Chook’s Rooks – Round 10
I normally begin to feel useless by about round 15-16, when everyone’d done and dusted with downgrading, but I’m getting an early taste of it this year. The eve of the multi-bye rounds is not the time to be picking up rookies, so let’s toast to the greatest of Dayne Zorko instead.
It’s the shortest Chook’s Rooks in living memory this week, partly due to me having flown my Tassie coop for the warmer climes of Queensland, but mostly due to the imminent arrival of the multi-bye rounds. Tbetta, that guy from the post-game TV show, said it best, as he always does, when he wrote: “Do. Not. Trade. There is simply no point unless you have an LTI.” So unless you’re a Heath Scotland owner, as I am, then it’s ice your trigger finger time. No sideways trades, no upgrades and, this is where I usually come in, no downgrade trades. Next week, sure. But this week you’re just swapping doughnuts for doughnuts. And I’ve tried that. It doesn’t work. Apparently Krispy Kreme can’t resell them once you’ve licked off all the passionfruit icing.
The wife and kids think we chose Queensland for the family holiday because of the beaches and theme parks, but really it’s so I can pay homage to Brisbane mid-fwd Dayne Zorko. There’s a very good chance my obsession will end in a Borat-style kidnapping of the Zorkinator, but he hasn’t done any book signings like Pamela Anderson yet. Why the fascination with Zorko? Well, after back-to-back 90s, he upped the ante in the Lions’ upset win against West Coast to score his first 100, finishing second only to GWS wonderkid Stephen Coniglio, who raised his own ceiling to 115. In fact, all of the top five scores in this bracket set new PBs. GWS mid Dylan Shiel improved ever so slightly on his round nine score to nab 95, Gold Coast forward Aaron Hall returned in style with an 84, and Carlton defender Josh Bootsma burst his bubble with a 79. Hall’s inclusion and subsequent high score is a real boon for the coaches who kept him, arriving just in time to cover doughnuts over the MBRs. In contrast, midfield teammate Kyal Horsley has dropped off at the wrong time, leaking dollars ahead of his likely upgrade between rounds 12 and 13 and, even worse, putting his place in the team in jeopardy.
Again, we’re not downgrading this week, right? Of the eight two-gamers who played in round 10, three of them – Adelaide defender Sam Shaw ($104,200), North Melbourne forward Aaron Black ($150,400) and Western Bulldogs mid Daniel Pearce ($98,700) – have the bye this week, so the only point of downgrading to these guys is to make cash, potentially at the cost of increasing your doughnut count in the following rounds if they’re omitted in round 12. Trading in one of the others – Collingwood forward Jamie Elliott, Magpie mid Marley Williams, Hawthorn mid Brad Hill, Richmond forward Ben Griffiths or Gold Coast forward Alik Magin – won’t have you eating any less doughnuts over the three MBRs either, unless you plan to trade them out again before their bye, which is hardcore/crazy-bad DTing. The injury to Scott Pendlebury probably improves the short-term job security of the Magpie pair, but I wouldn’t be using a trade on either of them right now – unless you royally rooted your team at the start by filling it with non-playing types like Callum Papertalk and Jordan King-Wilson, of course.
Five more debuts in round 10, but nothing to salivate about. The only marginally attractive score came from a player priced too highly to be a viable downgrade option in GWS mid-fwd Nick Haynes, who costs $152,700. He grabbed 57 points in the loss to Geelong, while the two first-gamers in white and blue hoops in that game – midfielder Jordan Schroder and forward Lincoln McCarthy – scored just 56 between them. Like McCarthy, Fremantle mid-fwd Hayden Crozier and Port Adelaide defender Andrew Moore, who’s played 13 games over the past two years but is still rookie-priced, were restricted by the green vest, scoring 16 and 6 respectively.
If any of you crazy cats out there are trading, I’d love to hear about it in the comments, or on Twitter @ChookDT. I’ll be back next week with a more meaningful Rooks, as we look to ship out those round-12 bye boys for some rested up round-11ers.