AFL Dream Team: Bye Structure Theory

Ok we have loads of bye structures being bandied about…. We have the no round 11 premium player’s strategy, we have the DPP strategy and we have the stuff it ill cross the bridge when it comes strategy. I know a lot of people who are just head in the sand like an emu.

Me and mostly the mailman at work have been devising a strategy in our ‘spare’ time at the office. Let’s start by saying for all we know nothing will work, because so much has to happen between now and then… but I guess a good basic principle to start with is to make sure you have no more than 8 round 11 bye players at an absolute maximum. So if you start with loads of GWS kids they would need to have been on traded by then. This should give enough wriggle room for the strategy we call 6 trades / 2 donuts. 

A few points to start…

-These players we mention are generic, they are neither premium, mid or rookie.

-We have used zero DPP functionality.

-Your round one team does not have to start like this; it just has to be this way before round 11

-We have basically ignored the rucks because it should be easy to pick a combination that gets you through unscathed.

Ok, this may be brain numbing, so I don’t blame you if you turn away but here we go;

Round 11 line up.

Backs
13        13        13        13
        12        12        12                    11        11

Mids
13        13        13
        12        12        12                                11        11

Rucks
13
        12                                                                                11        11

Forwards
13        13        13        13
        12        12        12                    11        11

So by subbing your round 11 players to the bench such as your Boyd’s, Thompsons etc, you should get through round 11 donut free.

Now we prepare for round 12…… sub on the round 11 players and bench your round 12 players which leaves you with this;

Backs
13        13        13        13
        0         11        11                    12        12

Mids
13        13        13
        0         11        11                                12        12

Rucks
13
        11                                                                                12        11

Forwards
13        13        13        13
        0         11        11                    12        12

So as you can see we have 3 donuts!! Better trade….

Three trades need to be made:

12 ->11

12 ->11

12 ->11

To give us this:

Round 12 line up

Backs
13        13        13        13
        11        11        11                    12        12

Mids
13        13        13
        11        11        11                                12        12

Rucks
13
        11                                                                                   12        11

Forwards
13        13        13        13
        11        11        11                    12        12

So once again we are donut free! But another bye week is around the corner….. We sub the 12’s back on, sub off the 13’s which leaves us with;

Backs
0     0        
12        12        11        11        11                    13        13

Mids
0
     12        12        11        11        11                                13        13

Rucks
12        11                                                                                13        11

Forwards
0     0        
12        12        11        11        11                    13        13

Oh Oh! 5 donuts better make 3 more trades…

13 -> (11 or 12)

13 -> (11 or 12)

13 -> (11 or 12)….. Let’s trade in 3 x 12 for this example leaving us with;

Round 13 line up

Backs
0    
12        12        12        11        11        11                    13        13

Mids
12     12        12        11        11        11                                13        13

Rucks
12        11                                                                                13        11

Forwards
0    
12        12        12        11        11        11                    13        13

Two donuts are copped in round 13.

So that’s 6 trades, 2 donuts. I’m sure there is a way to get 0 Donuts, something involving the rucks and DPP but this is the best we can muster here. (or can be bothered mustering)

I’m sure the distribution of 12’s and 13’s could be changed a bit to suit your own needs.

I guess the main thing is to try as hard as possible to make these trades fit in line with normal dream team trading i.e. Upgrades and downgrades and not wasted sideways trades. So we need to pick our original sides well, and trade well pre-bye to have the right structures going in. Anyone else got a bye plan worth sharing?

Many thanks to the mailman for spending time on this!!

@adzman78

155 Comments

  • I have no plans to structure my opening team with an eye to the bye rounds. There is just too much uncertainty with how your players will perform in the first 10 rounds and who you will want to trade in and out in that timeframe to also worry about the byes from the start.

    My objective will be to focus on the trades I make from the start of the year to ensure that I minimise doughnuts during the bye rounds, but accepting that I’ll cop a few during that three week period.

    I currently have a 15-5-10 structure of players with byes in those rounds. A lot of those 15 are GWS rookies, quite a few of which will disappear from my lineup by round 11.

    • dont actually have to start your team like this… it just has to be traded and moulded into this for round 11… it can be a gradual process… just need to bring in the right round numbers

  • A variation on this is to start a bit differently with backs and forwards, say:

    B: 12 12 12 12 13 13 13
    F: 12 12 12 13 13 13 13

    Which gives you 1 donut in 12 and 1 in 13 rather than 2 in the one round. This might give more flexibility.

    It might be possible to mop at least one of these donuts using DPP ruckmen with the new multi-trade software (which we still haven’t seen yet – hope it emerges along with the “Heath Shaw” button as promised). We also have only 7 non-rookie DPP ruckmen to choose from.

    Another bigger issue emerges, though. Is it better to heavily compromise your player selection just to minimise possible donuts down the track, or simply endure the donuts? It might be that your league draw makes a few donuts less an evil than the headache caused by trying to avoid them.

    Whew, I think I need a sit down and a scotch.

