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North Melbourne Kangaroos: Dream Team Preview

Dunny brings us a preview of North Melbourne. We used to hate them with a passion in Dream Team, but since they got rid of Laidley, we can have a bit of faith in the ‘Roos. Who are you selecting?

This is the next of our submitted Club Dream Team Previews. Thanks to Dunny for sending this one in! You will receive a stubby holder and if your article is one of the two that gets the most Facebook “Likes’ (just above this blurb), you’ll get yourself an AFL Prospectus! Read on!

The Roos had a comeback year under Brad Scott.  They finished in 9th place last year which many would see as a good result for the young side.  They went from 7.5 wins to 11, the question is whether or not they can continue this form into 2011 and crack the finals.  They have made some good progress, it will be a real test for their band of youngsters.

The byes don’t really pan out all that well for the Roos DT fans this year.  Round 3 and Round 21 which is the first week of DT finals.  Round 3 means that it will take an extra week for the cash cows at Arden St to mature.  Then they have to wait right through to round 21 for another rest.  This could mean that guys like Boomer Harvey and Drew Petrie who is coming back from injury may need a rest in the middle of the season along with their new young guns.  Then having the bye in that all important first week makes these guys a risk if you don’t have good quality cover or a trade to use in the week before finals.

Who must you have from the Roos on your squad?

Liam Anthony – This guy is the complete package.  He is only 23 and will only get better.  He only played 7 games last year due to a shoulder injury but he managed to average 95 in those games and 96 in the 10 games in the year before.  He has a healthy kick to handball ratio of 1.3 and averages 24 disposals a game.  He will come at a tasty discount given that he only played the 7 games last year.  Get this guy on your squad!

Boomer Harvey – At 32 he breaks every rule in the DT handbook, but the numbers don’t lie.  He has averaged over 95 for 4 of the past 5 seasons with the other season being an 83 average with his elbow injury.  He turned in some amazing performances of 163 on two occasions and then another 6 games over 100 points.  But he did have a couple of shockers where he had an 18 and a 39.  If you can overlook the age factor, he is a proven points scorer.

Andrew Swallow – Andrew is an out and out Jet!  He had the highest ever number of tackles last year at 183 which equated to 8.3 per game.  On top of this he averages 21 possessions.  This led to his very handy average of 99 last year with 90 from the year before.  He has played every game over the past 2 years and this has meant that he is very durable and is worth every cent you would pay for him.

Who else should you consider?

Brady Rawlings – Brady is 29 and last year was his best fantasy year in the last 5.  He averaged 93.  His improvement in his fantasy score is directly related to his improvement in his possessions which jumped from 22 to 28 per game.  I am not convinced that this improvement is long term nor that it is even sustainable.  But you may wish to consider him for your team.

Drew Petrie – He only managed 2 games last season after breaking his foot.  His scores had been on the rise up until last year.  He was up to an average of 87 and is a very versatile guy who can play up forward or in ruck.  With the change in the interchange rules of this season, it would mean that he will be a more valuable asset as he can share the ruck load with HMac or Goldstein.

Jack Ziebell –  Jack has had some shocking luck over the past two seasons.  He has broken the same leg twice but has averaged 65 and 67 in his first two shortened seasons at AFL level.  Drafted at pick 9 he has certainly got some talent.  He is a good tackler who is grabbing 4.3 players per game and loves to kick more than handball which is nice for DT.  If Jack can play a full season he is a chance to really develop into a gun.  Depending on his price he could be really worth picking up.

Ben Cunnington – The man dubbed as the commentators nightmare was pick 5 in 09.  He came into the side after round 5 and didn’t look back.  He averaged 14 disposals and posted an average of 55.    He certainly looked the goods and didn’t look out of place on the ground.  One of the concerns will be that it is his second year and he might struggle a bit, but if the price is right (and I think it will be) he could be a very nice pick for your side.

Todd Goldstein – Todd has been increasing his output and his gametime over the last 3 years.  He is 22 years old and in his 4th season.  With H-Mac out of action at the moment, Todd is challenging to be the Number 1 man at Arden St.  He gets 12 disposals a game, but this has been steadily improving so that along with his 17 hit outs per game and 10 goals for the year he is the future.  He averaged 75pts last year.  I have no doubt he is someone that won’t be a massive price but should produce nicely.   If the price is right, get on him!

Injury Concerns…

Ryan Bastinac – He proved his durability by playing every game last year.  He had a tidy average of 66 with 19 disposals a game.  He didn’t crack the 100 but did get into the 90’s on a couple of occasions.  His lowest were in the 40’s so he managed to be fairly consistent.  However, he has suffered a knee injury during preseason and as such will be out for the first few rounds.  If he comes back well then he could be a handy pickup and potential downgrade target for your side.

Hamish McIntosh – H-Mac has been a tidy second ruckman to Sandi or Cox in Dream Teams over the past two years.  He has averaged 90 and 81 over those seasons.  One of the key’s to his scoring is not just his hit outs (20pg) but he gets forward and scores.  Last year he kicked 14 and the year before 13.  However, he has undergone achilles surgery and will be out of action until the end of March.  This will put his season in jeopardy as he will suffer a late start which will allow Goldstein to have a chance to establish himself as the number 1 ruckman.

Rookies

Shaun Atley – Shaun was pick 17 in the draft, he is a midfielder who averaged 7 tackles in the TAC cup last year.  That along with his average of 23 possessions tells us that this guy could be a star DT’er in the future.  He may not get a game early on with a crowded midfield with Swallow, Boomer and Anthony in there.  But keep an eye on him in the NAB cup, he may be worth stashing on your bench or could be a nice downgrade target towards mid season.

Cameron Richardson – According to Freako and the guys at Champion Data this guy is good and should be up there in your calculations.  He played a couple of seasons at North Ballarat and was in the best 14 times last season.

The Kangaroos have plenty of options for you in the midfield and in the ruck department.  As for down back, there isn’t too much there apart from Brady Rawlings.  Up forward  there is potentially Petrie.  There are a lot of options on this squad, it is simply a matter of picking which ones will do all the scoring!

This could be a big year for the Roos, but that is going to depend a lot on their younger guys coming on and continuing their improvement.  This is not only for their AFL season but also for their Fantasy scores!

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