Tbetta’s Bullets: Round 22

  • Preliminary Issues

The stakes were high in Round 22, thanks to the increased importance of League matches and the do-or-die Preliminary Finals. Trades, as they have been for a while now, were scarce for most coaches; particularly the overall-centric types. As such, we started to see donuts here and there to coaches who have sustained injury and poor luck, but lost the ability to stabilise themselves through trading weeks ago.

Hopefully you cleverly stashed away a couple of trades for the playoffs and tasted victory in your Prelim Final accordingly. If not, I doubt you’re bothering to read this, and like GWS have iced your season early and are already looking towards pre-season for 2013. Let’s take a quick look at the big issues out of Round 22:

Benching Premos

Benching one of your star players is a taboo that many coaches shy away from purely because of the nature of the act on some bizarre quasi-religious level, and some because of the higher levels of stress that come with making a decision against the grain.

Benching Premos had very mixed results this week, with many coaches mistakenly backing in Gibson (60) in the midfield over Thompson (92), Priddis (109) or Rockliff (69); meanwhile, giving Franklin (67) another week off in the forward line wouldn’t have been a terrible move with Zorko (113), Treloar (99) and Martin (119) all popular DTers resigned to the bench this week.

Late Mail

When whispers of an Ablett bug surfaced on Friday, the Swan vs Ablett quandary became much easier to solve. Swan started with a bang, but he drifted out of the contest and finished on 119; meanwhile Ablett was shadowed by Carrazzo as well as the flu, culminating in just 89 points. Another battle victory to Swanny, and one to late mail as well.

Unfortunately, though, late mail lost the war this week. Talk of a Cox withdrawal hit breaking point on Twitter by Saturday afternoon, with respected media outlets joining the chorus and some smaller news sites mistakenly reporting the rumour as fact. As we all know, Coxy took to the field and squeezed out an 87 despite copping a heavy knock midway through the contest. If I were a betting man, I’d say rumour will be rife again this week (especially false reports due to DT Grand Finals), and it’ll be up to us to sort out the fact from the fiction.

Stevie J Tag

With Selwood sitting meekly on the sidelines with the General, Picken had lost his prime target and had to recalibrate – unfortunately for some, he set his sights on Stevie J.

Picken’s a super tagger and Sunday was no different, limiting SJ to 20 disposals and zero goals; well below his late-season output. 78 points wasn’t a devastating effort by any means, but for all those who had traded him in over the past fortnight, it certainly had fresh psychological impact.

 

  • Makers and Breakers

Why is it that the one year I’m not on Team O’Keefe, he dominates? Maybe it’s because he missed Round 1 and he’s 31 years young… Anyway, those who had the cash to bring in ROK have been rewarded massively over the tail end of the season, with the veteran DTer averaging 129.7 points a game over the fantasy finals. O’Keefe had a hefty 142 points this week, amazingly pushing his price to the 5th-highest in the competition.

As I briefly mentioned earlier, many coaches lost faith in Dusty this week, which may in turn have lost them a Prelim. Martin’s form has been patchy to say the least, but one workmanlike effort and 119 points later and he’s back in the good graces again – at least for those who didn’t bench him.

Duffield has come way out of left field, but his recent scores at just 3.2% ownership are quite amazing. We all know he suffered that mid-year slump and was actually dropped for a month, but since his return (not counting his games with the vest) he’s been incredible. His 125-point effort brings his 5-round average to 103.4 points – seriously impressive, considering he was priced at $285k immediately before that streak.

After a few lean weeks (not to mention a mid-week injury scare, clutching his knee at training), Pendles has finally produced a score which remunerates all the coaches who help him over his injury lay-off. He was the equal-highest scoring Pie this week, which isn’t a bad effort when you share a changeroom with players of the ilk of Swan and Beams.

After two sub-90 scores, many coaches were easily able to justify swinging Zorko to the bench in favour of a ‘bigger’ name. Those who kept the faith, however (or those without any forward cover, I guess), sustained a very handy boost from his 113 point outing. Let’s not forget he’s in the top 8 forwards so far this season…

Choosing the Breakers is usually reasonably difficult at this time of the season, because we are all so hypersensitive to every small perceived failure that it’s so easy to point the finger at so many players. Thankfully, Goldstein made my job a little easier this week, embarrassing himself to a meagre 24 points. Words can’t really describe how much Sandilands dominated him… Let’s just say that Goldy was forced to ‘pick up the soap’ this week, and we’ll get close.

