Welcome back to Griff’s Grenades. That’s right, it’s Griff here, still taking the wheel whilst tbetta does, you know, whatever it is he is doing. Don’t worry, this should be the last week I’m tasked with the bullets for a while. Next week tbetta will be back at the helm delivering bullets in every direction having completely ignored two of the Multi Bye Rounds (MBRs) like they never existed. And as of next Monday I’ll bring you an all new segment, Mad Monday with Griff; semi-replacing the Open Letter To series. But we’ll get to that next week. As for this week…
More of the Same
Well now, that was slightly less painful wasn’t it? No, not really. Comparing one MBR to another is a bit like playing ‘would you rather?’; no matter what the answer is out of “would you rather lose a foot or loose a hand?” you still lose. So needless to say there was quite a healthy discussion on the inter-webs last week when it was announced by Andrew Demitridouche that he is contemplating having six, that’s 6, a half dozen, a shot over the boundary on the full, nummer sechs, numero sei, the magnificent seven (when on of them has to stay home and look after the kids), yes SIX MBRs next year.
The discussion was not so much the value of byes as, let’s face it, the players want two weeks off and they probably deserve it given the massive season. No, the discussion was about how AFL endorsed games like AFL Dream Team could actually survive one and a half months of the crapness that is MBRs.
Several ideas were floated on twitter, from extended benches combined with additional trades and bumping up the Magic Number, to having bye-absent players score their rolling five game averages. What ever the solution is, buckle your seat belts, because this ride’s about to get bumpy-er.
Harvesting Season (a mini Open Letter)
Dear Adam Treloar, and Devon Smith, and James McDonald, and Josh Jenkins, and Alex Sexton, and Chad Wingard, and, you know what, all rookies listen up (except you Dayne Zorko, you just do whatever you want)! We are very happy that you have debuted for our clubs over the course of the year, you’re already miles ahead of Tom Couch. And we support your development and stuff, and you know, go get ’em and all that. But seriously, WTF was that? Unkind regards, everyone.
There are moments as Dream Team coaches where everything works out perfectly. Toby Greene high-fiving the face of his opponent with his elbow just as Dayne Zorko is getting ready to tear the competition apart; that was perfect. Devon Smith and Adam Treloar combining for a grand total of 48, without being sub affected, in the middle of the MBRs, with significant coverage and potential upgrades missing next week; not so perfect. Now some coaches are well prepared to deal with such dilemmas, having hoarded more gold under their mattress than the Mayor of Athens, and they’ll simply buy their way out. Then there is the rest of us.
Here at Dream Team Talk, rookies are Chook’s domain, but to save him the time of explaining the problem in full, and without over-exaggerating the situation, this is where it is at: If Tom Couch doesn’t play this week, it is highly likely that we are all going to die. Okay, maybe some over-exaggeration…
With Sam Gibson having only played one game and Crozier the only other rookie screaming out of consideration, the dilemma of should you hold or should you fold has never been more important. If you need cash for your final upgrades, you must take a risk and cash in your cows. With some rather high break evens, Devon Smith (102) and Adam Treloar (113), unless you are planning on keeping these rookies, it’s time to move them on.
Do not say the B word!
Every time something new and exciting comes along, there is a tendency to try to compare it to what has been before. In the weather, it’s the biggest storm since the great flood of ