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Deck of Dream Team

Craig Bird – Deck of DT 2016

Bird is the word in today’s Deck of DT. Warnie is locking in the new Bombers and throwing away the key.

Name: Craig Bird
Club: Essendon
Position:  FWD/MID
AFL Fantasy: $321,000
AFL Dream Team: $343,500
Bye Round: 14
2015 Average: 65.83
2015 Games Played: 6
Predicted Average: 85

Click here for DT Live profile.

Why should I pick him?

Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity.

Bird moved the the Bombers during the trade period after playing just six games last season for the Swans. Being on the outer, a fresh start is what the almost (birthday is on the 21st Jan) 27-year-old is needing to let his Fantasy game flourish.

The premiership player played all but four games from 2011-13 but it was 2014, where he played 18 games, that his best Fantasy numbers came. Bird averaged 83.3 which included four tons, including a 134 and 131, with a sporadic role. That is, the FWD/MID has been used as a tagger across his career.

The suspension of 12 Bombers can only be a positive thing for Bird’s job security and role.

In an article on prior to the CAS finding, Bird expected to spend the majority of the time playing as a ball-winning midfielder (good for Fantasy). He has also been earmarked to be used off half-back where he was occasionally placed in his 137 games with the Swans. Even if he is doing some defensive roles at times, his scoring won’t be completely stunted and priced at under 65, he is value.

There’s around 20 points of upside in Bird and a fresh start in a favourable role at a new club, he’ll be flying high in 2016.

UPDATE: Crowley has joined Essendon.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Bird is mid-priced. That can be scary for coaches as they might want him to be a keeper. Even a predicted average of 85 might not be enough (and is possibly a little high in all reality…) to call him a keeper, or enough to have him in that place for at least half of the season.

If you look across his numbers, as good as he has been at times, the consistency isn’t there. We can argue that it has been his up-and-down role, but it’s nice to see a decent patch of games strung together for a prolonged period, especially considering he is entering his ninth season.

I’m still a little dubious on how he will be used. If Crowley is signed by the Bombers, then there shouldn’t be any doubt… however, if he isn’t, you would think that Bird will have to play as a tagger/stopper to help slow down some of the star midfielders when they come up against the inexperienced Bombers.


Deck of DT Rating.

QUEEN – Bird is the word for the Warne Dawgs. I will be starting with him not only because he is a new Bomber in the undermanned team, but because I believe he offers fantastic value at that price and truly think he’ll average in the mid-80s – plus play every game. We’re having to hunt for a heap of value in AFL Fantasy this year and Bird delivers that. I will need to watch how exactly Woosha uses him in the NAB Challenge, however, if it looks like he’s going to play as that ball-winning midfielder, I expect to throw away the key and I reckon there will be plenty of coaches following me.

What will Craig Bird average in 2016?

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  1. thebopper58

    January 19, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Thanks for the article
    No convincing here as he’s a lock!!!
    The last paragraph in the Why shouldnt ……sums it up perfectly
    Crowley will be the tagger and Bird will be free as one!!!!
    Good luck in 2016
    PS always your great site thanks to everyone

  2. Benjo


    January 19, 2016 at 8:47 am

    He’s done it before, in a side where he was the tagger – struggled to get into the side and he still averaged 80.

    Can’t see any downside here for a former ‘premium’ who averaged 80, in which he is now priced at 325k in Fantasy, and will no doubt be in their best 22. If Crowley joins the Dons he could even avg high 80s to 90s.

    Locked and throw away the keys.

    • Benjo


      January 19, 2016 at 8:47 am

      BTW – Great article Warnie! Well written and summed up my thoughts exactly.

  3. Corey

    January 19, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I think even as a tagger he will be taken to the ball and as he knows how to win his own ball on the inside he will make up a number of points through tackling. No need to be convinced to lock and throw away the key in my eyes.

    Top stuff Warnie!

  4. FantaSY

    January 19, 2016 at 9:57 am

    A decent DODT.
    C.Bird will be very popular this year. Good article Warnie.

    Love to see one on Barlow, Yeo and Duryea.

  5. Little Black Duck

    January 19, 2016 at 11:48 am

    The Bird was already in my draft team before this article. The WADA decision and then this article merely confirm his place.

  6. McFirth

    January 19, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Next up – Tom Liberatore???

    Far out….

    • Warnie


      January 19, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      What the hell do you want from us?! Haha.

      Smashed when we do a DoDT on someone who has risk, then laughed at for someone who people should know about and have on their radar (or even lock).

      Seriously… the Deck has done players of this ilk for the whole time it has been running. We cater for all levels of fantasy here and aren’t ever going to try to be elitist wankers with the info we present.

      Apologies – there just seems to be no pleasing people at times.

      • Kingzy1

        January 19, 2016 at 12:36 pm

        The joys of social media, people just want to whinge.
        Keep up the good work!

      • SettingTheBarlow

        January 19, 2016 at 3:17 pm

        Stop giving us free help Warnie :P

      • Little Black Duck

        January 19, 2016 at 7:51 pm

        Whingeing on DTT seems to be far worst this year than in previous years, and the season is still 2 months away. I don’t understand it: if you don’t like DTT fine – don’t use the site. It’s the old Queen Elizabeth I syndrome. She made herself appear beautiful by having only very plain serving women and ladies in waiting around her. Pull everyone down to below your level. Contribute or shut up!

