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Deck of Dream Team

Aaron Sandilands – Deck of DT 2015

Set and forget is what a lot of us try to do with our ruck division. Sandi has usually been a solid choice. However, he has been injury prone over the last few years but last year played all but one game, was that just a mirage? He might be great this year, but he does come with his share of risks!

Name: Aaron Sandilands
Club: Fremantle
Position: Ruck
AFL Fantasy: $490,000
AFL Dream Team: $488,400
Bye Round: 12
2014 Average: 86.52
2014 Games Played: 21
Predicted Average: 85

Click here for DT Live Profile.

Why should I pick him?

If we exclude his injury riddled 2013 season where he only managed 10 games he has averaged over 85 since 2008.  At his price this certainly isn’t a bad thing.  Being the tallest guy in the competition, he is generally going to get his hand on the ball first and this is where he gets a lot of points!  Only two games of under 30 hitouts (and only just) means he only needs to get a few kicks and a goal or two and he can score you 80+ each and every time.  For $490k you can’t really argue too much (or can you?).  Prior to his injury year of 2013 where he only played the 10 games he was averaging between 14.7 and 17.4 disposals.  Then for 2013 it was only 9.2 and in 2014 it was back up to 12.4.  So there is no reason he can’t bring that up again to around the 14-15 mark given he has not got the toe issues that kept him from getting around the ground as well as we would like.  This could see him return to his days of an average of in the mid 90’s which is more than consistent enough for a set and forget ruckman.

Many of us picked him last year as he was going to make us some cash.  He could do that this year, but it won’t be as much.  He is fairly consistent with 4 games over 100 last year and 8 games under 80 which is what brought that average down.  But he doesn’t fluctuate wildly.  This is what you want from a ruckman.  Over the years he has been a set and forget option for us.  But is this year going to be the same?

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

One of the big problems here is that the big guy isn’t getting any younger.  He is 32 now and we all know that he has had a history of injuries!  I bet not many of us had heard of Turf Toe two years ago.  Having said that he only missed the one game last year with a back injury (which flared up in a minor way during this preseason), however that was against the Saints in Melb in R18, I actually think this was another of Ross Lyon’s little games where he likes to mess with us.

2014 was the first time he has played 20 games or more since 2009 and it was only the 4th time in 11 years that he has played 20 games.  And given he is now 32 his body isn’t going to get any more reliable (trust me as an old guy trying to do young guy things I am speaking from experience here!).  Over the last 5 years he has played 19, 13, 12, 7 and 21 games.  This simply isn’t reliable enough for me.

Without Hitouts Sandi struggles to get the points.  He scored only 7 goals for the year and averaged 3 kicks and just under 10 handballs a game.   This isn’t going to be enough to get you the points you need.

Possibly the worst going for starting the season with Sandi is the opening run for the Dockers.  Power (home), Geelong (skilled), West Coast (home) and Sydney (home).  I can see him not scoring brilliantly in these games and probably dropping dollars which means that if you are dead set keen on having mr 211 in your side then I would pick up a cash cow ruckman (if you can find one) and possibly then trading to Sandi after round 5.

Deck of DT Rating.

JACK – Sandi has long been a guy that we would just set and forget in our ruck department.  This year though I think there is more than enough evidence to suggest that you don’t go with the big fella this year.  I am not confident he can get the points nor do I think he will play enough games, even though last year he showed that he was over the injuries and his averages did start to increase again.  If he isn’t injured, I can see him being managed by Ross throughout the year, particularly I don’t see him making all of the long trips.

I simply don’t see him being reliable enough for me to start with him.  And if you are keen to pick him up then I would wait until he drops in price a bit first and you could perhaps downgrade to him from a ruckman who has an easier start to the year.

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