Radio SEN carried an interview with Carlton coach Brett Ratten today, during which he said that Jake Edwards would be the only rookie debutant for the Bluebaggers on Thursday, joining Richard Hadley and Chris Judd as pulling on the old dark navy jumper for the first time in the ones. Ratten also confirmed that Nick Stevens would play, and that Matthew Kreuzer and Shaun Hampson wouldn’t play against the Tigers.
This is poor news for devotees of Darren Pfeiffer, of which I am one, and also rules out Dennis Armfield, Sam Jacobs and Aisake o’Hailpin. It still leaves the door open for Adam Hartlett, who played four games in 2007. Edwards averaged 34 in DT and 54 in SC across four games in the pre-season, including a DT score of only 5 in week 2. He has to be considered for a fantasy back bench spot, if only because he’s one of the few options you are 100% sure will get a game this week. Be warned that there are no guarantees, however, that Edwards won’t turn into the Lachie Hansen or Matt Riggio of 2008 and not even reach the three-game threshold before being banished back to the VFL. As for Pfeiffer, if Ratts can hold off until round 6 or 7 when some of the other rookies have matured in price, he would be an excellent mid-season pickup.