Chook’s Rooks – Round 4
A couple of GWS Giants are banging down the door to our Dream Teams, but are you willing to cut any of your not-yet-fattened cash cows to let them in? To Adam Treloar (and James McDonald) or not is the big rookie-related question of the week.
I’m sure this is the first time Greater Western Sydney rookie Adam Treloar has heard this, being the super stud he is, but cobber: you’ve come too early. A fantastic downgrade target who ticks the key boxes of scoring potential, job security and dual-positionality, Treloar would be drafted into just about every team in the country if his debut had been delayed by a few weeks. By then, the likes of Melbourne midfielder James Magner and fellow Giants Stephen Coniglio, Dylan Shiel and Toby Greene would’ve made enough cash that coaches would be champing at the bit to give them the chop. Now, though, they’re faced with the difficult decision of culling a cow before their time, or missing out on Treloar (and fellow bubble “boy” James McDonald) altogether.
We shouldn’t really be blaming Treloar, of course. The omission of Greene and the late withdrawal of Coniglio this week denied them the chance to add a few extra dollars to their already hefty increases. A good performance by either against Adelaide on Saturday might’ve fattened them up enough that some coaches would’ve been happy to take their cash and run. Magner played, but a role switch to specialist tagger saw him transform from a ball-winner to a bald loser. Okay, that’s way too harsh – on all fronts – but there’s no doubting his defensive job on Western Bulldogs captain Matthew Boyd, which resulted in him netting just 64 points, was worrying for the fact that it lowers his scoring potential significantly. It was as if coach Mark Neeld hadn’t played with Magnets before and wanted to see what happens when you turn them in the other direction. They repel, Mark. Put it back the way you found it, please champ. A horror schedule for the Demons over the next seven rounds looks like it could do more to hinder than help Magner, too. There’s still plenty of cash to be made from these boys, of course – Magner will continue making money as soon as he passes 22 points against St Kilda on Saturday, while Coniglio and Greene still boast negative breakevens (-4 and -32 respectively).
GWS ruckman Jon Giles was the highest scoring rookie of the three-or-more gamers, grabbing his second hundred this season with 101 points against Adelaide. It proved a timely ton for those coaches missing their Mummy yet again, but round four really belonged to the cheap backs, with defenders occupying four of the top six (and nine of the top 20) scoring slots this week. After Giles came Marty Clarke (95) and Brandon Ellis (79), with Cam Guthrie (72) and – who woulda thunk it – Karmichael Hunt (70) next best after forward Aaron Hall’s 75.
No worries about cash flow for that lot, then, with shiny new breakevens all around, but there’s trouble ahead for some others, like vest-collector Chad Wingard, of Port Adelaide, whose 20 points in round four resulted in a $4500 drop and a BE in the 40s. Starting as the sub also wreaked the scores of GWS back Jacob Townsend and St Kilda forward Jamie Cripps, but the DT drought that’ll have affected the biggest slice of DT players was that being suffered by GWS mid-fwd Adam Kennedy, who’s owned by more than 120,000 coaches. Kennedy has been shedding points ever since his opening-round 116, and managed just 41 this week. It could have been worse – he scored 18 points in the final term to flesh out another underwhelming performance. As Tbetta notes in his must-read Bullets, his role has been largely unchanged, with his spiralling scores being more as a result of GWS experimenting with its game plan. He’s the 10th most traded-out player this week, but I’ll be resisting the temptation from Treloar (until pre-lockout panic hits and I do another of my frenzied last-second trades, at least). The inconsistency Kennedy showed across four quarters is nothing new, of course, with popular GWS back Tommy Bugg falling foul of that this week, charging to 52 points at half-time before fading badly to finish with just 62 for the game. Teammate Devon Smith went the other way, crawling to 15 by the main break before busting out a half-century in the final two quarters.
If you’re not The X Factor and don’t happen to own both Adam Treloar and James McDonald, then this is the week to pick up one or both of the GWS pair if you plan on doing so at any stage this season. I’ve mentioned already that Treloar ($104,200, mid-fwd) is a super downgrade target, having chalked up a 66 and 85 in his two games to date. He just outpointed midfielder McDonald in the Adelaide match, although the farmer’s pre-ban 98 in round one and slightly lower starting price ($98,700) means he takes a higher BE into the Giants’ next match (Treloar is at -85 compared to McDonald’s -119). Put the BEs aside when deciding who to downgrade to, though, as your predictions of who has the greater scoring power and who’ll feature in the most games in the short-to-medium term should carry more weight than the $20-30k difference in their first price rise. For me, Treloar’s DPP status makes him more appealing to my current structure, having lost the link when I sold Western Bulldogs forward Tory Dickson for Greene.
As I said earlier, though, to downgrade you must first ditch someone else, and none of my cash cows look nearly plump enough just yet. That certainly rules the other two gamers out of consideration, as there’s no chance I’m sending Kennedy, Smith or Shiel off to the slaughterhouse in order to bring in either of Geelong duo Tom Gillies ($138,500, defender, 55 and 49 points) or George Horlin-Smith ($104,200, forward, 58, 40), even if The Hyphen’s second game was cut short by a red vest. At least they still have negative BEs. Gold Coast forward Sam Day is likely to leak – that’s right – leak cash at his first price change, with an average of 25 from his two games and a current breakeven of 50 courtesy of a $150k starting price.
Others who’ve played two games but didn’t feature in round four include Billie Smedts, Orren Stephenson, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Dom Tyson, Nathan Wilson, Broc McCauley and Tory Dickson.
Those passing on Treloar/McDonald will no doubt take plenty of interest in how Port Adelaide’s mature recuit Darren Pfeiffer fares in his second game, after the $117,800 mid-fwd notched an admirable 76 points against Collingwood on Saturday. Job security was one of the major concerns for Michelle in the pre-season, and the horrific injury to teammate Robbie Gray goes some way to easing that.
Nine other rookie-priced players entered the AFL fray for the first time in 2012 this week, with two midfielders – the Giants’ Anthony Miles and Fremantle’s Lachie Neale – the most fantasy relevant. Miles ($104,200, 89 points) is yet another prolific ball-winner nabbed by the GWS recruiters, while Neale ($98,700, 17 points) seems to be a favourite of new Dockers coach Ross Lyon who was slated for a round-one bow before an ankle injury set him back. Don’t be too deterred by Neale’s measly output – it’s all the green vest’s doing. Like Adelaide mid-fwd Sam Kerridge before him, Neale might be able to get three games under his belt before we are forced to pick him following that price-stunting first score. The other players getting the red P plates from m0nty this weekend will be Brisbane centre Jack Crisp ($85,800, 67), Adelaide defender Sam Shaw ($104,200, 59), Essendon forward Cory Dell’olio ($85,800, 43), former Carlton and current Bulldogs defender Mark Austin ($162,200, 41), Geelong mid Jesse Stringer ($104,200, 37), and GWS defender Shaun Edwards ($104,200, 24) and Hawthorn mid Brad Hill ($98,700, 9).
Are you bringing in Treloar or McDonald this week, or will is it a classic case of premature, er, downgrading? Let us know in the comments or on twitter (@ChookDT). Closing in on the 1000 followers, by the way. Being my 1000th probably won’t mean much to you, but it sure would make my nan proud. Twitter fiend, that lady.