  • I’m probably leaning towards having one throwaway week, to give a damn good chance at winning the other two rounds for league.

    However you can probably make this decision further into the season. Although the above structure results in 2 donuts, they can be in any of the three rounds. You might choose to have a few more Rd12 players. If you’re way behind the car, then trade your 11s to 12s and sacrifice that round. If you’re looking okay overall, trade for 2 donuts in 12.

    Its good to have thought about this, but nothing ever goes as planned.

  • You can’t plan for everything, but…

    If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

  • If anybody gets through the byes with only 2 donuts you are a freaking legend! With injuries, suspensions and a possible lack of downgrade options I would be happy to get through with 5. Still better to plan for best case scenario than not at all.

  • Theoretically it’s possible to avoid donuts but you’ll need every available player actually playing and either –
    Lycett and Hamling in your ruck to swap with 2 of Roughhead/Hale/Rowe/Pattison/Staley up forward
    or
    One of Lycett and Hamling in your ruck to swap with 1 of Roughhead/Hale/Rowe/Pattison/Staley up forward and Sellar in the ruck to swap with Lever in defense.

    Extrapolate that and your chances are about the same as having an orgy with the Brazillian womens volleyball team. Better off copping a couple of rookie donuts – even that’s optimistic.

  • Great article but hoping your team remains in this configuration for 10 weeks is a folly (you’ll get injuries, you’ll pick duds you’ve got to dump, you’ll miss a top value player – and murphy’s law says all the replacement players will have their bye in the wrong week).

    If you don’t start with this configuration you have even less chance of it being there come round 11 – because you’ve now made it even harder for yourself – you’ll have to waste precious trades trying to swap out players that have nothing wrong with them except the fact they have a bye in the wrong week. Just so you can score well in a bye week.

    My strategy is to ignore the sh.t out of the byes and lose to all of you.

    • its not as hard as it sounds to keep to the format…

      its not as if you are stuck with players from one or 2 teams….

      you have players from 6 teams each week to choose from.. should be plenty of options!

  • Great article Adz & Rainman. A lot of food for thought. The MBR will see some crazy action, that’s for sure!

  • 30 players having a bye, 24 bench spots available through the bye rounds. That leaves 6 spots to cover with 6 trades. But, for Jim’s sake, 6 bench spots are needed for only 4 ruckmen, hence the unavoidable 2 donuts. Unless you can DPP with the ruckmen. Not many good DPP ruckmen that I recall. I think the boys at DT Central didn’t quite think this one through, we’ve been short changed

  • Great write up Adzman, I did spend some time thinking about the bye rounds but in the end I concluded that we’re all up sh#t creek. I am going to just take the hit over the three rounds, trading a couple of times to possible avoid extra donuts as I would normally trade through the season with cash cows getting near their limits.

    The one point everyone seems to be missing is that restricting your side for the sake of 3 rounds, after 10 rounds of footy, may be more costly overall than not.

    For example, pick a squad with the 11,12,13 format but then you can’t have the likes of Thompson, Rockliff, Boyd and one or two GWS rookies in your midfield who all share the round 11 bye. The three premiums named have great fixtures for the first 10 rounds and could be the difference of a couple of hundred points. While the rookies could be the difference of a couple of hundred thousand dollars and points.

    • Last year seemed so much easier!

      Do you all know that cartoon graphic of the guy typing on the keyboard then breaking out in a fit and smashing his head on the desk a million times? Well, that’s going to be us over the next few days/weeks and around the MBR!

    • You just can’t have them all. Taking Thompson, Boyd and Rockliff means not having Swan, Pendlebury, Mitchell, Ablett. How is taking Swan, Ablett and Boyd, for example, ‘restricting’ your side exactly? There are a hundred choices in DT and no one knows which are the right ones. This strategy just identifies some of your choices as being favourable because they’ll help you cope with the bye rounds. There isn’t a single player you can’t have because of the bye rounds. Not one. It’s just unbalanced combinations you should be avoiding

  • Who would have ever thought Dream Team could be so mathematical?!

  • My head hurts……

  • My head hurts bad…..

  • Nice one Adzman!!

    Ruined my one big advantage in work ‘mates’ league.

    After reading an earlier post on bye structures on DTTALK I have carefully structured and restructured (about 327 times) my team accounting for this formula and been amazed by what appears to be a total disregard for MRB’s in a lot of the teams posted.

    Was looking forward to watching my mates squirm during Rounds 11-13 trying to avoid multiple doughnuts while burning massive trades.

    Now I guess I will have to rely on ability and forward thinking to maintain any advantage??………Shit#!

  • I’m Planning to use 8 trades from round 10 to 13 …… yer!!!

  • The other option (sorry if someone before me has said this, only skimmed) is to sacrifice a round.

    Stack with players from one of the bye Rounds (pref 13) and have full sides for 11 and 12.

    Going for Round 13 sides means you then use 3 trades in Round 13 with hopefully minimal damage. If you use one of the earlier rounds, you trade carefully either way to protect you score by upgrading to those who have already had the bye, or will be having it later on.

