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tbetta’s Bullets: Round 21

Week 1 of the Finals are over, and do I have a few Bullets to unload this week…. In this week’s edition I take a look at the week just been, the week to come, Ruck Grades, Fade-Outs and the usual Makers and Breakers! Get in and tell us yours in the comments!

  • Final-ly

First week of finals complete! While there have been more blow-outs in the AFL lately than in Sandilands’ shoe rack, our DT finals match-ups were much closer. Looking around the grounds, about 40 points was a typical margin this week, which means the games are going right down to the wire!

2250 was about par for the week, while 2300 would have placed you in the top 8000 for Round 21.

  • Tbetta Than You vs Calvinator

This week in the All-Stars league I came up against none other than the Calvinator. I was slightly advantaged from the start, knowing who his Captain would be (obviously) and how many trades he had left (just 1). But he has a team full of uniques, which scared the hell out of me.

Here is the match-up, with only our uniques shown. As you can see, his midfield is highly unique, and Stevie J and Enright against the Crows was very dangerous for me.

In the end, I won 2305 to 2251 in the battle of 6th vs 7th, thanks mostly to Nick Lower. This puts me up against Chook’s Merv Gray Autos in Round 22, who was just pipped by destROY. The winner will then proceed to the Prelim’s to play Nick Maxwell’s stjoesonslaught – big couple of weeks ahead!

  • Ruck Grades

The big issue leading into Round 21 was the Rucks. Cox was sore, Zmith was tired, and Petrie had the bye. At one stage it looked like some ruck lines would have consisted of Lobbe and a donut!

Luckily, Cox didn’t pull up too stiff (yeah, I meant that) and Zmith was strangely not given the rest he was touted for. But it still left most of us with a big dilemma – do we play Zmith, or Lobbe, or trade? With the help of hindsight, let’s see who passed and who failed.

Matthew Leuenberger ($338,500)  A+

The lucky coaches who had enough money to get to him were rewarded with a massive 140 this week. He was coming off a great month of footy where he hadn’t scored under 90 – a good call, smart call.

Darren Jolly ($295,500)  A

How consistent is this guy? He had a last two leading in of 99 and 99 and this week scored…. 99! He was the only classy option beneath 330k, good trade.

Aaron Sandilands ($379,500) B+

Those who kept the Fremantle giant would have been smiling given his reported return and the demise of ruck stocks over the week leading into Round 21. They would still be smiling, given the Docker scored 95 in his first game back.

Ben McEvoy ($359,100) B

The most-traded in ruckman this week was the Big Mac, and for good reason. He has been the in-form ruckman of the competition, averaging almost 104 in his last 9. His 97 on Friday night wasn’t the ton his coaches were looking for, but we have to remember it was against the Pies.

Zac Clarke ($288,600) B

With both Sandi and Griffin injured, the Afro Samurai look-alike had been in some great form, scoring in the nineties three weeks in a row. Most thought that his scoring would decline with Sandi back, but he still managed an 87 in less ruck time. Good result.

Mattew Lobbe (214,900) C+

His 71 isn’t quite acceptable for finals, but it was a great result if you held a trade for the return of Petrie. He couldn’t have done much better against a dominant Hawks.

Shane Mumford ($339,300) D

79 was all the Swans ruckman could manage against the almost-ruckless Richmond. He was going at an average of 101 over his last four, which included much classier outfits than the Tigers.

Zac Smith ($261,600) F

He’s been so good all year, but 34 is unacceptable at the business end of the season. I’ll talk more about him later, but I really hope you didn’t play the youngster.

  • Fade-outs

I have a serious bone to pick with some of our premiums and their attitude over the first week of finals. They just don’t seem to grasp the importance of finals, the consistency, desire and mark-kick combos required… But the worst thing is when they call it a day early! There were a few noticeable fade-outs over the course of Round 21, which is a worrying trend.

Greg Broughton started the game on fire, top scoring with 33 at the quarter and was up there with 55 at half time. He finished on 71. What happened? The back-pocket happened – unfortunately I think he’s back to his old ways.

Jed Adcock was the same, earning a huge 43 to quarter time in the QClash. I didn’t watch the game, so I’m not sure whether the Suns tagged him after that, but he only managed another 31 points for the entire game, to bring him to 74. Which against the Suns, is not good enough.

