Daniel’s Dilemma: Midfield Carnage and Pre-Season Pretenders

Welcome back to Daniel’s Dilemma for 2015! Another week, another Dilemma and 2015 has already thrown us some Fantasy migraine’s that two Panadol’s and an afternoon nap couldn’t fix in a hundred years.

It’s a new type of headache, one that starts off slowly and then gradually picks up speed till you find yourself sprawled over the toilet with your head in the bowl, not knowing what to do with your damn Fantasy side.

Funnily enough though, it all started on a Thursday evening. An anxious but exciting evening in which we had months of planning and studying behind us. Finally the season had begun, with a beer in one hand and a chocolate Easter bunny in the other. It was time to let the real games begin and to finally see an end to this ridiculous sport they call Cricket?!

However, that’s where the fun stopped and the headaches began. Now we sit here in front of our electronic devices wondering how we can eradicate this horrid predicament.

So, let’s start with the Midfield Carnage.

Tom Rockliff ($737,000), Gary Ablett ($647,000), Steele Sidebottom ($602,000), Luke Parker ($588,000), Ryan Griffen ($467,000) and Andrew Swallow ($491,000) all feature heavily in our Fantasy sides. However, we only have two trades per week in Fantasy (unfortunately) so we need get our priorities straight before knee-jerking our way to another 1800.

As we all may know by now, Tom Rockliff endured an extremely painful injury in which a Varcoe inspired knee cap, ripped into the ribs and lungs of Rocky leaving him endlessly sucking air out of the famous green whistle. He now faces up to 6 weeks on the sidelines before we can see him back out on the field, which means for the coaches that decided to play it cheaply this year; you will be rewarded with a much cheaper Rockliff.

Steele Sidebottom also faces sometime on the sideline with a suspected broken thumb. I’m no Doc Larkins, but it doesn’t take a medical degree to find out how long Sidebottom may be out for and judging by the recent news articles, it doesn’t look too good. 6+ weeks and therefore a trade.

The others mentioned above, therefore are safe. Gary isn’t actually injured though it seems you can’t touch his shoulder without him wincing in pain and requiring the physio’s assistance. He just isn’t ready for the AFL and will take some time to ease back to the demands of the game, so if you do have a spare trade then it may be worth looking at other options I will present to you in just a minute.

From my experience, I do not believe there is a certain rule regarding concussed players having to take a mandatory week off due to safety of the player(s) health. Though, I could be proved wrong and Sydney may play it safe but it looks as if Parker will line-up next week against Port Adelaide in Adelaide. Count your blessings!

Griffen and Swallow just had off weeks so do not go wasting your trades! Griffen may not be able to shrug off a tag but that’s an issue for another time and Swallow just needs to get back to what he does best, tackling!

So now we know the unfortunate causes of our headaches its time to assess the damage and apply the solution.


The Bandaid Method

If you need to replace the likes of Ablett, Rocky or Sidebottom and desire a player that can just get the job done and earn you solid points while the above players find their feet, look no further then Michael Barlow ($622,000), Jordan Lewis ($643,000) or Joel Selwood ($589,000).

These players enable you to cover up the scores you may be missing out on with Rocky, Sidey and Ablett completely! Barlow is a proven premium, who comes up against a rough looking Cats midfield.

Jordan Lewis scored a monster 156 yesterday, something that Barlow has the capability of doing himself if he manages to find the pill out and around packs like Lewis did.

The Hawthorn star himself was just on fire yesterday, delivering a monster 2nd quarter, without having to lay over 4 tackles!

Lewis plays Essendon this week, a team he may not be very fond of scoring against, however, it will be your choice if you wish to take history into consideration or go after his impressive scoring abilities.

The only reason I decided to mention Joel Selwood was because Geelong come up against Freemantle this week. It is almost like a tradition now, that when these two teams play each other, Crowley tags Stevie J and Selwood runs free. In the past two times they have played, Selwood has averaged 125 against Freemantle when Johnson has been tagged!

However, with Crowley ‘suspended’ and Stevie J facing an early suspension from the MRP, it will be unknown who gets tagged and who runs free.



‘’With all our guns going down surely there will be a unique player that I can downgrade too?’’

Those are the cries that I expect to hear when full lockout concludes and luckily there is a player that can answer those cries and hopefully not actually make you cry in Round 2.

Brandon Ellis ($556,000) seems like a decent candidate for this category. Ellis scored 121 last week against the Blues and faces Western Bulldogs this week. As discussed in the past, Deledio, Cotchin and Martin seemingly come before Ellis in regards to a player being tagged. This inevitably allows Ellis to roam free and pick up uncontested possessions boosting his Fantasy score.

