I still long for the good old days, when the Suns and Giants hogged all the draft picks, and there were cash cows stretching out as far as the eye could see. We’ve been gifted with some pretty good rookies so far this year, but now the well is running dry and we’re forced to be creative. What’s your strategy? Conserve trades and hope that some new blood shows up further down the track? Are you thinking of bringing in a non-bubble rookie, such as Bolton or Lockhart? Or did you plan ahead, and build up a war chest that you plan to exploit this week?
Here are the most popular trade targets, as of 12pm, Wednesday May 15:
1. Liam Stocker (CAR, mid, $126 300)
+ A far more convincing effort from young Stocker in his second game, compiling 16 possessions at 87% for 57 points against the Pies. Four frees against hurt his score, but don’t expect that to happen every week.
+ The Blues’ casualty ward is currently overflowing with defenders, with the likes of Simpson, Williamson, Jones, Plowman and Newman all currently on the mend. There is plenty of scope there for Stocker to keep his spot on the halfback line.
+ Stocker got to Carlton courtesy of a controversial pick swap with the Crows. Clearly someone at the Blues rates this kid pretty highly, which can only bode well for his job security moving forward.
– Most of those injured defenders mentioned above are only short-termers. When they all return, will Liam still hold his place?
– Even if he does somehow stay in the 22, you should expect that he will see a lot less of the pill, with the likes of Newman and Simpson calling the shots at the back.
2. Tim Kelly (GEE, mid/fwd, $533 300)
+ Who was the best ever second-year player? Kelly is putting himself firmly in the conversation after another astounding performance, racking up 36 touches (21 contested), a couple of snags and a massive 162 points against the Kangaroos last Sunday.
+ It doesn’t make sense that Kelly is available as a forward, because he attends as many centre bounces as anyone at the Cats. Anyhow, don’t question it, just take advantage while you can!
+ There were some doubts over Kelly’s motivation in 2019 after he didn’t get that trade last year, but these were clearly unfounded. Better add an extra ‘0’ to that contract, Eagles!
– To be brutally honest, the time to get Kelly was actually two weeks ago when he was $60K cheaper. Have you missed the boat?
– Too many more performances like his last one, and the taggers must start coming for TK. The Round 13 bye may be problematic also.
3. Jackson Hately (GWS, mid, $148 800)
+ Scores of 95 and 85 in his two games thus far mean that Hately is far and away the best bubble boy of the week, with a break-even of just -92.
+ Taken at pick 14 in the draft, Hately is predominantly a midfielder, but his skills are already so well developed that he has shown capacity to play as a distributor off halfback.
+ With the Giants decisively beaten by the Hawks last week, there is a chance Leon Cameron will wield the axe and give Hately a shot in the seniors this week.
– Uh, he didn’t play last week. He wasn’t supposed to play the week before either. Is this mic switched on?
– The Giants had a bye in the NEAFL last week, so Hately wasn’t able to put any runs on the board there to sway selection.
4. Jack Macrae (WBD, mid, $574 000)
+ It’s one of the incongruities of Supercoach pricing that Macrae is averaging 117, but is still available this week for a $115K discount on his starting price. Scores of 135 and 107 in his past two starts probably mean his price has bottomed out for now.
+ In the ever-changing tableau that is the Bulldogs lineup, Macrae has been one of the few constants in the midfield. His superior mobility and endurance mean he can win the ball all over the field, inside and out.
+ The Dogs have the favourable Round 12 bye, with Fyfe, Merrett and the Bont the only other viable premium midfield options in that group.
– Discounted sure, but still very expensive. Have you (a) got the cash to spare, and (b) assured yourself that there isn’t better value elsewhere among this week’s trade targets?
– The Dogs face the red-hot Cats this week, and Jack may find the going a little more difficult as far as scoring goes. His break-even of 98 means his price probably won’t change much.
5. Josh Dunkley (WBD, mid/fwd, $514 700)
+ After a slowish start to the season, Dunkley has caught fire recently, piling up scores of 134 and 136 in his past two starts. Not coincidentally, those two starts also represent two Bulldogs victories.
+ Also not coincidentally, Dunkley’s return to the stellar scoring he showed late in 2018 has come with increased time in the midfield. Josh has recorded 37 contested possessions in the past fortnight.
+ Despite those two huge scores in his cycle, the absence of tons in Dunkley’s first six games means you can still get him for a (slight) discount on his starting price.
– Based on this year’s form, Dunkley is a superstar inside midfielder… and otherwise mediocre. Playing under a coach with a propensity for change, can you trust Josh to maintain his scoring?
– 71 possessions for Dunks in the past two weeks, and yet not a single AFLCA vote. Does Beveridge rate this guy at all???
#6 – 10: Josh KELLY (GWS, Brayden HAM (ESS), Nathan FYFE (FRE), Nick LARKEY (NTH), Clayton OLIVER (MEL)
Most traded OUT players this week: Sam WALSH (CAR), Willem DREW (PTA), Matthew PARKER (STK), Tom LIBERATORE (WBD), Tom ATKINS (GEE), Jack ROSS (RIC), Xavier DUURSMA (PTA), Angus BRAYSHAW (MEL), Michael GIBBONS (CAR), Isaac HEENEY (SYD)
Most popular trades so far this week:
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