44 trades? Be Careful!


With 44 trades brings us a different way to think about AFL Dream Team in 2013. New strategies including mid-pricers, fixture trading, etc… but Ingoes has sent us in an article to make sure we are very wary of what we do with all of these trades.

The significant changes made to the way we play Dream Team in 2013 have led many to devise and propose a number of new strategies designed to make the most of them. Of the numerous changes, the most important one is the ‘use em or lose em’ trades, of which there are 44. Pretty much all of the ‘brains trust’ here at DT Talk has suggested that with all of these extra trades, our recruiting policies when picking our starting squads might need adjustment. Here are some of the theories that are being thrown around:

  • You can pick more mid-pricers, speculative punts and players with an injury risk because if the worst happens or they don’t work out, you can just trade them out.
  • You don’t necessarily have to be planning to keep a guy you start with all year, even a premo. In the past, picking an elite player with the intention of trading them out at some stage would have been – well – stupid. This year people are exploring the fixture and looking at the likes of Nick Riewoldt as a player to start with, take four or so scores from, and then ditch.
  • You can ride the DT market this year like the stock exchange – hop off guys with big BEs for guys with massive negative BEs. Timing one of these trades well could net you as much as downgrading a fat cash cow.

All of these strategies make sense and before I continue, I want to put it out there that I am going to start with both of Swan and Ablett with the intention of avoiding a price fall from one or both of them by trading them out (if necessary) for the most delicious bubble boy/s that I don’t already have, prior to Round 3. Having said that, I really do think that coaches need to be very careful about how heavily they jump into these strategies. Here is why.

We might have been given a bunch of extra trades but we can still only use two of them a week. If you ‘plan ahead’ to use trades to get rid of particular players in a set round, what are you going to do when someone you were planning to keep cops an LTI? Or, a new fast-starting rookie hits the bubble that week and one of your initial cash cows peaks? You will have to make a compromise, either sticking with an ugly duckling who just isn’t becoming a Swan, putting half a million plus worth of prime DT beef on the bench for a week or two, or missing a gold mine.

So, be careful, is my advice. Don’t lock yourself into having to make too many planned trades over the course of the season, or you might find that you have painted yourself into a bit of a corner. I think it should be remembered that the bulk of our trades should still be used to improve our squads in the time-tested manner; downgrading cows to fresh meat and turning other cows into guns. That is how the majority of my trades from Rounds 6-7 to Rounds 14-15 will be used, anyway. I don’t want to be forced to do too many other kind of trades during this period or I won’t be developing my squad the way I should be. I am going to have to get Swan/Ablett back during this time already, I don’t want to be pre-setting too many more trades.

Finally, if you do choose a few/several mid-pricers in your starting squad, give them a chance. I suspect that the new form of trading addiction, now that we are all going to be doing two a week, will be ‘revolving-door’ trading where ill-disciplined coaches hop from one mid-pricer to another, chasing scores and relatively small BE differentials. If you have a hunch that someone may be about to break out, but don’t have the patience to give them a least a month or six weeks to get going, I would say don’t pick them. Way back in 2011, many coaches started with Nathan Foley and Drew Petrie and hopped off them before they became worthy contributors and solid cash cows. It won’t hurt as much this year as you were going to use the trade anyway, but the best coaches will still be the ones who get the most bang for their buck from each and every trade.

These strategies might work really well and be a great way to continue to raise cash after the cows have dried up, but at the beginning I think restraint is required. So, do you agree? Or am I still playing last year’s DT? Do you think these strategies are a key for success in 2013, and are you locking in trades based on the fixture? I’m also interested to know how many of your 44 trades you are expecting to use/lose. If there aren’t obvious trades to do will you happily lose one or two, or is that going to seem like too much of a waste, leading you to trade for the sake of trading?

Please share your thought in the comments below!



  • Really interesting read! Tough question really, cause you don’t want to lose trades but surely no trade is better than a poorly used trade! But might be very hard to resist making trades when the alternative is to lose them. only time will tell

  • In my humble opinion there are not enough trades to gin around with who is playing who each week.

    I have had mid pricers in and out of my team lots of times – at present I have two in (may start with three). I think if you strike it lucky and have a goer (mid pricer) or two earlier upgrades are possible. Then bring a rook on the way up.

