Tbetta’s Bullets: Round 16

  • The Replacements

Not since Shane Falco led a rag-tag bunch of footballers into battle have we seen back-up players have such a profoundly positive effect in our Dream Teams. With key players still on the sidelines (looking at Goddard, Waters, Martin and Franklin specifically), it came down to your cover and how well they performed in a lot of cases.

In defence, we had Ellis and Spurr blitzing it for us – but more on them soon. Shaw, Darley and Morris all provided more than expected as three of the most popular options. Unfortunately, Bugg was dropped this week and Marty Clarke started with the vest; but other than that, it was a very pleasing week from the rookie defenders. I know a few people held off trading Waters, effectively opening themselves up to copping a donut this week with Goddard coming to the rescue next week. Imagine if you had Spurr sitting there as an emergency as a Hail Mary! And then again, imagine if you had him and you didn’t….

Up forward, it was all about Zorko. This will be the last week any of us are allowed to talk about him as ‘cover’ anymore, or even an F7. Since his vested 26 in Round 7, Zorks has been the 3rd-highest averaging forward, including five tons in that time. How about F3? Apart from him, Couch, Dickson and Adams were all solid, but it dropped off significantly after that. Let’s hope you didn’t have to rely on any of these guys, and with Dusty back this week, maybe we won’t have to for the foreseeable future.

Seeing as Martin and Goddard are both due back from suspension this week, we should be back to near full-strength squads and back to putting our faith in our premiums; not rookies. After all, pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever.




  • Makers and Breakers

Over the past month there has been somewhat of a resurgence of the old school DT forwards, such as Pavlich, Goodes and Riewoldt. Ryan O’Keefe definitely fits into that category. He’s someone most of us wrote off this pre-season, with the expectation that he would start to decline with age. While he did have a poor first month, ROK has gone on to average 101.8 since Round 4, making him a top 7 forward in that time. He’s a perfect unique upgrade for your forward line, with only 3.3% of coaches taking the punt on him so far.

Over the journey, we’ve learnt not to expect too much from our premiums in their injury comeback games. In typical fashion though, Pendlebury went above and beyond the call of duty and busted out a 117 against a quality outfit. It’s been 8 weeks since your last hundred, so it’s bloody good to have you back… For those who are without the majestic midfielder, keep a keen eye in his price – he could be down to around $460k after Round 17!

If you didn’t get on Carrazzo in the last three weeks, it’s time to give yourself a swift punch to the face. Since his return from that nasty AC issue, he’s topped 110 in each game, including 123 against the Roos on a big Friday night stage. He’s now rocketed back up to $437k, almost $60k more than he was valued at a fortnight ago.

In another week where we were without Goddard and Waters, our rookie defenders again stood up and accepted the challenge. Spurr came from the brink of extinction to carve out a huge 104 points, while Tiger cub Ellis waxed his way to 103 in a perfect display of link work. They couldn’t have come through at a better time.

Defenders always seem to be hard done by when it comes around to determining the Breakers, which may have a bit to do with the inconsistency associated with the position. Although, even with taking that into account, Broughton’s 36, Suckling’s 31 and Fisher’s 18 were absolutely woeful. Broughton doesn’t have the same excuse having been thrown down forward in recent weeks for God-knows-why. A red vest sure doesn’t help either. Suckling simply just went missing, which is gutting for the coaches who snapped him up for Waters. As for Fisher… Who knows? He’s a far cry for the +6-loving defender we used to know and love. In fact, he’s dropped over 16 points per game since just last season.

Disappointment isn’t exactly an unfamiliar emotion for Kreuzer owners, but this has to take the cake. With no Warnock or Hampson and hence free reign in the ruck (Matt Watson was his back-up, for christ’s sake) Kreuz inexplicably managed just 40 points, despite totalling 29 hitouts. That’s a joke, and not a funny one.

Rather than being the poster boy for free agency, Cloke has now become the poster boy for ‘How to Lower Your Market Value’ in what is effectively an anti-contract year for him. It’s his second score in the vicinity of 40 in the last three weeks, which has to anger the hordes of coaches that flocked to him after his 112, 86 and 85 streak starting in Round 10.


  • A Spoonful of Concrete

I don’t think we need an official stat for us to know that 2012 has been an injury-ravaged one, DT-wise. The medicos have taken away guns like Ablett, Swan, Pendlebury, Franklin, Zaharakis, Sandilands, Mumford, McEvoy, Leuenberger, McIntosh, Shaw, Heppell, Murphy, Carrazzo and Fyfe for various lengths this season, which is just incredible. While luck is a huge factor here, it also throws one intangible towards the top of the list of trade priorities: Durability.

We just don’t have the trades to be taking a risk any suspect bodies at the moment, so let’s look at some of the most durable DTers going around. I’ll also give you an example of someone who we possibly think of as the better DTer, but due to injury has in fact been a lesser choice. I’ll credit each missed game with 50 points, as a rough estimation as to what your cover may have scored in their absence.

Brett Deledio – 108 consecutive games

If you don’t have Deledio already, you’re not a real DTer. So while we can’t exactly trade him in, I couldn’t forge a list like this without mentioning the record-holder for most consecutive games. Lids has been a great servant in his time, missing just 4 career games since he debuted in 2005, which is simply insane. He’s also averaged 89 DT points or more each season from 2008 until now, where he’s taken a massive leap and ticked over at 113.8 a game.

Matthew Boyd – 56 consecutive games

Boyd embodies toughness and defines durability. He’s one of the game’s best DT talents and he has only missed 2 AFL games since 2005. An absolute marvel of athleticism, fitness and fantasy prowess. If you’re looking for a sure thing, it’s Boyd.

Durability Bonus: Boyd’s 1786 season DT points edges out Ablett’s 1696 (1596 from 13 games, plus 2 emergency scores)

Pearce Hanley – 45 consecutive games

Hanley was something of an inspired choice this season, especially lately. He was a mild consideration last year, but has really firmed as a Premium defender by increasing his average by 7 points to 86.7 this season. He hasn’t missed a game since he solidified his spot towards the end of 2010.

