Cookie Cutter Teams

I have been thinking lately that with all this media around now about DT it seems pointless to do any research at all. Back in the day I used to sit at my computer in November pouring over stats and player reports. Every sneaky little smokey that you found then gave you a leg up against your opponents. Each underpriced gem boosted you even further. But what about now? With Dr Dream Team on the AFL site so generously blowing every single smokey out of the water whats the point any more?

I have a friend at work who has never been to an AFL game, he doesn’t know his Presti from his Swannie yet when i saw his first draft it was not far different from mine. “How did you do this?” I asked? “I found a website called DT talk” he said, “I made my team from the rate my teams page”. His team name is ‘Plagurism FC‘ by the way… Now I’m not that upset that he found this site, I’ve been on here for years and love all the banter, plus there are enough muppets posting poxy teams on here to cloud his judgment just enough to make it interesting.

But it has got me to thinking is every team going to be the same this year thanks to Dr Dream Team and his band of merry smokey killers?

Almost every team will have a backline of Goddard, Gibbs, Deledio, two of maybe Grimes, Broughton, Johncock or Duffield and a couple of  maybe Krakouer, Otten or Adcock. Throw in a rookie like Heppell or Smith and there is the cookie cutter back line.

The rucks are even worse! most will have either Cox or Sandi, with a Petrie or Fraser and a bench of Smith and Bailey or Campbell or Derickx.

Up forward its going to be Sylvia ahoy, Voldt, some Didak, some Johnson… some will risk on Higgins, a mid pricer like Dangerfield, Zaka or Knights and a cheapie like Gamble or Krakouer. Theres another cookie cutter forward line.

With the rebirth of the mature age rookie and the GC there isnt even a risk in finding a rookie who will play any more! No more risk of a Relton, Proud or Armitage any more. The whole world will have Mzungu, Richardson, Pupoulo, Duigan etc etc etc.

So where can we beat these ghost ships? These plagurists? the only way i can see is to pick the right Premiums in the middle. Picking the right Swan, Boyd, Montagna or Bartel, Or maybe Pendlebury or Selwood, Murphy, Stanton or Hodge. All score huge but which way to go? There will be luck involved, you might pick the right one and he may do a knee early on. But our only defence in this game now is knowing Montagna is durable but Chappy has hammies made of play dough.

Trading is our last defence against them because we know when the breakeven reaches the red its time to move the cow on, but who to choose? This is when football knowledge may come into play..

Lets hope Dr Dream Team PHD (game wrecker) doesn’t list each downgrade/upgrade target with their percentages of success for all to see as well.

Good luck!

May all your smokies burn bright!

60 Comments

  • Nice Article.
    And next year will be worse with no byes and GWS!
    I am actually surprised at the similarity of teams, considering the poll showed 61% aiming for league win.
    My biggest problem this year, is choosing which rookies to put on the field after round 1.

    • Agreed Epo, if people are just going for the league win, then why do so many people seem to want to cover the ruck with Petrie/tippet. Or just load up on Freo, melbourne sydney and Brisbane (ha!) players?

      Ill give an example: Adcock has had his name thrown around a bit. People thinking he will be like a waters and will increase his average by 20. Every second team now has him. But is he really worth it? Still priced mid 250k, has not even played a full game in the pre-season yet, and plays for probably the contenders for wooden spoon 2011. Wouldn’t you rather go a player in his 3rd year ready for a breakout, who has no injury concerns and plays for a decent club? See, info overload, jading players vision.

      I think places like this are great, but if people are relying on them wholly and solely to set up their team, then thats pretty sad. It should be a team who you like to see run out and those players carve it up on the field.

      • I hope every 2nd team does have him!!!
        Personally, I’d prefer to go with E.Wood than Adcock.
        Unique, cheap, & great upside, especially if he can fill the “Harbrow,” role.
        For the record, no Brisbane players in my team.

        • shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh on e wood.

        • SSSHHHH! stop spillin’ all the good beans! lol

          • OK, truth be known I used him as an example coz he too has the bye in rnd 4, like Adcock.
            I could be really going with Laidler, or both, or neither!!! hahaha.
            Do I really want Wood & Goddard missing in round 4???
            Decisions, decisions…….well not really- team is locked.

