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Rooks On The Radar: DPPs and Rucks

Last year it was Mzungu, and this time it’s Zorko. Why can’t we have our most promising dual-position rookies from the get-go? Here’s hoping there’s a Heppell in this year’s bunch.

You don’t throw words like “curse” around carelessly, but we’ve certainly been short of luck when it comes to dual-position rookies the past couple of years. At this time 12 months ago, mid-fwds Tendai Mzungu and Ian Callinan were installed in the teams of every DT coach worth their salt, and Ben Jacobs was the must-have mid-def link to the Goddards and Deledios in your backline. As it turned out, injury or illness meant none of the much-hyped trio were ready to go in round one, leaving the likes of Dyslon Heppell and Andrew Krakouer to shoulder the DPP load early in the season. This year, Brisbane looked set to provide some DPP goodness with mid-fwd Dayne Zorko and mid-def Sam Docherty shaping as useful picks, but both will miss some NAB Cup action, and possibly early season games, as a result of hip injuries. The flip side is that, like Mzungu, Callinan and Jacobs last year, the Lions pair could serve as strong downgrade candidates once a few of our initial rookie selections have a made a handsome profit. In the meantime, it looks as though we’ll be relying on Greater Western Sydney to do the bulk of the heavy lifting in the DPP department.

Dual-position players

Week 1: Rich/Haw/NM, GWS/Coll/WB, WC/Ess/Frem

It’s all about the Giants here, with the new expansion club certainly offering a bit more in the mid-fwd category than their Gold Coast fore-runners. Devon Smith ($121,200) and Curtly Hampton ($104,200) were the two that impressed the most in the Giants’ intra-club match, continuing rich form from 2011. Smith is coming off a monster 124ppg average over six games for Geelong in the TAC Cup last year, while Hampton played 12 games in the NEAFL, securing the side’s fifth-best average with 82ppg. His last four games of the season were huge, however, knocking up back-to-back 97s before going intergalactic with two 128s. It really is a question of how many is too many when it comes to Kevin Sheedy’s young mid-fwds, because Adam Treloar and Adam Kennedy (both $104,200) are also tasty prospects. A hip injury restricted Treloar to just six late-season games for the Giants last season, compiling a modest average of 71ppg, although he was a prolific ball-winner at junior level. Speaking of “prolific at junior level”, Kennedy averaged 98ppg for the Western Jets over 14 TAC Cup appearances last year.


Week 2: StK/Syd/Geel, GC/Mel/Bris, Port/Carl/Adel

With no GWS def-mids demanding too much attention at this stage, (Kurt Aylett may be worth monitoring), and Brisbane’s Sam Docherty injured, our best bet for releasing Goddard into the midfield could be Adelaide’s Luke Brown ($98,700). His average wasn’t too flash in the SANFL last year, playing 21 games as a running defender at a lowly clip of 58ppg, although he did have a midfield role at under-18 level in 2010, so has experience through the middle of the ground and around the packs. New teammate at the Crows Sam Kerridge (also $98,700, but mid-fwd) can boast a better average, scoring at 108ppg in the TAC Cup last year, although his under-18 championships was underwhelming, scoring just 38ppg. Elsewhere the mid-fwd bracket, Port Adelaide’s Darren Pfeiffer ($117,800) is one of the few remaining options if fellow mature-age recruit Dayne Zorko fails to recover from a hip complaint in time to force his way into Brisbane’s round-one team, although Pfeiffer himself isn’t forecast by many to be in the Power team when they start their season against St Kilda on April Fool’s Day. That leaves Geelong’s def-fwd and Twitter funny man Billie Smedts ($104,200) and Carlton’s mature-age ruck-fwd Sam Rowe as the other likeliest types. Both will be picked more for the versatility they add to our teams than for their scoring potential, although Rowe’s average of 71 with SANFL club Norwood last year shouldn’t be sneered at. Under the current structure of my team, most of the upgrading will be needing to done in defence, so I like having Smedts back there so that I can utilise the new rule and sell either him OR a forward to buy a big-time defender. I can see Rowe being used in a similar way with the rookie rucks.


No one needs any more convincing that Geelong’s Orren Stephensen ($98,700) and GWS’s Jon Giles ($117,800) should be cemented into your DT – they’re among the top five most-picked players this pre-season. If you’re running two premium rucks on the ground, then stop reading – you’re done and dusted. If you plan on rotating Big O and Giles through that second ruck spot, however, then you’ll want a heartbeat in that fourth ruck spot. Keep an eye during the NAB, then, on Richmond’s Tom Derrickx, Collingwood’s Jarrod Witt and Brisbane’s Billy Longer to see who’s most likely to earn a bow this year.

Thanks to those throwing up names that I missed in the midfield article on Wednesday (there’ll be plenty more here today, don’t worry). The major omissions were North Melbourne’s Sam Gibson (who somehow disappeared between the pencil scribbling and two-finger typing stages of preparing the post), Hawthorn’s Alex Woodward and Essendon’s Brendan Lee. All are definitely worthy of a place on your rookie radar tonight and on Sunday.



