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Deck of Dream Team

Deck of Dream Team 2012: Dustin Martin

I’m on the hunt for someone to do a Tom Rockliff. That is take their average from high 80s well over 100. Dustin Martin could quite well be that guy. A goal kicking midfielder, Dusty might be one of the big Midfield improvers in 2012.

Name: Dustin Martin
Club: Richmond Tigers
Position: Midfielder/Forward
Bye Round: 13
2011 Average: 89.4
2011 Games Played: 22
Predicted Average: 103

Why should I pick him? For the last few years we have searched for what we have called a ‘third-year-breakout-player’… there have been some great examples of this, but many are hit and miss. Dustin Martin hits his third year and is building into a pretty handy Dream Team player along the way. He averaged 89 last season from his 22 games after a debut season of 21 games and average of 71. As for games played, he ticks the durability box without question.

I’ve been thinking about Martin for a few months as a unique midfielder to select in my team. The Tigers are ‘on the way up’ and Dusty one of the shining lights in their midfield makeup. There is a bit of talent there (eg. Cotchin, Deledio, Foley, etc), so attention can be spread I feel. When he has copped a tag, he hasn’t done too badly. For example, in Round 8 last year Liam Picken went to him and still managed 26 touches and cracked 102 DT points. A lot of games in 2011 he went head-to-head with opponents.

Last season 7 of his games Martin scored 100+ with another 6 above 90 points. His highlight was in Round 5 against North Melbourne where his 33 touches and 4 goals gained him his career high 141 points. Goal kicking has helped boost Dusty’s scores, finishing with 31 for 2011. This should make him a MID/FWD in my opinion, but it won’t happen. It has been confirmed today (19th December, 2011) that Dusty will in fact be a Dual Position Player named as a MID/FWD. Hello boys! Lock him in!

Now to finish the ‘pros’ about Dustin Martin, you have to always reference a “He’s Flying” article. Last month the Herald Sun talked up how he is much fitter this year and doing his Tan run with Brett Deledio, one of the fittest at the club. Last pre-season he was in the weight loss group yet now he has dropped his puppy fat and aims to be playing a couple of kilos lighter. Anyway, this is only good news. A full preseason is on the cards.

Why shouldn’t I pick him? The multi-bye rounds will always be of concern for all players we consider. Richmond share theirs with Gold Coast, Carlton, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and St Kilda. The man who kicked off our Deck of DT, Gary Ablett, will probably be in a lot of teams and if you mix in a Carlton midfielder in there, that round could prove costly.

While there isn’t much downside, if Martin cops the tag and therefore doesn’t show a great deal of improvement in scoring, he is a waste of a pick. To be honest, we need at least 100+ average for him to even finish as a respectable 6th midfielder. Is (my predicted) average of 103 enough? Well, any player improving by 14 points per game is always a good thing but we’re buying him at a keeper price. Hmm…

Deck of DT Rating. QUEEN – Dusty is ready to step up to be a 100+ type player. He showed enough in 2011 and coming into this pre-season in a bit more shape, I’m backing him in to be one of the premiums that we all ‘saw coming’ and knew we should have got on! Would be awesome if he followed our boy Tom Rockliff who took his 2nd year average of 87 to 112… the challenge is thrown out there Dustin Martin, are you up to it?! And now with DPP, Dustin Martin will be in 300,000 Dream Teams!

FOLLOW WARNIE ON TWITTER: @WarneDT

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