    • everyone says they want a league win eeepo but most will still have an eye on their overall ranking becos of the kudos of finishing with a relatively high rank overall i reckon …

      eg i would love to win a league here and there but i also want to get the best possible ranking to see if i’m improving on last year …

      • Maybe people are realizing that they can still win their leauges without packing their teams with lots of players from the multi-bye rounds!
        Imo, if your doing well overall, you’d be doing well in your league. (-:

  • interesting insight. I agree that the increased media attention has made alot of teams the same. But maybe this can serve as a good thing for those who dare to be a little different.

    I like to think of it as “information overload”.

    Every man and his dog seem to think Guns/rookies approach with a little return from injury/absence player is the way to go. Good. let them think that. Could be the ones who go a little outside the square who have the last laugh.

    Like you mentioned at the end of the article, trades will probably maketh and breaketh the team, as they probably done every year!

    Good article BTW

  • Yep good article. However, consider the stock market for a minute. There is more information, data, recommendations etc around which stocks to buy than DT info. If it was that easy to predict and just follow the ‘experts’ we’d all be rich. The fact of the matter is not all blue chip stocks (guns) perform and often the small caps (rookies) perform better. You will still need to ensure you choose the right guns and rookies and not all will perform as predicted by the early consensus. You will still need to make some important choices before round 1 and you cant pick them all. For example, most sides are banking on Swallow, but don’t be surprised if a Conca, Gaff, Polec outperform . The rucks will be another area which will sperate sides IMO. The gun combination vs the Gun/Mid combination vs the Mid/Mid combination will be telling depending on which you choose.

  • It’ll be very interesting to see when the stats come out on most selected players etc. Perhaps gone are the ablett’s and Swan ( nah, Swanny’ll still be there! ) and we’ll see Mzungu, Harris etc.
    So on the other hand, if you know something to make a big call on one of these ‘hyped’ players by not selecting them, if they underperform or go down injured like the Voldt last year then you just got the leg up on 399 000 players…
    There’s still enough gold floating around under the radar of 99% of coaches I reckon, it’s just so hard to stick to your guns on uniques when there’s a million comments pushing you towards the generic team!!! PEER PRESSURE!

    • Just convinced myself to lock in another smokie – great article…

    • Definitely agree with the peer pressure comment. Most people will follow the crowd in terms of their selections…. But, if they have an idea about a particular player, they post a comment like ‘XXX – He’s my smokey’, in the hope that a few comments will reassure them that it isn’t a muppet choice.

      Most teams will be SIMILAR at the outset due to everyone having the same access to historical statistics and information that points to particular players. One or two different players in the starting lineup and early trades make most teams pretty different early on. Count up the players in your leagues teams and you realize just how different they become.

      Trading discipline and some luck will go a long way to determining who takes the car.

  • It’ll all be about the timing of upgrades this year.

    Also, with the extra trades and cashcow-friendly extended benches, I’m seriously considering a little bit of mid-season sideways premium trading. Breaking a covenant there but seems a way to max my score with litle risk.

    • Sideways trading will be the biggest killer of muppets this year!!! +key to winning league will be holding onto trades for the finals series, muppets will have zero left to cover withdrawals/injuries…

      • Usually bob, but not this year.

        How do DTers usually cover donuts from premiums? By fielding a bench player (either cashcow or midpricer). The bencher’s score will most likely be less than the premium’s. So why not a like-for-like trade where you straight swap your bye-affected premium for another whose byes are done? No bencher scores means you may win you an extra round or two and possibly jump a few positions overall.

        • more then one way to skin a cat… I guess I’m figuring my leagues won’t be strong enough to be worried about missing the top four from a few bye round covers – then again I am in one of the dt talk leagues (dt talk sa – C’MON!!!!) for the first time this year so may need to look at these kind of fine tuning tactics!

  • I agree – great article!

    Is annoying that me and a few mates have completed 2 months of solid research already to uncover all these stars ourselves…and the other day I was shown a novice team from a guy who is also in our league….and sure enough he has an ‘almost identical’ team. He’s spent no more than 1 or 2 hours preparing his team!

