Jeppa’s Mid-NAB Challenge Team Reveal

Given that we are halfway through the NAB Challenge, I thought it would be fun to do a team reveal piece. Between now and lockout, I have no doubt that my lineups will change 1000+ times but basic principles still apply.

Using the loose analogy of building a house, here are a few points that should get your mind ticking…


Design (Team Structure)

Designing your home and Fantasy team needs careful attention. Shall I have an outdoor entertaining area with all the bells and whistles or is the kitchen more important? Should I spend more money in my forward line or midfield? Ultimately, what gives you a good BALANCE across all areas? My ‘Premo-Midprice-Rook’ structure for both Fantasy and Dreamteam is near identical…

Defenders 3-1-2, Mids 4-1-3, Rucks 0-2-0, Forwards 4-1-1

After playing with every possible combination, I feel at ease with my current structure but others may see it differently. Note that structure will only change when a rook or midpricer is on the cusp of something big.


Building the Foundations (Picking your Premo’s)

These are your keepers that will ‘hold up’ the rest of your team until improvements can be made. My premo’s…

  • Ablett – Needs no comment.
  • Pendles, Beams and Selwood – Consistent performers that will give you three figure scores week in, week out.
  • Brad Crouch – Up and comer that is set for a huge year. In my Fantasy team only as the price of rooks have forced me to pick a ‘cheap’ midfield premo.
  • Dusty, Gray, Buddy and Swan – Top 6 averaging forwards at seasons end barring injury.
  • Devon Smith – I always pick a smokey or two. I like Smith because he is a point of difference capable of averaging a ton in the early rounds of the season. Fantasy only given the risk.
  • Newnes – Big midfield role set for the young Saint. Got to have him.
  • Malceski – Born leader and competitor who will love the vast spaces of Metricon Stadium. Easily a Top 6 defender.
  • Brodie Smith – With Henderson and Van Berlo now fit, I sense more midfield time for Smith this season.

Sorry @RoyDT…no Rockliff. He’s just too expensive.


Adding the Walls and a Roof (Picking your Rooks)

A defining component of any home that gives it character. Picking your rookies will shape your team and your season. Job security, job security, job security! The rooks in my teams aren’t the cheapest but all should play a decent chunk of senior football this year. No point having a non-playing rook sitting on your bench collecting donuts.

Catch up on my pre-NAB Challenge articles here:


Finishing Touches (Picking your Midpricers)

No matter hard you try, you can’t ignore all the midpricers. Value needs to be recognised and they are the final pieces of any team. My mid pricers…

  • Ryan Griffen – Underpriced, no question. Should carve up the Saints, Dees, Swans, Suns and Eagles in the first five rounds. Don’t forget he averaged 105 in 2013.
  • Tom Mitchell – Has endured a full preseason and is fitter as a result. No more job security issues in my opinion and finding the ball has never been a problem.
  • Jarryn Geary – Funnily enough, I’ve started with Geary before and been burnt however I feel that Alan Richardson has big plans for him this season. A better option than Henderson, Sheppard, McDonald, etc.
  • Bellchambers – No. 1 ruckman at Bomberland. Will provide decent scores until he can be upgraded to Jacobs, Mumford, etc. Easy choice.
  • Leuenberger – Hanging by a thread at the moment after some mediocre NAB Challenge performances. Should still average 65+ which is acceptable given his price.

Jeppa’s Fantasy Squad

Jeppa's AFL Fantasy Classic team as at 12 March 2015

Jeppa’s AFL Fantasy Classic team as at 12 March 2015


Jeppa’s Dreamteam Squad

Jeppa's Real Dream Team as at 12 March 2015

Jeppa’s Real Dream Team as at 12 March 2015


Well what do you think? Don’t be shy to discuss teams, players, etc in the comments section below! If you’ve got any questions, shoot ’em through and I’ll answer as many as I can.

Stay tuned for my massive rookie guide after the NAB Challenge and my weekly rookie reviews throughout the year.

Remember you can follow me @JeppaDT for all rookie relevant topics and more!


  • Must resist urge to copy.

  • Nice Jep, atm im not really sold on Griffen or Geary, as i think Geary has never really shown that at his price now, he is undervalued and Griffen has only really been premo material one year, aswell he will be copping all the attention as usual.