It turns out that late mail claiming Sam Mitchell is suffering legitimate soreness may have been right on the money this week. He was tagged by Bird (not even a real tagger, by the way. Usually used in a forward tag capacity) to just 51 points, which I imagine is akin to spitting in the face of all the DT coaches who welcomed him back after his late withdrawal in Round 21.

It’s been a sudden and violent fall from the DT elite for Tom Rockliff and his fantasy shareholders. His highest score has been 82 in the last five weeks, which has to have alarm bells ringing. Rocky is too good for these types of scores, and certainly too good to play as a permanent forward. Intuition says that he’s carrying some kind of niggling injury, and has been all season. Optimism says that he’ll be cheap as chips next season, and dare I say it – a Mid/Fwd DPP?

So, we waited 7 weeks for a mere 67 points? Get your act together for Round 23 Buddy, and all of your recent sins will be forgiven; including skipping out of the country for the Olympics.

It’s probably fair to say that Beau Waters hasn’t been the same player we all know and love over the last four weeks, at least from a DT perspective. As for why, it’s hard to say. Late-season fatigue, his dodgy knee, or simply more attention from the opposition could all explain his recent drop off in production. Beau had just 53 points this week, with alarmingly low Mark and Tackle figures (3 and 1, respectively) a large factor.

 

  • Danger Games

In seasons past, a little concept call the ‘rest’, normally enforced by General Soreness, has crept into our game. Traditionally, sides that have already locked away a top spot will rest a bunch of their stars against a minnow side in preparation for a tough finals series. However, this season has been so close at the top end that no Top 8 side will enter Round 23 without a significant carrot dangling for them.

So weirdly, any ‘rests’ or late withdrawals are probably more likely to come from teams not in finals contention; teams keen to get an early start on 2013. Here’s an in-depth look at what’s on the line for each match-up and how that might affect our DTers.

 

Safe as Houses

Richmond vs Port Adelaide

Hardwick said a few weeks ago that Richmond won’t ice their stars for an early start to next season, and will play the year out. And no-one has any players from Port anyway.

Hawthorn vs West Coast

Both sides will go all out this Friday night, will plenty on the line for both clubs. Eagles need to win to beat Collingwood in the race for 4th spot and a second chance, while Hawks will risk losing a home final if they falter against the Eagles and both Sydney & Adelaide (interstate clubs!) are victorious. If guys like Mitchell, Franklin and Cox are more than 70% fit, they’ll play.

Geelong vs Sydney

Again, there’s plenty at stake here. Sydney really wants that home final (given they play the SCG significantly better than any other club), and a win would secure them that privilege regardless of the results in the Hawthorn and Adelaide matches thanks to their superior percentage. Likewise, Geelong has to fight to hold onto 6th spot and earn that home final. Guns like Goodes, O’Keefe, Stevie J, Chapman and Selwood will all play if they have a heartbeat this week you’d think.

 

On Alert

St. Kilda vs Carlton

With the Top 8 now set after Round 22’s results, St. Kilda and Carlton will basically play off for 9th. Expect any players who’ve been fronting up with consistent niggles to be possibly iced up in preparation for 2013 – this includes Mitch Robinson (calf and eye) and Nick Riewoldt (knee – already ruled out), who they’ve elected not to risk in a game that effectively means less than nothing.

Essendon vs Collingwood

Essendon’s year is over, so anyone under any shred of doubt won’t be risked given their already monumental injury list. We shouldn’t see Ryder again (knee), while there’s every chance that someone like Zaharakis or Stanton will be pulled after seemingly tiring late this season. As for the Pies, this game is a must-win if they want to make the Top 4, and if the Eagles win, it’ll come down to percentage. They’ll go all out, but don’t be surprised if they rest Heath Shaw this week anyway; Heater has apparently been battling soreness for over a month now.

