Category - 2012 – The Big Issue
Well it’s finally here – Dream Team and SuperCoach Grand Final Week. Now those lucky buggers with one final trade will wanting to assess their options on who will be the best trade-in target this week. With one round to go, it’s no longer based on season form or breakevens – instead, we want to look at their opposition match-ups in the one remaining round. Below you will find out some of the players to contemplate bringing in for your final game of the season. I have broken it down by the games which appear to have the most amount of DT/SC points in them.
Collingwood vs Essendon:
It’s fair to say, Essendon have been leaking points recently – and not just on the scoreboard. Opposition midfielders have been getting off the loose lately, with massive scores from Cotchin (145), Deledio (117) and Martin (119) last week, and Murphy (163) and Gibbs (125) the week before. Now this week they face the Pies, who we already know can rack up the ball. If you were a coach that traded Dane Swan a few weeks back, or perhaps never had him (yet you still made it to your GF!!), now could be the opportune time to bring the great man in! Last time he faced the Bombers was in round 5 this year – and he scored a whopping 171 DT and 180 SC points! Dayne Beams’ record isn’t as huge, but it’s still fantastic – he averages over 130 in Dream Team in his past three games and scored 121 DT and 98 SC against them earlier in the year (and this was before he started really flying).
Adelaide vs Gold Coast:
Many of us have been trading Crows players into our teams over the past month, knowing they have a fantastic run home. Well it all culminates here – against Gold Coast in Adelaide. One week out from finals, there should be no worry with players being rested – it’s just too risky and the Crows have been burnt by this tactic before. Last time these teams met was in round one – of the Crows, Scott Thompson was the top-scorer with 135 DT and 147 SC, whilst Kurt Tippett (who is currently dirt cheap!) kicked 4.3 from 19 possessions, scoring a ton in both forms of the game. Taylor Walker also kicked 5.2 and Patrick Dangerfield had 25 touches and 2 goals. It’s fair to say too, the Crows form has improved through the year, mirroring Dangerfield’s rapid development. I daresay he will have a massive game this weekend, so could be great trade target. But if you don’t have the funds, or are even looking to splurge on some Grand Final bench cover, Tippett is a great option – he is so cheap and very capable of pulling out a big score.
Gary Ablett is also a great option if you don’t already have him, with a solid average against the Crows and a score of 136 DT and 139 SC last time they met. But let’s be honest, who doesn’t already have Ablett!?
Fremantle vs Melbourne:
The Dees are another team conceding plenty of points – especially to forwards. Last week Tippett kicked 3.1 from 18 touches and Taylor Walker booted 4.2 from 25 touches in BOG display. They also plucked 27 marks between them! Matthew Pavlich will be returning to the side this week in preparation for finals and it looks like a game he should be able to dominate – until his injury a fortnight ago, Pav has been in great form. Last time these teams played was in round 16 and Pav booted 4.1 from 16 touches, and that was on James Frawley, who is now out of the side injured. So his likely match-up will be Lynden Dunn, which should have fantasy coaches rubbing their hands. Aaron Sandilands is another solid option – he only returned from injury a fortnight ago, but should be able to smash Jake Spencer, considering he was BOG last week, ripping Goldstein a new hole.
North Melbourne vs GWS:
Last time North played the Giants, it was an absolute pumping – 183 to 54, back in round 2. Ryan Bastinac was the top scorer, with a career-high 44 disposals, culminating in 134 DT and 151 SC points. He could be another good option this week, although he hasn’t been one to pump out too many huge scores this year. The options I especially like from this game are Andrew Swallow and Brent Harvey. Harvey loves playing against the lesser teams, and on recent form, GWS has fallen right away, meaning Harvey should have no issues racking it up. Bugg may run with him again (which is what happened last time), although Harvey still managed 32 touches and 110DT/ 137SC points. Swallow was tagged by Townsend and kept under a ton, but I think he should be better this time around, considering how each team’s seasons have panned out. North will want a big win before finals, so will throw a lot into this game.
Thanks everyone for reading my articles this year! Hopefully they have helped your DT and SC decisions a little easier! Hope you can all tune into our final show tonight – it should be a blast!
So here we are at the annual, “what do I do with my Collingwood player who has received a club suspension on the eve of fantasy finals?” Unfortunately, this one is far reaching because Dane Swan is an integral member of 90,000 AFL Dream Team and 80,000 SuperCoach teams.
