Many came, some conquered, but most have fallen in the 2012 Dreamteam season. This year has been ruthless in terms of injuries, especially considering the gun players that have been afflicted for much of the 2012 season.
When trades are the most valuable commodity in the game injuries can debilitate a team’s hopes in the space of a few weeks.
Check out this list of players, most of who would be considered starters for many teams; L. Franklin (Haw), N.Fyfe (Fre), M.Murphy (Carl), A.Goodes (Syd), S.Pendlebury (Coll), A.Carrazzo (Carl), J. Kennedy (WC), A.Sandilands (Fre), M.Leuenberger (Bris), J.Brown (Bris), H.McIntosh (Nth.M), B. Waters (WC). All of them missed multiple weeks.
Then add in the weeks missed by players with three week injuries; G.Ablett (GC), C. Rioli (Haw), M.Hurley (Ess), K.Simpson (Carl), and P.Ryder (Ess).
Thousands traded G. Ablett when he missed a few weeks and it is these trades that can quickly come back and bite you. Don’t waste trades on stars who only miss two or three weeks as it can prove to be the difference later. Knowing when to trade and when to hold off is a skill in itself.
Given the way the season has gone so far there are surely more injuries to come in the final weeks, and needless to say those remaining trades will play a huge part in determining success or failure. For the teams in the top tiers of the rankings and those fighting it out for league premierships it is vital you trade with intelligence at this point in the year – one wrong trade could destroy your season.
It is difficult to pick players with good scoring potential who also have a good injury history. Research is your best friend. Players like Carrazzo (Carl) and Sandilands (Fre) seem to get injured and miss multiple games every season. Carrazzo missed eight weeks in 2009, six weeks in 2011, six weeks in 2012, Sandilands missed nine weeks in 2011, and has missed eight this season, so knowing which players are at risk can be invaluable. It is also a good idea to check the games played for the previous season relating to any given player to use as a guide.
For those that are closing the book on season 2012 and have an eye on 2013, keep in mind the players that have had fantastic runs without injuries and good runs with consecutive games (current consecutive games played in brackets); Deledio (Rich-108), A. Swallow (Nth-81), J.P Kennedy (Syd-72), J. Riewoldt (Rich-72), B. Harvey (Nth-69), Boyd (WB-56), S. Selwood (WC-55), and Dal Santo (St.K-48).
You should also keep an eye on up-and-coming talent whether young or mature age; Dayne Zorko (Bris) has been a star this season and there are always a few that become must-haves, like Michael Barlow (Fre) a couple of years ago. These are the players who are going to make money in order to upgrade later on and can be the difference between winning and losing.
Having a good knowledge base is essential if you aim high. For those that take the game seriously, research is crucial and can be the difference between the major prize, shame, or peanut.