Durability Bonus: Hanley’s 1300 season DT points beats out Birchall’s 1289 (1189 from 13 games, plus 2 emergency scores)

Dean Cox – 62 consecutive games

We must have a 2009 hangover, because I think everyone is still wary of picking Coxy in the fear that he’ll get injured or rested. That’s simply not the case. He’s played every game in the last three seasons, not to mention scoring a butt-load of points in that time. He’s aging, and that’s always a risk in itself; but with Naitanui shouldering half the load, he’s been rock solid thus far.

Durability Bonus: Cox’s 1519 season DT points beats out Maric’s 1478 (1428 from 14 games, plus 1 emergency score)

Andrew Swallow – 81 consecutive games

I’ve said it a few times before, but Swallow is one of those guys who bust out amazing scores, but they’re interspersed with too many 90 point totals (7 scores in the 90’s so far this season!) to be considered an elite DTer. What he lacks in that department, he certainly makes up for in durability – he’s played every single game in the last 4 seasons. He’s averaging 101.3 per game, which is still solid for your unique M6.

Durability Bonus: Swallow’s 1520 season DT points easily bests Pendlebury’s 1402 (1202 from 11 games, plus 4 emergency scores)

Brent Harvey – 69 consecutive games

This one really surprised me, I have to admit. Maybe I confused a natural reduction in output with poor durability, but when I saw that Harvey has played at least 20 games in 13 of his last 15 seasons, including every game in the last 3 years, I almost back-flipped off my chair. He’s not the DTer he once was, there’s no denying that, but he’s a sure thing as a F6 or F7 with his 81.1 average.

Durability Bonus: Harvey’s 1217 season DT points easily bests Zaharakis’ 1161 (911 from 10 games, plus 5 emergency scores)


Anyone you think I’ve missed in the Durability stakes? Who’s your go-to DTer for longevity? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.


  • Fair Trade

This is the point every season when DT becomes exclusively the domain of the fanatical DTers. We’re already seeing a sharp decline in forum activity and Twitter banter, not to mention general enthusiasm – I can’t tell you how many times over the past few weeks I’ve broached the topic of DT with other coaches, only to hear something along the lines of “I don’t really care anymore, hey. I ran out of trades weeks ago”. To me, this has always been a problem, exacerbated by the 24 trade limit; the Bye situation this season has only been a catalyst. Sure, holding trades is manageable for us serious DTers (and even then, some of us struggle!), but for the casual coach, it’s all about trading. So 16 rounds in, we’re the only coaches left, and I don’t like it.

DT is so enjoyable not just because you can watch a Melbourne vs GWS game and still be somewhat interested, but because it’s a great water-cooler topic. We enjoy talking trash to our opponents. We enjoy bragging about a huge score to our mates during the week. We enjoy having something to talk about other than the weather with someone you don’t quite know. And most of all, we enjoy trading our team into victory over all those who come up against you. This is why the concept of a ‘Use it or Lose it’ trading scheme appeals to me so much (Check out this nifty podcast for a bit of conjecture from FanFooty creator m0nty and the one and only Warnie on the big picture of DT and this topic in particular). Here’s my proposal for the perfect Dream Team competition:

Use it or Lose it

Each coach has the opportunity to make up to 2 trades every week of the season, and up to 3 trades in the bye rounds. If you don’t use them, too bad. Yes, I realise that this means that a coach can effectively use up to 47 trades in a season, which sounds ludicrous compared to the 24 trades we had this year. This brings me to the next big change:

Significantly Higher Magic Number

This will ensure that even if a coach uses all those trades, they won’t have a complete team by Round 10 of the season. With a higher MN, we’ll have to be very liberal with our cash distribution with our starting squad. We’re already setting up for a Mid-Price resurgence next year, and this would almost guarantee it.

My vision is that with this salary pressure we start the year with 6-7 Premiums, 15-16 Mid-Pricers and 10-12 Rookies, much like the spread of talent at an actual AFL club. This should ensure a high degree of uniqueness between teams, as your Premiums will even be unique as you’ll only be able to afford 1 or 2 in each position to start off the season.

Trading up to a ‘complete’ team will also be much more difficult, with less Cash Cows available (no expansion club this season) and smaller dividends milked from successful Mid-Price improvers.

Desired Result

I believe this would keep both breeds of DTers happy, which in turns makes Virtual Sports happy. We’ll have season-long interest from the casual DTers as they’ll be able to trade every week of the season, rather than losing interest halfway through. Hardcore DTers would now have the ability to make the most of their DT nous with smart trading throughout the season, with the bonus that a bad run with injury won’t derail your entire year. Again, the MBRs will be what separate the boys from the men, but that’s an issue that gets its own conversation.

In essence, I think this will make DT both more enjoyable and more relevant season-long. I instantly perk up at the thought that we’ll spend a fair portion of our time analysing the Mid-Price type players, who at the moment are bordering on insignificance. I feel a rush of joy at the thought that Guns & Rookies won’t be king anymore, and the prospect of going into a League head-to-head match with less than 10 players in common.

Like Martin Luther King, I have a dream. What do you think? What do you want to see brought in next year? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!


  • Burst Fire

Could Stefan Martin replicate his unlikely run in 2011 (where he averaged 98.8 over a 10-game stretch) and become a insta-Premium? He’s probably a bit too pricey at $397k in the ruck, but he is coming off 105,101 and 118 with Jamar set to miss a few weeks a calf injury.

#  Toby Greene was unlucky not to snag a spot in the Makers this week, and that’s only because not too many coaches would have played him with Murphy and Pendles fighting fit again. He’s shot up to $409k now (where the hell did that come from?!) and boasts a three-round average of 112.3. Excellent cover for the run home and a lock for the Rising Star if he were still eligible.

#  Cam Bruce announced his retirement today, which marks the end of a great DT career. An absolute gun back in the day, Bruce averaged 101.3 back in 2006 (todays 115) to be the fourth ranked DTer that season.