    Riding the “Stock Exchange” using high/low B/E’s will be a must – easier this year than last year.

    I think that having a good look/strategy, before round one, to have the best 18 in the bye rounds is essential.

  • Well written. The much discussed topic of how to effectively use those two trades a week, and you are spot on, be careful.

  • Great article Warnie and these questions have been rolling around in my head for a long time now with no clear cut answers emerging!
    I think a lot of people are thinking that with 44 trades we’re going to be able to field full squads very early on but I suspect that won’t be the case as cash generation won’t come as fast as we’d like this year.
    Whilst it would be nice to think we’ll have a team full of Sam Gibson’s or Zorko’s the truth is a lot of rooks will be very inconsistent, have poor job security and play Russian roulette with the vest week in, week out!
    I will be open to most strategies but the people who succeed this year won’t just chase this week’s bolter but will be the one’s who think a bit more long term IMO.

    • Shit you look young Big Feller! I thought it was bad to be beaten by a teenager or a girl, but a fetus…that’d be embarrassing!

  • A fifteen year old girl will win it this year

  • Well said, Big Fella.

    Although I said I would be looking out for B/E’s, I agree with you, from experience, that chasing bolters doesn’t always work out.

  • Very nice read Ingoes. I would firstly like to say that… My name is Ridley U and I have a trading addiction.

    I am looking at a crazy strategy to start the year! I will be starting with Big Ben McEvoy for round 1, and he will become Cox for round 2. A few reasons why I am going to do it. The first being that I believe Cox and Sandi could nulify each other. The second reason is because the 2 trades after round 1 will be lost anyways so I figure why not. Now with Stevie J being out for Round 1 I might do it with both trades lol.

    The most important thing for me this year with the new rule changes is to be adaptable and flexible. It is hard for me to change my ways that I have created over the past decade of playing DT. Being a middle aged man doesn’t help either with learning new things haha!

    There is a lot of grey this year which has actually spiced it up for me. I feel all these changes will be beneficial for DT. People will need to trust their research and their ‘gut feels’ on blokes this year. We are now entering a new day for DT.

    We should not lose the fact that DT is a game. New strategies will be devised. Some will work. Many will fail. But how much fun is it to devise them!!! It really is the game inside a game. Gotta love it.

    • Rids will your trade strategy with Cox continue now that Sandi is possibly out for round 1?

  • Well written Ingoes and so far some good responses from a few wise heads!

    Had a shocking season last year which was partly brought about by trying to plan too far ahead, around the bye rounds etc. Two trades will still never feel like enough for the last few rounds anyway.

  • Best article I have seen on the new trade system. From what i have read a lot of coaches have decided to go trade ridiculous and with structures that sane coaches wouldn’t dream to normally run with. I think the extra trades is definitely going to make a change to the way we approach the game, but as ingoes excellently pointed out its not going to be massively different.

    I personally agree and heres a feeble attempt to explain why:

    In the first two weeks of every other seasons most coaches would make one or possibly two to fix a missed rook, and if you are like me you would also leave possibly 1 or 2 trades for finals. With the extra trades the only time you can be frivolous with trades is during the first two weeks of the season and in the finals when you are trying to trade to chase a POD to win an all important final. If you take away those 6 rounds where you would barely use a trade, say 1-2 trades in the first two rounds and 1-2 trades for injuries in the finals, we will have used an extra 8-10. If you take those trades away from the 44 it leaves us with 34-36 trades which is only 8-10 more trades than last year.

    The major change for this year IMO will no longer having to sweat on keeping players who have those pesky 2-3 week injuries (like pendles last year) you simply replace them. The other change is you can take a bit more of a risk on injury prone players, for example i had Sandilands last year at the start, when ol’ turf toe resurfaced it cost me a trade and i had him on my never again list. This year with trades not being “worth” as much you can take those educated gambles.

    Hope my rantings makes sense! certainly nowhere near as good a writer as the good people who put these articles up!!

  • Funny thing is we have always had 2 trades per week some people(myself included)just ran out quicker than others, I dont think it will change the game that much..