    However I think there are still ways to stay unique this year without risking too much, and also people who have put in the hard yards now have surely thought about the strategies required later in the season (which the novices have not). Am hoping the turbo button will be pressed on my team coming into finals, whereas a newbie will struggle to work out their next steps when the mid season trading period unfolds.

    Have to say, I love the ‘mid-price strategy’ articles as that has thrown some people off of the cliche guns and rookies. That said, I’m going GnR.

  • People complain about this every year….and every year there’s a huge difference in teams and scoring ability by Round 5 (especially when people get tempted to trade in performing players that they missed out on after Round 2)

    Yes, most backlines will be very similar this year, with the main differences being your fourth and fifth defender, having Adcock or not, and GC vs non-GC bench players.

    But other spots are wide open, especially the forwards. There’s a huge range of options there, so far I haven’t been able to lock mine down. Whether to have Chappy, whether Goodes and/or ROK can return to their best, whether Buddy is worth picking, Petrie missing two of the first three games (do you sub him in when he scores 70 odd in his first two games), will you chance Higgins/Sylvia/Johnson to play a full season, who will step up out of Morton/McGlynn/Zaharakis/Dangerfield/Yarran/Knights/Gamble/Krakouer.

    And the rucks, Cox to return to 100+, Jolly and Ryder showing potential to improve and more durable than 211?

    Who’s going to play from GC, and will you be tempted to ditch your GC selections when rookies we hadn’t considered are named for Round 1? (Relton Roberts anyone?)

    The GC rookies, the byes, this year is going to be the best year for DT ever!

    • +1

      If you have a player that hasn’t been mentioned here at all you’re an idiot. It’s not about selecting a player that no one’s even thought about, but rather about whittling down the 100 odd (who knows could be more) seriously mentioned players in these articles and replies to get the ideal team. There are probably about 10-15 that all vaguely serious teams will have, and the remaining 18-23 players will come from the remaining 85-90. That’s a lot of combinations. The number of idential teams will be small and then after trades start the leaders will be well and truely separated from the pack.

  • I reckon rucks are the key to getting the early season jump and having a point of difference if you are going for a league win. How many blokes will keep Petrie and cover with a rookie round 1 & 3… I’m guessing a lot, I considered it.

    That being said, I need some opinions on who to pick, Leuenberger or Ryder

  • Dream Team is all about taking risks, calculated risks and sometimes a punt here and there.

    For those who just sit back and watch everyones comments and bast their teams around that, grow some nuts and have a punt yourself.

  • sounds like ur a whinging bitch mate!

    • no whinge, just boring to see the same teams each and everyday…

      Its proven from this topic, any old hack can put together a team just like everyone out there, with no idea about footy.

      Very predictable and boring. At the end of the day I couldnt care less, but I’m trying to inspire someone to take a risk and not play it safe like most people.

      • Of course there’s more than one way to be ‘unique’. Last year (and I’m considering it this year), I started with about $300k in the bank to mix things up. Also, instead of starting with 1 or 2 of Malceski, Waters, Hunt and Ladson (all of whom had been mentioned heaps here) as most people did, I started with all of them (which worked out pretty damn well in the end).

        It’s not necessarily about having a unique player or 2, but can be about a unique structure.

        • Totally agree timb, did the same thing. it worked really well because I was never caught short when I wanted to upgrade, because you can sit back and see who the real DT sluts of the year are going to be, then have the cash to go after them. You do take a score hit initially though. Still alot of rooks were pumping out 60+’s early which wasn’t too bad. It worked for me last year, am going with cash in the bank this year too.

        • From years of experience going for the overall win and can say this to all of you… Banking 300 k is excessive and unnecessary. It hurts your score too bad, please someone give me a valid reason as to how banking 300k is going to help overall? If you are going for weak league win that’s fine. But for overall banking this much deosnt work

  • Agree, these kind of websites are making it too easy for the copycat plebs – but to be fair not all of the smokey’s are not being given away (or noticed) – that’s where you can make some difference. I will also have a better team structure than other people in my league.
    Btw: It’s “plagiarism” not “plagurism”

  • Mmmmm, Anyone here familiar with the Freo squad??

    Am considering both Walters and Chrichton.

