tbetta’s Bullets: Round 18
With only Port players out with the bye and almost complete teams, Round 18 was always big, but this big?! Amazing! The Bullets are here to talk about the fantasy action from the weekend – the Makers and Breakers, Structure Issues, Bargain Eagles and the Weekend Wrap all feature. Get in there!
You don’t need to hear me say it to know that Round 18 was a scoring explosion – just checking out the weekly top-score of 2582(!) should be a good indicator. But really, what did we expect? Our teams and their members are getting increasingly stronger, as are the actual AFL clubs and their players, having solidified their structure 18 rounds in, meaning the players are performing their roles consistently in the lead-up to finals. A par score this week was around 2300, a massive collective effort.
It’s bizarre that the forums and general Dream Team traffic has been much lower lately, but it’s just that time of the year isn’t it? With most teams complete and trading slowing to a trickle, not to mention the absence of those whose seasons are shot, the conversation has lessened. Good news for us that are still hanging around! I just saw a stat that said that Heath Shaw is still in 10% of the top 1000 teams – meaning trades up there are few, giving us a huge opportunity to improve our rankings.
Eagles have landed
I wouldn’t be much of a West-Australian, or Eagles supporter, if I didn’t mention the result of the hectic finish to the Western Derby! For those who missed it, the Eagles held on to defeat the Dockers by 1 point, but not after Fremantle came from 22 points back with 8 minutes to go, to almost win it with a 50m Ballantyne shot after the siren. Thankfully, it sailed directly into the post, culminating in one of the best finishes to a round we’ve had this year.
While some popular Fremantle stars finished strongly – Fyfe had 75 second half points, while Broughton (96) and Mzungu (83) were solid in a tight struggle, it was a couple of the Eagles who are finishing the year strongly that caught my attention.
I’m talking, of course, about Beau Waters and Mark LeCras. Two tasty, unique, options to finish off your back-line or forward-line, wherever you need help most. Waters has been fantastic since his return from another elbow injury, with 85 last week and 98 in Round 18. He’s now bottomed-out at $336,600 with a BE of 81, so this week or next week will be perfect to bring him in. LeCras is similarly priced at $329,100 with an enticing BE of 39. His 118 at the weekend is a by-product of Lynch’s return to the forward line and LeCras blossoming through the midfield.
Do you ever wonder if sometimes there is another way to do things? There’s the expected, known and popular path, but do we ever stop and consider ‘is this really the way to go?’ Like, do we really have to use shampoo before we use conditioner? Do we really have to use shampoo at all?! Or, what would happen if you buttered your bread before you toasted it? Very day-to-day things, but then again, Dream Team is very day-to-day for us too.
18 weeks into the most tactical season of DT we’ve ever had, I’m questioning something a little larger than hair-care or breakfast – team structure. We all accept that Guns n Rookies is the best, or at least safest and most proven, structure for a successful team. The idea is obviously to start with those rookies, then trade up until you drop the ‘nR’, and it’s just a team of Guns.
But with the backline trouble we’ve had this year, coupled with the success of some rookie-priced options, should we just be keeping it GnR back there? Think about it. Stanley is averaging 96 in his last 4, from a starting price of $106,400. Heppell is going at 88 a game in his last 5 from $132,500. Stefan Martin has been a huge success story, filling in for Jamar then exceeding him, averaging 104 in his last 5 from $145,300. Surely we are better off keeping these guys as our 5th, 6th or 7th defenders than using (wasting?) a trade to get a big name, like Birchall, or Fisher, or Enright?
Just something to think about…
Oh, and I googled it – do NOT butter your bread before toasting it – massive fire hazard apparently.
With Gary Ablett plying his trade on the Gold Coast, the undisputed premier player in the competition, Chris Judd, makes his first appearance in the Makers this year with 138 at the weekend. For this first time this year, he has strung together a month of 100+ scores, averaging 120 in that time – unheard of for Juddy. Some players’ value lies in the weight of possession, some rely on the effectiveness of their possession, and the Carlton leader is clearly the latter, which makes it no surprise he is better suited to SC than DT. His boost in scoring has come from an increased kick to handball ratio – he ranks 2nd in the league for handballs, but now he’s getting his boot to the ball as well. We’ve seen what he can do with 25 touches – if he keeps getting 30+, we’ll see the only current triple Brownlow Medallist running around in 2012.