    • Fairs points Gary, I completely understand. Im pretty have with Griff…Geary is a big risk and I may swap him out.

    • Griff only comes up against one hard tagging team in the first 6 or 7 weeks, so I’m backing his nab form based on that.

  • Jep what’s your plans if belly gets a suspension and or leuy doesn’t hit the form expected with martin in the side. Surely that will have an impact on structure

  • If Bellchambers or Berger go down what are Jeppa’s plans?

    Would not be good.

    • Straight swap to kreuzer who should be in rnd 1-2. No problems. If both go down… then you axe a poor performing mid pricer for a promising rookie to do an up-down grade.

  • What about freeman and rich? Arnt they a lock?

    • I’m no longer sure rich is worth the extra 100K if he is only going to pump out scores of 60. Even 80 would be ‘par’ for the extra coin your paying for him. He will earn the same as someone worth 100k less scoring 20 points less, leaving you a spare 100k to use on field elsewhere.

    • One cant fit in everyone. Rich misses due to cost.

  • The extra 350k that rocky costs me basically means I’m a premium short in the forward line. How sure are we that whitecross is going to play full games this year he seems to be in and out of my side every week.

    Treloar, Greene or Griffen and how would you rank them. I have no idea who will get the attention and potentially I will walk in taking 2 this year. I feel that greene/treloar & griffen is a better option than Beams & griffen at this stage, because with Hanley out for the first 8-12 weeks beams will take the #1 tag, which has also cemented me taking Rockliff (no one to steal his points).

    Locking in the rucks is going to be the biggest decision of this year. I’ve been back and forth between Mumford/Jacobs for premiums, Naitinui for a touch of value, & Kreuzer/Berger/Bellchambers(Giles) for some bargains. Need to know the verdict to start locking things in.

    • Nothing is ever certain. Whitecross is reportedly playing this weekend and Clarkson loves him but that doesnt mean he is 100% locked for R1

      Treloar 1 Griff 2 Greene 3. I reckon Treloar will love having Griff around.

  • First post of the year by the Milansta who is back from holidays and starting to review the DT news.

    Why do you have R.Griffin in your team? he played like absolute horse poo last year and doesn’t look to improve in score or value. Get Rich and get rich! Seems you might need that cash to upgrade the ‘Berger since he might not play round 1. Could also upgrade T.Mitchell who doesn’t seem to be getting the midfield time we thought.

    Also not sold on Smith or Crouch, I think you are paying too much for those players.

    Will check back later…

    PS, I’ve been keeping my team rookie / value midpricer heavy with a large bankroll until Round 1 Teams are out, that way I dont forget anyone and its easy to pick the premos and trade out the no-shows then.

    • Hey Milansta, do you post on FFS with a Balotelli avatar?

      Anyway, I agree about the smokies. I am thinking Buddy might be good to get on early. I wouldn’t want him season-long with his history of playing sub-20 games a season and Tippett being in the ruck this year, but I think he might tear this poor Essendon team a new one in round one and go 150+ which would also see a hefty price rise.

      I’m also liking Jaensch, Haynes, Ward, Prestia, Goldstein and Hrovat as smokies.

    • Griff is in my team because i dont hold grudges :)

  • Btw loving the smokie choices, I plan to have a few also. Remember, with unlimited trades all our teams will be getting more similar by the week. If you want to get ahead of the pack start looking at smokies with good early fixturing; something that has been sparsely covered so far.

  • Good read Jep, thanks. Your funds in the bank are pretty low – I get that you want the coin on the field instead of wasting it, but would you not try to keep more in reserve for early trades?
    With many players playing different roles in NAB and fooling us into picking them, or some players getting off to a flyer like Macrae did last year, that many of us didnt predict, a lack of funds can mean its difficult to rectify any mistakes.

  • very insightful jep! out of interest, any reason for the lack of goddard love?
    like the gray pick.

    • Goddard of the Hugh variety is there in the backline for RDT. Surely that’s enough Goddard love?
      wrt BJ I think Gray of the Robbie variety is better value by a shade ;)

    • Cant start with goddard with all the ASADA stuff going on and ultimately more attention on BJ from opposition clubs…we’ll see how it pans out

  • Only problem i see is the Rucks, Leuy not doing much and Bellchambers could be suspended for Round 1

    If Bell plays round 1 i will slot him in if not, major team changes

  • As much as i’d love to see Billy Smedts make something of his career (i’m a cats supporter) i just cant see him cementing himself in the geelong side yet. Hes made it into the side for tonights ade vs gee game and i’ll be watching him very closely.