    Too much to think about TBH!

  • Wow 3 trades a round WoooooooooHoooooooooo

    LOL come round 15 people will have like 1 trade left ;)

    hay TKOL

  • man I hope Docherty is on the bubble rd 12/13. It’ll save me a lot of grief

  • Geez thank heaven this reminded me about the byes, did some research a couple of months ago, did a quick count 7-8 donuts over the bye week, now i only have 2.

    Thank you Adzman <3

  • I had thought about byes and keeping an even spread of players but thought it was too hard to predict what might happen by rd 11. This article and discussion has made me rethink my whole approach so brilliant work adz/mail-man.

    The one issue I am having is finding good rookies with round 13 byes who you can downgrade/upgrade after rd 12. Beyond Ellis, Morris, Hall, Wignard and Redden (who is irrelevant because ruck trades wont help much in these rounds unless you have DPP ruck links) there isn’t a great deal on offer or even guys who might loom as downgrade targets in the first 10 rounds. If these players dont fit your structure or you’re not really keen on then things look a little slim.

    The other problem with this shortage is that you are relying on these players to be playing in round 12 so these players and other guys like saad who you might be considering have to be playing come rds 11 and 12 or you will be eating more doughnuts. In fact the more i look at it only 2 0’s seems a pipe dream, even the round 12 rookies look a little slim. – Bring on the failing midpricers or heaven forbid a sideways trade or 2…

    Maybe I’ve overthought it – Such is the life of a DT addict. (apologied for the thesis)

    • My feeling with the round 12/13 rookies is that its worth spending a bit more and getting a cheap to midprice player that I can be fairly confident will be playing come round 11/12 (e.g.McCarthy) than get someone who is rookie priced but I’m a bit iffy about their longer term security.

  • The reason you end up with two zeros is because you can only use the ruck bench four times over the six weeks, but if you had a dual-position ruckman (Rowe, Hale, etc) in the forward line then I think you could use a trade to eliminate a donut. Whether or not that’s worth it I’m not sure.

  • It is great to plan ahead for the byes, on the contrary, i bet most plans will fail due to injuries, its, 11 weeks out till the 1st bye, bad scores, unseen high scoring smokies coming through, trading in rookies that are not in your team, keepers that u thought are keepers but are not in 2012, and random variables that rear their ugly heads. This is sure to happen with rookies and midpricers, and if the general (soreness) or arizona schedules come into play at odd times and potential injuries, ur keepers are not safe either!

    DT is a thing of beauty! Good luck to all!

    • I’m with you Lenny, get your best team on the field and start worrying a few weeks out from the “triple bye pass” then, within reason of course, you can’t have your side stacked with too many from one bye.

      • the more i think about it the more i agree. As long as you are aware. Otherwise its contigency planning gone mad.

  • Higgo’s Big Guns
    Remaining Cap: $41,200

    DEF: B Goddard, B Deledio, M Suckling, M Clarke, L Spurr, B Smedts, S Morris, R Hargrave, T Bugg

    MID: S Pendlebury, G Ablett, D Martin, L Hayes, L Neale, T Couch, M Boyd, D Shiel

    RUCK: B McEvoy, O Stephenson, H McIntosh, J Giles

    FWD: S Johnson, L Franklin, N Fyfe, S Sidebottom, D Pfeiffer, A Saad, A Hall, D Petrie, T Dickson

    I have done my team off of this theory. Tell me what you guys still think? and yes Boyd is on the bench because he has a bye in round 11 and i just wanted to see what it looked like with him on the bench.

  • my mathematical theory has a great equation 6 trades/0 donuts

    if you have a structure like this;
    rd 11 – 8 players
    rd 12 – 10 players
    rd 13- 12 players

    come round 11 you have 22 players.

    round 12 – trade out 2 players from rd 12 players, and 1 player from rd 13 bye to rd 11 leaving u with
    rd 11- 11 players
    rd 12 – 8 players
    rd 13- 11 players

    round 13- trade out 3 players from rd 13 group to either rd 11 or 12 players (swans, pendels, boyds)
    leaving you with 22 players for the round.

    that is my structure to have going into the byes but this doesnt take into account injuries and suspension

    cheers. thoughts would be appreciated

  • All very @adzman78 but if you lose Scotland, Pendles & HMac to injury, Christensen was due back but got knocked out, then have GWS players – Bugg, Darley, Oldmac, Greene, Smith & Treloar – was trading 3 of them for Sideass, Beams & another premium mid ($550,000 to spend) then have Hargrave, Lake, Boyd, Porp & Zorko PLUS not sure if Heppell, McCarthy & the Horse are gunna get a gig – 9/10 Donuts staring me in the face – 1st in my league but playing a muppet BUT he has nearly all players with rd 12/13 byes so I am shot – holding onto my trades and going to murder my round 12/13 opponents. I probably will only have 1 or 2 donuts in rd 12/13 – AFL you suck with these stupid byes. They should just all take a weekend off half way through the season!!