It may not be as big or glamorous as Team Swan vs Team Ablett, but the O’Keefe vs Goodes rivalry is still going strong. This week Goodes owners have the bragging rights, outscoring ROK a massive 150 to 87. He had 34 disposals and 10 marks and polished his performance off with 2 goals – with those numbers, you’re always going to score well.
Nick Dal Santo has been in some rare form the past month or so, and that continued in St Kilda’s rout of the Crows on Friday night. He scored a game-high 140 which included 31 touches, 9 marks and 6 tackles. He’s now on a run of 5 straight tons, as St Kilda are on a 4-game winning streak. Coincidence? Probably not.
Nick Riewoldt has had on off season of sorts – first the off-field dickileaks drama, then some on-field ordinariness for the Saints, both individually and collectively. But things have started to turn for him lately, with his 3 previous games notching 85+, then this week putting up a huge 134 – which interestingly is identical to what he scored against the Dees in Round 9, the only other time he happened to topped the ton this year. Fun fact: He had 8 marks and 8 kicks to half time. That’s a lot of +6 combos in a half of footy!
While Danny Stanley was a massive breaker for me personally this week, he was invaluable to the masses in Round 18. He entered the game under a cloud consisting of injury and speculation, but this turned out to be either false or insignificant, as he top-scored for the Suns against his old club in Collingwood. This week’s 110 follows three-straight scores in the nineties, meaning he is now a legitimate 7th defender. Remind me why I traded him out this week?
1. Fisher 66
2. Rawlings 37
3. Sylvia 69
4. Thomas 50
5. Enright 60
Sam Fisher was tracking for a solid game on Friday night, until he was subbed on 66 in the 3rd quarter. With the Saints demolishing the Crows, it was a bit of a luxury Sub, with the commentators noting that Fisher apparently sought some sort of medical treatment at half time. It was the only blight on what was a good start to the week in Friday Night DT.
Brady Rawlings is not having the greatest month, with his average well below 70 in that time. It can probably be attributed to a role change from rebounding halfback to more of a lock-down role, but it still would not impress the coaches who picked him earlier in the season. He only had 37 at the weekend from 10 touches, including a big fat 0 in the last quarter.
Great news for Sylvia owners – he is back on the price increase! Unfortunately it was only $500, due to only scoring 69 points, thanks mostly to a 2-point second quarter. Many coaches, including myself, thought he was back after last week’s 114 – but it still remains to be seen whether he can command games like he used to. Playing in the midfield would help, Dean Bailey.
As good as his form has been previous to this week, Dale Thomas corked his leg as well as a few DT totals this week. He was on course for a big score until he was inadvertently kneed in the thigh, requiring treatment. He was back out there not long after, but was eventually subbed at half time for only 50. A smoky Captain option gone wrong.
As Geelong inevitably decline from being a DT juggernaught to a serviceable fantasy unit, so too has the output of rebounding defender and backline mainstay Corey Enright. He has only averaged 73 over his last 3 while only topping the ton 3 times for the year – it’s time we reassess our expectations of a former fantasy gun.
Round 19 is the last of the Multi-bye rounds, finally! In terms of covering players, it’s not really a huge issue like it has been in the past, with only Richmond, Sydney and Brisbane having the week off. For most people, that’s only O’Keefe, Goodes, Deledio, J. Roo, Adcock, Rockliff and Redden, with most teams not having more than 3 or 4 of the above.
Looking forward to this week’s games, we have a Friday night scoring delight, with Carlton taking on the Roos. The delight will be Judd, Murphy and Gibbs dominating North’s fledging Midfield, while Petrie will destroy Carton’s fledging backline!
Then we have Gold Coast taking on the Saints – pencil in big ones to DT sluts Montagna and Dal Santo, while Goddard and Riewoldt should be solid too.
The week will then close with perhaps the most underwhelming match-up of the year – the Showdown between the Crows and the Power. Not only will the game be all different kinds of ordinary, the ‘big’ fantasy names to watch will be Otten and Jacobs – no thanks!
Until next time.