In my first year of Dream Team last year I wasn’t able to field a side until round 7. As such, I was quite confident that I had bugger all chance of winning my public league, let alone crack 2,000 on a regular basis. Well, it turned out I was right on both counts.
One point that I took from last season’s failure was that I knew which players in great DT form, but because they were in such great form, most had risen above my budget. Plus, the lack of quality entry-price rookies meant I never had the cash to upgrade those players I chose to the uber-premiums found in all successful teams.
To prevent this debacle repeating in 2011, I immersed myself in all things DT as soon as the final siren had blown after last year’s grand final. Like most others, I’ve read blogs, participated in forums, subscribed to podcasts, strategised and forecast my trading scenarios. Christ, I even paid for the Assistant Coach! With all this information at hand, I was confident that the sky was the limit and I would easily crack 2,000 in Round 1.
Well, the more things change the more they stay the same. I punched out 1990, missing my very first yardstick thanks primarily to Yarran’s uninspiring start, but helped by some very poor premium contributions.
That got me thinking. When I created my team in 2010, I was able to identify those players who were firing but was unable to afford enough to give me competitive scores. Conversely, this year my budget allowed me any number of elite players, but I did not have the comfort of knowing who – preseason form aside – would fire. To me, it was obvious that top-tier DTers were not only master managers who knew precisely who to trade and when, but also prescient in their initial team selections, picking only those premiums and rookies who performed consistently throughout the year.
So I thought. And thought. Having experienced – and not quite succeeded with – both selection extremes in my two years of DT perhaps there was another path to success. To test this theory, I politely asked my partner to create her own team prior to Round 3 lockout. She did – she’s good like that – and with a little help from me, she put together THE THIRD WAY.
THE THIRD WAY is a team filled with only those players who have performed in the first 2 rounds of the season. It combines in-form guns with obese cashcows and a sprinkling of midpricers, sadly waiting for underperforming premiums to take their places after a few handy price drops. No Foleys, no Yarrans and, most importantly, no Everitts. No price drops from anyone but my keepers.
I will track the progress of THE THIRD WAY against MEZZOCULI – my painstakingly crafted yet frustratingly flawed ‘first’ team – for the entire season. Factors such as trading strategies and bye plans will be consistent across both teams, meaning only their respective starting times and compositions differ (although MEZZOCULI will have two fewer trades – I had to welcome Tapscott and Curnow into the family). I might even knock up a fancy spreadsheet if people are interested.
So, what are everyone’s thoughts? Will THE THIRD WAY’s strategy of selecting only ‘proven’ DT performers negate its late start to the season? Will THE THIRD WAY post consistently better scores than MEZZOCULI? Will it end up with a higher net value? Can THE THIRD WAY beat the 13 ‘celebrity’ Dream Teamers head-to-head? And, most importantly, which of your teams will it knock off by the end of the season…?