The first weekend of the NAB Cup saw sides play rookies we do not regularly get to see.
FRIDAY NIGHT – Essendon vs Western Bulldogs vs Collingwood
Essendon 1.5.6 45 def. Western Bulldogs 1.1.4 19
Collingwood 1.6.2 47 def. Western Bulldogs 0.4.5 29
Collingwood 1.2.10 31 def. Essendon 0.4.5 29
Premium – Goddard showed he has not lost the ability to find the ball, even if he did struggle to use the ball on occasions with scores of 46 and 55 respectively.
Heppell also looked to be in good form and started on the wing, moving into the middle and looks set for a year released from defence. He scored 50 and 36 respectively.
Mid-Price – Hibberd looks to have taken on the role Heppell played last season in defence and looks a promising Mid-Price option with scores of 48 and 44 respectively. If he can stay fit he is almost to good to look past.
Rookie – Kommer was the standout rookie from the Dons In his first game he scored 44 playing a high half forward role drifting into the 50m arc. In the second game he had limited gametime and only scored 6, however his form in the first game is enough to make us follow his progress through preseason.
Mid-Price Nick Lower now at his third club demonstrated that he has true DreamTeam potential with a score of 57 in the first game. 23 in the second was with less game time.
Rookie – Brett Goodes was consistent with scores of 32 and 31 and at his rookie price will be a popular selection this season. The Bulldogs have targeted him for a reason and he should get solid game time.
Cheap Premium – Travis Cloke had a rocky year last season dropping his average considerably. he looked strong even without a glove scoring 42 and 28 respectively.
Mid-Price – Jarryd Blair looked impressive in the Pies game against the Bulldogs, popping up all over the ground with a team high 10 disposals and 43DT points.
Clinton Young first game in black and white was promising, being used regularly in transition from defence to attack. with scores of 37 and 32 he might be a good selection in AFL Fantasy Elite.
Another player making his debut for his new club was Jordan Russell. He looked comfortable in the back half and was a solid contributor DreamTeam scores of 19 and 34 respectively. His inclusion in the side might be important as it has the potential to release Heath Shaw who scored 30 DT points in the first game onto a wing.
Cheap – Brent Macaffer (Hype List) looks to have a grip on a role inside the Pies forward half. He looked impressive and scored 28 and 30 respectively.
SATURDAY NIGHT – WestCoast vs Geelong vs Fremantle
Geelong 1.6.4 49 def. West Coast 1.6.2 47
Fremantle 0.7.6 48 def. Geelong 0.4.6 30
West Coast Eagles 1.4.7 40 def. Fremantle 0.2.4 16
Premium – Stevie J (Johnson) mentioned in the commentary during the prematch that he has trained as a midfielder this preseason and has an expectation to play around 80% of his time in the middle. This is enough to lock him in my side (depending on suspension outcome). 31 points was also a solid return.
Cheap – Travis Varcoe returning from long term injury played to roles for the cats. One was as a sweeper across the half back line and the second was as a small forward. He scored 28 and 16 respectively and while they are not huge numbers he is definetly a player who should be watched throughout the NAB Cup.
Returning Player – Mark LeCras (21 DT) was okay without being spectacular. Nice goal from the boundary showed he still has tremendous skills.
Underpriced Premium – Scott Selwood 46DT in the second game looked impressive again and should be in for a good season. He could be a good unique selection and definitely one to consider in AFL Fantasy Elite when the big guns are off the table.
Stay Away – Don’t let Scott Lycett numbers (38 & 26) fall you. He will not get game time in a side that has Cox and Naitanui.
Returning Player – Aaron Sandilands remains an unknown. Injured and do not know when he will be back.
Former Glory – We all remember Paul “Duffman” Duffield chipping to himself and playing glorious DreamTeam football. In the second game against the Eagles, Duffield looked to have recaptured that magic scoring 39, taking kickouts and looking like as Gotye would say. “Somebody that I use to know!”
On to Watch – Nick Suban was impressive with scores of 34 and 26. Watch his form over the NAB Cup he could be a handy late pick in AFL Fantasy Elite.
SUNDAY TWILIGHT – Adelaide vs St. Kilda vs Port Adelaide
St. Kilda 0.8.2.50 def. Adelaide 0.3.6.24
Port Adelaide 220.127.116.11 def. St. Kilda 0.2.3.15
Adelaide 0.6.7.43 def. Port Adelaide 0.4.3.27
Underpriced Premium – Matthew Wright looks a bargain in AFL Dream Team. Priced at $438,700 he was all over the field finding the ball. He played the majority of his time in the midfield and scored 46 and 34 in his two games. He is definitely a unique option to consider.
Rookie – Brad Crouch with scores of 17 and 25 was solid without being spectacular. He may need some time to get with the pace of the game however some of his work inside the contest was fantastic and his work outside moving to positions to receive the ball went unrewarded. He is still one to highly consider as a bench midfield option this year.
On to watch – Arryn Sippos (Hype List) is definitely one to watch this preseason. He scored 35 DT, but that included 7 kicks and 4 marks with 8 disposals in total. As I have been posting all preseason he has had a change in role to the Brendon Goddard sweeper and looked damaging in the first game against the Crows using his long kicking to clear the crows cluster/zone. He was not heavily featured in the second game.
Underpriced – Probably the most impressive Saint on the day was Jack Steven. Priced at $433,300 as a midfielder he is ackwardly priced, but looks set to hvae a breakout year. He looks in terrific condition and despite the 37 degree temperatures looked to be handling the conditions better than most. He scored 42 and 40 in his two games.
It is hard to know where to start with the Power. They have so many options this year when it comes to AFL DreamTeam. A player I have been keeping a close eye on is Hamish Hartlett. Hartlett is slightly above mid-price and is considered by many as a risky selection in both AFL Dream Team and AFL Fantasy Elite. When fit he is arguably Port Adelaide’s best player. Expect Hartlett to push into the midfield to assist Boak and drift between half back where he has a tremendous ability to move the ball forward effectively. He was played in the midfield and also was used in defence. Watch his preseason closely.
Cheap – Jasper Pittard was solid without being spectacular wish scores of 22 and 7 in the second game with less game time.
Another cheap option is Lewis Stevenson who since coming over from the eagles looks to have found a role in defence with scores 20 and 22 respectively.
Rookie – A standout rookie in the game was Jake Neade in the first game against St. Kilda with 35 DT points in a skilful performance. Oliver Wines, the big bodied young midfielder looks AFL ready however was also similar to Pittard with a score of 27 and 6. Needs to be watched over preseason.
That is the weekend wrap for the first weekend of AFL football. Visit – http://www.youtube.com/user/BigPondAFL for great Official AFL Videos
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