There’s two main schools of thought, from a philosophical point of view and I’m on each side of the fence in each competition, so allow me to think out loud as I present my thoughts in article format to hopefully help our readers – and of course, give you the opportunity to leave comments to help my own thought process. No, this isn’t a selfish way of getting everyone to help me out…but I’ll take whatever I can get right now!
PLAYING FOR A LEAGUE WIN
If you’re playing for your league win you’ve hopefully left yourself with a few trades up your sleeve, as is the general tactic for that plan. What it really comes down to is your position in the finals. Are you in the Top 4 and holding a double chance? Or are you in a sudden death 5th-8th battle?
I’M IN A SUDDEN DEATH FINAL, FFS SWANNY!
Obviously everyone will have a different situation based on how many trades you have, or if you’ve been hit badly by other Buddy, Stanton, Porplyzia type issues. With that said, if you’re in a 5th-8th position and you’re holding Swan I really believe trading is the way to go. To advance you’re going to have to do it without Swanny TWICE. Unless you’re bleeding in other positions on the ground the priority should go to replacing your gun midfielder. It will be tough going in the last two weeks without him, but it’s a pretty decent risk to try and knock off two opponents (one who will have finished in the Top 4 of your league) without him.
Granted, if Sam Gibson is your coverage he makes for an interesting decision. By all means, if you feel Gibson can score as much as a potential elite replacement then roll the dice with him. I know Gibson’s numbers have been fantastic, but I would personally feel uneasy going into a do or die final with a bloke in his 9th AFL game filling in for one of the games elite players in hot form.
Gibson is the only rookie coverage you should consider having fill in for Swanny if you choose not to trade him, but it’s a pretty big call to back him in. It’s a gutsy call, but when it comes to sudden death personally I’d rather be bringing in someone of Pendlebury, Thompson or Watson ilk to get my team over the line.
I HAVE A DOUBLE CHANCE
If you have finished in the Top 4 of your main league, first of all, congratulations. This is where you can get a bit more analytical, because you only need to get one win without Swanny to advance to the Prelims where your team will be reunited with the great man. Can you get that win this week against your opposition? Ideally you’ll be a red hot crack to do it without Swanny, which will allow you to save yourself a trade. It’s a reasonably bold move, but if you have good coverage I would be comfortable with the safety net of a double chance.
All is not lost if you don’t get through this week and you did keep Swanny. You can make the same choice the following week to keep or not to keep Swanny for your sudden death semi final. It might seem excessive to trade him out just for one week, but it’s a new situation to assess – and one you could even explore this week. Have a look at your cross over finals and see how the two teams playing for the right to play the loser of your match are shaping up.
If you’re pessimistic about how your next two opponents (well, three if you consider this weeks opponent and the fact you have TWO potential opponents next week) then you could look to trade Swanny.
Personally, in my main SuperCoach league (this is the one I’m focussing on league win) I’m looking at my opposition and he also has Swan and I feel I have him covered as our teams currently stand. I also feel I have him covered if he trades Swan to another gun. He knows about this site, but I hope he doesn’t read this article, because after lunch I’m going to try and suss out what he’s doing with his trades this week. Do what you can to find out what your opponent is doing?! If that involves getting sneaky and offering a mate a few of the same beverages that created this whole predicament I’d do it. Explore every avenue to get that info – how many trades they have left, cash in the bank and even better what they’re planning to do. It’s not the honourable thing to do, but honour can go and get stuffed where league glory and gloating to your friends, family or work colleagues is concerned!
PLAYING FOR OVERALL RANK
I am a little nervous starting this section of the article because I don’t want to give our loyal reader Dartanian a bum steer. He is currently sitting in 8th overall in SuperCoach, so this is a crucial decision. Good luck mate! We all want to be in your position, but I certainly don’t envy the stress and anxiety your ranking creates (or so I can imagine).
In AFL Dream Team I’m not really interested in how my leagues look. In fact, I can honestly say I haven’t looked to see if I have qualified for finals in any of them. Those who watch the show will know that Kristian and I have been in a pretty tight battle for the second half of this year and despite him having led every week, I’m ready to pounce, only nine points behind him.
My thinking on this one is to trade. Unfortunately I have Swan and Stanton, so while Gibson can be viewed as solid coverage I am less enthused about getting Baguley’s score. In an ideal world Stanton would be moving on, so my cash situation doesn’t allow him to go to anyone worthwhile.