In the fourth quarter of the Sydney–West Coast match, the Eagles were without their 6 first-choice forwards after Darling was subbed out with hamstring tightness. That’s LeCras, Lynch, Nicoski, Hill, Darling and Kennedy all missing, which is an incredible stat really.

# Check out this article on Geelong’s courting of Travis Boak. I don’t really care that Geelong went out of their way to make their desires known; after all, it is a business decision, so anything legal goes. I was more taken shocked that Power CEO Keith Thomas compared Travis Boak and Dominic Cassisi to Joel Selwood and Jimmy Bartel in any capacity. Got to love hyperbole.


  • Tbetta’s Tweets

Great question. I personally shafted him after Round 2 this year, and while I regretted it slightly after he regained some form, I’m content that I used a trade to get him out. However, it’s a different prospect now, seeing as many coaches have 4 or less trades remaining.

If I still had him, I’d be very tempted to trade him out with 5 or more trades in the bank. Any less than that and it’s a no-brainer; you have to keep him and hope Lyon gives him a break. Who knows, there may be one more twist on the Broughton rollercoaster yet.


Definitely, Griff. The huge scores you talk about are team-wide, conceding 1788 DT points per game over the last month, about 220 points more than the competition average. That’s an extra 10 points that you can expect your players to earn when they come up against the Giants.

We shouldn’t be surprised though, we saw exactly same thing with the Suns last year. It all comes down to the fact that most of these GWS guys are all young and not AFL-weathered yet, and they are fatiguing over a long season. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. You just can’t expect to bridge the massive gap in experience and fitness in only one season.


I touched on this a bit last week, and was anti-Giles then, so I’m certainly anti-Giles after he was dropped this week. I pulled the trigger a few weeks ago on Griffin and haven’t regretted it. At the moment though, McEvoy and Jacobs have to be the premier options on a value basis. Both have had an exceptional last three weeks, averaging 101.3 and 111.7 respectively in that time.


  • Round 17

There’s not much point talking about possible trades this week, seeing as we don’t have any left. On the assumption that you have 4 or less trades in pocket, LTIs should really be the only thing on your mind from now on. Even if we get lucky with injury, we still have the annual General Soreness convention, which is usually held over DT finals.

So, it comes down to our bench cover and Captain choices from here on, and hopefully a little luck. Dunny and Calvin have you covered in those categories, so I won’t waste my breath. But you may have noticed a few rookies getting a gig this week, such as Clifton, Walker, J. Hall, Sheringham, Dunell, L. Brown, Webberly, Couch and Baguley. I’d love to analyse who we should grab and who we should forget, but alas, no trade… With that said, if you need to cover a one-week donut, grabbing a Couch/Brown/Baguley type as DPP cover for the run home might not be the worst idea.

Also, did anyone get on Sylvia a couple of weeks ago like I suggested? 84, 100, 109 and 98 on the trot so far…



Tweet me at @Tbetta9 for all things fantasy.



  • why is goddard not coming back till next week?????

  • Very happy that I brought in ROK during round 7, has been one of my best trades this season.

  • isn’t 40 disposals good enough for kreuz?????

  • Was going to say! lucky you changed it because Kreuzer would be feeling hard done by making the breakers with 40 disposals :D

  • Awesome write-up Tbetta, heaps of content which I love about the Bullets!

    I think 2 guys who were lucky to miss out on the “Breakers” are Chappy and M Johnson although it is fair to say to blokes on there are more deserving.

    On another note, do you guys think McEvoy can continue his good form?

    He is averaging over 100 in his past 3 and they were against pretty decent teams/ruckmen: 113 v NM (Goldy), 91 v Ess (Ryder/Hille) and 100 v BL (Hudson) He is $80k cheaper than the other guy I can trade in, Maric but he only averaged 80 in his first 5 games before he was injured.

    Also, what do people think of Tom Derickx’s influence on Maric’s scores?

    In their only game together, Maric scored one of his lowest scores this season in 88 against Melbourne (shit) without their best ruckman Jamar. However, it could be because of fatigue and the rest could mean he can come out firing for the rest of the season.

    • I was on McEvoy at the start of the season – and the reason he got off to a slow start is that he had some sort of injury over the preseason – I cant remember what though.. I thought that being the sole ruckman would maintain the form he had last year once he built up a fitness base. Also at the start of the year Stanley spent a bit of time in the ruck which I didn’t foresee.

      I think that Derrix has replaced Vickery as the fwd/ruckman… I for one hope that it doesn’t effect The Mullets scores.

      As for Chappy and Suckling they really hurt. I traded out Waters and Bugg for Michael Johnson and Suck(l)ing who combined for a total of about 82 points. If only bloody Spurr was named in the starting 22….

  • In regards to the amount of trades, why not have a league “commissioner” as they do in other fantasy sports, who can set the trades to x per year, or x per week, etc, that way hardcore leagues can go old school, whilst those less serious can go nuts?

    • Because that would become a league-based competition, not a nation-wide competition.

    • Won’t work for an overall winner tho.

    • that’s why custom DT league sites like ultimatefooty.com.au exist, if you want to set and moderate your own rules.

      I’m in one of these for the first time this year as well as real DT, it’s good fun, and as every team is 100% unique you really love and hate your players more!!

  • I got sylvia all thanks to you mate! :)

  • my port power self wants boak to stay…..

    but my dt self wants him to go!!!!!

  • Ive got ten trades left and I was hoping for more tips on who to bring in!!!

    • Post your team and the DT Talk community will help, TBetta might even respond himself

    • I’d definitely be looking at getting M. Murphy in if you need a premo mid. He’s priced at a steal atm.

    • I’d def be looking at M. Murphy if you need a premo mid. He’s a steal atm.

    • I’m glad someone else has trades, I have 9, thought everyone would have saved them for the finals but people don’t seem to have many. It’s a tough call, either go into the finals with 8 trades, win the first final and have 2 trades you can’t use and then maybe lose or upgrade before the finals, go in with 6 trades, play all 4 finals and have no trades for the grand final.

