Waite no longer: 2010 Round 1 projections v2 (1/4)

Carlton’s Jarrad Waite is on track for round 1 recovering from an ACL injury… but is he fit enough for fantasy?

Carlton Blues Training Session

I am breaking this second edition of the team projections up into four posts, because they are taking me a looooong time to compile. I am including injury and suspension and retirement lists for each team as usual. Keep in mind that these are all projected for round 1, so that some who are currently injured are not labeled as such because I expect them to recover in time.

Richmond
FB: Chris Newman, Kelvin Moore, Will Thursfield
HB: Shane Edwards, Luke McGuane, Daniel Connors
C: Richard Tambling, Trent Cotchin, Daniel Jackson
HF: Ben Cousins, Jack Riewoldt, Dustin Martin
FF: Robin Nahas, Graham Polak, Mitch Morton
Fol: Troy Simmonds, Brett Deledio, Shane Tuck
Int: Tyrone Vickery, Matt White, Dean Polo, Mitch Farmer
In: Polak, Farmer, Connors, Thursfield
Out: Angus Graham, Jordan McMahon, Alex Rance, Nathan Foley
Iffy: Thursfield, Farmer, Tuck, White
Waiting: Foley, Jayden Post, Tom Hislop, Adam Thomson
Injured: David Astbury, Benjamin Griffiths

Martin is the most locked-in of any rookie in 2010, and will also be locked into most fantasy teams as well. I have included both Polo and Farmer here – even though they are the sort of back pocket players who would normally fight for one spot with a tall such as Post taking the other bench spot – due to the large number of small forwards that Carlton will roll out in their midget forward line. Beware, thusly, of Farmer’s job security.

Polak will most likely get a senior list spot and a start on the opening Thursday, but I expect him to be very poor for fantasy purposes. I am projecting Foley to be fit for the start of the season but to start at Coburg due to his complete lack of preseason match practice. I expect Hardwick to use Vickery instead of Graham to exploit the lack of pace and flexibility among Carlton’s ruck stocks beyond Kreuzer.

As I said on the Coaches Box this week, it does look like Connors will be the second rebounding halfback alongside Edwards with Tambling moving to the wing, but what did Edwards do last year? Bugger all. Connors is a better player than Edwards, but I would be tempering my expectations, given that it’s Richmond we’re talking about here. Connors’ production will be somewhere between that of Edwards and Bling last year, and my bet is that it’s closer to Edwards than Bling.

Carlton
FB: Bret Thornton, Michael Jamison, Aaron Joseph
HB: Jordan Russell, Paul Bower, Heath Scotland
C: Kade Simpson, Brock McLean, Andrew Carrazzo
HF: Andrew Walker, Jarrad Waite, Chris Yarran
FF: Setanta O’hAilpin, Lachie Henderson, Eddie Betts
Fol: Matthew Kreuzer, Bryce Gibbs, Richard Hadley
Int: Robert Warnock, Marc Murphy, Ryan Houlihan, Mitch Robinson
In: Waite
Out: Shaun Grigg
Iffy: Waite, Murphy, Joseph, Warnock
Waiting: Shaun Hampson, Grigg, Kane Lucas, Dennis Armfield
Injured: Brad Fisher
Suspended: Chris Judd

Waite got through his first big test of the preseason with about a half of football on the weekend, so he deserves to be put back in the round 1 projected team. The same goes for Murphy though he still may not be quite right in time. I wouldn’t be picking either of them from the start of the season, though, as you just can’t be sure that they will (a) play 22 games given their lack of preseason and (b) score enough early not to go down in value. I like Waite as a second-half pick-up due to his multi-positional eligiblity to stave off donuts, though again you may run into the problem that players usually take two years, not one, to fully regain confidence after an ACL, so his ceiling may be a little low.

I am putting in Warnock over Hampson at this stage more for politics than form, as the Blues have invested a lot of money in the ex-Docker. His place could easily be replaced by Hampson or Sam Jacobs depending on the whim of coach Ratten.

Geelong
FB: Darren Milburn, Matthew Scarlett, Andrew Mackie
HB: Corey Enright, Harry Taylor, Josh Hunt
C: James Kelly, Jimmy Bartel, Cameron Ling
HF: Shannon Byrnes, Cameron Mooney, Steve Johnson
FF: Paul Chapman, Tom Hawkins, James Podsiadly
Fol: Brad Ottens, Joel Selwood, Gary Ablett jnr
Int: Mark Blake, Travis Varcoe, David Wojcinski, Tom Lonergan
In: J. Hunt, S. Johnson, Podsiadly, Lonergan
Out: Mathew Stokes, Max Rooke, Joel Corey, Ryan Gamble
Iffy: Lonergan, T. Varcoe, Wocjinski, Podsiadly
Waiting: Nathan Djerrkura, Steven Motlop, Mitchell Duncan, Jeremy Laidler
Injured: Mitch W. Brown, Rooke, Corey, Gamble, Marcus Drum, Simon Hogan
Suspended: Stokes (club)

Just quietly, the Cats are going into the season with a rather long injury list. It has gotten to the stage where Duncan might even be a realistic chance for round 1, especially if another small forward goes down. He looked fabulous in round 1 of the NAB, though he would be a longshot to keep his place in the side for any length of time, barring cascading disasters elsewhere on the list.

The Geelong hierarchy have been talking about a three-tall structure up forward all preseason, and they might be forced into using it from the get-go with the lack of Rooke and Gamble. That is where Podsiadly comes in, as the obvious elevation for Brown’s LTI.

Essendon
FB: Henry Slattery, Tayte Pears, Dustin Fletcher
HB: Andrew Welsh, Cale Hooker, Courtenay Dempsey
C: Ricky Dyson, Brent Stanton, Brent Prismall
HF: Alwyn Davey, Scott Gumbleton, Kyle Reimers
FF: Mark Williams, David Hille, Angus Monfries
Fol: Patrick Ryder, Jobe Watson, Jason Winderlich
Int: Jason Laycock, Heath Hocking, Bachar Houli, Sam Lonergan
In: Hille, Hooker, Houli
Out: Jay Neagle, Michael Hurley, David Myers
Iffy: Dyson, Houli, Hocking, Lonergan
Waiting: David Zaharakis, Jarrod Atkinson, Darcy Daniher, Kyle Hardingham
Injured: Leroy Jetta, Myers
Suspended: Nathan Lovett-Murray, Mark McVeigh, Hurley (club)

Some of the same old Bombers have the same old problems. Myers with yet another hammy on the weekend. Neagle just not fit. Gumbleton held together with fishing wire. Dempsey looking flashy but then going missing. This team is missing a lot of what you would call best 22 players through injury or suspension, but since when has Essendon ever been able to put its best 22 on the park all at once? Not under Matthew Knights’ watch, sadly. List cloggers like Dyson and Henry Slattery will continue to get games until Knights finds a magic potion… something to stop the rot.

On the bright side, it does look like Hille will be ready to play in round 1, though I suspect through lack of fitness he’s not going to be able to do anything in the ruck and thus will be completely pantsed by Scarlett as a stay-at-home full forward.

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