Ultimately an aggressive approach and the right call will be the best thing for your overall ranking. Ignoring my situation, and this is similar to the philosophy you’d use if you were in a sudden death final, I wouldn’t sit on my hands and take Gibson’s score, or whoever you might have covering, UNLESS you have traded your way into seven gun mids ie. Priddis or Murphy as a 7th mid when they were dirt cheap.
The reason I’d take an aggressive approach for overall ranking is that the points are too crucial and with so few weeks left there is a bit less margin for error. We all know the end of the season throws us some curve balls with team selection, and I’m sure Swanny isn’t the last one, but if you’ve established good coverage I think Swanny missing half of the rest of the season is an opportunity to make points on those who choose to play their back up.
I’m going to consider Ablett a given, but if you don’t have him, you can use this opportunity to grab him. Aside from that, I’m keen on Scott Thompson, who plays Freo (AS), Brisbane (Gabba), Melbourne (MCG) and Gold Coast (AS) in his last four games. That is a golden run home if I’ve ever seen one. Admittedly, Freo and Crowley is a bit of a worry. Earlier this year when they met Crowley kept him to a 65 in AFL Dream Team and 58 in SuperCoach (his second worst DT score and worst SC of 2012). However, his last two before that against Freo were a 143 and 154 in AFL Dream Team and a 140 and 152 in SuperCoach. Furthermore, despite Crowley on Thompson working last time, it’s possible that Dangerfield’s form is too good to ignore.
The reason I’m strong on Thompson over the field (apart from Ablett and maybe Pendlebury) is that I reckon he is a genuine chance to outscore Swan in the last two weeks anyway. You could, for example, take Gibson, Gibson, Swan, Swan for your last four or Thompson x 4 and personally I’d rather the latter.
Anyway, my views are in no way definitive and this should be a good discussion point for the rest of the day. So hit us with your scenario, because there will be so many unique situations in dealing with Swanny this week.
Well there we were, thinking all the season’s issues were coming from our backline, but in recent weeks it has been our forwards who have let us down. A few weeks ago, we were told Buddy would be out for three weeks, but now three weeks later, it’s looking likely that he will miss another two. And all of Adam Goodes, Steve Johnson and Mitch Robinson are only 50/50 chances of playing this week too.
So, many of us have weathered the Buddy storm to date, but with another fortnight on the sidelines and finals around the corner, is it too late to jump ship? I wrote an article about Buddy at the time of injury and looked at his opponents on the run home. If he misses the next two, it means he misses out on playing Geelong and Port Adelaide (our first week of finals). So the other three games he will be playing are:
Round 21: Gold Coast – 108 DT, 89 SC (only one game)
Round 22: Sydney – 104 DT, 99 SC
Round 23: West Coast – 84 DT, 94 SC
So there is one nice looking game against Gold Coast, but then his final two rounds against Sydney and West Coast look pretty daunting. His history isn’t great against either of these teams either, especially West Coast, who he will be facing in the DT/SC Grand Final.
So the question now is whether or not you can afford to keep him. Personally, I’m beginning to lean towards getting rid of him. Whilst yes, he is a top-3 forward when fit, I am sitting precariously on the edge of missing finals in my main league and desperate to make up some ground on my opponents. And I don’t have Dayne Beams. For those in a similar situation, and with a few trades in the kitty, trading should be very carefully considered.
If Buddy does return in round 21 against Gold Coast, will he even play a full game? Surely Hawthorn would have put Gold Coast away by half time and have the luxury of being able to sub Buddy off? They have proven over the past few weeks that they can play without him, so resting him for an extra week so they are sure he won’t re-injure himself would be the clever move.
Some teams may not need to make the trade though. I would be looking very carefully at the options to trade in before deciding to pull the trigger – Dayne Beams is the clear standout, whilst Steele Sidebottom (who should be back this week) is also a great candidate. Mitch Robinson and Steve Johnson have their own injury clouds, so it would be a bit risk to bring either in.
With Dayne Beams my number one option (and there should be little wonder why considering his massive averages this year), Patrick Dangerfield is my standout candidate for number two. The Crows are pushing very hard for a top-four spot this year, but there is still no guarantee they will get there unless their big guns can continue to fire. Patty is in some good recent form, averaging 101.7 DT and 127 SC over his past three weeks – but it’s his amazing run home that gets me most excited!
Check this out for a run home:
Round 19: Essendon @ AAMI
Round 20: Fremantle @ AAMI
Round 21: Brisbane @ Gabba
Round 22: Melbourne @ MCG
Round 23: Gold Coast @ AAMI
This means that he will not play a single top-8 side in his DT/SC finals campaign, which should be fantastic for a guy capable of beating up on those teams and players less experienced than himself. He is also much cheaper than Buddy in both Dream Team and SuperCoach, making him affordable to all – he’ll even make you a bit of cash to spend elsewhere!
