Climbing The Ranks: No Gaz, No Worries?

Welcome back to… Climbing The Ranks! Last week was a taste-tester of what I’ll produce week in week out, on DT Talk.

Firstly, if you haven’t seen last week’s article, here is the link, because it’s a must read for all serious Dream Team coaches out there.

So, what will my new article bring to you guys? Well, each week I’ll discuss the weekly issues, inform players, and the weekly talking points.

Well, the obvious issue this week is Gary Ablett. Gaz went down at the 15 minute mark of the first quarter, scoring his owners a mere 22 points. The only good news to take out of this, is that you weren’t the only one. Ablett was the most traded in player last week in AFL Fantasy, coming in at 592k. To add to the pain, the Goat was also the most captained player of the round, scoring coaches 44 points as captain.

Though Ablett’s injury is not the only migraine we had to deal with: Dayne Beams and Nat Fyfe both under injury clouds. EDIT: Lyon has ruled Fyfe out to play against GWS this weekend.

With this predicament at hand, we need to look at our options and act accordingly to make sure that the absence of Ablett does not affect our fantasy as much as we first thought.

I will present to you my best trade options that us coaches should seriously consider trading Gary to.

1: Liam Picken ($608,00) 6.30% Ownership

It is amazing to see the amount of owners that Picken has acquired, considering he has averaged 119 in his last five games, and has only dropped below the magic 100 mark in two of his last twelve matches!

Picken picks up possessions around the ground at ease, averaging 31 disposals a game in his last month of footy. Bulldogs face Essendon, Port Adelaide, Melbourne, Eagles, North Melbourne and Brisbane in their last six games of footy, so Picken’s rich vein of form is likely to continue.

But this is why I love Picken. He averages 26 disposals a game, 5 marks and 7 tackles a game. Most players only have two out of three strengths listed above. Players like Priddis gets his points from tackles and disposals only, while a player like Brandon Ellis only gets his points from disposals and marks. Picken has it all.

His recent form cannot go unnoticed. I don’t understand why Picken has such a low ownership. He is very consistent, and he has a massive ceiling, as shown by his 127, 151 and 136 scores all recorded in the last month!

2: David Armitage ($555,000) 9.6% Ownership

Armitage is the sixth highest averaging player in the competition, and is extremely cheap for what he is capable of.

Armitage is currently averaging 109.88. However, Armitage was averaging 121.5 in round six, and was averaging 113 before his bye.

Armo has scored under 90 four times this year. All of these scores are against the Giants and Melbourne, who are both tough to score against.

In St Kilda’s final six games, they face Port Adelaide, Fremantle, North Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney and West Coast.
North Melbourne may look like the easiest team to score against in the above list, but Ben Jacobs has become one of the leagues most prominent taggers. Jacobs kept Rocky to 54 points, Heppell to 58 points and Selwood to 76 points.

Freo, Sydney and West Coast all look like making the top four, so should that worry the Saints and Armitage’s scoring? It will definitely affect the Saints as a whole, but Armitage won’t be affected. Armitage has shown he can score against tough opponents. He averages 109.6 when playing in a losing side this year.

Armitage has a brilliant ceiling as well. He has recorded three scores over 140 this year! Plus, he has only dipped under the 100 mark four times this year!

3: Brandon Ellis ($532,000) 5.35% Ownership

Ellis has had a great season, and has ‘backed it up’, after his breakout season last year, averaging 96 points.

Ellis is one of the most consistent dream team players. He hasn’t dipped below the 80 mark all season. In fact he’s only scored below 90 on two occasions this year.

Ellis will never attract a tag, with Cotchin likely to take on the taggers week in, week out.

Despite facing Hawthorn on Friday night, Ellis has shown that he can perform at his best level against the best clubs. Ellis recorded a score of 116 against the Dockers in a thrilling 4 point loss. Ellis gathered 31 disposals, and 10 marks!

Ellis has also scored a ton in 9 out of his 16 games. 5 of these scores have been in the 90s. Amazing consistency!

Ellis is a player who I am strongly considering, and he could be a brilliant, underpriced point of difference come finals time.

Given that your midfield may have inflicted lots of pain over the weekend, it is important to consider your options to be irreplaceable. The player to step into the boots of Gaz has to be one of a high standard, but it could also be worth looking at the unique options, or the ‘outside of the box’ players.


  • Winner winner Picken dinner

  • I replaced Gaz with Priddis

    • Priddis is a great option. He’s very consistent as well, which is what you want considering finals are around the corner.

  • Ellis has great fixtures too

  • Armitage a change to be a late out this week!

    • Source? Roo, Lonie and Gilbert are the only Saints to not play this weekend I’m pretty sure.

  • Thoughts on Jack Redden Benjo?

    • I like Redden, and I had him in my side earlier this week. He should go well without Beams impacting on his scoring.

      But in saying this, I like the above three options better.

      • Brisbane Ranking in first for easiest draw dosnt tempt? Really can only afford Ellis off that list and the round 23 agiasnt NM does worry alot considering its GF week

        • Sorry I forgot to mention their draw. Yes they do have a great draw, but Redden could knock out a 50 any minute, like he did earlier in the season. Great option though, but I like Ellis more.

          He’s proven he can score big against the top opponents, and the tag will most likely go to Cotchin, Lids or Martin.

  • Sidebottom surely?

    • Too risky with Adams returning imo

    • As Sammy said it’s a bit risky with Adams coming back into the side, and he will definitely cop the tag this weekend along with Pendlebury.

  • I replaced Gaz with Ellis after Round 1. I have to say it has turned out quite well so far.

  • shhh I’m bringing in Picken this week and already have Ellis

  • priddis??

  • I’m probably gonna go with an even bigger POD in Scott Thompson

  • Picken and zaharakis
    Hannerbery and pops kelly?
    I really like the run of both picken and hannerbery but cant decide…

  • Gaff? 8 or 9 yons in a row 107 avg

  • Probably at peak price but having huge year

  • Why hasn’t anybody mentioned J Bartel, he will kill it this weekend.

    • I did two weeks ago mate. He’s a great option if you haven’t already got him.

  • Dunno why you bother to mention Armitage and even Jack Stevens for that matter when their breakevens are high.

    Save it for next week. Who in their right mind is going to trade in a player that is guaranteed to lose money this week when there are so many other options available.

    That being said, when I see a player have a breakout year early. I am expecting (and often vindicated) to see their scores drop off towards the end of the year as fatigue takes its toll. These guys do not produce 100+ averages season after season like the veterans do. If you had them since the beginning, good on you, but they will not be traded into my team any time soon.

  • When are they gonna update the scores. My captain Lewis scored 109 not 105. Hodge scored 104 not 99. Lambert with 79 not 76. It all adds up! Quite poor really. I’m sure they will fix it eventually but still!