Guns ‘n’ Rookies Strategy: Secret Squirrel

The “Secret Squirrel” is back! He/she is in the final stages of Dream Team preparation ahead of the massive 2011 season and this time, it’s all about the Guns ‘n’ Rookies strategy. Throw some comments out to the SS.

It has been a long time between articles, I have changed my mind on a few concepts. The last article dealt with the use of a mid priced strategy.  Many posters did not like this concept, they preferred a more rookie aggressive approach. Well there is nothing like going from one extreme to another so I designed  a purely Guns and Rookie (GnR) Strategy.


I think it is still important to maintain the use of Dual Position players, with a combination of byes and injuries, I placed importance on players that are highly likely to play 20+ games.   Goddard, Gibbs and Deledio are all likely to play 20+ games and at worst should maintain their average.  These guys almost certain to be in the top 7 for total points scoring for 2011.  Broughton is the interesting pick, he goes against the durability thoughts, Mzungu injury could allow Broughton to find those cheap mark and kicks he so loves. There seems to be a wealth of rookie defender options, there is risk involved but starting two rookies in the position is a calculated risk.

Some people may not feel safe selecting 3 Gold Coast rookies, but I have no problems, two are mature aged and the other would have been a top 10 pick in last years draft.


In the midfield there is no point messing around with the potential premiums, this midfield is all about the best of the best. I would be shocked if these 4 premiums did not finish in the top 5 midfielders in 2011.  I actually challenge anyone to pick a pure midfielder (not DP) who you think will total more points than these 4 premiums!

This is pure scoring power and they’re all DT scoring machines.  The midfield also has links to the backs and forwards. This year those links are going to be highly important. Once again, 3 GC players, but it is a calculated risk.  Mzungu will hopefully play in the back half of the season and Prestia will be downgraded to him to free up cash and obtain a stronger DP link.


The rucks are interesting, but in this pure GnR styled team, it is just aiming high and forgetting about some of the cheaper options. Sandilands is the new king of the rucks and Cox is looking likely to be going back to his old days.   If Sandilands does not miss a game, he is the number 1 ruck scorer by a fair margin.  Once again, selecting two GC players and just hoping that they’re selected in the bye rounds. This is a case of Hedging your bets, surely one of these two talls has to play, surely.  There are not a lot of other cheap ruck options.


Most of these names will be considered by many Dream Teamers, I skipped on Chapman purely due to his injury problems in the preseason, no doubt he will come out and dominate.  Just like in the forwards, I prefer players with a good injury history, add some DP links and you have the right recipe for success.  I would guess most of these players should be in the top ten in total points for 2011.

Didak, Goodes, Pavlich and Krakouer are all DP linked, so that gives some extra flexibility.  The rookies are a wait and see, hopefully getting named in round 1. If they do get named, I am assuming they will maintain their position for a few weeks.

This is a purely GnR styled team, the premiums are not selected for upside, they’re purely selected for points scoring ability. The rookie priced players are where all the value is obtained; then again, it is where all the risk lies.  It is different in many ways to the midpriced strategy, so I hope you enjoy this version more than the last.

I would be interested in hearing which premiums you may prefer in the GnR strategy if some of these don’t tickle your fancy.


  • pretty similar to most teams are now? just a couple of extra rookies then mid price ‘keepers’

    good strategy if your going for league win or late weekly prize. but not enough firepower early for the car?

  • Much preferred the Mid-price, although this is a simpler team to pick.

  • too many rookies will waste alot of trades on the ones who only play 1,2 or 3 games.. 2 many guns out round 4 and will get hurt round 7 and 13 having 3 gun pies and krak.. hope there’s not late withdrawls round 1 either.. where is heppel and lower 2 locks i would have thought ??

    • Remember that this team has been put together to showcase a strategy. It does not mean that this is a team that will be taken into round 1. Just here for the structure.

  • As I scrolled down…GC rookies on bench in backs….then mids….then ruck (thinking to myself entire team bench GC) then Matera…arghh two non-GC players.

  • do u reckon that most of those players will be selected rd 1.
    like Darling, Tapscott, Bewick, Hibberd and Batchelor?

    • No doubt Hibberd will. Not so sure about the others…

    • Hopefuly the Eagles will give Darling a go, he’s done enough to get a shot at least.

    • The posters on Big Footy are pretty confident Darling will play. And I’ll eat my hat if Batchelor isn’t named round 1.

  • I started out thinking I was going for a GNR approach, but I can’t go past Petrie, Knights, Foley and Ward. They will all score well from round 1 (judging by their performances in the scratchies) and therefore appreciate quickly.

    • yeah totally agree just a ? on ward no doubt will go up but doubt he will score as well as he has been nab cup cos he has been playing mid.. but don’t see him playing there with boyd, cooney, cross, griffen and higgins maybe ?

