The race to the $50K


While there are a lot of us playing in Grand Finals this weekend and sweating on every point being scored, but spare a thought for the two guys at the top of the table who are battling it out to win the grand prize in AFL Fantasy; the $50,000!

We’ve had Hook, coach of Hook’s Hooligans, on the show a couple of times this year and he has spent a lot of time at number one on the overall rankings this season. He goes into Round 23 with an 86 point lead over Shane Palmer, coach of SP#1. It is a two horse race as realistically, third won’t be able to make up the difference.

Let’s have a look at their teams and remaining cash before trades this week.


$81,000 in the bank



$103,100 in the bank


Both teams are very strong with great bench cover across all lines. In the backline, Hook has Michael Hibberd and Brandon Ellis against Shane’s Pearce Hanley and Paul Duffield. These PODs are probably fairly even when you look at the match-ups for this weekend. We see only two differences in the midfield (provided Dayne Beams plays and Shane obviously has him on the ground) with Hook’s Kieren Jack and Scott Selwood go up against Shane’s Leigh Montagna and Trent Cotchin OR Brent Stanton (I’d back in Cotchin on the ground here before trades). This could go either way, especially with factors such as the Crowley tag on Montagna which would then put this match up in Hook’s favour. The ruck sees Matthew Leuenberger v Will Minson in which Shane may have an edge with Minson playing against the Dees, but the ‘Berger should do pretty well against the greenhorn rucks at Geelong. Jordan Lewis and Lachie Hansen v Nick Riewoldt and Chris Mayne may give Shane a bit of an edge with the in form Riewoldt coming off his 152 last week. Hmm… I think that based on this, Shane might have a slight edge, but it will be very bloody close. Probably not enough to make up the 86 point difference. Shane is projected to score 2314 via assistant coach while Hook is looking at 2366 (all before trades).

Obviously this all changes with trades. Both boys have two trades and a bit of cash in the bank to change all of this completely. I think that Shane’s biggest priority is to do something with his M8. The Stanton/Cotchin 50-60 type scores would definitely cost him any chance to making up ground. Does he chase a Western Bulldog player such as Ryan Griffen, Matthew Boyd or even Tom Liberatore with his cash? This is will be likely you’d think. Hook will possibly look to do the same with Jack. His form has been disappointing over the finals, so he might choose to offload him. His uniques in Hansen and Lewis in the forwardline might need a bit of work – Lewis was a late out last weekend and is listed as a test for the game against Sydney. Going one of those two to Riewoldt could be a good nullifying move.

This will be a great contest, but I have Hook as the favourite to take out the cash… but crazier things have happened and it all comes down to what the DT gods have had for breakfast and how they’re feeling.

Good luck to both guys in their respective Grand Finals this weekend, but the biggest prize of all is certainly there ready to be won!

Let us know what you think they should do in the comments.


  • Good luck guys. Should be a cracker. Thanks for sharing your teams and we’ll be watching with interest. Big thanks to Hook too who comments on the site regularly helping us mere mortals with our sides and decisions. Champion!

  • …and just saw an update. Rioli and Shiels have been ruled out for the Hawks. Lewis is travelling to Sydney. So he should play.

  • Cheers Warnie… Funny thing about 44 trades is that I’d prefer my team sitting down the rankings over both the number 1 and 2! Makes for an interesting year though, great for overall rankings but perhaps not so much for finals.

    • Yeah, its all about timing your trades. No point just bringing in the best player all the time. Sure you’ll have a great team in round 23 but you need to look for advantages.

      By jumping on and off players at the right time is where you make up the points on the pack.

      Im sure there are a lot of stronger teams out there currently but you need to look for any little gain you can each week throughout the season. Building your team solidly is great for finals and having an awesome round 23 team and will get you a great overall ranking, but probably wont win it.

      • Just posted my thoughts below Hook – best of luck. I was in the top 1000 scores last week and in 4/4 league grand finals so have a bit of an idea what im doing ;-)

        • Cheers mate, lots of variations and trades going through my head at the moment. Should probably wait until teams are out but the reverse trades button has been getting a work out

          • Agree completely Hooks. Currently 45th and my team is not dissimilar to your own, its all about getting points when you can early by playing the right rookies, not coping late out 0’s like myself (Eagles…) especially now with the extra trades. Knowledge and a bit of luck will get you to the top. All the best to both guys. :)

          • To be honest it’s quite easy getting a super team in rd23. It doesn’t matter how many late outs you get or how you mess up your subs, as long as you get enough rookies to fund your team. The real skill is in the end of year rankings.

      • inthefrog I agree, my point was what separates first place to the person who say is 100th or myself who is 45th is a bit of luck, and courage to jump on and off players at the right time as Hook points out. Avoiding 0’s and getting the right rookies on your field at the start of the year also separates the top rankings as it really is a small number of points. Most people have great teams at the moment.

        • inthefrog, haha. Anyway, I’ve got a team that could compete with the top 10, but am ranked 7000 because
          1) I’m new
          2) don’t have the knowledge to seperate random 100s from a new lease on DT life.

          It’ll be really interesting to know what players the top guys jumped on and when to get themselves a boost. Did any of them jump on the Westhoff wagon, or Swallow, for example?

          • I didnt jump on the westhoff bandwagon but I did get in swallow for his bye round and traded him out straight after.

            I started badly but traded well

            I got Barlow in round 8 before his string of big scores
            I got Jelwood rnd 15 before his run
            Stevie J early in rnd 5 before others jumped on
            Beams in rnd 18 after 2 games at full price
            Hibberd for Gibbs when he was injured
            Didnt start with Ablett, brought him in rnd 7 then he went on a run
            Brought Ellis in rnd 8 for a couple of big 100’s and then traded him when he missed a game (so missed his crap scores)
            Got off Robinson early
            Brought in Lewis in rnd 16 before 3 tons in a row
            Enright in rnd 18
            Hansen in rnd 19

            I think the trick is to look at what others are doing and try take any advantage as possible.