  1. Chuck Norris

    February 17, 2012 at 6:09 am


    Ripper article chook, always good info on lesser known rookies.

    Out of these I’m thinking:
    maybe sneak in Kerridge (crows supporter)
    and of course, Big O and Giles

    Let me know who you guys are picking!

    • GrainFedBeef

      February 17, 2012 at 6:30 am

      We should run a betting pool on which much loved rookie penciled in by everyone will disappoint us when not picked for round one due to some mystery illness, drinking infringement etc throwing weeks (did I hear months) of planning out the door. Does Hibberd bring back bad memories…….sat idle for several weeks.

      Zorko looking short odds……miss a couple NAB games, back for last one……..then…….

      • GrainFedBeef

        February 17, 2012 at 6:30 am

        ps. Good work Chook……..always an informative read

  2. Pettiger

    February 17, 2012 at 6:14 am

    Good one again Chook. Lots of names to watch.

  3. RandomPickaxe

    February 17, 2012 at 7:15 am


  4. RandomPickaxe

    February 17, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Incidentally, here’s the song you’ll only be hearing at the start of the games this year:

    I guess the Giants are actually from St Petersburg. I really hope their mascot will be a bear in a little fur hat riding a unicycle

    • dools

      February 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      not much chop imo, sounds like it belongs in borat as the khazakstan national anthem. I am however bias and pissed off as I also wrote a song fo gws and submitted it, without so much as an email from them thanking me for the time and money I spent trying to make their club an anthem. Heres my effort…

      • GJayBee

        February 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

        At least you had a crack mate!

  5. gabe

    February 17, 2012 at 8:09 am

    As I have SaNdi and

    • gabe

      February 17, 2012 at 8:12 am

      Sorry internet fuked up, as I have sandi and luenburger in the ruck u guys reckon should sell Them for big o and giles

      • JungleMuffin

        February 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm

        You should have Stephenson and Giles anyway.

  6. kem

    February 17, 2012 at 8:47 am

    If we use a proxy that’s outside australia to access the live website, will it work? Can we watch men cup tonight like that?

    • kem

      February 17, 2012 at 8:49 am

      Nab* (auto correct)

  7. tkol

    February 17, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I found this years suckling, and I promise noone has him yet.. I just pray he has a quiet nab cup!

    • RandomPickaxe

      February 17, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Which position?

      • Lenny

        February 17, 2012 at 9:45 am

        Maybe its the same position as suckling plays!

        • PurpleArmy

          February 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

          I bet its Kennedy (GWS)

          • tkol

            February 17, 2012 at 10:01 am

            Same position, same price range as Suckling was last year!
            All will be revealed in a months time’s time!

          • toasted

            February 17, 2012 at 10:21 am

            Luke Delaney perhaps?
            Daniel Connors?
            Phil Davis??

          • tomjay

            February 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

            connors is training with the forwards so forget him.
            no running half back role.

      • The Seamen

        February 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

        What’s the new ddp rules?

        • Chook

          February 18, 2012 at 12:13 am

          This year you can trade a player out and then swing a dual-position player into the vacant spot and then buy someone in the line that the DPP cam from. For example, if I had Billie Smedts (def-fwd) in my backline, I could simply sell him and pick up another defender like old times OR I could cut loose a maxed out FORWARD cash cow, flick Smedts to the forward line and buy that defender I had my eye on. Just gives you a few more choices.

    • rainman

      February 17, 2012 at 10:47 am

      Do his initials start with Luke Tapscott?

    • EMM

      February 17, 2012 at 11:00 am

      I’m thinking Easton Wood, Ryan Hargrave or Brodie Martin

    • Zan

      February 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      Lake.B ;)

      or what about Sierakowski!!!

      • jim cowski

        February 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm

        i know who it it is. risky but huge reward

        • giants

          February 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm

          @jimcowski If you and I are on the same page, then yes, probably the biggest risk/reward in DT. I’m on board, for the moment.

    • GrandOldFlag

      February 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      Simon White

    • KGENE

      February 25, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      Geary? 212K
      I would be very interested in how you came to this decision?

  8. Lenny

    February 17, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Nice write up chook as per usual! Hanging for NAB cup tonight!

    • tkol

      February 17, 2012 at 10:03 am

      + 1…

      Heading down there straight from work from some North Melbourne action woot!

  9. Diablo

    February 17, 2012 at 10:49 am


    talk around perth is Lecras = Anterior Cruciate Ligment.

    Also Barlow is missing NAB Cup due to his leg and there is some concern about how many games he will be able to string together during the season proper.

    • tkol

      February 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Barlow should be a lock for everyone, if not then definitely Hayes… great value :)

      • RandomPickaxe

        February 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

        Do you happen to live under a bridge, TKOL?