Adelaide vs Gold Coast

Two weeks ago, this would have been a real danger game for Thompson or Dangerfield owners, but then the Crows dropped a game to the lowly Lions and suddenly Adelaide can’t afford to mess with their form. If Adelaide wants any chance of making the Top 2 this week, they’ll need a win – and they’ll need to win big to increase those odds. I’m more worried about Ablett, who obviously was carrying a virus last week and could theoretically be rested this week if flu-like symptoms dog him for another week.

Brisbane vs Western Bulldogs

Boyd isn’t the type of player to call it quits on a season early, and being the Captain, he has a moral obligation to hang around. As for Lake, Adcock and Rockliff, well, they have a little more wriggle room. Lake was a late withdrawal last week and could easily miss again, Adcock has a history of injury and could be cotton-wooled for 2013, and Rockliff hasn’t seemed like himself all season. Any could be given an early holiday this week, but odds are that they’ll march out as per usual.

 

Severe Weather Warning

GWS vs North Melbourne & Fremantle vs Melbourne

This is where it gets interesting. If Sydney beats Geelong, then North & Fremantle still have a chance to sneak into 6th – it all depends on percentage at that point, and it will basically come down to whoever smashes their meek opponents by more. In this situation, it’s hard to see either side resting any key players, although Pavlich is still under an injury cloud regardless.

However, if Geelong trumps the Swans at home (as expected), then Freo and North are consigned to playing off for 7th and 8th, no better and no worse. There is almost no advantage finishing 7th then 8th, especially with the Top 4 so close on their best day. Critically, the Geelong game will finish prior to both the North game (twilight) and both will be over by the time the Freo game (evening) kicks off. It won’t take a genius on the Freo coaching staff to figure out that if they finish 8th and Eagles finish 5th, then they score a home final against a team they belted a month ago… Could a couple of guns be pulled out late? We all know both Fyfe and Sandi are underdone, and no doubt they wouldn’t risk Pavlich if 6th spot weren’t up for grabs. Exciting stuff – watch this space!

 

  • Trade Station

At this stage of the game, you’re one of two coaches. You’re either the coach who has a superior team coming up against a weaker opponent, and all you need is for your players to deliver what they have all year – it’s yours to lose.

Or, you’re the coach that, when you look player-for-player against your Grand Final opponent, is a little pessimistic about your chances. By no means are you in the favourable position and you really need a few things to go your way.

Let’s call these coaches Captain Vanilla and Captain Courageous.

 

Captain Vanilla

You just need to hold it together and not choke – so Swan will be your Captain. He should absolutely smash the Bombers at the MCG (I’ll be there cheering him on!), especially after a disappointing three weeks for him personally, spurring him on. But you’ve got a trade or two left, so who to snap up? Who will put up that guaranteed 90? Here’s my top 5:

Note that C.R. stands for Consistency Rating – The lower it is, the more consistent the player this season.

 

5. Patrick Dangerfield – $507,900 – CR = 12.8

A year ago I’d never have though I’d be saying this, but Dangerfield is one of the most reliable DTers going around. His CR is raised due to 4 scores of 130+ this season, but he never fails. Danger has scored over 75 points every game since Round 9; however, he’s a little on the pricey side.

4. Michael Barlow – $455,800 – CR = 9.3

Barlow’s score chart is incredible. He’s played 21 games this season and he’s scored between 100 and 109 on 13 occasions! Absolute lock for the ton this week – great upgrade on someone like Gibson for just an extra $23k.

3. Nat Fyfe – $405,100 – CR = 9.1

Fyfe is probably the best option for consistency on a value basis. He’s averaged 91.8 in his last five and he’s getting fitter each week. If you have a sneaky $50k, he’s a perfect upgrade from someone like Devon Smith.

2. Dyson Heppell – $364,600 – CR = 7.7

Heppell epitomises consistency – how else can you average 85 points per game, but only top the ton twice all season? Remarkable uniformity.

1. Dayne Beams – $557,900 – CR = 7.0

To average 116.5 points per game, whilst keeping your CR down at 7 is an incredible effort. None of the other players to average over 110 even get close! If you somehow don’t have him, get on now! Oh wait; he’s the 3rd most expensive player in the league… Beamer will be my first picked for years to come.

