Man On Man: Gibbs vs Selwood, McIntosh vs Ottens, Deledio vs Pavlich

Due to popular demand, version two of Man On Man is here. In this post I will look at another three pairs of players, all of whom are competing for a spot in many of your fantasy sides this season. 

Hamish McIntosh (NM) DT $296,000 SC $335,300 v
Brad Ottens (Geel) DT $329,000  SC $395,100

Both are the number one ruckmen at their clubs and on the cheaper side of the big guns this season, with many fantasy coaches, particularly in Super Coach having one of them. If it comes down to one, which one will you pick?

Ottens looks a fantastic Super Coach prospect, but there may be others cheaper with the likelihood of scoring more in Dream Team this year. As it has done in the past, Geelong has played Ottens out of the square for periods

of games, leaving Mark Blake to take the ruck duties. As Ottens grows another year older, will he continue to play up forward more and how will this affect his scores? He missed the first nine games last season through injury, and there will always be a question mark hanging over his head over whether or not he will be able to stay on the park.

Slightly cheaper than Ottens, McIntosh also had injury problems in ’08, missing from rounds 13-20. He will take the brunt of North Melbourne’s ruck duties this year, and he has shown in the past the way he can move around the ground with ease and pick up easy touches. Another pre-season will not hurt his chances either.

Verdict: Probably McIntosh. Both players are evenly matched but McIntosh is the cheaper option. Buy McIntosh and splash the extra cash into upgrading an average player into a gun. Buy Ottens and you could be wasting unnecessary trades early. Neither should be your premier ruckman, look for Dean Cox, David Hille, Aaron Sandilands or Drew Petrie to step up in that department.

Joel Selwood (Geel) DT $404,000  SC $529,400 v
Bryce Gibbs (Carl) DT $387,300  SC $500,400

Selwood and Gibbs are two of the most promising players the game currently has to offer. Both belong to very strong midfields, probably the two strongest in the comp. Both have showed they will provide value for money this season.

With 33 touches to add to two goals in Saturday’s NAB Cup Grand-Final, Selwood looked very hot. He amassed 119 Dream Team points, plus a whopping 191 in Supercoach, one of the biggest of the 2009 NAB Cup. He is gutsy, wins his own ball and gets plenty of the footy, making him a great fantasy option.

Geelong has the likes of Ablett, Bartel, Corey, Enright and Ling rotating through its midfield, so this may deflate the amount of time Selwood gets on ball. His kick-to-handball ratio isn’t great either, last year amassing 324 handballs to 283 kicks.

The first three players mentioned above usually cop the heavy tag, which leaves the likes of Selwood and Enright to run free and collect easy touches. Selwood has proven he can preform on the big stage, with 90+ Dream Team scores against the Western Bulldogs, St Kilda, Hawthorn and Adelaide - the top four teams behind Geelong on last year’s AFL ladder. He played all but one game last year, proving his young body is up to the task of a full season.

As a top draft pick back in 2006, Gibbs showed glimpses of his best in season 2008 in which he played 21 games. If he can continue to rise at the same speed as he did last year, everyone get on board. He probably won’t cop the tag in just his third AFL season, especially not ahead of the likes of Judd, Stevens and Murphy, and hopefully for his fantasy coaches he will be left free to roam the ground at ease. He is a fantastic user of the ball, and with one more pre-season under his belt he is sure to blossom.

Worth more than his captain in Dream Team, Gibbs may be a little overpriced, but yet again word of mouth is many fantasy coaches have him locked in.

Verdict: Line-ball for mine. Both look set for standout seasons and cannot be split at the moment. They both ooze class and are very mature for their age.  Personally in Super Coach there are better options for around the same price like Kane Cornes, but others may prove me wrong!

 Brett Deledio (Rich) DT $433,000 SC $550,400 v
Matthew Pavlich (Freo) DT $440,000  SC $593,000

Both players took out their respective clubs best and fairest in season ’08. Both are in the top tier of forwards, with Pavlich being a big man and Deledio a strong marking half-forward/on-baller.

Last season was Brett Deledio’s breakthrough year as he proved his worth as the number one draft pick from the 2004 draft, finishing seventh overall in Dream Team scoring. He racked up twelve scores of 95+ in Dream Team. Deledio may play more on ball this season but will also continue to kick goals and play up front, especially with the signing of Cousins. He might be a tad dear at the moment, but if he can start the year the same way he finished off last season he will prove to be worth every cent.

Whether you like it or not, Pavlich is Fremantle. If he is down you can pretty much throw away their chances of winning. When he is on song, they do well, not meaning they are necessarily going to win. We are talking about Fremantle.

The six-time All-Australian has provided fantasy coaches continual high scores, year in year out, for the past six seasons. In four years of Super Coach, Pavlich’s lowest season average has been 108 and he shows absolutely no signs of going below that this season.

The only problem for Pavlich is his team. Fremantle promised so much and provided very little, particularly in the last two seasons. He will always be the target up front, and will continue to cop a heavy tag every week. The service out of the middle isn’t always top shelf either with, let’s face it, their top on-baller in Palmer not having the best efficiency. Haselby returns, so this may provide the Dockers with better disposal out of the middle.
 
Verdict: Pavlich all the way. Deledio is a star but Pavlich is a gun. He is easily the best player at Fremantle, possibly the best big man in the fantasy game. He can swing a match off his own boot and can take a strong contested grab. Consider for captain material.

What are your thoughts? Who would you pick or who do you have? Which of these players are going to turn it on in ’09 and who isn’t? Feel free to post in the comments.

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