Is age catching up with Adam Goodes?
Photo: Getty Images
2013 position: Forward
2013 price: $424,700
Bye: Round 12
Last year's average: 82.4
Last year's high score: 137
Four reasons to have him in your team
1) The Swans skipper has been a reliable Dream Team performer for a decade, averaging more than 80 points per game in nine of the past 10 years. Even in 2012, which was far from his best season, he managed two games of 137 and three more scores of 100-plus. If you're looking for a blue-chip investment, history says they don't come any better than Adam Goodes.
2) Despite his advancing years, Goodes remains the key player in the Swans' forward line. Kurt Tippett won't play until halfway through the season and Sam Reid is still young and developing his game. Expect most of Sydney's attacking thrusts to head in Goodes's direction. He will get more opportunity than any of his teammates to rack up the stats in the forward 50.
3) He might nominally be a forward but Goodes still likes to push up the ground and earn some touches around the wing. With Reid able to play the deep forward role at the SCG and Tippett set to spend time in the attacking 50 after the bye, expect the skipper to get plenty of the ball around half-forward and beyond. And if the Swans are having a rough day, Goodes can still find the footy where his fellow forwards might find themselves starved.
4) He plays lots of footy. Apart from 2012 - when he missed six weeks with a groin injury - Goodes has only missed six premiership season games in 13 years. He might just be the most reliable player in the competition.
Age waits for no man and Goodes found that out in 2012 with the first significant injury absence of his career. Worse still, it was a soft-tissue injury that sidelined him and at the age of 33, experience tells us that he is likely to become more susceptible to those sorts of niggles.
While Goodes has been a permanent forward since 2010, he has never hit the heights of his days as a tall midfielder. He plays best when given that freedom. However, his interrupted preparation to 2013 after recovery from the knee injury he sustained in the grand final means he is unlikely to have the fitness to roam as far as he might like.
Finally, the Swans also tend to score plenty of their goals from midfielders running into the forward 50, rather than relying on their big forwards. It's great for the team dynamic but not necessarily so good for Goodes's individual stats - and that's what matters in Dream Team.
Risk rating: On the face of it, Goodes is a blue-ribbon talent at an affordable price. However, there are enough worries about his form and fitness to make him a dicey prospect. It's a lot of cash to tie up in a 33-year-old with dodgy groins. Four Alan Didaks.
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