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AFL Dream Team

Stay the course

If there is one piece of advice I would give this week for those of you thinking about trading it is this: don’t. Well, unless you are forced into it by long-term injury, as is the case if you have Scott Lucas, Brent Reilly or Sean Rusling. Commiserations if so. In particular, give these players a week more:

Brett Deledio: I always thought Lids was a much better SC prospect than DT this year, and his scores in round 1 reflect that. If you do have him in DT don’t despair, as he remains a quality player. The Tigers were too Richo-conscious on Thursday and they will adjust to bring smaller forwards like Deledio into the game.

Bryce Gibbs: I have him in both my DT and SC sides and I’m giving him another week at least… but he’s on notice! Gibbs tagged Foley in the middle all night, which is an improvement over the back pocket role he got last year, but still not his ideal role of outside receiver. It’s a worry that Nick Stevens and Chris Judd seem to be looked at far more than any other Carlton midfielder for handball and kick receives, with Judd especially being the first go-to man. If Gibbs can’t manage at least 60 this week against the Saints he’s out of my teams.

Jason Gram: he’s not going to get a hard tag from a ferocious Swans stopper every week. He’ll be right, especially when Brendon Goddard returns from injury to free him up – Goddard has been playing well for Casey Scorpions so he’s not far away.

Adam Goodes: media speculation, fueled by coach Paul Roos, has Goodes possibly tagging Kane Cornes this week, something which kickstarted his season last year. Even if that doesn’t quite wake him up, do not trade him. He will come home like a train as he always does, you just have to hope that his fires get stoked up earlier rather than later.

Craig Bird: Roos inexplicably used him as a forward pocket, which is rather like using Tiger Woods as a bunker scraper. Roos has said that he’ll keep playing the kids next week, so at least wait and see if the coach pulls the finger out and sticks Bird in the guts where he belongs.

Brad Symes: 6 frees against was a very poor result, especially in SC. Apart from his first quarter against the Dogs where he scored -2 in DT, his numbers weren’t actually that bad. Hold the line and see if his scores settle down.

Brent Stanton: Matthew Knights’ first coaching display included a lot of skulduggery around Stanton. Rawlings went to Stanton as tagger before the opening bounce, and Knights promptly brought him off to try to break it, hoping that Rawlings would shift onto Watson. Dean Laidley was stubborn, and kept Rawlings off for as long as Stanton was off. Knights blinked first, and by the time Stanton got on the field Watson was in full cry and Stanton couldn’t pick up the pace of the game. All this ducks and drakes was entertaining for the football purists, and I suppose you could say Knights won the chess battle because he came away with the four points, but that little lesson wouldn’t have escaped him. Rest assured Stanton won’t be warming the pine at the start of next week’s game against Geelong.

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