Last time we’ll be coming to you this late in the week as this Monday Football is really throwing me out of whack. The only thing I do like about Monday football is I only have to wait three days before teams are named for the next round.
I trust if anybody of you did decide to break the mould and trade last week that both Selwood and Swan both made excellent pick-ups, both on the bottom of their price curves. I will be reminding you all again next week about Selwood who is still very much an ideal pick-up after their round 12 bye but I fear Swan will no longer feature in this article’s format again as he will be costing you around $570k after his bye in round 14.
Now with round 11 over and done with I don’t think you will find anybody recommending holding your trades this week. No this week is all about getting in those players who have just come off their round 11 bye and if you are looking at value for your buck there are a few players out there that might tickle your fancy. However if you are really looking to squeeze every last cent of these players most to the bargains coming off their bye are due to fall even further next week as their breakevens are still quite high.
Just to illustrate just what I mean take a look at the potential bargains who have just come off their bye and their respective breakevens. The scary thing is these are just the round 11 bye relevant players. Next week we get to add the round 12 players to this list. Going to be a big tight arse Tuesday for me next week.
I’m looking at you Trent Cotchin.
The one exception from above list might just be Grant Birchall who I think could be ready for the taking this week.
Grant BirchallAverage 96.78
Current Price $417,800
Priced to Average 81.28
Bye Round 11 – no worries
Birchall’s breakeven is still a little on the high side but by no means un achievable and he is still very relevant for all those who are looking for backline reinforcements for round 12 and beyond. Let’s take a quick look at Birchall’s numbers from over the past few years to give us a better idea of what we can expect for the remainder of the year.
As defenders go Birchall has been a very solid pick up averaging 94 in the past two seasons and starting this season on fire averaging 127.5pts a game up until round 4. It had appeared that with Suckling going down in the preseason that Birchall would have the rebounding role all to himself and might just become the premium defender of the competition. We now know that such a thought proved to be just like Higgo’s only ever sexual experience, premature.
So why is he so cheap now?
Community you might remember back in round 5 I did a little piece called “Sucked In”, which featured one Grant Birchall and at the time I picked up a fair amount of flak for the piece. Let’s just say I was called a lot worse than “Mad” for my troubles. In the article I stated;
“The tag is coming. Very interested to see how his disposal numbers will be affected by Brain Lake coming into the team. At his current price there are enough doubts to keep me away. Am sure he will have low scores like the 68, 71, 75, 66 and 55 he had last season and once a few of them run through his rolling average I will consider bringing him in at a lower price. Anything over 500k is too pricey for a defender at this stage of the year.”
Now before I go blowing smoke up my own arse I think it was obvious enough that he was going to have a few low scores throughout the year but even I was shocked to the extent and frequency of those low scores over the next few weeks that followed. So bad was the dip in form that he was given a week off in round 9.
As bizarre as this sounds I think Birchall’s downfall came because he was so darn good. He was so damaging as Hawks go to man coming out of defense in the first four games of the season that the opposition teams singled him out as the man to stop in the Hawthorn team. In the first four games he was averaging 31.5 disposals a game and 127.5 SC points.
Starting with North Melbourne in round 5 until the GWS in round 8 he was given the first tag from each of the oppositions teams, and in this period his averages dropped to just 19.25 disposals a game and 60.75 SC points.
The encouraging thing for everybody who has him and for those looking to bring him in, is he bounced back after his break to produce a 118 SC point game. All be it against Melbourne who aren’t exactly renowned for their hard tags.
With another break just passed due to Hawthorn’s bye, the good news for Birchall is that his early season form is now even further behind him and not in the forefront of opposition coaches anymore. I suspect he won’t be given as hard a tag as he has experienced through rounds 5 to 8, and I expect to see his scoring come back to what we are used to seeing from Birchall. However I don’t think people should be getting him in thinking he will rediscover that early season form and should really gauge his further scores from looking at his past stats over a longer period of time.
The Mad Irishman’s Verdict
2013 Predicted Status: Strong Midpricer
Predicted Average from here on out: 92-97pts
Final Word: As I have stated earlier, anything over $500k is too expensive for a defender, as they are all likely to produce some low scores that will reduce their price back down to realistic levels. Birchall is the perfect example of this and now can be picked up at a bargain price well below his probably output from here on out. No brainer for me, if you need another defender then Birchall at this price is your man. And remember if you can’t get him this week he will still cost you roughly the same next week as his breakeven is still on the high side.
Mick the Mad Irishman
Mad as a cut snake, brain the size of Phar Laps, but one hell of a fantasy footballer. Click here for more from the Mad Irishman
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