Deck of Dream Team 2012: Luke Hodge
The Hawks captain is one tough unit. He used to be a lock in the backline of any good DT, but since he moved to the Midfield is he still someone you want to have in your team?
Why should I pick him? Hodgey has always been a tough nut of the Hawks lineup and last year was no exception. He took over the captaincy of the Hawks team and also had varying roles. He only missed 3 games for the year, with the last of those being that restful game that the Hawks had on the Gold Coast. Nearly all of his averages were in line with the previous year where he averaged 103pts and only missed the one game. The only area that he dropped off in was his tackles, where he dipped by 2 tackles a game which is a massive 8pts and that would have put him back over the 100 mark. He still managed to get 24 touches a game at about 1.5 kicks to each handball.
One of the things that that his slight scoring drop off has meant for him is that he comes at a discount for us this year. He is priced at around the same level as ROK, Cotchin, Pav, Mundy and Goddard. His discount and lower scoring last year was partly due to him being restricted with a groin injury. Even with that injury he managed to raise the bat on 9 occasions and got to the nervous 90’s once and had 4 scores in the 80’s.
Since 2007 he has only averaged under 94 once and that was in 2009 where he dipped to 83 but he bounced back the following year to have 103. Given the high prices and the squeeze on your salary cap this year, he provides tremendous value.
His bye is a reasonably friendly one when you only look at the midfield with the only real downsides being that he shares it with the likes of GAJ and the two key Carlton mids, Mr 3 votes Juddy and Murph. So the saving grace is that you do avoid the issues of Collingwood and Geelong here.
Why shouldn’t I pick him? That afforementioned injury is the one that worries me. If he has a reoccurence of that groin injury (these things can linger) in the NAB Cup or preseasion then I would steer clear, it could mean he has reduced minutes which will hurt his scoring. The other concern is the emergence of guys like Shiels and Suckling and what they will do to Hodgey’s role. Those guys seemed to do some of his “quarterback” type role last year which could drain him of points. So once again check the NAB Cup to see if he has a role change.
That bye with GAJ and either of the Carlton boys will be tough to swallow for some. You just can’t afford to have too many guys out of your midfield at once. You will be able to move Goddard and Lids to the backs with Dusty going up forward during that week. But if you have Buddy as well you could potentially have 6 premiums out in one week which would make it almost impossible to get the win that week.
Deck of DT Rating: King. Whilst there are some question marks over him with that drop in scoring last year, you will need to really look at how he fits into your overall team plans, in particular for the bye week. I think that he will recapture that 2009 form and regain those two tackles a game to lift that average again. It might just be that his value at a lower price for a guy that should be able to average over 100 might just be enough to sway you his way. For me, I think he is a real chance to be in my team, if for nothing else than that value.
Hodgey was once a DT god when he had Def eligibility, but I think he can regain this in 2012 as a Mid only player.
Who do you want to see in the deck next? Hit me up on twitter @pkd73.