At this stage, I have given absolutely no thought to the Bye situation. Last season, I found myself discounting legitimate options based on their Bye round, which was probably to my detriment. In 2013, I'll take a closer look at the MBR situation once the NAB Cup gets under way, but until then, it is a very distant consideration.
Unfortunately, until we see which rookies will push for games based on their NAB Cup performances, nailing down a structure will be very difficult. At this stage, it looks like reliable midfield rookies will be plentiful, and conversely the forward rookies seem few and far between. Of course, this can completely change once the pre-season ramps up. Because of this,I won't be forced into any particular set-up, but I'll still be exploring the ideal structure for my DreamTeam this season.
Anyway, here's a few quick thoughts on each selection so far - should be helpful to see why I've selected each player at this very early stage, especially when I turn to hindsight later on in the season:
Brendon GoddardLock. Definitely under-priced if he plays midfield as Hird has repeatedly said he will. Automatic selection here.
Bryce GibbsGetting Gibbs priced at an average of 92 is a steal, particularly if he plays midfield under Malthouse. Given that Mick has run with a stacked engine room at Collingwood in the past, there should be plenty of room for Bryce.
Paul DuffieldDuffield is a bit of a place-holder here. I know I want another Premium defender, but I'm not set on anyone as this stage. Duffy get's the nod based on his awesome finish to 2012, averaging 102 in his last 7 games.
Greg BroughtonI'm a bit of a sucker for Greg, and I can't help that think that away from Harvey and Lyon, Broughton will be a gun. Will get his role of choice at the young Suns. DEF/FWD handy.
Goodes, Docherty, Terlich, ColquhounThese are basically the big name rookies I settled on when I set my team. I'm not putting too much though into these guys until we see what they can do, but Goodes and Terlich are mature-agers so they're always a shout for games; Docherty's a highly-skilled second year rebounder who'll get games if fit and Colquhoun is sitting there solely due to his DEF/MID eligibility, as I honestly don't think he'll play Round 1.
Gary Ablett JnrAbout $45k cheaper than Swan with the same upside. Will be my Perma-Captain until he gives me a reason not to be.
Dayne BeamsThe new Swanny, and he's just getting started. Will one day be revered like DT stars Ablett, Swan, Bartel and Corey before him.
Trent CotchinThe new Ablett. Tigers look to give it to Cotch at every opportunity as the the Suns do with Ablett, which will pave way to monster possession totals and will flow on to huge DT scores.
Marc MurphySmurph is criminally underpriced, and you just have to look at his start to 2012 (116 avg in first 6 games) to know that he'll smash that. Will be a Top 8 Midfielder by average, and his famous durability means he'll probably be Top 5 by aggregate.
Tom RockliffAs my mate Mong says, more like Tom Lockliff. Was certainly carrying a niggle last year (OP maybe?) which had him playing forward and eroded his output. Provided my assumption that he'll play midfield again in 2013 is valid, then he will blitz his 93.5 average last season, and will provide returns more like his famed 2011 season. But he's a MID/FWD DPP, why not play him in the forward line and have an extra mid? Because I can't find a decent MID/FWD rookie to link him with, so I've been reduced to playing a premium DPP in the engine room at this stage. My preference is definitely to play him as a forward, so if I can do that, then I definitely will.
Jesse LonerganMassive lad, ready-made body and mind for AFL, will hopefully get early games for the young Suns, especially with Caddy and Iles out of the picture. Don't mind paying the small premium for Job Security at this stage.
Kane MitchellMature-age ball magnet from Claremont, has won a Sandover so he can obviously play. Port are woeful, so he should be a chance for early games.
Jaeger O'MearaThis selection speaks for itself. Gun kid in a weak team usually means job security and reliable points.
Nathan HrovatLike Lonergan, Hrovat is built like a tank. Will push for early games, but with the Bulldogs already boasting a midfield stacked with high draft picks, he might have to wait a bit.
Jack VineyNotice a theme? Viney is a ready-made wrecking ball, and due to his Father-Son selection, we get him for cheaps. Playing for a hapless Melbourne side means he should earn an early debut, provided they don't put him in bubble wrap like they did with Jack Watts.
Dean CoxWith Naitanui undergoing a groin operation and apparently in doubt for Round 1, Coxy will be forced to soak up extra ruck time. Historically, we know this means big scores from the big man. Coming into 2013, I was pretty keen to overlook Cox this year, but a combination on NicNats groin and his incredible RUC/FWD status is too hard to overlook at this point.
Matt LeuenbergerOne of my few 'Locks' at this point. Priced at 57, Leuey is a massive bargain.
Sam RoweI can't see any decent rookie ruck options (I'm sure some will develop over the pre-season though), so Rowe gets a look because I actually know who he is, and he's a RUC/FWD DPP.
Brodie GrundySee above - one of the few guys whose name I actually know. Daniel Currie is looking good for R4 as well.
Dale ThomasI've always liked Daisy, and I think he's underpriced due to his ankle niggle last season. At the end of the day, we're getting a midfielder as a forward. Worked for me in 2012, so why fix something that isn't broke? In saying this, I feel very nervous seeing his name first up, which means an absence of Buddy, and I'm not sure why I've passed on him.
Nic NaitanuiIt's looking increasingly likely that NicNat won't get a starting spot for Tbetta Than You, and I'll bring him in as an upgrade one I'm sure he's over the groin issues. For now, I like seeing him here purely for the RUC/FWD link. In reality though, I'll probably end up swinging Coxy into the Forwards and going with another cheap Ruckman in his place, such as a Goldstein or Pederson, or even Sandilands.
Dustin MartinI hope everyone is too spiteful of 2012 to pick him, because I think Dusty is a gun and it's only a matter of times before he explodes. In my opinion, it's only his fitness that is holding him back, and from all reports he's addressed that this off-season, so I see only upside for Martin. One positive of him only averaging 85 last year is that he's only priced at 85 this year.
Travis ClokeI'm very nervous about this pick, but the more I think about it, the more I convince myself that he can't possibly average less than 75 this season. He'll be frustrating at times, yes, but there's definitely value here. Time will tell if I wimp out on him or not.
Josh J KennedyPriced at just 53, it'll be hard work to find a better return for money than JJK. I think he'll top an 80 average, which I'm stoked with as my F6 for the year, especially for someone I'll have bought so cheap. If he is reported to be plantar fasciitis free for Round 1, then I'm all in.
Brent StakerHe's in here mainly because he's dirt cheap, functions as a DEF/FWD link with Broughton and he should have some sort of job security. Durability is an obvious concern, but at his price, a rookie (with their low job security) is just as risky.
Josh Growden, Tom LeeBasically their names are here because I couldn't find anyone better. Growden is MID/FWD which helped his cause, but I highly doubt he'll be in my side for long. Tom Lee was head-hunted by St. Kilda and is as good of a chance as anyone to make my final cut, but I would much prefer a MID/FWD if I can find one.
So there we go Future Tbetta, that's the bunch of scrubbers you had in your side around Christmas time. Looks mighty different from the group of Spartans you marched into Round 1 with, doesn't it?