Chook’s Rooks – Round 6
Don’t worry, he’s not going to help you pick your captain. After bombing badly with Broughton last week, Chook’s back with a rundown on the rookies doing the rounds, including golden boy Kyal Horsley.
For some, the last half an hour before lockout can be a time devoid of any rational thought. Amid the scrambling for late injury news and the finalisation of Sunday’s teams, the pressure to snag the perfect premium and ditch the correct dud, and to click the right captain and elect the most excellent emergencies, can cause the indecisive Dream Team coach to lose the plot, drop their bundle or go completely out of their F%*KING MIND!
I know, because I’m one of the worst. Last round, I had the big “C” resting on Matthew Boyd’s shoulders all week. I started tossing around the idea of captaining one of my other premium mids – Scott Pendlebury or Scott Thompson – on Friday afternoon, but then threw all reason (and research) out the window about 10 minutes before lockout and clicked the “C” under Greg Broughton’s name. Five league losses later, a couple of cartons of egg on my face and it’s fair to say that didn’t work out too well for me.
Whether it’s picking a captain, selecting the right premium upgrade or the best rookie downgrade, or deciding whether to trade at all, the sensible solution that you arrived at during the week dissolves as the combination of Friday afternoon beers and the lockout countdown timer kick in.
This week, though, those of us who suffer from this truly debilitating condition can at least rest easy with the decision on whether to downgrade to Gold Coast midfielder Kyal Horsley or not. There’ll be no will you or won’t you. You will. The only reason you won’t is if you bucked tradition and drafted in the Suns rookie last week. Even then, you’re probably looking for a bug in the Virtual Sports programming that allows you to double dip and get him in a second time. He’s simply that good. Who to trade out? Well, that’s another issue entirely…
For me, it’s between Melbourne midfielder James Magner and Greater Western Sydney midfielder Dylan Shiel to make way for Horsley, a scenario facing the majority of DT coaches reading this I reckon, with Shiel’s teammate Stephen Coniglio another likely on the chopping block. All have easily attainable breakevens (Magner 17, Shiel 8 and Coniglio 20), and would normally be left in the paddock for another couple of weeks while their prices bulge that little bit more. But you can’t wait another week for Horsley, unless you want to pay $80,000-$100,000 more than everyone else, so someone has to go. Base the decision on average alone and Magner, scoring at 79 points per game, is the one you hold over Shiel or Coniglio, with 66ppg apiece. But, take out Coniglio’s sub-affected score of 46 in round five, and you’ll see that the two GWS boys have been steadily increasing their output (Coniglio has gone 53, 60, 73, 97, and Shiel has notched 36, 58, 74, 67, 81, 80), while Magner has waned, scoring 48, 64, 86, and 66 in his past four after opening the season with back-to-back hundreds. The discerning coaches will be taking the byes into account, of course, and this is where it comes down to the individual structure of each team. If you’re already packing a bunch of midfielders with the round 11 bye, like Boyd, Rocky or Thommo, as well as the GWS kids, then I’d be looking to move on Shiel or Cogs. But Magner (round 12 bye) must go if you were ballsy enough to start with both Swan and Pendles, with some Jelwood or Stants on the side. For the best downgrade information regarding the Horse this week, check out Tbetta’s Bullets article from Monday.
Elsewhere in the three-or-more game bracket, Port Adelaide mid-fwd Darren Pfeiffer made an inglorious start to what could be a short-lived career as a cash cow, scoring just 26 points. That was the culmination of what must’ve been a see-sawing ride for his near-40,000 owners. Low – Pfeiffer is named on an extended interchange for Port Adelaide on Thursday, sparking fears he may be dropped before his first price rise. High – Pfeiffer survives the cut when emergencies are named on Friday! Low – Pfeiffer is Reptiled, receiving the green vest for the Power’s game against Richmond on Sunday. High – an early injury gives Pfeiffer the chance to play plenty of game time! Low – Pfeiffer disposes of the ball eight out of nine times by hand in a putrid display of DTing.
