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2011 cheat sheet

Suns running too hot?: Gold Coast sunburn

Gold Coast sunburn

How many Gold Coast players in your side is too many? Cases can be made for more than a dozen Suns for fantasy, but there has to be a limit…

I am in the middle of preparing my Dream Team for tomorrow’s Coaches Box episode with Footylover18, where I reveal my team and he shoots it down in a hail of gunfire. It’s what he does. Anyway, I looked up in the middle of working my plan team (can’t rely on the official site, it was down the other day and people couldn’t update their teams! oh noes!), and realised that in addition to the suspended Drew Petrie, I was working with nine Gold Coast Suns in my starting squad of 33.

Now, I realise that I have been going harder with Suns in my plan team than most people this preseason, judging from conversations in both public and private forums. Even I can see that starting round 1 with a single playing emergency may be taking the Vitamin D policy a little too far, though. I still think a strong case can be made to stash three Suns on your bench in at least one of the three positions with three bench players. With every Gold Coast rookie, though, you have to keep in mind what I am going to call the Suns Projection Factor (SPF): the percentage likelihood that these proto-stars are going to play every game from rounds 2 through 8 with enough scores to qualify as a legitimate cash cow.

This preview article on the GC web site recently, without a byline but presumably written by some AFL apparatchik, covers some of the issues that fantasy coaches are canvassing, but nailing the Suns rookies is going to be a big part of getting close to the cars this year so it’s time to drill down through the photosphere.


Joshua Toy (SPF 70) has been completely underwhelming in the preseason with scores of 17 and 37 in the two half games in week 1, followed by 37 and 39 in weeks 3 and 4. Nevertheless, the AFL article had him pencilled in a back pocket, via the expedient method of moving Jarrod Harbrow to a wing. I’m not sure that’s the structure they will go with during the season, since the reason they recruited defender so heavily at the top end of their list was to have a strong backline. Nevertheless, fantasy coaches seem to be placing their faith in reports rather than numbers where Toy is concerned.

If you accept Toy’s anointment in the 21, Michael Coad (SPF 80), Jack Hutchins (SPF 40) and Sebastian Tape (SPF 30) seem to be fighting for one spot at most. It’s hard to go past Coad with his size and experience. I suspect that we will see a lot of Hutchins and Tape, but more towards the second half of the year – thus Coad is someone you would not be locking in as a bench keeper.

Then there’s Danny Stanley (SPF 90), who was inexplicably left out of the AFL site’s 22. It is true that Luke Russell (SPF 30) played early in the NAB in a small forward role and didn’t look out of place, even though he is nominally a midfielder, but Stanley’s performances in the preseason surely merit him a red guernsey in Round 2.

All in all, if there is a position you can afford to take three Suns in, I think the backs are it.


The late news of injuries to Daniel Harris (SPF 95) and Sam Iles (SPF 50) puts the spanner in the works here. The AFL site has Iles as a sub, which is hard to argue with given his interrupted preseason. With so little coming out of the Suns camp and not enough action on fan sites – similar to the Lions in respect of it being terribly hard to figure out what is going on at some stages, showing the lack of a gossiping football community in Queensland relative to other states – we don’t know what’s going on with Harris’ back, but in the absence of any concrete bad news I think the upside is great enough to hold the line.

One thing I have been surprised about is the lack of love by fantasy coaches for David Swallow (SPF 100). What’s not to like about the number 1 draft picks in recent years? Apart from Jack Watts, who gave us plenty of warning not to pick him a couple of years ago, every #1 pick has been a solid fantasy option even with the price premium. As for Harley Bennell (SPF 60), he is obviously a quality kid but might struggle to keep up with the pace and physical demands of the midfield in senior footy, being a smaller body type without much in the way of blockers around him.

It’s obviously harder to make cases for Marc Lock (SPF 30), Hayden Jolly (SPF 10), Maverick Weller (SPF 15), Trent McKenzie (SPF 20) and Josh Caddy (SPF 20) in the centres. Some of you out there are believers, but if you throw Iles with the others in the big pile of Suns whom we don’t really know enough about in terms of job security, it’s easy to limit your Sun exposure to two at most in the midfield.


While every man and his robo-dog are on Zac Smith (SPF 40) even with his preseason injury concerns, I think there’s a solid case to make for including no Suns in the rucks. I have this funny feeling that Smith is going to have a fairly even game share with Daniel Gorringe (SPF 5) and Tom Nicholls (SPF 10), which will limit the ability of any of them to earn cash cow money or provide bye/injury cover at crucial times.


Obviously Brandon Matera (SPF 95) is in most sides, and plenty are also pencilling in Charlie Dixon (SPF 60) for JS reasons as a Scott Gumbleton type, especially in SC. Dion Prestia (SPF 50) is another one of those ones in the too-iffy basket for me, but again there are adherents out there. I like Liam Patrick (SPF 50) but he’s a player who will go missing for entire quarters, especially when the Gold Coast are getting flogged, as they will a lot this year. Sam Day‘s (SPF 30) injury concerns have been a concern, but with other options going down in the forward benches he’s starting to look good in comparison to what’s left.