Then we even had Sam Mitchell, who finished with 128, but had 95 to half-time. A respectable score, but it could have been so much better!

It’s funny how our expectations change as we watch the game unfold. I followed the live scoring for the Hawks-Port clash, and was disgusted to see Birchall on 24 at half-time. Many expletives and possible voodoo doll abuse followed, and I told myself if he got to 70 I’d be happy. But Birch came out and junked it like no other in the 2nd half, ending on an even ton.

This meant I was, unfairly, happier with Birchall’s performance than Mitchell’s. Only in Dream Team, huh?

  • Makers

I think we’ve all noticed that at this stage of the year, it your unique players that make the difference. Whether it’s in a tight finals match-up, or you’re pushing for the SJ, only your points-of-difference will get you there. It doesn’t really matter if Goddard, or Cox, or Gibbs, or Franklin has an off game, because everyone has them. So, by definition, the Breakers will be made up of a few unique players that performed well in Round 21.

Brent Stanton has come a long way since Booinggate, to become once of Essendon’s most consistent performers. In fact, in DT terms, he hasn’t scored under 93 in his last 9 matches. He’s coming off some red-hot immediate form as well – he’s ticking 140 over his last 3. A great unique midfield pick, especially as a replacement for the injured Watson mid-way through the year.

Cyril Rioli has teased a lot of coaches this year, so it’s great to see some return for the faith. Soft-tissue injuries and the odd stinker was a perfect reason to offload the Hawthorn speedster, especially when Clarkson flagged the possibility of restricting his midfield time. But when you’re playing the competition’s worst team, that doesn’t really matter… Cyril went out and smashed the game apart; kicking a career-high 6 goals and 12 tackles from only 16 possessions. An exciting unique option at his bargain price of $331,400, especially given the Hawks’ run home.

I touched on the Lion giant earlier, so I won’t say too much, except that having Leuenberger in your side this week would have gained you at least 40 points on your opponent. A Maker if there ever was one.

Was there ever any doubt that Michael Barlow would return like he has? The (DT) messiah took a little longer than 3 days to do it, but so what? Not including the game he was sub, he hasn’t scored below 98, while averaging 105.2 over those 5 games – coming off a snapped leg! Imagine what he could do after a full-preseason next year… He had 32 disposals and a goal for his 117 this week – if you need that point-of-difference in your mids this week for a Bartel or a Selwood, you could do a lot worse than the Messiah at 385k.

It’s exciting when your players know to peak at the right time, which is exactly what Nathan Bock is doing. He has posted 4 tons this year, and 3 of them have occurred in the last 3 weeks! The reason for his peak in scoring is his increase in exposure – he has averaged 7 more disposals and 2 marks over the last 3 weeks. This culminated in his 27 touches and 9 marks opposed to Clark in the QClash at the weekend. He must be a serious consideration for a straight trade with Heppell before his bye.


  • Breakers

1. Nick Lower 11

2. Zac Smith 34

3. Heath Scotland 67

4. Travis Cloke 66

5. Stefan Martin 62

Honestly, finding five DT-relevant players to fill up the Breakers this week was difficult. Almost every premium this week exceeded 70, which you can argue is a below-average game, but not a week-killer. Anyway, let’s check them out.

While it was hard to find 5 this week, it certainly wasn’t hard to pencil in top spot. Nick Lower has been in reasonable form over his first year for the Dockers, going at 77 per game for the year, and averaging 90 in his last four leading into Saturday’s match against the Blues. His biggest criticism in fantasy circles has been his inconsistency, and his 11 points in Round 21 did nothing to quell the talk. He was subbed off at 3Q time, with just 4 touches to his name. Bench or trade – you can’t be all Katy Perry in the finals.

I noticed that fantasy mogul m0nty has created a new fanfooty icon this week – a little brick wall, which is awarded to a rookie who battled hard all year but seems to have ‘hit the wall’. Get it? That was obviously created with Zac Smith in mind, who makes back-to-back appearances in the Breakers. He was ear-marked for a rest by coach Bluey McKenna, but was interestingly left in the side for the QClash, which I’m sure he now regrets. The youngster had only 8 touches and 15 hitouts for his 34 points – I’d be very surprised if he isn’t rested this week.

