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Chook’s Rooks – Round 7

There’s nothing worse than watching the rookie you just shipped out go on to grab a monster score. Well, there is: having the bloke you bring in do nothing at all. Luckily we don’t have to worry about that with DT deity Kyal Horsley.

Three-or-more gamers

Man, hang around a little longer

Did you hear about the long-time Man City fans who, having stuck by their often-beleaguered Blues/Citizens for the best part of 50 success-starved years, left the stadium in tears with just a few minutes remaining in the final game of the English Premier League season when it appeared that Manchester United would pinch the title, and as a result missed the club’s two injury-time goals and one of the most amazing comebacks in world sport?

As someone who sold Greater Western Sydney midfielder Stephen Coniglio two weeks ago, I feel their pain. I stuck with that bastard* through the bleak first five rounds of the season, but bailed out after he followed a week on the sidelines with a sub-affected 46. At that point, his round-three 73 was his highest score and, while he undoubtedly had some price rises left in him, it looked as if the dollars would be coming in dribs and drabs from here on in.

Instead, Salad Boy busts out a couple of humungous scores, re-igniting his cash flow and winning a Rising Star nomination in the process. Okay, so perhaps 44 years and five rounds isn’t exactly a fair comparison but, like those Man City supporters, I’m bawling my eyes out right now. Maybe that example is just a case of terrible Dream Teaming on my part (in my defence, I did have to start culling mids with round-11 byes, having five of them in Boyd, Thompson, Greene, Shiel and Cogs), but those who suffered a similar fate when they ditched Western Bulldogs forward Tory Dickson last week are genuinely unlucky.

The coaches who held Dickson through his first two paltry scores and extended spell in the reserves, only to finally lose faith last week and sideways trade him to another rookie, didn’t deserve to see him join Coniglio and GWS ruckman Jon Giles as the only century-makers in the rookie ranks. That’s just cruel.

Mr Ed and The Adams Family

Thankfully, most of those who did ditch Cogs or Dickson were rewarded by the players they brought in. While Gold Coast gun mid Kyal Horsley didn’t quite match Cogs or even his own first two efforts, his 95 was notable both for the fact that it suggested his scoring won’t be greatly diminished when Gary Ablett and Michael Rischitelli are in the Suns side, and according to FanFooty’s m0nty, who knows these sorts of things, it delivered us the greatest-ever single-round price increase ($96,000), beating the week Michael Barlow grew by $80,900.

For many coaches, Dickson became one of GWS mid-fwds Adam Treloar or Taylor Adams. After Horsley, these two were the week’s top earners, with Adams’ 72 in his third game seeing his price jump $60,300,whileTreloar’s 95 in his fourth game giving him a hike of $53,700.

Reptile strikes again

Popular defender Brandon Ellis was on the receiving end of a “run, block, run, block, block” fatality combo from Reptile in round seven, copping Richmond’s green vest for all but the final 10 minutes of its win against Sydney. Ellis scored just six points, making it the equal second-worst case of green vestage for a rookie this season, matching Sam Kerridge’s six in round three and only marginally better than Billie Smedts’ four in round five. Israel Folau scored just four points in round three as well but, unbelievably, he wasn’t a substitute in that game.

Anyway, back to Ellis. His abysmal score not only resulted in a loss of $21k this week, but bumps his breakeven up to 82. Add in the fact that he shares his bye round (13) with popular premiums like Brendon Goddard, Brett Deledio, Matt Suckling and Grant Birchall, and it’s clearly chopping block time. Personally, I’ll be trying to upgrade Ellis, rather than make a downgrade trade, but that’s not an option for some so here are the boys on the bubble…

Two gamers

Something for my broken back?

If not Ellis, then you might be looking to move on GWS defender Tommy Bugg, who’s scoring has dipped in recent weeks, with a view to avoiding an inevitable price drop soon or a doughnut in the first multi-bye round, round 11. In any case, defenders are definitely in vogue, and a cursory glance at the list of rooks who played their second game in round seven reveals a seemingly positive state of play – five of the eight are backmen! Scrape the surface, though, and it’s actually pretty effed up, especially if you’ve got the MBRs at the forefront of your thinking when making trades. It all depends on the structure of your team, of course, but a lot of teams are stacked with round 11 and round 13 backs, (think Bugg/Waters/Hargrave/etc for rd11, and Goddard/Deledio/Suckling/etc for rd13), pretty much ruling out downgrade trades to three of those five rookie defenders in Jacob Brennan (West Coast, rd11 bye), Cameron Delaney (North Melbourne, rd11 bye) and Beau Wilkes (St Kilda, rd13 bye). That leaves Fremantle’s Lee Spurr and Collingwood’s Peter Yagmoor, whose rd12 bye is likely to be less doughnut-inducing than the others. Of course, you need everyone playing in those multi-bye rounds to avoid zeroes, and the job security of both these blokes is questionable at best. The Magpies, in particular, are set to welcome back several players over the next few weeks. Spurr’s spot in the Fremantle side looks more solid, and I’d be very surprised if he didn’t get another go this week, but I’m less confident in predicting an extended run that sees him through the MBRs. Having said that, (I’m forever on the fence, if you hadn’t worked that out yet), there’s not much in the way of defender downgrades on the horizon (none of last week’s debutants were backmen, and North’s Will Sierakowski, named as an emergency last week, shares the rd11 bye), so Spurr looks to be your best bet. It’s just a bet with longish odds, is all.

One gamers

Dayne Train arrives early

Brisbane mid-fwd Dayne Zorko was the headline inclusion of last week’s first-timers, but donned the green vest against Collingwood, scoring 26 points from eight possessions when given his chance in the second half. I really wish coach Michael Voss had held him back until round nine, meaning he’d be ripe for the picking immediately after the Lions (and Giants) complete their bye in round 11. A couple of midfielders – West Coast’s Ryan Neates and North Melbourne’s Brad McKenzie – and a couple of rucks – Adelaide’s Josh Jenkins and GWS’s Andrew Phillips – rounded out the round-seven debutants, with all but Jenkins having their scoring stunted by Reptile. Yep, even Phillips copped a green vest, for those that dismissed the Sub Marine’s pick of a ruckman as a starting sub. Jenkins was reasonably impressive but, like Phillips, won’t help avoid a doughnut if you were thinking of taking him, Giles and another premium into the MBRs as part of a three-pronged ruck strategy, as they share the same bye as Giles. These byes are freakin’ ridiculous!

It looks like there’ll be a lot of Ellis-to-Spurr action this week. Are you going that way, or have you got something better in mind? Let me know in the comments or on twitter @ChookDT so I can copy your cunning plan. Cheers!

*Just posturing, Cogs. I can’t bring myself to hate you when I know you’re going to be a permanent fixture in my Dream Team campaigns from 2014 through to 2022.

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