When the round lockout ended on Sunday night I was like most coaches around the country. I logged in and traded in Josh Smith and Tom Rockliff. Easy as that. Trades done for the week. It’s too hard to say no to a mid rookie with a crazy breakeven like Smith and Rockliff is fantasy royalty.
After thinking about it for a little while though, I have to admit that it is starting to cross my mind that Rockliff may not be a “must” trade in this week. Chances are at this early stage of the week that he will still be the player that ends up in each of my sides, but we need to make sure that we consider all of the options that are presented.
One of the first issues for many sides is that the popular backline rookies including Dea and Adams are starting to get close to their breakevens. There is even the option that Dea, Wagner and Ruggles do not play this week. Rory Laird is in almost 30% of RDT sides and he’s now out for a minimum 2 weeks. It might be a struggle to get full line together in the back half. If this is the case is trading in a midfielder the main priority? I would say no. Heath Shaw and Matt Boyd are clearly the two premium options as defenders and it may improve your side by more points to trade either of them in. Say for instance it is a case of Parish to Rockliff or Dea to Boyd. Parish (65) + Boyd (100) v Rockliff (110) + Dea (60) might be how it plays out and it’s a 0-0 draw. In RDT with those scores Rockliff might increase in price by around $10k. It’s not the worst thing to have to wait a week on Rockliff with a minimal price increase like that if it strengthens your team elsewhere.
Secondly, there is every chance that Daniel Currie continues to get an extended run of games as the sole ruck for the Suns or Mason Cox continues to develop in the AFL instead of the VFL. As the season continues solid bench cover is crucial. It is even more so in the ruck in the limited trade formats as there is only one bench spot. Are you currently happy with the cover that your side has in this spot? It may be the last chance to get a rookie priced R3 that is actually playing. There is no immediate improvement in points on the ground, but that cover can prove crucial as the season continues. Is the trade that you are going to use on Rockliff better served in strengthening your bench?
Finally, it may be important to look at how the Lions set up their midfield with Dayne Beams on the horizon for a return in the coming weeks. There was a lot of chatter about Rockliff playing forward more in the preseason and also the opening rounds. It may have been a fitness thing, but one game doesn’t give us the answers. The conditions were perfect for Rockliff on the weekend, as he was able to lay multiple tackles and this boosted his score into the 130 zone. Beams return may actually free Rockliff up even more, but it may still be wise to see how all of them can work together with the addition of Batinac, Bell and even a fit Rich coming into the mix.
Basically, Tom Rockliff needs to be in your side at some stage. Just make sure it is the best thing for your team to do it this week if that is the way you are heading. Assess each of the options and make a decision based on analysis, not based on it is Rocky! Which way are you headed this week? Let us know on Twitter @brettfish15 or @coachespanel or join in the conversation at our Facebook group here.