Heath Scotland scored 67 this week, which means he went from a career-high (148) last week to a season-low this week. He was in the top 12 traded-in players this week, despite his Round 23 bye, which makes him a big Breaker for some. He was well-held by stopper Ryan Crowley, especially in the first quarter, where he earned an incredible -1.

Travis Cloke has had worse games, but he’s also had much better. St. Kilda are a lock-down team, with a benchmark backline, so it wasn’t surprising. He still marked well, but the Saints completely cut-off his supply – his 7 kicks is the lowest all season. Expect a much better game against the Brisbane Lions.

He was averaging 89 after Round 18’s clash with the Hawks, but Stefan Martin hasn’t topped 66 points in a game since. We were all suspect about whether the pinch-hitting ruckman would return to the land of mediocre with Jamar’s return, but it wasn’t the case – it’s been Melbourne’s terrible form that has crippled his scoring of late. When your team’s average losing margin over the last three games is 103 points, it’s very hard to achieve that in Dream Team. The Dees have 3 easy games on the run home in Richmond, Gold Coast and Port, so don’t panic if you have him.

  • Round 22

Semi-finals are upon us now. It’s all make or break from here on in, so get your best outfit on the park! The most popular trades this week will concern Geelong players, but don’t be too hasty, give it a think. Popular emergencies Mzungu (105) and Isaac Smith (115) have had a couple of great weeks and are scoring better than most our premiums – consider playing them and saving a trade.

Looking at next week’s games, there should be a lot more close affairs. Carlton play Hawthorn on Friday night in a battle of the possession-hoggers. Expect the scoring to come from the winning team in that one. Collingwood against Brisbane spells trouble for Lions players, but means the Pies should have a(nother) day out. The other interesting clash is Sydney vs St. Kilda – both are lockdown, defensive units, so don’t expect too many points out of that game.

As usual, good luck!

Until next week.



Follow me on Twitter for all things fantasy: @tbetta9

Alex Trombetta has been with DT Talk since 2011 providing content in various forms. A lover of Classic, Draft and DFS, you can be sure to be getting top-notch advice from the Eagles man.



  1. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm


    And whilst I’m here and we’re talking breakers: Jude Bolton – what’s going on? 41 & 39 the last 2 weeks after a stellar year. He’s become a liability. Anyone have any insight as to what’s wrong.

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm

      Did you look at the Swans Results
      Hardly any Swans get tons
      Especially when they lose

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      from what i’ve heard he’s carrying a knee injury

  2. Avatar

    Hill End

    August 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Great article – top ruck summary and thank GOD (not Ablett) I didn’t have Smith / Lower playing

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    August 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Yes, been waiting for this all day. Cheers Tbetta, you’ve outdone yourself. Each week you keep making it better and better! SH

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm

      Cheers Slight! Better week for you with Captain Vanilla?

      • Avatar


        August 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm

        Yes, a much better week. Swan captain, went A.swallow to daisy who scored me a juicy 128 and the berger desROY’d it :P Finished up on 2358

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm

      Do you want to suck his dick as well? While you’re at it why don’t you just fuck him in the ass also?

      • Avatar


        August 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm

        Tbetta and SH are champions Chappo, chill out mate.

      • Avatar


        August 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm

        Type at me bro

        • Avatar


          August 15, 2011 at 5:45 pm

          yeah Dream-Stats!

  4. Avatar

    The Unemployed

    August 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Tbetta awesome as usual my friend. Surely there is room in the salary cap to get you on board fro next season??


    The Unemployed

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      Haha let’s hope – I’ve always wanted to be a one-club player!

      • Avatar


        August 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm

        If you don’t get a permanent gig here, i’m sure you could write for TIA :P

    • Avatar

      Albert Lloyd

      August 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      This week:

      Smith (whom I had playing) to Looburger
      Stan to Bock

      • Avatar


        August 15, 2011 at 7:25 pm

        Don’t copy me brah, did that trade weeks ago.

