The Friday Scramble: NAB Round 1
As we know Friday is the most important day of the DT week. Teams have been announced and it is time for us to get prepared. So each week I will look at the issues for the week and try and provide some help. During the NAB I will try and provide some help on who to look at during the weekend’s games.
Last season I brought you Get Off The Bench, however, this year without those Bye’s each week we don’t need to worry about that quite so much, so this season on a Friday morning I will take a look at the issues that you will have to deal with of a Friday in setting your lineup and finalising your trades prior to Lockout. Let’s be honest, as the countdown timer continues to tick, it becomes more of a scramble to make sure you have everything just right to maximise your score for the round.
We will still look at good options amongst your rookie and fringe players, but that won’t be the only focus of the post. Popular trades and other information like that will also be covered.
Whilst the serious stuff and our real scrambling won’t start for a few weeks yet, I thought that over the remaining rounds of the NAB I will put out a few things that I think are worthy of you taking a look at over the weekend in helping you determine your starting lineup. So let’s have a look at the second half of the NAB cup.
Rookies On The Radar… or are they off the map?
Firstly, before watching any of these games make sure you have a read of Chooks Rooks and memorize those names! Whilst there are plenty of tasty rookies out there for us to keep an eye on, the one thing that you must remember is before you go and lock some of these guys in your team because they are ultra cheap and getting lots of time on the ground in the NAB, are they actually on the senior list or are they rookie listed and awaiting elevation. A few teams have players on the Long Term Injury list or have senior list spots available for other reasons (For Example: Port have one due to only having one veteran so can elevate one rookie for the entire season). There is little point having a guy on your bench that isn’t even eligible to get a game so can’t earn you money. Most of these elevation notifications will come after the NAB just before teams are announced for round 1, so keep your research on them and wait for the announcement that they are going to be upgraded.
Guys that I will have a keen eye on this week include Darren Pfeiffer from Port Adelaide who I think will get that permanent spot I mentioned above. Sam Rowe from Carlton is another I hope to see first hand if he gets a run. For the Crows there is Sam Kerridge who was their first draft pick who will be getting a run. Keen to see what he can do with his DPP of Mid/Fwd. Just not sure where he fits into their set up and if he will get a game going forward into the real stuff. Luke Brown is another that I am interested in but unfortunately doesn’t appear to be in the squad. As for the games I will watch on Fox Footy, The Big O gets a run along with Billie Smedts from the Cats, I think everyone will be watching those guys. Ahmed Saad, Terry Milera and Seb Ross will all come under close scrutiny for the Saints as will Tommy Walsh from Sydney.
Big Guns not performing how you hoped?
Some of our big gun hopefuls didn’t really fire in the first week which may have sent some of us scrambling to our teams to get them out and put “the other guy” in. However, I urge you to hold back and not worry just yet. I mean, take a listen to Swanny’s post match interview where he claimed to not even know they won. These seasoned guys just don’t take it that seriously yet. So take it with a grain of salt and just keep an eye on those guys that really are fighting to get onto the ground for round 1.
Injuries ruining seasons already!!
We all know that one injury can stuff your whole lineup. Whilst we don’t want anyone to get injured, if it happens in the NAB there is still time to make changes to our DT lineups. So far this year we have lost Le Cras and McAffer. I don’t think a lot of teams would have had big Brent from Collingwood in their lineup, but The Frenchman from West Coast may have graced a few teams (particularly over in Tbetta country out west). However, it isn’t just the season ending injuries to consider. Keep an eye out for those soft tissue injuries that people pick up, whilst they say they will be right to go for round 1. These injuries can tend to linger and then strike the guy down after a few tough weeks of the real stuff.
Speaking of lingering injuries, a guy that would be in a lot of teams in my part of the country is Jason Porplyzia. Whislst his shoulder isn’t the problem this time, he has picked up a calf injury. He isn’t playing this week, so hopefully we get to see next week how serious this injury really is.
Another concern that we have is that one of the GWS gun rookies, Dylan Shiel who is probably locked into just about every midfield at the moment was seen at the game with a Moon Boot on last week, now unless his appendix is in a different place to everyone else that I know, then keep a close watch on this as I haven’t seen anything come out about the reasons for this. Another rookie, Dayne Zorko has also disappointed most of us by getting injured, however, the upside is that for these guys that don’t play the first few rounds they are going to be good upgrade targets during the year, think Mzungu and Callinan from last season.
However, the biggest and most upsetting news this week comes in the form of knee surgery to everyone’s favourite Razor Ray Chaimberlain. News is that our most recognisable ump is out until at least round 6!! I am sure this is shattering news to Brian Taylor who loves calling games with Razor umpiring.
That wraps it up from me today, enjoy the games this weekend. As I said in my previous post about the NAB, don’t take too much in regarding playing time and positions until the last two rounds of the NAB as coaches are still experimenting at the moment. I will look at some more thoughts going into next week, but as we all know, the real stuff doesn’t start for another 4 weeks!
Tell us in the comments below what you guys are all going to be looking out for this weekend.
Hit me up with your thoughts and ideas for what you want to know about over the coming weeks on twitter @pkd73