At the end of the day, if you have the trades to do this move, then I think it’s worthwhile. Trading in Beams or Dangerfield, you are almost guaranteed some decent scores throughout the remaining rounds, whereas there is still plenty of doubt surrounding Buddy; when he will be back, and how fit he will be on return. That said, even if he does return in good form, you haven’t totally lost out from the trade, or even at all!
If you are a coach who has traded heavily and with only a couple remaining, or if you haven’t finished other lines of your team, then there may be some more pressing uses for those valuable trades than getting rid of Buddy. And as noted above, it’s certainly not the end of the world if you keep him, but I do feel that those who trade could come out better in the wash.
Hallelujah!!! It may have taken 15 rounds, and plenty of complaining during that time, but today is a day to celebrate. Finally we will get a chance to see Melbourne rookie Tom Couch line up and make his debut! For those stubborn enough to hold him this long, for your sake, I hope he’s worth it! On that note I thought it’d be a good time to take a look at a few of the possible downgrade options over the next few round as most of us finalise our teams. Having that bench cover is always necessary so its important you get it right!
Mark Baguley DEF/MID
Another mature aged recruit, Baguley has tracked a very similar path to that of former Frankston teammate and now fellow Essendon player Michael Hibberd. And the similarities don’t end there. Baguley has impressed at VFL level playing as a courageous, disciplined defender, often assigned the task of the opposition’s most dangerous small or midsized forward. But like Hibberd, Baguley wins his own ball, and prefers to use it by foot, which is great from a fantasy perspective, averaging 15.5 kicks over his past four games. The Bombers will want the ball in Baguley’s hands as he’s a great kick of the ball and usually makes good decisions. If he wasn’t on the rookie list I think he would’ve debuted much earlier, and I know he was strongly considered as early as round 5. He’s averaged 95.5 Dream Team points in his last four VFL games, and I’m tipping him to finish the year off strongly. Definitely watch Mark Baguley.
Luke Brown DEF/MID
After impressing in the SANFL last year Brown was tipped to debut early for the crows this year, but as we know, breaking into the Adelaide side hasn’t been the easiest task this year. Fortunately Brown gets his chance this week and looks as likely as anyone of nailing down that small/midsized defender role for the Crows. I don’t expect Brown to set the world on fire on the stat sheet, but he will create some run, and for an insurance backman you could do a lot worse. I’ll be watching with interest.
Sam Docherty DEF/MID
Missed out at the selection table this week, but it won’t be long before we see the number 12 draft pick of last year make his debut. Docherty is building into strong form, edging closer to selection by the week after spending much of the first half of the year on the sidelines. He looms an obvious candidate to replace the injured Ash McGrath or Mitch Golby in the backline, a position where Docherty established himself playing in the TAC cup last year. Docherty is a capable of high possession counts and should slot onto the half back flank in the not too distant future. Doesn’t shirk a contest, and loves to run and carry. I think he will prove a viable downgrade option very shortly.
Tim McIntyre FWD/MID
I’ll admit, I’m not yet convinced of his position in the team once Callinan returns, but being elevated off the rookie list must mean they rate him. We’ve already had the benefit of seeing what McIntyre can offer, and kicking 2 goals on debut doesn’t do his chances any harm. He’s eligible as both a forward and midfielder, providing a handy link for those that need it. You could do a lot worse, but this week should tell us more .
Jason Johannisen MID
The Bulldogs are now free to upgrade their rookie midfielder and there is no doubt he will be pressing for selection over the next few weeks. With the Dogs set to miss the finals, I think Johannisen will be given every chance to develop at AFL level. He’s a lightning quick midfielder, links up well and prefers to use the ball by foot. He also finds the ball out in space, averaging 7 marks in his last four games, as well as 4.75 tackles. A real smokie.
Cameron Sutcliffe MID
Like the Bulldogs, it’s looking like Fremantle won’t be seeing September action, so I expect to see more of Cameron Sutcliffe after a promising debut performance last week. He has averaged over 20 disposals, and 14 kicks per game at WAFL level so the potential to score is definitely there. We saw glimpses last week, so hopefully Sutcliffe can hold down his spot and show us something again this weekend.
