We have all been left in this scenario at one stage or another. In fact you’re quite simply having a blessed season if you never have to deal with this conundrum. The ‘Last Minute Scramble’ has become synonymous with pastures afar, as deadline day in several sports around the globe conjures some inconceivable decisions. A byproduct of these beloved games we play, we are left in a similar conundrum. Low on trades and cash but still requiring that final upgrade or two. What do we do? Bite our arm off in order to build an extraordinary 22 with no bench cover (memorably the decision made by the Swans hierarchy in their pursuit of Franklin) or hold the keys to deal with the ever present injury conundrum? Brett produced a brilliant article outlining the need to maintain stable, quality bench depth. So if we avoid the bullish recruiting drive, we must focus on the lesser options. Fear not, these options are every chance to produce the goods when it counts.
It’s always hard to look past a guy that has shown such form just 2 months prior. He missed Round 1 but came in next week and scored 84DT/77SC, 108/113, 87/77, 86/77 over the presiding four weeks. Those numbers in the DT scoring formats certainly place him within the top 15 scorers or so, and not too far behind in Supercoach. Kade also backed up this four week period last campaign with an 84DT/88SC average over all 22 games. From that point on, the injuries hit. First to a number of members in the Suns backline, and then to Kade himself with a strong knee to the head forcing him off prematurely in Round 12. When the Suns backline fell one by one, there was a quite serious and necessary role change to Kade. From the ultra composed rebounding defender who was more often than not, stood by the pressure forward, he quickly became the third and then second key defender. Couple this with the fact that the Suns played a number of matches within the torrential rain, including the water polo affair against the Swans, it was no real surprise that his numbers dropped. Given the Suns number 28 has now dropped in excess of $100,000 throughout the formats, it is safe to say that he is well undervalued for what he’s capable of delivering.
The winger that produced a break-out season during the 2015 campaign, and held those lofty standards throughout the first 8 weeks of this season, comes to us at a budget price. The bad with Gaff is that he has not scored higher than 82DT/85SC in the last four weeks. The beauty of this is that there is a clear reason as to why this happened. During the Port Adelaide affair at Adelaide Oval, the Eagles 24 year old copped an undue whack from the quickly suspended Tom Jonas. Suffering one of the strongest hits in recent memory, Andrew was immediately withdrawn from the game midway through the third term and did not appear until a fortnight later. Subsequently he has not been the same with 3 statistically sub-par performances over the ensuing fixtures. Two of them tough affairs before a 28 touch match opposed to the Lions. There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for Andrew who perhaps was still feeling the effects of concussion sometime after that hit. Coming off his bye and with some time to really put his feet up, he may well be ready to hit the ground running like he begun season 2016. Lets not be short term. Before this 4 week patch, he had a 30-week patch of consistent 100+ scoring through the competitions. He has dropped in excess of 160k throughout the comps. The planets appear to be alining here.
102DT/108SC, 100/98, 112/113, 101/110, 95/104, 92/91, 103/108, 102/104. What are all these numbers? Just the average score Sam has produced each season since 2009. Also worth noting is the fact he never dropped below 92DT/101SC in the 2006-08 period. His one down year was really a 100/99 taking out an injury effected score of 7. Sam is the quintessential of an ever present, consistent and reliable scorer. The Hawk has dropped over 110k throughout the competitions. He begun the season averaging 129DT/128SC over the first four weeks of the season. Masses were bending over backward to get the Hawk man in. Now we get him at the cheaper price with his last 4 scores all being above the 88 line and that includes three above the 99 threshold in DT and a herculean 152 in SC. Quite simply they don’t come surer than Sam, and the Hawks will always want the ball in this blokes hands.
The reason I am such a fan of Steve, is his capabilities on a football field. When up and firing he’s one of the most damaging flankers that a football side could desire. He reminds me a lot of a young Steve Johnson, the bloke with oodles of talent but can often pick and choose when he hits peak work rates. This is unfortunately a rather undesirable element that has to be associated with his game. The upside is that he has a history of working himself out of malaises. When you get to pick him up for $100k less than starting evaluation across all comps, this history must be a focus point. Last season he went at 89/88, and for the first 8 weeks of the season he maintained those numbers. Just another bloke who produced 30 matches in a row of elite numbers, before dropping over a four week period. Last season he whacked out two scores of 139 in DT and has already managed a 148 in SC this campaign. Buy low, sell high and the former has never wrung more true when considering this bloke.
This is just four names amongst a plethora available at discounted prices. Some of these players will be top tier scorers from here till the end of the campaign. The question is who? Spend sometime researching these names. Potentially, you’ll find a diamond the masses are overlooking. Good luck with your bargain basement shopping, it may just be the best move you make in season 2016!
Chat to me on twitter over here or alternatively hit up the Coaches Panel Facebook page where we all happy to discuss names you may be mulling over. Good luck with your sides CP fans!