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Deck of Dream Team

Deck of Dream Team 2012: Sam Mitchell

This should be pretty obvious, this guy is one of the top midfielders in the competition and he knows how to get his hands on the footy! With very little talk about “Chicken Schnitzel” Sam Mitchell this pre-season, could he be a handy unique to select in your midfield? Dunny had a look in detail.

Name: Sam Mitchell
Club: Hawthorn
Assistant Coach 2012 Price: $554,000
Position: Midfielder
Bye Round: 13
2011 Average: 112
2011 Games Played: 20
Predicted Average: 112

Why should I pick him?

This should be pretty obvious, this guy is one of the top midfielders in the competition and he knows how to get his hands on the footy!  In 2011 he had his highest level of disposals per game for the last 6 years at 30.5.  This corresponded with an increase of 11 points average over the past season and 10 on the year before.  Over the 5 years his kick to handball ratio has been continually improving.  He loves to chip it around and that is what we love to see, a kick first attitude.  On top of that, he is always in the middle of the pack and as a result he has averaged over 4 tackles a game in the past two seasons.

In 2011 Mitch only had 4 games where he scored less than 100, of those there was a 61, 79, 90 and a 96.  To counter this he had 8 games where he scored over 120, considering he only played 20 games, he is nearly a 50/50 shot to be scoring 120+.  Those low scores were obtained against St Kilda, Sydney, Gold Coast and Carlton respecively.  I would disregard the 90 as that came in that round 24 clash that meant nothing as he was probably just taking it a touch easy.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

The bye’s are his biggest enemy this year.  He shares it with Gold Coast, Carlton, Richmond and St Kilda (oh and Port Adelaide).  So if you are looking it taking a combo of Ablett and Gibbsy or Murph, then this makes it almost DT suicide to take Mitch as well.  This year more than most the bye’s make crafting your midfield very difficult.  If you are planning to start with Pendles or Swanny and not Little Gazza, you should certainly consider having Mitch in the team (personally I wouldn’t take more than two of these guys having the bye in the same week).  All 4 of these guys with the bye are priced pretty much the same and as a result there isn’t anything to be saved in your salary cap by picking one over the other.

The only other concern is whether he can continue the form that he was in last year or was it just a one off spike in his performance which would then mean that he is overpriced for this season?  He seemed to be everywhere last year and being another year older is this going to hurt him?  He reaches the “magical” age of 30 this year and I know that a lot of DT’ers have the rule of not picking someone over 30.

Deck of DT Rating:

Ace. As mentioned before, Sam is one of the elite players in the competition and will bring you elite scoreing each and every week.  He would be a safe bet to put the C on as well as he will score over the ton in at least 75% of his games.  I think that I would be willing to look past the age factor with Mitch as he seems to be getting better with age.  Whilst his price is high, you know pretty much what you are going to get from him, and if you don’t take him, I would almost bet you will pick one of the other guys in this price bracket, of these guys, Sam is the most mature and as a result is likely to be the most consistent (apart from Gaz who is also pretty consistent).

However, the biggest issue for me is still that bye.  You will need to make sure that you have an adequate spread of premo players in that midfield that can get you through the bye, if you aren’t taking Gazza, I would put Mitchell on the must have list.

Look forward to chatting to you all on twitter @pkd73.

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