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Chook’s Rooks – Round 13

While our premiums failed, our rookies rubbed our noses in it with poor scores from those you’d usually start, and big scores from those back on the bench. Anyone have Shane Savage captain?

If you haven’t picked through the pages of Uncyclopedia yet, you should. Our rookie players have had a look, particularly at the advice on How To Kick A Man When He’s Down. In a week when so many “premiums” and popular on-field rookies failed to deliver, many of the rookies left on the bench decided to produce some of their best work of the season. While on-field forwards like Nick Riewoldt and Chris Knights crawled to 20-something scores, back-up blokes like Luke Bruest and Jeremy Howe were over on the bench raising the bat for well-earned centuries. When Jimmy Bartel and Leigh Montagna copped the red vest with such paltry scores to their names, midfield cover like Shane Savage (164!) and Sam Iles (85) were going gang-busters. Former backline beauty Brendon Goddard stunk it up on the field yet again, while stranded on the bench was Stefan Martin and Andy Otten with their combined score of 210. Everywhere I looked, coaches had superior scorers on the pine than on the ground. Even the much-maligned Rohan Bewick would’ve outscored most of the gun midfielders this week! Don’t be tricked, though. As soon as you need one of these blokes to actually contribute to your score by covering a doughnut, they’ll happily halve their score.

Following on from tbetta’s entire team of Breakers this week, I thought I’d put together a team of players that, at the start of the season, could all have been bought at rookie price (<$160), and see how they compared. Keep in mind that two of this season’s top rookie scorers, Zac Smith and Dave Swallow (back this week), were rested with ankle complaints, too.

BACKS
Martin (114) Otten (96) Nicholson (90) Pedersen (84)
Stanley (83) Hibberd (80) Puopolo (68) EMG: Duigan (67)
MIDS
Savage (164) E. Barlow (91) Iles (85) Bewick (73)
Curnow (73) Weller (68) BENCH: Libba (62)
RUCKS
Bailey (84) Gawn (63) EMG: Vardy (49)
FWDS
Bruest (112) Howe (105) I. Smith (99) Lynch (86)
Johnson (84) Dahlhaus (76) Mzungu (74) EMG: Bucovaz (49)

 

That team, if you were lucky enough to put the C on young Savage, finished with a score of 2116 – about 1300 more than the Breakers and probably a fair bit more than our own Dream Teams too. Admittedly, about half of those blokes were involved in the Hawks-Suns game at Australia’s most profitable ground for DT, Aurora Stadium in Launceston. Still, not a bad effort for a bunch of blokes that would’ve cost just a couple of mil at the start of the year.

Three-or-more gamers

Dyson Heppell and Jack Darling, two of the few rookies who may have actually been on the ground for you this week, produced low scores yet again and, as a result, dropped about $15k each. If you’re not keeping them for the duration, it really is time to sell. If you’re like me and you can count your remaining trades on one Daniel Chick hand, then these blokes are in for the long, ride home. If you’re swimming in trades, however, then it could be time to off-load to a Shaw/Didak type, bearing in mind that Heppell would of course be unavailable for your league grand final, if you make it that far.

Two gamers

Just the four rookie-priced players on the bubble this week and, unless St Kilda’s Nick Winmar gets up, not a dual-positioner in sight. The best of the lot looks to be Western Bulldogs flyer Luke Dahlhaus, whose DT points have been flowing as thickly as his dreads. A 76 in his first full game followed 34 points in his first game, in which he saw only about half the match after starting as the sub. I wouldn’t be rushing to bring him in, but if you need to downgrade a forward to find some funds, then Dahlhaus would be a decent shout. Another Bulldog who has played the last two games is Ed Barlow, who, although not technically a rookie, just fits under the rookie price cap at $152,800. He scored 91 last week and can be selected in the midfield. But rather than take either of these two, I’d keep an eye on the teams as Adelaide $80k mid-fwd Ian Callinan could be named this week after a second strong showing in the SANFL (sorry to bang on about him, but I just feel he’s a better option than Dahlhaus or Barlow due to price and DPP). The other two gamers this week – Jordan Lisle and Mitch Golby – are both backs at injury-hit clubs. Lisle in particular has the chance to hold down a spot for the medium term, although don’t expect big scores. Golby’s been inconsistent to date, with a first-up 70 followed by a 39. He too should get a decent run given the spate of injuries at Brisbane and the team’s poor ladder position.

One gamers

While he looms as a decent downgrade target this week, Dahlhaus did his fellow rookies a great disservice by telling the media he thought it was fair enough that debutants copped the green vest. WTF, Luke?! Only DT irrelevant players should cop the vest! Or players that my opponent has but I don’t! Not rookies, mate. Anyway, his own coach didn’t take heed of Dahlhaus’s words, with Rocket Eade giving defender Jayden Schofield a full game in his debut against Adealide. Unfortunately, Schofield scored like a sub anyway, notching just 29 DTs. Michael Voss and Mark Harvey DID lump the green vest with the round’s other debutants, forward pair Patrick Karnezis and Ben Bucovas. Both scored reasonably well, compiling a little less than 50 each despite seeing half a game (or a little more in Bucovas’ case).

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