      • toasted

        February 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm

        Who are you trying to kid?

      • GJayBee

        February 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm

        Barlow should not be a lock for anyone in my opinion. He hasn’t been on my radar at all. And I only hope the news and reality doesn’t seep down to all the DT crazies out there!

        Yes, I am a cynic.

    • boagii

      February 17, 2012 at 11:57 am

      Where did you hear that?

      • boagii

        February 17, 2012 at 11:58 am

        About LeCras?

        • sparlo

          February 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm

          It was on the news in Perth last night and in the West Australian paper this morning. Still awaiting results of the scan to confirm how bad the ligament damage might be though.

    • sparlo

      February 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      Barlow certainly no longer the lock he was a couple of weeks ago.

      Must be really hard to come back from a break like that.

      I remember Nathan Brown was never quite the same after his broken leg. He still came back and played some really good footy but he looked like he was in Brownlow form before that break.

      Once again excellent write up Chook.

      Look forward to more of this as we approach Rd1.

    • PurpleArmy

      February 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      If Barlow doesn’t pull up, my options are downgrading him to Wingard/coniglio etc and using the money elsewhere or downgrade to Savage (Haw) my smokie for the year ;)

      • tkol

        February 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm

        Agreed… If Barlow doesn’t come through we should look to 3 premo’s 3 rookies in the mids…
        Say Ablett Swan Rockliff Rookie x 3….
        That way we can fill up our backs and forwards with premo’s until pendles and selwood drop, or after the bye. We’re on a real winner!

        • Killbot

          February 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

          Starting with 5 premo mids then, I assume?

          • Brappinalong

            February 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm

            TKOL is actually starting 7 premo mids (bench cover too)

          • PurpleArmy

            February 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm

            Nope got Swan, Ablett, Selwood and Barlow at the moment, if a rookie looks like shredding I’ll get him instead of Barlow so I’ll only have 3 premos in the mids but 5 decent mid rooks who can score and earn money. Could chuck Goddard in the mids and bench Brown (ade) in the backs for a better performing back. So many strategies to think of.

        • jim cowski

          February 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm

          good luck with pendles dropping in price. the guy is just so consistent!

          • GJayBee

            February 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

            How many rookies would it take to get a Pendles! It would take a 10′ Barlow and a 11′ Heppell to even get close!

      • Brappinalong

        February 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm

        Barlow will throw a bit of a spanner in the works. Barlow> Sloane is tempting but Sloane wont be a top 6-8 mid for TY. Hayes now enters my thoughts…hmmm

      • RandomPickaxe

        February 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm

        At first I chuckled at this idea … but then I checked out what my team could look like with 3 midfield premiums and 5 rookies … there’s a lot to be said for this plan.

        • GJayBee

          February 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm

          This has been my plan all along. I’m sick of my 4th cheaper mid sucking!

  10. DALBS

    February 17, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Nice work Chook, Does anyone really care who wins this cup though? It’s all about Round 1.

  11. GrandOldFlag

    February 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Might try and sneak down the pub to watch given that I don’t have (and am unlikely to ever have) fox :(

  12. Nathan

    February 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    same mate, still working out how to convince the mrs into getting fox connected. perhaps i should mention the fashion channel again…..

  13. Nathan

    February 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    oh..and tkol is full of it! love the swagger though..

  14. Magpie Mayhem

    February 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    You just need to break it down, tell her its only 10 dollars a week ( I thinks its really 15 with the footy)
    or even go further and tell her its a dollar a day, but most of all ( and this will be the deal clincher…………………*drum roll*……………tell her “YOU” will go without something each week.

    please post your thank yous to me on this site.

    • Craark

      February 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      I’m not certain I even know wtf you just said…

      • Magpie Mayhem

        February 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm

        ask your mum or dad son.. they will explain

  15. feathers

    February 17, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    got to love Dr DreamTeams evaluation of Orren Stephensen – Will need time to develop. Not this season.

    • dools

      February 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      lmfao!!! sheer gold! Yeah I’m sure they recruited the vfl’s premier ruckman at 28 to bring out the oranges at quarter time! The most locked player in dt… but we’re all completely wrong and he won’t get a game! Needs more time to develope hahahaa

      • GJayBee

        February 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm

        Let’s just refer to Dr Dream Team as Nurse Dream team from now on!

        The guy is about as on it as a Hearld Sun reporter!

  16. Johnny The Docker

    February 18, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Addam Maric looked fairly impressive. Any thoughts? Will he get game time?

  17. Nick

    February 19, 2012 at 4:02 am

    Does anyone know if Dale Thomas played? Might be a smokey to put in the mids. He seems to improve every year

    • giants

      February 19, 2012 at 4:04 am

      He did. He was the highest scoring player in the final game.

  18. Cameron

    February 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I have goldstein, griffins, McEvoy and Pattison.

    i have to get rid of either griffins or McEvoy to get more cash, not sure what to do. need help

    cash: $19,200.

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