If you’re downgrading someone like Ablett or Rocky to him, you’re making a heap of cash to be able to upgrade someone like KK or Lumumba in your backline.

However, Ellis is still young and is prone to the slightly off game but the scoring potential is still very high and this is a risk that I am happy to take.

Hopefully, you now have a suitable replacement for your Midfielders that decided to drop the bundle before we could really even kick off the Fantasy season. However, our ever reliable premiums aren’t the only ones that kicked us in the balls. Oh no, there is more disappoint coming right your way!

After months of studying and researching I find myself relatively confident when plant my backside on the couch ready for the Tigers and the Blues to battle it out, but as I start scrolling through my Fantasy team on a Sunday morning sudden angers creeps through my body as I start to realise that the players I put so much faith in (Yes, KK and Lumumba I’m talking about you) decided to play like muppets and give me scores 37 and 43 respectively?!

After such a good pre-season how does one step onto the big stage and then crumble like a dodgy friggin’ Easter bunny chocolate your annoying colleague at work decided to give to you because it was the festive season and they were just being considerate.

Screw consideration, what excuse do players like Jack Newnes and Christian Salem have for scoring below 60 Fantasy points?!

Anyhow, if you have the spare trade and you strongly believe that one of these pre-season pretenders should get the sack then I suggest browsing through the selection of candidates I have below.


The Round One Ton

huntBefore I begin I think it would be just plain reasonable and safe to assume a ‘Buyer Beware’ tag on each of these players because as we know, chasing big scores can end up in more anger and heart-break but it seems if we don’t take the risk, we can expect more scores of 40 to come.

Taylor Hunt ($356,000) had some big question marks surrounding his name during the pre-season but after his fantastic game on Thursday night I honestly believe he can easily average 75+, if not 85+. If those numbers sound good to you then downgrading Lumumba to Hunt may be a solid move.

Even cheaper though is young starlet Kamdyn McIntosh ($158,000) who set the world alight with an impressive 101 in his first game. If you don’t have him, then you purposely decided to ignore Jeppa’s articles throughout the early months of the year because it seemed that a score like this was inevitable. Mark my words, he wont average anywhere near 100 but he will be a huge asset in the backline for many teams and will be a stepping stone to players like Simpson, Hibberd and Malceski later in the year when you obtain the cash.


Slow Starters

Every year we will always encounter a player that generally starts slow and then really gets going as the year heats up. This is what we may be experiencing with KK, Lumumba and Newnes. Considering that other backline options are pretty much non-existent it may be best to just suck it up and hope for more next week. However, if you started the year with Newnes as your number one Defender, his 43 may not look so pretty compared to Kade Simpson’s () 97 so doing the classic downgrade, upgrade trade manoeuvre may put you in better stead come Round 2.

As predicted earlier by the Traders, Nick Malceski, Michael Hibberd, Kade Simpson and Jack Newnes will be without a doubt within the top 6 defenders when the year concludes. Plan around this carefully and avoid hesitation when ditching players like KK and Lumumba if they are just not making the required cash to make the step up.

Josh Gibson ($457,000) has made his name known with an impressive performance against Geelong yesterday. With Frawley now obtaining the lock down role, Gibson has a license to push further up the ground and pick up cheap Fantasy points. This was evident against the Cats, especially at the end of the 1st quarter.

Unfortunately though, most coaches are in the position that Ablett or Rockliff require the most attention this week so unless you have to, forget this weeks poor scores and hop on the Fantasy rollercoaster which will send you into happiness one week and disappoint the next.

As you may know, I like to end my weekly articles in annoying clichés that may or may not be even relevant to the article itself but I believe it’s important to note that the AFL Fantasy season is a marathon, not a sprint.


  • Great article. Has been a tough Inteo into the 2015 season.

    I was very impressed with the port Adelaide midfield. Want one of Boak / Wines / Ebert to replace Sidebottom. Just wondering your opinion on the 3? And who may be tagged this weekend vs Swans?

    • fremantle were very disciplined in the way they positioned themselves to hold port up. stopped their running game which resulted in lots of chipping the ball around. boosted mark numbers something shocking. IMO the best options to replace sidey are barlow, heppell or my man jax macrae

    • Thanks Reece!
      In regards to the three Port midfielders Ollie Wines would be the best choice considering his value and his obvious scoring potential which was highlighted on the weekend. However, Ebert has managed to escape with a fine from his trip on Sutcliffe and averaged 118 against the Swans last year but watch his inconsistency. Boak has shown he can shrug a tag but if you have the spare coin I would go Ebert. It is unclear as to who Bird will tag, but Boak would have to be in poll position to receive special attention. Hope this helps.

