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Deck of Dream Team

Deck of Dream Team 2012: Jon Giles

While we have a bevy of premium ruck options putting their hand up for fantasy selection, we can’t forget about the cheap options who’ll sit dutifully on our bench for most the year. Already, one of the more popular options is GWS Giant, Jon Giles. If you’re not already convinced, here’s what you need to know about him.

Name: Jon Giles
Club: Greater Western Sydney
Position: Ruckman
Assistant Coach 2012 Price: $117,800
Bye Round: 11
2011 Average: –
2011 Games Played: –
Predicted Average: 67

Why should I pick him?

Because Giles is this year’s Zac Smith. Smith (arguably) led the Suns’ ruck division with the assistance of a veteran in Fraser. This year, Giles is set to do the same under the watchful eye of the aging Brogan.

Giles’ situation does vary slightly however. While a 21 year old Zmith debuted after spending just the one year on Gold Coast’s list, Giles languished on Port Adelaide’s list for 4 years before being delisted at the end of 2009. Giles is now 24 and finally ready to step up to AFL level, which must be a huge relief for him, given his journey and probably even despite the likelihood of losing almost every game in 2012.

So what can we expect from Giles this year? As with any player who has never played a game of league football in their life, it’s probably unfair to expect a whole lot; but if he’s anything like Zach last year, we should feel safe in selecting him as the 4th ruckman. Unlike Zmith, Giles is much more mature in terms of experience and body development. The reason Zach tapered off last year was reportedly tired legs due to his first full season’s training load– we shouldn’t see any of that with Giles, who has been in the system for years before leading the Giants ruck brigade last year in the NEAFL and then being awarded the inaugural GWS Best and Fairest.

All things considered, I think it’s reasonable to predict that Giles can play close to all 22 games and average around 70 over the course of the year. Even though he’ll be playing in thrashing after thrashing (and not on the good side), he’ll see plenty of TOG and will definitely get near the footy a heap given all the inevitable centre-square bounce-downs.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

It’s a bit petty, but Giles had a small premium applied to him (due to being mature-aged), so maybe you would prefer to save $20-$30k and pick a basement-priced ruckman instead. Although, he is almost $30k cheaper than 2011 draftee Billy Longer; so it all really needs to be put into perspective.

Another important consideration is, once again, the byes. Cox, Leuenberger, Goldstein, Jacobs, and McIntosh are the other popular ruck options who shared the Round 11 bye, along with the aforementioned youngster Longer. You want to make sure you don’t have more than two ruckmen from any MBR, so make sure he fits your structure if you’ve already committed to others.

And there’s always the lingering thought that he may not actually be that good – it’s harsh, but he did spend all that time on Port’s list without getting a game. Maybe, like many before him, he is destined to be a star at State Level but a flop at AFL level?

Deck of DT Rating.

JACK – Put simply, what we need from our 4th ruckman is job security – and Giles has starting 21 written all over him. All he has to do is be available over the MBRs to justify his selection – appreciating into a decent cash-cow after that is a bonus! It’s a no-risk selection, and because of that I think Giles will be one of the most selected players in Dream Team this year. He’s a lock for me!

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