Note: Abbreviations used in this article include:
JS: Job Security – the perceived likelihood that a player will hold their spot in the side.
BE: Break Even – the estimated score required for the player to maintain their current price.
MBR’s: Multi Bye Rounds – the Rounds where the byes take place, between Rounds 11 and 13.
Apparently, the Law of Averages applies to fantasy AFL. Or maybe I’m thinking of Karma…? Whatever. The point is, we had a few really shoddy weeks there, and now we’re finally reaping the rewards of our DT nous with some monster scoring of late.
A lot of this has to do with the heightened scoring of our on-field rookies. Traded-in beauties such as Greene (96), Treloar (95) and Horsley (95) gave us much more to smile about than Magner (76), Shiel (64), Kennedy (60) and Bugg (58) this week. The lack of injuries to the DT elite didn’t hurt either (see what I did there?), and even McIntosh’s serious-looking injury was heralded as just a one-week affliction.
As we all know, it was a massive scoring round this week. I mean, when par is around 2250 (would have placed you in top 14,000 scores for the round), you know things are going well. But to be honest, I preferred it when there was a little carnage…. To rise up the rankings in a big week is so difficult, because everything has to go your way. Boosting your ranking in a ‘down’ week is much easier, providing you negotiate the minefield successfully.
Hopefully, Karma doesn’t get me on that one.
Ghosts of Trades Past…
Sometimes, words seem inept; especially when I attempt to convey how deep my hatred for Shaw and Broughton run. I would compare it to how you feel about the bed you just smashed you shin on in the dark. Or how you feel about the lone mosquito slowly murdering you as you try to sleep. Or the feeling of biting into an apple and realising that it’s rotten. That is what the pain of past trades can do to you – it can jade your opinions, manifest your disappointment and regret and morph it into an unconditional hatred of the player involved.
I’d avoided the Shaw rollercoaster of the previous couple of years, but somehow convinced myself to purchase a ticket this season. Of course, his first three weeks garnered an average of 67.7 points per game, followed by a cheeky hamstring strain. For me, and many others, it was an easy decision to promptly trade him out without any guilt. After missing just the two weeks (as advertised – the one time I don’t trust the clubs on injuries…) he returns BETTER THAN BEFORE and scores 111 and 113 back to back. Great. Can’t wait to watch him run rampant over the course of the season.
Don’t even get me started on Broughton… Too late. I still can’t decide whether the Brough is a massive troll or Ross Lyon is, but his Jekyll and Hyde bullsh*t is really starting to get to me. The story is all too familiar – he plays his first two games as a lock-down defender and scores a paltry 59 and 67. Obviously, I believe I’ve made a massive error in judgement and bitterly trade him out whilst torturing a Ross Lyon-esque doll with matches, needles and sulphuric acid. Next thing I know, Fyfe goes down (bad enough on its own) and Broughton soaks up his midfield time. Since then, he’s been travelling at 94 points per game, and I find it incredibly hard not to pray for an LTI.
The moral of the story? Trust your judgement. You’re a good coach. You have the entire DT Talk community helping you every step of the way. You’ve put in the time over the pre-season. Just trust your judgement.
What trades have you pulled this season that are haunting your every waking minute? Let me know in the comments!
Early days, I know, but let’s examine some of the more popular trades being talked about and executed this week.
Ellis OUT – Spurr IN
Just a mere two hours since lockout ended, hundreds of coaches have logged this exact trade, making it easily the most popular trade so far. It’s simple, yet clever. Many of us have both Morris and Ellis sitting on the bench, but we don’t need both. Seeing as Ellis’ 6 points in Round 7 has basically guaranteed that he won’t be any fatter anytime in the next six or so weeks, it’s time to go.
Spurr is far from the perfect replacement; queries on his JS and scoring ability still remain. But the reality is, he’s the best we’ve got – and certainly the best rookie defender coming our way anytime soon. He also has the added bonus of being a R12 bye rookie, which is particularly useful in a R13 dominated backline. Lock and load, and pocket the $105k.
Magner/Shiel OUT – Premo IN
With a distinct lack of half-decent midfield downgrade options, we’ll have to look skyward here. Magner and Shiel are both around the $280k mark and are the closest of the ‘popular’ rookie bunch to their BEs. We need to start upgrading soon, so one has to go.
Assuming you can’t get to Stanton ($588,200, 135.3 avg) before he shoots up in price another $30k after Round 8, you’re left with couple of fallen premiums. Jack Redden ($451,300, 94.7avg) is back into last season’s form, scoring 120 and 121 in his last two. A BE of 54 means he won’t be this cheap for long. If you’re not convinced, maybe I could tempt you with some Sam Mitchell ($473,500, 106.6 avg)? He’s basically bottomed-out now, and he is an absolute steal at this price.
