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Deck of Dream Team

Deck of Dream Team 2012: Lenny Hayes

Lenny Hayes was on the DT 2012 radar as soon as he was ruled out of the rest of the 2011 season after doing his ACL in Rd 2. Priced at under $400K while other midfielders in his class are well over that figure, Lenny should definitely be considered for 2012… That is if you aren’t put off by his age!

Name: Lenny Hayes
Club: St Kilda
Position: Midfielder
Assistant Coach 2012 Price: $382,800
Bye Round: 13
2011 Average: 86
2011 Games Played: 2
Predicted Average: 103

Why should I pick him?

This is Lenny Hayes! Seriously though, besides being a really good bloke, gentleman Len has been a mainstay for Dream Team coaches since his breakout 2002 season. From 2003, he has averaged 92ppg+ in all but two seasons, one of which was his unfortunate 2011 when he ruptured his right ACL in Round 2. Ignoring seasons 2011 and 2006 when he copped those brutal knee injuries, he has only missed 12 games over eight seasons. For a guy who hits the contest hard and leaves in all on the paddock, that is benchmark durability.

His Dream Team season averages for the past five years are listed below.

2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
86* 108 108 93 93

*Ruptured ACL in R2 on 65 points, 107 in R1.

While never quite in the elite category, he’s never been far away and he would be an outstanding value selection in your initial M3 or M4 position to eventually slide down to the M6 slot as a keeper after you upgrade your rookies. Listed at $382k for 2012, he’s priced at an 80ppg average and should be delivering consistent tons.

More positive notes come from reports in the media that Lenny has meticulously managed his knee after his 2006 episode, that he has recovered ahead of schedule and is back in full training with the main group. His preseason looks to be on track and there’s no reason to doubt that as the consummate professional, Lenny’s going to be ready to fire at the start of the Premiership season.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

You may have already put the ‘?’ next to his name if you abide by the fossil rule and by now you may have even drawn a line through it after his second knee reconstruction. It’s hard to argue against this as these are the facts – going on 32 years of age, Lenny isn’t getting any younger and while he will be in St Kilda’s best 21 in 2012, is his best behind him after sitting out the 2011 season?

Another complication is that there’s no firm return time frame marked out for Hayes’ comeback game. He was recently reported in The Age saying that he may be available for the ‘early rounds of next season,’ but without committing to a Round 1 start. So the timing of his return is an issue to monitor over the preseason.

Michael Barlow is probably the final nail in Lenny’s DT coffin. Returning to preseason training at full fitness and reportedly lighting up the training track, Barlow is priced marginally higher at $424k but with age in his favour he’s more likely to slot into the under-priced premium midfield spot in most fantasy teams.

Deck of DT Rating:

QUEEN – Mainly due to his age and the lingering doubts about when he will be back, although sentiment says that he does deserve the title of King Lenny as he has given his coaches so much for so long! Proven history and class are the keys here and with Lenny’s trademark drive and determination, 2012 should see him bounce back the same way as he started 2011. At great value with plenty of pluses but with queries in equal volume, what say you DT coaches?

On the tweetvine: @TeeTeeDT




  1. GrandOldFlag

    January 14, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Currently in the side, but may reshuffle him out as I am not 100% sold. Would be a relief if he weren’t selected for Rd 1 as that would make my decision easy.

  2. Pettiger

    January 14, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Well worth considering. On the watchlist.

  3. Birdy

    January 14, 2012 at 8:23 am

    still not sure about this one, not sure he will score enough for me to want to have him in my final team, especially if i decide to focus on league, however he could help out early if i focus on overall points, tough decision.. great write up TeeTee :)

  4. stkildathunda

    January 14, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Great read TT… but is a big no from me (for reasons check out the Saints Preview article).

    Interesting to note that from 2007-2010 he only played 75% game time. Coming back from another injury I doubt this will increase significantly. Especially given Watters will want to get more midfield time into Steven, Ledger, Armitage.

    • rastaman

      January 14, 2012 at 9:35 am

      The Saints firmly believe their premiership window is still firmly open. Lenny won’t be making way for any underlings.

      • rastaman

        January 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

        Maybe one too many firmly’s.

