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“Sandilands, you weak arse sh*t…”

The headline comes from one of the first ever DT TALK episodes when Aaron Sandilands was a late withdrawal from Calvinator back in 2007. “Sandilands, you weak arse shit… why the f**k didn’t you play!” Well Calvin, he will be missing for 4 weeks, what should you do?

The headline comes from one of the first ever DT TALK episodes when Aaron Sandilands was a late withdrawal from Calvinator back in 2007. “Sandilands, you weak arse sh*t… why the f**k didn’t you play!” Well Calvin, he will be missing for 4 weeks, what should you do?

The biggest Dream Team news of the week is that 211cm ruckman Aaron Sandilands will be missing for 4 weeks. This is an interesting time frame as it is right on the borderline for many of us as to whether we trade him or not. The fact he is one of few premium rucks makes you want to keep him and ride him out.

Here’s the main info that can help us with some decision making. Sandi is priced at $410,900. This makes him the most expensive ruckman in the league meaning you could trade him to whoever you want. The ‘turf-toe’ injury should see him missing 4 weeks (St Kilda, Hawthorn, Essendon, Melbourne) returning for two games (Brisbane, Gold Coast both at home in WA) before Fremantle’s 2nd bye in Round 16. If you’re a glass half empty coach, or one who is very wary, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that he may miss 6 games and then return after his bye.

This is what I think you should do, in order. Obviously a lot will depend on what you have going on with your team, trades left and your own personal thoughts of what’s going on with the whole injury.

#1 – Trade to Dean Cox

Most coaches have Dean Cox but if you don’t, this is the perfect opportunity to get him in. He is averaging 10 more points a game than Sandi anyway. Absolute no-brainer for me.

#2 – Use DPP and play Drew Petrie

Are you one of the few coaches to have the Drew Petrie in your forward line with a link to your ruck with Joel Tippett? Then this is why you did it. Get Petrie into your rucks and Tippett onto your forward bench. Do it!

#3 – Hold him and play Zac Smith

If you already have Cox, then holding him and playing Gold Coast’s Zac Smith is a good option. In his last two games he has cracked the DT ton with 103 and 106. If he can dish that up, then you beauty. Realistically he is likely to average 70-80 which would be handy points while waiting for the big man to return. The potential negative here is that Smith has got his scores without Josh Fraser playing. Fraser is likely to return this week, if not he won’t be far away, and therefore could affect scoring.

If you have another ruck on your bench who is playing, if you consistently get 70+ from him, then play him.

#4 – Trade to another ‘premium’

There aren’t too many other ‘premium’ rucks that I’m all that confident or keen on. Todd Goldstein ($383,700) has averaged 100 this season with 108 in the last 5 rounds. His ceiling is pretty high with 136 two weeks ago against Melbourne. He has been scoring well thanks to Hamish McIntosh being on the sidelines. He will be there for another 4-5 weeks according to the injury list so his scoring should be ok for the time being, but what happens for the last part of the season? Hmm.. also, Goldstein himself is listed as a test for this week for a hip injury. This isn’t a great sign.

Sydney’s Shane Mumford ($336,600) has been OK this season averaging 83 and could be a half decent option. He scores quite well in SuperCoach, but is a little inconsistent for DT. Matthew Leuenberger ($326,200) is probably the next best bet. You probably wouldn’t be happy with what these guys will offer up to your team if you selected them. For a cheaper option, Patrick Ryder ($280,300) has been down of late thanks to the Bombers playing Hille and Bellchambers. He is capable of scores much better than what he is priced at, so he is value… but comes with a massive risk.

#5 – Downgrade Sandi to Bailey

Now this one is from left field. Max Bailey debuted last week and the Hawks will be looking at playing him as much as they can. There are plenty of risks with picking Bailey, but you would only look at this option if you have a 3rd ruck you are happy with playing – ie. Zac Smith. So this is like Option #3 with playing Smith, but you will have him for the year (unless you upgrade him later) but while doing that, pocketing a cool $300K to help with doing whatever you want to your side. Would be very handy. You won’t have a $400K premium on your bench and you are able to do a couple of other upgrades. Win, win!

These aren’t ALL the options you have, but something there might take your fancy. Who knows what the right answer is. It all depends on how many trades you have left and what you are willing to do with your team. If you’re a Sandilands owner, let us know what you’re doing with him in the comments.

For more on Aaron Sandilands, tune into DT TALK LIVE from 6pm AEST tonight.

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