Poll: Dawson & Cash Generation

Written by Gunboat Diplomacy on April 19 2023

There’s no debate the Adelaide’s Jordan Dawson is off the chain right now. The combination of a large frame that doesn’t cease contesting the ball, a beautifully skewed K:HB ratio and use which is a clinical and effective as it is offensively oriented is just sensational. What’s also great is he’s got one of the generation’s truly underrated MIDs in Laird, offering his first use, accumulation and chain up play, and is playing in what now looks to be a successful system and side.

Consider his numbers over the last fortnight:

Dawson v Freo:

  • – 27 disposals
  • – 20 kicks
  • – 13 contested
  • – 96% disposal efficiency
  • – 598 meters gained
  • – 1 goal, 6 tackles, 0 clangers

Dawson v Blues

  • – 31 disposals
  • – 21 kicks
  • – 10 contested
  • –  71%disposal efficiency
  • – 537 meters gained
  • – 9 tackles, 7 clearances

A standard strong outing for a MID is say 30 touches, half contested, half kicks and 80%. The rate at which Dawson a) opts to go by foot and then b) hits a chest is unconscionable – doing it OB and in traffic is then insane. Accordingly, he’s done 173 and 152 over the last fortnight and now sits at a 129.2 and $655.1k. In terms of scoring, role and how conducive his game is to SC he is, on paper, a must have.

The issue however is that $655.1k this early in the season and in the context of the present cash generation is a huge ask – if not untenable then certainly one that will reverberate through the rest of the trading season. If we had a slew of rookies spitting out great scores and solid for 150k, then no problem: sell the farm and get Dawson in a heartbeat. Cash gen is ludicrously thin right now however. Mackenzie just cooked his, Ginbey’s probably due a spell, Chandler’s had his substantive growth, the DEF rookies are shaky at best, Baker’s BE is his average this week and Caminiti is about to cop 4. Then by way of future cows there’s 3 and even they aren’t sure things.

Most of us have a path to him. It’s easy to boost and combine Ashcroft, Ginbey and Mackenzie into Dawson but is that really feasible? Is sinking such a large chunk of your generated cash into 1 player this early in the season without blinking, when we’ve still got spots to complete in a poor CG landscape, the go? Taking the 340k made by Ashcroft, Ginbey and Mackenzie represents 20% of the 1.8 mill team value most sides have accrued. Conversely, Dawson’s a god and passing will mean week to week punishment. He’ll hit 40% ownership this week. Imagine your weekends when everyone but you is banking his 167 VC.

Really interested to see where we end up on this one. Dawson was more popular a starting pick here than other SC communities and the competition as a whole given the general disposition towards paying up for defenders, however vindicated that’s been – so good job to the chunk of coaches who were on him. I know FT and Tomlousyteam were early fans and starters.

We’ll start with the philosophical/strategic question:

Should coaches sell the farm for Dawson?

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Finally, for only non-owners:

Are you bringing Dawson in this week?

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33 thoughts on “Poll: Dawson & Cash Generation”

  1. I would rather slowly build my team for the season, not invest heavily into a player early.
    If he unexpectedly changes roles potentially due to other teammates injuries, how would you cover for that?
    He’d likely start losing cash, thus wasting all the cash gen your rookies made.

    Also who would you bring in further weeks with less available money due to your big purchase? Would it be a 90-100 average point player or hold a rookie an extra week? They can both be setbacks which can reduce the benefits Dawson would produce.

    If I was going for overall I’d more likely bring him over playing league competitions


  2. I got him last week for Docherty and for once spend the extra coin instead of looking for value, very glad I did.

    But I am not getting rid of Ginbey & MacKenzie in the short term even though they will drop in value and the same goes for Ashcroft & Phillipou. I think their points, scoring potential and overall cash generation are more important and also worth more (points & $$) than the rookies you will replace them with.

    I can get Oliver for Settlerfield and Mackenzie this week but no thanks

    I really really want Butters this week, and would happily do it for Baker & Long (along with Cowan and DPP Sheezel to defence), but it only works with MacKenzie and either Chandler or Ginbey and I do not want Williams or Mitchell before Day returns, so again I will pass on this.

