Why should I pick him?
I wasn’t planning on including Masten in the Deck… That was until I saw some very interesting numbers! But firstly, let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way.
Masten was a fringe Eagles player last season, in and out of the side due to both injury and form. And when he did play, he was often vested… So why should we go anywhere near him? Because West Coast enjoyed a freak run with injury, meaning close to their best 22 was on the park for the majority of the season. As much as I would like that to happen again in 2012 as an Eagles supporter, it won’t, meaning that a fringe player in 2011 will most likely be a regular in 2012; form and health permitting. Needless to say, this also reduces his likelihood of being the sub, an ‘honour’ usually reserved to youngsters (Gaff, Stevens) or fringe players (Masten, Ebert, McGinnity) at West Coast.
He also has the standard pre-season pump up, which basically said he’s tearing up the track yet again, dominating the 800m runs (see image – Masten, Shuey and Gaff lead the pack, with Sheppard and Neates close behind). Hopefully, this culminates in his first injury-free season.
Now for the numbers. As it says above, Masten played 10 games at an average of 56.3. But that includes his game in Round 1 where he only scored 12 before injuring his ankle and being subbed off. Remove that game, and he averaged 61.2 from 9 games. But don’t forget, Masten was often subbed for the Eagles, copping a vest in a further 5 games, in which he averaged 30.4.
So, from the 4 games he played without being subbed, he averaged 99.75! His last two home-and-away games he scored 140 and 115, mainly due to his increased fitness and more defined role as a tackling clearance player. In fact, he averaged 5.5 tackles a game over those 4 matches he played unsubbed. If he can replicate these numbers in 2012, he will be a huge mid-price improver!
Why shouldn’t I pick him?
There’s a multitude of reasons, so it’s probably easier to do it in dot-point form:
- He hasn’t had a fully fit year to date. He didn’t have a full pre-season in his first year (like most draftees), and in the years since he has been troubled by knee and ankle ailments. The good news is that they aren’t soft-tissue, so there is still hope.
- He’s a sh*t bloke.
- While his job security should be fine (as always monitor pre-season), his role is up for debate. Will he play as an inside midfielder, like at the end of 2012 when he was so productive, or is he more likely to fulfil the HFF position vacated by Ebert? And will that role be as fruitful for DT coached?
- Not only does he have sh*t tattoos, he’s gone and got himself some more.
- The 2012 buzz-word: Structure. Maybe you don’t want to have many mid-pricers, or you’ve already made up your mind on someone else. Or maybe you already have too many players from the Round 11 bye.
- He has a really sh*t haircut.
- I can never remember how to pronounce his name. Is it Mass-ten, or Mars-ten?
- Will he average enough to become a keeper? If not, would you rather pick a rookie instead, if it’s just going to result in an upgrade anyway?
- Every year he ‘burns up the track’, and yet, he hasn’t put together a full season.
Deck of DT Rating: Queen. The upside is huge (can net you close to $170k if he averages the 91 I’ve predicted), but the risk is just as big. His nab cup form will be essential in gauging his role and ability in 2012, so watch closely. At any rate, his numbers are highly interesting, and if they are a sign of things to come, Masten could be this year’s Shiels!
EDIT: Predicted average is based on Masten being injury-free and not subbed. Just reiterating, if you look at the numbers, 91 is an average he can easily attain if he stays fit and in form. This doesn’t mean you have to pick him, and I don’t expect you to – just an interesting talking point.