Real DreamTeam Rucks – “Gun and Value”
With the restricted number of trades, the real DreamTeam game forces us to make more careful decisions than the AFL Fantasy does. Despite a number of good value picks in the Ruck department this year, DreamTeam doesnt allow the flexibility to trade and fix mistakes as easily, so some caution must be taken, to at least get one Gun locked in for the season, leaving the other to value up and upgrade as the season progresses. The lesson here, we simply dont want to be wasting too many trades on the ruck department.
This year DTFML is recommending a “Gun and Value” strategy in the ruck department, for the Dream Team game only.
R1 – THE GUN
While in fantasy we can take the risk of an extra value pick, there is no mucking around with the first ruck spot in Real Dream Team. It needs to be a gun, and a player who is durable and will sit in the R1 spot for the entire season. Dean Cox has usually filled this roll for us in past seasons but can he maintain form and DT output at his age and with Naitanui on track for Round 1. Will Minson and Todd Goldstein put themselves on the map as premium gun Ruckmen last season, and while they come with a price, they are both the standout clear #1 ruck at their club and dont like sharing gametime with anyone else. Expect high outputs from these two once again, although Minson’s $500+ price scares me away. Another option at a slightly reduced price is Matthew Lobbe who dominated for Port to finish 2013. His ruck backup Redden appears injured, handing Lobbe the ruck duties at Port ona silver platter. Watch him closely as he could burst onto the scene as a contender for top Ruckman this season.
Kreuzer and Leuenberger are the two picks for us though here at DTFML. The years of promise and glimpses of full potential might finally be realised in 2014. As the 4th and 5th most expensive ruckman, you expect serious output, but neither should average below 85 DT pts this year, and both could be locked from Round 1 and stay there all season. For me it is Kreuzer. His around ground scoring is higher and i think he will break through the 90+ DT pt barrier this year.
R2 – THE LOCK
Similar to our AFL Fantasy Ruck article… Aaron Sandilands is a DreamTeam 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 DT gold as he now carries a massive discount going into 2014. At $270k, 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. If he doesn’t pull up to play and a replacement is required, look at Hamish McIntosh or Brody Grundy who come in at similar prices and appear to have huge upside to their value this season. Watch the NAB cup, but for now… lock in Sandilands.
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 DreamTeam 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 $285k and whoever takes the #1 ruck role will certainly skyrocket in fantasy value.
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 following:
R1 – the gun – Kreuzer ($473k), Leuenberger ($465k), Goldstein ($490k) or Lobbe ($442k).
R2 – the lock – Sandilands ($270k)
R3 – the saint – Longer ($239k) or Hickey ($285k)
R4 – the rookie – Currie ($119k), Derickx ($119k) or Nankervis ($112k)
Justo’s Reserves is running with Kreuzer and Sandi, starting with Longer but hoping two fo the cheap rookie rucks get a go to save some cash on the bench. Here’s how it looks at this stage. Lets see how things pan out through the NAB cup.
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