Reality bites: Demons v Cats wrap

Melbourne got a dose of reality against the Cats, though they will still be great for fantasy in 2014.

No, Melbourne is not going to make the finals this year. Paul Roos is not that good. Yes, Melbourne players are going to earn a lot of fantasy cash and be deservedly popular this year. The Roos gamestyle, as applied to Melbourne, is lucrative as they overpossess out of the backline. Only four Demon players had less than four marks on the stat sheet. It will most likely be better for DT/AF than SC, as there will be horrible clangers aplenty as there were in this game when the Cats wanted to apply the frontal pressure screws. Weight of possessions will make a huge difference for fantasy nonetheless, even if the Demons still lose most of their games.

This means Viv Michie (73/89) and Dom Tyson (114/122) are locks. Colin Garland (DNP) will not be ready for round 1 so Alexis Georgiou (55/71) will be elevated from the rookie list to cover, so as mentioned in the previous Dee wrap he is a solid fantasy back bench option. Dom Barry (21/12) will not make the cut for the opening game against the Saints. These are not controversial statements, you should know all of this already.

Elsewhere in the Melbourne 22, there are question marks. Jesse Hogan (65/67 and a goal) looked decent in this game but I wonder if he will be used in the magoos once Mitchell Clark (DNP) and Chris Dawes (DNP) return from injury, which should be fairly early in the season. Price premiums in all three salary cap comps mean his spot in fantasy forward lines should be under pressure from lower-priced alternatives.

If the Dees are going to be mucking about with the footy across halfback, you would have to think the numbers of Jack Grimes (68/62), Jack Watts (80/50), Dean Terlich (78/97) and Mitch Clisby (93/73) are going to be affected. Grimes looks to be shifting from midfield to defence again, while Watts will sweep from wing to defensive hotspot. All of them have upside of 15-20 points which would make them decent stepping stones at worst, but it’s tough to work out which of them, if any, will actually fulfill that promise. Can any of them make the transition to become keepers touching the 90+ range? In this game it was actually Lynden Dunn (104/110) who topscored and he might be the bolter – though this might be a case of opposition coaches wanting the ball in his hands (plus perhaps Georgiou) more than the Demon hierarchy.

If there is anyone in the Melbourne side who is used to helping out by getting cheap kicks across halfback it is Daniel Cross (126/104), who participated fully in the Bulldog kick-to-kick fantasy party times in their prime. 10 marks and three tackles says Cross is playing more outside at the Demons, though a K:HB ratio of 12:20 suggests he’s not a designated kicker. Priced at just under 90, however, he is not going to push his numbers far enough beyond that to make him worth the investment, I suspect. Maybe a free hit in AFL Fantasy in the forthcoming win against the hapless St Kilda, but beyond that no.

As for Geelong, there were two points of interest. Hamish McIntosh (28/40) put paid to any notion of him being fantasy relevant this year with a performance worthy of a colt five minutes after birth. His low TOG and the (precautionary) ice on his knee after being mothballed in Q3 tells you all you need to know about his lack of match readiness. Look elsewhere.

Also, the hammy pull of Joel Selwood (8/10) allowed Josh Caddy (121/94) to put in another audition to earn a full-time spot inside the Cat inside midfield engine room. Priced in the early 60s, if Selwood doesn’t play in round 1 then he’s a valid pick. The A rotation at Geelong is still Selwood, James Kelly (59/55) and Steve Johnson (94/110) so I would temper expectations when they are all up and firing.

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