As we know, the Gold Coast have entered the competition and for this year, we will have an uneven amount of teams therefore requiring a bye. But to make it all work for each club to play 22 rounds and have 2 byes, there are 5 rounds where 3 clubs will have byes.
The multi bye rounds are irrelevant for those playing for a league win, as there will be ‘league byes’ over those 5 rounds. Although, a smart coach would look at picking players from teams who have both of their byes in multi bye rounds – hello Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle players.
If you’re aiming to finish as high as you can in the overall rankings… well, trying to win the car, then a lot of planning will need to go into your initial team (and subsequent trades) so that you can field 22 players over the multi-bye rounds. If your backline has Adcock, Goddard and Gilbert in it, then Round 4 will require all bench players to play. More to come during the preseason on how to maximise your chances during these rounds.
Below is a simple table showing round by round who have the byes. Take note of the highlighted rounds as they will require some thinking and strategy. Remembering the final four weeks are Dream Team Finals – with Essendon players unavailable for your Grand Final.
We will go into more depth on trading in the coming weeks, but one thing we can think about is looking to limit the byes of players in our teams. Put simply, it would be fantastic to pick a Port Adelaide player as a cash cow in the midfield, and upgrade him to Gary Ablett from Gold Coast in Round 10 or 11. What that would mean is that position on the field wouldn’t have a bye for the year. You wouldn’t require any cover from your bench for it because you would avoid the byes for the respective players. Hamish Hartlett anyone?
Trading will be a very important part of 2011, and with 24 trades we might be able to get a little more clever as we go about things! Keeping trades in the back pocket might be quite handy to get boost in the last few rounds.
Alrighty then. That’s what we’ve got for you here. Print these out and stick them next to your computer for a handy resource. Stay tuned for more on the fixture… with a VERY handy year long fixture analyser thing that we’re working on!