AFL Fantasy Rucks – “Take a Risk or Two”
With the additional trades that Fantasy allows over DreamTeam, there are a few positions where we can take a few risks and trade when things don’t always go our way. Rucks are certainly one of those positions this year.
The most noticeable difference between Fantasy and DreamTeam in the Ruck department is the ability to take 2 value rucks on field to save a bit of cash to spend elsewhere. Every other year a ‘set and forget’ strategy (2 gun ruckman) or ‘lock and value’ combo (1 gun ruckman) has seemed most appropriate, especially with big gun Dean Cox banging out the big scores so often. But Coxy is getting older, and there is some value in the market this year.
For the first time in years DTFML is recommending starting with NO gun ruckman in the AFL Fantasy game only.
R1 – THE VALUE RUCK
This year sees a number of value ruck options who regardless of starting price, show potential for a quick price increase and become great upgrade options to the established guns (Kreuzer, Leuenberg, Cox, Minson, Goldstein). The value rucks range from $300k to $430k and there are a few options to fill the bill.
Hamish McIntosh will play for Geelong for sure if fit, and at his price is certain to make us some pennies. Brody Grundy is firming as the Pies new #1 ruck choice and if given that role will skyrocket in price. Reports today showed Nic Naitanui completing full training and when flying can be the most spectacular ruckman in the competition, and a damaging Fantasy scorer. Underpriced due to injury last seasaon, this will surely be the year he takes the mantle from Cox at West Coast. Shane Mumford’s move to GWS gives him an opportunity to thrive and lead a young team week in and week out. He has to play, and he has to play serious minutes to take GWS into a competitive stage. And topping the group is Matthew Lobbe, who startled us all in the final weeks of 2013 with his incredible tackling and ruck aggression. An injury to Redden leaves Lobbe the sole ruck duties, and if he maintains his end of 2013 form, should see him up with the top ruckman of the season.
There are a few choices, but most importantly, these choices do not need to be a full priced gun ruckman. Save the dollars and spend it elsewhere. This is the year to take a risk or two and with the extra Fantasy trades we can always undo any mistakes if they arise.
R2 – THE LOCK
Aaron Sandilands is a Fantasy gun from years ago who can pump out 100 pt games at will, with huge hitout scores and a few tall marks down forwards. Injury has crippled the big man in recent times, but this is Fantasy gold as he now carries a massive discount going into 2014. At $244,500, Sandi is certain to be one of the cash cows of the year if he is fit to play. Reports look good, and i think we will see him lining up for Freo Round 1. If so, he is an absolute lock at the R2 position. In fantasy in particular you can use the extra trades to swap him if it doesnt work out, but you’d be a brave fantasy player to not have him in your starting side. Worst case scenario… Grundy or McIntosh would be the perfect replacements if he doesnt pull up.
R3 – THE SAINT
Each year we look for a team that has little choice for their Ruck position, to get some guaranteed games out of our Fantasy players. This year we find a goldmine at St Kilda, after the departure of Ben McEvoy. This leaves the two recruits… Tom Hickey and Billy Longer to fill the #1 spot. So why do we care… because they are both under $300k and whoever takes the #1 ruck role will certainly skyrocket in fantasy value. Hopefully they both get a run and Longer, who is the cheaper of the two, can get some games.
R4 – THE ROOKIE
Usually we try to find the newest ruckmen who might sneak in for some games throughout the year, and make some cash to help upgrade elsewhere. The past years have seen certainties like Smith and Giles walk up as their teams #1 ruck, and last year we got a few games out of Grundy but we are not likely to be so lucky in 2014.
Sydney seem likely to give one of their rookie backups a go, especially with Mumford making the move to GWS. Toby Nankervis and Tom Derickx are both in contention here, but as the fourth ruck spot, wasting any more than rock bottom pricing seems crazy. An alternative is Dan Currie who failed to break into the Kangas lineup last year but is more likely to sneak some games in 2014, and is a little cheaper.
RUCK STRUCTURE – HOW IT FITS TOGETHER?
So with 4 ruck spots to select, we recommend the follopwing:
R1 – the value – McIntosh ($344k), Grundy ($335k), Naitanui ($419k), Mumford ($423k) or Lobbe ($439k).
R2 – the lock – Sandilands ($244k)
R3 – the saint – Longer ($194k) or Hickey ($282k)
R4 – the rookie – Currie ($115k), Derickx ($135k) or Nankervis ($170k)
Justo’s Reserves is running with two high value picks at R1 and R2, giving myself an option to upgrade Longer to Hickey at R3 depending who gets the #1 gig, and therefore Currie at R4 to save the cash. Here’s how it looks at this stage. Lets see how things pan out through the NAB cup.
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