AFL Fantasy and the 2014 AFL Fixture

aflfixture2014

 

For those still firmly entrenched in the non-stop AFL machine, you’ll know that this morning one of the crucial pieces of the DT puzzle has been connected for us – the 2014 Fixture has been announced. We now know a lot more about the fixture strength for each clubs, the way partial (and possibly rolling) lockouts will look, and most importantly, the Multi-Bye Rounds! Read on below for a brief look at what the newly-christened 2014 AFL Fixture means for you and your fantasy experience this coming season.

Click here for the full fixture.

Round 1

Fix14 MBRs 2As you’d expect, Round 1 is the most important week in the AFL schedule – because that’s when our teams get locked in for the remainder of the season. The first thing that you’ll notice about the 2014 Round 1 schedule (see right) is that we’ll be in the same boat that we found ourselves in this year, with the round split over two weeks.

What this means, is that we’ll be experiencing another Partial Lockout at a minimum, and possibly even a full Rolling Lockout given that we’ll be following 9 games taking place over 7 days of action. This makes for a tricky situation when it comes to finalising our sides – do we play it safe and select Rookie X, who plays in the Collingwood/Fremantle clash on the first Friday? Or do we gamble that our preferred Rookie Y gets a gig the following week?

For this reason, hopefully we get a full Rolling Lockout in Round 1 this year. It will afford us maximum flexibility when it comes to the delicate art of selecting a balanced squad that you’ll be stuck with for the rest of the season!

MBRs

Fix14 MBRsThe Multi-Bye Rounds have been a big source of stress for us in the past, so it’s natural that we take a very close look at the way that these weeks off will affect our potential team balance. Here’s how they’ll look this year –>

Yep, that’s right. The MBR’s will take place over Rounds 8-10 this year, rather than the Rounds 11-13 that we’ve been accustomed to over the previous years of MBR mayhem.  This is an excellent move for fantasy coaches I believe – we can now start to plan a lot more for the bye period in our starting squads with the MBRs so soon, plus our rookies have traditionally been ripe to cull around this time of the year. The upgrade-fixture dodge manoeuvre that we’ve been employing over the past two seasons (ie. trading out two R9 rookies for a R8 rookie and R8 Premium coming off their week off) will be even more effective here!

In terms of balance over the 3 weeks, it looks like it’ll be much more even that last season (when Round 13 was a disaster for many!). The spread of weak and strong teams is even, with three 2013 finalists having the bye each week (with Essendon the 9th) and the traditional minions in Melbourne/GWS/Gold Coast all missing on separate weekends as well.

Positionally, it’s not too bad either. We’ll be hit hard in Round 8 in the midfield, with a bunch of Super Premiums in Swan, Ablett, Pendlebury, J. Selwood, Beams and Cotchin having the week off. On the flipside though, these guns will be excellent bye-dodging upgrade options in the following two rounds! Defenders also look thin in Round 10, with Goddard, Hibberd, Heppell, Ibbotson, Duffield, Grimes, Malceski and Hanley all Premium options in 2013 that’ll miss this round.

Overall, it looks like the Best 18 system combined with a relatively balanced bye period should make for a considerably less painful MBR experience than we’ve suffered in the past.

Soft Runs

The AFL took serious steps this year to bring some order to the chaos that is unbalanced fixtures, an inherent consequence of playing just 5 teams twice.

Simply put, the AFL have pooled each club into 3 pools of six teams, based on their 2013 Ladder position. Each club will then play 1-2 double-ups against teams from each pool (in most cases). Obvious exceptions include Hawthorn (who take on all of Geelong, Fremantle, Collingwood and Sydney twice), and Melbourne, who only meet one Top 9 side from last season (Port) twice this year.

Was does this mean for DT? Not a lot. There’ll still be teams with excellent runs at different parts of the year, before it all comes out in the wash as a more even fixture overall. Stay tuned for the more in-depth annual DT Talk Fixture Study closer to the season proper!

Lockouts

While presumably the full lockout will be the standard in 2014, there’ll still be a huge amount of weeks where we’ll be experiencing Partial/Rolling lockouts thanks to quirks in the fixture.

Not including the Geelong vs Adelaide clash in the middle of Round 1 (where we’ll have a Partial/Rolling lockout anyway), there are five other occasions where we’ll have a Thursday Night start – Rounds 2, 5, 9, 11 and 19. Add in Round 18 – the split round which effectively pushed the MBRs forward this season – and that’s a grand total of 7 non-standard lockouts in 2014. Make sure you’re on your toes this year coaches!

