Early 2009 fantasy preview: Western Bulldogs

This has to be the most disappointing team of 2008 for me. Flying at 15 and 1 or something ridiculous when they played the Cats, then copped one bad quarter in that game and didn’t give a yelp for the rest of the season. Serious issues in their leadership group, I think. All that crap with rebuking Aker for being Aker, that didn’t sit right with me. It was amazing how they all dropped their heads after that one quarter and gave up on the season, just about.

Obviously they need tall forwards, which is why the hype around Jarrad Grant (0/0) is going to be huge (or at least huge in the context of the Dogs), especially if he has a good game or two in the NAB. Assuming the Dogs don’t go crazy at trading time and get another Welsh type, Grant is the Great White Hope for that team. I’d need to see some pretty good things out of him to believe he’d live up to the expectations though.

Elsewhere, it’s becoming a little bit of a problem how easy it is to sit on Lindsay Gilbee (77/21). Like the Saints with NDS, teams are learning that you can ignore a lot of other players and concentrate the tagging efforts on Gilbee and shut down a lot of the Dogs’ rebounding. Contrast that with Birchall, who did get some tags in the middle of this year but that fell away as Hodge attracted a lot more attention. The Dogs really need Andrejs Everitt (49/9) and Tom Williams (47/6) to get fit and strong to take the load off Gilbee and free up Ryan Hargrave (72/22) next year. I like Everitt more from a fantasy perspective but probably not enough to buy him due to his ceiling not being of Mattner/Symes proportions.

I am going to be fascinated to see what the fantasy coach consensus on Daniel Cross (96/22) is next year. Does that last two-month stretch scare everyone away? Does the fact that Cross only scored 7 tons mean he’s no longer captaincy material? Thoughts, please. 🙂

Also, as I said in the Geelong entry, I think Brad Johnson (87/22) is no longer reliable as a fantasy premium. Yes, he was injured for most of the year yet played every game, but that’s what happens when you’re 47 years old. Give me Stevie J every time.

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