  • Was loving this article until you called cricket ridiculous haha ;)

  • im giving Newnes, KK and Harry O another week.

    dont have Ablett, Rocky or Sidey but Dusty is gone for Dahlhaus or Christensen or Swan.

  • The tigers have a dream run surely hunt will avg 90 over the next 5 weeks with tags going to dusty and cotch. Also wasn’t ellis tagged in that game. Future dt star

  • I have a problem.I Am going rocky to Lewis but do I go sidey to Barlow and get 88k or to wines/Ellis or even Steven and get the 170k in the bank to upgrade kk/lumumba/newnes next week to the likes of hodge and simpson?88k won’t let me do much.

  • I would love to even have the choice to look at moving Harry O and/or KK (no certainty that I would, I’d just love the freedom) with Sidebum & Rocky going down. Got Ablett and the two KO kings in Parker & Bartel too… Love fantasy football.. Get screwed over year after year and keep coming back for more like a wife who can’t leave her abusive husband.. Goddamn it.

    Bring on round two.. Tons for H, KK, Newnes and I won’t take a knife to my laptop

  • KK gets traded out before Newnes? General consensus around here?

  • My first trade this week was to trade Ablett>Lewis and am not sure if I should trade Lumumba or Kolo to Taylor Hunt or a Premo?

  • The question is, do we trade players who were having a bad game or do we trade players who might get bad roles.

    The likes of Newnes and Wells (just me) may well bounce back next week, while Kolo (tagging) and Lumumba (tagged) are bigger concerns.

    Griffen seems to be the unfortunate case of both – we know he’s struggled with tags before, but not this badly. It also seems like he might spend some time out of the middle of the park to accommodate a young and deep GWS midfield stock. I’m looking to get rid

  • Who should I pull the trigger on first out of kk, lumumba or griffen?
    I don’t have the rocky or gaz issue but did have to trade out sides. I figure I could downgrade one of the defenders to hunt or trade griffen for mundy. Thoughts?

  • Sidebottom to Rich or Barlow?
    Rich will leave me with 410k and I can upgrade both Kolo and Lumumba to simpson/hodge/malceski.
    Barlow will get more points than rich but I will only have 80k and I can’t even trade Kolo to simpson next week.
    All thoughts appreciated

    • got to be Barlow mate, Rich will average ~75

      • sorry decs but i disagree with you, at this stage i think you’ve got to go with Rich has a breakeven of 5 and looked really good and will probably avoid the tag most weeks. barlow didnt exactly set the world alight but still looked good

    • I have the same dilemma and am trading Rockliff, Sidebottom to Barlow, Rich. I have lewis, Parker, D Beams and was hopeful on L Neale(not to be yet). Just think Rich will get some more midfield time with Rockliff/Hanley sidelined so am prepared to loose 30 points for extra cash and greater upgrades next week. My main concern was who out of Barlow/Pendlebury/Heppell. Either way they should average similarly by seasons end.

  • Ellis was tagged in the first half. 2 touches to half time if i remember correctly. For whatever reason the tag got lifted and he went banggg.

    Think we’re going to have to give Prince and Newnes another week. Would love to get both Hunt and Rich in though. And D Martin better show some ticker this round or he’s gone

    • 2 touches to half time? he was on 55 then…

    • He was tagged till half time, scored crap in first Q but then went on and scored like 40 odd in 2nd quarter so the (ineffective) tag moved off to Mcintosh, Ellis just continued to slut it up.

  • @Trockliff, I’m in the same boat and also tossing that up. What I think I’m going to do is go to Barlow and see how lumumba and kk go. It might be a role change or a shit game. Surely can’t boot them that quick can we

  • Would you trade T.Adams based on tagging role (not good) or Lumumba because he looks so dangerous for Melbourne and will probably be first tagged each week like this weekend (also not good, but which is worse)?

  • Currently planning to go Neale to Rich and then KK to Gibson.
    KK’s role as a tagger means Lumumba and Newmes survive, whilst it appears as though with Barlow back in the side Neale doesn’t win the same ball and he was meant to be a stepping stone to a premo and which he isn’t if he loses cash

  • What about Bartel – has to be in doubt as well – can I please have 4 trades this week. Had the same issue last year spent the first 6 weeks replacing injured players which put me behind the 8ball for the whole year. Plus have Newnes, KK & Lumumba – lift your game boys !!!