    Good Luck

  • Thanks Ingoes. At the moment, I don’t plan to change my strategy a great deal. The aim of the game is still to get 22 premiums on the park as soon as possible, this traditionally means cash cows. This year the majority of casn cows appear to be in the mid field, so from round one I will have six of them, the best I hope, and hope for the best with some tweaks in the first two rounds if I have missed a flier somewhere.
    My first thought, when I heard we have 44 trades is, I don’t have to consider holding a Swan/Pendlebury/Franklin who is out for a week or maybe six (thankyou Franklin/Hawthorn), all things being equal, that player will be out for another or a combination of two trades.
    I’ll just play it by ear and see how it goes. My golden rule now is, ‘Don’t trade because I can’,reckless trading could easily destroy my preseason work.
    B/E’s will take on more significance as the year goes on, with a lack of rookies being introduced, the share market of players with an eye on rising/falling prices at a premium level may prove decisive.
    Just a few of my thoughts. Look forward to the season kicking off!

  • Super stuff Ingoes. Only one player I’m picking purely on fixture at the moment and that is Hanley. Only issue is that his run of favourite opponents finishes after round 6, prime time for the cow sales to commence.

  • I too, am hedging my bets by starting with Swan and Ablett. If they explode I reap the rewards, If they are average, I trade their ass down and bring them Back 2 weeks later.

    I am doing the same with Boyd, Murphy, Redden and Jelwood with a Rich thrown in for good measure.

    Call me crazy baby, but watch this space!!

  • Many good points made here.. excellent article Ingoes and subsequent discussion. So here’s my 2 cents.
    I’m planning on changing my ways as a result of the rule change… the opportunity to speculate on price changes at least must be exploited. It takes 2 trades to swap out a keeper who is on a price spiral, ride a bubble and then (if you like) get back to where you started with a fist full of dollars in hand a few weeks later. Something I couldn’t afford to contemplate in the past, when unused trades actually had value.
    If done largely during formerly ‘dead’ trading rounds (3-7), the way I see it I have a chance to be better off, earlier. Why wouldn’t you take it?
    I suspect it may even give league-focused players like myself a better run in the overall stakes.

  • Thanks very much folks. Loving the discussion – it seems we are all thinking similarly i.e. these new rules can be exploited but we aren’t talking a whole new game here. And I think the point about not being ‘stuck’ with a player as easily is a really good one. If I had had all of these trades last year I wouldn’t have had to put up with Cloke for all of those miserable scores.

    I also agree that the time to have a crack is Rounds 3-7, when in the past the good coaches would have been holding their trades. Your cash cows aren’t ripe, all of your starting premiums are bashing out tons every week, what else are you going to do with your trades? The noobs will be shuffling mid-pricers in all likelihood, better to be looking for cash-making opportunities. Just don’t paint yourself into a corner!

  • Great write up Ingoes! very well written.

    I will be running an old school GnR set up. I think like many have articulated that by running with those top quality premo’s if in fact they really start to drop off, you can trade them down to anyone, given their starting price.

    This also takes out some of the grey of the plethora of mid price options as instead of guessing from the start, jump on board the one that smashes it.

    But you are picking premos for a reason, you have done your research, so you do need to back them in.

    I would have loved to see VS implement “Once you trade them out, you can’t trade them back in”…that would have made things very, very interesting!

  • Allthough I think 44 trades is the worst thing to ever happen to DT, I’m loving the fact that it’s tricking people in to getting too cute for their own good.

    I’ll be sticking with GnR thx.

  • Is it 2 trades during the finals too?

  • I really thought that this topic would bring the stategists out in numbers. Something akin to this would have in previous years. Very little response, does not auger well for the year, I hope I am wrong but 44 trades,bugger all prizes, has changed the flavour of response.I can understand if the great contributers here think likewise. It is a shame. This is the best presented footy fantasy site for all.

    • Maybe all the great strategists are just keeping their strategies to themselves. Or sharing them on another site. ;)

      • May be right. I try to share what I have learnt, be it here or elsewhere. There are plenty of teachers here but as always the student need pay attention.

    • One thing I like about the fact that they keeping changing the game is that it ensures that we all continue to be students. In truth I am buggered if I know what the winning strategy will be this year – I’ve shared my suspicions and tried to start a conversation. Based on the comments above it seems that the league of wily old bastards will be kicking it old school this year, compared with all of the folk comparing squads in the My Team thread. So I guess we are all hoping that Jungle Muffin is on the money.

