“Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy. … The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold.”
American President Truman informs the nation that an atomic weapon has been detonated in Japan-
August 6, 1945
March 31, in AFL and SuperCoach terms, may well be remembered as the day that changed everything. Just four days out from Essendon’s Round One clash against Sydney, the AFL anti-doping tribunal will drop its bomb. One scenario is that 19 current players from the 2012 playing list will face bans in the early stages of the season. If this doomsday scenario eventuates, the implications for our SuperCoach teams are, dare I say, significant.
At this stage, Community, I do not have one Essendon player in my team. Conversely, I am contemplating starting with as many as five Melbourne players.
In this, the final round of NAB Challenge games, our analysis and planning must step up a gear. For this reason I shall be narrowing my research and game analysis to only those players that I see as potential inductees in our all important starting squad.
This is not a drill. D-Day is looming.
Absent Best 22 players;
Melbourne – Jeremy Howe, Bernie Vince, Cam Pederson, Jay Kennedy-Harris
Essendon – Too numerous to list
- Salem, Christian (FWD $185,000) Salem is potentially vying for a place as high as F4 in many teams. In NAB 1 he was given a defensive role and we were concerned. In NAB 2 he was released off half back with 24 silky possessions for 131 points. Tonight he did enough. Tight defensive game yet he managed to find space on many occasions on the turn over. Can’t see him being considered for a vest given his obvious team role. Locked.
- Tyson, Dom (MID $506,200) Will you entertain a breakout candidate in your midfield this year? M5? Coming off his first uninterrupted preseason his selection is a rather large The punt is whether or not he can boost his average by 15+ points per game and crack into the top bracket of scoring midfielders. He averaged 94 in 2014 with a tantalising 110 average in his last seven games. Big call to make here – potential breakout but risky.
- Hogan, Jesse (FWD $130,400) To be honest, Jesse didn’t excite in NAB 1 or 2 and after tonight’s game I am in more doubt about starting Hogan in my team given the plethora of forward rookie options. He was mobile and a real presence yet his efforts are not the type to earn SuperCoach points. He has recently suffered a foot injury which adds further doubt. I am writing this review without access to points and as such will look into this further over the weekend. Interested to hear The Communities thoughts on this one.
- Newton, Ben (MID $215,000) I’ve seen enough. If he is named he plays in my side.
- vandenBerg, Aaron (MID $127,900)NAB 1 – 60 in a half, NAB 2 – subbed out early after a head knock. I was desperate to see some more from this mature age rookie. He didn’t disappoint. Surely he gets elevated off the rookie list and he plays round 1. If so, Lock.
- Lumumba, Heritier (DEF/MID $417,000) Perhaps the most alluring performance of the game. Started in the middle on most occasions and played the defensive general who also pushed forward. I was impressed, however, I do expect Lumumba’s role to change to a more lock down role in the season proper. Given his past two NAB games have been against very weak opponents, his performances need to be put into some sort of perspective. In Round 1, “The Gift” will be playing his 200th game – significant! I could see him averaging 85+ this year. Current ownership at 13%. Decent claims.
- Toumpas, Jimmy (MID/FWD $307,700) While he has impressed in this year’s NAB he has been priced out of consideration. Not for me.
- Garlett, Jeff ($259,200)Played a great game. I rate him highly but, like Toumpas can’t be selected due to his price.
- James Gwilt (DEF, $388,900) Another very solid defensive performance. Gwilt has averaged only 15 games per year over past last four seasons, suffering from hamstring and knee injuries. Massive point of difference owned by just 0.63% of coaches. If Essendon players face match bans, could it be a calculated risk? Not for me.
- Brendon Goddard (MID/FWD, $548,800) Just not seeing enough from Goddard to justify the spend. He he has been heavily influenced by the compromised team structure and while I do expect him to improve during the season proper, in my opinion he comes in at full price and is very likely to undergo a drop in value prior to the bye rounds. No.
- Cooney, Adam (MID/FWD $433,900) Cooney averaged 94 in his first eight games of 2014. He seems to be running well and with a full squad around him, he could pinch hit at 15 points above his average in your forward line in the lead up to the byes. It is a big if at that price. No.
- Dalgleish, Lauchlan (DEF, $145,100) Ran the length of the ground to kick a sensational goal. Backed up an excellent NAB 2 with another classy performance giving us perhaps one of the few cheap defensive options. If players face multiple game bans, he could be a valid option. Currently only in 0.7% of teams.
- Shaun Edwards (DEF, $123,900) Played deep forward and showed enough against some good defenders to tells us that he will get games this year. A good option if best 22 is compromised.
- Essendon defensive rookies could save our structures if players miss multiple games as a result of the upcoming decision on March 31.
- I am concerned that this season will see many very one sided games. The Dogs, The Saints and after tonight, The Dees are looking a long way off the pace.
- Newton, vandenBerg (if elevated) and Salem are looking like locks.
- Lumumba’s preseason form is hard to deny.