      • I’ve always had a slow build theory….. and with Hawks resting their stars last year in the late rounds, I am saving 6-8 trades for finals. Will the Pies send all their stars to West Coast in round 22?

        I’m looking for a forward but have most the regulars but not Beams. Buddy on bench.
        In the back half I need a trade for Beau Waters and am thinking it could be Goddard.

        • whether the pies bring their stars over here depends on how things are shaping up, if we are somehow top or 2nd (long shot in our current situation), they will want to win cos it doesn’t matter if they travel well, you don’t want to travel west in the finals.

          But your point is right :P

      • There’s no law that says you must use 2 trades each week of the finals, if you’ve got decent cover 6 trades should be more than enough.

        I’m only taking in 3 trades into finals (assuming i make it, tight league)

  • I don’t know if this will affect Jonathon Giles job security or scoring, but I have read that Kevin Sheedy was impressed with how well Israel Folau went in the

    Folau had 13 hitouts compared to 22 to Brogan, 21 to Jacobs and 8 to Jenkins

    • *ruck

    • Giles actually got some of his better scores earlier in the year when Izzy was temping in the ruck. It meant Giles could go forward as the hit up tall target without doubling up. It really shouldn’t affect him, as Sheedy still wants to get games in to Phillips, and an outside chance for late games,Tom Downie.

      As I said on twitter however, there is a chance Giles+McDonald (and possibly Bugg) will miss this week also. The Giants have to stop the bleeding come the Pies in two weeks. Another blowout in the west won’t affect the casual Western Sydney fan too much, however a 30 goal loss to the hands of the pies in Sydney will. I’m expecting some quality names to be rested from the 8,000km round trip.

  • Wish I had enough money and trades to hate trade Greg Broughton. Best I could get is Lake and not convinienced I would be any better off.

    I don’t blame you Greg. It’s our new coach.

    Come on Rosco put him down back or in the midfield.

  • Jukes I’m curious of your ranking. 9 trades left is a hell of a lot.

    • I’m 2,800. Been lucky with injuries though, haven’t had a ruck problem as I’ve had Cox/Giles from the start. Only injured players I’ve had that I’ve traded were Fyfe, Pendles and Shaw. Noodles above has 10, I would have thought most would have at least 6-8 trades left??

  • 0 trades left coz i am a tanty pants sideways first timer.

    My team is awesome though and i get to chose between baguley shaw and ellis on who to play:)) had bags from day 1!

    Looking forward to some 2300+s before finals which i prOb wont make in my leagues:(

    Thanks for your help tbetta+ staff+ community.

  • Loved your write up. Here is my two cents worth..This is the first year I have realy played Dream Team and you are correct about it not being as much fun as the start of the season when there are a lot of trades avalible. Even with two per week, unlimited trades, it will still be difficult to make a great team asthe amount of rookies do dry up as the season goes. Look at Goodes two week ago, bargin at $380k? Bit who do you trade out Danger and take Goodes and what rookie or do you trade two lower scores like Thompson and Culimham and still replace with who? Unlimited trades will keep interest up and as the pros will get even bigger scores. Lets face it, even if you got 2500 points per week, who would not want to get 3000 points. Further, the pros would have to study a lot to find players who are trending up and down. A two trades per round per week would be good for the whole comp.

    • You obviously cant read very well, or only read the first sentence of that paragraph…

      • Don’t you just love troll.

        • Unlimited trades destory the game because you don’t have a solid team each week. Imagine brining in Johnson for a 45, or trading out Cloke for a 120. Real AFL teams have ups and down, and when players are injured or out of form, they get dropped to the twos. Same with Dream Team, you drop one or two, but can’t drop everyone. Sheedy has tried.

  • Hey Guys, I want to upgrade Hargrave and Broughton. I have the trades and cash in the bank to get any two defenders under $380 grand each. Looking for some advice on who. Which 2 out of the following should I get?

    Grimes, Shaw, Heppel, M Johnson, Suckling or Adcock. I’m thinking Grimes and Hep.

    PS Great article Tbetta, always the best read of the week.

    • Johnson and Heppell, Heppell consistent and Johnson is playing the Loose man in defence role. Plus, if you have Smedts in forward line might help with trading.

  • Thanks Tbetta, great stuff, keep up the good work :)

    It sure will be great to get Goddard and Dusty back this week. I’m kinda’ hoping they’ll pull out HUGE score’s, making a statement to their club’s and supporters for letting them down over the last fortnight. :P

  • MC SHAZZAM with a repost remix……Apologies!

    You gotta love tbetta. The man just keeps coming up with the goods.

    6 trades left. Who would be the best to finish off my forward line?
    I am thinking Sexton – Couch then considering either Treloar to any fwd I haven’t got or 5fer to Zaha and downwards in price. I think I would actually prefer to keep 5fer and trade Treloar.

    Currently my fwds look like;
    Sidebottom, Beams, Robinson, Franklin, S. Johnson, Treloar, Couch, Martin, Pfeiffer

    I really want to keep the mid/fwd aspect operational so these are the best options but there is also Gibson in the mids which could also be used. Thinking Chappy, Birchall, Whitecross or maybe even Giles -> Maric.

    Got Baguley in last week only for friken Spurr to have the week off and smash it.

    Really not sure what to do. Definitely will be holding out till last call on friday arvo.

    • Do you seriously not have zorko???

      • Sorry, I do have Zorko. I don’t have Couch (yet). Running both bac/mid and mid/fwd DPP.

        Would be cool to go Gibson to another DPP. Then Sexton (mid) could be the sacrificial non-playing DPP and the newcomer could be the real MID on grounder.

        Really think DPP will come into its own more then ever this year.

        • yea sexton is my sacrificial dpp in my midfield too. My forward line has porps f9 and i suppose martin as f8, but cos of all the dpp guns in my fwd line any one of them are essentially midfield cover with gibson.

