Upgrade analysis: Backs

Best cheap rookies:

James Frawley ($82k): Classy player. Showed good form for the pre-season (as opposed to Petterd) and will benefit from Rivers recovering from injury. May not play every game, but is the best chance to do so from this lot.

Richard Cole ($112k): Sheeds loves this bloke. As an Essendon man, I am very relieved Collingwood picked him before we could in the 2001 ‘superdraft’ – he came two picks after Luke Molan. But I digress. Cole is talented enough to be in our best 22, and as such is a real bargain at that price. Lachlan Hansen (cough) is just 10 grand cheaper. Now, Cole has never been a big DT scorer, but he’s easily better than 112k. Will bounce in price after this week.

Andrejs Everitt ($82k): I know he’s young, and as skinny as a rake, but Everitt has been in excellent form in the VFL and if nothing else should get some ‘blooding’ games later this year. He’s a playmaker off half-back, so is capable of grabbing the stats.

Mitchell Thorp ($100k): Slightly higher price than other rookies, because of his high draft pick status. Trust me, the Hawks are privately in raptures about this bloke. Best of all, for us DTers, is that he’s actually a key forward as opposed to a dour defensive backman. God knows why they’ve put him in this category – but it could be to your benefit. Personally, I am going to get Thorp, but as a forward.

Nathan Brown (Collingwood) ($85k): Another early draft pick, who did play some senior games in the pre-season but hasn’t been seen or heard of since. However, his brother has shown something for West Coast, and Nathan was the more highly-rated of the twins.

Best upgrade options:

Two of the top three scoring backmen to date – Chad Cornes and Heath Shaw – will both fallll in price in coming weeks, so it’s worth waiting for that. Otherwise, consider these blokes:

Michael Johnson ($269k): Not much publicity due to missing the first five matches of the season, but Johnson is a chance to start racking up some bigger numbers if he jumps into the midfield. Keep a close eye on him.

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