Wow. What a huge week for Dreamteam! It’s like the 40 most popular fantasy players held a meeting mid-week and made a group decision to go out and absolutely smash it. Which they did.
The leader this week scored 2530, which should be a good indication of how huge it was across the board in Round 9. 2300’s were commonplace, and some lucky teams topped 2400.
This week was supposed to stretch a few lines, with most teams having 5 or 6 of Toy, Stanley, Harris, McKenzie, Swallow, Smith, Matera and Prestia. But with scorers like Duigan (97), Lower (119), Heppell (108), Hibberd (80), Jacobs (91) and Darling (76) filling the void, it wasn’t a problem.
As if you needed proof of how potent the scoring in Round 9 was, there was an amazing 53 players to top the ton. 53! I thought that was amazing. Then I went back and found out that only last week there were 63 different players who raised the bat.
The difference? Player popularity. This week, all the most-selected players topped the ton, while last week was a week for the uniques.
Snakes and Ladders
I think it’s no surprise that when a team starts to perform, the individual players start to perform better as well, and vice versa. That’s why an important part of pre-season is trying to pick the teams that will rise and slide sharply from the previous year; because you can bet that their players will also follow that trend.
This year, the sliders have been the Western Bulldogs (4th to 11th) and St. Kilda (3rd to 13th). While Boyd has slightly increased his average, Cross, Giansiracusa, Lake, Cooney and Gilbee have all suffered decreases on their averages for the Doggies. With the Saints it’s even more evident, with Goddard, Riewoldt, Montagna, Dal Santo, Fisher, Gram – basically every past premium – experiencing significant reductions in their scoring.
But form is a double-edged sword. Where there are teams sliding, there are other teams rising. Essendon (14th to 4th) and West Coast (16th to 6th) are this year’s big improvers. So it should be no surprise that Watson, Hocking, Zaharakis and Crameri are all enjoying career-highs this year. Or that Cox, Embley and Priddis are turning back the clock while LeCras, Shuey, Butler and Scott Selwood are starting to tap into their fantasy potential.
The same can be said of Richmond, who is playing a much more competitive brand of footy, which is working wonders for the scoring of Nahas, Martin and Cotchin.
This is another reason why I’ll never sideways trade an under-performing premium that is playing in an under performing team – because form will always turn around.
There are some serious bargains on the market at the moment that I want to bring attention to. First up is the Gold Coast boys G. Ablett and Rischitelli, who are coming off their 2nd bye! Gaz is priced at $404,900 which will definitely be the cheapest you see him for the rest of the year. He’s averaging 102.5 but that will only increase now that he has some actual match fitness. Rischitelli is a favourite of mine because he scores well even when the Suns get pumped, which they often do. He’s ticking along at 104.3 a game and at $405,000 with no bye and no tag, he looks seriously tasty.
Marc Murphy is another great option at $417,200, as he’s averaging 109.4 for the year. He’s had 5 119+ scores, so he’s also handy as a game-winner if you’re also interested in leagues.
But easily the biggest bargain upgrade at this point in time has to be Montagna, whose 151 put a break on his price-drop at $413,500, an absolute bargain for someone with his scoring ability. His BE is 65-odd this week, so expect this to be the cheapest he will be for a while. Get on him!
Makers and Breakers
1. Josh J. Kennedy 177
2. Montagna 151
3. Shiels 131
4. J. Selwood 122
5. Evans 112
Even though he’s a crap bloke, I thought Montagna was destined for the top spot this week. His 151 in his first game back from suspension was Joey at his best, continuing his destruction of the Dees, and coming through for our favourite mad Irish pirate. His 38 touches and 2 goals was exactly what I said last week that St. Kilda needed, along with Riewoldt’s and Goddard’s games, and it resulted in a win. But he finds himself at number 2.
