It’s no secret why the Saints couldn’t compete at the pointy end of the season: the bottom third of their best 22 is poor compared to most other top 8 teams. Their top-up players mostly haven’t worked out, or more to the point they won’t last until the Saints have another serious shot at the flag. This all means that we’ll probably see a bit more of a youth policy in 09, which means more TOG for David Armitage (55/11), Robert Eddy (58/10), Jarryn Geary (43/10) and maybe Matthew Ferguson (38/2). The last of those is the only one that interests me, if he gets some fitness (and survives the list cull).
I know a lot of knowledgeable coaches take particular interest in end-of-season form, so the fact that Raphael Clarke (63/8) had two top fantasy performances in the last two finals will pique their curiosity, I’m sure. He’s the sort of player who can turn into a Brennan-type huge bust, just like his brother was after a DT ton to kick off 2007. Personally I’m staying away, no matter how good he looks in the NAB.
I could see the Saints having the cattle to turn into another Richmond Lite, becoming another fantasy powerhouse against the cluster with a lot of lazy mids and defenders playing kick-to-kick while trying in vain to find a way through the checker board. Somehow I think Lyon is a little better coach than that, though, as evidenced by the Milne/NDS benchings. They overperformed this year and there’s only disappointment in their future, both in fantasy and real terms.