Other Notables

  • Three Monday games this year, in Rounds 5, 8 and 12. Sometimes these can be a pain, for be prepared for a drawn out fantasy experience on the weekends – particularly Round 5, where we’ll have the Thursday/Monday night combo!
  • Sunday Night games. Round 1 will be the main experiment in the push for Sunday Night primetime – obviously, this means we’ll have late lockout finishes on these nights. Rounds 1, 3, 11 and 15 are where these late Sunday starts will affect our end-of-round wrap ups.
  • Round 8 – Buddy vs Hawthorn! Grudge match, chuck it in the diary.
  • Round 23 opponents have been decided, but the schedule is yet to be determined as per usual.

Discuss the 2014 Fixture in the comments below!

36 Comments

  • Freo play at home in the last round. Hopefully that stops “flicking eyes” Lyon from resting half his side for the DT Grand Final like this year

    • AFL tightened up the resting rules this year – we won’t see any of that mass resting from any side this year regardless.

      Thank god.

      • Actually, AFL did not ban it per se. They banned any club manipulating the draft or finals. If a team can’t change ladder position, they’re still welcome to rest as many as they want.

        Freo this year would’ve travelled away to Geelong first up even if they’d won & Saints would’ve still had #3 draft pick even if they’d lost. New rule wouldn’t have been able to punish what Freo did this year I reckon.

  • Aweome read thank mate, bookmarked into my DT14 folder.

    Not that it matters Fremantle is misspelt Fremtnale in soft runs paragraph

  • Gonna try start some discussion and my end of season ladder prediction for 2014

    Fremantle
    Hawthorn
    Sydney
    Gold Coast
    Collingwood
    Essendon
    Richmond
    Geelong
    Carlton
    North Melbourne
    Port Adelaide
    Adelaide
    West Coast
    GWS
    Brisbane
    Western Bulldogs
    St. Kilda
    Melbourne

    • Hawthorn
      Sydney
      Fremantle
      North Melbourne
      Essendon
      Geelong
      West Coast
      Collingwood

      Richmond
      Carlton
      Port Adelaide
      Gold Coast
      Brisbane
      Western Bulldogs
      Melbourne
      St Kilda
      GWS

    • An Eagles fan tipping a Dockers flag wtf! go anyone except the dockers (im not an eagles fan)

    • 1. Fremantle
      2. Sydney
      3. Hawthorn
      4. Adelaide
      5. Richmond
      6. Essendon
      7. Geelong
      8. Collingwood
      9. North Melbourne
      10. Gold Coast
      11. Port Adelaide
      12. Western Bulldogs
      13. Carlton
      14. West Coast
      15. GWS
      16. Brisbane
      17. St Kilda
      18. Melbourne
      This is one I did last week, and it’s more than just a guess I’ve looked deeply into each team’s list. If you want to know why I have put certain teams in certain positions just ask.

      • Don’t necessarily agree with all of these, personally think Adelaide will struggle to make finals let alone make the top 4, and I reckon GC, North, Geelong and West Coast will be higher up the ladder. I think Collingwood will miss finals but mostly I agree with it, especially Freo Premiers 2014 and I’m a West Coast supporter. Hard to predict but the best prediction so far IMO.

        • You have to remember that only last year crows were a kick away from a grand final. They also have a young backline which is improving rapidly and Dangerfield and Sloane are only just hitting their prime, turning 24 next year. They will finish the year strong with Walker hitting full fitness. Putting crows top 4 may be a bit high but I’m not sure who else to put there.

          I agree North will probably finish higher but I don’t know who to take out. Collingwood’s midfield, sadly is too good for them not too make the top 8 IMO. I think Gold Coast are too inconsistent too be a top 8 side yet but I’m happy to be proven wrong.

          • Fair enough, I’m just making assumptions that aren’t based on anything but I guess we’ll see how it all turns out later in the year haha

    • Freo have never been 1st anytime in a season… can they finish 2014 on the highest of hughs? Will they finally claim that elusive premiership and break Lyon’s losses? Will the “only ship never to dock at Freo” joke be vanquished… forever?

      Find out, on the next episode of DEMETRIOU BALL Z

  • I’m a pretty average punter, so don’t hate XD (and also a perennially-pessimistic Docker supporter)

    1. Hawthorn
    2. Sydney
    3. Geelong
    4. Fremantle
    5. Richmond
    6. Collingwood
    7. Port Adelaide
    8. Adelaide
    9. North Melbourne
    10. Essendon
    11. West Coast
    12. Carlton
    13. Gold Coast
    14. Western Bulldogs
    15. Brisbane
    16. GWS
    17. Melbourne
    18. St Kilda

  • 1. Hawthorn
    2. Sydney
    3. Fremantle
    4. Geelong
    5. North Melbourne
    6. West Coast
    7.Adelaide
    8. Port Adelaide

    9. Richmond
    10. Collingwood
    11. Essendon
    12. Carlton
    13. Gold Coast
    14. Melbourne
    15. Western Bulldogs
    16. Brisbane
    17. St Kilda
    18. GWS