Buddy is out for the next three weeks with a hamstring injury, so Toby runs through the options of what to do in what could be a season defining decision.
Ok, so I’m not about to reiterate KP’s sentiments towards the week, but I do want to help provide a solution.
So firstly, what’s the dilemma? Well, amongst many other injuries this week, Buddy Franklin has been declared a non-starter for the next three weeks, meaning we won’t see him back until round 19 at the EARLIEST. So what do we do with him? Keep or trade? It could be a decision that defines the rest of our year.
For many of us, trades are no longer a luxury, so it has to be a decision given much deliberation. If you trade him out, that’s him gone for the rest of the year – you won’t have an opportunity to be bringing him back in. But the benefit of trading him is clearly that you get to bring in another premium forward who can deliver you premium scores for the next three weeks, whilst the alternative would see the likes of Devon Smith, Treloar or maybe Jamie Elliot producing something between 50 and 80 points a week for your side. There is also that worry he may return longer than three weeks.
If you are currently in a precarious position on your league ladder, a trade may not be a bad idea. Assuming the majority of coaches will keep the great man, you would be creating a very unique point of difference in your team. Say you bring in Dayne Beams, who is averaging 112 DT from his past five games, that is about 30-50 points more than what your opponent will be getting from his standard emergency option. Essentially, a decision like this could be the difference between your team playing for the league premiership, or battling it out for the little league win, which clearly comes with very few bragging rights.
This all sounds well and good, but then you won’t have Buddy for finals!
So what does Buddy’s run home look like, assuming he returns in round 19, after missing the suggested three weeks?
Round 19: Geelong
Round 20: Port Adelaide
Round 21: Gold Coast
Round 22: Sydney
Round 23: West Coast
So it’s not a bad run, but it’s also not a great one. There are two top-four sides in there, but also two bottom-four. Although the top-four teams both come in the Semi Final and Grand Final weeks.
So what is his history against these sides (scores based on his past five games against the opponent)?
Round 19: Geelong – 88 DT, 99 SC
Round 20: Port Adelaide – 98 DT, 110 SC
Round 21: Gold Coast – 108 DT, 89 SC (only one game)
Round 22: Sydney – 104 DT, 99 SC
Round 23: West Coast – 84 DT, 94 SC
Again, good without being spectacular. Interestingly though, of the above list he has only scored a ton against Port Adelaide this year (He hasn’t played GC).
The argument for keeping Buddy is obviously more persuading, considering I think this is the way most people will go. I mean, it is the safe option. Buddy has been in some rare form this year, and I think most coaches will take the three-week holiday solely for the fear of him coming back in ripping form if they do trade him out.
If you did decide to get rid of him, the options are at least there for you – Dayne Beams, Mitch Robinson and Steele Sidebottom have been in good form all year, whilst even the likes of Matthew Pavlich and Paul Chapman have been good as of late.
Personally I am going to hold onto Buddy. My trade situation doesn’t particularly help things, but also, I feel that he still has plenty to offer in the final five games of the year. My cover is also reasonable, but it will be tested this week with Dustin Martin also missing. But after this week, Treloar or Jamie Elliot can come onto my field, and whilst neither are going to get me Buddy-like figures, the point differential between them and a premium for the next three weeks is not enough to make me justify a precious trade. That all said, I can totally understand coaches who do want to offload him and get a step ahead of the rest of the competition. As I already noted, you can trade him for anyone, plus his run home isn’t particularly exciting.
Whatever you do with Buddy, I don’t think you can go too wrong. But as I mentioned at the top of the article, it will be a decision that could really shape your team as it heads for finals, so be sure to think through your decision thoroughly!
I thought that when the bye rounds were finished things were supposed to get easier? Well it certainly doesn’t look that way. Not when names like Chapman, Franklin, Martin, Goddard, Crameri, and Taylor Walker are all set to miss the same week! But it isn’t just the big names – there’s some popular emergencies too. Players that are supposed to fix the issue wont be lining up either, with Dylan Shiel and Alex Sexton both victims of injury. Both youngsters are set for time on the sidelines. As the old adage goes, ‘when it rains, it pours’.
I know a lot of people have flicked the panic button, but perhaps it’s not quite as bad as it looks. This is how I see it:
Round 15 is generally around the time of the year when teams are beginning to get finalised, so whatever trades we have remaining are worth their weight in gold. Having to use one or two of these trades is certainly not ideal. With that said, I can understand the concerns that people might have.