    Case for Chrichtion – Harvey seems to like speed in the midfield – Tick. Morra out for season, and Hill somewhat in doubt, so there’s definately a need for speed at the port. Chrichton played only five games last season but I reckon with injuries to other key running guys he may get more game time, and early. He also seems to be a decent kick (not relevant for DT, but harvey and co seem to rate that very highly judging by selections in the last couple of drafts so a good thing for job security) and is good in traffic. Does anyone think there’s a chance that Jesse may get a (DT) sluttier role this year due to their manpower problems? If you’ve seen him play its pretty clear this kids got talent and is reasonably cheap – Anyone think he may be a good smokey for the bench??

    Walters, quick, can score goals and gets the occasional middle stint – Almost a rookie price. Balla also looking doubtfull, another port smokey for the bench??

    Yes? No? Maybe?
    What do you guys think?

    • jesse will get alot of game time this year, he might start slow but will be a great DT by the end of year, as someone said not long ago he follows the ball around like a border collie on crack. i am a full member of freo so i know something about the kid, he is in my side.

      • Cheers John. I reckon he’s going to be a lock for mine too. Super talented lad and now because of injuries to the freo squad will get the oppertunity to showcase it.

  • The more popular a competition gets, the more people will join and more websites like this will pop up with more posters and more advice. Everyone gets something out of it, you can’t do anything about it, so there’s no use complaining.

    As some posters have said above, things like byes, trades, rookies etc all provide points of difference which will separate the good from the bad. And let’s not forget Lady Luck (Sylvia cost me a spot in the granny last year, I am not picking him…probably).

  • Good write up here. Was thinking that even though it is annoying with all the experts giving out too much info for the beginners I am actually enjoying having to work harder and take higher risk to gain an edge on them wiv a unique team. The buys will fuck all the plebs ova anyways.

  • Yes all the guns are now easy to find.
    Yes all the rookies to watch are out there for all to see
    Yes there are dozen’s of articles on the injured guys who look to be good cash cows (or hopefully cheap keepers)

    There’s probably 100 or so players that will form 95% of all the teams.

    But fear not, there will still be unique points of difference in nearly every team.

    Look at it like lotto.

    There are only 40 numbers in the Lotto draw. When a big $20 mill jackpot comes along every muppet that plays picks out the combination they like and cross their fingers. And yet when the draw is done only a handful at most will have the right combo. And there are a hell of a lot more lotto players than Dream Teamers

    That’s trying to pick 6 numbers out of 40. Imagine if Lotto were about picking 22 (plus 11 reserves) out of that 100 odd

    Sure we all know the 100 or so players that are realistically worthwhile having in your team but you still have to get the combo right. .

    Add to that the complexity of making all those trades from injuries/upgrades throughout the season and factor in the Dual Position linkages and byes / multi bye rounds and there are soooooo many possible combinations that every team will have it’s own point of uniqueness.

    Besides I quite enjoy when you look at your matchup for the round and you see that there are 3 key matchups that your team needs to win 2 of to get through. I can clearly remember cheering till I went hoarse in 2009 as Sammy Mitchell (my captain of the round – thank god I didn’t have him again last year) got me home with a handball in the dying seconds of a league game.

  • David Rodan is a good smokie.
    3-4 weeks on injury list, yet is named in nab challenge squad!
    Gotta luv it.

  • Unique = Dean Polo
    Will tear it up this friday!

  • good article. I’m going for the guns and rookies approach this year and currently have 14 guns which leaves me with 8 players to be upgraded. in the 8 players to be upgraded includes otten and knights who may not need to be upgraded but probably will. so if i need to upgrade 8 players how many trades do you think i will have to use to achieve this as i will have to downgrade some players to get some more cash? 12 trades? please tell me what you think. cheers

  • Oh my gosh, i’m sick of all the whining about this. I have nothing against this article, but everyone is having a massive sook that the teams are all the same. Seriously, every team has the best players. That’s how you play the game, you gest the premiums first. Everyone’s got Goddard, Swan etc. . What do you want us to do? “Oh, I want Goddard in my team, but someone else has him, so i’ll just get Jarrad Oakley-Nichols”. Dream Team isn’t a draft, everyone gets the good players because they’re the ones that are gonna get us 100. And there’s the rookies that we believe that are gonna be good, so we get them too. It’s actually VERY VERY SIMPLE, in Dream Team, there are the good players that everyone is gonna get, and the bad players that no one is gonna get. Deal with it.

