Talking points: Round 5

by Tom N

Player of the week: Nick Malceski. I must admit a slight bias towards players who score their points in style, with great effect on a game. It’s not just the aesthetics – I reckon if a bloke is crucial to his team, he’s less likely to get dropped or shunted into the forward-pocket points vacuum. Nick Malceski fits the bill perfectly; classy wingman, with a very potent kick. Watching Saturday night’s game through a haze of a purple-themed birthday in Burwood (don’t ask), one thing was clear; Malceski (who scored 138) and Brent Moloney are obvious kicking players for their teams. Other players seek them out as a kicking weapon. Take note, Dream Teamers. Both are cheap, and I get the gut feeling Malceski is set to rise into the competition’s elite this year.

Honourable mentions: Scott West (148), Jon Brown (136), Joel Bowden (122), Peter Burgoyne (120), Jordan Lewis (128)

Biggest disappointment: Many will nominate Malceski’s team-mate Adam Goodes, who scored a paltry 28, but I’m going with Ben Dixon, due to the weeks of effort he’s clearly putting into this field. For a bloke who started the year at over $250k, it’s scary to think that 32 wasn’t his lowest score so far, and the highest is just 50. That’s absolutely woeful – especially this week, considering Williams’ injury.

Other points of interest:
• Some of the guns barely turned up for work this weekend. Riewoldt’s facial injury was to blame for his awful 36, while Adam Cooney matched that (with no excuses) playing for the Dogs against Hawthorn. Pavlich mustered 60, Fev scrapped together 64, while Scott Lucas shattered many coaches last Wednesday with a 72. (Lucas is a popular choice for captain.) It happens, people. Don’t let it get you down.
• Compensation comes in the form of some bottom-price bargains punching well above their weight. First in mind is Joel Selwood, who scored an amazing 119 today – brilliant for a first-year player in a losing midfield. Selwood laid nine tackles, and tacklers always gain good DT numbers. With the Cats’ star-studded midfield, Selwood could be a handy player to grab the points without being heavily tagged.
Travis Cloke also broke out of the box, again with 119. We all know that with Tarrant leaving, the Pies need a CHF, and Cloke looks to have nailed it on the head. He’s still relatively cheap, and isn’t a popular selection.
Richard Hadley played well for his 77 points on Saturday night. He could be a very sly selection as a back-up midfielder, and his price won’t rise too much after two underwhelming games recently.
Hamish McIntosh racked up 118 for the Roos, and boy, isn’t he looking great. Plenty of possies as well as the hit-outs. Macca is a good buy if you have him. If you don’t, Tom says save your trades.
• Keeping it in the ruck family, for the second consecutive week Darren Jolly thrashed Peter Everitt in the points stakes, 96-52. Everitt has had one good week so far and the rest has been pathetic. I haven’t heard a good explanation for his poor form yet.
Graeme Polak bobbed up with 102 – his second 100+ in a row. But when thinking Polak, beware; his three most recent scores are 102, 100, 23. That says it all.
Warren Tredrea’s brave efforts in the wet gave him 81 points, and just bear in mind his price won’t change until after next weekend, when he plays a scratchy Melbourne defence…
• I’ll end on exactly the same note as last week; Nigel Lappin. Oh boy, where do we start. As this story points out, he’s yet to regain full kicking power in his leg. Well, shucks. Thanks, Leigh Matthews, for trying to play the bloke for the last four weeks while he can’t actually kick the thing. As every DT coach knows, kicks are far better than handballs.

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