But to put things into perspective, we’re fortunate a lot of the names mentioned above aren’t going to miss many games. In fact, guys like Goddard, Martin and Walker aren’t even injured, we know their return date. And while it’s doubtful that both Franklin and Chapman will play, at worst case you would think they would be back in the next fortnight. Unlike the Scott Pendlebury injury that looked pretty bad at first, there isn’t much concern for any lingering problem. So it isn’t all doom and gloom.
But if you’re staring down the barrel of multiple zeros and you think you have to change things up, there are a few things I think you should keep in mind first.
DONT TRADE FIT PLAYERS
I’ve heard from a number of people who are considering a Goddard to Carrazzo trade, or potentially a Martin to Sylvia. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve got a fit Goddard or Martin, they’re the least of my concerns. Both these players are fit, and in two weeks they will be immediately back in. Why would you trade either of them? That’s two weeks of a remaining 9 rounds. I know I’d like them for the other 7. Unless you have a player that’s been suspended for an extended period of time, such as Heath Shaw last season, I think trades are best used elsewhere.
I’ve seen too many times how big of an impact a week like this can have. Coaches get scared about a drop in rankings, and instead of of looking at the overall picture, they play to protect their position. You end up making an impulse trade and then regret it a week later. Names like Goddard and Martin are both particularly popular, and just about every coach in the land owns Buddy Franklin. So before you go doing anything silly, just think, if it’s affecting you, then sure enough it’s doing the same to others. This might sound obvious now, but right before lock out strange things happen, and otherwise rational people can make silly mistakes. A reminder can’t hurt!
We won’t know the full effects of the injuries until later today, so fingers crossed this becomes a non- issue. Otherwise it makes for some interesting discussion. If Franklin, Chapman both join the list of outs how many zeros will you face this week? And if you’re safe, who are you using as a replacement?
Like all good things in life, the days of Jonathon Giles in our starting line up has to come to an end. Not that we can complain, of course. For a guy we snapped up at rookie price, scores of 80 plus were certainly more than anyone ever expected.
There was a stage when I really started to think of Giles as a ‘keeper’. But with Dean Brogan’s return to the side imminent, it really was inevitable that the time to trade Giles would come. Brogan back means 2 things for Giles; less time on the ball, and more time spent up forward. Giles has proven to be more than capable in the forward line, kicking bags of 3 twice and at least 1 in seven games. But playing for GWS, a team that’s being beaten most weeks, the forward line isn’t exactly the ideal place to be; at least this year.
Giles’ numbers have taken a significant hit in the 5 games he has shared with Brogan, which is a reflection of the role he plays in these games more than anything. With the number one ruck mantle his, Giles averages an impressive 16 disposals per game. However with Brogan in the team, and more time spent in the forward line, this figure drops a significant amount, to 11 disposals in the 5 games they have played together. As expected this has had a huge impact on his fantasy scoring, particularly in AFL Dream Team, dropping from a 90.83 points per game average to 67.6 with Brogan in the side.
While we can thank Giles for his 13 rounds of service, with Brogan back in the side he simply doesn’t score well enough to warrant a starting position in our fantasy teams.
Last week I discussed the issue of trades, and how conservative we should be with the use of our remaining ones. In the case of Giles, the time to trade is now. We’re incredibly fortunate that despite having two sub-par scores in recent weeks, Giles still sits at a ceiling price, making him a lot easier to upgrade. With a breakeven in Dream Team of 118 this week, I can only see the problem getting worse from here. The value of money is at an all time high at this stage of the year, and while $130,000 spent on upgrading him this week might be difficult, that could easily become 200,000+ in future weeks if the scores of 50-60 continue.
So should we target?
Really, most the names speak for themselves:
- Dean Cox is still a gun, is safe and is capable of scoring 100+ any given week.
- Ivan Maric is the other obvious candidate, and I’ll claim bragging rights after giving him a wrap in the pre season. Big Ivan has a ripper draw to end the year, and I can only see his form continuing on.
Two others that I like are Jonathan Griffin, who is significantly cheaper, and Jarryd Roughead. During Sandilands’ lengthy absence in 2011, Griffin averaged 90 Dream Team points per game, and his form the past two weeks indicates that will be the case again, with scores of 101 and 86. Roughead hasn’t dropped below 85 Dream Team points in his last four games, and priced at $409,000 is more affordable than both Maric and Giles.