 

Captain Courageous

You really need that edge this week… The only way you’ll win is by whipping something out of nowhere. A unique Captain is a great start, but you really need to bring in someone who can do that something special. But who?

5. Adam Goodes – $370,700 – CR = 27.9

Normally Goodes is as solid as ever around finals time, but a forward line role has rendered his scoring unpredictable. However, he’s had a pair of 137-point scores in the last couple of months, and is still cheap enough that he’s available to most coaches… A risk, but a good one.

4. Andrew Swallow – $475,600 – CR = 29.3

Spitter is like a light switch – he’s either on or off. He’s had 6 scores of 125+, but only one score in the 100-125 range. Always a chance to go bang!

3. Harley Bennell – $409,300 – CR = 32.9

Harley had a 156-point game a month ago and has been threatening to explode again ever since. Being a young’un amongst young’uns, he’s always a chance to be tagged out of games; but the fact that he’s scored over 80 in 8 of his last 10 attempts shows that he’s more hit than miss.

2. Aaron Sandilands – $355,800 – CR = 36.5

You’re just as likely to suffer a stroke from screaming about his latest injury as you are a 110-point score, such is the life of a Sandilands owner. He does seem to have his gear in order though, so I’m expecting another ton against a very weak Melbourne ruck brigade. Giles owners should be on the look-out – you’ll actually pocket $30k with a trade down to the big 211.

1. Steve Johnson – $437,000 – CR = 45.7

Stevie J – the ultimate coach’s headache! We all know his scoring graph looks like a heartbeat monitor, there’s no denying that. But we all know he can bust out a massive score, being one of a handful of players in the competition to top 170 DT points twice.

 

  • Rapid Fire

Anyone noticed that Duffield has become a DT gun while M. Johnson has suddenly slipped back into DT obscurity? I see a DT thief… Duffield averaged 72.3 points up til Round 16, while MJ was going at 88.6. Seems like there was a swift role switch, because since then, they’ve averaged 95.7 and 67.7 points respectively!

#  No longer can we expect a Premium coming off a multi-week injury to produce a decent score in their return game. Mitch Robinson posted 48 and 39 in the fortnight following his calf injury, Zaharakis has offered similar scores of 44 and 32, and Buddy managed just 67 points himself this week. I guess reflex trading isn’t always a bad thing…

If you have Sylvia in your side, then beware. Crowley has tagged opposition players to an average of 22 points less than their regular output so far this season, which means that if Colon cops the Creepy tag (because let’s be honest… who else has been any good for the Dees midfield lately?), he’s set for a 60-odd score.

 

  • Grand Gestures

This is it. The last dance. The final stand. The ultimate challege. The Grand Final.

Winning a premiership is never easy, so pray for some mercy from the DT Gods and roll with the punches as they come; starting with the MRP findings, followed by Team Selection, the last-minute rumour mill and the inevitable late withdrawals. Hopefully, you have a trade or two up your sleeve to right the ship, or at least you’ve established solid cover to this point. I’ve taken the liberty of forecasting some issues you might have for Round 23:

Which Forward to Bench?

With Franklin finally fit again and the likes of Treloar and Zorko throwing their hats in the ring, it’s very possible you’ll have 8 or 9 forward-eligible guns to choose from this week. Figuring out who’ll be the lowest scorer of the bunch is an impossible task, but it’s one we have to attempt. Dunny does it better than most, so check out the Friday Scramble for more in-detail analysis.

Swan or Smokey

Some teams make the Grand Final through whatever means, but unfortunately are far inferior to their drawn opponents – think Port Adelaide in 2007. In this scenario, you have to go with a smokey Captain if you’re the underdog. You never know – their perma-Captain (a Swan or Ablett type) could get injured in the 2nd quarter and bang – you’re back in with a chance.

A good practice is researching your opponent and setting one of your uniques as Captain – that way, if your chosen player dominates, you get twice the reward.

A couple of guys to look at is Dangerfield against the Suns (142 projected, with a solid history against them), Ryan O’Keefe (incredible form, although it is at Simmonds) and Bryce Gibbs (had 130, 141 and 125 in a row before this week, and you can be sure no-one else will).