  5. AFL Babble

    January 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I think 93 is a more realistic predicted average, given that it’s what he averaged last time he returned from an ACL.

  6. jigojitoku

    January 14, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Lenny being back also changes the Saints midfield dynamic. Will he enable Monty to return to his high scoring best? Will Nicky Dal spend as much time in the mids? Will Roo get better service this year? The Saints will be an interesting prospect, especially under a new coach.

    • GJayBee

      January 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      I had Monty last year and it hurt me emotionally. I think there is a good chance he could have a better 2012, but once bitten . . .

  7. rastaman

    January 14, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Lenny is a DT grunt machine. Father time won’t bother him too much just quite yet as he has no pace to lose!
    If he shows good touch in the NAB Cup and selected for round 1 then he’s an automatic inclusion and fits the P6 midfielder profile nicely.
    With the Saints dream start of Port, GC, WBD, Freo and Melb he might just start with a bang.

    • Simbaruby

      January 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      6th midfield? you must have an interesting team?

      • yaajirobe

        January 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm

        I think he means that by the end of the season, Lenny will be his 6th midfielder.

  8. Shazzam66

    January 14, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I will be going Barlow over Hayes.

    Turning 32 and has had knee problems, plus the Saints midfield is going to be hard to crack, given that other players are going to get more time there.

    • kingerzz

      January 15, 2012 at 11:40 am

      hahahaha not going to make the team what planet are you on

  9. Bandicoot

    January 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I have numerous queries over Hayes.
    1. As stated in the article – he has never been in the elite category with 108 being his highest average annual score.
    2. Most players struggle when they first return from a knee reconstruction. It is their uncertainty as to “will the knee collapse again?” Therefore I feel Hayes will have a much better second half to the season than his first half.
    3. In order to ease him back into it, Watters is quite likely to start Lenny with the vest and in other matches will bring him off early. I also think he will spend far more time on the pine than he has in the past.
    4. And most importantly, Barlow presents a far greater upside than Lenny.

    Was a great write up though.

    • Recall

      January 14, 2012 at 10:25 am

      $382000 isn’t a price you’d pay for an elite midfielder he’s in my side as a mid pricer and a stepping stone to one of these outright guns

      • Bandicoot

        January 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

        but for the extra $42K, you can have Barlow (who is elite) and not have to waste a trade by upgrading later

    • AFL Babble

      January 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Given that he returned successfully last time, surely we have to back him in..?

  10. swanlow36

    January 14, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Too old and risky. Barlow over Hayes for me.

  11. Big Feller

    January 14, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I’m never gonna say the word “locked” again. Lenny’s been in and out of my side all summer!

    What would be the better combination? Lenny & Mitch Robinson or NDS & Johnny Brown?

    Looking at St Kilda’s draw they play against some pretty easy sides. I’m wondering whether NDS is a bloke who could really light it up this year?

    • Birdy

      January 14, 2012 at 11:29 am

      definitely go brown and NDS,i would prefer both off those players to the others

  12. Bandicoot

    January 14, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I know that this is totally unrelated to this link but as someone commented recently, we don’t have a link for general discussion.
    Maybe you can find a special place for this Warnie or bring it up in another post.

    The partial lock out advantage.

    Last year most of us took great advantage of the partial lock out by using Gibbs as our VC and then after his 140 odd point game making our captain someone who wasn’t playing that round (ie a GC player).
    Similarly, I used Foley as an emergency in case he had a poor one (which he certainly did) and therefore he did not count. Had he had a good score I would have included a GC player in my stating 22 in which case Foley would have been counted.

    This year, we start with two partial lock outs in round 1. GWS/Sydney plus Rich/Carl. Originally, I thought WOW. Do I start with Goodes or Murphy or Deledio as my VC and which of the mid/low price rooks will I use as my emerg swaparoo. Them I realised – there won’t be any players having a bye in round 1 to use as the switcharoo. I would think that most coaches ( I certainly do) will want to have the 30 players in their initial squad all playing round 1 (or at least named to play).

    What to do????

