For me, pre-season began in the second week of finals in 2014. I started jotting down thoughts and began researching potential premiums and LTI returnees for analysis and watch-listing. 6 months in, and my team has changed too many times to count – but what hasn’t changed much is the structure.
My structure: Guns and Rookies.
I always go GnR – Always. This season, it has become obvious that we can’t go pure guns and rooks, but I’ve made it close enough. Goodes and Newnes are the only non-GnR players I’m running at this stage.
First thing you’ll notice, NO ABLETT! I have chastised myself over and over for not running Ablett, but with recent revelations that he’s not ready and pulling out of NAB – I just can’t justify his price-tag. The last time Ablett had no pre-season – he dropped 3 sub 100 scores in his first 5 weeks, also; Ablett had NEVER had a serious injury before this. I feel he will doubt his shoulder for a long time, hindering his output. Judd, I plan to move on as soon as his price peaks, and hoping Ablett drops a sub 80 or 2 in the first 5 weeks – and boom, Judd could be my ticket to an under-priced Ablett. Key word – COULD.
I’m running a pretty risky 7 Premium midfield. You know my plans for Judd, and I’m hoping at least 5 of the remaining 6 premium players remain keepers. The plethora of options we have up forward make me feel more confident that this strategy will hold me in good stead.
I’m running guns in the ruck. Nic Nat’s lack of pre-season and ordinary showing vs Fremantle have prompted my non-picking of him and I feel Maric has plenty to offer in his stead. Goldy is a gun and picks himself.
I’m running an ultra-slim forward, obviously meaning I’ll need to shore this up as soon as I can and I’d love 50 Shades (Gray) up forward, but it’s either him and Nic Nat or Dusty and Maric, and I feel the latter will offer me better output. 50 shades will hopefully drop 50-80k and I can hopefully pick him up around rounds 7-9. If not – he’ll be a round 13 inclusion.
My backline has had the most change about it all pre-season. I was going to go ultra-light back, but the lack of rookies changed that for me. Heath Shaw will be in the top 3 defenders come season end (I feel). Michael Johnson should be thereabouts also, providing his back can hold up. My only real worry is Goodes, I hope he gets elevated. He was injected when Libba had his unfortunate injury – opening the spot for Goodes.
Selections of community debate:
Ivan Maric (RUCK 535K)
Just look at the Tigers without him. They were terrible in the first half of last year. Inject Maric & give him a few games to clear the rust, and you have a monster. His final 8 he games averaged 110, they won them all and made finals. I feel he is in for a big year and if he stays on the park – I feel he could be a top 3 ruck if fit. Just take look at Chicko’s review here.
Jordan Lewis (MID $588K)
Priced to average 109 – I think he can up it to 115-120. Hawks are a unit; there are too many players to focus on so I don’t think he’ll get tagged often. I don’t think many will run him – they’ll likely go Sloane/Danger/Beams etc. Can go large and should play 20-22 games. Have a read of my review of Lewis here.
Michael Johnson (DEF $468K)
Johnson had back surgery in the off season and I almost ran a line through him. In his NAB game he showed no signs of duress and posed a nice 100+ point game to show me he’s right to go. Most will go a Gibson or a Murphy in his place, but I feel he has a much better chance to not have those 50 point stinkers. He is a great interceptor and re-bounds the ball often. He’s made the cut for consistency and potential Point of difference. Have a read of my review of Johnson here.
Dustin Martin (MID/FWD $535k).
I put dusty up for debate because many write him off as having no tank or the change in crunch-time scaling will hurt him. I agree, I think the scaling will affect his output in those instances, but I feel his added load through the guts will increase his output and void the losses we may see from that change. The next step in his fantasy elite-hood is nigh. Have a read of Big Ben’s review here.
7 premium mid-field:
7 starting premiums in the guts – is it suicide? Will it hamper my money-making ability? I say no. I feel the best 4 rooks in the guts come round 1 will be in there and I hope to make the coin from them and the forward-line rookies. Could bite me, but you need to take risks to win it.
What’s nagging at me:
I’d love to keep Goodes in at D4, but may have to slim down in the guts a bit and up him to an Ibbotson or similar if he doesn’t make round 1. Obviously rookies will ultimately determine whether I go deeper down here – but we are all having the same problems aren’t we?
Not having Gary Ablett
We all know he is the Supercoach Messiah, but after all – he is human. I think this human side of him will drop his output while he regains confidence in that shoulder. He has been in and out so many times this pre-season; I hope I don’t regret it.