          If Spurr stays in the dorkers team along with Shaw (adelaide) then I am pretty set with backup all over the ground, prior to the weekend I was very concerned about my def bench. I do still have gravy though :| Keeping until finals so hopefully he picks it up!

  • Great article Tbetta! I’ve found your article keeps me in the loop every week….

    – I agree with Bomberbazz I think regarding trades for next year etc… However, I need to listen to the full podcast/read up on alternative ideas to give a better informed opinion.

    1st year doing DT – Concentrating on league win – I’m currently 3rd on % – so all is good for a 1st season. However, would like some advice/thoughts/feedback etc on my team and how I should go about finishing the season off with trades etc…


    DEF – Lids, Scotland, Birchall, Heppell, Gods, Carrazzo, Hargrave, Darley, L Brown

    MID – Boyd, Swan, Ablett, Mitchell, Selwood, Gibson, Martin, M Williams

    RUCK – Cox, Giles, Redden, Campbell

    FWD – Buddy, Beams, Steele, Robbo, S Johnson, Chappy, Zorko, Dell’Olio, Z Skinner

    4 trades and 166k in bank…

    I’m thinking I should just hang tight now till finals.


    The 3 trade scenarios I’ve been looking at are as follows:

    option 1 – Trade Hargraves/Darley to H. Shaw or other premium that I can afford with 1 trade – leave 3 trades for finals/lti’s… I know this will be a rollacoaster.

    option 2 – Look at trading Giles (would have to use 2 trades to get Maric as I’m 5k short) to McEvoy or Jacobs.

    option 3 – Trade M Williams/Z Skinner to Couch/Goodes – would leave me with a good MID/FWD line and cover

    option 4 – hold… for finals/lti’s

    If I had to trade I think option 1 or 3 would be best… I just feel that my weakest points are 2nd ruck and D7.
    – Will Redden/Campbell/Giles be enough to get me across the line as 2nd Ruck for rest of the season…
    – Defence has a bit more depth now that LBrown might play a bit – what’s his JS like? A while ago and Hargrave as D7 wouldn’t have been that bad…

    Cheers guys!

  • I really enjoy the mid pricer fun – the guys I look forward to most each week are those who can give you that surprising unique boost.

    Of note in my squad I still have Chrissy Mayne (increased 45g and owned by less than 2%!), stevie motlop and Courtnay Dempsey. However I did have Lewis Jetta before he became Stanton – Jetta was great to watch each week and was a good pick overall.

    Maximise the mid price fun I’d say!!!

    • Good to see that someone had the balls – I was very timid this year, preferring to trade my way into a solid outfit. Regret it a little now, especially after picking guys like Masten, Gaff, Maric, etc. to break-out but not putting my balls on the line.

    • Chrissy? Stevie? Just one big happy family, innit.

  • Great write up Tbetta and I’d sign any petition advocating your proposal for next year.

    Anything has to be better than this year!

    • Oh God no – it could be much worse! I’ve heard some pretty out-there ideas (unlimited trades takes the cake), and to be fair, VS were put in between a rock and a hard place with the bye situation this year. In saying that, they have agreed that there is room for improvement and some things will change – can’t wait to see what!

  • Should I trade in McEvoy or Jacobs?

    Personally, I love Big Sauce as I’m a Crows supporter but I can’t help but feel that his impressive back-to-back 122’s are just because they played GWS and Port.

    • I’d say correct, Jacobs scored well coz of no rucks of any quality. McEvoy for me.

  • Tbetta I love your thought provoking commentary on the trading situation. Personally I would love to see the comp move away from Guns and Rookies to spice things up a bit. As you say, playing someone with 16 players you have hardly makes it that enjoyable.

    I have played the official EPL fantasy game the last couple of years and it works really well using a system where players prices go up based on the no. of people who trade them in and out, rather than a rolling average of scores like in the AFL. You start off with a salary cap and it basically stays the same during the year, rookie players are less likely to increase in value like in DT. Saying that I am sure Zorko and Horesly would have had huge price increases and Horsely would have gone back down again once his points scoring form fell away. This method of trading means you are more looking forward and analysing if you think a player is about to hit red hot form, or if they have a soft draw coming up – if so you are likely to trade them in and vice versa. I am not completely certain this pricing method would work in the AFL, but it is food for thought.

    Saying that there are 2 things used in the EPL game which could be adapted to help keep people interested for the entire season:
    1 – a wildcard – this is where you get to reset your entire team based on its current value and you can use it at any time. The EPL comp lets you have 2 wildcards, with 1 specifically used during January when the transfer window is open and the other one used whenever. Imagine what would have happened in the overall rankings if someone still had their wildcard 2 rounds ago and used the Martin and Goddard catalyst to reset their team. You would think their ranking would have climbed massively compared to someone who only had the ability to make 1 or 2 trades.
    2 – trades per week, rather than a set number for the season – in the EPL comp you are given 1 trade per week and you can bank an extra trade which allows you use 2 in any week. Given there are more players in a DT squad it might be 2 trades, with a max of 3 per week – although that might be a bit high. Something they also offer, which I am not a fan of, is making extra trades for points penalties. If something like this was used in the AFL I would like to see a 100 reduction per extra trade to really discourage people from using it.

    Anyway they are my thoughts on the matter. Happy to hear what everyone else thinks, either here or on twitter @hambull13.

    • Thanks for the comment mate – love that everyone is having a think.

      I’ve played a popularity-style NBA fantasy competition before, and I liked it – I imagine it would be implemented similarly in the AFL. However, it required a lot of attention, thought and ultimately time, why is why VS won’t give it a second thought – they (and we) can’t afford to lose the casual DTers, which is why drives advertising, etc.

      I think K.I.S.S is the solution. I haven;t given much thought to a ‘wildcard’ option, but my initial feeling is that it would feel very gimmicky, but that’s just a personal preference.

      Again, thanks for the comment!

    • I too played EPL and liked some of its features over those of DT.

      Being able to trade every week is part of the fun of DT, even though I’m one of those hardcore that tries to save trades and loves the game from start to finish.

