The Buzz: R10 Burning Questions – rooks to cull, injury replacements & Mailbag

Round 9 proved to be a difficult one for some with key players such as Rowan Marshall, Toby Greene and Jack Bowes all going down to injuries, so this week on The Buzz I will discuss some options that you could target for these players.

As well, we’ll discuss what to do with our current rookie stocks and finally I’ll be answering some of our readers’ questions for the week.

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Injury replacements

Former top 300 SuperCoach finisher & HB scribe Ethan Lee

The early word on the street is that Rowan Marshall and Toby Greene will be out of action for at least 4-5 weeks minimum due to foot and shoulder injuries respectively. As a result, it’s very likely these two will need to be traded out ASAP. Jack Bowes only suffered a 2–3-week hamstring strain, so I would be very reluctant to replace him given he will return post bye and has averaged 101.5 (AF) and 103.75 (SC) in non-injury affected games.

Aaron Hall (AF $674k SC $454k D/F) BE: 61(AF)/47(SC)

A shift to the half-back line has seen a massive improvement in his scoring, with his speed and willingness to take the game on, North are trying to get him the ball as much as possible and that is reflective of his scoring output putting out three-round averages of 126.3 (AF)/110.3 (SC). Taking out the injury affected and sub affected games he would currently be averaging 120.2 (AF)/109 (SC) which is astronomical considering that would put him as the second highest scoring forward behind an injured Josh Dunkley. The only worrying part would be the potential PTSD that previous owners would have felt as he has shown inconsistent form and has had plenty of injuries in the past. However priced at $674k (AF)/$454k (SC) there is no doubt he will prove to be a bargain.

Tom Hawkins (AF $548k SC $484k FWD) BE: 73(AF)/49(SC)

If you are looking for more security in your forward line, then I would entertain a move for Hawkins. Even though he is reaching the twilight of his career he seemed to have found his peak in a SuperCoach scoring sense with an average of 101.8 and 105.8 in 2018 and 2020 respectively. These numbers can be seen when he plays and Geelong wins as he averages 107.1 (SC) in those games however when the Cats lose, he does have a stinker of an average of 59. Geelong seems to be back on track to being a premiership contender and should win the majority amount of their games in the run home. Even though people may worry that Jeremy Cameron may steal some points from him, I’d argue that Cameron enhances Hawkins scoring as in the 4 games Cameron has played, Hawkins has averaged 102.5 compared to 82 in the games where Cameron hasn’t played. A safer pick compared to Hall and one I fully recommend.

Who should be culled?

Many coaches last week will have built up a large bank thanks to double downgrades and value premium options being available however which rookies should we be culling in order to bring in those big boy premium scorers? I will go through some of the most popular rookie options to give my take on who’s ready to go.

Tom Powell (AF $524k SC $375k M/F*) BE: 95(AF)/106(SC)

Powell’s electrifying start to the year is slowly dwindling down with scores of 58, 40 (AF) and 73, 45(SC). He appears to still carry amazing job security however he may be at a stage where he needs a rest. With a breakeven of 95(AF)/105(SC), it seems he has hit the ceiling and is prime to be culled for an uber premium option. However, given all the rookie midfielders now have quite shaky job security he may be one to keep throughout the byes. We’ve seen his ceiling is tremendous with a few scores of 90s splashed in with the odd ton so there’s no question on his scoring potential.

Verdict: Trade if it means you are getting a top 10 player in any position.

Anthony Scott (AF $319k SC $286k, M/F) BE: 39(AF)/29(SC)

Like Powell, Scott has managed to play every single game this season and has provided a decent run of form lately with a high score of 85(SC) in Round 8. His job security seems to be in a good spot as the Dogs have had many key players return and he is held his spot in the side. I would be wary if the Dogs do decide to rest him, however he is a mature body so he might be right to continue playing. He is still making cash at a slower rate, but I would be holding on to him given his handy scoring and the lack of rookie forward options coming through.

Verdict: Hold at least throughout the byes

James Rowe (AF $342k SC $261k FWD) BE:33(AF)/-5(SC)

Rowe has frustrated many coaches with his roller coaster of scoring, from tonning up in Round 1 to having three scores of 50 or less in both formats. Recently he has found his groove and managed to pull off two scores of 80 (SC). His job security seems to be in a good spot given he is yet to be dropped even after a few poor games. If you’ve managed to survive this roller coaster, then it would be handy to keep a hold of him unless you really need the cash to upgrade to a premo

Verdict: Hold unless you really want to upgrade to a premium.

Jacob Koschitzke (AF $369k SC $280k DEF) BE: 46(AF)/59(SC)

Playing as a key forward in a struggling team is never an easy job however Koschitzke has done a magnificent job managing to eek out a ton as well as some solid scores of 70, 66 and 62 (SC). However, like many key forwards he will also have a yo-yo type scoring and already has 3 scores of 40 or under in both formats. Coaches that still hold Koschitzke will weigh up both options to trade or hold him and to be honest, there is no wrong answer here. If you manage to hold him, he will provide solid coverage through the byes given he plays: Carlton, Gold Coast, Sydney and Essendon in his next 4. However, with a BE of 46 (AF)/59 (SC), you can entertain a trade to get yourself a premium option.

