Deck of Dream Team 2012: Grant Birchall
Birchall was one of the great improvers in 2011. From season 2006 through to season 2010 he had been a solid performer whose average was always between 70 and 79. He has also been a consistent player with his lowest amount of games played coming in his first year where he played 16 games. Is he in your calculations?
Why should I pick him?
Birchall was one of the great improvers in 2011. From season 2006 through to season 2010 he had been a solid performer whose average was always between 70 and 79. He has also been a consistent player with his lowest amount of games played coming in his first year where he played 16 games. He has also been very consistent with his disposals where he has always been between 19 and 22 average across those years. Then in 2011 he lifted his average up to 89 and his disposals lifted up to 23.76. The bonus for his scoring was that the increase in disposals came from kicks which improved his K:H ratio which means more points for us!
During 2011 it seemed as though he took on a lot of the role that Hodgey was previously playing in the backlines for the Hawks. He was the link up man across half back and spent a bit of time across the midfield helping out too. All of this translated into higher scores for Birchall. When looking at his scores for the year, his averaged is really affected by 3 poor games of 58, 62 and 63. If you take those three out then his average bumps to 94.4. His other poorer scores were all in the 70’s. However at the upper end he had 6 hundreds and a 124 as his best. There were another 4 in the 90’s.
Why shouldn’t I pick him?
The aforementioned poor scores are a little of a concern. Whilst there were only 3 of them, they came against Adelaide, Geelong and North so there isn’t really a pattern to it. So you just never know when he is going to misfire.
The bye’s aren’t very friendly to him in the backlines. He shares it with Carlton, Richmond and St Kilda. This means popular picks like Scotland, Carrazzo, Goddard and Delidio. This might make it hard to fit him into your team, particluarly if you are looking at his teammate Suckling also. Whilst he is the cheapes of these guys, he and Suckling are the only ones that don’t have Mid eligibility. This makes it very hard to pick him as he just doesn’t have the flexibility. Lids and Carrots are only about 9k more expensive whilst he is 30k less than Goddard and 50k less than Scotland.
Deck of DT Rating:
Queen. Birchall had a great increase in his scoring during 2010 in a tight Hawks backline. He has taken on a bit of a general role in the backline which has allowed Hodge to play in the midfield. If he can continue to be a link up man through the backline for the Hawks he will pick up a number of cheap stats and will improve that average up to the mid to high 90’s. I think his low scoring days will become 70’s and not low 60’s like last year, but once again we need to see the Hawks structure in the pre-season to get a feel for how he is going to use Birch in 2012.
However, the biggest issue for me is still that bye. You may want to have him to get through the other bye weeks and then trade him out before rd 13.
Hit me up on twitter @pkd73.