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Oh no, not this guy again: the “why did I pick him” players

“Why did I pick him?”

Players like Adam Hartlett destroyed fantasy team structures last year with disappointing seasons. Lest we forget.

Following on from my last post about players who have you asking why you didn’t pick them, here’s the flip side of the coin: players who tantalised you all through the preseason, got talked up in fantasy media, starred in the NAB, made the fashion pages perched on the arm of some perky starlet from Neighbours… and then before you can say Mitch Robinson you found out that he was injured, suspended, a late withdrawal, or just not very good.

I apologise in advance to those fantasy coaches who have only just got over the nightmares from last year, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to make you relive them. Let’s start with Adam Hartlett, shall we? Mooted as the solution to Carlton’s woes at finding a decent centre half forward, the perpetually proppy Hartlett got injured, then suspended, then injured again, eventually delivering four games for the year without reaching 50 in a game in either major fantasy competition. Or how about Albert Proud, who tore up the preseason with scores of 48, 107 and 57 but couldn’t find his name on the final team sheet for round 1, played two games in rounds 2 and 3 with very low time on ground, then was banished to the QAFL for reason known only to coach Leigh Matthews, with a cameo in round 7 and then nothing until round 18.

Or let us recount some of the many reasons we fantasy coaches hate Dean Laidley. There’s Scott D. Thompson, supposedly a lock in the Kangaroo 22, who played in rounds 1, 6, 7, 11, 12 and 21, and was no help at all during the worst of the backline shenanigans of 2008. Then there’s Lachie Hansen, who was one of the major causes of those shenanigans in the first place by not getting picked until round 13 despite strong pre-season form. Both played all four pre-season games, both made us despise Laidley even more.

I could go on and on about this, but let us recoil from the horrors of yesteryear and focus on not letting it happen again this year. Primary among the targets for my distrust in this pre-season are Ricky Petterd and Jack Grimes, as I have already touched on in my new year’s resolutions post. Petterd is by far the most popular starting cheapie in Fanplanner backlines, and third-most popular defender overall. I think most of you fantasy coaches out there are on board with me on the Laidley hatred, but I wonder how many of you even have an opinion on Dean Bailey yet. The Sword of Damocles is hanging over these two Demons, I fear. Having both of them might not even save you, as they are not exactly fighting for the same spot. I have seen several credible “best 22s” on the BigFooty boards that included neither player – not to mention some non-credible teams that had one or both (for some reason Demon fans hate taggers like James McDonald, Lynden Dunn and Clint Bartram, not to mention established backmen like Matthew Whelan and Paul Wheatley, and instead fill their best 22 with outside receivers).

Then there’s the other kind of mirage, the high-upside youngster who promises superstardom and delivers cod ordinariness. Chris Egan, Ricky Dyson and Kayne Pettifer were the most egregious examples of 2008. Some just aren’t cut out to be fantasy players… and then some just aren’t cut out for the AFL. Looking over this year’s crop, I think Jay Neagle is primed for this sort of fall, even with this mooted Gumby’s Box featuring four talls. Scott Gumbleton is clearly the better player of the two, and four is just too many talls to carry, which means Gumby taking the lead and relegating Neagle to Bendigo.

Speaking of over-rated tall forwards, there’s Taylor Walker. I think I am probably spending to much time talking about the young Crows this pre-season, because there’s just so much material that the Crow fans post on the boards. The only problem is that very few of you are taking any notice, judging from the Fanplanner. Walker is their saviour up forward in an attack that is desperately crying out for a reliable tall, and coach Neil Craig did nothing to douse the fires of fans’ passion with this story on Like Jarrad Grant of the Bulldogs, Walker has almost too many expectations on him, something that Tom Hawkins has struggled with (in addition to his chronic foot injury, that is). Tall forwards do not develop as slowly as ruckmen, but even Lance Franklin took two or three years to blossom into a fully-fledged senior player.

The other interesting aspect to that story is the bucket that Craig tips on Patrick Dangerfield, who is by far the most popular Adelaide youngster in the Fanplanner. Craig is a fitness fanatic, so the news that he’s disappointed with Dangerfield’s training regime last year (with a nice old backhander to the Geelong Falcons while he’s at it) is a bad sign for the kid’s 2009 prospects, particularly given how the coach handled Walker last year. Then again, there was another young Crow prospect last year who was a poor trainer and didn’t manage to meet most of Craig’s fitness ideals… Jason Porplyzia.