Coveralls

Late withdrawals have been part of the game for a while now, and it’s a necessary avenue for teams to select the strongest side possible. Unfortunately, we’re seeing an absurd number of last-minute changes lately and we should expect this to continue in Round 23.

While predicating late withdrawals is rarely easy, fixing them after lockout is simply impossible. The only way to be prepared is to have sufficient cover across multiple lines. Smart coaches will have reinforced their side through downgrading to rookies with solid JS (Spurr, Shaw, Gibson, Zorko), or have strategically hung onto rookies with consistent scoring rather than cashing them in (Devon Smith, Treloar, Greene, Bugg, Morris, Giles). If not, then you risk running the gauntlet this week, and a Premiership could go begging because of it.

Good luck!

 

 

 

Tweet me @Tbetta9 for all things fantasy.

34 Comments

  • Best write up going around, looks like its gonna take me a while to read….awesome!!

  • Great article Tbetta! I noticed that you copied and pasted the consistency rating part from last year. ;) Apart from the players obvisously.

  • Thank you for this year. Your articles have been outstanding all year.

  • Thanks for your efforts this year, always a great read.

  • This is why we love you Tbetta! You’ve certainly left your best til last, so much info, love it :D

    A lot of the “Preliminary Issues” were very relevant to me this week:
    Benching Premos: Yes, I did it. I played Gibson over Thompson, 32 points down the drain.
    Stevie J Tag: Could you believe, I traded him in AND captained him!!! With no Swan, I backed in Stevie and paid the price. Still made 3 GFs though :)

    Love your analysis on the possibility of rests.
    Personally, I can’t see Danger or Thommo being rested but you never know…

    A few observations from my behalf:

    -Don’t pick Freo defenders! See: Broughton, MJ/Duffman
    -Avoid fielding players playing Freo. Ross Lyon’s shut down tactics are killers. See: Gibson
    -Back your premo. See: Gibson over Thommo, Dusty over Treloar

    • hi chuck :)

      • Damn you Taz!!!

        haha, hey Taz, good luck in the grand final and see you on dream stats.

    • I remember reading several weeks ago someone said “a quasi-tag from Mzungu”. By the looks of it he was the one who applied the tag on Gibson. Looks like he’s shaping up to be a secondary tagger to Creepy. Might have to watch out for that next year.

  • Great read once again tbetta. Late withdrawals have been very frustrating this finals and have added another element of luck which I dont seem to have. Have a trade left but bet Im patching up not trading up. Thanks fotr another great year of articles.
    Bring on DT 2013 – The return of the mid pricer!

  • I don’t have Swan, at the moment the ‘c’ is on Pendlebury.

    Essendon have been shocking and his last 3 games against them are 113, 166, 141.

    What do you think T Betta? Obviously I will be checking Calvin’s Captains aswell to see if Pendles makes the top 5

  • Thanks tbetta, as per usual a great read, so much vital information! :)

  • Nice article :-)

  • nice work Tbetta, so much effort has gone into this GF edition, pity I can’t trade to make up some ground on my opponents.
    What are peoples GF projected scores?

    PROJECTED OUTCOMES: NEXT 3 ROUNDS
    RD YOUR SCORE YOUR OPPOSITION
    23 2385 L 2408 MoneyInTheBank DT Croweaters (967183)
    L 2420 Ducktards Bit of a laugh (494601)
    W 2105 The Almighty Tauri YOUTUBE.COM/DTTALK (613134) (League ranked Ranked 91)
    L 2411 Sward’s Superstars Warne Dawgs Rule (584714)

    The Almighty Tauri scored 2254 last round so won’t be an easy game
    Sward’s Superstars ranked 25 overall and beet me by 300 pts week 1 of the finals so hope I can at least get close. I really need Pav and Fyfe to play and smash Melbourne, which Freo may not want to do so they get a home final. I will probably play J Riewoldt vs Port as he can win the Coleman if he kicks a bag.

    • Projected scores are lame – I really wonder how much of it has any real bearing on how clubs are playing, what tactics they use etc.

      My projected score has always been about 200 above my actual score almost every single week this year. I wouldn’t wanna rely on it – and I certainly won’t be buying assitant coach next year if the little green dots are all it really does…..

