Ryder, Kreuzer, Varcoe, Karnezis, Kommer and now Kayne Mitchel-son. We are now three weeks in and we are already seeing some of the more popular picks from the preseason drop away through form, injuries, suspensions or just bad luck.
I would probably put Kanye Mitchel-son into the latter on that list. In case you haven’t heard Kane Mitchell has been placed back on the Rookie List for the returning Nick Salter and won’t be playing any AFL football in the short to medium term. I didn’t personally rate him but to be fair he didn’t really put a foot wrong in all three of his sub appearances and was probably unlucky not to get a chance to prove himself in the starting 21. However it wasn’t to be and this has left the current 17% of coaches who have selected him with a headache they don’t really need.
Enter Joshus Pruden
Now there is one obvious replacement for Mitchell and that is a straight swap for Brad Crouch who is on the bubble this week as he didn’t play in round one. There are also trades like switching Dwyer into the midfield and picking up Rowe in the forward line or if you already have him one of Sam Mayes or Tom Lee. However all these are pretty obvious and if I know my audience, they don’t flick open my article every week wanting to be stated the obvious. That is why instead of any of the above mentioned players why not instead swap Mitchell for Joshus Prudden instead?
OK so I know what you’re thinking! You either have never heard the name and are like “Joshus WHO?” or you know who I’m talking about and you’re saying “ OK this mad Irish B**tard has finally lost the plot?!?” For those of you in the former – Joshus Prudden is an 18 year old Western Bulldogs rookie who was drafted at pick #50 in last year’s national draft and somebody I don’t see getting a game for the Bulldogs any time soon. So to answer the latter of the two responses, no I haven’t finally lost the plot and there is a method to my madness.
If you recall the latest Podcast from Jock, Crouching and Higgo you will have heard Higgo touch on the emergency loophole or as I like to call it the “Strategic Doughnut”. Higgo managed to gain an extra point by utilizing this strategy in his forward line using Macaffer as his strategic doughnut and taking Sam Rowe’s very impressive 77 as his bench emergency. I know you might laugh at his one point advantage but in another week this could have been easily 10 or 20 points in a game where Jake Neade doesn’t bang out a score over 70. I too adopted this strategy this week and I too gained an extra point because of it. However if I had have a “strategic doughnut” in my midfield I would have already had 102 more points and that community is a significant amount of points.
So how does this all this work ??
You would select the first rookie to play over the weekend as your bench emergency. For my team in this upcoming round, that would be in the game between Melbourne and Port Adelaide, and would be one of Wines or Viney. As I rate Wines far more, I would then select Viney as my bench emergency. Now if Viney recreates that fine round one form and bangs out a score of 100+ I will want to get this score on the field. So what I would now do is put my Stategic Doughnut on the field in the form of Joshus Prudden and move O’Meara to the bench, thus bringing Viney’s emergency score into play.
If on the other hand Viney repeats his round two form and only gets a score around 50pts I would just simply leave Joshus on my bench and hope that O’Meara will better that score in his game. It is very important to note that both the Bulldogs and Gold Coast would not have played while I access Viney’s score. If they had then you would be locked out and unable to move any of these around.
If I revert you back up to the table above you will see that I have crossed out the difference in round one of 45 points. This is because if I was using this strategy in round one I would have taken O’Meara’s score of 72. This is because O’Meara played before Viney and would have been my bench emergency. After his score of 72 I would have been happy with that output as anything over 70 from a rookie I consider a good result. That is my cut off point and if my rookie emergency scores 70+ then I will be taking his score. This can back fire, as in round one Viney scored 45 more points. However as you can see in both round two and three it would have worked very much in my favour and provided me with an extra 102 points.
Finally I have heard you asking all through this article, why would I trade out Mitchell who isn’t playing to another player who isn’t playing? Well that is a very valid point but there is a reason why I have picked out Joshus Prudden for this role. The Western Bulldogs draw is very favorable for applying this strategy to the most popular rookie midfielders. The Doggies play late on Saturday or Sunday over the next 4 rounds and you are guaranteed a second chance on at least one of your midfield rookies in each of those rounds.
The second reason for selecting Joshus is the fact that he is a duel position Defender/Midfielder. This can be very significant for a whole host of reasons. If you have to cover injuries in your midfield many coaches will have plenty of swing sets available down back in the form of Gibbs, Goddard, Hartlett and Goodes. Also this will also allow you to perform this strategy in the back line also. If somebody like Heath or Stevenson manage to bang out a big score of 100+ and are sitting on your bench you can easily switch Joshus for Goodes and take the emergency score down back and still use Goodes’s score in the midfield.
Of course if you do have Mitchell and you feel the extra chance down back isn’t worth the trade then just hold onto Mitchell and use him as your “Strategic Doughnut” or at least consider it as an option. Only you can decide whether or not this strategy will work for your team and your structures. If you have missed out on some of the better rookie options then I dare say you should be getting the likes of Crouch in for Mitchell now. However if you are like me and are positioned nicely for an attack on the 50k and have already got the majority of the best performing rookies, a “Strategic Doughnut” could be that POD that gives you the edge on your way to the top.Stay tuned ….
Mick the Mad Irishman