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Mid-price strategy: Secret Squirrel

A coach by the name of Secret Squirrel emailed us this week with his/her thoughts on the forgotten about (and disrespected) midprice strategy.

We received an email from a Dream Team coach this week who only goes by the name of “Secret Squirrel”. He or she is going to pop his or her head into DT TALK every now and then. Stay tuned to more!

The NAB Cup is here and this is when we get to view all the young talent and the hype train starts to build. This then normally flows onto the favourite styled structure in Dream Team called the Guns and Rookies approach.  It slowly started to gain traction when the likes of Palmer burst onto the DT world and raised in price enough to be a straight swap for Bartel.  An article from a previous winner peckin away was analysed and he was the golden child to all things DT. Coaches around the globe opened their eyes to the potential of loading up your team with these rookies and surrounding them with the best of the best. The following year a coach with a team named The Convicts won the competition with a more “mid priced” strategy.  The masses for whatever reason, viewed this as pure luck and thought lighting does not strike twice.

Can you really blame the masses, the guns and rookies approach allows you to have all the Swans, Goddards, Abletts, Chapmans of this world and surround them with players that supporter groups believe will become superstars based on YouTube clips and draft hype.

I have decided to put together a bit of a team that will be dismissed by the masses, but maybe, just maybe it could work?

It is a common misconception that a mid priced team cannot have some premiums in their starting squad, well that is just incorrect, I will explain below the concepts.

In the backs, it may look similar to the typical team, it will still have the likes of Goddard, Gibbs, Deledio and Otten (some may even say the addition of Duffield as typical).  Then you surround your starting 7 defenders with some cheaper mid priced players with some scope for increasing their scoring. You normally look for players either changing their role in the team, have some end of season form or are returning from injury which caused them to receive a discount.  This team has been rounded out with Birchall, Wood and Otten. It looks like Birchall and Wood have a potential change in role to a more DT friendly style in 2011 while Otten is returning from injury.  Now this is the key to the mid priced team, the bench is filled with the best of the best rookies, Coad, Toy and Duigan are sitting on your bench.  This will be a common theme throughout all lines of the team.

I will just add comment, if one of the mid priced players fails you can always downgrade to a rookie that you missed and free up cash for future upgrades. Considering I am not dealing with trading in this thread, so I will just leave the comments at this point.

We move onto the midfield, now this is where the MAJOR difference will start to appear.  The common theme in most guns and rookies team is simply load the midfield with 3 or 4 of the best and surround this team with 4-5 rookies.  Here is a completely different approach, with some overlap to the guns and rookies team.  You’re still slightly crazy not starting with the potential DT captain of the year in Swan. Then you want some solid players below this point, maybe not the most expensive, but still solid.  Bartel, would play with a broken elbow if he had to and maybe did this last year, he is solid as a rock.  Another player that has the potential to be a star, but suffered from an injury interrupted preseason last year, but can increase his average is Murphy. Now it is searching for some mid priced players with scoring improvement Greenwood and Sherman are two potential options.  Greenwood also has the potential to be used as a Dual Position link, so that adds some flexibility, Sherman is at a new club and no longer will be on the tagging roster. If you get 8 solid games from them they could come close to being a straight swap for the likes of Boyd, Ablett, Pendlebury and Montagna.  Taking a little liberty with the use of the term not starting rookies and having Harris on the field, he has previously played AFL and should get plenty of games for the Gold Coast to protect those kids.

The bench is also the best of the best, with the addition of a Dual Position link in Mzungu.  Swallow and Atley are the other two players to the strong bench.  As you can see, Swallow is on the bench instead of starting on the field. Remember if a Greenwood or Sherman fail, you can pick the best rookie you missed out on, you will not see a Relton Roberts in this team!

Rucks, well what can I say, does anyone have a crystal ball? Cox, this old dog still has some ability and all reports say he is fit and strong, he can also drift forward so I think he will play close to 22 games and be close to the second best ruck option, if not the best in 2011. When I say the best, I mean in total points, maybe not average, Sandilands should have that covered.  Call me crazy, but Fraser is cheap and is added to the list, just give me 8+ solid games and a solid upgrade should appear. The bench is Smith (almost a lock) and J Tippett, only for the Dual Position link into the forwards to cover those pesky byes.

Do not ask me why, but it is often the forwards that actually get made last. This year, the top end forwards all seem to have some question marks, due to age, price or durability. Riewoldt would be a shock if he was not in most teams, top 4 side, reduced price due to injury in the previous year, all points to being a bargain.  Franklin is running around the midfield, could either lead to a Pavlich styled reduction in points, but there are some cheap points to be had by Franklin, maybe less Standard Deviation in scores.  Now this is when heaps of guns team will be drooling of Colin, I am not in this camp, if O’Keefe is running around, I see some potential for being underpriced and he does have a history of durability. M Morton, had a solid end of the season, can you ignore his move to the midfield? All reports stated that he moved back to the VFL to build his fitness base for life as a midfielder and well he went BANG in the last 6 or so weeks.  Normally I am worried about second year players, but Fyfe, just seems to have a DT game, kicks, marks and tackles, plus can play forward. Just stay on the park and pump out a few of those 100+ games then ready for that Chapman upgrade. Petrie is cheap assuming his feet are fine and also provide cover for my rucks thanks to the link with Tippett. Again, taking liberties with no rookies on the field and playing Krakouer in the starting 7 forwards, he has played at AFL level and was BOG in the intraclub match, I smell DT LOCK.

The bench once again has players that are in many teams starting best 22, Prestia, Matera and Callinan. Two more DP links on the bench, looks good for avoiding those Crispy Cream’s throughout the year.

The bank account as $30,400 in the kitty, Dual Position links on all lines and a super strong bench.

I fully expect people to hate this team, people to not understand how you can handle looking at names like Sherman and Greenwood in the midfield, that is the land of the Davids and Goliaths, not those mid sized players. Swing away public, hate it, comment on it, I just ask you to open your eyes to the possibility that it may not seem as crazy as you first thought!

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