After all of that, I’m still left with somewhere between six and nine Suns. What about your side, how many are you considering and what’s your upper limit? Do you disagree with my SPF ratings on any of the players mentioned above?



  1. prosserd

    March 22, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Stanley, Harris, Smith, Matera for me
    I only want pure class because McKenna said he’s going to be resting the young guys a lot.
    Matera is too good to be resting for too long, Harris/Stanley mature age, McKenna said Smith would be 22 gamer (I assume he’ll be fit soon enough)
    When McKenna is saying 12 games is a lot of games for a young player that makes me worry. Where I can find a mature age rookie instead of a Suns young rookie I’ve gone down that path.
    Iles not in because he’s underdone and McKenna mentioned his spot was under pressure.
    I didn’t go Swallow because he’s $160k and I can get mature age player to make the same average as him for $97k – that’s just my theory anyway 🙂

  2. Scratchy

    March 22, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I do agree with most of your ratings. This is the first I’ve heard about Daniel Harris’ back but it might explain the limited role in pre-season games.
    So if these are your ratings then how on earth do you have 6 – 9 Suns? Looking at the first 9 rounds (2 byes) for the Suns, none of them have more than a SPF 80 compared to clubs with no bye in that time (Bombers, Tigers, Port, Pies).
    Then you take a 90% of that 80 and suddenly your BEST Suns backman is at most 80% next to someone like Heppell
    I have 5 Suns including Z. Smith who I have my doubts about too. I’m worried that 5 is too many.

  3. Scratchy

    March 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    prosserd, do you have a particular mature ager over Swallow in mind?
    eg Shane Savage?

  4. Judd005

    March 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Ive gone light after starting heavy. I think we have got a little carried away with the Suns players.
    I mean any other year if a kid wasnt playing week 1 or wasnt assured of a game the next week we wouldnt go anywhere near them.
    I think Im going to take the risk and grab 1 or 2 on the bubble if they explode the 1st couple of games and pick the rooks who im fairly confident will play early and often.

    M0nty can you tell me why Swallow has had average scores in NAB Challenge games? Did he only play half of games in some instances or did he just not perform that well fantasy wise?
    His lack of scoring and Price particularly in SC has made me drop him, and in doing so (and pushing Prestia out) Ive actually been able to squeese in another prem and knights!!!
    Any info or direction to Suns match reports would be much appreciated.
    Good luck, look forward to hearing your team M0nty ;0

  5. Judd005

    March 22, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    oh and great write up 😉

  6. m0nty

    March 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I haven’t been worried about Swallow’s scoring. He’s obviously quality and is being nursed into what will obviously be a long year for him.

    Probably should take the same attitude to Toy, to be fair, but I haven’t seen enough of him.

  7. j959

    March 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    cheers for the write-up m0nty.

    you’ve got me second guessing on Z Smith as 3rd ruck now though! 🙁

    i s’pose you can’t give everything away! ;p

  8. tkringle

    March 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Where was it reported that Harris is injured? I cant find a thing about it

  9. korza

    March 22, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Deliberate misleading rumours is a banworthy offence.
    I too can not find anything on Harris ?

  10. dabombers

    March 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Going with Stanley, Harris(is this an old injury come back….),Matera and Prestia.

    I have toyed with teams with NO GC players, but the same could be said for NO Rookies from teams with byes in first 5 rounds.
    Just have to waite and extra week……

    Love ya work Monty.

  11. Hank2011

    March 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I’ve taken a conservative route by inly taking GC rookies in my squad, with 5 in total. I’m a supercoach player only which is why I like Toy. Strong body, can mop up loose ball and hes a nice kick. In the mids, swallow and Harris are obvious. Clarke in the ruck and Matera in the fwds. Any other rookies are far too speculative IMO with better value in other teams likely to be weak including Brisbane and Essendon

  12. jester5au

    March 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    I will have Stanley, Prestia (mpp), Matera and using Fraser as a back up ruck/cash cow for whe Z. Smith shows us what he can do. Swallow has low scores in the NAB cup but will improve when they have thir full midfield playing. Still have 3 weeks to consider Suns players before their first price hike.

  13. vaughn

    March 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I think Mavrick Wellar is generally under-rated and has flown under the radar a bit. McKenna has commented on him specifically a few times and seems pretty hot on the kid.
    I’m not sure why he missed the earlier NAB games but 68 in a big loss last week is a good sign. I’m taking a punt that he will play round 2

  14. jack4814

    March 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    What about Magin?? You had him in your best 21? I think he may still be a rookie but surely he will be promoted before round 2?

  15. Judd005

    March 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    After my earlier comment of playing it safe ive put 2 more GC rooks in my team!?!
    Bloody hell!!!! Their price and potential just to tempting and seems to work much better with my structure give me an extra 100k in the bank!