  • 1.Hawthorn
    2.Fremantle
    3.Sydney
    4.North Melbourne
    5.Geelong
    6.Richmond
    7.Essendon
    8.Collingwood
    9.Port Adelaide
    10.Carlton
    11.Adelaide
    12.Gold Coast
    13.Western Bulldogs
    14.West Coast
    15.Brisbane
    16.Melbourne
    17.St Kilda
    18.GWS

  • 1. Fremantle
    2. Sydney
    3. Hawthorn
    4. Geelong
    5. North Melbourne
    6. Richmond
    7. Essendon
    8. Adelaide
    9. Collingwood
    10. Carlton
    11. Port Adelaide
    12. West Coast
    13. Gold Coast
    14. Western Bulldogs
    15. Brisbane
    16. Melbourne
    17. GWS
    18. St. Kilda

  • Quick question – About half of replers seems to really rate North Melbourne – Top 5 seems to be the norm – Can I get some clafricication on why you guys rate them so highly?

    • They have a really young team and have recruited well this offseason, plus they could have made topo 6 if they won those close games. They will be close to top 4 next year

  • 1. Fremantle
    2. Hawthorn
    3. Sydney
    4. North Melbourne
    5. Geelong
    6. West Coast
    7. Essendon
    8. Richmond
    9. Carlton
    10. Gold Coast
    11. Collingwood
    12. Port Adelaide
    13. Brisbane
    14. Adelaide
    15. Western Bulldogs
    16. Melbourne
    17. GWS
    18. St Kilda

  • GWS and Adelaide will finish higher and West Coast won’t be in finals. If they do get in it’ll only be by a minimal margin.

  • 1.Hawthorn- to strong not to be, no need for Buddy and have a good young ruckman
    2.Fremantle- the list would have learnt a lot from this year and can only go up
    3.Sydney- Buddy+Tippet all year as well as return from injuries will make them great
    4. Carlton- another year under Malthouse + Daisy in the side should improve them
    5. Port Adelaide- list developing on last year, probably resulting in more wins
    6. North Melbourne- young side that should start winning close games. Would be higher if Swallow started the year
    7. Adelaide- Focused on their weakpoints during trade period, making the side better
    8. Geelong- I feel they are on the down, but they will be back up in 2015
    9. Collingwood- also on the down. Still have the best midfield on paper, but not enough elsewhere
    10. Richmond- This year’s North is my prediction
    11. Essendon- the drugs scandal will start to take it’s toll in 2014
    12. Gold Coast- Natural growth and development, may place higher
    13. West Coast- Need to start rebuilding with a new coach
    14. Western Bulldogs- Will increase on last year- especially with crameri- but not enough to place higher
    15. Brisbane- loss of young guns will send them down
    16. GWS- Natural growth as a team, as well as Mummy, will improve them
    17. Melbourne- Roo’s, as well as new recruits, will make them **slightly** better
    18. St Kilda- Loss of coach, a good ruckman, and club champions will hurt them

  • 1. Sydney
    2. Hawthorn
    3. North Melbourne
    4. Carlton
    5. Fremantle
    6. West Coast
    7. Essendon
    8. Richmond
    9. Collingwood
    10. Melbourne
    11. Gold Coast
    12. Port Adelaide
    13. Geelong
    14. Adelaide
    15. Western Bulldogs
    16. GWS
    17. St Kilda
    18. Brisbane

  • My 2014 Ladder Prediction

    1. Hawthorn Hawks
    2. Sydney Swans
    3. Fremantle Dockers
    4. Geelong Cats
    5. Collingwood Magpies
    6. North Melbourne Kangaroos
    7. Essendon Bombers
    8. Carlton Blues

    9. Richmond Tigers
    10. Port Adelaide Power
    11. Gold Coast Suns
    12. Adelaide Crows
    13. Western Bulldogs
    14. West Coast Eagles
    15. Greater Western Sydney Giants
    16. Melbourne Demons
    17. Brisbane Lions
    18. St Kilda Saints

    • Definitely disagree with this. Adelaide and West Coast will both be higher up the ladder and Freo are going to be 2014 premiers. They’ve had a much better trade period than Hawks who’ve gained McEvoy only to replace Bailey whereas Freo have gained Sylvia, Gumbleton and Finals experience. Also think Collingwood isn’t going to get 5th. At best they’ll only just make finals. Generally agree with everything else

      • Gumbleton is a gain? Collingwood lost Shaw and Thomas but gained Adams, White, Armstrong, and Fasolo and Toovey back from injury. People have written them off time and time again through wishful thinking more than anything else I think.

  • Premiers – Sydney
    Runners up – Fremantle
    followed by:
    Hawthorn
    North
    Geelong
    Essendon
    Richmond
    Carlton

    Collingwood
    Gold Coast
    Port
    Adelaide
    West Coast
    Western Bulldogs
    Brisbane
    GWS Giants
    Melbourne
    St. Kilda