    • its only 1 week, surely your bench can cover that

      • Was just pointing out the carnage I have suffered week 1 – Sidey, Rocky, Parker & Bartel. I have little choice but use bench cover because you dont get 4 trades !!

  • I’m going. Sidey to Hepple. The bloke is 22. Averaged 107 last year. Ten games over 115. Highest score of 152. Yes please.

  • Thoughts on I.Heeney?

  • Why is no one talking about Brodie Smith. The bloke is a gun and will average 80-90

  • What trades do you think I should do?

    Def: Newnes,Lumumba,Kolodjashnij, T.Hunt, Goodes,Saad (McIntosh,Hamling)

    Mid: Rockliff, Ablett, Lewis, Beams, Parker, Newton, Cripps, Vandenberg (Smith, Cam Ellis Yolmen )

    Ruck: Maric, Bellchambers
    (Griffin, Cox)

    FWD: Bartel, Martin, Swan, Gray, Salem, Clark (Mccarthy, Redpath)

    Bank: 16k

    • rocky and ablett to whoever you want

    • Rocky and Ablett have gotta go. Plenty of people seem to be considering someone like Rich or Bont to free up cash to get a def premo or 2 in next week as well as a replacement mid premo this week. Imo though u will still make heaps of $ trading those 2 to other premo mids with plenty left over to look at repeat non-performers being upgraded next week.

    • Rocky and Kolo to whoever you want.

  • Seeing as head to heads havent started, would keeping sidebum on the bench (no extra cash loss) and culling gaz and kk, and looking to trade in maybe rich and another up and comer this week?

    Is this a bad strategy? Going for league wins and not overall obviously.

    Gaz looks to lose a heap of cash IMO.

    • If you plan to have Ablett in your team in 4-5 weeks’ time, then it doesn’t really matter if he loses cash. You didn’t pick him as a cash cow I assume? In the meantime, he may be able to score the odd ton, but Sidey certainly won’t! Trading him should be obvious.

      • Disagree. I would be getting rid of GAJ asap. Yea you didnt get him as a cash cow but when he is under 500k in a few weeks and still scoring shit you will regret it. Get rid of him and put Sidey on the bench.

  • Thoughts on my team for round 2,
    AFL Fantasy: Lewo’s Legends
    Remaining 2K
    Round 1 Score: 1757

    DEF: Hodge, Newnes, Higgins, KK, Goodes, K.McIntosh (A.Saad, A.Oxley)
    MID: Ablett, Priddis, Beams, Parker, Neale, I.Heeney, B.Newton, P.Cripps (A.Vandenberg, C.Ellis-Yolmen)
    RUCK: S.Jacobs, T.Bellchambers (T.Downie, T.Nankervis)
    FWD: Dusty, Gray, Swan, M.Bontempelli, M.Honeychurch, M.Clark (C.Salem, C.McCarthy)

    Trades I made: D.Wells > I.Heeney and K.Lambert > M.Honeychurch. And what do you guys think on Ablett, thinking of holding as he has St Kilda but then if he does bad I’ll certainly trade to J.Lewis

  • cheers for a great article daniel,

    one mistake however, creepy Crowley isn’t injured. He is just a very naughty boy! sorry to nit pick but i couldn’t resist to chuck a Monty python quote in.

  • What are people’s thought on Adam Treloar? Griffen should take all of the attention away from Treloar, so surely an average of 105-110 this season is a possibility. Not sure between him or Barlow. Also, with rocky out, do we need to get rid of beams due to him probably facing a tough tag each week?

    • Treloar won’t escape a tag forever and I’m backing Griffen in to break through a tag more often than not.

      Beams can handle a tag quite well so not too worried. I actually think Rich will cope more attention with Rocky down.

  • I don’t feel right trading out Gaz. I picked him to be in my side all year therefore lost cash means nothing. We all knew the risks when we picked him. Melbourne weren’t overly DT friendly last year so I’m putting it down as a bad game. It was a major operation so of course he was going to look proppy. I expect him to go back the the backdoor slut we love getting the cheap handball this week and he’ll ton up. Trade him at your own expense

  • Also is it a possibility kk tags Newnes this week? Eade does like screwing over people who play Dt lol

  • Gunston to Dahlhaus/Zorko
    Lumumba/Newnes to Malceski

  • Nasi trade gunston out of those 2. Only rocket silly enough to tag lamumba and since melb still won he Def won’t get tagged next week

  • Great read Daniel. Keep the articles coming.