        • Avatar

          Albert Lloyd

          August 15, 2011 at 8:48 pm

          why can’t I copy

          • Avatar


            August 15, 2011 at 9:33 pm

            Coz you’re taking his uniqueness away, and it hurts

  5. Avatar

    Hill End

    August 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Gee I would have thought Gaff would have been a contender for a maker, the ealry year green short sub has come strong averaging 102 in his last 3 and a price increase of $100k???

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      Definitely a good little patch of form for him, but not many have him at this point in the year, and those who do most likely had have him on the pine – got to keep it relevant!

  6. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Good write up again Tbetta. I had Lower on the field and Poo on the bench which is alway the way. Should have looked at who was playing who and made a better decision.

    Luckily my opponent made Selwood Captain and I got over him by 60 points and into the Prelim Final.

    Now my decision is what to do with my last two trades and $195,000. I can replace two of Stanley, Z Smith and Sylvia with two of Suckling, McEvoy and Stevie J. See what happens between now and the prelim.

  7. Avatar

    brent grgic

    August 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Excellent write up as usual Tbetta. Interested in a Director of Coaching gig with my Dream team next year?

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm


  8. Avatar

    Big Feller

    August 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Sylvia’s a bit of a worry for me – what’s everyone doing with him?

    • Avatar

      brent grgic

      August 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      I’m keeping him, but only because the Dees have a fairly easy run home and the fact that I am still stuck with Riewoldt who I am desperate to trade!

      If you’re low on trades, I’d play Smith or Mzungu instead if you have them.

      • Avatar


        August 15, 2011 at 6:30 pm

        I moved him into the midfield and traded him for Priddis. OK so far!

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      It’s two of Sylvia, Mzungu and I. Smith for me this week, if I don’t trade.

      I’ll definitely wait and see if he’s named in the middle or not – but he’s only playing Richmond, you’d think Melbourne would be in the game.

    • Dusty Cotch n Conks

      Dusty Cotch n Conks

      August 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      As much as I am hating him steaming up my forward line, I’m holding on to him due to him playing Tigers, Gold Coast then Port in the last games. Then he’s getting the ass to the “never again” bin.

      • Avatar

        Hill End

        August 15, 2011 at 5:58 pm

        problem is viney has him up forward – I’m not convinced – I’m going for Mzunga
        I was at the Carl v Freo game on the weekend and Mzunga will become a permanant midfielder for freo – better than lower, broughton in that position

  9. Avatar

    Hill End

    August 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    No write up on Ryder – would have thought 125 was worthy of a comment, backing up his 116 the week before???

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      Good call, I was waiting for someone to mention Ryder!

      I considered doing him in Ruck Grades or the Makers, but hardly anyone has kept him, no-one should have traded him in this week given his bye in DT Grand Finals.

      • Avatar

        Hill End

        August 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm

        i must be unique to have Ryder and Gaff – however there are so many performing players scoring 100+ this year compared to previous years, leaving many options of choice

  10. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    breakers- chapman, enright, goodes. All a bunch of pretenders just like the sydney swans. Can’t score when you need them to just like sydney cant win when they need to.

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      Chappo you need to lift your fkn game as well mate.
      All 140’s last year and F A this year.

      Chapman = dissapointing

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      cool story bro

  11. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    When do the 3-2-1 votes come out for EPL premier league

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      Not sure but Judd has 3 of them.

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      Monday brah (there time)

      • Avatar


        August 15, 2011 at 10:42 pm


  12. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Good write up tbetta. I must admit I get a little over excited when i see Scotland on -1 and Birchall spudding. I was fearful of Mitchell, but he stopped in his tracks.

    To Broughton owners, it really pains me to say I told you so with his return to the back pocket, I was even called crazy for suggesting it could happen…. actually who am I kidding, I love it that I was right … muhaha

    • Avatar

      Albert Lloyd

      August 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      Who was a better option then?

      • Avatar


        August 15, 2011 at 6:00 pm

        Re Broughton?

        My backs were set by that stage, I didn’t look into it at the time as to who would be the better option to bring into my team accordingly.

        Just saw it as fools gold. Lynch another bandwagon I avoided. Mind you, my starting team had Astbury in it.

  13. Avatar

    Silky Smooth

    August 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Danny Stanley is another one to go in the fade-outs- 56 at half time (i think) finished with a discusting 64. Was especially frustrating as he was my only rookie on the field

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Another good example – it was 50 at half time, but that only leaves 14 in the second half.