  • Exactly the same team as me except I have Sheppard/Pearce/Naitanui/Gunston instead of Malceski/Whitecross/Leuenberger/Smith..

    Can’t complain!

    • 4 differences from a 30 man squad is 13.3% variability.
      Same but different, oh boy!! ;)

  • DEF: B.Smith, J.Newnes, K.Kolodjashnij, B.Sheppard, C.Pearce, S.Edwards (T.Clurey, J.Hamling)
    MID: G.Ablett, M.Barlow, T.Greene, B.Crouch, L.Neale, B.Newton, N.Freeman, P.Cripps (T.Dumont, A.Vandenberg)
    RUCK: N.Natanui, M.Leunenberger (T.Nankervis, J.Homes)
    FWD: D.Martin, R.Gray, D.Swan, D.Zorko, T.Mitchell, J.Hogan (M.Clark, K.Lambert)

    Hey guys thoughts on my team.
    Any improvements?

  • Hi jeppa, I’m struggling to see that whitecross smedts hamling dumont Phillips and even Jones, Vandenberg, lambert and Anderson are going to start games. Based on the predicted best 22s on bigfooty, it seems none of these guys are fancied to get full games early.

    Is Phillips even ahead of Lobb at the giants?

    • The rooks named are those that i believe have the best job security this season others can think how they want.

      Going by the preseason Philipps is ahead of Lobb

  • Neale over Griffen cheaper and has the potential to have a huge breakout season seriously under-priced look at his form over the last few games of last year also gives you more cash to spend elsewhere

  • I like your defensive and mid structure. D4 is also my biggest issue with Sheppard/Geary/Ibbotson all in contention but don’t like any of them.
    You have Anderson in both teams. You seem quite confident in his JS then?
    I’m torn between picking Barlow/Pendles/Beams and not sure which one (or two) to start
    I think your forwards are too strong and could use some cash to improve your rucks. I can’t see T.Mitchell getting the midfield time to pump out 90+ (happy to be proven wrong) so would downgrade to a rookie to upgrade one of your rucks.
    Otherwise really solid teams and I was most interested in the rookies you picked

    • Im a big anderson fan! sure there will be a green vest for him at some point this season but i expect big things from the young midfielder
      Pendles out of those 3

  • Nice reveals Jeppa.
    Looks like you’re ignoring the byes with your initial team.
    IMHO with limited trades in RDT it’s still important to consider the byes. Your team is a little heavy on R12 bye players, even with trading mid-pricers and rooks before the byes could still be a little heavy.
    Good luck and looking forward to more of your rookie gold nuggets.

    • I never factor in the byes. I trade for the byes as the season progresses even in RDT.

  • Cheers for the insight Jeppa!
    What are your thoughts on playing an extra rookie or mid pricer in the MIDS and using the extra cash in the backline which we all know is pretty sparce this year?

  • Jeppa

    For RDT – ever have thoughts of a ruck in the forwards for DPP?? I think it justifies consideration in RDT this year.

    • the only relevant options (imo) are Lycett or Belly
      he has Belly at R2, and Lycett’s been a bit meh for me (or was in WCs previous hitout) so it’s a pass from me
      Ryder because of the Port/Lobbe factor (and also has an ASADA cloud hanging over him)

  • interesting to see Whitecross, I’m personally not convinced (given the lack of gametime so far)
    but thankfully he’s well-liked by Clarko, and we get a rolling lockout in RDT to see if he’s sub or not (which may come down to it for me)

    also think your ruckline is risky, particularly with Leuey’s scoring WOEFUL so far, and Belly has an Asada cloud

    and your F6?! bold move right there, though I do think he’ll NAB form into points form eventually (and a rebuilding C’wood side might just help that)

  • Do head to head games still go ahead in a classic league on bye rounds??

  • Would you go Griffen over Crouch in a midfield consisting of Rocky, Ablett, Sidey, Ward, Biggs, Newton and Cripps?

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