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Underperformers under the pump

Ben Guthrie  January 27, 2013 12:04 PM

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Essendon's Heath Hocking may be one to aviod in AFL Fantasy in 2013

A DECREASE in production is never something you want associated with your name.

It means you're not living up to expectations or producing at the level people expect of you.

Here is a list of the players who suffered a fall from grace in 2012, and debate over whether they can turn it around in 2013.

1. Tom Rockliff (Brisbane Lions)
Price drop: (from start of 2012 to end of 2012) $207,300 ($554,500 to $346,900)
2012 points average: 93.5
2013 price: $481,700 (MID/FWD)
2013 bounce back? Rockliff can be seen as a victim of his own strong performances. He burst on to the AFL scene and laid the smackdown on his fantasy rivals. But starting last season at $554,500 was too big of a reputation to uphold. A bake from coach Michael Voss, about Rockliff's 'poor' end to last season, was enough to have him shed a few kilos and get himself in top nick for this season. Forget last season, Rockliff remains one of the premier fantasy players. Expect him to bounce back in a big way this year.

2. Michael Rischitelli (Gold Coast)
Price drop: $206,700 (from $473,200 to $266,500)
2012 points average: 62.5
2013 price: $322,000 (MID)
2013 bounce back? Rischitelli's numbers dropped significantly, across the board, in 2012, even finishing outside the top 10 in the Suns' best and fairest. He was assigned the role of defensive stopper last year, so it will be interesting to see whether the coaching staff allows him to expand the attacking parts of his game. At his best, he can win his own ball and distribute effectively to teammates, while also putting pressure on the opposition. At that tempting price, he is certainly worth considering.

3. Shane Savage (Hawthorn)
Price drop:
$200,500 (from $382,300 to $181,800)
2012 points average: 55.4
2013 price: $285,700
2013 bounce back? Savage was Hawthorn's version of 'Kermit the Frog' in 2012, wearing the substitute vest in eight matches (including all of the Hawks' finals). As a result, his average game time was just 64 per cent. Savage carries the ball and looks to kick long on most occasions, while he generally finishing his work in front of goal. Could benefit greatly from Clinton Young's departure, although he could find himself in a battle with Bradley Hill for that wingman-type role. One to keep an eye on early in the season.

4. Liam Shiels (Hawthorn)
Price drop:
$175,700 (from $508,400 to $332,700)
2012 points average: 79.4
2013 price: $408,900 (MID)
2013 bounce back? Shiels was down on his fantasy output from the year before, where he averaged 103 points per game. His value to the Hawthorn team could not be overlooked, though, as he enjoyed one his best seasons to date. That was not conducive to fantasy scoring, as he spent more time trying to negate the opposition's best midfielder. Given his stopping role, his possession rate, contested possessions, uncontested possessions, marks and tackles all decreased. If he can shed the tagging role, then he's worth a little look for fantasy purposes.

5. Travis Cloke (Collingwood)
Price drop:
$173,900 (from $473,500 to $299,600)
2012 points average: 82
2013 price: $383,600
2013 bounce back? Cloke endured an interesting, to say the least, year in 2012. He found himself in the spotlight, as debate swirled about his contract negotiations and whether he would leave the Magpies. Now that he's committed to the Pies, things should start to settle down a fair bit. His marking, particularly in one-on-one contests, makes him one of the premier forwards in the competition. Begins the season underpriced, so he's definitely worth finding a spot for in your starting team.

6. Brent Stanton (Essendon)
Price drop:
$167,700 (from $528,400 to $360,600)
2012 points average: 106.5
2013 price: $548,900
2013 bounce back? Stanton was the competition's standout fantasy performers of the first half of last season, even racking up 192 fantasy points against Brisbane in round six. But as Essendon began to slide, so too did Stanton's fantasy production. At his best, Stanton is one of the hardest running midfielders in the league. His disposals are damaging and he hits the scoreboard on a regular basis. Opposition teams, though, are quick to try to slow him down. If Stanton can break the tag more often than not, then he should hold down a permanent spot. He's a proven fantasy performer.

7. Brent Moloney (Brisbane Lions)
Price rise:
$167,300 (from $435,300 to  $268,000)
2012 points average: 60.1
2013 price: $309,800
2013 bounce back? After winning Melbourne's best and fairest in 2011, Moloney went through a disastrous 2012 season. Played 15 games for the Dees last season, but was routinely relegated to VFL after some below par performances. Moloney should benefit greatly from his fresh start in Brisbane, who were crying out for a clearance specialist. Given his poor 2012 season, he's dropped down in price. Therefore, he's definitely one to target.

8. Todd Banfield (Brisbane Lions)
Price rise:
$160,900 (from $293,700 to $132,800)
2012 points average: 38.3
2013 price: $197,100 (FWD)
2013 bounce back? Banfield was slowed by a hamstring injury last season, and found it difficult to reclaim his spot on return. After finishing third at the club in scoreboard impact in 2011, he dropped off dramatically in that category last season, finishing 20th at the Lions. He has had a solid pre-season, although the emergence of Dayne Zorko and Josh Green will make it increasingly difficult for Banfield to regain his position in the side. Pass, at this stage, but monitor his progress in the NAB Cup.

9. Josh J. Kennedy (West Coast)
Price drop:
$152,800 (from $393,000 to $240,200)
2012 points average: 52.9
2013 price: $272,300 (FWD)
2013 bounce back? Kennedy managed just nine games in 2012, suffering from a nagging ankle injury. His price has therefore been adjusted, considering his low scores last season. When up and going, he is difficult to stop. His marking and accurate, yet bizarre, set shot goal kicking technique makes him one of the prized forwards in the competition. If he can recapture his 2011 form he should have a large say in the Eagles' success. Kennedy is a star at full fitness, so position him in your forward line and reap the rewards.

10. Heath Hocking (Essendon)
Price drop:
$151,000 (from $435,600 to $284,600)
2012 points average: 61.4
2013 price: $316,600
2013 bounce back? Hocking had an up and down season in 2012, but was far from the level he had shown he could play at the previous year. Employed as a lock-down midfielder, Hocking had roles on some of the best midfielders in the competition, which made it hard for him to generate fantasy excellence. His possessions dipped slightly and his effectiveness at the contest was also minimised. As his role is more reliant on stopping other players, he's probably not someone you're going to chase in fantasy. Avoid.