    • Avatar

      Albert Lloyd

      August 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      Upgrade Stan before it’s too late!

  14. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Regarding Nick the penis Lower.

    It cost me the win in both my leagues. However I’ve noticed a trend with him. He scores well when playing away ie. Not at Pattersons.

    Even though he truly screwed me I’ll still keep him on the starting lineup.

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm

      Just done some research into that and lower average 61.1 at Patterson’s Stadium, compared to 88 away. In the final 3 weeks hes got 1 game at home, so depending on if he’s named i might keep him

  15. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Me – traded in Mumford
    Him – stuck with Zmith
    Me – won by 30 points with 2271.
    Mumford didn’t play as well as we wanted but he got some of us over the line.

    Amazingly enough it is Saving Of Trades which has got me to the prelim.
    I have 6 left so am in good stead.

  16. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    4 trades left 30,700 in the bank.

    DEF: Gibbs – Goddard – Fisher – Deledio – Adcock – Lower* – Puopolo* (Duigan – B.Smith – Nicholson)

    MID: Pendles – Swan – Boyd – Mitchell – Redden – Judd (Mzungu – Jacobs – Wallis)

    RUC: Cox – Sandi (Z.Smith – Gawn)

    FWD: Fyfe – Pavlich – Chapman* – Franklin – Sylvia – N.Roo – I.Smith (Knights – Prestia – Matera)

    Im thinking Chapman (bye) > Rioli (my opponent has O’Keefe so want a unique) which will leave me with 75,800 in the bank.

    then either Option 1: Lower > Suckling
    Option 2: Puopolo > Birchall

    should I trade Chapman or just put the Gu on the field? and if I should trade Chapman which of Lower and Puopolo should I trade out? (if I trade Poo I can only get Birchall)

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm

      I like the Lower > Suckling trade, but consider holding Chapman and playing Mzungu instead.

      If you don’t have the confidence in him though, Chapman > Rioli is a solid trade too.

      • Avatar


        August 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm

        thanks tbetta

      • Avatar


        August 15, 2011 at 9:58 pm

        Have to agree with Tbetta here. Lower-Suckling is the trade I think I will be doing as well. Should have done it last week before Lower leaked that 20 odd thousand, would have got me an extra 100 points as well. I think Tbetta might have even told me to do it on Friday. Should have listened but just couldn’t do it after a 96 from Lower but will definately be doing it this week.

        And in regards to Chapman it really depends on how much this will affect your match this week. Mzungu in good form so it is probably worthwhile holding him. And as bad as Chappy has seemed at times he has actually still averaged 100.22 which is not bad at all.. Better than Fyfe, Pav, Goodes, Cloke, O’keefe in fact. It seems as though he has been quite dissapointing but you’d take 100 average from him I guess.

  17. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Once again, good read tbetta! My double-trade didn’t quite pay off – down by 9 points and, like Calvin, my opponent’s uniques rolled me!

    Double-trade again this weekend against the best scorer in my league… Going down fighting! :)

  18. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Being one of the 3% that have neon Leon I’m pretty happy with him lately!

    • Avatar


      August 15, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      Yeah you would be. I started the season with Leon after his NAB cup form, however, traded him very early due to not living up to this form. From memory he went through a fairly poor patch mid season but has come good now so youd be pretty stoked. Very unique 2 :D

  19. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    trade in Rioli or Petrie??

    • Avatar

      Albert Lloyd

      August 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm


      Petrie needs marks and goals to score well. Easier for Rioli to score well.

  20. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    A 2325 got me through, which was a nice score, but I thought par this week was 2400+, I had my downs not playin Smith and playing sylvia…

    • Avatar

      The x Factor

      August 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm

      well it couldn’t be par because I got 2409 and was ranked 292 for the week, probably 2250 was par.

  21. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Anyone interested in Knights. Very cheap at 260 odd and bar the injury affected game has played 2 pretty decent games and 2 tons under Bickley. Quite a nice run home as well playing Gold Coast, Richmond and WCE.

  22. Avatar


    August 15, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Can’t believe the stat about Jolly having 3 99’s in a row.. Far out, that is crazy :P

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