Biggest Dream Team disappointments

There is nothing more frustrating for a Dream Team coach then selecting a gun player for your team only to find out they have turned into a dud.

Bulldogs Strategic Analyst and Toyota NRL Dream Team guru Luke Gooden analyses the biggest Dream Team disappointments for 2012.

Luke is responsible for statistical and video analysis for Bulldogs coach Des Hasler, his coaching staff and players, and is currently ranked 1,833 in Toyota NRL Dream Team.

Luke writes a weekly column, 'Gooden's Good Oil', for the Bulldogs website which provides interesting Dream Team insights and a few tips for Dream Team coaches.

Here is Luke's list of the biggest Toyota NRL Dream Team disappointments for 2012:

Josh Hoffman (Broncos) – Josh’s disappointing 2012 has surprised me; this youngster has had huge raps for a couple of years now. With the lowest error rate among regular fullbacks in 2011 and an explosive Broncos backline, Josh’s Dream Team fall from grace would have been difficult to pick. His average has dropped 9.15, with a fall in avg tackle breaks, avg. metres and tries, it’s hard to explain Hoffman’s form drop. One potential answer could be Darren Lockyer’s retirement.

Whether it be Lockyer’s retirement or simply an indifferent year, Hoffman is a class act and should bounce back. If you feel the Broncs can have a strong finish to 2012, Hoffman at $147,800 could be great value.

Mitchell Aubusson (Roosters) – Ah, good old Mitch. Mitchell’s name has received regular mentioned in the good oil, largely due to his involvement in my Dream Team squad, for the majority of 2012. Our love affair ended last week after I’d finally had enough of his positional change to centre and drop in base stats. After a promising start to the year the Chooks stacked backrow has ensured Aubusson’s scores continue to free fall. After so much promise it has been a hugely disappointing Dream Team year for Aubusson.

Matt Cooper (Dragons) – Since 2009, Matty Cooper’s impregnable defence and tries off the back of The Red V’s sweeping backline movements has ensured high ownership and high scores. After a spluttering offensive campaign for the Dragons, many of Cooper’s offensive stats have dried up (14 Tries and 19 line breaks in 2011 / 4 tries and 3 line breaks in 2012) condemning Cooper to the most unwanted list in sport. With the Dragons having an impressive win on the weekend, there is still time for Cooper to redeem himself as the Red V look to make a late push for finals football.

Chris Sandow (Eels) – Chrissy Sandow has had a tough year and his Dream Team performance is no exception. After finishing 2011 with a 46.67 average, a 2012 partnership with the explosive Jarryd Hayne and talent to burn, there was a sense of optimism that the man they call Kusto would make the step up and join Dream Team royalty. Unfortunately for Dream Teamers and Eels fans alike Sandow has barely got out of third gear. With only three games above 50, a current price change of -$68,900 and a paltry season average of 36.81, Sandow’s year from hell has shown no signs of letting up. Hopefully helping the Eels avoid the spoon can inspire this talented enigma.

Sika Manu (Storm) – When Manu suffered a badly broken leg against the Dragons in round 21, 2009, many questioned Sika’s ability to bounce back and fulfil his tackle busting talent. Sika was happy to prove his doubters wrong. With 54 tackle breaks in 2010 and 71 in 2011, Manu looked like a sure thing in 2012. An increased role as a senior member of the Storm, a contract year to show potential suitors his worth and tackle breaks being added to the Dream Team scoring system the right ingredients looked to be there to ensure Manu’s Dream Team worth.

For whatever reason, Sika has regressed. With a total of 13 tackle breaks in 2012, Manu has averaged 24.5 and dropped a phenomenal $87,400 in value, making him the 2nd largest cash loss in 2012. Having signed with the Panthers for 2013 and the Storm going through a mini form slump it might be best to avoid Sika for the remainder of 2012. 

Remember, there are still great weekly prizes up for grabs, including $500 in cash every week, so if you have family or friends that are yet to sign up there is still time to get them involved. The Dream Team coach who achieves the top weekly round score over the entire season, as well as receiving the weekly prize pack in the round they achieve the best score, will also win at the end of the season the BONUS cash prize of $1,000 and 4 x NRL Category 1 Grand Final Tickets! 

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