Makers and Breakers
Welcome back to the Makers, and form, Matthew Boyd. His previous three-round average was a shade under 98, so the 162 points he earned this week is very encouraging for his numerous coaches. It was a typical Boyd performance, racking up 44 touches primarily by foot and contributing modestly in most other scoring categories. The Roos chose to go head-to-head with him, so hopefully this continues – the recent effectiveness of Griffen should ensure that he snags the first tag, at least in the near future.
Nic Naitanui’s injury is no good for the Eagles, but it’s doing wonders for the fantasy value of Dean Cox! In NicNat’s absence, Coxy has scored 110 and now 131, thanks to less time spent isolated up forward and more time linking up through the middle of the ground. Cox is now the highest scoring ruckman this year, which has to be a win for those who selected him – despite his average dropping almost 10 points off last year’s pace.
Dane Swan is fast reconfirming his title as the must-have midfielder, scoring his 7th consecutive 100+ score this weekend; a handy 143. His status as the most-picked Captain this week (20.6%) was warranted, given he scored the 2nd-most of all comers. Interesting stat alert; Swanny didn’t register a tackle against the Lions. He’s now cracked the $600k barrier, meaning you’ll have to pull some bumper trades to get him in if you don’t have him already.
He’s been ticking along at a steady pace all year, and it’s about time Ivan Maric got the recognition he deserves. His 102 in Round 7 took his season average to 94.2 and his three-round average to 107.3! He’s also increased almost $140k on his starting price, whilst overtaking McIntosh and Ryder to have scored the second most of all ruckmen this season. And, he has a flowing mullet. Legend.
The last spot in the Makers was hard to pick this week. It could have gone to wunderkinds Giles (107) or Horsley (95); accumulators Stanton (140) and Beams (122) wouldn’t have looked out of place either. Ultimately, I went with Scott Thompson based on his red-hot recent form. The quiet achiever has scored 138, 128 and 138 consecutively, re-establishing himself as a premier option for your midfield. Don’t forget Adelaide’s draw either, as it promises plenty more scores like this in the future.
There’s no bigger week-killer then having your unique midfielder injured early in the match, and it’s particularly devastating when this tragedy hits in the middle of one of these huge scoring weeks. Priddis’ concussion is just that. The 3.8% of coaches who own him would be reeling from the 17 points he scored before being red-vested – you just can’t make up those lost points in a round like this.
Is there a bigger sinking feeling than going into the final match of a Round, carrying a hefty score and praying for a huge score from your Captain to put you amongst the DT elite… and then watching them fail? Many Murphy owners experienced this dejected feeling, even without the Captain’s badge assigned to him. The good news is that non-owners will be able to snap Smurph up on the cheap over the next fortnight, as he goes into Round 8 with a BE of 170. There is no good news for current owners.
Heppell was in the top 10 most traded-in players this week, probably thanks to a great vein of form which saw him average a clean 115 points in his last three outings. Unfortunately, Hepp D returned serve with his poorest game of the season, earning just the 61 points. It was only the 3rd match in his career where he has failed to register a tackle.
It’s time for Ellis to go. Brandon was green-vested for just the 6 DT points this week, meaning his growth as a Cash Cow is essentially over for at least the next month and a half. It’s disappointing, because his JS was and is looking fantastic, particularly for a draftee not from the Giants. Spare a thought for those who played him over teammate Morris, who totalled 74 points in a full hit-out.
The 9% of coaches who took a chance on Hawthorn livewire Cyril Rioli will be ruing the decision to select the inconsistent forward. Cyril can light up a match, but he’s struggling to be effective fantasy-wise this season. His 43 points from Round 7 takes his season average to 72.7 – significantly less than the 87 per game he manufactured last season. It’s possibly at the stage where it’s too late even to cut your losses.
Things to Think About….
With the MBR’s fast approaching, now is the time to start thinking about your strategy for Rounds 11, 12 and 13. We now have plenty of data to know which players we can rely on, which trade targets we are convinced of, and how many trades we are comfortable parting with. As for right now, it’s just a case of giving yourself a rough plan to follow, or at least refer to, in the coming weeks. Here are a couple of preliminary things to think about:
1. Get the bulk of your upgrading done in the next few weeks. There’s no point upgrading to a premium that’s just going to have a bye a week later, so get them done asap and make them worthwhile trades before the MBRs are upon us.
2. Just a follow-on point from above – think about whether you’ll trade in between Rounds 10 and 11. As I mentioned, it’s hard to justify upgrading to a Premium as they’ll have a bye just around the corner, so you might as well wait and save a trade. What you do need to think about, is whether you’ll trade at all. My position is to hold, provided you’re mentally tough enough to idly walk into those R11 donuts.
