There are two things that are crucial to a successful upgrade/downgrade. One is the fallen premium and we have plenty of them. Guys like Lewis, Steven offer huge value based on previous performance and potential output for the respective price tags. The other is cash generating rookies and this is where we may have a slight problem. As Rids pointed out in his Cash Cows article this week http://coachespanel.com.au/cash-cows-round-8/ it is getting harder and harder to find rookies that have the perfect combination of good job security and ability to score points, which in turn leads to cash generation.Without the cash it makes it very difficult to upgrade to the best available players. We need to look at alternatives. From a RDT perspective, I will take a look at a player in each line that may need to be considered over the coming weeks.
Taylor Duryea. Coming into the season a lot of people had the Hawks defender on potential break out lists, due to a stunning finals campaign and a sub affected average that meant that he could potentially become a top 10 defender. In RDT, Duryea is currently priced at $348,300 and is in only 1% of teams. Just as the Hawks have started the season slowly, so has Duryea. An 88 on the weekend against Fremantle followed a 42 point second half the week before against Richmond. As the Hawks continue to work into form and control the ball, players like Duryea, Gibson, Birchall and Lewis will all continue to have better second halves of the season compared to their first 8 weeks. Hawthorn have a much easier run home, compared to their starting 6 weeks and will play Brisbane, Melbourne, Essendon and Gold Coast before their bye. Duryea is a straight swap from a Mitch Brown this week and should potentially average 80-85, which is just outside the current top 10 of defender averages. At his price and with a perfect bye round it is worth a punt. If he does manage to go 85 then he is a perfect D6, but if not then it is an easy trade to a Rd 13-14 defender.
Brad Crouch. Priced at just $348,200, Crouch started the season in nearly 30% of RDT sides. There are massive durability risks and he has come back from injury slowly with scores of 56 and 70, but with a career average of nearly 90 Crouch might be worth a look. The Crows are going to be ultra conservative with him and there are even some rumblings that he needs to go back to the SANFL to find match fitness and form, but he is too good of a player for that. For $30k, Callum Mills to Brad Crouch is a very easy trade to do and if everything goes right (touch wood), you may have a premium midfielder who can average close to 100 for the remainder of the season. This is probably the week to do it as the Crows play a depleted Gold Coast this week and it could be the exact thing that Crouch needs to build confidence and form.
Daniel Currie. The lead ruck role at the Suns is still not clearly defined, but it seems that Currie was not actually omitted last week, but he did not play due to injury. Nicholls is in doubt for this week with concussion. Currie is still under $200k in RDT and with a BE of -63, there is still plenty of cash to be made. Currie’s scores have steadily improved with each outing and if he plays as the sole ruckman an average of 85-90 is not out of the question. With plenty of teams having ruck combinations involving Goldstein, Martin and Gawn there are very few Rd 13 bye players in the mix and Currie may just provide some nice points across these weeks. Probably only a serious option if you have a Leuenberger at R2 still, but not the worst choice out there.
Chad Wingard. With the talent available in the forward line a 5 round average of 49 is hardly inspiring, but we need to look for the positives. Wingard is priced at $353,900 and has dropped nearly $165k from his starting price. There have been injury concerns with hamstring tightness and concussion that may have contributed to some poor scores. In Rd 1 against the Saints, Wingard scored 116 on the back of 9 tackles and 3 goals. In 2 of his 4 seasons in the AFL he has averaged close to 90 and I have no doubt that he can achieve this again this season. Port’s season has been very inconsistent and players like Wingard are going to need to step up to get things back on track. Wingard is a confidenece player and loves the big stage. All it is going to take is a moment of brilliance and he is capable of going on a scoring run within a game and a season. With forward rookies like Papley and McGovern topping out it may be time to make a small upgrade to the dual All Australian. A Kerridge, Wells and Wingard F5-7 could be a handy little group to have.
Each of these players is not without risk. They all offer some significant upside on their current price and who doesn’t love a sneaky bargain? Do any of them interest you? Are there any other hidden gems you have your eye on? Let us know on Twitter @brettfish15 or @coachespanel or join in the conversation at our Facebook group here.