    The sexy trade is not always best for your team over IMO, I agree with Nato above !


  3. It’s probably a similar situation to those coaches who don’t have Tingles at the moment. Far and away the best scoring ruckman. I was lucky enough to start with Dawson but I doff my cap to those coaches who started with both the best defender and the best ruck.


  4. My biggest regret is letting myself be swayed and swapping him for Docherty before the season.

    But as badly as I want him, selling the farm now will cook my future upgrades. Just unfortunate timing that he has popped off now.

    Will pray he has a down week at some point and hopefully becomes attainable.


    1. Started with Dawson but have a similar story with Daicos. I switched Daicos to Docherty last minute before the season and I had 4 weeks opportunity to reverse it with a straight swap but my stubbornness ruled the day! Now he’s out of reach similar to the Dawson story told here.


  5. Rapt I started him so don’t have to worry about selling the farm for him. However if I didn’t own I’d wait for him to drop off and hit the value picks (Sinclair, Day, Sic, Parish and co) in the interim


  6. I think it was FD a year or two ago who referred to the rule of averages. It says that everyone reverts to the averages that apply to their position and their standing within it. So, to go after Dawson now if you have missed him is crazy.

    At this stage of the season, rather than wasting several trades to get him, keep getting those rookies off the field, and accept that the train has left the station.

    And lets not forget that his first three rounds he averaged a more normal 107 pts. His last two weeks cannot continue.


  7. Thought putting together this poll would help settle it on my end but it really hasn’t.

    So, here’s the deal. I’m ranked 442 right now and DON’T have Dawson – which puts me in a minority among highly ranked teams. 81.1% of Top 1% coaches have him and 72.8% of the Top 5% – undoubtedly buoyed a lot of them and props to them, a great selection. Obviously, I’m looking to hold and press rank like everyone but a hot start, I think, means I need to keep my foot on the gas.

    Can get to Dawson but it requires combining my 3 largest cows in Ashcroft (M8), Hollands (M9) and Ginbey (D2). Dawson would come in but I’d be permanently fielding one of Baker and Roberts and, in fact, fielding both of them this week given Green is suspended.

    I’ve got a much more balanced set of trades where I go Baker, Caminiti and Ginbey to Sinclair. That doesn’t compromise my fielding at all – Ashcroft stays M8. Could even go Baker, Davey (getting rid of 2 dead rookies) and Ginbey for Heeney but Sinc is where I’m at rn.

    Suppose I could just out and out make Green Dawson and do it that way but not netting a premo and is just another premo reshuffle. I’ve already had my hand forced with Witts, D. Cameron, Day and McGovern out and like a hold on Green. 2 weeks and I’d, yeah, have made him Dawson easily.

    I’m super paranoid about CG. There’s piss all coming through. Still need to get 4x DEF rookies, Ashcroft, Setters and Hopper to premos after this week. Dawson blows by CG load but I know he’ll eviscerate me. Ugh.



    1. Stay the course, you’re still scoring well without him, while Mackenzie and Ginbey may stall, they still have more to make (Ashcroft as well). Maximising cows seems to be the game this year, so don’t chase points this early.


    2. I think you have answered you own question mate in your 3rd last paragraph.
      Trust your gut, and good luck!


    3. Chayce Jones into Dawson.
      A big gamble, but it gets you cash, and possibly good points on field. Can hopefully 1up/1down to Dawson in a couple of weeks.
      Or could get a sub. Should look into it.


    4. As others have mentioned I think it’s best to wait on Dawson and bring in more value premiums at this point, he is very good but likely he doesn’t average 120 for the rest of the season. Green is a hold and a perfect M8.

      We need to get rookies off of our ground and not adding more risky ones on as in Baker, scores fluctuate too much to trust on field each week. Sinclair would likely get a Wilmot/Cowan off the field and hopefully be a net of 40 points per week.
      You probably have Cogs but if not I would bring him in and swing Sheezel back as a more safe option.
      It’s easy for me to say as I’m not ranked 400, about 4000 for me but the 1 week hit which with bringing in an extra premo and then looping rookies with Green out probably won’t be as big of a hit anyway.