Faring only marginally better were popular picks Adam Kennedy (40), Brandon Ellis (50) and Billie Smedts, although the latter’s 50 was a monumental improvement on his 4 the previous week. Even thus-far reliable ruck Jon Giles had a forgettable round, scoring a season-low 59 – which was the total ruck contribution for coaches with Orren Stephenson, Jarrad Redden and, say, Aaron Sandilands/Ben McEvoy/Shane Mumford. Vent with RL Griffin’s Open Letter to Ruckmen here. Ellis and fellow Richmond defender Steven Morris will need to be cashed in sooner rather than later and, unless you’ve got seven premium defenders already, I’d be trying to upgrade them rather than downgrading – it’s slim pickings back there at the moment.
On the flip side, there were some solid rookie scores racked up in round six. And then there was Toby Greene. A massive 122 against Carlton saw the GWS mid’s price soar another $40k and garner a negative breakeven, ensuring the cash will continue to flow his way for a little longer yet. Not bad for a 13-year-old. In the same game, Blues defender Paul Bower pumped out 116 points the week that 1000 coaches dropped him from their teams. A kick short of a century, Stephen Coniglio and Devon Smith both enjoyed season-high scores (in fact, Coniglio was only just short of his previous top score by half-time, at which stage he’d compiled 67 points), while James McDonald continued to roll along with a not-to-be-sneered-at 92.
Bower wasn’t the only rookie-priced defender hauling in the points, with Marty Clark, Karmichael Hunt and Tom Gillies all nabbing 80s, while Tommy Bugg continued his roller-coaster ride of a season with his 68 following scores of 96, 66, 93, 57 and 97. (Thanks to @ryanthompson_5 for pointing out the pattern on Twitter.)
A total of 10 rookie-priced players turned out for their second game in round six but, honestly, only two of them are worthy of a spot in your DT. I guess if you were desperate to downgrade one of those defenders to someone with good job security, then you could pick up Collingwood’s Nathan Brown, but don’t expect better than the 40 points a game he’s plodding along at thus far, given his best career average to date his 40.5ppg.
No, the only two to be considered this week are Gold Coast midfielder Kyal Horsley and GWS mid-fwd Taylor Adams, and you don’t “consider” Horsley, you just do it. (Yes, he’ll cost a touch above the rookie base price, and Risca and Ablett will impact his scoing on their return, but, like an 11-year-old private school girl, you don’t want to be the only kid in the playground without a Horse). That leaves Adams, who, like Adam Treloar before him, faces certain challenges to being a “sure thing”. His coach, Kevin Sheedy, is the main one. You don’t get born after 1990 and expect to avoid a rest if you’re playing under Sheeds this year. Hell, Treloar got one after just three games, although he was, admittedly, on the comeback trail from injury. If you’re willing to cop the odd AWOL week from Adams, including the round 11 bye that he shares with the rest of his GWS teammates, then a 71 and 91 from his first two suggests you’ll make a decent dollar out of this one. I suspect that being restricted to two trades a week will mean most miss out on Adams, however, with plenty of teams packing a Horsley-plus-upgrade-trade combo this week
The flood of fresh meat (don’t picture it) is certainly starting to slow, with six NKOTB in round six. No one will be surprised to know that Greater Western Sydney handed out another debut, but midfielder Liam Sumner, who scored 64 against Carlton, will be hard to consider as a downgrade target due to his price ($139k) and bye week. Price ($177k) also stunts St Kilda forward Aaron Siposs’ chances of cracking more than a couple of Dream Teams, while backline trio Jacob Brennan (West Coast), Josh Bootsma (Carlton) and Lee Spurr (Fremantle) don’t boast strong enough job security to be genuine targets at this point, despite the real need for some in defence. Spurr, possibly, could have potential, as could St Kilda defender Beau Wilkes, although he was a late withdrawal from the Hawthorn match, making way for first-gamer Ahmed Saad, who started as the sub.
Right then, who wants to hear my captaincy tips for the weekend? Nope, no one? Okay, hang about for a bit and Calvin will be along with his world-famous advice. Bet I cop hiding. Follow on Twitter: @ChookDT