AFL Fantasy Changes – The Big Uproar

tradesleftSo the guys at VS have announced that we will have 2 trades per round this season, a total of 44 available if we wish to use them all. As an avid fantasy premier league player I love the changes, I can tell you it is still a massive challenge, it will just change how we play the game. People don’t often like change, when the GST came in we thought it was the end of the world. Do we even notice it anymore? Change is sometimes hard to take, but it is best we sit back and cool our heads before making any rash comments.

I laugh at some of the comments calling for Virtual Sports head, claiming they’re leaving for Supercoach. I agree DT had a unique challenge in limiting trades, but it is by no means the end of the game by taking this away. The challenge previously was to conserve your trades and try and create the best team possible. This could be done by cashing in rookies and upgrading to premiums. Now all of a sudden, the game is too easy, we will all have the same teams, there isn’t a challenge anymore. Incorrect. So incorrect it’s not even funny. The challenges will just change. Yes, when one of our premiums goes down injured we will no longer have to think twice about trading him. But then ask yourself, when do we get them back? Do you try and make some cash on them or swap to another premo? One challenge is replaced with another, always.

And please, if unlimited trades mean that much to you, go play Supercoach as well. The draft game will give the old timers a different test also. Does that mean we have to give up the game we all love? Nope.

There are quite a few misconceptions going around. Guys reckon we will all have the same teams? No, it is highly unlikely that there will be 5 or 6 absolute standout premiums in each line, there will always be differences (Stanton or no Stanton). It is also being said that our teams will be filled with premiums. Fact is they probably won’t. Let’s not forget now we don’t have the backup that the GWS and Gold Coast boys gave us, there will be a limited amount of rookies available so we can only upgrade so much. There is still a limit of 2 trades per round, and it’s near on impossible that we will be able to downgrade and upgrade 2 rookies each and every week, there will be times where we must sit and wait. What happens when we run out of rookies? This is where the midpricers come into play. If you want to be challenging for your league then picking the right midpricers is crucial. While most of your colleagues will be running out of the mainstream rookies, you could have 3 or 4 midpricers ripe for trading to a premium, leaving you with a better squad. “But if you miss out on a midpricer you can just trade him in”. The predictable comment that I’m sure would have occurred. Well no, it’s never that simple. How are you going to do it, by sacrificing a premium? You won’t be able to straight swap a rookie… Tough call. This is just one of the challenges presented. Gaining the right balance of premiums, rookies and midpricers at the start of the season will be crucial.

The easiest mistake I’ve found you can make with weekly trades is chasing points. It can be very easy to get complacent with your trades. Whereas before we would think very carefully with our trades, make sure we didn’t sideways trade and put a lot of research into what we were doing, it can be easy to make some poor trades. I refer to knee-jerking a lot in fpl, it is just as great a challenge to not knee-jerk an underperforming premium as saving your trades. Most of the time these trades will come back to bite you, as your old player will bang out 160 and your new acquisition will pull an Ablett and tank a 60. Some sideways trades will pay off, some won’t. This is one of the biggest challenges facing you with extra trades, making the right sideways moves. Not easy.

I feel that most are misreading the situation, as I say my experience with fpl is helping me out.  People are completely rethinking their squads, changing their structure, taking risks on players they normally wouldn’t. I think it’s all a bit rash. For me, my team has remained exactly the same. Back your original structure, that team you first picked is there because that’s what you thought would score the best, is it not? I see the extra trades as room to move around rookies that I get wrong, trade out injured players and upgrade to premiums without the thought of how many trades I have left. They are a backup, a luxury. You don’t have to use them.  I wouldn’t go selecting risky players that you otherwise wouldn’t, stick with your original plans and just think you have extra trades in the bank.

So let’s get this straight. The game is not ruined. We will not have exactly the same teams as there is simply too much talent to choose from. Sideways trading will become a big factor anyway, if you stuck with the same 22 every week you will probably fail, but these calls are never easy. Staying ahead of the game is crucial. Holding trades back, even when they’re available will be necessary. Avoiding knee-jerks. Not chasing points. Picking the right midpricers to go with the popular rookies. Making that one big trade call leading into a big final. The game is certainly not “too easy” as everyone will adapt, teams will score higher and we will all need to keep up. It’s just change people! If anything it will get more challenging, especially with the temptation of even more trades to screw up our team with.

Remember the GST, the apocalypse hasn’t arrived yet, we will all adapt, and I’m sure we will all get to love the game again. As long as we give it time!

If you want to hear more of my humble opinion just follow me @MattCraigDT. Cheers.

