There’s history between this kid and I.
And after our very public run in on the Fox Footy Supercoach show last preseason you might wonder why I’d consider looking at the kid as a fantasy option in 2014.
There’s a few reasons.
Firstly – I’m not one to hold a grudge. It’s true. Luke was guilty of disrespect of this highest order when he invited me to Whitten Oval for a punch on in reaction to my fury towards Brad Johnson for suggesting that Shaun Higgins was worthy of consideration in 2013. He’d know that now and I forgive him.
He was flying the flag for him mate. If anything it showed me that Luke was a bloke you want in the trenches. A bloke you want with you at the pub when some prick wants to have a go. A bloke who loves his mates. Sticks up for them even if they happen to be one of the biggest fantasy footy burnmen to grace the field. A good man.
And I want you to listen very hard now. The other reason is this: You must take emotion out of your team selection. You must. This is the first thing I drum into young fantasy footballers when they start out. Lose the attachment to players from the team you follow. Strip yourself bare of any bias you might have borne out of loyalty to a certain team or a certain player. This is bloody business and if you open the door to emotion you’re not cut out for this caper.
And thirdly my beloved flock – I reckon Luke Dahlhaus has what it takes to make that majestic leap from flashy midpricer to trouser stretching premium.
2014 Price: Supercoach $425,900, AFL Fantasy $381,100
2014 Position: FWD
2013 averages: 79 SC, 70 DT (22 games)
2012 averages: 84 SC, 75 DT (17 games)
2011 averages: 66 SC, 64 DT (11 games)
As I said – I’m sure he’ll reach premium. But will it be this year? Can he find the consistency we need from our top line options?
- He’s capable of the big scores, we saw him hit 150 against West Coast last season and roll out a nice series of hundreds in the back end of last year. Refer to our forward line stats table here and you’ll see that he came home averaging 94 in the last 8 rounds of the season. He also scored tons in four of his last nine games, the only four tons he scored all year. Did he find another gear at the elite level in the last part of the season? Something tangible in his mind that he can carry with him towards fantasy footy premium-hood? Or did he just stumble upon a bit of good form? Big questions.
- It seems a logical step for him to move into the midfield when his tank develops. He has been more your forward who pinch hits in the guts but this kid will be a sensation in the midfield for the Dogs in years to come. Mark those words.
- We know he wants to get in there. When handed the #6 previously occupied by the great Brad Johnson during the 2013 preseason he said he was ”..working on my fitness pretty hard. I’d like to get off the leash a little bit … it’s good to get into the midfield and mix it up a bit,”. Here’s that article.
- With small forwards like your Jake Stringers and your Lachie Hunter’s getting 9 or 10 games into them in 2013, and if (heaven bloody forfend) Higgins stays on the park, business is taken care of up forward in the small man department. And Crameri will also add that goal kicking capacity that the Doggies may otherwise miss out on without Dahlhaus near the sticks.
- He’s 21 and entering his fourth season. That’s smack bang in the middle of breakout territory. Refer here to Peter Higginbotham’s stunning analysis of the profile of a breakout player.
- He’s in a category that many are having trouble with this preseason.. midpriced forwards. And regardless of how much time he gets in the midfield, he is nonetheless one of those FWD options that will spend at least some time harvesting us some points in the midfield.
- Referring back to our ripping stats tables - he went sub 70 ten times in 2013. That’s morale sapping for any fantasy coach. Was that patch of 8 or 9 games at the end of the season an indication that he has found some consistency - or just a purple patch?
- The Doggies have a fair midfield already. Is there room for Lukey in there? You’d think Griffen, Libba, Boyd and Wallis would have fair dibs in there for the time being. Then you have CooKnee (<<that’s comedic), Clay Smith, Koby Stevens, Jackson Macrae and Hrovat also lurking around for a run in the guts. I reckon he’ll be a better midfielder than most of these blokes in time.. but is 2014 the year he’ll make inroads?
- He has shaved off those dread-lock things. Bloody ridiculous things they were – but there is a growing body of work from scientists in high places that suggests that this may effect his form adversely.
2014 Predicted Status: Midpricer
Predicted Average 2014: 85-96 SC
Selection Status: Unlikely to be selected in my initial side
I just cant look past his inconsistency throughout 2013, and cant shake the feeling that he might be a season or two off spending more time on the ball. I feel he needs to get this time in the middle if he is to make a premium of himself this season.
He’s a considerable goal kicking weapon, kicking 16 goals in the last 8 rounds in 2013. As a coach I’d be laying my spuds on the line by pushing a bloke like that too far away from the sticks into the guts before some of the other kids can find their feet.
He won’t be the worst selection going around, and could very well be that bloke that blows the roof off the joint this year.. but I’ll pass for now… what are your thoughts?