      I am not a fan of EPLs pricing system: the player values change very little, except for those players that have breakout seasons. The aspect of trading players to build a warchest isn’t there for all but the most commited, and this strategy needs to be open to those with moderate commitment as well.

      I do agree with the Wildcard system: unlimited trades for one week. The EPL gives two, but its season is twice as long (too long, like baseball and ice hockey). One would be sufficient for DT.

      I also like their trade structure: one free per week, and each additional costs you. In EPL the cost is in game points, but I thin cash would be there better way to go: 25k for each additional trade.

      My preference for DT is that Rookies be priced higher. Currently, they are priced for utter failure, allowing big value gains for even the most modest performers. This doesn’t feel right and leads to most teams being able to afford 18+ premiums by round 16. Taking on a rookie should be as big of a gamble as it is for the real coaches. Price them as modest mid-pricers (200-250k). This would mesh better with having additional trades.

  • Should I get M.Murphy this week or next week? Will his price drop even more after this week?

    • Strictly, next week, if you’re absolutely set on getting him for as cheap as possible. Although, it’s always to helpful to check out the BE of the guy you plan to trade out for him and see whether they’ll make or lose cash themselves…

  • The way the competition is/was this year mid pricers have been insignificant almost from the get-go apart from a few obvious ones. The idea of use it or lose it 2 trades a week seems not only logical but I imagine wouldn’t be very difficult to implement. I’m sure most people enjoy a good close contest and this proposal would certainly ensure that at both overall and league level.

    • Love the avatar there mate!

      I agree, obviously. I’ve been a huge advocate of Mid-Pricers since I’ve been writing for DT Talk, but the way the rules are set up, it’s almost impossible to be successful. Especially in the last two seasons – you simply couldn’t overlook these Sun/Giants rookies. Can’t wait for them to become relevant again!

  • I love the idea of Use it or lose it trades, I know a bunch of people have stopped caring now that there trades are running low and a complete overhaul would be great considering the fact that rookies will dry up with no new teams and giving people an incentive to gamble on mid pricers will make it a lot more interesting throughout the year.

    • Amen to that. It should be a priority for everyone that as many people as possible take part and stay interested.

  • Super write up tbetta. Got one question for all – who is the most likely to pay the rest of the tear & score well – peddles, murph, rocky, redden, Beams? Can afford all of them.

  • Bloody hell Tbetta, that was one of your best articles :) My brain’s trying to come up with a better solution for next year but youve covered them all

    The past few years we have had A LOT of soft tissue injuries, LTI’s, Late Withdrawls and now we have the Sub’s too deal with. Id say 30-35 trades and what about having 2 extra bench that we can place in whatever position we like. Seeing as rucks have been hit hard this year put one in the rucks and maybe one in the backs?, just an idea :)

  • I completely agree wholeheartedly.

    I think VS is massively underselling their product by not giving more trades and creating more fun for their player group.

    I also play DT on other sites, which is quite frankly more fun with more trades, ofcourse for the sake of playing with the mass public we will always play on the AFL site, but they could definately improve their product for the masses.

  • Great article Tbetta just my opinion:
    The bad thing about unlimited trades is that it loses the critical decision making when a player gets about a 2-3 week injury. These clutch decisions can determine a season, and separate the pretenders from the contenders. With unlimited trades it would be an odd decision to hold, and the point of straight swapping would be lost. What i think should happen to accommodate for spare time DT’ers is to have 5 trades only accesable during late in the season, like rounds 18-23, so finals time became a more competitive time among not so serious leagues. More trades is a good idea, but unlimited trades takes out the option to hold an injured or suspended premium in 99% of cases.
    Just my two cents welcome to opinions and criticism.

    • Absolutely, and I hoped someone would bring the mid-term injury point up. I’ll answer, bullet-style.

      1. Just a technicality – it wouldn’t be unlimited trades… just a lot more than usual. If it were truly unlimited trades, it would be a hard choice whether to punch myself in the groin or papercut the webbing in between my fingers.

      2. I totally agree that the art of holding will be lost, or at least seriously come into question. Of course, you might decide that improving your team elsewhere is better and hold, but I doubt the masses would ever hold in that situation.

      3. My suggestion is to make it so that once you trade out a player, you can’t trade them back in. That would force those that had Swan/Ablett/Franklin this year to have a good hard think – should I trade them out and risk them destroying it upon their return, or should I hold? Will they be back quickly, or will it drag on and come back to bite me? It would make it very hard to trade out the upper-echelon of players in this scenario.

      4. This would also prevent coaches from market manipulation. For example, trading out say, Redden out prior to Round 3 before his big price drop , then picking him up after Round 6 for a massive discount.

      5. As for your locked trades idea, I’ll be covering that in next week’s Bullets. It’s important to cover all our options, and that’s certainly a ripper.

    • I think your just about spot on there mate.
      Lets not go down the EPL fantasy route. I play that as well. It has its merrits but as you say, those critical decisions to hold or trade can be decisive in the make up of your season.
      The one thing I think we could steal from EPL fantasy is the wild cards.
      Say 2-3 wild card trades per season that can be used at any time. Even all in one round if you so desired.

  • First of all, whats with all these people losing interest when they run out of trades. As a bloke i know once said, Where’s your morals in life? Stop quitting on your teams crybabies. This is the first season i’ll make it to finals with trades leftover…albeit 2 but im sorted for now with a couple of Ghost Ships to come. 4th on my ladder by % with most points scored against and highest avg so im happy.
    Previous years ive stunk it up competing for the loser trophy but even to the end the interest didnt wane.

    Point im trying to make here is get out and play some sport quitters and develop a hunger for competition.

    Personally i dont get all the fuss that is being made about lack of trades and the mbr’s. Ive enjoyed the challenge and am content to accept the pitfalls we’ve all experienced this season. Thanks for another great read tbetta. Hopefully i hit my target of breaking into top 5000 by season end, currently 7516 and getting closer each week.