With the bye rounds running between rounds 11-13, I think we all braced ourselves for a few rough weeks. But no one could’ve predicted the injury onslaught that took place during this period. And it wasn’t just the amount of injuries, but the names that went down. Premium scorers in Sandilands, Zaharakis, Pendlebury, Hargrave and Heath Shaw all fell victim. With this being the case, many coaches pulled the trigger on the trade button to minimise the damage. Which brings about the question, how many trades should you have left? And how do injuries influence your trading?
Whilst it’s impossible to offer blanket advice for every single team out there, I do believe that there are a few trade principles that everyone should subscribe to. I’ll use my team as a model:
As it stands, right now my team has 6 trades remaining. I anticipated using a few of my trades during the bye rounds so having 6 left really comes as no surprise. I’ve still got a few holes in my side I’d like to address, and I’ve got the trades to make it happen. So what’s the problem? Well, there are a number of things.
As much as I’d love to have my team finalised, we’re only just over half way through the year. It’s a near guarantee that between now and round 24 someone in my side will spend time on the sidelines. You only have to look at the names mentioned above to realise that. So ideally I’d like to have at least 2 trades in reserve for most of the remaining year.
The real problem starts when situations like that of Scott Pendlebury or Ryan Hargrave arise. While Pendlebury is listed as only 2 weeks away, the original diagnosis was a return this weekend. I’ve had bad experiences with similar situations in the past, and because of that I have concerns that he could very well miss more.
On the other hand, Hargrave’s situation is different. A sore back meant he was a late withdrawal right before the game last weekend. Unfortunately this couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Bulldogs had a win and as a result there’s no room left for Ryan Hargrave in the senior team. This leaves me with a starting back line scorer sitting on my bench, with definite clouds over a recall.
So how to fix this?
Firstly I think it’s important to distinguish the player. Both players have doubts over their return date, but one is a certain premium while the other had question marks regardless. I chose to analyse these players for that exact reason.
It’s an absolute guarantee that when fit Scott Pendlebury is a walk up starter, and in fantasy terms, a ‘keeper’. The injury, while concerning, isn’t a major issue in the long term, and with a limited supply of trades remaining you simply can’t afford to waste one.
Unless your premium player is done for the year, or out for 10 weeks ala Sandilands, I urge you to hold. These are the kinds of trades that come back to haunt you.
Hargrave, while serviceable, perhaps isn’t the ‘keeper’ that Scott Pendlebury is.
In a sense, there’s value to be had by upgrading him regardless of injury. So if there is doubt on whether he’ll be picked, I’d treat him like any other rookie or cash cow at the price range. Upgrade him. You can’t afford to have the uncertainty of a player getting games at a 350k price tag. Even with limited trades left, this is the type of trade you need to make.
No matter how much time you may have spent preparing for this weekend, there is little doubt that you are still facing a fair bit of carnage. Yes we knew that players from the Giants, Dogs, North, Lions, West Coast and Adelaide would all miss, but what about likes of Pendlebury, Scotland, Lewis, Duffield and Horsley? Well no one saw that coming.The good news is, we’re all in the same boat.
In an article posted earlier this week Toby discussed how he plans to use his trades over the coming weeks. With the weekly teams released, we’re all now aware of how we’re positioned entering the round. It’s obvious that there’s a lot more pain than anticipated, and that’s going to have a big impact on everyone’s trade plans. The zero’s are definitely piling up, and from the feedback gathered, it’s pretty clear we’re all concerned. So where to now? I think it’s very important to remember that everyone is going to be faced with the same situation. But if you planned on covering a few donuts by trading out your rookies, perhaps now is not the time.
Toby touched on the topic of break evens and rookies that have maxed out in price. I agree with this, the problem is, we’ve got no one to downgrade to.
With that said, I think this is possibly a good thing. While you might have planned on trading out the likes of a McDonald, Devon Smith, or Adams, in the big schemes of things I think we’re much better served by keeping these players for the coming weeks and saving the trades.
With Essendon, Collingwood, Fremantle and Geelong all sharing the bye in round 13, you only have to look a week ahead to realise the importance of bench depth. While it might be the ideal time to trade your rookies out in terms of price, right now job security is more important. Something that players like Shiel, Smith and McDonald all have.
Don’t panic just to avoid one or two zeros. To put things into perspective let’s look at a hypothetical:
In order to avoid a zero this week you trade out James McDonald (82 Dream Team average) to Alex Sexton (47.7 Dream Team average) Yes you avoid the zero, but even with Sexton playing next week their respective scores will roughly average out anyway. Not only is there no gain made, but you lose a better scorer to cover your side in the future. On top of this, Sexton still has his bye to come, so either way that zero is unavoidable. It’s nice to have cash in the bank, but the most important thing is scoring. The cash can wait.