  16. BURNER72

    March 23, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I thought McKenna said IF he got Minimum 12 games out of D.Swallow he’d be happy NOT he’s only playing 12 games for the year????

  17. Bilby

    March 23, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Five Suns for me in DT, those with best JS: Stanley, Harris, Swallow, Smith and Matera. I think Smith is much better than 40% and Coad a lot less than 80%.

    In SC, I also have Tippett (for DPP) and Dixon. Dixon was my last selected rookie, not expecting too much, though I think he’ll play more than 60%

    On Coad, most other FF sites don’t rate him even for the start of the year, poor decision making under pressure, highlighted in NAB, might not make the cut. There is a reason why he’s 28 and hasn’t made it to AFL yet. You seem to have some manlove for him Monty? And I hate the argument (not made by you, read elsewhere) that ‘why would they pick him at 28 if they weren’t going to play him’. It’s called depth! Same argument for any mature aged player, it doesn’t necessarily mean an automatic start.

  18. xplo

    March 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Of all the guys I’ve seen, Alik Magin looks almost the best dollar value per point, but he’s still officially on the rookie list.

    There was talk of an elevation but seems to have dropped off the radar.

  19. Arky

    March 23, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I’m sticking with Coad. Played all the pre-season games and key-position-defence is not a spot you want to play kids who aren’t physically ready. He’ll play a lot and make steady money.

    Matera is the most cast-iron GC pick, as he seems guaranteed to play and to score well, and there’s not a lot of rookie forwards who I trust to play regularly (and especially to play regularly without being subbed).

    Swallow I have had all pre-season and just dropped in a reshuffle today. I absolutely trust in his job security, not for 22 games but for more than 12, he’ll score fine… but he’s expensive. I’ve put Rohan Bewick in his place, which got me enough money to change someone else likely to suffer from sub and job security problems into Chris Knights.

    Harris I don’t buy these rumors until I see something more reliable than some bloke on Bigfooty as a source. Unless he’s out until round 6 or later he’s probably worth a bench spot anyway. After that you’ll be able to downgrade to him before his price rises. I hate that GCU is so obviously being cagey with their injury list, though.

    McKenna would have to be dumb not to play Stanley based on the pre-season, and he’s not dumb, so Stanley is in. The people who write for the official websites have no more idea than BigFooty when it comes to this stuff. They haven’t been told anything.

    I don’t think Toy is ready for prime-time. He may play but he’s ripe to be subbed off or on, and there’s so many good back rookies (Lower, Duigan, Hibberd, Heppell etc not to mention Stanley and Coad, and cheap midpricers like Otten and Adcock) that I see no reason to take Toy.

    I agree with you on Smith. Gorringe is very highly rated, Smith is obviously more physically ready but they’ll definitely want to get a look at Gorringe. Smith’s not going to be a reliable fill-in. Besides, I want to take Fraser, and two GC rucks is insane.

    Shame that Magin is a rookie. I’ll be so mad if GC reveal a previously undisclosed LTI before round 2 and elevate Magin…

    Dixon is takeable as a “Gumbleton” forward. I’m taking Darling for a similar reason, assuming he is indeed picked. I think talls are less likely to be subbed off too, it’s the young flanker/mid types most likely to be sacrificed for fresh legs.

    After that I think, since we won’t see GC’s squad before lockout, that other GC players are too big a risk. Even if we somehow knew who was getting picked for round 2, there’s likely to be a lot of chopping and changing.

  20. Sh00ter

    March 24, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I had 7 suns locked in a few months ago coad/toy, stanley, harris, swallow, iles, smith, matera.

    Gone very cold on most of them now. Two byes and two dud games in the first 9 rounds is your best case scenario and that’s too risky.

    Starting with stanley, harris, swallow and smith as the obvious. Seems like coad is not an automatic selection and too many clangers for sc. Toy could be the best but on watch first. As a likely late starter iles will come in to my team when harris/swallow has priced out and i prefer darling or michie over matera in established teams with hga.

    Anyone refute that?

  21. Sh00ter

    March 24, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Bluey and frase have said zac smith is their no. 1 ruckman and will be developed this year. He was the vfl ruckman of the year and is a moral to play first up and good tog.

    Swallow finished 4th in the medal in his first year of senior footy averaging 82 dt points in the vfl, too foolish to ignore. How much easier will things be with gaz, risha, harbrow, krak, jb running with the heard? He’ll be better than joel selwood, gibbsy and murph in their first years.

    Harris averaged 100 dt points in the vfl and stanley has had a great ps. I can’t give the same support for any other sun cheapies.

  22. lukesiena

    March 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    does anyone have info on iles is he injured will he play and is round 2 in there plans for him

  23. wazzbatt

    April 1, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I ended up going with 4 Suns – Harris, Stanley, Fraser and Matera. I am still pretty happy with that decision but may jump on Swallow after I’ve had a look at him and seen how my other rookies are going?

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