      Freo will definitely want to get a big percentage booster.
      I would think they’d want to avoid playing either the eagles or collingwood – seeing as how it’s possible they’d have to travel to the MCG to take on the pies. Finishing 7th instead of eighth gives them a softer target and a more likely win.
      Apparently Pav is no certainty, but I’d think he’ll play.

      • Be is the only decent thing and it’s not a hassle.

      • Nah Assistant Coach is a bargain, just ask anyone with a vested interest in it.

        • That’s a cheap shot,

          I certainly have no beneficial interest in Assistant Coach, and I can do most of what it does myself, yet I will buy it again next year.

          Any systematic analysis process will always throw up anomalies – some of the player predictions will always be off the mark (just like Calvin’s predictions, or FanFooty’s player predictions). But you tend not to notice when they get players right.

          However, that said I think Assistant Coach does throw up a few players with scores in the high hundreds every round that boost up your total score projection somewhat. For example Buddy with 150+ last week. But most of the other players projections are OK.

          The way to use the Assistant Coach projections is to use it as a starting point, just like the averages, and then add or subtract wherever you think you know more about individual players for the coming round.

          One of the reasons I made and distributed the MatchUps spreadsheet was so Coaches can put in their own projections for players easily.

          • Your spreadsheet is very, very good. Thank you very much for providing it free of charge, Nix. I really appreciate it.

            Why will you buy Assistant Coach next year? Even before I had your spreadsheet I did better than fine without it, with your spreadsheet that is even more true. What will it offer you next year? Genuine question, nor rhetorical

          • I have found the assistant coach extremely valuable.

            One area is the projection of your competitors score. If you are prepared to invest a few minutes and using the likely players you competitor has on the field (and their individual project scores), it doesn’t take much to work out who their capt is. Also have been able to work out if they have traded and managed every time to work out who they are trading in. Only done this for finals however has been a factor of whether to trade in the the earlier finals.

      • The Assistant Coach is a very handy resource to have everything in the one place. If you’re there solely for projections, you’re not using it for the right reasons. Past stats on player pages, averages, etc… all very handy. Projections add to it though – and if you do look across them, they haven’t been too bad at all. Better as the season has progressed.

        The green dots are very handy when you are looking across your team Friday evening for peace of mind.

        We have the vested interest in it, but it is improving every year… the trade wizard is handy with full function and I’ll always support these developments in the game. $20 is pretty cheap to add to my enjoyment of the game.

        Each to their own though – you don’t have to get it.

        • In saying all of that, what do you want from it? Virtual Sports are all ears and want to keep improving the feature. There are already some new things in place for next year.

          Oh… and I forgot – you get to use the REAL planner for next year early.

          • Enjoyed having Assisstant Coach Warnie. With DPP players having a large roll (well for me anyway) I would like the option of having field view of my team and opposition in match centre return. Comparing midfields takes a bit of working out currently, especially with the team split into unique and same players (I don’t mind this and still would like to keep this also) . And if the Sandilands inclusion got the green light from the AFL we definitely need to be able to pick an E from each line. Cheers.

          • Enjoyed the ass coach this year as well and will buy again next year. Really $20 is not much. Thanks to all for the effort.

        • Agreed with all of the above. I find the trade wizard and player researach tabs useful each week.
          Worth the $20 investment, bewtween AC & the DT Talk website I have increased my avg. scoring and am in the top 2000 prior to the Grand Final this year (made 2 DT & 1 Ultimate Footy draft style pay league GF’s as well).

  • I am thinking of doing a sneaky Giles to Sandilands trade. What are the chances of Sandi being rested?

    • Mm he needs match fitness probably will play, on the other hand love it it is attacking.

  • And who is betta than tbetta? Not doing too badly in the rankings

  • A big thank you to Tbetta, I must admit I think this was the most useful column on the site this season for me. I enjoyed almost everything but you seem to include lots of info on a variety of topics. Also doesn’t hurt you are a WA boy and Eagles fan to boot! Keep on keepin on matey and look forward to your offseason and next season contributions.

  • Awesome work all year Tbetta. two big thumbs up for the effort and advice. Going for a three-peat in my money league thanks to DT Talk.

    WEST COASTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!