By holding off for a week the option of targeting a player with no byes in the future is possible. Given that the byes are over 3 weeks, having these players will prove invaluable. Saving your trades will give you more to work with and you’ll be able to capitalise over the next couple of weeks.
What I’m effectively suggesting is to look past the short-term pain for the long-term gain. Yes, it’ll be tough to stomach, but next week you’ll be thanking me. You want players with job security. Keep your trades and pounce when the time is right.
Toby runs you through his thoughts for the first week of the bye rounds. Do you hold tight or trade, and if so, how many do you use?
Well, the time has come – the byes are finally upon us. So now we need to take a good, hard look at our teams and work out what comes next.
This was the week where many coaches would have been looking to trade out of their GWS players, and fair enough. Some of the players who started the year strong (McDonald, Bugg, Kennedy) are starting to fade away, whilst those who have come into the side later in the year are seemingly on the improve. But with GWS taking the week off with the bye this round, now is the opportune time to start clearing your side of these unreliable Giants.
At least this is what we may have been planning to do a week ago…
Unfortunately though, we have come out the back-end of round 10 with more issues than solutions. Horsley has dropped away rapidly and is at risk of not being selected this week, McDonald stalled in price after two poor games in a row, Heath Scotland is out injured for a month, Pendlebury two weeks and Waters has gotten himself suspended. So now we have a whole wrath of other issues to deal with too.
So the question is, what’s most important?
The one plus this week is that we have three trades. Three very tempting trades at that. Whilst it does feel exciting clearing out some of your underperformers, you must sit down and look at the next three weeks.
Right now, it is important to hold onto any playing players, regardless of how low their average score may be. For example, there is no point trading out Steve Morris, or Aaron Hall or Brandon Ellis, despite the fact you may need cash for other upgrades. Whilst these guys aren’t setting the world on fire, they are at least scoring you some points at a time when points are going to be pretty hard to come by.
Right now, you are better clearing out players who will miss this week. But my suggestion is to only trade to cover donuts. I don’t mean trade in any player who is named, but aim to trade out players who will be missing this week whom you have no bench cover to replace. So this means a focus on your GWS boys, because let’s be honest, you probably have a few of them.
To note, here are some breakevens for the GWS boys:
James McDonald- DT: 67, SC: 43
Dylan Shiel- DT: 27, SC: 14
Steven Coniglio- DT: 60, SC: 83
Devon Smith- DT: 75, SC: 77
Tom Bugg- DT: 79, SC: 73
Kyal Horsley- DT: 118, SC: 93
Personally, I am going to be offloading McDonald and Horsley (if not named). I will be trading him for the best premium player I can afford. In fact, I am looking at bringing in a player with a dual-position link, which will help me with negating the byes over the coming weeks. So perhaps I could bring in Beams, Chapman or Zaharakis – all are playing this week, and whilst the will miss one of the next two games, it will give me an advantage this week in my leagues. For what it’s worth, I am planning to tank in the 2nd week of the byes, so loading up on Essendon/Collingwood/Geelong players lends itself to this strategy.
So what do you do with the three trades?
Well, it is tempting to use all three, and I daresay it will continue to be tempting over the next fortnight too. It makes it easy to make one downgrade and two upgrades at once – effectively two weeks of trading in one. I won’t however be using these trades to bring the same players in and out of my side. Some people will trade out Boyd, Thompson, Zorko this week, but I think this is exactly what the GWS players are for – the always have been trade bait. Not one (bar perhaps Giles) is a keeper. Downgrade one for a rookie if you must, then upgrade two others to premiums. Trading a premium for a premium is simply a waste – whist this move is easy for those with no cash, it is simply grabbing you a score for one week with a player who will miss a game over the next fortnight anyway, which to me is pointless.
Even if you are short on cash, premium options such as Gibbs, Mitchell and Priddis are all well underpriced and easily upgraded to from McDonald with just limited extra funds. Just don’t go chasing points and trade out premiums that will be back next week.
Another option for your three-trade weeks is actually wait until after round 12 and use them then – by that stage you will have plenty of decent premiums to choose from who don’t have any byes remaining. In the meantime, trade week to week to cover donuts (in you can), focusing on getting rid of your maxed-out rookies. Set a trade limit for yourself over the next three weeks and try to stick to it. Ideally, you won’t be using nine trades over the next three weeks!