The other option is to trigger a downgrade here, and free up some cash so you can make 3 trades (which we’re allowed just prior to Rounds 11, 12 and 13) into an downgrade-upgrade-upgrade (DUU for short) scenario, rather than a downgrade-downgrade-upgrade (DDU). Ideally, this would be a R11 rookie (a rookie Giant like Shiel, Devon Smith, Coniglio, etc…) down to another playing rookie, given the excess of R11 rookies in our squads.
3. Start looking at which R11 Premiums you want to trade in, with plugging holes in R12 the ultimate goal. For example: Shaw, Broughton, Clarke and Spurr have you eating a couple of R12 donuts in defence. This is where you might look to downgrade Spurr to a R11 rookie (let’s say Sam Darley is ready at that stage), while you upgrade Clarke to Waters. In this scenario, you have avoided two donuts while simultaneously executing an upgrade.
4. The same goes for the R12 Premiums you’ll have on the radar. Personally, I like the R12 Premium class much more than the R11 bunch, so I’ll probably look to bring in two guns here. This means I’ll probably have to pull a DDU after R11 and then use the extra cash to bite on a DUU after R12. Again, I’ll be minimising donuts while improving my team in the long run.
5. Identify at least two trade-out targets from each of the R12 and R13 bye rounds. This will ensure that the trades you effect using the concept in Points 3 & 4 are primarily upgrades and downgrades, and not sideways trades. That is the major reason that I’ll be keeping Horsley and Morris until after R12, and similarly with Magner and Spurr for post-R11.
It’s important to remember that these points all support a trade-saving, improvement strategy. If you’re going for a sideways trading scheme or a sacrificial round approach then these points will be less helpful to you.
It’s also important to remind yourself that no amount of planning will make things perfect, and there will always be things that don’t go according to plan. Injuries, dropped rookies, form fluctuations…. all these things will affect your options and mentality along the way. So give yourself a rough plan, deduce which structural deficits you need to correct ahead of time and get ready to roll with the punches when they inevitably start rolling in.
Given the late Monday Night game, it was impossible to make a call for Tbetta’s Tweets. So for one round only, you get to hear about my thoughts on a few key issues assaulting us this week. I’m even going to make up imaginary quotes… Lucky you.
“I just traded in Christensen, and now he’s gone and done his calf or something. Do I trade him out or what? Help!”
I’m glad you asked. I haven’t seen any solid figure regarding how long Bundy might miss, but when quizzed on Twitter whether he’d play on Friday, he replied with “hard to say mate. Just got to wait and see”. It’s another of those Ablett-type scenarios where you hold if it’s only a week or two, but consider a trade if it’s any longer. Given that he implied he’s still a chance for Friday, I think holding is the way to go. Especially if you have the likes of Devon Smith or Treloar sitting there as your 8th forward, in the light of their solid recent form.
“I hate the Rucks this year! I’ve got Hamish McIntosh as the premium in my 1-3 ruck structure, and Giles is my only Rookie playing! If he misses a week, what do I do?”
I have a feeling this dilemma will be haunting many coaches this week, especially those who flicked him in for one (or more) of Sandi-Mumford-McEvoy-Leuenberger since the year began. It all depends on whether you believe he’ll only be out for just the one match, as the club predicts. If it is just the one, you have to hold. Preventing one donut is not worth a whole trade, especially as we’ll be copping our fair share over the MBRs. If you think it will end up being 2 or 3 though… You may have to pull the trigger. But not on H-Mac – on Stephenson or Redden. Keep an eye on someone like Jenkins, who could save you a few donuts if they keep their spot, then relocate to your third ruck slot when H-Mac is fit again.
“I have both Magner and Shiel, and I need to upgrade one to get to a Premium. They’re almost the exact same price ($280K) – so who do I give the flick?”
Another excellent question… It’s Shiel for me. This is purely due to the bye situation. Shiel is one of many R11 rookies on our books at the moment, making Magner invaluable as one of the few R12/R13 Cash Cows. As I mentioned in an earlier section, we need as many R12/R13 rookies as possible to successfully pull off donut-preventing upgrades during the MBRs.
Without considering the byes, I probably still lean towards trading out Shiel. Their scoring potential is relatively identical, but we know that GWS will continue to rotate their rookies, meaning Shiel will be in the firing line over the next few weeks. Magner is actually one of Melbourne’s best players at the moment, so you can’t afford to have him off the park.
What new challenges will Round 8 throw at us? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out. Look out for your Bulldogs, Swans and Lions players to boost their averages against the competition minnows, while who knows what will come out of the Cats vs Pies clash? Will it be another high-scoring DT affair by both sides, and it has been with the Pies all season? Or will it be a hard-fought slog, restricting the fantasy scoring of all those involved, like the first half of the Saints-Blues match this weekend? It’s hard to know, but with Pendles, Swan and Selwood all legitimate Captain options, you’d want to get it right.
Well, that’s about it from me on this Tuesday morning. Let’s finish with the Family-Friendly Meme of the Week – God I love Maric.
Tweet me: @Tbetta9