Hawthorn Hawks: AFL Dream Team Picks
Dunny gives us his 5 Hawks that he has on his watchlist. With a massive chance to win the flag this year, there aren’t too many rookies to look at but there are a couple of ripper blokes that are a huge chance to be top 5 in their respective positions. Which Hawthorn Hawks are currently on your AFL Dream Team watchlist?
This series of ‘club preview’ posts are written by DT TALK regular contributors choosing their 5 players they have on their watchlist from the respective club. These aren’t who we think will be the top 5 highest scoring players… and are not necessarily in order. They are just our opinions of the 5 players who we have on our watchlist heading into the 2012 season.
Dunny’s Five from the Hawks
1. Lance Franklin (FWD), $503,000
You can’t look at the Hawks and not have Buddy at the top of the list. Buddy is the main target up forward for the Hawks who will stray up to the midfield if he isn’t getting the ball. So he is prepared to go and chase points! He should average over 100 yet again this year and with Gunston up forward who is a fairly solid guy who will demand a bit of respect from defenders, Buddy may not get double teamed quite so often. Just watch out for the Free’s Against. Buddy has never met a head he didn’t want to elbow (well not entirely true) but white line fever is something he catches often, so if you can put up with a few lost points and the odd game to suspension, Buddy should be one of your first forwards picked.
2. Sam Mitchell (MID), $554,000
The Extractor just racks up the possessions and the points. He averaged 112 last year and I can’t see this changing at all this year. He is the main focus of the midfield for the Hawks and is often used as a link up guy across the middle when they are coming out of defence. The other thing about Sam is his consistency, he played almost every game last year (only missed one) which is critical when you are selecting a premium priced midfielder.
3. Grant Birchall (DEF), $443,500
Grant really shot to prominence last year and was one of the higer scoring defenders. This was partly due to the role that he played and the high possession style of game the Hawks often employed when bringing the ball out of defence. He averaged just over 7 marks a game which tells me he is getting plenty of it! You will often see Birch streaming out of defence or down the wing looking to hit a target up forward. I can’t see this changing this season and I expect him to at least keep his average of 89.7 from last year. For many it is a toss up between Birchall and Suckling, but for me it is Birchall.
4. Luke Hodge (MID), $467,300
Hodgey is a known scorer. He was hobbled at the start of last year with an Achillies injury which really affected his time on ground and his scoring (6 of his 8 tons for the year came in the back half of the season). Yet he still managed to average a nice 94.5. His price is reflective of his scoring having been affected during the start of the year and this represents an opportunity for us to pick him up a bit cheaper this year. The hard part is being sure that his body is right and the fact that there are so many options in the midfield that you need to be sure that he is going to get back to that 100+ average that he has had in the past.
5. Cyril Rioli (FWD), $429,700
The boy can play. Let’s get that straight up from the start, and we all love to watch him. Cyril has exquisite skills and often will have the ball on a string and the opposition mesmorised. However, there is one thing that lets him down and that is his body. Two hammy injuries last year slowed him, but if you look at the last few seasons, he tends to average no more than high 80’s yet we see him in a lot of teams because of his potential. If he can break free in the midfield, have his body stay right for him all year, then we could see his average go up. It all comes down to when the stars will align for him.
Others on the radar.
Last year we saw the breakout of Isaac Smith but at $408k and as a mid only, he is just too awkwardly priced for me. Liam Shiels is another that is worth a keen eye, at $508k though as a mid, once again I think there are safer and better options out there. Another name that I have seen floating about in a few blogs and I am not sure that I could pick him is Shaun Burgoyne. Whilst he does have Mid/Def eligibility this year and is only priced at $354k, I think his best days are behind him and he has had troubles getting his body right some weeks, but he just doesn’t score enough for me and I don’t think you should be considering him for your team.
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