If you’re gunning for a league win, then this year you could have an edge over your mates by using the weird-arse 2011 fixture to your advantage. In Twenty-Eleven we have 17 teams in the AFL which means byes… and not just one bye a week, there are 5 weeks with 3 byes.
The beauty of this is that for league matches, the rounds won’t count and therefore it doesn’t matter if you have players missing – apart from having a crap score, national ranking dropping and players not increasing (or decreasing) in price.
With the release of the roster last Friday, the big thing to note are the teams who are playing in the 3 round byes.
- Round 4 – Brisbane, St. Kilda, Western Bulldogs
- Round 5 – Melbourne, Sydney, West Coast
- Round 6 – Fremantle, Geelong, Hawthorn
- Round 16 – Adelaide, Fremantle, Melbourne
- Round 19- Brisbane, Richmond, Sydney
As you can see the teams in red have both of their byes in these awful 3 bye rounds. Spelling that out quite simply, these teams will play every league roster and finals game. Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle players will be golden, not only as premiums, but as rookies/cheapies on your bench who will be there for cover.
If you’re 50/50 on a player, then this could be a great deciding factor. Maybe a bloke like Brad Green might get a bit more DT love? Lock and load Matthew Pavlich and Jonathan Brown in your forward line?
It also makes another positive in picking blokes from the other clubs who have one of their byes falling in these rounds. There will only be one round where you’ll have to cover them with your bench players.
Now lets look at the finals.
The final 4 rounds (21-24) will be the AFL Dream Team finals series again this year. What we have to look at here is who will have a bye, and who that means you might want to be avoiding. The last four rounds are as follows:
- Qualifying and Elimination: Round 21 – North Melbourne
- Semi Finals: Round 22 – Geelong
- Preliminary Finals: Round 23 – Carlton
- Grand Final: Round 24 – Essendon
Put simply, don’t pick any Bombers… or make sure you have trades up your sleeve to dump them for the GF. If you have Kangaroos, Cats or Blues players, you’ll have to make a decision if it’s worth a trade to get rid of them or if your bench cover is adequate. The fact Geelong are there makes it very interesting. They are a high scoring Dream Team team (which may change in 2011, but time will tell) and are drawn for their bye in the Semi Finals. If you’re awesome at Dream Team, this shouldn’t matter! You would have finished top four, won the qualifying final and should be having the week off.
Another factor is that early on in the season, you want to be making money from cash cows, who will generally be bench players. In a perfect world, these players will be the ones who don’t have their first bye until a little later on – when they’ve had an opportunity to mature. Here are the main ones to look at:
- Round 7 – Collingwood
- Round 8 – Carlton
- Round 10 – Essendon
- Round 11 – Richmond
- Round 12 – Port Adelaide
You’ll notice Round 9 isn’t there. That’s because it’s Gold Coast. They have the Round 1 bye. Means they get their two byes out of the way early… probably makes Gary Ablett the biggest upgrade target of the year. He will be welcomed by a lot of teams in Round 10! So, we’ll be on the lookout for rookies and other cash cows from the above teams. These will give us cover for the first few weeks (especially for rounds 4/5/6 where we have a run of 3 bye rounds), and have an un-broken run of money making games. Just the trick will be picking those right players… something to think about in February/March.
Stay tuned to dreamteamtalk.com for more information about the fixture, with some strategy on how to do your best in national ranking in the next few days.