  7. sam siddall

    January 19, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    To arkwardly priced for me. Ive gone at f4 kennedy in a hope he avgs 75 and have crouch m8 at this stage

  8. McFirth

    January 19, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    My apologies warnie, love the site and love a whinge..
    Not much risk with bird as you mentioned especially with a possible crowley inclusion at the dons.
    Will be very popular…
    Thats the point of the deck tho isnt it?
    Not to have the guys who average 110, not the most popular picks whether it be rookies, mid pricers or premiums, it should be all about the risky picks whether it be discounted mid pricers, highish averaging unique premiums, higher priced ‘rookies'(although there has been a few decent ones of these, kennedy, anderson etc) guys that have gone to different teams with more opportunity and players set to ‘break out’ due to age, role change or just natural progression.

    If I’m talking absolute rubbish then just ban me but im also sure that there would probably be a lot of ppl on the site that agree with me.

    I’m also aware that a lot of this is subjective but just seems to me that a lot of the cards have been made up of very popular mid pricers and top end midfielders (lewis , steven) and guys that will be top 6 in their position (shaw,bartel,deledio, montagna,smartin)

    Best ones so far – adams, shiels, robinson, shiel,wines and danger!

    And apologies again as id forgotten we’d already had Libba!! :)

    • Warnie


      January 19, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      The Deck can be about anyone… whoever the writer wants (from their clubs, or negotiated with those who they’ve had allotted). Is Bird a walk up for our teams? I think so, but there is some doubt – and some strategy would suggest he may not be worth the risk as his potential average wouldn’t really see that much of a dollar increase in the way AF functions.

      I’m not going to argue the merits of any player in the Deck. Like I mentioned before, every player is relevant for one reason or another and not everyone is going love each selection (whether that is because they think it’s boring or because they don’t want to pick them).

      No need to ban, just gets a little old to see your comments like this. Probably the same way you feel about seeing a selection you have already locked away.

      Key thing to remember, not everyone is as good as you! ;)

  9. Kingzy1

    January 19, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I would love to see a DoDT on Yeo, Duryea, Hartung and Heeney tho!
    Unless they might feature in this years potential breakout reviews?

    • Warnie


      January 19, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      I would suggest those names would be on the radar to talk about!

    • FantaSY

      January 19, 2016 at 1:43 pm


  10. Tigers

    January 19, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Bird is the word! LOCK

  11. Mgpt

    January 19, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Bird is the white lumumba, avoid at all costs.

    • FantaSY

      January 19, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Couldn’t get anymore idiotic could you.

      • MGPT

        January 19, 2016 at 7:24 pm

        Year after year of 60+ averages, except for one year of mid-80’s? Check

        New club and anticipated new fantasy friendly role? Check

        Limited player with zero prospects of ever being a true premium? Check

        Awful 350-400k price range? Check

        Yep, the new Lumumba.

        • Warnie


          January 19, 2016 at 7:55 pm

          On one hand I’m getting canned for writing a DoDT on Bird because he is too much of a lock / boring / whatever… on this other one he’s Lumumba Mark II.

          It’s mid-January… my brain hurts.

          • MGPT

            January 19, 2016 at 9:03 pm

            Mate, the DODT is great, whoever you pick.

            Don’t listen to the trolls telling you which free advice they do and don’t like. I’ve enjoyed every article.

    • The Man

      January 19, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Lol, I was thinking exactly the same thing! The article is fine, Bird is not a lock IMO. Lumumba was a lock last year and unfortunately I believe the hype. The comparisons between Bird and Lumumba last year are eerily similar. New club. Lumumba was meant to be running loose on a wing picking up loose possession’s just as Bird is supposed to do through the mids. Bird 8 years playing with 1 averaging above 71. Lumumba 9 years playing (before last year) with 1 averaging above 71. I am very wary of Bird being a hype player but ending up a Lumumba at this stage I am staying off him. Even if he dominates the NAB i’ll still be wary, because again that would align perfectly with Lumumba of last year! as he had a great NAB.

      • The Man

        January 19, 2016 at 9:37 pm

        And to add to that Essendon are likely to be relatively uncompetitive, so could well deploy 3-4 taggers a game (just like carlton last year). Crowley arriving does not guarantee Bird a free reign, and who knows they might even let Crowley run free in the twilight of his career. Crowley could be around the same price as Bird, they both have similar career averages both have been taggers yet no hype around Crowley!!

  12. Jimmy

    January 19, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Nice article Warnie!

    Think the arrival of Crowley puts this case to bed – Bird will be a must have with free reign and massively increased opportunity.

    I was wondering whether or not there will be a DoDT article on JPK? Or perhaps Hannebery???

    Think they could be massive pods but it would be ballsy to pick them at such a high price when you have options like Pendles and Steven with similar price tags.

    May I please have some convincing in either direction :)

  13. Tigers

    January 20, 2016 at 9:26 am

    MGPT you are an idiot

    • MGPT

      January 20, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      What are you talking about? Offer some kind of actual critical response rather than just hurling insults around. Finished 212th last year so not really interested in the petty insults from a 14 year old. Get a life mate.

      • FantaSY

        January 20, 2016 at 2:07 pm

        You sound more like a bullshitter than anything.

    • FantaSY

      January 20, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      +1 to Tigers

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