    • The hardcore DTer agrees with you with a lot of points there, but as a realist, I definitely oppose some of those points.

      The most important thing for the DT competition is to maximise it from a commercial P.O.V. Without sponsorship and advertising, there is no prize, and without a prize, there isn’t a competition. And it follows, without interest from the masses, there is no sponsorship and advertising, and so on.

      Basically, we have to please as many people as possible, while attempting to keep a layer of skill in the game. Not an easy task by any standards. And what pleases everyone is trades, and good players, certainly not donuts and a lack of trades, which is what the byes served up this season.

      So while many coaches feel like you (and so do I, to an extent), that’s where it’s at from a big picture perspective.

  • Quality write up as always mate. By far the best regular article on this site.
    Interesting that you mentioned the WCE injury crisis (you forgot about Embley).
    It seems to be kind of played down a bit as far as the eastern states media is concerned.
    Throw in Waters and thats alot of first choice players out.
    No wonder they were no match for an in form team such as the Swans.
    And no Shuey! FFS!!

    • I didn’t want to complain too much – so I kept it as purely a forward line stat. Embley didn’t quite fit the mould…. But it’s a great point, Embers and Waters are just as important for us. Probably karma so for a blessed run with injury in 2011, I’d say!

      • ‘Probably karma for such a blessed run” ***

        • Agreed. Last year was a good run with injuries.
          Hopefully evens itself out next year and we can mount a serious tilt at the flag.
          I fear the next few weeks will be a bridge to far for the boys. A slide down the ladder might be coming up. :-(

          • They have a difficult run home facing 4 potential top 8 teams with only a couple of “easier” games left in the schedule. Another Derby, Geelong, Hawthorn & Collingwood to come yet… If you show up to training this week you have a good chance at being selected in the forward line!

  • Tbetta and everyone, who would you choose out of baguely and couch??

    • Do you really need to trade? finals are coming mate.

      • I have seven left so i can risk and it is all part of my plan to finish up grading, so if you could help ot would be great, thanks mate and i am not trying to be arrogant.
        So who woyld you choose??

        • Not too sure about the JS of both mate, can only extrapolate given our small set of data. A couple of thoughts though:

          1. Surely they’ll give Couch more of a run? Their season is over, so blooding some youngsters is surely a priority. Still, he was basically a straight swap for Magner this week – will they swap back once Magners rested?

          2. Mark Baguley might have a bit of JS given that Hibberd tweaked his hamstring again. Basically a like-for-like replacement down back.

          • Cheers tbetta, from those points i recon i will go for baguely, thanks for the advice.
            By the way good read!!

          • And just want some more advice, sorry if any trouble.
            I need a rookie defender at basement price (85,000) who do you suggest i get??

        • Then it would have to be Couch. Theres no reason Melbourne wont get more games into him
          now he’s in the senior side.
          best of luck with it mate

  • You should be allowed to have an emergency in all positions, and if the emergency player on each line scores better than your sub affected/injured with bugger all points player on field, their score should count over the crap one.

    The 2 trades a round thing sounds perfect, I don’t think we need crazy values on players to make it work as everyone has a different part of their field they want to fix, or injured players they need to dump, everyone fixates on different things. Your new to DT kids will probably trade out guns every week when one doesn’t get 120 whereas others will try and build a full team of solid players. However I do like the focus on mid pricers so I don’t know.

  • Great job tbetta and good to get a few ideas flowing,

    I agree with the basic premise that an objective of DT has to be to sustain interest all the way through the year, for all levels of player. I think trading is the part of team management that players enjoy the most.

    There are 3 competitions (Overall, League and Eliminator) and in theory this should add to the interest. However, the limitation in number of trades acts against this – using trades to improve in one competition hurts you in another.

    At the moment trades have an indirect cost through their scarcity. But unlimited trades without any cost would just lead to hot-swapping of premium starting players, and everyone would end up with similar teams (even more than they do now).

    Increasing the number of bench players will lead to players eventually closing out some bench positions and just buying min price DPP rookies that may never play (we see this with rucks now and there was a lot of it with 3 bench spots towards the end of last year). No matter what DT players will find a way to migrate capital from their bench to their starting 22.

    I played one overseas Fantasy Game where demand determined price and didn’t like it, particularly because it forced you to trade early in the week before prices changed. It certainly favours more knowledgeable players over novices.

    I think there is a team better structure option:
    Def – 6 + 2 bench,
    Mid – 8 + 3 bench,
    For – 6 + 2 bench,
    Ruc – 2 + 1 bench.
    This would be more in keeping with the way AFL is actually played, plus make it easier for DT players as there are lots of Midfield options, but less in Def, For and Ruc.

    Increasing the Magic Number relative to the total salary cap will increase mean less premiums are picked at the start. However, for all the people suggesting anything to increase the use of mid-priced players there are fundamental mathematical reasons these are less efficient. Guns and rookies works because it is more efficient use of capital and they have wider price fluctuations that you can take advantage of. While you get the occasional Maric, most mid price players are a problem, particularly with limited trades, you trade them in hoping for breakout performance then use another trade to get them out, either downgrade to a rookie or upgrade to a premium.

    My own suggestion is to increase the number of trades but constrain them by cost (not supply scarcity). My suggestion is you get:
    – 1 free trade per round (so 22 to 24 free trades) on a use it or lose it basis,
    then if you want you can buy more trades in any round
    – $20k for 2nd trade in that round,
    – $30k for 3rd trade in that round,
    – and $40k for 4th trade.

    So you still get plenty of trades whenever you want, plus plenty of interest in thinking how to use them. If you don’t an extra trade in a round, you don’t lose the benefit – you still have the cash to use later. With multiple trades (at a price) you can cope with MBRs or carnage Thursdays easier.

    I think this will force players to still cultivate their bench players, plus late in the season cull an occasional starter and replace with a mid-price player so they have cash to continue trading. It would make all league games more interesting because you never know when your opponent might suddenly improve their team a lot. You won’t be able to coast along like many do now only worrying about a few key league games.