      I still want answers to my last question! Is everyone going to use all 44 trades? It’s a key consideration IMO

      • Hi Ingoes,

        Nice article, thanks for the effort.

        Personally I think the answer to your “All 44” trades question is going to be answered by the performance of the rookies and mid pricers. Whichever ones go well will be fairly standard across most of the top 50% of the teams come RD3 ready for a price rise. You would be extremely fortunate to have a team where no one was losing $$ after 3 rds, so presumably that’s what the “good” coaches will do.Seems like the most logical path to take, make more money.

        As far as strategy and discussion on strategy is concerned, I have about 10 different starting strategies dependent on who is available and fit come RD1. It would be foolish if you thought you had a ripper theory and then tell everyone. If it is great, a certain % will nick it, if it’s crap, you’ll get flamed. There is no win there. If you are going with a homogenous strategy like GnR, then the conversation is almost entirely about which Guns and which Rookies. Even then, there will be information being witheld because of not wanting to tip everyone to a particular gun who you think might have the run of the field for RDs 1-3.

        Concerning the statement hat DTTalk is not being open anymore, it’s probably about time. Specifically that is, pre RD1. There are so many resources for DT and SC now that if you can’t find the basics yourself, you don’t deserve to have someone with more experience repeatedly critique a team (that will change in 4 minutes because someone said they don’t like Hartlett as a pick, for example). This game is now mature enough for newbies to do the same research as the rest of us, with some of the basics articles that are everywhere. Ask for help, just not every 10 minutes.

        That said, the community on DTTalk (and other FAFL websites, like jockreynolds and fanfooty) are some of the best online groups around. Plenty of friendship and support. The value of that community in an open forum, however, should be in the analysis of the h&a season, discussing each individual action and reaction, poking and prodding for any extra points available. Not an endless freakout of teams being put up for comment before the season kicks off. I am certain that might be a point of contention for many. From my underground DT bunker viewpoint, I wouldn’t tell anyone my team or my strategy. But I can say I haven’t seen a single team with the same structure in the MyTeam thread. Which more than likely makes me a moron, but I’ve been top 1000 a few times so perhaps not.

        If you are new and are short on confidence, not sure who to pick, looking for advice:

        It’s a game, even though it will seemingly take up an insane amount of time and thought (I am a Green Lantern btw), it’s still a game. Enjoy it. Or it’s not worth it.

        Be accountable, take a punt on a risky pick, if it doesn’t work, watch trends, understand why, watch the better players and pick up tips for next year.

        It’s a game, 1 person will win, 399999 will lose. Don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t work out. There is always the same Next Year as the rest of us experienced coaches who won’t win.

        Bit off topic there, but I’ve seen so many coaches wanting/needing/begging for advice/feedback/strategy to answer their worries, I thought it worth talking about the reality and trying to focus on this being a laugh, not just a borderline maniacal festival of analysis, statistics and angry angry people.

        You are in charge of your side. So be in charge of your side. Suffer your mistakes with dignity whilst celebrating your victories with a modicum of deserved pride. Whinge when you FMDT along with everyone else. Trust me you’ll find almost 100% support from good coaches if you do that.

        Peace my brothers and sisters.

        • Great reply!

          Personally I see worth in discussing strategies in general terms – tests out your thinking, maybe challenges it – that’s what this joint is for IMO

          But you’re right – I have a few smokies up my sleeve, but they are staying close to my chest until first lockout. Mostly because, as you suggest, there would be much flamage.

          Thanks again for a substantial contribution!

          • And thank you for using the word substantial.

            Once in Amsterdam I approached a bloke working the door outside a *ahem* club and asked why his club should be worth a look. He told me it was because there was filth and dirt inside. I suggested all the clubs had that. He told me his club had “substantial” filth and dirt. Sold.
            (It sounds funnier in a Dutch accent)

            So now I can’t help laughing when i see that word! Cheers.

          • I don’t get it, SuperCodge. Why is dirt and filth a good thing?…oh…ok…I got it. Stupid me – you were selling vacuum cleaners weren’t you?!

  • Well there certainly was a bit of cleaning going on, but can’t confirm the use of a vacuum cleaner. Might have been the next act to be fair.

  • Ewwww