Welcome to ‘Studs and Duds' where every week we will be analysing the round that was for our $500k + players.
Josh J. Kennedy ($532,200 FWD) Score: 174
The big bearded man of the west took no prisoners in a Sunday session at Etihad Stadium. His 16 disposals, 9 marks and staggering 7 goals, allowed Kennedy to play a flawless game which saw him become the highest scorer of round 1. An accomplishment he also achieved last season with an 8-goal demolition of the Lions. Will be traded into a lot of teams this week for Riewoldt or people chasing points. This is an ill-advised move as for every key position player's high score is a low score. Be disciplined!
Dustin Martin ($588,300 MID) Score: 159
Dustin "Chopsticks" Martin started the season opener in tremendous fashion on Thursday night. He played like a man possessed 33 disposals and 4 goals (which could have been 6 had he not been unselfish). Martin looked much more determined and focused with his disposal efficiency being a lot cleaner than that of the past as well as putting it on the boot 23 times compared to the 10 by hand. But… he won't be playing a lackluster Carlton every week.
Dyson Heppell ($513,300 MID) Score: 152
In the game of the round, after a saga that lasted over 4 years, an entire season away from footy, first game as captain and Dyson Heppell could not have done it any better. His 34 disposals, 3 goals, 8 marks and 7 tackles just showed how much of a champion Heppell already is. Coming in at a discount in 2017 expect a lot of coaches to jump ship on say a Hannebery or Cripps and recruit this bloke. He was seriously something else on Saturday night.
Rory Laird ($526,800 DEF) Score: 147
40 disposals at 85% efficiency sums up what Rory Laird is all about as a player. He wins the ball and he uses it well setting up counter attack after counter attack off the wing and half-back line. With the absence of Brad Crouch and Scott Thompson expect Laird to also run through the middle more this year where a serious void is present. Laird is a must have for 2017.
Max Gawn ($645,000 Ruck) Score: 128
Gawn gets a mention here purely because of the doubt surrounding him coming into round 1. With the rumour of Jake Spencer being selected Gawn was expected to have his scoring output reduced dramatically. However, this was not the case and after a dismal first quarter Gawn destroyed Tom Hickey and accumulated a whopping 49 hit outs. A game to put all the doubters to bed.
- Scott Pendlebury ($645,700 MID) Score: 146
- Patrick Dangerfield ($716,900 MID) Score: 138
- Tom Rockliff ($ 603,900 MID) Score: 137
- Josh P. Kennedy ($617,100 MID) Score: 134
- Zach Merrett ($606,400 MID) Score: 126
Robbie Gray ($588,200 MID) Score: 38
Gray was involved in a nasty clash with Sydney's Naismith which definitely left him a bit shaken up. Despite returning to the ground Gray was not himself at all only gathering the 8 disposals. Gray should be fine for round 2 where a huge increase will occur in his scoring output. He's a top 10 player in the AFL and will eventually show us all why sometime in the near future.
Patrick Cripps ($585,500 MID) Score: 50
Could only manage the 19 disposals against a Richmond side that in the grand scheme of things is only mediocre. His interrupted preseason that saw him on the sidelines for close to 2 months will definitely play a role in his early season form. Won't set the world on fire until about the midpoint of the season. Can see him being traded out of a lot of teams in the next 2 rounds.
Dan Hannebery ($616,800 MID) Score: 52
Much like Cripps, was not himself due to an interrupted preseason this time due to that horrific injury he witnessed in the 2016 Grand Final. However, Hannebery was still able to pull out a personal best in the 3km time trial and has quit drinking alcohol, leaving a lot to be desired about Saturday's performance where he saw the ball only 18 times. May need time to adjust to the new dynamic Sydney are running this year, but at 25 years of age, the time is now for Dan Hannebery to take his game to a Dangerfield type level.
Alex Rance ($535,600 DEF) Score: 59
Didn't have much to do on Thursday night but still no excuse for a ghastly performance. Was trying to do the team thing and lock down either Weitering and Casboult, also a bit of strategy from Brendan Bolton to minimise his effect off of half-back. Could see more teams do this and as a key position player he might be asked to take the back seat and just get the ball to ground with Richmond finding alternate avenues out of the backline. Definitely, one to keep an eye on.
- Ryan Griffen ($511,000 MID) Score: 52
- Shaun Burgoyne ($515,400 DEF) Score: 59
- Jack Steven ($560,600 MID) Score: 75
- Callan Ward ($574,500 MID) Score: 76
- Rory Sloane (591,000 MID) Score: 77