    • rastaman

      January 14, 2012 at 11:39 am

      For round 1, you don’t need to initially select a captain (if you have done so, just remove the said player from your team and reinclude). Then just set the VC against say Murphy and if he knocks out a big score don’t set a captain.

      • Warnie


        January 14, 2012 at 11:54 am

        Unfortunately, that has changed for 2012. More on that soon.

        • Chuck Norris

          January 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

          Wait, Warnie….are you saying….NO MORE LOOPHOLE!!!

          • Hurl_the_Pears

            January 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

            Dammit.. maybe we shouldnt have made such a big song and dance about the Captain’s Loophole and VS might have let that slip through for this year?
            Guess it just makes it a more even playing field, but did enjoy taking advantage of it and frustrating my mate who for the life of him couldnt understand the concept no matter how many times I tried explaining it to him! Still remember him putting the big C on some rook on his field which knocked out a sub-par score for him! :D lol.

            Lenny is tempting, had him locked all through last year but the discount isnt as juicy as I’d hope for! May still go both Barlow and Hayes anyway! (Skimp on the backline)

  13. GJayBee

    January 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Nice TeeTee, you covered all the bases on Lenny; priced at 80, costing more than Barlow and 32!

    Lenny being injured indirectly F#$%ed me up last year as I had Monty, not Del Santo. Bummer.

    For the last two seasons I have had a 4M at around Lenny’s price. This year I am crazy and will have a rook for M4. If I do go for a cheaper mid, it’s going to be Jesus, I mean Barlow.

    I made friends with a huge great dane that was called Lenny. I wrote an upbeat song for him called ‘Lenny dog.’ If Lenny Hayes averages 120 and destroys my dream team in the finals, I will write a blues song called ‘Lenny the dog.’ Either way, I am off topic so far that I’m going back to watching Warner!

    I have the DT’s

  14. adzman

    January 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    i think this year will be a changing of the guard year for me…out with the old (rok, goodes, cox, hayes etc) and in with the new (berger, martin, zaka, barlow etc)

    i’m playin the kids! sorry Lenny, its nothing against you personally but ive got a mandate from the board, its like a Richmond 5 year plan but i’m doing it in one and its gunna work!

  15. Presto

    January 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Too risky, coming back from major injury and the price is too high.
    Serious injury usually means slow comebacks. Often it takes at least a year to be back to their pre-injury form, if they even get back to it.

  16. giants

    January 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    So, why not Lenny AND Barlow. Both are premiums.

    And since when was 108 not elite? In 2009 there would have been maybe five players who scored that high.

    • yaajirobe

      January 14, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      At least 10 players have scored 110+ in the past couple of years

      • giants

        January 15, 2012 at 12:59 am

        In 2011 this was the case, but it never used to be. Had a quick look at the stats. In 2010 Swan, Goddard, Boyd, Ablett, Chapman and Barlow averaged higher than Lenny, in 2009 it was only Swan, Ablett, Chapman and Montagna (and Bartel’s was equal).

        Lenny is elite.

  17. Lenny

    January 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Great write up Tee Tee. There is no question about his heart, experience and skills! That is the reason he would be picked, however the uncertainty of his recovery and how it will affect him this year is risky. Along with his age and comparison with a younger Barlow. The heart says yes… the head says no… he is in he is out he is in he is out. Still my favorite player!

  18. yaajirobe

    January 14, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    I had both Barlow and Hayes pencilled in but after reading the article and the comments I’m thinking perhaps it would be better to upgrade Hayes to Swan and try to find another Suckling in the backline

  19. kevin

    January 15, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Love your work Lenny! You are a gun. IN IN IN!!!

  20. worldcuppa

    January 16, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Perhaps it is an indictment on the nature of this stats-driven competition that there should be doubt as to whether we should include the greatest St.Kilda player ever (notwithstanding the fact that unfortunately these days Tony Lockett is more remembered as a ‘Legendary Swan’).

    Certainly his age might be of concern but with more bench time during games and overall emphasis on recovery between games, 32 could be the ‘new 28’.

    I’m going with Barlow AND Lenny to save the consternation in choosing between both.

    • tigers1980

      January 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Ian Stewart was not a bad player.

      Lenny Hayes is not even in the same class as Ian Stewart.

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