Welcome to the first Makers and Breakers for 2017. Each week I’ll take a look at the players that helped make and break our fantasy sides and also calculate the perfect score for the round in DreamTeam and SuperCoach.
Dustin Martin (139DT/159SC): Stripped of forward status for 2017 made Martin a unique selection in the midfield and didn’t he deliver in the opening game of the year. Martin had 33 disposals (13 contested), five marks, six clearances, four rebounds from 50, six inside 50s, four tackles, four goals and four goal assists. As you can see from his stats Martin did it all Thursday night against the Blues, inside ball – outside ball, tackled, rebounds from 50 – inside 50s, goals and got his teammates involved with some goal assists. He won’t play the Blues every week but it was an ominous performance that will have people already plotting how they can get him into their side.
Dyson Heppell (156DT/152SC): What a return to footy by the first-game Essendon captain. Heppell amassed 34 disposals (a game-high 16 contested), eight marks, seven tackles and three goals. A phenomenal all-round performance, however, I still have my concerns about how those banned Bombers will fare as the season goes on.
Rory Laird (142DT/147SC): The knock on Laird thus far in his fantasy career has been his lack of ceiling. In the Crows demolition of the Giants on Sunday though he went massive thanks to his 40 disposals (13 contested), six marks, six rebounds from 50, four tackles and four inside 50s. If Laird can sprinkle a game like this every couple of months and maintain his consistency, he’ll not only be a top six defender but could be No. 1.
Taylor Adams (151DT/117SC): A pure midfielder eligible in defence, yes please! Adams’ attack on the footy was relentless and he was rewarded with 33 disposals (14 contested), six marks, seven clearances and 12 tackles. No one should have had an doubts about Adams’ scoring potential in 2017, however, he has a lot to do to quash the durability concerns that have followed him in the past.
Josh J. Kennedy (125DT/174SC): Last year Kennedy scored 180DT/SC points and kicked eight goals against Brisbane in Round 1 and while he didn’t quite reach that mark against North Melbourne he still feasted. Kennedy had 16 disposals, nine marks (three contested and six marks inside 50), four tackles and seven goals. As a key forward though Kennedy is going to be an up-and-down scorer so just ride the wave if you’re already on board and look pounce when his price is in a dip if you don’t.
Robbie Gray (21DT/38SC): Gray copped a head knock in a clash with Sydney ruckman Sam Naismith and despite playing 92% time on ground was rarely sighted. Gray could only manage eight disposals, one mark, one tackle and no goals, a shocking return for those that went with the unique Gray in their midfield.
Dan Hannebery (49DT/52SC): Hannebery produced his worst fantasy scores since Round 21, 2013, when he was kept to 41DT/47SC points against the Saints. On Saturday Hannebery failed to lay a tackle, took just one mark and gathered only the 18 disposals, well down on his average of 31 disposals, four marks and four tackles from 2016.
Patrick Cripps (77DT/50SC): Much had been made of Cripps injury interrupted preseason with a stress reaction in his back and while he was able to play in the JLT he wasn’t able to perform at the level we expect of him on Thursday night against Richmond. Consistently one of the best contested ball winners in the competition Cripps was only able to acquire five contested possessions and three clearances. This lack of contested ball and disposal efficiency of just 63 percent saw Cripps’ SC score dip below his DT score, a trend you don’t often see.
Alex Rance (44DT/59SC): Similar to Cripps, Rance is more of a SC option, but despite the Tigers winning comfortably he wasn’t able to produce a big score. It wasn’t as if the Blues couldn’t the ball into Rance’s area, more so that he was beaten a few one-on-ones by Jacob Weitering instead of landing a spoil or taking an intercept mark. Nothing to fret about if you’re an owner though, that’s just the scoring nature of key defenders.
Sam Jacobs (65DT/59SC): The rucks are always a tricky selection and with Jacobs under performing in 2016 based on his 2014-15 output I can see the logic in the selection. However, he didn’t get off to a great start against the Giants and Shane Mumford accumulating 13 disposals, two marks, three tackles and 28 hit outs. If he struggles again next week you might have to pull the trigger on a trade.
Defenders: Taylor Adams (151), Rory Laid (142), Kade Simpson (126), Jeremy Howe (114), Lee Spurr (111) and Jason Johannisen (109)
Midfielders: Dyson Heppell (c) (312), Andrew Gaff (144), Marc Murphy (139), Dustin Martin (139), Scott Pendlebury (135), Zach Merrett (129), Mitch Duncan (128) and Tom Mitchell (128)
Rucks: Matthew Kreuzer (120) and Max Gawn (111)
Forwards: Josh J. Kennedy (125), Elliot Yeo (120), Jesse Hogan (118), Jack Macrae (116), Alex Fasolo (115) and Charlie Cameron (112)
Defenders: Rory Laird (147), Jason Johannisen (126), Steven May (123), Heath Shaw (118), Taylor Adams (117) and Bernie Vince (114)
Midfielders: Dustin Martin (159), Dyson Heppell (152), Scott Pendlebury (146), Marc Murphy (138), Patrick Dangerfield (138), Tom Rockliff (137), Josh P. Kennedy (134) and Nathan Jones (132)
Rucks: Max Gawn (128) and Matthew Kreuzer (121)
Forwards: Josh J. Kennedy (c) (348), Elliot Yeo (139), Lance Franklin (125), Jesse Hogan (120), Charlie Cameron (119) and Touk Miller (117)
Who were the Makers and Breakers in your side for Round 1? Let me know on Twitter @KaneGrimster