The top spot this week goes to one Josh J Kennedy, who’s not a highly popular DTer (only 10,000 have him), but rewarded every one of his coaches in spades. His 177 was a by-product of the monster 10 goals he kicked on Sunday evening against last year’s top 4 side in the Bulldogs (as an Eagles supporter, I’m inclined to point out that they won by more than 120 points). In fact, I saw a facebook group last night called “Josh Kennedy 10-3-63 def. Western Bulldogs 8-4-52”, which is quite amazing, because unlike many facebook groups, it’s both funny and true. I doubt it’s worth getting on him though – sure, his price will shoot up this week, but it will even out soon enough. And I don’t think I need to point out that he wont kick 10 goals eyery game.
Liam Shiels comes in next with his 131, making it his 3rd 100+ score in a row. He’s slipped under the radar for most coaches after a lot of talk about him early in the season, but he’s averaging 103.5 with a basement of 75, and has to be a serious consideration at 375k for those looking for a unique edge.
With 122 this week, Joel Selwood is on an amazing 4-game streak of 120+ scores, and 5 of his last 6. With Gablett leaving the Cats last season everyone wondered who would step up out of Bartel and Selwood, and so far the latter is the clear winner.
Rounding out this week’s list is Melbourne newbie Michael Evans, who pumped out an impressive 112 against the Saints on Saturday. In a performance sure to impress Chook, the 18 year-old, $80,400 rookie had 27 disposals on debut, ending with 112 points to lead all scorers for Melbourne. A tasty downgrade option next week, if he can prove it wasn’t a fluke.
Before anyone complains that their favourite player didn’t get in to the Makers this week, save it. With DTers enjoying such a good week, there could have been any number of players in the top 5. Honourable mentions go to Riewoldt (134) and Goddard (122) for returning to form, Shuey for his 5-goal, 142 point effort and Lower for posting 119 the week after many coaches traded him out, against his old team.
1. Riemers -1
2. Didak 30
3. Higgins 29
4. Rioli 51
5. Stanton 69
Less than 4000 coaches own Reimers, but if you put up a negative score without being injured, you can bet that you will top this list. He put up 151 a few weeks ago, but as one of the most over-rated and self-appreciating players in the league, I knew, like tkol’s success, it was only a one-off. He had two disposals and 3 frees against before he was subbed off in the 3rd quarter. This makes me smile like those guys in the Medibank ad, because it’s a shot in the arm for Hibberd’s JS.
Even though he started subbed, Didak is the runner-up this week, mainly because he tainted what could have been some huge scores for coaches who had him. It also helps me justify my sideways trading of him a few weeks ago, when I pulled the trigger on a sideways trade.
Higgins’ return from injury only manufactured 27 points and a red vest in what can only be described as ‘underwhelming’. Actually, ‘disappointing’ and ‘piss-weak’ work too. I don’t know why I expected any more from him, but he’s on the chopping block this week for sure – I can’t see how he can possibly shake off this groin injury and return to averaging 100.
It was also Rioli’s first game back, and he managed just 51 in a full game for the Hawks. He was well-held for sure, but his scoring just didn’t repay the faith from the coaches who stuck with him through his hamstring injury.
Finishing off the Breakers list for Round 9 is Stanton. It was his return game as well (I’m sensing a theme here) and he looked downright average. 69 wasn’t reflective of how shaky he looked out there on Saturday night, repeatedly doing his best potato impressions under pressure. In pre-season I was tossing up who would be the better upgrade option out of Watson and Stanton, and I think I have my answer.
Just a couple of last minute notes left to prepare you for Round 10 – This week the Dons have the bye, so as usual, sub them all off NOW. That way you won’t suffer a Danyle Pearce-like brain-fade, and forget to sub them off before lockout.
For all you trading addicts out there, you’ll be delighted to know that the Suns just finished their byes for the year as I said earlier, so get on now.
And lastly, please remember that this week was the exception rather than the rule. Don’t be upset or even surprised if your team fails to reach the heights of this week in Round 10 – it was just a one-off. But definitely a step in the right direction!
Until next week.
PS. Just learnt that Sandi is out for 4 weeks – keep him! Especially if you have Smith as a back-up.
Contact me on @tbetta9 on Twitter for whatever – to bring something to my attention for the Bullets, advice, or just a chat.