54 Comments

  • Wow Matt epic read mate!
    On the whole I agree with you, particularly in the past when sideways trading was a dirty term, I think it will be more commonplace now with the luxury of extra trades.
    Personnaly I’m not that fazed with the changes.

  • It’s great that you’ve shared your humble opinion and I will be telling others to read it.

    I total agree that it’s the decisions we make that are so crucial, not how many.
    Three times last year I seriously considered trading Zorko into my team and three times I decided not to, and traded in someone else, as I didn’t think he would keep up the scoring. I was wrong all three times and it cost me.

  • Good read. Though as you said, there will be plenty of sideways trading, particularly early on whilst the cows are still fattening and later on when your team is full of premos, wouldn’t the whole aim of sideways trading be to make them productive, which would often involve ‘chasing’ points? If there’s no downgrades to give you the cash to upgrade, you can trade a premo who’s about to face his bogey sides to a guy who’s just come out of the tunnel and has a string of sides he goes big against coming up for 50k less, then when their situations and prices are reversed, you can trade back and ultimately make 100k out of it. This surely classifies as ‘chasing’ both points and profit.

    • Yeah sounds good but won’t always work out like that! What if he smashes his bogey teams? It will work for you occasionally but when it doesn’t your stuck with a big problem. If your behind in your league then it will be worth the risk but unless there is a big upside I don’t like to sideways trade MUCH. There is always a time for it, but don’t get carried away is all I’m saying.

      • Yeah I’m sure a lot of guys will get carried away and forget about acquiring premos as quickly as possible. Upgrades and downgrades will still be king of achieving this and only when there’s a week of not being able to do them will I consider profitable sideways trades and the risk and reward behind each one.

  • I dont agree that our teams wont be filled with premiums even before the gc and gws came in teams had almost all premiums by the end so now with twice as many trades it will surely make a difference

    • Maybe, depending on how lucky we are this year. Still won’t be easy!

      • Nice article though, sorry should have thanked you before disagreeing :). Yeah i suppose it does depend if you have a bad year the same dilemmas will still come up. I have a fair bit of experience in the epl game and you end up with a team full of premiums reasonably quickly but the prices also fluctuate a lot more in that game.

    • It’s still going to require just the same amount of luck we had in the past. But remember it’s ONLY 2 per week and when you consider there are any of a handful of rooks, emerging midpricers and fallen premiums to consider each week, you still can’t buy them all, so teams WILL be different. I normally use the FF Genie to help decide my trades and always there are more than 2 solid trades staring me in the face each week.

    • Don’t forget, the reason we have near full teams at the end of the year is because it takes that long get the money to do so. More trades doesn’t automatically mean more money, so double the trades doesn’t mean twice as fast.

  • It is sensational to read your thoughts on this subject is so concise and well-thought out a manner. I could not agree more with the entirety of your article. With the new rules the challenges are different but the basic concept remains the same. Well done.
    And I couldn’t agree more in regard to mid-pricers being more crucial than previously. I actually think that it causes a quantum shift in thinking from the old guns’n’rookies approach and brings more focus onto previously injured veterans and potential breakout mid-pricers.

    • Cheers mate. The guns’n’rooks approach will all depend on how blessed we are this year as far as rookies are concerned. I’ll be starting with at least 2 or 3 midpricers myself.

      • So far I have 2 mid-pricers (3 if you include Staker) but have my eyes peeled for additional. The rookies this year are just so all over the place. Lots of potential guns but will they get the playing time like the GWS and GC boys did for us over the last few years. I don’t think that many of them will.

  • another thing matty… the prices in DT fluctuate far quicker than in fpl. You can snooze for a few weeks in fpl and still only miss a .2 rise, in AFL 2 weeks can be 100k!

    • Enjoyed your view and the examples provided Matt. I agree with a majority and think the new DT mantra is “adaptability”. Some of the old pros got a bit peaved initially due to having to change some of their proven strategies… but most seem to be coming around lately as they realise there are new alternative strategies that need to be utilised. Same objective just have to take different paths to get their in the end. The changes allow for rookies to blow more trades during the season and stay interested while the veteran can explore various cash raising/premo acquiring options to achieve big scores each week. Should be an interesting season!

      Also wanted to say it is nice to see the author of the article respond to some of the comments as well, always good when they correspond.

    • That’s changed a bit now for whatever reason, seems to rise quicker this year. Maybe more players. Agree though decisions will need to be made quickly due to price rises, but it’s always been like that anyway in DT… At least they don’t change midweek!

