Time to reveal my DT squad of 30… if you see your players here then fear, because my team is cursed!
There were a couple of theories I was working with this preseason, only some of which I had revealed here on the blog. The first was the all-premium back theory, which I held to for the most part, only breaking down on the subject of Raines. The other was what I would call the quarterback theory. This is that with the cluster and zones in general in operation in the AFL this year – albeit that zonal positioning hasn’t appeared all that much in the two games so far – would lead to a big increase in scores for the so-called “quarterback” position: Hodge at Hawthorn, Bowden/Newman at Richmond, Chad Cornes at Port, those sort of players. My feeling is that there are going to be a lot more games this year where half-back lines play kick to kick with each other in a big circle outside the midfield flood, which makes me think that there will be a siphoning of points away from the midfield and towards half backs. As I said, signs are not good from the first two games with the scores of Hodge, Newman and Bowden in particular, but that was what I was thinking.
So, onto the team!
Luke Hodge: This is a risk, given his lack of a preseason. I saw him in the flesh in that last preseason game and was impressed with the way his game style just attracted the ball to him like a magnet. He may start slowly but he’s a keeper, so it doesn’t matter to me that his price may dip at the start because he’ll be in the top 7 fantasy backs at the end.
Joel Bowden: This was a late change when I got spooked by the shenanigans surrounding Brendon Goddard‘s fitness. Mock me if you may. He also will have his up and down weeks but has as much of a shot as anyone to be in the top 7 backs.
Peter Burgoyne: Another big oscillator in his fantasy scores, but I’m betting he’ll have more of those 130 days and less of the 60s and 70s as his midfield rotations increase. Port will win more games this year and he’ll get more of the ball.
Chris Newman: I said very early this preseason that I wanted maximum exposure to the Tigers back line, so that is why I went with Newman. Bowden will spend time swinging his way forward and back, but Newman will stay back, so he’s the dependable scorer.
Chad Cornes: Do I need to explain this one?
Jed Adcock: I also needed at least one of the Lions half backs, who also look like they’re going to chop this year based on points from the NAB series. Josh Drummond is too injury-prone, and Adcock is underpriced so this was an easy decision.
Andrew Raines: We all saw his preseason. This was the right move. The fact that he got injured is not a huge disaster for me, precisely because I had him as my 7th back. My structure means that I haven’t already bought Jarryn Geary, Josh Head or Scott Clouston at around the same price, so a single sideways trade is still very much on the cards without having to dynamite my team.
Jimmy Bartel (c): In retrospect I probably should have gone with Gary Ablett jnr because his preseason was just ridiculous. Sometimes the pick that all the nuffies are making is still the right pick. Not displeased with this though.
Bryce Gibbs: Another popular pick that so far is being justified. Gibbs’ soft role on Cousins is exactly the way his owners would have hoped he would develop.
Brent Reilly: I liked Reilly from very early on and his NAB numbers gave me no pause. To make this pick look good he has to start like a train, with no Scott Thompson in the Crows side and several other midfielders underdone.
Travis Tuck: Hawk fans love to complain about him but I have always loved the fact that he’s at the bottom of packs getting the hard footy. Clarkson loves that sort of play and Tuck proved his worth tonight with a 31-touch performance with just two clangers (in a game where Hodge and Bartel had 6 and Joel Selwood had 8).
Paul Hasleby: Standard stuff, he’s a lock.
Daniel Rich: I’ve been sold on him all preseason. Forkie has been anchored to my #6 DT mid spot from the start.
Dean Cox (vc): You don’t ruck with your cheekbone.
David Hille: I had Brad Ottens here for a long time, then at one point found enough money to upgrade to Hille and never looked at the starting rucks again. That decision is going to come down to injury luck, and I’m happy despite Ottens’ monster R1 score to have chosen the younger man.
Daniel Currie: This is probably the wrong pick, but I just didn’t like any of the other basement draftee rucks. Hopefully I won’t have to worry about this.
Jake Spencer: More of a chance to get an extended run than Sam Jacobs, I think, though I may be proved wrong.
Matthew Pavlich: Has trimmed down to look more like a midfielder. My concern with him historically has been his proneness to injuries like the hot spots he developed late last year due to the excess muscle on his frame, but this isn’t a problem any more. Freo will need his help all over the ground this year, more than last, so he’s probably the best candidate to be Richo Mk II.
Lance Franklin: I loved his game in the praccy, and despite him spending the vast majority of Friday night in his traditional role inside forward 50, I think in other games he’ll be freed up more to roam the wings. Still has tremendous upside.
Ryan Houlihan: Another rising Blue boat. With discounts so rare this season it’s prudent to make use of them. I expect he’s going to turn into a garbage time gem, and Carlton look to have a fair few more games this season where they’ll be winning comfortably late on.
Shaun Higgins: No-brainer.
Hayden Skipworth: If he survives what now seems like an inevitable wave of Essendon injuries, he’ll be locked into that Bomber midfield and get plenty of cheap ball.
Nathan Krakouer: I’m not hugely confident about this one, but his numbers are too tasty to ignore. His spot may be in jeopardy if Marlon Motlop burns up the SANFL, and I’m still not sure of this mooted role replacing Peter Burgoyne. I’ll be as keen as anyone to see if the fantasy hype is justified on Sunday.
Mitchell Brown: His naming in the forward pocket is a bad sign. The dropping of Ben McKinley for him is a great sign. If he can have the sort of season McKinley had last year, he’ll be startable. With Adam Hunter still ess-tee-ruggling with injury, Brown could very well be used as John Worsfold’s swingman. I bought him expecting him to get halfback ball as a CHB who could run outside. His NAB numbers suggested this role. Exactly what sort of role he plays is still uncertain, but I’ll be watching with interest.
Taylor Walker (e): I finally came around on TW because I couldn’t find anyone else I really liked. Hopefully Brown’s scores will keep him benched.
Wade Thompson: I would have changed this after teams were announced if it had been possible, though I’m not unhappy. Choco loves him.
That’s a structure of 5/2/1/1 – 2/3/1/2 – 2/0/0/2 – 2/4/0/3 = 11/9/2/8. You can check out my team’s live scores by using this link – my team ID is 22633, as you can see, if you want to use me as your head to head opponent for the Exteam feature of FanFooty. So, that’s my squad: snipe away!