      • Yeah – Ward is the one I’m unsure of because of the Dogs wealth of quality mids.

        • Although he is priced at only 55 so if he averages just 75, he will appreciate about $80k.

      • The days of 4 players playing in the midfiels are long gone. Most good sides now have between 6-8 share the midfield load. This has also come about from zonind, flooding etc. How often do you see players in the back pocket when the ball is at the other end of the ground? I think Ward will be one of them.

        • yeah i agree just ment he won’t get full midfield time like boyd, cooney and cross like he has been nab cup

    • I dont think Petrie will score well from Round 1 as he isnt playing ;)

      He will also miss round 3 meaning it wont be until round 5 that his price will rise.

      If i have to make a trade due to injury or the like, i’d pick him up round 4

  • I don’t think you can go straight out guns and rooks. With the byes it means you are generally playing an extra rooks each week regardless. e.g. round 4 will see 4 guns replaced by rooks here. To win the car you need as many high scores each week as possible, more likely to get a ton from an underpriced mid pricer imo.

    • It is important to consider that GC have to basically play rookies and some of the rookie priced players are actually mature aged players.

  • i started out with this sought of team but am finding it hard to trust rookie fwds in particular. Clearly aret he most inconsistant of any position thus have changed my team a little! Im Fuckn flyinnnnn! ;)
    Good luck, cant fuckn wait for the blues to smash richmond.

    • Yeah, fuckn oath mate.
      You get fuckn Cox and fuckn Swallow, and you’ll be fuckn sweet as
      fuckn George Micheal at the fuckn Open Men’s fuckn Leap Frog Championships.

  • bewick and hibbered? or Gaff and conca??

    • Bewick/Hibberd – good j/s and likely to line up in R1. Bewick in particular is AFL-ready and will add handy points and cash-up nicely!

  • obviously confirm with round 1 selections but best mid rookie under 100k?

  • Thoughts on either Everitt or Rob Murphy?

  • a bit off topic, but does anyone know how many people have signed up for Dream Team so far?

    • Off topic indeed. How dare you.

    • Ben, I’m assuming you mean the DreamTeam Talk ‘GROUP’ competition? I just had a look and I reckon its 488 so far…
      Cant wait for Warnie to announce my…err…THE prize for the winner! Should be an awesome comp!

  • Shit article. Why don’t you spoon feed people a little more?

    Seriously, when you take the thinking out of it for people, then what’s the point?


    • mate, i dont know what youre trying to achieve by writing comments like that but its just not needed. if you dont like it, then click the ‘home’ link. Enough said.

      • Agreed. If you don’t want to share any information yourself and are so smart that you don’t need any help – then FUCK OFF Blues_FJ.

    • Bit harsh there, Blues.
      How else is someone supposed to learn how to play DT apart from learning from other? Not only is trial and error a loooong process but getting smashed week-in, week-out isn’t really my idea of fun. Perhaps you should use posts like these to pick a few uniques that don’t pop up too often in the blogs. I know I have.

      • The point, buddy, is that people are capable of researching their own teams.

        DTTalk does a great job of disseminating DT related information, but I think it should stop short of simply supplying people with ready-to-go teams.

        That doesn’t help to educate people, it just gives a bunch of morons who are too lazy to do any research themselves an excuse to copy others without thinking.

        It’s sad.

        • Pull your head in, buddy.

          Its only a game, so if some people want a cookie cutter G’n’R team then fine by me.

          From what I can tell, EVERY ONE of the players in SS team have been talked up some time this preseason. Cox and Sandi in the ruck? Yeah, keep that one under your hat. GC heavy bench? Shhh, don’t let those lazy buggers find out. And don’t get me started on SS letting A Krakouer, that hidden gem, out of the bag.

          The only reason I can see that you’re getting all antsy is that SS has, player-for-player, copied your team. If he has, then perhaps you should really be spending more time research your team and less time anonymously paying out other DTerrs.

          i look forward to smashing you in the DT Carlton league.

        • Mate if your team is the typical cookie cutter team, then do your research and find out the hidden treasures, or take a risk on someone like Kennedy or Suban, the typical teams don’t have these guys.

          I’m staying away from this Guns Rooks structure, far too reliant on guns and will struggle during byes.

  • Any thoughts on Robbie Tarrant as a defensive rook?

    His scoring last season wasn’t flash and i haven’t heard too much about his preseason (well, apart from Freako’s Rant).

  • Bluesfc is only writing what most people are thinking. Difference is that his balls must be bigger than most. Not too bad an article, good for relatively new coaches.

    • While he may write what others are thinking, who really cares?
      I get sick and tired of people complaining about how sites who provide information are ruining it for everyone else, when they themselves no doubt read the article and many others like this to do what? You guessed it, obtain more information for themselves.