    • Adzman

      Sorry for having a crack at you the other day.Was pi55ed at the new rules and posters saying to run off to supercoach etc.Guess you drew the lucky number .Water off a ducks back I know but just to let you know your tweets don’t repulse me and yes I was being a knobhead!.Thats it and if I do happen to recognize you on the street someday I’ll pull you up and buy you a beer and we can talk some sh1t together.Still hate the new rules but can’t bring myself to not play.Thanks for all you do for this site I mean it

      #cheers

      • no worries man, tensions were running high that day! our precious game was being meddled with and knowing that everyone on here were die hards it was always going to get firey. tbh i usually hate change, i kicked up a huge stink when big footy changed colours…stayed away for weeks… but this one dosent worry me quite so much, obviously cause im a tradeaholic, plus the epl game should help me out… but i can understand why people are pissed. in the end i love the game so much i’d play it under any rules

        btw i meant knobhead in the Karl Pilkington style..its less offensive:P and its unlucky for us writing folk that everyone knows our ugly mugs now, pity noone knows them enough to buy us beers at the footy:P

        good luck this year!

        • Love this exchange – hope to buy both of you boys a drink one day!

          • Ha ha cheers Adzman.

            Look forward to it Benny – will keep an eye out for your smiley face on the street as well.Would be hard to miss that big yellow sphere!

            Best of luck to both you lads for a big DT season

  • “DT had a unique challenge in limiting trades, but it is by no means the end of the game by taking this away…one challenge is replaced with another”. Aren’t you saying that it’s a different game? As in change the rules, change the game. Perhaps Rugby League and Rugby Union are the same games? Pretty laughable. Just my humble opinion. Enjoy the new game.

  • Just a little quick correction;

    Wouldn’t it be 46 trades? (23 Rounds)

  • Just just don’t get why they changed the trade rule…..

  • When word broke of the 44 trades i have to be honest i was bleeping this and bleeping that but refrained from commenting until the dust had settled and i had a chance to find my dummy, read what others were thinking on both sides of the fence. Now i like many am coming around to the new challenges the 44 trades bring and im certainly embracing the concept now. Tbh id prefer 44 trades to a rolling lockout as the 44 trades makes it a level playing field for all and does not harm those addicted to DT who have to work weekends or have family commitments or play sport themselves. Beating me mates wouldn’t be as much fun if could switch a player that was to be vested because i was home and they were working etc, i want an even playing field for all and we have that still.

    Thanks for the good read Matt i enjoyed it and you summed it up well in a way most should understand and have some food for thought regarding how they feel about it now. We are creatures of habit and change is hardly ever welcomed and the outpouring of emotion by die hard coaches be it positive or negative shows how much we all love it and nobody likes anyone messing with the things we love and enjoy the most. One thing i’m aware of as i slowly get my head around the new rules and therefor new strategies is a coaches workload will increase during the week finding those mid priced gems that will give us money as well as maintaining scoring output when no rookies are able to be moved on etc. Those that put in the time will be the ones to reap the rewards and in all honesty isn’t that what the die hards did anyway. Consistently good coaches of the past will still be good coaches in 2013 have no fear guys/girls. Do the work reap the rewards.

    • +1

      With rolling lockout I would have no chance to win and would not bother playing. The 2 trades per week I can live with as I pretty much use all my trades early anyway just leaving a couple for LTI’s. I might even start with Sandilands now, and will take more risks with Robbie Gray type players knowing I can cull them easily when they redo their hammy.

  • Still undecided. I think the hardest thing to learn in DT is when & how to trade. Every year I get better at avoiding early upgrades, selecting the right premo at the right time, knowing when to hold & when to trade for injury etc etc.
    The only people reading this stuff this time of year are the die-hards, so I know you all know what i’m talking about when I say that thorough planning and nerves of steel are required to get the trades right, and it’s something you get better at each year. One or two bad trades may cost you a league premiership, and will definitely cost you a car.
    With the increasing popularity of the game, it is very easy to jump on a site and get a very good starting team without doing any work yourself. What we do with our trades is the only thing that separates the good coaches from the rest. Granted, it will still be important, it just seems that it will be a lot more forgiving if we get something wrong.
    This is definitely a rule change for the novice/intermediate player to make it easier and keep their attention post Rnd 12. The experienced player doesn’t need them.

  • Have to admit I hated the changes at the start.. It’s not ruined just a different take on strategy.. I’ll reserve my judgment on rule changes until the conclusion of round 23… Good read though and well done :)

  • I think next year they should introduce a rule that every team must include at least one Ranga.

    Welcome back Adam Cooney DT 2014.

  • I don’t like the new trading rules. I’ve made that clear in my posts on this topic so far, and I’ve explained why already, so I won’t go into that again.

    My main gripe is that VS isn’t treating us with any respect. There are rule changes every year. Some are good, some not so good and some are pretty much irrelevant. But regardless of what’s been introduced, we haven’t ever been able to provide any feedback either prior to any changes being made, nor at the end of the season when we’ve played with those rules and can judge how they impacted the game-play.

    Up till now, it hasn’t been that much of a problem (although the way byes were handled last year wasn’t thought through properly at all and a complete shambles), because none of the changes have changed the essence of the game…until now.

    A fundamental change to the way the game is to be played now has been foisted onto us. We were given neither the opportunity to give feedback (in the form of a survey for example), nor do we have any direct link to VS to be able to tell them whether it’s good or not. Given their past record for not caring what we think, I would also be very surprised if they invite us users to give any input after the season ends. If this had been asked in a survey and the majority of respondants had wanted this change, then I wouldn’t have become vocal about it at all. But there was nothing, just a statement one morning telling us how we have to play now – and this is the crux of the problem.

    There are plenty of people on this site, saying that although it’s crap, they’ll try to make the best of it. But why should we just accept it? Maybe some have a greater tolerance, but for me, as soon as they changed the game-play drastically without any consultation, they crossed a line. And if we just accept it, then what’s next? If everyone just accepts this change, then why would they ever bother consulting us for anything they might think to do in future?

    When is your breaking point? Is it unlimited trades? Or no salary cap?

    If we never protest and always “just accept it”, then nobody will ever listen…

    • the long time DT’ers (like me) would all like the challenger of limited trades but understand the problem of people dropping off late in the year.

      VS think it’s people running out of trades but it is actually that they have won maybe 2 games and are ranked like 75,000 overall and just give up on their team as it has no chance. No number of trades can get you back from making early mistakes or just starting with a dud team.

      I will be looking forward to late this year for sure to see if it actually works but i doubt it.

    • Fair points but in the end it is just a free game that we are blessed with. Yes VS could communicate more but I reckon you’ll find while a minor portion of DT’ers (especially on this site) will dislike the changes the majority will like them. As Brak said come seasons end we will have a better idea how it actually works out…

      • I’ve paid for assistant coach since it was introduced, so it hasn’t been a “free game” for me since.

        This year, they aren’t getting my cash, however. If they want me back as a paying customer, then they need to treat me with a bit of respect.

        And how will they know how it actually works out for us and how we perceive the changes?

        They aren’t likely to ask us to give them any feedback…

        • Not getting assistant coach is fine, and this is exactly why you pay for a yearly subscription, not a big one off cost. Assistant coach doesn’t change the ‘free game’ it just gives you extra support around it, for a cost, at your disclosure. You were never paying for the game itself, just a support package. So yes, it is free.

          • Whether I pay for assistant coach seperately, or they introduce a general fee for playing and the benefits of Assistant coach are included makes no difference to my bank account.

            …or at least didn’t until this year.

        • Good on ya Strifey.

          I agree 100%. The Griff is right when he says the game is free but the assistant coach subscription is the only way we can show we don’t approve of the changes.

          A little bit of cutting the nose to spite the face but if the nose has it’s own mind then it has to go!

          Like someone else said earlier – these changes will not reduce the number of people dropping out or the percentage. They aren’t leaving ’cause they’ve run out of trades – they’re leaving as they can’t win games and are ranked 234,456th!

    • Amen Brother….if it aint broke….don’t fix it!

  • Great Article!
    The game will always be great.
    Change is part of life, and ultimately a good thing. And YES the game will change again. As It has continued to do so.
    Bring on 2013!

  • Sensational read!
    I understand change is a very important part of our life and AFL Fantasy/Dream Team is no exception. Will be giving it a go as well as SuperCoach this season.
    Bring on 2013

  • A very thoughtful article MattCraig.
    As you have stated the old strategies have been replaced by new ones although all this talk about sideways trading just for the sake of using your two trades is a little premature.
    I’m not so sure that there will be the ability just to trade out player x because he is playing a tough opponent and bring in player y because he is playing against GWS. I can understand the logic but the reality is that we still need to use trades for upgrades and downgrades. We still need to generate a lot of cash to get our teams at their peak come finals time.
    In addition to that there will always be injuries to cover and (Buddy’s) suspensions of course. At least now, we will be able to cover them without too much concern although if a player’s salary is on an upward spiral and he is suspended for one week, will you waste one of those two trades dropping him knowing that you will need to bring him back the week after? Probably not.
    There will certainly be new tactics next year but at this stage I am still planning on my original squad being pretty much the same as it would be under the old rules. I still want to have plenty of DPP flexibility because i want to use those two trades each week on ones that I WANT to make not ones that I HAVE to make.
    Even though the strategies have changed I feel that the entire essence of what DT was all about has now been taken away. I know many have already made this point beforehand but DT was all about getting your original squad right and then having to make the “Risk/Reward” decision as to whether and /or when to make your trades. Those who were compulsive traders in the past used to be so because they would make knee jerk decisions that two weeks later they regretted. Under the new rules they will continue to do the same thing (probably even more so) without focusing on the real objective – continually gaining cash in order to upgrade across the board. The better players will continue to be the better players and whereas the (for lack of a better term) uneducated coaches will use their two trades each week to correct all their early errors the better coaches will be using them to improve their team even more. Hence the same result – after 10 – 12 rounds the coaches who VS have introduced this very rule for will again be so far behind in both their leagues and overall they will again give up.
    With that being said, VS will have alienated a fair chunk of their core market yet the result will not change.