Verdict: Hold unless you really want to upgrade to a premium.

Errol Gulden (AF $460k SC $283k MID) BE: 89(AF)/64(SC)

Another early popular selection he burst out the blocks with 3 amazing scores in his first 3 games however since then he has cooled off only managing a score of 68 as his high score since then. He seemed to have carried a foot injury and has been ruled out for 6 weeks so for the 38.7% of coaches that are still holding onto him, then you need to get him out ASAP.

Verdict: Should have traded out a few weeks back but get rid of him ASAP. `

James Jordon (AF $520k SC $360k MID) BE: 27(AF)/34(SC)

Our saviour last round, Jordon seemed to have stepped up into the Melbourne midfield since Viney’sinjury and that has reflected on his scoring averaging 98.76 (AF)/ 90.6 (SC) in the last 3 weeks. I very much would be attempting to hold onto him as much as possible given he has great scoring potential as well as shown his job security is good enough to not needed to be rested or omitted from a top team.

Verdict: Hold him, do not trade. Will be the best rookie for the year.

Chad Warner (AF $509k SC $322k FWD) BE: 81(AF)/73(SC)

Arguably the best forward rookie option we have had this year (I am not counting Impey or Ziebell, they are more mid-pricers). He lit up the first few weeks when given the opportunity in the midfield, however it seems that his scoring coincided with the absence of James Rowbottom out of the team. Since Rowbottom’s return Warner’s average has dipped from 78.2 (AF)/ 82.4(SC) to 73 (AF)/ 63.25 (SC). He also has had less opportunities playing inside mid as shown from his CBA numbers. He has probably reached his ceiling in terms of how much money he’ll make however his job security is solid enough that he’ll continue to play throughout the byes.

Verdict: Like Rowe, only trade him if you need the funds to get a top premium option.  

Mailbag Questions

"Who’s your mid pricer to ride the byes? Heeney, Baker, Redman, Newman etc. Feel like there’s lots of options $450-575k" @Timothy_J13

I do not really advocate jumping on a mid-pricer unless they have had a change of role that has made a difference to their scoring. Of the players listed above I can only really advocate for Isaac Heeney (AF $481k SC $342k FWD)given he has already had a lot of injury affected games and has shown he has the potential to score big with scores of 80, 82 and 107. Given his body is right, he can get back to his 90+ average he showed back in 2017 and 2018. However, I would be wary that he has already missed a lot of football recently due to injury.

Liam Baker (AF $566k SC $428k DEF) has had a small role change recently with a move into the midfield helping his score in Round 9, however it is unknown if he will keep this role once the Tigers get their key midfielders back.

Mason Redman (AF $476k SC $348k DEF) has been more involved in the Essendon rebounding department with scores of 84 and 97 in the last 2 weeks. This may have been assisted with Ridley’s return freeing up Redman more. I will be honest I have not had the chance to watch a lot of Essendon’s games this year, but he seems to be getting more of the ball so, it can be one to consider.

Finally, Nic Newman (AF $546k SC $415k DEF) has finally returned from long term injury, however unless you are confident, he regains the same role he played in 2019, I would pass up on it. Remember back then he was not playing with Adam Saad nor Sam Docherty at that time, so will they be taking points off him or off each other? Time will tell but no need to jump on immediately.

In terms of options around this price I do like what James Harmes (AF $540k SC $377k DEF) has produced since returning from injury with a 100 and 84, however it was when Jack Viney was out of the team so I would be aware of his scoring when he returns in the next week or two. But he has shown in the past he can score well if he’s put in the midfield as in 2019 he can score well with an average of 94.

"Is it too late to bring in rookies we’ve missed after their first price rise (Poulter, RCD, Waterman)?" @BISHOPSBALLS

No, it is not too late to bring in some rookies after they’ve had their first price rise however, I would only be bringing in the ones who have extremely good job security. The likes of Caleb Poulter and Riley Collier-Dawkins should have pretty job security with their respected clubs. Alec Waterman I will not recommend given he has already been omitted out of the team.  The obvious downside to this is that you will have to compromise your upgrade targets for example it might mean you can only afford to upgrade to a Caleb Daniel/Dan Houston rather than a Jake Lloyd, if you are happy to take that punt then I have no problem jumping on rookies who have already had their first price rise.

"Who is the best midfield option under $750k?" @BriersSpencer

I'll assume this is about AFL Fantasy value given that every player in SC is pretty much below $750k. So you are more looking at mids who have had a form dip/injury and are on their way back up. I do like the look of Tim Kelly (AF $706k SC $502k MID) as an option, he has had a few subpar scores however the one stinker he had was in the smashing to Geelong and since then he’s bounced back to average 117 in his last 3 games, currently he’s the number 1 midfielder at the Eagles and will only benefit from the return of Elliot Yeo and Luke Shuey post bye. Another option I like in that price range is Andrew Brayshaw (AF $724k SC $514k MID). At $724k he’s bouncing back from a few stinkers where he has on occasion been tagged out of the game. But when he is let loose, he can score big with 6 scores of 100+ already this year and that includes 3 scores of 120+. If you have some flexibility or plan on improving your forward line in the future, then Josh Kelly (AF $704k SC $541k M/F* (AF only)) at $704k will be a top 10 forward by seasons end and should be on your radar.

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