      There are so many places where you can obtain information on all these players. The GnR strategy has been talked about constantly. I basically select the potential top scores and surrounded them with rookies. There are no unique styled players, just a simple combination of the top scorers mixed in with some of the most obvious rookies.

      I posted a mid priced team and I did not see anyone complaining in that thread?No, because people hate the concept of mid priced players and hence see no value in those players.

      My research to picking these players was very minimal.

      Step 1 – Check the total DT points from last year.
      Step 2 – Select the top scoring players, add some value if they have a Dual Position link.
      Step 3 – Remove players who are over 30 or injured.
      Step 4 – Find the most popular rookies
      Step 5 – Hit save on the team.

      Nothing fancy, nothing ground breaking.

      What I hoped it highlighted was the importance of Dual Positioned players, durability and pure scoring power. If someone purely copied this team, they may have a decent starting team, but I am sure when it came to dealing with the byes, injuries and upgrading, they could fall into a heap.

      • Too right. I think those that complain about the info are usually those that have deluded themselves into thinking they know something nobody else does.

        The fact is, these types of articles give us all a general scope of what we’re looking to do with our teams. If you look at all of the info available, I dare say you’d find about 100 potential players listed.

        The idea is to decide which strategy you want to go with, and then which players are the best to select in accordance to your strategy.

        Many are going guns and rooks, most of those will have a lot of the players mentioned above – but the game is played over 24 rounds and not too many teams will have the same 33 players (if any)!

        People are looking at 3 or 4 gun mids, for example. Well those 3 or 4 will come from a typical list of Swan, Ablett, Montagna, Boyd, Stanton, Selwood, Bartel, Cross, Judd, Murphy, Pendlebury etc.

        The same applies to all positions, all rookies and all mid priced players.

        Do the research, read articles like this and make your decision – who gives a shit if someone mentions a player you thought you had sole knowledge of?! If anyone just copies a side like the one above, good luck to them – but clearly their knowledge of the game (or lack there of) will see them found out as the season goes on!

  • Scary how similar this side is too mine… Oh well I guess I’ll have to back myself to out trade SS during the season.

    I really like the inclusion of Pav – slightly unique – he had a good game on the weekend 104DT points and going off recent averages against the sides he is playing in the first 5 rounds I wouldn’t be surprised if he initially average >100… Whether he maintains this is another questions… But if you want to get off to a flyer he is a great forward to be starting.

    • All my freo mates seem to think pav is definitely set for midfield this year, always trains with the mids so he’s got the tank. Anyway just reiterating he could be a goody.

    • The selection of Pavlich was purely due to the following reasons.

      1. Previously durable
      2. Dual Position
      3. Should finish in the top 10 in total points.

      I ignored the likes of Sylvia purely because they have not proved the ability to play multiple games.

      • I’m really liking Pav this year- just a gut feeling- lets face it, he is a champ, & can see him playing midfield upforward, has dpp- should be well up in top 10 fwds.

  • I accept your midfielder challenge, you’d have to think Ablett Jr is still a good chance to be a top 4 scorer.

    I’m not saying you could pick him in that team, especially with an all GC bench, but that wasn’t the challenge.

    • I’m hoping Bartel and Selwood maintain their higher average than Pendles!

    • I agree mate, Ablett should still go close to being in the top 4. I still feel that the 4 names I put forward will potentially score more points in total.

  • Off topic but sshhhhh!
    I’m hating how people are just randomly dropping out of the official DT Talk leagues and making no effort to fill their void.

    One spot available in an official DT Talk league (NSW):
    DT TALK NSW (League invite code: 707251)

    Also 6 spots available in a DT PRO league that I made (for anybody with Ass coach – Gold membership)
    DT Talk Pro Cup (League invite code: 245897)

  • The worst Guns N Rooks team ive ever seen!
    What a stupid article!

    • Bahaha. Can’t wait until lockout to see your team! We will all learn so much! ;)

    • Completely agree, most of those players only a Nutty person would select.

    • I’m with Warnie, PLEASE, oh pleeaaase(!) what’s your teams name? I am salivating at the prospect of learning from the omnipotent master of DT after Rnd1 lockout.

      • tkol, all you know how to do is abuse people. why don’t you give positive comments for a change?

        • TKOL has certainly provided useful comments- lighten up champ!
          Harmless banter, can’t wait to rip into him in the TKOL CHALLENGE coaches box!
          Or more like being on the receiving end hahaha!
          1 things for sure, he knows his DT!

