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Deck of Dream Team

Deck of Dream Team 2012: Zac Smith

Let’s have a look at a ruckman by the name of Zac Smith. After being one of the most selected players last year, Zac now finds himself carrying a price tag of $355,400 which makes him no longer an automatic lock. But he is Gold Coast’s #1 ruck who averaged 72 in his debut year… can he go even better in 2012?

Name: Zac Smith
Club: Gold Coast Suns
Position: Ruck
Assistant Coach 2012 Price: $355,400
Bye Round: 13
2011 Average: 71.9
2011 Games Played: 20
Predicted Average: 86

Why should I pick him? Before I started researching info on Zac… he wasn’t on my radar one bit, things have changed and here are the reasons why.

  1. Zac Smith averaged 71.9  for the year with an average of 80 in the first half of the season only to tire to an average of 63. He’s fitter and stronger now and this should not happen again.
  2. Gold Coast have an awesome start to the 2012 season playing 7 of the bottom 8 teams in their first 9 games of the year. What a start!
  3. Zac Smith is thier only ‘good’ ruckman! Yeah they have Fraser (16 games in 2011) but at the end of the day… Zac is a future star, franchise player and he’ll go bang one year very soon.
  4. Check out when the good big boys have their byes.

Rd. 11 = Cox, Goldstein, Leuenberger, NicNat, McIntosh, Jacobs
Rd. 12 = Sandilands, Mumford, Jolly, Ryder
Rd. 13 = McEvoy, Kruz

Whoop de doo bazil… Hang on, this is mega important this year. You can’t have all your ruckmen sitting out at the same time. Picking a Cox/Berger combo would be just stupid because of this. Basically, Zac Smith shares a bye with hardly any other ‘good’ rucks and will sit nicely next to a big name premium in your team.

Why shouldn’t I pick him? It takes rucks a long time to develop. Here is the perfect example for you. It took DT superstar Dean Cox, 5 years to boost his average from 77 to 95 in his break out year and took the exact same time (5 years) for Leuenberger to have his break out year (2011) knocking his average from 77 to 93. Goldstein (75 to 95) and Mumford (80 to 91) broke out a little quicker, but it still took them 4 years to do so. Amazing really!

Deck of DT Rating. QUEEN – Zac is a ‘Queen’ because he comes with so much uncertainly of whether or not he can actually rise his average to an acceptable level for your #2 ruck. In the past, the Sandi/Cox combo was your goal by the end of the DT season… but with the rise of the younger rucks and the byes in place, it’s not that simple anymore. Is Zac a star ready to go bang or will it take him a few more years on the track and in the weights room to bump this average of his towards the 90 mark? It’s not 5 years away, let’s clear that up… but it may not be next year either.

TWITTER: @CalvinDT to chat dreamteam and stuff!



  1. sugnayeragam

    January 3, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Nice article Calv, point 3 about why to pick Zac has a typo if u wanna fix it. Smith is probably a bit overpriced compared to yesterday’s card in H Mac. Smithy is $100 grand more expensive and you’d think they’d average about the same. It’s a SandBerger combo for me at the moment, but I haven’t done too much looking into my team.

  2. Pettiger

    January 3, 2012 at 7:53 am

    He is going to be good, just not DT material this year.

    • Sloth

      January 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm



    January 3, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Good write up Calvin but i’m thinking he’s way over priced for last years average. Makes the H Bomb look even more attractive?

  4. adzman

    January 3, 2012 at 8:17 am

    rucks rucks rucks.. they are everywhere this year!

    finally a differentail to the old cox/sandi combo could actually get you ahead in the game…

    i reckon smith will bat at about 85av this year.. not enough unfortunatley

  5. feathertopDT


    January 3, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Tempting very tempting especially cos of the byes

  6. mtooler

    January 3, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Pass on Smith. Maybe in a few years.

  7. adzman

    January 3, 2012 at 9:15 am

    so is giles this years smith then?

  8. Fabregas

    January 3, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I’m seriously thinking about him. With another full pre-season under his belt, Zac won’t get tired and drop off like last year. The nurse will draw the screens on Fraser at some point in the next 18 months and he’ll fade out, leaving Zac to get more ruck time.

    With 95%+ of teams likely to go with Giles/Stephenson (Rd 11/12 byes) as their bench ruckmen, the fact that Zac has a Rd 13 bye – like McEvoy – makes him very attractive in terms of ruck cover for Rd 11 and Rd 12 (with 4th ruck being Cox/211/Berger/Mummy).

    I believe he can average~85 and i’m not convinced McBerger (93 and 91 avg last year) will automatically improve in 2012. He’s $100k cheaper than those 2 and could be closer to them at year end than you might think…

  9. Fabregas

    January 3, 2012 at 10:21 am

    The other thing is that McEvoy’s average jumped from 59 to 91 last year – yes, as a result of Gardiner missing virtually the whole year – but how many people saw that coming 12 months ago? Stating on the record in Jan 2011 that McEvoy would be a gun ruck for 2012 wouldve gotten you a turkey slap or ten for your trouble!

    Not at all far fetched that McEvoy could drop 5 in average (to 86) and Zac could lift on his 1H average (to 85) and sustain it. Just sayin’…

  10. thejamster

    January 3, 2012 at 10:46 am

    isnt it funny how when people average more in their second half of the season, they will breakout (allen christensen), and when they average more in their first half, they will also breakout!

  11. GrandOldFlag

    January 3, 2012 at 10:48 am

    He will be a star but am still going to go the Hmac at this stage.

    • thejamster

      January 3, 2012 at 11:06 am

      Hmac would be a lock if he went to port, but there is too much competition in petrie and goldstein for him to score well.