    If you were introducing this you wouldn’t put up magic number, if anything you might put up starting salary cap.

    • I was wondering when you’d enter the fray Nix, great to hear from you. Nice post – a heap to think about! I’ll keep my reply brief.

      1. I commented earlier that an extension of that proposal would be:

      “I totally agree that the art of holding will be lost, or at least seriously come into question. Of course, you might decide that improving your team elsewhere is better and hold, but I doubt the masses would ever hold in that situation.

      “My suggestion is to make it so that once you trade out a player, you can’t trade them back in. That would force those that had Swan/Ablett/Franklin this year to have a good hard think – should I trade them out and risk them destroying it upon their return, or should I hold? Will they be back quickly, or will it drag on and come back to bite me? It would make it very hard to trade out the upper-echelon of players in this scenario.

      “This would also prevent coaches from market manipulation. For example, trading out say, Redden out prior to Round 3 before his big price drop , then picking him up after Round 6 for a massive discount.”

      Hopefully, that eases a couple of your concerns.

      2. I like your point of “No matter what DT players will find a way to migrate capital from their bench to their starting 22”. This is, and will always be true. Downgrading will always exist because of that, and I’m glad. But it’s very possible to ‘migrate capital’ with a MP strategy – in fact, it’s even easier, although admittedly you’ll be moving less per upgrade-downgrade combo.

      3. Your concerns about uniqueness is counter-intuitive, but very possible. Again, hopefully point 1. discourages the player-hopping you are wary of, at least to an extent.

      4. Trade buying is something I’m very opposed to, from a personal preference point of view. I admit it has been used with success in other fantasy games, but they’ve worked through their teething problems already. The arbitrary cost they give to a trade will never be exactly right, and I fear that it would slant the game dramatically one way or the either.

      Thankfully, I’m certain VS will never go down this path. Firstly, they don’t want to reinvent the wheel – we’ve seen this with subtle changes preferred in the past. Secondly, it overcomplicates the game for the casual DTer somewhat, who we both agree are the people to please.

      5. I’ve been pushing for that 6-8-2-6 structure change for a while myself, for the reasons you mentioned. However, VS expressed concern that it would actually make players even less unique in the same counter-intuitive way you mentioned before (every super premium in the midfield, then cookie-cutter defenders and forwards – ie every backline would be Deledio, Goddard, Scotland, Carrazzo, Birchall and Waters). I’m actually not sure which way it would go.

      6. I’m now convinced that the only way to promote uniqueness is to increase the Magic Number. Only through limiting a coach from attaining a ‘complete’ squad, at least for the majority of the season, will ensure this. At the moment we are completely disregarding Mid-price players, which make up about 70% of the competition. Bringing them back into relevancy opens a lot of doors.

      Well, so much for keeping it brief!

      • Very well written Nix & Tbetta. You both pose very interesting ideas and possible scenarios. It will be very interesting to see what VS value most and come up with next season…

    • Dislike idea of 1 bench for ruck!! Hard enough getting cover there.

  • How about in MBR’s you have say 3 extra spots open up for “Free agents” where you can pick any player, unrestricted by value, and they play for you for that one week. The could all have their scores doubled like captains to make up for your missing players. Would add some fun!

  • Tibetta that is an AWESOME description for how DT should be run next year, these guys are not paying you enough credit at all mate.

    I had similar thoughts with the ‘use it or lose it’ trading scheme to keep things interesting all season long. You are correct in saying the MN will have to be raised because we cant have a competition whereby most teams are complete at round 10.

    The sooner everyone wakes up to the fact that next year will be SO different without the abundance of juicy GWS rookies the better IMO. As Tibetta said, DT in 2013 will make the shift from the old guns n rooks strategy to mainly a mid priced player landscape. This in itself will separate the men from the boys simply because of this: Whilst we have 20-30 genuine premiums to analyze and consider there are 100’s of mid price players we will be forced to choose from at the start of next season. Tibetta’s proposal flows perfectly with the inevitable because it will A) By default all teams will be more unique from one another, and B) team setups will be more akin to actual AFL teams.

    Someone please make sure Tibetta’s article gets to Virtual Sports they NEED to read it!!!

  • I dont normally comment on articles however this one was brilliantly thought out. Well done TBetta. I like your thoughts here and the reasoning which is explained well.

    I am sure that next year will bring its challenges. 2nd year in the competion and ranked around 2000. I shudder to think of how we are going to make up our sides next year without the dearth of rookies available.

    I am sure that sides will be very unique which will make for an interesting competition.

    • Thanks mate. You shudder… I fist pump. Going with a full GnR strategy next year will be about as difficult to pull off as a Mid-Price strategy has been for the last two seasons.

  • Hi guys,

    So i have 7 trades left – still have 1 forward to upgrade (and the cash to do it) and a ruck.
    But I have to bring in at least a couple of rooks to do it.

    What rooks are the best bet for cover?
    Is Couch likely to play many games? Who else?

    Also – what to do with Dusty Martin? Keep or trade for Goodes/Chapman?

    • Why would you trade him out now after his suspension? I reckon who should use the trade elsewhere

  • Hi tbetta great article, also love the fact that you’ve stuck around to reply to people.

    Love the 6-8-2-6 structure, more generous classification of FWD and DEF would help uniqueness too.

    When you say ‘increase the magic number’ I don’t know what that means, I doubt most casuals would. Or maybe I’m stupid. I can assume you mean the stating players would be more expensive?

    • Magic Number = formula used to arrive at a player’s value each week

    • Good point, really should have explained that a little.

      Seeing as the salary cap is arbitrarily set equal to the AFL’s salary cap, the Magic Number is the constant that determines the price of each player. The higher the magic number is set, the higher the cost of each player, and therefore you’ll be able to afford less quality players with the same set salary cap.

      Effectively, it determines the quality of your side.

      It you are looking for more Magic Number theory, make your way over to the ‘DT 101’ section of the site and there are a couple of articles that can help.