Big news for the AFL this week, which usually translates into a big week for DT, and this week was no exception. I’ll get back to the AFL news and its ramifications, but for now let’s focus on the scoring for this week. There weren’t many huge scores, and even less from our popular premos, but as our teams are getting better, so are the scores we see each round. And hence the expectations we hold have changed – I was personally very disappointed with my score of 2120, considering the solid scores across the board this week.
So I’d say 2300 was a great score this week, and anything less than 2-2 would have left you wanting.
Shaw’s shawly shawt on Common Sense?
Okay, puns are out of the way… The big news of the week, if you’ve been living under a rock, is Heath Shaw’s 8 week suspension for gambling. I’m not going to go into whether it was right or wrong, too harsh or too soft – I’ll just say it was plain stupid and now he’s off the DT table for 2011. But the most important detail here is that it broke on Friday afternoon!
This is a great example about why you DON’T TRADE UNTIL JUST BEFORE LOCKOUT! I’ve heard handfuls of sob stories about trading in Shaw just this week – but unless you really had to (like, you’re at your Mother’s funeral, or your wife is giving birth, etc.), you’ve got yourself to blame. Just like AFL players have reached new heights of professionalism with their pre-game routine, so too have elite fantasy coaches. It basically involves not trading until just before lockout – got it?
As far as replacements for Heath went, most elected to go sideways, with Broughton, Deledio, Goddard and Fisher amongst the most traded in. But plenty went the old downgrade option, despite it being so late in the year, with Talia and Wilkinson also popular Ins.
But I feel for @matthewmullaly who admitted on twitter that he traded in Johncock for Shaw – of course, Stiffy went and injured his back, subbed off for 50. Ouch!
As I’m sure Calvin will mention on Wednesday evening, Round 17 was not a week to remember for our top Captain options. Let’s firstly take a look at Calvin’s Top 5:
- Swan 101
- Boyd 102
- Thompson 111
- Chapman 70
- Goddard 109
As you can see, slim pickings. Certainly not what we’ve come to expect from the best of the best. But before we start playing the blame-game, let’s have a think about it. Swan should have had bucket-loads more if he could convert any of the half-a-dozen goal opportunities he had, and Chapman just had an off game as did the whole Cats outfit. Boyd was solid in a loss, and Goddard earned all 109 in a tough game against the Eagles. For those who had him, Thompson was the best of the lot under the Friday Night lights.
So if these guys had off games, what about everyone else we could have considered? Pendlebury had 123, but not many were brave enough after what Gibbs did to him last time around. Cox had 119, but surely his form was too inconsistent leading in. Bartel had 120 and Rockliff had 117, but these guys were about as popular as Damien Hardwick in a Richmond pub. Even those brave enough to go with Ablett weren’t rewarded for their considerable balls, as he scored identically to Swan with 101.
Whoever you put the ‘C’ on, at least feel warmed in the fact that you didn’t put in on Jelwood like I did. 74… I mean, even both his brothers got more than that (83 to Adam and 92 to Scooter)!
Things I’ve Learnt in 2011
With a new team, new players, new rules, a new format and the byes; 2011 was always going to be an educational experience. Here’s a few of the things I’ve learnt two-thirds of the way through the season.
Long has the homoruckus been considered an out-dated and primitive being – good for a few hit-outs and the odd possession. With a few obvious exceptions, the ruck line has usually been where we have skimped, preferring to play cheap inconsistent ruckmen over expensive, inconsistent and injury prone ruckmen. But the new sub rule has forced them to evolve… and what they’ve become is great for DT!
Aside from the classic duo of Cox and Sandilands, and ruck-forward gun Petrie, we have seen the emergence of a few key big men in 2011. Leuenberger has taken the next step, adding an extra 10 points to last year’s average to be going at 87 a game this season. If 10 points is a step, McEvoy has taken a superhuman leap, with his 2011 average of 93.4 dwarfing last years of 58.7! Goldstein is probably the most improved of the lot, coming from nowhere to average 101 this year in McIntosh’s absence!
So the biggest thing I’ve learnt this year, is that the game has changed – and the ruckmen are the beneficiaries.
I always see these great unique options, especially in the mids, and when they’re in a bit of form I always think, ‘God, wish I had them, could have saved a lot of coin’. But I’ve learnt now that it almost never lasts. Nahas anyone? Jobe Watson? Embley’s and Bolton’s early season form?
The only players who have really taken that leap this year are Murphy, Shiels and Fyfe, the latter two both being young guns who will only get better. And while it’s a massive advantage if you pick them, that’s only three out of the whole contingent of non-premiums – not good odds if you ask me.
