In Dozen Deals we use BUY, SELL, HOLD, ADD, or DROP. This is based on a 10 team 22 player roster. BUY, SELL, HOLD, and DROP will apply to players that are generally owned, while ADD will cover players you may find on the waiver wire or as a free agent.

You’ll notice this week there are only 11 players in my dozen deals. The twelfth is the former pig himself, Tom Mitchell. He was a buy candidate all the way back in round 3, and once again, I felt I  had to include him in this week’s article. The dilemma has been where to put him, so instead of making a decision, I’ve taken the ultimate fence sitter’s position and I’m putting him in all three categories.

Buy: If your midfield is shallow and you’re able to snag him for a bargain price from owners who are convinced his role has changed for good, then I think Titch is still an excellent buy. He’s still averaging over 90 this year, with 3 tons and only 1 score under 87. If you pay the value of a 90-100 averaging midfielder for him, I certainly don’t think you’ll be burnt. No, he may not reach the outright piggery of his 129 averaging days, but there is still plenty of upside there. He was a buy low candidate after round 3, and he’ll cost you even less now!

Hold: If you are an owner, I certainly wouldn’t be looking to offload Mitchell just yet. For the same reasons I outlined earlier, while he might not be the captain option you hoped for, he still has upside to his scoring, and he’s still racking up consistent points for you.

Sell: While I think that at the right price, Titch is definitely a buy or a hold for most coaches, there are always exceptions. If you receive a Godfather offer from someone who is confident he’ll get back to scoring above 110, then I think you should definitely take it. There’s no guarantee he’ll be a reliable captaincy option for the rest of the year, as Sam Mitchell has shown no inclination to give him the bulk inside minutes of previous years.  Don’t get me wrong, for most junk offers of 90 averaging defenders you’ll receive, I’d be holding on tight. But for the right price (say, a D1/F1 and a 90+ averaging mid), I would certainly be prepared to have a look at it!

While I’ve only talked about Mitchell here, the points I’ve laid out apply to most underperforming premium players. Everyone is sellable for a price, but don’t be sucked into salary cap rage trades and prematurely move on a star because they’re 5 -10 points below their expected average.  A player being a touch disappointing but still providing you with reliable scoring, is a valuable commodity in draft, where it’s not easy to find an uber-premium replacement. It’s only when a player starts to average similar scores to free agents, with minimal prospects of returning to their previous roles that I’ll look to move them on.

Buy: Josh Battle

Josh Battle could become an important cog in your team, and one that adds immense flexibility. Being forward and defence eligible, with an average of 80, makes this unassuming player well worthy of your time. In addition to flexibility, he carries a fair bit of upside. His job security is great, half his scores have been 90 or above, and if you take out the shocker that any marking player had in Darwin, his average rises to 84.2, or the 13th ranked forward. He won’t cost anywhere near as much as De Goey, Butters, or Zac Bailey, but he’s performing just as well!

Buy: Christian Salem

Salem has an average of 3 at the moment (that’s not a typo) and has been injured for the entirety of the season. He is however, a super reliable defender when fit. In the next couple of weeks, look to make an offer and hopefully, by the time the bye rounds are finished, he’ll be fit and firing as the 90+ averaging defender he has been in the last 3 years. Just remember, he’ll probably start slowly, so don’t expect too many massive scores until he’s played a few weeks. On the upside, if your league doesn’t play over the bye rounds, the timing is perfect to have him raring to go by round 15.

Buy: Jy Simpkin

For a player who is clearly their club’s best midfielder, Simpkin has underperformed so far this year. But delving into the stats, his season so far is almost identical to last year’s. In rounds 1-10 last year he averaged 84.5 (he’s averaging 88.2 so far this season). From round 11 onwards last year, he lifted to an elite average of 104.5. Grab him now while disaffected owners are happy to part ways, and you could end up with a premium midfielder leading your finals charge in the second half of the year.

Hold: Stephen Coniglio

With his forward role, Cogs hasn’t reached the heights that many of us would have hoped for when we drafted him early this year. Despite that, it’s important to remember, he’s still averaging 88, there’s still scope for an increase in his scoring if he gets moved to the middle, and he’s still the 9th ranked forward on average. Trading him is unlikely to net you anyone better, so stick with him and focus on shoring up other areas.

Sell: (Handsome) Tom Lynch

If you listened to @lionelhutz4prez, your two-week victory lap is probably still going. Fair play, that was a great call and you’ve been rewarded with 280 points in the last fortnight. He may well have another decent game or two, but history tells us that handsome Tom is unlikely to be a reliable scorer week in, week out. Banks the wins from the last two weeks and trade him while his value is at an all-time high!

Sell: Mark Blicavs

Since filling in as a stop gap ruckman instead of his rubbish key defender role, Blicavs has produced some outrageous scores. As Aaron Hall showed last year, an older player moving to a better position can dominate, but unfortunately for Blicavs, his time as a number 1 ruckman may be short lived. Rhys Stanley will be back, Ratugolea is lurking in the wings (although he’s out for another few weeks), and Ceglar could well play before the end of the year. If any two of these three play, the Blitz will become a victim of his own success as a defender and will be confined to a lock down role. Sell him now, or at least in the near future, before his stocks plummet.

Sell: Caleb Daniel

Whilst some mums think potatoes are neat, this small potato has been spudding it up hard, averaging a barely rosterable 81.9. When you think about it, that’s only 5 points or so above what you could net on the waiver wire. With his name value, high ceiling and a reputation that exceeds his fantasy output, he’s a prime candidate to sell for a 90 averaging mid or an 80 averaging forward. Move him on before he turns your season into a big ole bowl of mashed potatoes.

Add: Darcy Cameron

An immensely talented beanpole, Darcy Cameron has showed glimpses of fantasy form in the past, but without consistent time on the ball, has never put together a decent stretch of scoring. With Grundy out for another couple of months, Cameron could be the smoky that propels your struggling forward line towards finals. Just remember to sell him before Grundy returns.

Add: Connor Budarick

Budarick was an elite junior scorer, only averaging behind Tom Green and Matt Rowell in the NAB League and TAC cup. Unfortunately, this hasn’t translated to senior footy, where role and injury have hampered his career so far. He looked great last week, taking kick ins and scoring an impressive ton. This scoring might not continue, but you could certainly do worse than grabbing him for a couple of weeks as a lottery pick.

Drop: Nick Haynes

It’s hard to believe, but some people who picked the GWS defender late in drafts are holding tight despite his average of 57. In fact, he’s only scored over 50 twice this season. If you have a player like this sitting on your bench, drop him and either take a punt on someone who might pop or pick up a player with a decent floor who averages above 70. Players scoring 40s like Haynes will end up costing you games. 

Drop: Michael Walters 

For some reason people seem to idealize Walters, harking back to a simpler time in 2019, where he averaged 93.5. The reality is, he hasn’t really been a valuable forward commodity before or since. In fact, that was the only time he has ever averaged over 83 for a season. While he’s been vaguely serviceable in other seasons, he’s not this year, so dump him and pick up someone else. Remember, his coach laughed when he accidentally said he’d play in the midfield prior to round one, before confirming that he’d be firmly stuck in the forward pocket.