Luke Ball ($530,500, 97.86, 21) – Has slotted perfectly into Collingwood’s midfield since controversially crossing over from St Kilda two years ago. Averaged 97.9 in 2011, his 3rd highest average since starting his career and up about eight points from the previous year. There are definitely better midfield options than Ball this year, but he never gives up and is a tackling machine.
Scott Pendlebury ($700,500, 129.23, 22) – Durable, efficient, reliable and consistent. Expensive, but worth every penny. He only just turned 24 at the start of 2012. Expect a massive year from Pendles, who may want to make a statement as he comes out of contract at the end of the year and will have GWS and Collingwood waving their chequebooks in front of him. It may also be his last shot at a premiership for a while.
Dane Swan ($661,100, 121.95, 21) – A proven Supercoach gun who played though injury last year, which subsequently saw his form dip during the middle stage of last year’s H&A season. However he still managed to average more disposals, clearances and scoreboard impact per game than 2010. His last three years’ averages have been 123.2, 126.9 and then 122 last year. A quiet game for Swan is 25 touches and two goals. Giddy up!
Dale Thomas ($592,900, 109.37, 19) – Taken at no.2 in the 2005 draft behind Marc Murphy and three spots ahead of teammate @SP_10. Took his game to a new level in 2010 with a breakout season and continued that trend last year. His numbers keep improving and I’d expect that to be the case again in 2012. If you can’t afford Pendlebury or Swan, then Dale’s your next best Pie.