    • We will see if the interest is maintained past Round 10-12, I reckon it will be BETTER than before. Yes some who were too far behind will give up but those who just ran out of trades will maintain their interest. Give and take, it should make a difference. In terms of sideways trading your exactly right, there will be times where short term trades will not be worth it and we have to resist them, which is what I tried to get across in my article.

      • I also tend to agree with the assessment that it’s a low ranking and a crap team that causes most people to drop out. So maybe a few will stay – but I reckon that’ll be balanced out by people who would ordinarily play till the end, not liking the new game and dropping out as well.

        It appears to be a knee-jerk reaction and it doesn’t look like much actual thinking has gone into this decision.

        Short of forcing everyone to make their 2 trades for the week before allowing them to access the AFL site, I can’t see how they can possibly change that.

        Anyway…I’ve said my bit now, so this is my last comment on the subject (for the time being). I’ll play this year and either come back saying “told you so”, or eating humble pie…

  • I’m a SC player but there is a lack of discussion at the moment on SC forums. DT Talk, particularly with the Deck of DT, has filled a void, so thank you to all the great contributions.

    If SC changed to two trades a week every week I’d be disappointed. Yes it’s a free game and yes VS have a business to run and if I were in the same situation as them I would strongly consider making the same decision for the sake of the almighty $. But does this change make the game better? Not in my opinion.

    Imagine if the AFL tomorrow announced they were changing the rules so that players could no longer tackle each other, because the sport is too rough and they want more people to play the game. Yes you would probably get a number of new players into the game who don’t like the rough and tumble of it. But would you piss off those who had been playing for years and loved it the way it was? You bet! You change the very fabric of the game when you make a change like that. Of course it’s still a game that you can play and maybe enjoy and there will be a whole new set of strategies that will need to be devised. But is it the same game you loved before? No.

    Hence why I think this change to two trades a week every week has put so many people off side. Heck I think 30 trades is too many for SC and the rolling lockout won’t be fun.

    I will still play both games but it would be nice to still have the opportunity to play the old rough and tumble game I loved with just 20 trades.

  • Love the new 2 trades a week rules as I’m a tradeaholic, so I won’t shoot my load after the MBR’s like last year :mrgreen: .

  • me and my mates have all been playing DT since its inception, some started playing out of the newspaper, remember that anyone? true their has been many changes of the years but none as bad as those proposed after the last couple of seasons.
    anyway, the lot of us are all giving it away this year because of the constant changes to the game. now this ridiculous 44 trades has topped it off. the game has become too easy, everyone is picking the same team and within your leagues you come up against maybe 6 differences max if your lucky. dont be fooled by the write up above, more trades will make teams even more similar. everyone will just bring in the players who are performing at the time and will do it with no stress whatsoever because trades are no longer an issue (normally one of the biggest challenges). its exactly like fantasy premier league now where everyone creates a team based on teams selected by % and then a few weeks later they forget about their team due to lack of interest.

    Cant wait to start playing either Ultimate footy or this new AFL fantasy elite draft system. sounds awesome. one player to one team – 100% differences. means a better test of knowledge when it gets down to the lesser players rather than just logging on to bigfooty or DT talk and copying someones team.

    goodbye DT, you’ve been fun.

    • well said, Ive noticed over the years ive played DT that the bottom 8 seem to copy the top 1 or 2 teams, Eventually they ran out of trades then we could get our Point of difrences, This year they will be copying til round 23, How can ppl say teams will be difrent, every year the teams get more and more the same.
      The only ppl who honestly like it are tradeaholics

    • I’ve been playing since ratten was an ultra premo not a shit, sacked coach and i think use em or lose em trades are a horrible idea also. I will probably play this year but i can see it being the last time. I also totally agree that the problem here is a lack of respect for the players of the game, especially long time players, who if asked would have rejected these changes.