After a lean month, I’m glad to say that things are returning to the status quo. Most of our players are on the park, our Captain has returned, and our Guns are starting to put up the scores that their hefty price-tags warrant. Sure, we had Gibbs, Duigan, Curnow, Judd, Murphy and Yarran off with the bye, but after the MBR’s and the Pies bye, this barely registered as an obstacle for most coaches. How quickly we adapt!
Overall, this was a much better week for coaches than in recent times, with the majority scoring in the 1900s and a fair chunk on the brighter side of 2000.
The True Definition of Junk Time
I, like many other coaches, was following the Western Derby’s live scoring on Fanfooty ( I also watched the game live – how good were the Eagles?!) as it was the last match of the round, and inherently decided a lot of match-ups over Round 8. With time winding down and the result beyond doubt, it was just a matter of collecting the trash until the siren blew.
But none has junked it as heavily as Nat Fyfe did, kicking a snap over his shoulder for a goal with 1 second remaining! Apparently, this +9 affected a few results, as the DTers unleashed on the Fanfooty chat log! Check it out here if you want a chuckle.
Late changes continue to affect teams. This week Milburn, Hurley, Pittard, Embley, Kerr and Balantyne were a few players to exit teams at the last minute, always making it tough on coaches. Especially Embley, who has been in great form this year, but couldn’t take to the field because he injured his hamstring in the warm-up. Kerr was also a big out, especially for those who took the leap of faith during the week after his 110.
But where there are Outs, there must be Ins. After some confusion, Michael Hibberd came in for his 2nd game, scoring 72 across halfback. Youngsters Pitt, Christenson and Gaff all came in to their respective sides, although none scored well enough to make any serious cash.
I should also mention that Jobe Watson may need replacing next week after his hammy was iced up midway through Saturday’s game. With the bye in two weeks, it was make sense that he would take this week off to get a decent rest. Watch this space.
Every now and then I use the Bullets as an avenue to take out my frustration on some of the issues with the game. Watching the Essendon-Brisbane clash on Saturday evening had me hanging out for Monday morning so I could put this into words: Monfries, man up and play some footy! Stop dropping your knees and playing for free kicks you girl!
There. That feels better. Watching his game had my so frustrated I could barely enjoy my Boags. I mean, if you’re going to be a cheap footballer, at least duck your head or something – the umpires, to their credit, are all over that at the moment. But you put them, and opposition players, in a terrible position when you just drop to your knees searching for high contact. It’s despicable.
Don’t get my wrong, it’s not just Monfries. Milne and Betts are also repeat offenders. Doesn’t mean that it should be part of the game.
The Full M0nty
This week in the All-Stars League I went head-to-head with m0nty of Fanfooty fame. Apart from running the most popular and successful live scoring site for fantasy AFL, he’s a great bloke and a clever Dreamteamer.
Anyway, he had quite a good week, with Chaplin scoring 112 and Shaw (whom he just traded in) with 124, along with Stevie J’s 127. With Sunday’s game to go, he had 141 points up on me to go with Mitchell and Conca, against my Fyfe and Boyd as Captain. Very close stuff.
Here’s where I admit that I didn’t learn my lesson last week when I said never change your Captain last minute. I had Swanny with the Big C all week, but I got spooked big time with the 1) Friday night match 2) Quality opponent in Geelong and 3) Wet weather, and hastily changed it to Boyd just prior to lock-out. As we know, Swan finished with 115 (after being on 104 at 3Q time, around the same time I was swearing at the tv and throwing my stubby holder across the room) and I was left to wait to Sunday to find out if my move was successful. But I was also sweating on Boyd posting a big score for my league match with m0nty!
To my delight, he was as solid as ever, scoring 120 (which was later amended to 115), and Mitchell was locked down with 61. That left Fyfe to bypass 45, and I was home-free.
Moral of the story – DON’T CHANGE CAPTAIN LAST MINUTE! I would have had the exact same result with Swanny as Captain, but with half the stress.
Makers and Breakers
1. Ablett 156
2. Hodge 132
3. Suckling 133
4. Shaw 124
5. Nahas 119
Number one spot this week goes to a player who would have regularly topped this list for the past 3 or 4 years, Gary Ablett Jnr. He was magnificent against the Crows, especially in the first term where he notched up 14 touches and slammed 3 goals to give the Suns an early advantage. While he couldn’t carry them to a victory, he kept them competitive and lead from the front. He is a superstar. He’s now price at 404k with a healthy BE, so after Round 9 is the perfect time to acquire him if that’s the way you want to go. The runner up is Hodge, who has had a terrible season so far, but bounced back and earned a long overdue 132 in a BOG performance. I wonder if this is a turning point, or an aberration in what will continue to be a disappointing season? With Jack Grimes out for the season, two of the most popular replacements were Suckling and Shaw. Both dominated, posting 133 and 124 respectively. Both are playing a zoning, spare-man sort of a role, which may be the only potent DT scoring style that we’ve seen from defenders so far this year. Unfortunately, the forward tag is a killer for that kind of scoring, so let’s hope it stays away. Rounding out the list is the increasingly impressive Nahas, who backed up his recent performances with a 119 against quality opposition in the Bulldogs. Incredibly, he has the highest 3-Round average with 131, topping Geelong star Selwood, who is next best with 126.33.
1. Goddard 54
2. Didak 60
3. Mitchell 61
4. B. Smith 11
5. Dal Santo 51
While there were many impressive scores this week, there were a few stinkers from some big names, which make up the majority of this week’s list. The biggest sinner was Goddard (see what I did there?), who is continuing his shocking form deeper into the season that any of us expected. He has dropped 120k now since Round 1, and if you were one of those coaches who I scoffed at when I learned you traded him out early, I take it back. It was a good call as it turns out, because he is bleeding cash while he serves up these dirty scores. Continuing the theme is Didak, who has been way down on last year’s production, and has dropped 79k accordingly. He only generated 60 points on Friday night, which is probably due to the Pies tweaking their forward line this year, with Dawes and Cloke forming an effective scoring combination. Mitchell was locked down by Clinton Jones on Sunday, and as a result only scored the 61, ending his previously unbeaten run of tons so far this year. Brodie Smith (sorry mate, not you fault) gets a spot on the list for his heavily sub-affected 11. Normally I wouldn’t consider a sub, but with Gibbs and Duigan out for many teams, his score would have affected a lot of league matchups. Completing the list is Dal Seagull who, in line with St Kilda’s woes, only managed 51. The entire Saints outfit is in disarray, but if they want to get back on track and salvage their season, it has to come from guys like Dal, Montagna and Goddard.
A Gloomy Week
No suns this week, so get your team sorted now! Hopefully you can use the DPP of Prestia to cover any doughtnuts this week, and you have sufficient cover for Harris, Matera, Swallow, McKenzie, Stanley and Toy. Normally I would recommend you downgrade one over the next two weeks, but none seem to have have reached their peak, with McKenzie ($238,700, Avg. 70.7, BE 52) the closest I can see.
On the flipside, you have two weeks to trade in gun forward Tom Lynch if you desire. With scores of 92 and 95 to go with a BE of -92, he is looking like a very tasty downgrade option in the forward line!
Until next week.
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