The Friday Scramble: Round 12 (Bye Round 1)

Well stuff me.  We all knew that this was the start of the bye rounds but with only four teams on the bye we were supposed to be eased into the bye rounds with a nice soft one where we all had at least 20-21 players out there on the field. We all now know the carnage that we have seen at selection this week and if there is ever a week to scramble, this might just be it. Players dropped, some suspended and one has even taken a bloody overseas holiday!  It is all happening!!!  Let’s Scramble!

Who’s On A Real Bye?

Well in case you have been living under a rock and don’t know exactly who is on the bye this week the teams that are actually on an official bye are Carlton, Hawthorn, West Coast and the Western Bulldogs.

You could certainly be forgiven for thinking that there are a heap of teams on the bye this week with the amount of players that are missing from your teams. But no, as per usual, the AFL coaches have decided just to take the piss just a little bit this week once again and either rest players we were relying on or simply drop them all together.

Just a bit of a snapshot of who we are missing that we didn’t expect to be missing…..

Dusty Martin – The biggest name of the lot.  He has decided to take a little trip over to NZ to visit the old man. Just when we need him the most. Seriously though we all knew he must have been playing injured and yes his calf is injured, but I am intrigued that they are doing this now given that he has the R14 bye. I fear that we may just be without him again next week! Having said that I will probably still hold in the limited forms of the game, but I may be forced to trade in AF. It all comes down to how many players you have available. Given a choice I would hold.

Stephen Coniglio – He missed the last quarter of last week’s game with some concussion, so it shouldn’t be a massive surprise to us that he is missing this week. Unfortunately this is just a case of bad timing. Not much we can do about this one. They have the R13 bye so there is no reason that he won’t be back in R14, certainly hold him.

Jack Billings – Unbelievable! Looks like Richo has finally had it with Billings and sent him back to the magoos. Just when we actually need his ordinary low scoring! To be honest this is probably a blessing in disguise for most owners, he pretty much has to be traded now if you are still holding him. There is no guarantee that he will come straight back into the side next week. If you have the trades and a good option to trade him to then go ahead and do it.

Nat Fyfe – This was known all week and to be honest his ways were going to catch up with him one day. This one is a no brainer, hold him.

Rory Laird – Can’t say I knew much about this one until the other day when the news broke, I was watching the game and didn’t notice it (may have been a few red wines deep at that point with my Sunday roast dinner though). He is listed as a test which means he could come back for the R13 game before another week off. Either way I think we still have to hold him regardless.

Jordan Ridley – He was a popular trade in a few weeks ago and now he is out with a knee injury, intriguingly though he didn’t appear on the AFL injury list! If you can ride him on the pine until we know more then it wouldn’t hurt to hold on to him. just in case it is minor and he can return for their R14 game.

Tim Smith – Not only did he trick us all into picking him last week after a couple of great games and then proceeded to serve us up an absolute stinker, he now finds himself omitted. And looking at the list of players that have come in it is hard to see how he finds his way back into that side. This is always a massive risk with some of these rookies. I think I will be trying to find a way to keep him for now as he simply hasn’t made enough cash to trade out in RDT or SC. However, in AF, if you can move him on to someone that is bargain basement you could consider doing that.

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Bye Strategy Now?

So what does this do to our bye strategy? Well it may force us to do a bit of trading this week where we otherwise wouldn’t have. But don’t just tade for the sake of it. Make sure that any trades you are doing are with the aim to make your team better out of the bye period. Once again this s particularly important in RDT and SC where we can’t just trade for the sake of it. But in AF don’t go wasting trades and cash either plugging holes.

Look at the other bye rounds and see where you can trade someone in. For example if you are trading out Billings (finally) then you were already planning to be without him in round 14 so just see if you can select someone that is already in that bye so that you aren’t really losing anything there.  So Buddy, Heeney, Menegola or use some DPP to get one of the other top players from these teams on the bye that week. This is where smart trading comes into it. you can get through, you just need to manage it.

Donuts anyone?

If you are really stuck then you may still have to take a donut this week. It isn’t ideal, but you won’t be the only one in that boat, I am facing at least one in a couple of the comps. I suspect that this could be an issue for many coaches as we may simply not have enough trades available this week to get enough on the park. I was sitting pretty with 20  but now find myself in real trouble with three key midfielders out and then a couple of guys not getting selected this week that I was relying on.

Things To Remember

  • Don’t Panic! Every other coach is in the same boat as you probably are so just do your best to get 18 warm bodies out on the park.
  • Look Ahead. Like I said above, make sure that you are looking forward with your trades so that you are building your team and not just picking someone because they happen to be available and playing this week.
  • It is a long round this one and I am unsure as I write this as to whether or not we will know final teams for Melbourne or Collingwood before lockout. I am sure that the Traders covered it in their podcast that I will listen to in the morning, you should too!

Sorry if I have missed anything this week guys, it has been a massively busy week for me and I haven’t gotten to writing this until quite late so if I missed something I apologise.  Best of luck in the bye rounds, hopefully you can all improve your rankings during this time, it is often a time where the more experienced coaches tend to do better than others, but having said that, all this carnage today just goes to show that no matter how much you plan you can’t plan for everything and luck plays a huge part of this game.

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Heads Up for Round 13

After this week we have a heap of Thursday night games in a row. So at this stage I will still come at you on a Friday just keep an eye on DTTalk’s social media chanels and they will let you know if anything changes. But if I don’t see you all til next Friday just remember that in RDT and SC you can’t reverse trades after the first game of a partial lockout so any trades after the start of the Power v Dogs game next Thurs will stick.


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