I woke up with a terrible hangover yesterday morning.
This hangover was not alcohol induced. This was NAB cup induced. I opened my team to find a plethora of mid pricers – De Goey, Menzel, Crouch, Parish, Luke McDonald, Johannisen, Daniel Howe, Aish, Smith, all scattered through my team. It was simply terrifying, community. I had caught NAB fever. Johannisen was at D1, for Christ’s sake! It was madness I tells ya!
The lunacy had to end. The midpricers were cut, and I reset my side. But it was a wakeup call. This bloody NAB cup, as much as we love it, drives us insane. Stick to your guns. Don’t go chasing bloody 120s in the NAB, unless those 120s are backed by serious statistical analysis and evidence.
So I reset my team, with a twist to account for performances I think warrant attention. So, without any further ado, to-ing and fro-ing or awful clichés; I present to you: Patch’s Potatoes.
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Embracing the Shark
In the mighty Jock Reynolds magazine last season, Peter Higginbotham wrote a sensational piece about staying ahead of the pack.
I’ve tried to incorporate that into my side – I’m avoiding the most expensive players in each line -aside from the midfield – and finding value in the bookends. You’ll notice both Dustin Martin and Todd Goldstein fit this mould, and Rory Laird only just creeps in over Lekdog’s famous 500K defender rule.
Instead, I’m leaving space up forward to generate cash, and have saved 100K by picking the rucks I feel will finish in the #2 and #3 spots for 2016, which can go into more points around the ground. Both ruckman collect their own pill and tackle like men possessed. I have no room for men like Matthew Lobbe who stand, tap, repeat.
Putting the POD in potato
I’ve spoken and tweeted extensively about Zach Merrett, whose position at F3 should surprise no-one. He’s not risk free, and will have the odd 60, but he is primed. Accompanying him in my forward line is perhaps my biggest call for 2016 – Kurt Tippett.
Before you head straight to the comments section to tell me I should call my side the spuds, open Ocker’s Spreadsheet, and find Tippett’s scores for 2015. Look at his back half of the year. Tippett averaged 118 in the back 10 rounds of 2015. 118 points. He shared ruck duties with Mike Pyke, he kicked goals, he was up and about. He has a massive ceiling, and I feel he and Sinclair will share the ruck role 50/50. It’s a big call but one I will make. He hasn’t left my side.
Johannisen will be eased into Bob Murphy’s role at the dogs this year, so I think he’ll score well – better than Yeo or Rich in that price range. I’m also looking at Hurn, who had to play tall in 2015 which killed his scores.
Dylan Shiel and Max Gawn are left field picks, but rapidly losing POD status. Both are ready to explode and I’m backing them both in.
The engine room
I have a stacked midfield. That’s where the points are, and I feel most of the cash generation is up forward this year. Parish will hold his own, but is neck and neck with Mills for that M8 spot. Parish is in front only because his role will be Get The Ball for 22 games, and I’m uncertain around Mills’ role once McVeigh returns.
M1-3 speak for themselves; as do Rockliff and Liberatore. JPK has finished top 8 every year for the past 4 years, and has missed two games in that time. He may become Parker, as Parker presents incredible value, but JPK is as solid as they come in the midfield. Ollie Wines is carrying a niggling groin injury which has him on the backburner of my side, but he’s every chance to come in before round 1 – if I can find the room.
As you may suspect, my side is no-where near settled, and the rookies are the most volatile part of an ever-changing team. They will change before round 1.
Righteo community. Is it a team of spuds or are the Potatoes cooked just right? See you in the comments!