Tell me who you’re worried about amongst your cheapies in the comments. In particular, tell me if it’s making you think of changing your structure… I was looking over some old forum posts from early 2008 today, and I lost count of the amount of posts claiming that they settled for Hartlett as their seventh back because he was the only decent prospect. Wouldn’t that make you think of moving some money from elsewhere to buy someone better? Let me know your take on this issue.



  1. GoodesStuff

    January 22, 2009 at 7:39 am

    I personally are afraid of ALL back rookies. I’ll say it again IMO Nick Suban will be the Albert Proud of 09. I hope Petterd & Grimes play. If not you would have to think Strauss would. Im still not sold on Petrenko either. Hurley may play games but I wouldn’t start him. Browns injury prone. My back pain is intensifying.

  2. Heater

    January 22, 2009 at 8:31 am

    I’m proud to say I did not even give Hartlett a thought last year but Scott D. Thompson was in my squad so I was well and truly burnt by all Fantasy Coaches’ mate, Dean Laidley!
    This season I have Petterd but I’ll be watching his performance during the NAB before committing. I also have Mitch Brown (WCE) and have picked him on gut feeling alone. Again NAB Cup form will decide his fate.
    My side also has Sean Rusling but there has been no mention of him on the Collingwood website so again he is on the Watch List. We have heard all about Beams & Sidebottom along with Rocca but Rusling’s progress is not common knowledge.

  3. Chad

    January 22, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Suban will hopefully be the Ibbotson rather than the Albert Proud. Yeh Scott D killed me. Walker this year though monty, there was a glowing report from Neil Craig on radio over here from Jan 19th (here is the podcast

  4. Steve Nasty

    January 22, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Gumby has already had hamstring tightness in the preseason…..umm no thanks

  5. Simon

    January 22, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I’m pretty sure that Hurley will play a majority of games as Knights is committed to bring in the new wave of Essendon youngsters, even though this may cost us some wins. Mitchell Brown may not yet even be a back in DT yet and he is competing with several players for a berth.

    I think there could be a couple of smokies from Freo who could get a chance this year, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of certainty in picking anyone in the backs this year. It’ll come down to gut instinct as usual.

    Something has me thinking that a good percentage of players are going to load up their backlines this year, leading to trouble in the centres and forwards. We could be crying about forward troubles in 4-6 months times and not the back pain of this year. Are we being reactive or proactive, that’s my question?

  6. Dan

    January 22, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Agree Simon, the part about us being reactive rather than proactive – and about us probably whining about forwards this year.

    I’m trying to thin out the backs but lot’s of good bargains in there so still a small bias into that area. Should probably be designing a stacked forward line 🙂

  7. abs of steele

    January 22, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Heater, at training yesterday Rusling looked awesome close up and he wasn’t wearing any bandages on his shoulder which is a good sign (but he wasn’t doing contact drills). He only ran laps and had shots at goal but he looked really good. He’ll be in my side too.

  8. ryz

    January 22, 2009 at 11:31 am

    i didnt have proud, hartlett or sdt. i did however cop lachy fwd, nicoski, hurn, dyson, and GRIMESY. my mate who goes for the dees was confident he was going to get a gig, and after some research saw that the kid had what it takes to be a jet…only to miss the whole season with a neck or back injury! YE YE YE YE YEESSSSSSSSSSS

    im going gumby/rusling i think as well as lucas

  9. Heater

    January 22, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Cheers, Abs. Nice to hear he is training. He is a concern to not only fantasy coaches but us Collingwood fans too!! Lets hope he fires for all our sakes.

    I wonder if he will play NAB Cup games if he is still not doing any contact drills….??

  10. abs of steele

    January 22, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Fraser said about a week ago that Rus wouldn’t be ready for the first NAB Cup game, but should play 1-2 games in the Challenge (or Cup if we’re still in).

