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!
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.
*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?