Neo-Juddites unite: Most over-rated fantasy AFL players for 2009

The fantasy hype machine is louder than ever this pre-season, but some don’t deserve spruiking.

Yes, if you hadn’t worked it out already, I’m going through last February/March’s blog posts and doing updated versions of the features I trialed back then. It’s not due to a lack of ideas – honest! – but something I want to get in the habit of doing every year to develop my predictive skills. In this case, the original version of this post wasn’t quite as successful as I would have hoped, with Brad Symes being a poor target, Marc Murphy just as bad but Chris Judd and Tadhg Kennelly redeeming me somewhat. Let’s hope I have a better strike rate this year.

Tarkyn Lockyer
One huge score in the NAB Cup against West Coast seems to have locked Lockyer into the hearts of many a fantasy coach, to the point where he’s in the top 20 in popularity among Dream Team starters on FanFooty’s books. It was just one game, people! Against the Eagles! I’m looking at figures that show Lockyer as more than three times as popular as Heath Shaw, which is ridiculous. Lockyer followed up that DT score of 149 in week 1 of the NAB with scores of 77, 52 and 66, so it’s not as if he’s getting towards Chad Cornes levels of scoring. Someone explain to me why you’re all Lockyering him in.

Trent Hentschel
Okay, he’s a risk that you know about, and significant numbers of you are taking. I don’t need to tell you all about his injury concerns and his lack of match hardness. But have we really seen the Crows midfield do anything this year? In the two competitive games Hentschel saw in the NAB – against Geelong and West Coast – “Trenty” couldn’t manage a score of 50 in DT, while you can discount the 74 against Box Hill and the 58 against Sydney’s skeleton squad. With the likelihood that Hentschel is going to play forward pocket while Taylor Walker and Kurt Tippett gallop up the ground, can we rely on Hentschel to score anywhere near starting-worthy scores? I remain unconvinced. (I won’t discuss Scott Lucas, but consider all of the above going for him as well.)

Carlton Blues Training Session

Jarryd Roughead
I bet you thought I wouldn’t be potting a Hawks player in this article. Nyah! I see Matthew Lloyd has predicted that Roughie will kick a hundred goals this season. I like his attitude, but Matthew’s not the brightest spark in the AFL. I doubt whether Roughead will ever kick 75 goals again, under the new cluster-heavy game plans which will dominate the AFL for the next year or three. There was a window last year where the opposition hadn’t caught up to the rolling zone and Roughead benefited greatly from it, but in future you can expect a lot less inside 50s for the Hawks in general and – if it can be imagined, given how Lance Franklin-focused the Hawks were last season – less targets by the Hawthorn midfielders delivering to Roughead. Apart from that, there’s every chance that Roughead is going to be required to run up the ground a lot more to help out the undermanned defence, as he did in the grand final. I foresee less +12s in Roughies future, thus I think his popularity in 2009 for fantasy is inflated.

Chris Judd
Yes, Chris Judd again. He is still over-rated for fantasy. His groin problems are chronic, they’re never going to go away. He will never be the player he once was, scooting away from packs that have been knocked over for him by the Eagles’ muscle men. The Blues play a different style, more selfish and less accountable, which fails to include setting up their entire clearance game around the Magenius. He should not be bought at all in Dream Team, and he is a risk few should be taking in Super Coach. Yet many of you keep buying him year after year, hoping the old Juddy will somehow return. Wake up and smell 2009!

I’m sure you will want to argue over your favourites, especially you Juddites out there. Juddite rhymes with Luddite!

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