  • Mr Magoo here……have a league for ‘my mum’s’ team that needs filling 617561

    Came about 9000 last year so ‘my mum’ is not elite. Anyway feel free to join up. Go easy on me old mum though, she is lovely, makes a great cup of tea and no swears on the coaches box she doesn’t like that and will probably wash your mouth out with soap and water…

  • I really dont like the Guns n Rooks strategy this year. There is far too much vulnerability when byes are on.

    I’ve gone for more depth in every position as this still means I have decent players on field when bulldogs & saints have byes, or when freo & hawks have byes etc etc.

    Each to their own though.

  • How come no one is interested in Schneider from Hawthorn?? No job security? Played well in NAB.

    Also, Will Hirdy give Crameri a good crack?

    • Schneider is rookie listed and I dont think hawks have any LTI’s. Crameri though is pretty likely to play if they elevate him for anthony long.

  • I’m so sick of whingers like you Blues.

    It’s a level playing field; worry about your own team.

  • Broughton, Didak and Bewick
    Grimes, Bartel, and Smith/Prestia (enabling DPP for Prestia to go in fwd instead of being on mid bench)

    who wins?

    • pretty damn even there mate. for the most unique option imo.

    • definately option 2

      • well SS has option 1, I have opton 2, everything else, bar maybe a bench rookie is the same. My fwd line more prone to eat a donut due to me having an extra premium in the mids instead of fwd line. I am planning on Didak being inconsistent and dropping severely in price at some stage.

        • Didak is interesting, he often drops in value and you have to hope that he puts up a shocking game when you want to upgrade. Otherwise, he could also decide to put himself out of trading reach with a couple of big games.

          I normally prefer a midfield forward premium over a tall marking premium.

          Didak having a bye not in the group round is also helpful, spreads the bye risk. He is also Dual Positioned, so that gives some scope for adjustments.

          • when it comes down to it i think grimes will be better then broughton and bartel better then didak

  • Bewick or Pittard?????

  • The problem with this strategy as I found out last year is that firstly, you miss out on all of the mid price players who turn out to be keepers (like Malceski), secondly, even if the rookies go up to 250k you have to burn 3 trades to get the premiums and third, rookies produce inconsistent scores, are injury prone and have low job security. So IMO you dont want too many in your team from the outset. Like someone else already said, get the best rookies combined with the most promising mid pricers a la Knights, Everitt and Petrie.

  • Mezzoculo, my team is not similar at all.

    That being said, secretsquirrel’s team is a very good, pure guns and rookies team. Newbies who copy this team can hope to do very well (if they have a clue about trading).

    • ….and therein lies the point. We can all START with exactly the same sides and yet by about Rnd20 after 18 or so trades they will all be very different. There are SO MANY variables over the course of the year that separate average sides from great ones by seasons end: like captain selection, trading strategies, bench/emergency selection…even plain ol’ LUCK! For these reasons, unless you are totally insecure about your own skill as DT’er, we should be helping and teaching everyone; not just the newbies.

  • News is surrounding the Palmer is off to GWS.

  • I am sick of reading about people who think their awesome cos they are going for a league win and dont care about half there side missing out in the multi-bye rounds. If you play Dream Team as a challenge of your footy and DT knowledge and your tactical prowess you should be trying to accumulate as many points possible for the ENTIRE SEASON!!. Anyone can just go for a league win, join a crap league and you will win, or chose a team full of multi-bye guns. Just don’t feel any sense of achievement when you win ur league!! All serious DT’ers who think that they are good should be trying to finish as high as possible overall and not worry so much about league results, they can take care of themselves if you have a decent side togethor.


      Secret Squirrel,

      I don’t know who to make my 4th ruck. Do u think Nicholls will play if Smith is injured? If so, Nicholls will do just nicely as either he or Smith will have to play every week.

    • uh the man, are you on drugs?

      dream team is all about winning your leauge, you muppet. 16 work mates, mix in friends/family, and its bragging rights to the winner for the next year.

      maybe you cant find 15 friends to join with, thats your prob. ooooooooooh im going to win the car, its 1 in 400 000 chance, good luck!!!!!!

      ill concentrate on LEAGUE WINS, to win MY LEAUGE, and ill feel great accomplishment.

      you can “go for the car” if you wana so bad and you will still finish 250 000 ish anyways.

      • you should try to accomplish winning my league. I can assure you it will be full and ready by end of week.

  • cmon everyone join this public league on 755455.

    thanks and don’t be shy.


    Secret Squirrel,

    I don’t know who to make my 4th ruck. Do u think Nicholls will play if Smith is injured? If so, Nicholls will do just nicely as either he or Smith will have to play every week.

  • Everyone seems to be running around with this idea in their head that GC will have a Barlowesque rook in every position. You’re dreaming people.Stop agonising over which GC players to select and have a look at the other clubs on the off chance you might be lucky enough to find that 1 in a million player.