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Deck of Dream Team

Deck of Dream Team 2012: Dean Cox

Yesterday we kicked off the Deck with the premium Midfielder of the last 5 years, now here’s the Ruckman equivalent – Big Cox! The big fella is lethal in the ruck, around the ground, and up forward, whether it be by hand, foot or tennis ball! 2011 was a career-best for Coxy in a lot of ways, but what path will he take in 2012?

Name: Dean Cox
Club: West Coast Eagles
Position: Ruck
Bye Round: 11
2011 Average: 107.5
2011 Games Played: 22
Predicted Average: 101

Why should I pick him? Because he’s a top bloke and he’s been the best fantasy ruckman of the last 5 years! No other ruck has averaged or scored as many points as Big Cox since 2007, and that includes his injury affected years of ’09 and ’10. If that isn’t enough to convince you, there is enough evidence to suggest he’s only getting better!

At the ripe old age of 29, Coxy registered career-bests in a number of categories, namely DT Average (107.5 per game) Hitouts (28.6), Frees For (2.4) and even Brownlow Votes (0.82 a game)! And that’s with up-and-comer NicNat taking a much bigger portion of the ruck coconut than in previous years. He destroyed it at times this season, especially early in the year, and ended up topping the 120 mark 8 times in 2011! That’s huge, even for a midfielder, and particularly for probably the biggest bloke on the field at any given stage.

In terms of durability, his record is actually quite favourable, especially for a big fella. He played all 22 games in both of the last two seasons, and has only missed 17 games since 2005. You’d be hard pressed to find a better track record than that from a modern-day ruckman. But not only can he stay on the track, he always gets in done when he’s out there! He scored under 87 only 3 times in 2011, making him one of the most reliable DT performers last season.

Why shouldn’t I pick him? He’s pricey and he’s 30. While he seemed to be fitter in 2011 then he had been in years, there is always the increased chance of having your body break down when you’ve moved out of the twenties.

His end to 2011 was also pretty piss poor in comparison to the rest of the season, with scores of 57, 96, 97, 57 and 120 rounding out the regular season. Whether this was due to injury or old age or a dodgy combination of both, I think we will see his TOG gradually reduced over the rest of his career, especially as NicNat matures. Also, the possibility of being rested is quite high, especially as West Coast are keen to groom Lycett and have publicly hinted that they could be adopting Geelong’s highly successful but sh*t-for-DT resting model in 2012.

Another reason you might not want to pick Coxy is the plethora of young ruckman who emerged last year as genuine front-line ruck options, and can only improve. McEvoy, Goldstein, Leuenberger, Jacobs, Mumford, etc all demand consideration for 2012. Also, note that the Eagles also share the Round 11 bye with Adelaide, Brisbane, North, GWS and the Bulldogs, making compatibility with names like Goldstein, Jacobs, Leuenberger and even Giles or Hamish McIntosh a serious issue.

He also has a tendency to KO his teammates with anything he can get his hands on, just ask Josh Kennedy’s optometrist. More of an issue for his teammates though, really…

Deck of DT Rating: KING – Coxy is a legend, and you can guarantee he’ll do his best to secure you a ton whenever he crosses that white line. His issues with age and the fixture compatibility means he no longer attains ‘Ace’ status, but make no mistake, Big Cox is a gun and that won’t change in 2012.

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