FanFooty

Dreaded lock: Consensus Dream Team rucks

West Coast’s Nic Naitanui embodies the essence of the nuffie choice, in this blog’s humble opinion.

West Coast Eagles Training Session

This continues the consensus series started with the backs and midfielders. The early controversy about vanilla-ising the fantasy flavours seems to have died down after the first post, so let’s rip into it directly.

#1 ruck: Aaron Sandilands, the best (fully fit) ruckman in the game
Or at least you lot seem to think so. In truth, 211 (so named for his height in centimetres) is not all that far in front of Mitch Clark for this slot, with Hamish McIntosh further back and Patrick Ryder verging on unique status. Seemingly forgotten in the conversation entirely, however, is Big Dean Cox. Despite the fact that Cox is only about one year older than Sandilands, the fantasy world seems to have put a fat red line through Cox’s name as a factor. I think this is a huge mistake. What did Cox do last year? Only increased his already stupendous average by another point after boosting it six points the year before. Now yes, he did get injured and miss half the year. Yes, there are rumours that he’s not had the best of preseasons, and though he played two NAB games he looked slower and less fit. But this is the four-time All-Australian ruckman we’re talking about. What’s more, Cox usually saves his best work for the first half of the season, so the word on him in the past is that if you want to get him, you have to buy him from the start. I would not be at all surprised if Cox’s average still outdid Sandilands’ by the end of the season.

#2 ruck: Nic Naitanui, the ultimate X-factor
Let’s get this straight. At his price, you’re recruiting NicNat to be a keeper, aren’t you? Buying him as an improver is crazy talk. Who are you going to upgrade him to, Cox himself? I just can’t come at the idea of buying a ruckman who is second fiddle in his own team. I can’t remember any second ruck delivering premium fantasy scores since the days of Paul Salmon. NicNat is no Paul Salmon. (Not yet, anyway.) In the absence of an obviously underpriced premium like Troy Simmonds in 2008, I can’t see any justification from deviating from the double premium ruck structure. You don’t want to burn trades on your rucks if you can possibly help it. Naitanui is not a lock to play 22 games at premium scoring levels like Simmonds was that year. NicNat will go missing in games, as all young players do. He wil suffer for TOG in others. He will get beaten in the ruck by experienced opponents, hurt the team with clumsy frees against, and be sat on the bench by coach Worsfold as Cox tries to win the game. Sure, NicNat will win some games as well, but that’s not good enough to be a fantasy keeper. If you’re not willing to take a punt on Brendan Fevola as a premium forward, you should not stick your neck out for Naitanui for several of the same reasons. If you’re looking for value in the #2 ruck position, I’d be willing to go no further down the list than Dean Brogan. The likes of Mark Seaby, Brad Ottens and Ben McEvoy, all of whom have minor popularity at the moment, won’t reach premium heights either.

#3 ruck: Robert Warnock, the last man standing
#4 ruck: Matthew Lobbe, the cipher
With injuries to some candidates (Wayde Skipper, Jamie Charman) and exposure of a lack of readiness and/or class in others (Jordan Roughead, Rhys Stanley), I think it’s safe to lock in Warnock at #3. As for #4, I would be happy having Lobbe at #4 even if he ends up never playing a game, because as far as I’m concerned he’s only going to be useful as a multipositional mechanism for swapping in Kurt Tippett or Drew Petrie later in the season once the forward rookies are upgraded.

The final post in this series will deal with the forwards.

17 Comments

  1. grum88

    March 22, 2010 at 2:11 am

    I think your pretty spot on with most points but dont underestimate the 2nd chance hero I reckon 1 in particular is going to soar!

  2. Col276

    March 22, 2010 at 2:54 am

    What about Sandilands & Hille combined?

  3. m0nty

    March 22, 2010 at 2:56 am

    I didn’t even get to Hille. That was enough bile for one article.

  4. Pingback: Chance frankly: Consensus Dream Team forwards

  5. woofta

    March 22, 2010 at 4:13 am

    West Coast have chopped Seaby,obviously don’t want to ruck Lynch anymore,and have promoted young Sullivan as ‘insurance’.The dreadlock boy is a lock for me.

  6. scottydude

    March 22, 2010 at 4:20 am

    Im not getting the hate for Hille Monty, its clear he is going to play round one and even if he does play forward he will be the number one target. Oh and kreuzer is a gun and will be number one for the blues surely he is a better pick that nic nat

  7. m0nty

    March 22, 2010 at 4:29 am

    I agree on Kreuzer being a good pick, scottydude. But if you like Kreuzer you also have to acknowledge that all but the most special of ruckmen make for poor key forwards. Not even Kroooze is ready for KP duties at the moment, and Hille is not going to deliver premium scores from full forward.

  8. scottydude

    March 22, 2010 at 4:42 am

    Yeh, im hoping krez wont play much time up forward and i dont think he will, he is like an extra midfielder at times and his skills have improved. I dont follow essendon but is ryder a better tap ruckman than Hille? Hille was good and could find the ball. I just cant see the sense in picking NicNat thats my main point will go missing toooo much!, ne way monty its 4am go to bed

  9. m0nty

    March 22, 2010 at 4:44 am

    Ryder has mad hops. MAD.

  10. dan667766

    March 22, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Monty, do you think that Lobbe will edge out Trengrove surely age would be the only factor??

  11. Arky

    March 22, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I’m currently going Clark and Sandi, but I have to admit, every time I look at my team and want some money to put elsewhere, David Hille is caaaaaaaaalling me. Staying strong, though.

    Re Cox: I think injury is the main worry (on the whole, the crowd is being very risk averse on premiums with perceived reliability issues… Chappy, Didak, Steve Johnson, Cox etc… no such issues with injury/brainfade-prone mid-pricers though!), but there’s also the TOG factor. Yeah, I know, Seaby didn’t cut into Cox’s scores, but Seaby was a hack and they’re more likely to rest Cox on the bench now than rest him forward or as a loose man back as often happened while Seaby was in the ruck.

  12. m0nty

    March 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Trengove doesn’t look like he could play ruck to me. Lobbe will play early but he could end up being just like Meesen and Jacobs who let everyone down last year, which is why all I’m counting on him for is MPP support.

  13. ben-1985

    March 22, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    m0nty, this is the exact structure in my DT side. The only reason i have picked Lobbe for is I have Tippet in my FWD line, so if i have an injury to sandi or nic nat does not play game time, i can have cover

  14. koray

    March 22, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Monty i have upgraded Seaby to Cox at the expense of Buddy to Rockliff.

    I figured i could upgrade to Buddy easier than the Cox upgrade.

    My dream team just did not look right without Big Cox.

  15. Grumpasboy

    March 22, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Wouldn’t rule out Hille at all – trying not to be biased here as an Essendon person. At his curent price and fingers crossed with injury (doesn’t that apply to all player) can see quite some upside. I dont think yhat he will spend all his time up forward – Ryder certainly isnt going to ruck all day and the other options behind these two at Essendon aren’t worth mentioning. Although against Richmond and a NAB challenge game Hille moved really well and picked up numerous possessions – probably BOG. Sandi and Hille for me – Warnock and Lobbe on the bench

  16. duffman580

    March 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    would you definitely only put tippett in the forward line for his dual position eligability? i like him as my 2nd ruck as the only other semi premium or premium ruck i really like is sandilands or maybe H-MAC and hes only 315,000. monty?

  17. matterooni

    March 24, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    I dunno Monty. If Nic Nat’s a bad player a lot of people are wrong eg. Sportsbet has him at $41 to win the Brownlow – that’s the same price as Jimmy Bartel!

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