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Chook’s Rooks – round 19

At this time of year, with prayers for big price rises for our rookies replaced by prayers for an injury-free round for our stable of premiums, our attention turns to 2012 and hopes that guys like Andrew Gaff start copping that green vest again.

Sometimes, it’s best not to do too well in your worldly endeavours. The sex-change sprinter doesn’t want to set record after record on the women’s short track circuit, or their secret won’t last long. The odd win by a nose will have to suffice. Steroid-abusing Chinese swimmers don’t want to end up with shoulders like Jonathan Brown, or their doping will soon be discovered. Shoulders like (insert your scrawny friend’s name here)’s will have to suffice. The adult who enters the local supermarket’s kids colouring in competition to clean up the $20 voucher on offer doesn’t want to… you get the idea.

It’d be best if Andrew Gaff stopped doing so well, too. Not for his sake, but for ours. The West Coast first-year midfielder doesn’t want to keep knocking out 100+ scores, because he’s adding thousands of dollars to his DT 2012 starting price. Those 20s and 30s he produced as a “super-sub” for five of his first six games definitely would’ve sufficed. While wrecking his chances of being a viable selection in 2011, the use of Gaff as a perma-sub for the Eagles earlier this season meant he was on track to be a cheap pick – but one capable of raising his price significantly – next year. Eagles coach John Worsfold has let his young charge off the leash in recent weeks, however, culminating in Gaff’s 31-disposal, two-goal game on Saturday that translated into 119 DT points. In round 17 he chalked up 104 points before managing 58 in the Western derby in round 19. Those scores have helped push his average, which had been just a touch above 40 after his first six largely sub-affected games, up to almost 60. If you’re going the guns and rookies approach in 2012, Gaff, unfortunately, won’t be part of your plans.

Three-or-more gamers

It wasn’t a huge scoring round for the rookies (and their rookie-priced counterparts) but you don’t bust out scores of 2600 and upwards in a multi-bye round without at least a little help from your young guns. From what I can tell, Danny Stanley (83), Daniel Talia (55), Zac Smith (70), Andy Krakuoer (108) and Jack Darling (88) all contributed to the round-winning score of 2833 produced by DT Cubed Redux. If you didn’t have any of those guys on the field, you might have benefitted from Dave Swallow’s 104, Dyson Heppell’s 97, Isaac Smith’s 90 or Tendai Mzungu’s 84. Depending on the make-up of our team, any one of those would make a reasonable fill-in for Matty Boyd during the Bulldogs’ bye this week. Keep their respective opponents in mind, of course, and check out Get Off The Bench later this week to help guide your decision.

You’d have thought the Gold Coast Suns had brought a box of red vests to Metricon for the game against St Kilda given the number of poor scores to come out of the match but, no, only Matt Shaw (16) and Karmichael Hunt (24) were affected by the substitution rule, meaning Steve May (28) and Tom Lynch (27) just sucked. Cam Richardson (again) and Matthew Lobbe were the two most-selected rookies at the wrong end of the scoring chart, with neither able to crack the 50-point mark.

Two gamers

Also unable to tip his cap for a half-century was Marcus Davies, the second-year Blue defender who is the only two-gamer in the bracket this week. Davies was assigned a very defensive role on Friday night, but there are other factors that count against him too. The price tag is the main sticking point, coming in at a touch over $130k, but Davies is also a member of a team that still has a bye to come, and is listed in a position that will likely require cover during his team’s bye (few and far between are teams that don’t have at least one of Gibbs or Scotland in their backline). I’d be looking at one of the blokes below.

One gamers

Let’s be honest: your team is set and you’re saving your trades for the DT finals in case of injuries/suspensions/training-mishaps-involving-tennis-balls. No one needs rookies at this stage of the season, but if you’re still reading I’ll do you the courtesy of at least naming the newest kids on the block. If you’re still reading in the hope I’ll mention sex-change sprinters or square-shouldered freestylers from the People’s Republic again, then, no, go away. Suns first-timer Jeremy Taylor was the highest scoring debutant of the round, notching a nice 73 points, although fellow defender Michael Ross shapes as an equally adequate prospect, despite scoring almost 20 points less. Ross started as Essendon’s substitute but got to shed his green vest early on after yet another knee injury to teammate Brent Prismall. He didn’t look nervous at all about getting a go about an hour earlier than he expected against the reigning premier Pies. Not at all. But he settled well and could add to his games tally before the season’s out. Like Davies, though, the Bombers still have a bye to come and it’s in DT grand final week. A new (DT) ruckman debuted in round 19, although it’s hard to imagine West Coast’s Scott Lycett being much more than a place-holder in the Eagles’ line-up this year, unless Dean Cox starts pinging sports equipment at more of his teammates, that is. Your final two first-gamers from last week are Collingwood’s Ben Sinclair and Adelaide’s Aidan Riley, both midfielders who started as subs for their respective teams.

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