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NAB Cup/Challenge Lowdown for Round 4

So much happened this weekend – including Mzungu’s injury to screw with our teams – and with more and more access to what goes on thanks to Twitter and other sites, here’s some of the Dream Team relevant stuff.

Collingwood v Essendon: Grand Final

Bah, the Bombers lost, but who gives a sh*t. It’s NAB Cup! What I cared about was the scores. Not one player scored over 100, with Heath Shaw trying to trick us once again – top scoring with 90. It’s fair to say that Andrew Krakouer is a lock. He should be in the Magpies best 21 (we won’t want best 22 anymore). I was worried about him being a prime candidate for a substitute, but he should be right now after his smashing NAB series. Simon Buckley wants to be in all of our Dream Teams with another great score of 76. He loves the ball. Shame he won’t be there in Round 1, and if he is… probably won’t last long. A possible 4th ruckman at $92,500 is Lachlan Keeffe. He was able to score 54 points playing in defence. Could he get a gig early with Maxwell and Brown out? Oh, and do what I heard a heap of people do… jump off Dane Swan for Scott Pendlebury. While it could pay off, it’s Swanny guys! He is a machine. Pendles may improve again this year. If there weren’t the bye hassles, I reckon they would both be in most teams!

The Dyson Heppell and Michael Hibberd DEF/MID show took an interesting turn. Heppell, the more prolific ball winner only managed 24 points compared to Hibberd’s 63. For the $40K or so saving, Hibberd is your man. Both players are a possibility for me, with one in defence and one in the mids. Michael Hurley will improve a fair bit this year, but 3 goals and 16 touches to get to 79. It think it would be a frustrating season with him.

NAB Challenge Games

The big story of the NAB Challenge games was the injury to everyone’s locked in MID/FWD Tendai Mzungu. Okay, we’ve all got him… but he was a key to our DPP structure. For me, he was worthy of starting in my midfield. I’m going to have to have a good think about what I’m going to do with him. He will be out until about round 5 or so and probably ready for us to pick up in about Round 8. Cash cow milking time.

We went along to the Hawks v Demons game. We did have a lot of beers and can’t remember heaps, but one thing we took note of was Paul Puopolo sitting on the pine until Half Time. He wasn’t the sub (that was Max Bailey). This isn’t good news for his job security. I don’t think we’ll be seeing him in the Hawks team in round one. Also, Luke Hodge stopped to have a chat with us – yeah, pretty cool when you’re on first name basis with a Norm Smith Medallist – but, don’t pick him. He will struggle through the first few rounds. He jogged off and looked very proppy. That achilles injury isn’t ready to go just yet.

The Fantasy Freako kept us updated pretty well on his Twitter with scores and other bits and pieces over the weekend.

Drew Petrie scored a massive 111. He was a dead set lock for me (and a whole lot of other coaches), but after his Round 1 suspension and the Round 3 bye… I was off him. There probably couldn’t be a better time to have him in your team than early on (your bench players SHOULD be playing from Round 1), but then again the mix of Gold Coast players will make that call interesting. A massive talking point is the ‘Dish’. Also in the North v Dogs game, Callan Ward should still be on your radar. He scored 86 points. Another thing to note is that Shaun Atley started as the substitute for the Roos.

Another cheap forward option is Chris Knights. He was awesome to finish with 107 DT points. Lock him in! Andy Otten was solid for 57. Not his best game, but that would still help his price increase in the real thing. Nathan Foley had 103 and will now be a fair few people’s number 4 midfielder – especially with the Mzungu injury. Shaun McKernan is an option for your forward or backline benches. McKernan scored 52 points.

Former Bulldog Andrejs Everitt could be the recycled player of the year after scoring 102 against the Saints. Priced at $281,700, I’d be more confident with him than Jed Adcock that a lot of people have. Other scores from the Saints v Swans game of note: Adam Goodes 106, Shane Mumford 92, Brendon Goddard 79 and Leigh Montagna 63.

Steve Johnson, the forgotten man, will find himself in a lot of teams. He had 52 points in the final quarter to get his score up to 106. Chris Yarran is on track for a breakout year. As a sub-$250K forward, if he can rack up 20+ disposals a game, then scores like 83 would be very nice!

Stay tuned to the @FantasyFreako Twitter feed on Monday for new scores from the remaining games. Don’t forget the Fantasy Freako Newsletter will be out on Wednesday arvo. Sign up now to get it emailed to you.

What else did you learn from the final round of the NAB Cup/NAB Challenge?

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