    • Exactly, if you want a unique team go and play live fantasty draft games. There are a number of sites now. Ultimate footy, fantasyfoot.net.au and The Bench. Fantastic fun and once Goddard is picked thats it no one else can have him.

      By the way what is so good about adcock???

      • been thinking the same thing about adcok too. Had him in my fanplanner team when he was roughly 230k (and i was still very hesitant then) but since then i have realised that his 260k price tag (or whatever it is) is just too much, plus i can’t see him becoming a keeper.

    • haha so true!

  • Anthony, Bartel, Boyd, Montagna, Pendlebury, Swan.

    You want to be generic? Pick any four of the above.

    You want to be unique? Start with all six.

    There’s always more than one way to go about things.

  • This is the best article on the web.

  • Dr DreamTeam doesn’t have a PHD DT – That title belongs exclusively to Albert Lord

  • Oh the irony of this article. I have never seen a better summary of the best players to have in a starting side. Well done. Save even more time scrolling through all the other articles.

    As far as I’m concerned, people looking up articles like this and checking out forums etc are doing research. No point complaining they have a similar side to you. They have just proved how effective their research is. Dedicating so much time to your research should still give you at least a leg up, you will have your own thoughts on who will cut it and who won’t.

    But overall, I think people are overreacting and getting a bit paranoid. I doubt there will be any identical teams at all to worry about, and then trades will smash that theory anyway. Some novice might beat you in round 1 by a little bit, but you’ll be kicking his arse by year end if you on top of your game throughout the year.

    • +1

      I don’t get the point of this article really, there is no way someone who spends a few hours researching is going to pick as good a combination as someone who spends the weeks leading up to kickoff trying to find the perfect balance of rookies, guns and midpricers. Even if they fluke a good round 1 side, as crump says, they are not going to understand their side at all nor who who they should trade for and when. Just relax people, some of you are sounding like paranoid elitists. If these people are such noobs, don’t cry about the quality of material available to them on websites like this, go out and show them you are better by scoring more points

  • great article, i to a, concerned about how easy it can be to pick a good team to start with …… trading and injuring of course will make and break you.

    dixon or darling? thinking dixon will play all 22 games , darling is ?????????

    • yeah big fan of dixon. looked very good in pre-season so far and looks genuine CHF target.

  • Great article, it’s all 2 true. But without DT Talk, fanfooty etc. fantasy sports would be a whole lot duller, actually, fantasy sports without Calvin, Roy and Warnie, just aint worth it! Keep up d great work.

    On a side note, got to mention IRELAND DOWN D POM’S!!!! damn what a sweet victory!!

  • Well what do people want others to do. Not to select the really good players? It’s not a draft competition people!

  • As much as this article raises some good points, the reality is that novice DTer’s still have no idea until they have played the game a few years. You only have to look at some of the questions raised in past forums. a number of the players they are considering would not be in my 5th choice of sides and similarly they have no concept of using the DPP properly nor how to really trade in order to maximise their team.
    There may be a few of them have similar sides to the experienced DTer’s as at round 1 simply because they have copied it from someone’s declaration of “look at my team” however come round 11 they will look totally different. Many of them will trade player X out because he has had 2 poor games in a row only to find that player then score 100+ for the next 5 games.
    Go with what you believe are the BEST player options – don’t worry about having to have UNIQUE players.

  • I’ve got to say i believe this will be the hardest year for a rookie manager.

    Subs, Byes, new team…having a cookie cutter team from the start is all well and good, but it’s how you go about trading etc that will make it.

    Watch some of the rookie coaches trade out players after a 1-2 wk injury, picking up a player who is doing well and then all of a sudden realising they have 3 players from the same team in the fwd line and they end up with 3 donuts!!

    won’t be an easy year from that perspective.

  • Danny Stannely or Sam iles?

    I’m liking my cheap players tht alrdy have AFL experience. But which ones are the best?

  • But then for the people who don’t know anything about it they can just use the trade wizard on DT and get the best trade that way.