Unsurprisingly, a certain monolithic Docker dominates most trades in the lead-up to Round 16. I know, you were hoping that Sandilands could hold on until the end, but it’s not to be. Fortunately, there are a raft of options and strategies available to cover the 211 centimetre gap he leaves in your team (some of which you can find here).
Elsewhere in this edition of the Flavour, there’s a couple of under-appreciated gun mids, and a young Lion who has burst out of the blocks to become the most popular pick for the second week running. Here are the most popular trade ins, as of 12pm AEST, Tuesday July 4:
1. Alex Witherden (BRL, mid/def, $117 300)
+ As impressive as he was on debut, Witherden was even better in his second game. Racking up the touches across halfback, he had 29 possessions and 8 marks for a terrific 91 points.
+ I had trouble telling him apart from the more experienced Lions on Sunday. Extremely composed, his ability to read the play and position himself accordingly is beyond his years.
+ Still has that handy DPP status, meaning you can still switch him around with the likes of Adams and Lloyd if need be.
– Not sure. He’s still only a kid, maybe he’ll be rested at some stage? He has also relied on getting quite a lot of uncontested ball in his first two games, so it will be interesting to see how he fares with closer attention.
– Witherden was already in over 15% of teams after his first game, and is the most popular trade target again this week. I don’t think there’s much downside here…assuming you need a downgrade option, he’s your man.
2. Max Gawn (MEL, ruc, $510 900)
+ Gawn was solid in his second game, back after a long layoff with a hamstring tendon injury. Against the Swans, Maxy had 12 possessions and 29 hitouts, totalling 96 points from only 78% TOG.
+ That injury-affected 27 back in April now drops out of his price cycle, resulting in a very manageable BE of 95 this week. Max has also dropped a massive $134K from his starting price, making an absolute bargain out of 2016’s premier ruckman.
+ 211 is MIA for the remainder of the season. Max is the obvious like-for-like replacement.
– Will Gawn still rack up those big scores despite Melbourne’s depleted midfield stocks? Surely his HTA numbers will suffer without the likes of Viney and Jones buzzing around him.
– In horse racing parlance, Gawn looked a bit short of a gallop against the Swans. He should return to full fitness before too long, but with that break-even, you could wait-and-see for another week before bringing him in.
3. Sean Darcy (FRE, ruc, $117 300)
+ In the hamstring-enforced absence of Freo’s talismanic starting ruckman, young Darcy did an admirable job in only his second senior game. The Human Fridge totted up 99 points from 16 touches, 33 hitouts, 9 tackles and his first goal in league footy.
+ Now on the bubble with a break-even of -79, and would seemingly have excellent job security with Sandi on the sick list.
+ He’s 201cm (that’s around 6’8″ on the old scale) and 111kg, and apparently he hasn’t finished growing yet! This kid is a goliath that makes fellow teenage ruckman Tim English look like a pipsqueak by comparison.
– With trades running low, and most teams running with Nankervis or Ryder for ruck coverage, is there any point in bringing in a rookie at R3 at this stage of the year? Especially one without DPP status.
– He’s only just turned 19, and as physically imposing as he is, there really is no substitute for experience. How will he fare against the competition’s top rucks?
4. Tom Mitchell (HAW, mid, $585 100)
+ Titch just continues to do what Titch does. 35 touches, 6 tackles, 7 clearances, and two crucial final quarter goals. Tommy was hugely influential in the Hawks win over Buck’s Pies.
+ That 128 against Collingwood makes it 13 tons from 14 games for Mitchell in 2017, a level of consistency unmatched by anyone else in the league. The fourth highest scorer overall this year. And he’s still less than $600K!
+ Don’t underestimate them – the Hawks are focussed on finals again this year, and Titch will be front and centre of the brown and gold charge.
– The flipside of Mitchell’s incredible consistency is a relatively low ceiling – he’s only gone over 140 once so far in 2017. If you’re aiming for league wins, maybe you would prefer someone with more potential for a big score?
– Mitchell’s in-and-under style is infamously ineffective in the “metres gained” metric, which Champion Data seems to favour in their scoring system. This translates to Tommy needing to get a lot more of the ball to keep up with the likes of Danger and Dusty, who typically kick further and more often.
5. Dustin Martin (RIC, mid, $620 600)
+ Along with Zerrett and Zorko, Dusty (Zusty?) was one of those DPP-less mids that we all ignored in the preseason, and hated ourselves for it afterwards. Third in overall scoring, second amongst midfielders, Martin is pushing Dangerfield hard in the race for the Chas.
+ The inconsistency of previous years seems to have been left behind. Dusty hasn’t been under the ton since round 7, and he has added just over $100K to his price tag since then.
+ His good games are pretty close to the best on offer. Already has four games of 140+ this year, and is a captaincy option every single week.
– Much more consistent these days, but still capable of a form dip. He went four straight games without a ton from rounds 4 to 7, although that can be at least partly attributed to a busted cheekbone that he carried throughout that period.
– In incredible form, but pretty close to his max price. Dusty is going to burn a hole in the hip pocket.
#6 – 10: Sam Docherty (CAR), Elliot Yeo (WCE), Josh Thomas (COL), Patrick Ryder (PTA), Lance Franklin (SYD)
Most traded OUT players this week: Aaron Sandilands (FRE), Tom Stewart (GEE), Sam Powell-Pepper (PTA), Jake Barrett (BRL), Scott Selwood (GEE), James Parsons (GEE), Caleb Marchbank (CAR), Andy Otten (ADE), David Myers (ESS), Mitch Hannan (MEL)
Most popular trades so far this week:
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