            Ie if a player is injured for supposedly 1 week and everyone is benching him. Be aggressive trade him out and bank the points. If people are waiting for a players price to drop due to a high breakeven but you think they will score well, jump on early to get a week or so of good scores (this is opposite to traditional advice). Notice my team value is low because I jumped on a few players with high break evens because I thought they would score the most and it may give me a week or two advantage before others jumped on.
            Be aggressive and look for any gain you can every week. You can afford to take a few chances with the extra trades
            Take chances on players but always keep an eye on what you want your team to look like. I always write out what I want my team to look like in 4 rounds time. I have a notepad full of team variations. This stops you just sideways trading but always building your team for the future.

            Sorry for the lecture lol, just a few things I did this year.

  • Nice analysis Warnie. Good luck to both players, but obviously most Dreamers are cheering for the Hook.

  • Cheers Warnie.

    I think your spot on. I think my back line slightly has the edge, his forward line has the advantage and who knows what will happen with the mids/rucks pretty even I think.

    Its going to be hard as an eagles supporter but I’m going to be barracking hard for the dockers this weekend.

    Good luck Shane but I haven’t held on this long to lose now ;)

  • If I was Hook I would be trading Scotland (Inj) to Harry O or Danny Stanley (V GWS)and Stanton to Mitch Duncan – yes Mitch Duncan – has had an outstanding last month. If you take out his injured score of 1 he has averaged 110 for this period of time. Plays Brisbane at Simonds and Im guessing he will score at least 110+ Put Jack on the bench as emg.

    As for Shane he has to take a calculated risk – ditch Scotland for say Houli or Danny Stanley (v GWS) or Harry Taylor – may go forward and kick a bag against Brisbane. Stanton has to go and take a big risk with a Scott Thompson or Griffen (V Melb) Beams on the ground and Cotchin to the bench. And take a risk and make NVolt capt.

    My thoughts – best of luck to both :)

  • Well done to both guys , but i gotta go with Hook the guy has been leading the comp for most the year yet can still drop in here and help out us stragglers … Well done mate and bring home the chocolates ..

  • Top Job Hook. Absolutely fantastic mate, I hope you can hang on. 86 points is a good lead with teams that evenly balanced. Even if you do come second, it’s been a great year, and I hope you’re super proud of yourself because that is a colossal effort.

  • I just realized 86 is a great number for me.

    I love my Toyota 86, good omen maybe?

    • 50,000 should be a great number for you come Sunday night. Best of luck Hook!!!!

    • Ha last year I was winning by 69 points going into the final round – thought that had to be a good omen!

  • Great stuff Warnie! Hook – good luck mate! Also good luck to SP1, you’ve also had a cracking year.

    I’m surprised you got the cash remaining out of them Warnie – perhaps they both told you a random $ amount, haha.

    Last week was epic in Leuey v Minson in the Bris v Dogs game, each hitout was effectively worth 2 pts. As for trades this week, it’s a doozie – I’d both love & hate to be in their position.

    Perhaps they could each post their final team here once lockout starts so it saves them sweating bullets between the end of the final game & when the game updates itself!

  • I’ve got Beams too and I think he needs to be traded… Of course I’m about 50,000 so probably shouldn’t be giving hook advice haha

  • What’s the story with Heath Scotland???
    Injured for Hook but right to play for SP!
    Best of luck to both of you – if it was me I’d play Ceglar and Naismith on the field but I guess that why I’m not ranked in the top 2!

  • All the best hook. As a fellow WCE supporter I shall be barracking for you!

  • Congratulations to both of you for your great seasons.
    I was sitting 11th a couple of weeks ago, and took a few risks to try and catch you up … They didn’t work and I was knocked out of eliminator and have dropped to 30th.
    Then I read the prize rules and found out I was ineligible anyway. It is almost a relief not to have a chance of #1 but with no money prize.
    Good luck to you both, but I have to err lean towards Shane cause I hate to see Eagles win anything.

    • Great season yourself mate, top 50 is an awesome effort

      • Thanks Mate
        Still #1 International and #2 Freo fan so something to play for.
        Not in your league though.
        Quick shout out for the DT Talk Expat League who are 39th overall.

  • Hey Hook I’m so impressed at how you managed to stay on top for over half of the season. I did overtake you briefly to claim the top spot in r14 but after that things just went south lol. Just wanna say all the best for the grand finale. You’ve got a good lead and i believe the footy god is in your favour. You deserve the $50,000 mate!

    • Cheers mate
      Are you Prestige worldwide?
      Great year mate, it’s a great achievement just to get to #1. Only 10 or so coaches get to do I a year.

      • Nah lol it’s Bigrig haha does it ring a bell? I’m barely clinging on the edge of top 50 atm, had a string of bad run/luck after reaching #1.

        • ahh yeah BigRig CominThrough. We had a good battle for a few weeks. Congrats on a great year mate. Top 50 is nothing to sniff at, its an awesome achievement.

  • Well played for brilliant seasons guys and good luck for the weekend. I remember this final weekend last year as one of the most nerve-wracking of my life, particularly when you can’t see each others final teams or Captain choice, unlike a Grand Final. Enjoy agonising over these final trades which could win or lose you $50,000!

    • I dunno about enjoy but definitely agonizing.

      Pretty excited now but, its like christmas when I was a kid haha

  • Ouch Shane trading out Montagna has to hurt