremi on LTI. 1 spot open until at least R5.
West Coast: 2 VOL, 1 LTI (Beau Waters). 1 spot open (Waters’ LTI is season-ending).
Western Bulldogs: 1 VOL, 0 LTI.
So we have a number of spots left open: Carlton, Port, Richmond, Sydney and West Coast. It has been strongly foreshadowed in the media already that St Kilda are going to elevate Zac Dawson to play at full back in round 1, and it’s almost a lay down misere at this point that Wade Thompson will fill the Power slot. Sydney is still toying with Mike Pyke instead of Jesse White as #2 ruck, while there’s still an outside chance of Robin Nahas nicking a forward spot for the first three rounds. West Coast are probably choosing between Ryan Davis and Adam Cockie, but they seem relaxed about it, while Carlton will likely leave their third rookie spot open unless they cop some injuries that could be replaced by a Darren Pfeiffer or Greg Bentley.
Of the already elevated rookies, it looks to me like Stokes will get a game for the Hawks, at least for the first round or two, while Spencer has the inside running to support Paul Johnson in the Melbourne ruck division instead of John Meesen. At Carlton, Jacobs is probably not fantasy-relevant even if he does play, while Joseph has a fair few players in front of him. Broughton, DeBoer and Suckling are iffier prospects, with Broughton probably the only serious candidate at this stage I think. Both DeBoer (foot soreness) and Suckling (hamstring strain) picked up knocks in the NAB, and so may very well be held back for a while, though Broughton is one of those mature age players who could jump ahead of some very ordinary list cloggers at the Dockers for a round 1 berth.
It’s always tempting to save that extra ten grand or so and buy rookies instead of regular draftees, especially for your #4 ruck. It would be a brave fantasy coach who gambled their #9 back spot on a Broughton or Dawson. What’s your strategy on dealing with rookies this year, especially with a view to the extra elevation spot available to all clubs after round 10? Tell me in the comments.