When it comes to your midfield, you need the best. You need your Abletts, your Swans, your Murphys – they are the priciest I know, but it’s for a reason.
We all love it when our players smash out those huge scores, but it’s an odd feeling when it’s someone you don’t have. Especially when it’s someone you don’t have, and everyone else does. But there have been a few times this year where coaches have gone chasing these monster scores, only to get burned by the Law of Averages.
Exhibition A: Guerra follows up his massive 180 with…. 49.
Exhibition B: Steve Johnson puts huge numbers of 171, 143 and 119 consecutively, and is subsequently mass-traded. He’s only averaged 83.2 since, and his price graph looks like a witch’s hat.
Exhibit C: Ablett scores 175. Next week, Ablett scores 23. Nuff said.
Don’t go chasing!
He was 3rd in the Breakers last week, but Petrie has responded and climbed 792-odd places to claim top spot in the Makers for Round 17. Although his 146 was not even a team high (Ziebell had an unexpected 156), he was the most fantasy-relevant player to go big this week. He had 21 kicks, 11 marks and 5 goals in what was a huge turnaround from his paltry 24 just a week ago. There was talk about benching him this week for Zmith or Lobbe, but I hope it was just talk because I do not wish that heartbreak on anyone.
Many coaches traded him out on the eve of his bye, but Nick Lower has come back to haunt them! He was everywhere against the Swans (aren’t they supposed to be a lock-down team?) with 30 touches and 8 tackles, which took him to a career-high 130 points. He looked to have peaked just shy of 300k, but with this latest effort he is projected for 325k.
Daisy Thomas was best on ground against the Roos last week with just over half a game and he could have earned 3 votes for his game against the Blues, probably fighting it out with Pendles. He was my first option for an Ablett trade last week, and here’s some stats showing why – his latest 135 takes his 3-round average to 124 (4th in the League), and he has scored 7 tons from his last 8 starts! All this, while playing 3rd string to midfield maestros Swan and the aforementioned Pendlebury.
Montagna was another, albeit ridiculously cheaper, option for the faux Ablett trade I floated last week. Next thing I know, he collects 17 touches in the first quarter! He finished with 34d, 6m and a goal, and showed he is fit and willing to work for his supper again. If you have a 6th mid spot free but you’re a bit light on change, strongly consider Joey.
Broughton’s 114 wasn’t the highest for the round, but it caps a remarkable month which sees the Docker with the highest three-round average in the competition of 134. He also has topped 30 touches three games straight, a career-first. He’s back!
- Duffield 26
- Rawlings 43
- Darling 36
- Scully 50
- Jolly 55
Duffield seems to have taken Broughton’s mantle as the biggest underachiever is the Fremantle side. Actually, defenders in general, given Adcock’s encouraging 79 against the Cats. His ordinary 60 last week was succeeded by his 26 against the Swans, prompting his price to plummet another $27,700.
Rawlings is another Defender to put in one to forget, with only 43 on Sunday afternoon. He was a popular sideways option when Jack Grimes (remember him?) went down earlier in the year, but has dropped 40k after some initial good form.
What to do with Darling? If you’re smart, you would have gotten rid of him near his peak-price of $273,400. But if you’re a tool like myself and you held him for some unknown reason (after some reflection, I decided it was because I didn’t need the cash at the time and didn’t want to use trades willy-nilly), then what? He’s down to a touch over 200k, thanks in most part to a couple of vests and 5-straight scores below 67.
Scully was talked about as a possible unique 6th mid after his excellent first two games for 2011. Unfortunately for those who took the plunge, it’s been all downhill from there, with failing to crack the ton in his last 4 culminating in this weekend’s offerings – 50 points and a back injury. It doesn’t look serious, but given his form, now might be the time to cut losses and trade him to a Montagna/Sylvia type.
Jolly had an eight-week break prior to round 15 this year, and while he can hardly be expected to be smashing out tons so soon, we definitely thought he’d be able to top 55 given the midfield talent around him. Maxy himself said that Jolly should be back to his best (and he obviously believes it, trading the big man into his own team!), so hopefully he can drastically improve and cash in on the ruck blitz as his fitness, and therefore TOG, increases.
More Power To Ya
No Port players this week with the Power having the bye, which means we get to take a look at (what should be) our best sides in action in Round 18. Consider this a great dress-rehearsal for the finals and a good opportunity to see whether your team is as complete as you hoped!
This is also the 2nd last league match before finals, so trade accordingly – in most cases, with no byes to cover, I suggest you don’t.
Until next week.