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Deck of Dream Team

Deck of Dream Team 2012: Allen Christensen

Allen Christensen’s name has been thrown around more often in this off-season’s DT chatter than a dwarf at an English Rugby players post-match party. He’s already got a cult following and the fan fave has big expectations placed on him for 2012. Is a second-year breakout on the cards?

Name: Allen Christensen
Club: Geelong
Position: Midfielder/Forward
Assistant Coach 2012 Price: $338,800
Bye Rounds: R12
2011 Average: 68.5
2011 Games Played: 17
Predicted Average: 88

Why should I pick him?

The preseason DTT and Twitter chatter around Allen Christensen has been very positive and he looks like the type who could emulate the second-year heroics of Nathan Fyfe. After a quiet start to his rookie year, Christensen really got in the groove in the last 10 games of the 2011 home/away season, posting four tons and averaging 85.2. For interests sake, let’s compare Christensen’s and Fyfe’s numbers in the last 10 games of their respective rookie seasons.

AC 109 56 73 120 113 76* 113 67 30* 95 85.2
NF 78 53 72 33 66 51 100 60 72 62 64.7

*Started as substitute.

If you’re going by statistics alone, Christensen is already ahead of Fyfe in setting himself up in the fantasy breakout stakes, boasting a stronger finish to the last-10-games of his rookie year with an average of 85 versus Fyfe’s 64. He also managed the following averages-per-game during that streak: 18.2 touches, 3.8 marks, 1.6 goals, 5.1 tackles. That’s pretty impressive bearing in mind that he started two of those ten games in the green vest! However, let’s look beyond the numbers as stats like these are never a sure-fire indicator of a breakout Dream Team candidate.

There’s no doubt that the kid can play. Actually, he’s not so much a kid as he’s turning 22 in 2012, which gives you more reason to pick him. He has matured both physically and mentally over the course of 2011, stepping up very naturally when given a good run in the latter part of the season. Going into his second year with that barnstorming finish under his belt, he’ll be even sharper and stronger.

He adds plenty of dash and tenacity to the class of the veteran Cats, injecting a fair bit of spark into their game. He has a good nose for the ball, able to sniff if out around stoppages and then finding the space to use it. It didn’t take the livewire very long to establish himself as a fan favourite in 2011.

Chris Scott has been pretty positive with his young guns and the Stokes look-a-like should feature prominently in Geelong’s best 21. And one last thing… He will be a MID/FWD, giving you some dual-position flexibility if you select him as a starter in your 2012 squad.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

The dreaded second-season blues… Yes, this phenomenon does strike and Christensen will be under a fair bit of pressure to push on after his 2011 performances, but the support structure and progressive environment around him at Geelong puts him in good stead to continue to improve in 2012. Off that solid 2011 average, he is also awkwardly priced at $338k, with no guarantee that he will morph into a DT gun next season.

You could also question his durability and his ability to maintain DT-scoring consistency. Although the former point should not be an issue with his ongoing physical development under Geelong’s renowned conditioning program, the latter point will be dependant on his role. Hopefully Scotty gives Christensen more responsibility in an already talent-laden midfield.

Deck of DT Rating:

JACK –  It’s a big call for a guy heading into just his second season, but Christensen has shown a wealth of potential in his rookie year and his ability to churn out big scores makes him an attractive proposition. With the Cats bringing on their young players to maintain their competitiveness, expect young Allen to get his fair share of opportunities in 2012 and up his DT output in the process. Whether he is capable of a Fyfe-like breakout second year to justify his significant price tag is the big question, but he has shown that he has both the talent and the mettle.

On the tweetvine: @TeeTeeDT

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