  8. T.U:
    Ashcroft & Hollands -> Roberts & Mitchell
    Ginbey -> Dawson
    Roberts M8, incl. Baker on field this week for Green

    Baker & Caminiti -> Roberts & Williams
    Ginbey -> Sinclair
    Ash M8, loop Hollands & Baker this week for Green


    1. Less money spent now, better/more future upgrades available. Plus if an injury occurs, most of the top 1% suffer except you.

      Next 4 opponents: Hawks, Pies, Cats, Saints
      Would that hold back his scoring after playing Hawthorn?


    2. Hey GD,

      I know you spend a lot of time helping others on the site so thought I’d try returning the favour.

      Not sure how much cash you have in the bank but could you do Green > Dawson Caminiti > Rookie (Williams, Roberts, Johnson, Mitchell)? Doesn’t wreck your CG but it does involve another sideways/ forced trade. Prob need an extra 15-20K to get it done. I just don’t see Green being a top ten.

      I’d really want to hold Ashcroft, Holland, Ginbey, in those D6, M7/8 roles until the last upgrades or forced upon us.

      I don’t have Dawson but I’m going Green to Laird this week

      Hope it helps.


      1. Thanks, GH – and everyone else. Appreciate it.

        Yeah, GH, I could do a move like that but already done a LOT of sideways-ing through injury. Want to make a substantive premo gain this week.

        Green been okay. Doing 107, strong numbers. Just had a harsh fortnight of match ups (Setterfield, Nash) and scaling. Dawson and, in your case, Laird obviously cover him and a trade nets points.

        Just think, for me, 1 week is a hold and he’ll be okay for M8.

        Will keep that move up my sleeve though and let it all stew. Tyvm again, everyone.


        1. Hi gd I think your best option is to get Dawson in your side. The loss of Ashcroft is not that big a deal. My thoughts are get all the hard trades in first and then upgrades from then are quite easy. I now have all the 600k players I want in my side without touk touk.

          This has seen my scores rise rapidly as well as rank obviously. If you have Jones and ratagalia still in your side that will help as you can then do 2 downgrades for 3 upgrades later on once you have all the expensive players.

          Love the time you spend helping people and hope you have a really good run at overall honours.


  9. There’s no way opposition coaches let Dawson run rampant right? Elite disposal by foot from stoppages to open scoring opportunities is as close as you can get to ‘must stop’ in the modern AFL and Dawson has been the epitome of this the last 2 weeks.
    He’s due for some serious taggage.


    1. I think Dawson is a bit like Daicos, very hard to tag.

      He can play on ball, in defence and if needed go forward.

      He has a huge tank, good luck keeping up with him – Blicavs might be able to do it.


  10. As a non-owner, I don’t think I’m catching up to the Dawson owners by bringing in Dawson now. Same with English.

    Think I’m doing something different. I love buying low.


  11. Just my 2 cents worth GD. After watching u paste me in SCT#1 and being in alt universes this year to last all i can say is my great regret last year at r355 not trade hard and chase the dream. Imo at r 442 U gotta go hard.
    Dawson only 52k plus starter and BE 54.

    Best of luck which ever way you roll


  12. Started him, one of the few things I got right this year. Still absolutely filthy that the Swans had to let him go for a late first rounder. One of the great trade steals in recent years.

    As far as bringing him in this week – I understand the temptation, but buying guys near their max price will make it very difficult to get to full premo. There are very few exceptions to this rule, e.g. Ablett when he was a lock for the C every week. The tags will come for Dawson if he keeps up this form, make no mistake.

    Unless you intend to captain him most weeks, I think looking for value and fallen premiums is still the better way to go.


  13. Already down to 30 trades (2 corrections, 4 injury/sideways)… another 3 this week to get Dawson? and bringing in rookies with ???s still over them?

    A hold week for me with Baker covering Green


  14. With how bleak cash generation is looking you gotta just take the value when you can get Sinclair or Lloyd 100K cheaper especially if it means cutting some of your better rookies like Ashcroft who is probably one of the best rookies for job security, Dawson will come down in price at some stage just gotta hope he doesn’t hurt you too much.



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