If feels like we have been here before. Rocky out. Rocky in. Rocky out. It is becoming a rather concerning pattern. It’s an easy choice this week though. Rocky has to go. There is some talk about leaving him on the bench, but I don’t see how that can be done. This is a player that had no preseason, which included a hamstring injury, followed by a strained calf and hamstring. There are 2 games cut short by injury already this season. There is a massive risk that Rocky comes back and is injured again right before the byes. There is no way that you can carry an injured player on the bench through the byes, let alone the potential damage that may be done to the small amount of value that he has left. Trade him out and wait until he at least plays 3-4 successive games before even considering bringing him back in again.
So if the decision is made to trade him out then we need to look at some options. For the purposes of the article I will look at players who have the same bye round as Rockliff:
Jordan Lewis. For mine, this is the most obvious choice that can be made in RDT/AF. There have been some concerns over his consistency this year with 4 scores over 110, but 3 under 60. It may be a case of waiting to see if Lewis is able to string a few good games together, but at under $500k in RDT it is a risk I am willing to take. Within 2 minutes of the game starting last weekend Lewis had laid a huge tackle and was pushing hard defensively and running to space to receive the ball. We hadn’t seen this in the last few weeks. Lewis may not be an obvious choice in SC, but at $430k it may be worth considering. Hawthorn have a very nice run ahead from a fantasy perspective and Lewis should be a safe option to average over 100 from here on out in each format.
The Giants midfield. Purely from a strategy perspective it would be sensible to look at teams with the same bye round. Ward, Shiel and Coniglio all offer some viable alternatives. Coniglio has had an amazing month and his scores have been plastered everywhere. In the past he has always been able to tackle his way to some decent scores, but in the last month he has also added an ability to accumulate the ball. Still has some value and would be a great unique choice. Shiel still has another 10ppg to be added to his scoring in my opinion. It’s just a case of whether it happens this year. Across all formats the one that I would look at from this trio is Ward. Wins his own ball, tackles and kicks goals. A great unique player a well. In RDT he is only around $30k more than Rockliff, but the gap is too big to consider in SC.
Dayne Beams.Bit tougher to go to Beams, due to the price difference. However, his first game back was excellent and as he builds match fitness there is no reason why he can’t return to his 110+ average in all forms of the game.
Mitch Duncan. Jelwood and Dangerfield are gaining all of the attention at Geelong, but Duncan just keeps getting it done. If we look at his season without Rd 2 included, after he was knocked out by Mumford there are some compelling numbers for Duncan. In RDT/AF he is averaging 106 over his other 6 games this season. Compared to his Cats teammates, there is a huge difference in price and for this reason he is my pick of the Geelong trio, as most of us would be able to do a straight swap from Rockliff.
Liam Shiels. A direct swap with bye round and price. Hawthorn need Shiels to step up from here if they are to have any chance to create history and he responded last week with 16 tackles. Shiels also knows how to win the ball and with the very friendly draw ahead he could be an excellent choice in RDT/AF. Shiels has had a slow start to the season, but with the Hawks hopefully turning the corner and improved fitness it could see Shiels finally break the 100 ppg season average in RDT/AF for the first time since 2011.
Lachie Neale. Neale has stepped up in the absence of Nat Fyfe to be the leading ball winner in the Fremantle side, but there do need to be some concerns about how he was unable to translate a 33 possession game into 100 over the weekend. Getting Neale at this stage would also appear to be doing so at his highest price. Not sure it is the best option with so many other “value” choices around this week.
Obviously there are a number of players that don’t share the same bye round as Rocky that can also be considered this week and some DPP options as well, but I have chosen to highlight the above players as they will keep the bye balance of our sides the same. It is an important factor that needs to be considered with the byes looming. Did you happen to bring Rockliff in last week? Did you have him stashed on your bench from the start of the season? Were you lucky enough to have “waited” one more week? Let us know on Twitter @brettfish15 or @coachespanel or join in the conversation at our Facebook group here.