Good evening community (or good day if your reading this morning after ), Mick The Mad Irishman here. I guess it’s my turn to shine some light and read between the lines of one of these NAB challenge games.
With just 2 weeks (that’s right 2 WEEKS) left until the first knockout we really need to nail down our players and this weekends games become ever more important to help us with those selections. With both St Kilda and Hawthorn going into this game with close to full strength teams I thought it was going to be a little easier than some of the games we’ve seen so far to gauge some actual significance. Turns out the gap between the top of the table and the bottom might be even larger than I and many others predicted. Hawks will be fighting for top spot on the ladder again this year. The Saints will be fighting to stay off the bottom.
Absent Players pushing for best 22 spot
St Kilda: N. Riewoldt (Omitted), J. Geary (Omitted), David Armitage (Omitted), H Goddard (Omitted), S. Savage (Hamstring 1 week), J. Billings (Hamstring – 3 weeks), S. Gilbert (Foot 7-9 weeks), F. Ray (Hamstring – 11-13 weeks), S. Ross (Hamstring – 10-12 weeks)
Hawthorn: G. Birchall (Knee – 1-2weeks), M. Spangher (calf – TBC), David Hale (Omitted), B. Whitecross (Omitted), A. Woodard (Omitted), B. Hartung (Omitted)
- J.Geary (DEF $332,400) – Was disappointed not to see Geary named against this quality Hawthorne side to see what he likely to produce in the real thing. His scores of 152 (vs Brisbane) and 79 (vs Essendon) are all we have to go on if we are looking to name him in our sides. A strong showing tonight would have cemented his place in many teams, but as he didn’t play he remains another midprice defender left in limbo.
- S.Savage (DEF $371,600) – Still recovering from a hamstring injury he picked up in his recovery after the Brisbane Lions game. Will be right to go round 1 but with only that one game (102 Supercoach points) to gauge him from, it will be hard for coaches to select him. Was prominent in my teams all preseason but like Geary has slipped into limbo. If you like to take risks he is still worth a thought.
- B.Whitecross (DEF $198,700) – I’m calling it now Whitecross won’t be named in the Hawks round 1 side. All those who have him selected in their teams better start making alternative plans. With 27 man squad named you’d think if he was any chance to get named round 1 they’d give him 20minutes tonight. He did play 80% of a VFL game last weekend and got through the game with no issues to his knee. However he struggled with his fitness and it would be extremely unlikely he can prove he is match fit before round 1.
- H.Goddard (DEF/FWD $122,300) – He has played in just the one NAB game and the Saints might just be resting him but not playing tonight might also say he is not in their best 22 at this moment in time. Have a lot of players to come back in before him too. Could it be that the most locked defensive rookie won’t get named round 1? Start making alternative plans. This is serious.
Significant Saint Kilda Performances
- J.Steven (MID $455,900) – Finished joint leading possession getter in the game, with 33 disposals. However only finished with the 88 Supercoach points. His disposal efficiency of only 56% really hurt his score tonight. I can see him having games during the year where he finished with 75% disposal efficiency resulting in some monster Supercoach scores. These will even out the many sub 100 scores he is also likely to get replicating numbers like tonight. If you are going midprice heavy in your midfield and you don’t mind a bit of a roller-coaster ride then you need to have Steven in your team.
- J.Newnes (DEF/MID $436,800) – I you don’t have this kid in your team then you’ve been living under a rock this preseason. Had a few quite spells during the game but managed to finish the night on 21 disposals and 102 Supercoach points. Was super clean (85% efficient) and kicks more than he handballs. Perfect for Supercoach and perfect for our backlines in 2015. 90+ average looking very achievable. Put him in your team already.
- L.Dunstan (MID $400,800) – Had to mention him because he gave everything he had all night long and was one of the Saints best. Future star of the game and of Supercoach but can’t recommend him in 2015. Looking forward to see him develop though.
Significant Hawthorn Performances
- The Team – three in a row very achievable. The depth on this list seems endless. Seems anyone could play anywhere tonight and they wouldn’t look out of place. Their transition from defence to attack was beautiful too watch. Only NAB and only Saints but I give them a better than 50% chance to go back to back to back.
- B.Hill (MID $407,100) – Best on ground for me. Everything involvement seem to lead to a goal and his ability to break away from the contest at such speed and then have the poise to find a target was a highlight of the night. Finished with 122 Supercoach points. Will be inconsistent during the year but I think he does offer some value. Probably not enough to justify picking him in your midfield though.
- J.Lewis (MID $588,200) – Pure class. Everything he did looked effortless. Finished with 33 disposals and 132 Supercoach points. Will be the Hawks highest scoring player again in 2015 but don’t seen him surpassing his 109 from last year. Top priced so think we can find better options in the middle at the start of the year. Solid option all the same.
- S.Mitchell (MID $490,000) – Just has a great ability to know where to be at the right times. Had it all his own way tonight, running bounces on the wing, a goal from outside 50m, a lazy 33 disposals and 115 Supercoach points tonight. Mitchell is a fallen premium and is most definitely under valued. Unlikely to play 22 games but I can’t see him averaging under 100 again in 2015.
- J.Gibson (DEF $497,200) – Had 11 disposals in the first term and finished the game with 28. Had it all his own way across the halfback. In a year where not much will separate the top 10 defenders you can’t really go wrong with seclecting him in your side.
It was a bad night all round on the rookie front. The guys that did play didn’t do much to demand a place in our teams.
- J.Anderson (MID $141,400) – It could be down to a battle between Anderson and O’Rourke for a round 1 birth for the Hawks. Both were okay tonight but you’d think Anderson is ahead on the back of better performances in the earlier games. Finished the night with 15 disposals and 65 Supercoach points. Won’t be surprised to see both Anderson and O’Rourke share the vest during the year. Not a certain starter for our Supercoach team but midfield rookies are starting to look thinner than we thought so could still justify a place on our benches.
- B.Acres (MID $220,700) – 37 Supercoach points tonight. Doesn’t justify his price tag. Pass.
- T.Membery (FWD $172,000) – 40 Supercoach points tonight. No service, no points. Better options up forward to be spending this much money for limited return. Pass
That’s it from me for tonight. I feel I covered all the players that were popping up in our Supercoach teams or ones that should be in the mix at least. Do you think I’ve missed anyone or how did you see tonights game?
Get involved in the comments below. This is your community as much as the next guys.
Mick the Mad Irishman
Mick is one of the production crew members and key writer on the inaugural Jock Reynolds Fantasy football magazine. He is a risk taker, pint drinker, deep thinker and just that little bit mad, but time and time again he has proved to be one of the best fantasy minds in the country. He has finished in the top 1% of game players for the last 5 years, with a season high finish of 27 in 2013.
Follow the great man on twitter @Da_Mad_Irishman