  12. tuppy

    January 3, 2012 at 11:15 am

    if heez not injured heez in simple, have my four and he is one ‘locked’,,im willing to take a risk with him no problam,and if it doesnt work this yr,ill try again nexy yr luv this bloke he is a future gun


      January 4, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Finally someone who knows what they are talking about… Zac Smith is a genius… Anyone who disagrees simply knows nothing

  13. PurpleArmy

    January 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Just curious but are there gonna be any more ‘Backs’ in the deck?. There’s only been 1 so far (Tony Armstrong) compared to 8 Rucks. Would love to know about guys like Adcock, Lake, Conca, Waters etc in a bit more detail :)

    Zac Smith is an interesting one, never thought about him at all but at his price I would rather spend a little more and get in a premo. Gonna be watching him this year closely for next year though. Nice write up Calvin

    • Warnie


      January 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      I’ve got a couple of backs coming…

      • PurpleArmy

        January 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm

        Awesome Warnie

      • McRath

        January 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm

        Good stuff Warnie… agree that the deck has been a bit one sided thus far – all rucks and mids…

        Keep them coming!

        • PurpleArmy

          January 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm

          Yeah i meant true ‘Backs’ as well as mid prices etc. Lids is a given for every team anyway

    • tbetta

      January 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      What are we counting Deledio as these days then? Poor Lids…

      Hear you loud and clear though, I’ve got at least one DEF coming.

      • McRath

        January 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm

        In 2012 I think Lids can be classed as both – so 1/2 point there for him haha

    • JungleMuffin

      January 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      Warnie got Back.


  14. McRath

    January 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Great write up Calvin… Unfortunately doesn’t fit into my structure for 2012 – I’m wanting 2 rucks that will be/become premo in 2012 so I can set and forget… At the moment that is with Leuey and McEvoy/Mumford. I think Smith will increase his avg to around 85 in 2012 as well… but not enough for me to pick him up this year.

    Lock for 2013 – I think Smith may be one of the earliest breakout Rucks in AFL/DT history – would not be surprised if he surpassed a 95+ average in 2013 (his 3rd year)

  15. Ziplock

    January 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    From memory, smith was my 2nd ruck in my first ff planner team for 2012. I loved the look of him, he served well this year for me. I don’t know if I’ve ever been able to get my message across coherently on the mini-epiphany I came to a couple of weeks back, but I’ll give it a shot again :P

    Basically, the reason why so many mature aged recruits (like smith, stanley, barlow, lower etc. etc.) do so well, is because they’re older than the 18 year olds, and subsequently have bodies more ready and developed for AFL than the teen-aged draftees. That’s pretty common knowledge, but if you think about it, the odds of a mature aged player breaking out in their second year is probably a lot lower than that of a 19-20 year old.

    Smith and his like got recruited because their body/skills was ready for AFL- there isn’t as much room for a marked improvement after just one season, as there is with the younger kids.

    Does that make sense? He’s already developed enough, that he needs more AFL experience to develop substantially more, not just a solid pre-season and better fitness under his belt.

    (ftr, I also see smith upping his average- probably into low 80s, but not enough to be seriously considered. I might take him for 2013 :P )

  16. Judd005

    January 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Not yet but soon

  17. PRo_MoE1144

    January 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    soooo many rucks in DoDT, we only have to pick 4…. :D

  18. JungleMuffin

    January 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I think it’s a good pick up that he was even on your radar.

    Have been strongly considering him for a while now, but man, it’s hard to overlook a Cox/Sandi to bring him in.

  19. crazymofo

    January 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    so many rucks this year is anyone even considering roughhead with his Fwd/Ruck option?

    Or is everyone just looking at Cox/Sandi/Luey/Goldy/Mummy

    • crazymofo

      January 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      take a h out of roughhead should be roughead

  20. Big Feller

    January 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Just out of interest are you doing 52 cards in a deck?

    • mtooler

      January 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      No, there’s not 52 ruckmen available for selection.

      • Big Feller

        January 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm

        Ha Ha – That’s the funniest thing I’ve read for the year so far!

  21. Friday Night Footy

    January 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    It certainly is a changing of the guard this year when it comes to rucks.
    Especially with the Sub rule now in force, these young and fit rucks are going to get more hitouts than ever before,
    zac smith will get plenty.
    Well researched Calvin. The “big boys byes” are excellent for decision making.
    can we get one more year out of cox and sandilands??
    mcberger will be very popular,
    sam jacobs will get plenty of game time and will be reliable.
    goldstein and h-mac being in the same team annoys me.
    mumford is more suited to super coach.
    rucks are doin my head in. good fun tho

  22. givedavisahome

    January 3, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Not gettin smithy considering the amount of ruckmen who are of a higher probability to do better than him. I personally think Cox will be too pricey and may actually be a little risky considering that. I am definately getting Sandi but am tossing between berger and mummy as my second ruck

  23. tigesboy13

    January 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Anyone considering Max Bailey this year for a potential break out?
    Only Hale to challenge for the ruck spot. Av. 68 last year from 13 games, should only get better.
    Bit of unique but thoughts?

    • smallmen

      January 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      Definitely thinking of Bailey ! He is a very athletic big man and if he has a full pre season and with the Hawks game plan watch out !!!

      • tigesboy13

        January 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm

        Yeah one to watch in nab surely.!!
        25 or 26 yrs old for a ruckman thats his prime.. and the hawks will be top 4 again

  24. James

    January 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Think Gorringe will get far more games this year, as will Hickey and Nicholls. Can’t afford to have Gorringe lured back to SA by Port and the Crows in a year or two. As a result, I don’t think Zac will play every game, particularly if Fraser still gets a go.

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