  11. Chad

    January 22, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Simon I think alot of people will be reactive and load up more in the backs (i am one) but the thing with the forwards is there seems to be alot more rookies that do well in the forwards. Last year

    Backs: Ibbotson, Wonaemirri,Harry T,Urquhart

    Forwards: Hill, Rioli, Gamble, Valenti, Tippett, Mayne,Morton J,Veszpremi

  12. Ash

    January 22, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I’m thinkin about Hurley, Suban and Brown down back as my 3 rookies, Cordy, Vickery as my rucks, sidebottom, beams, rich, skipworth, coughlan centres and ballantyne, yarran, rusling?, watts? ziebell? up fwd

  13. tezmacan

    January 22, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    ryz, gumby is a bad idea
    never go young tall forwards
    even the best of them generally take a few years to generate good DT scores ala franklin
    although rusling is an exception if fit

  14. freosteve

    January 22, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    the west put MBrown in their best 22, given thet state of WCE KPP’s it’s hard to question that.

    the only downside is he is a big lumbering nullifying defender…

  15. Heater

    January 22, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Are you sure about Mitch Brown, freosteve? My contacts here in Ballarat say he is much quicker than his brother, Nathan.

    IMO I reckon he’ll run the lines really well for WCE and could be the Harry Taylor of 09.

  16. dylan

    January 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    hey monty have u just changed adcock to a backline player or has he been there the whole time?

  17. ryz

    January 22, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    if adcocks a back, sign me up now. and gumby i would only put in if a good NAB cup and nice price holds up. they rate him highly, and despite his injury history, if fit i would think he would be given every chance to play, then at round 9 or so bail and pick up jbrown as he starts to drop 140s on our faces

  18. freosteve

    January 22, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    you could be right Heater, only basing that comment on Nathan being he is twin and the knee recon and all

    I know he recorded a >15 beep test and has bulked up, not sure on the lateral movement

    Definatley one to watch though

  19. abs of steele

    January 22, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Prospectus is out! So happy with Lids as a FWD!

  20. Hippo

    January 22, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Cool, were did you pick it up from abs???

  21. abs of steele

    January 22, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    I don’t have the book yet but Jan Juc on Big Footy gave out some prices/posistions, Monty’s already reacted quickly to it though! Good stuff Monty.

  22. Big Jim

    January 22, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Cousins price just skyrocketed!

  23. abs of steele

    January 22, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Cousins is out of my DT now, $364k is too much IMO.

  24. dylan

    January 22, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    wtf how can they have cousins at that price?
    now im -105,000 =(

  25. Big Jim

    January 22, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    @ Abs & Dylan – agree, Cousins at that price too much.

    Jack Grimes also now too pricey.

    Expect a lot of changes to plan teams m0nty! Good stuff on making the changes so quick.

  26. XztatiK

    January 23, 2009 at 12:57 am

    “I think most of you fantasy coaches out there are on board with me on the Laidley hatred, but I wonder how many of you even have an opinion on Dean Bailey yet.”

    I’ve got one word for you monty… VALENTI!!!

    Bailey is an absolute showerhead.

    While we’re talking about hated coaches, Mark Harvey is no.1 in my books. That Pavlich-Palmer switcharoo vs. Port last year flowered me up sooo bad.

  27. m0nty

    January 23, 2009 at 1:29 am

    Have to agree with you X, Bailey is a flowering shower cow. 😉

  28. Dunn - Well Done

    January 26, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Yes my 7,8 and 9 defenders were all listed (SDT, Hansend and Hartlett as my 7th back)

    I also picked R.Dyson and N.Jones which are both in the category of (Why did i pick them)

    I also missed out on H.Taylor and J.Hill which also wasnt great. Whilst i didnt get Ibbotson either but he wouldve only been a good pick for a bench position due to him missing the first few rounds.

    Its so hard to know about the rookies 1 player scores 3x 70 scores in the NAB and than struggles to play 8 games for the entire year whilst they only avg 40. Than another rookies scores 3 x 30 in NAB but than goes on to avg 70 and play most games. Its so hard to pick which players will do well and which wont. I just about couldnt have got it anywrong with my forward line and backline rookies last year. Im just glad i had Palmer and Bird as my mid emergencies.

    Their is always those rookies that shoot up and have a very good year but its luck in picking most of them, this is why the premium/rookie method is so risky alot more luck and risk is involved.

    For me i find it hard enough to pick 8 decent enough rookies let alone 14 with the rookie/premium strategy requirement.

  29. tom

    February 4, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    mitchell and nathan brown both ran under 3 seconds for the 20m sprint at the draft camp both exceptional

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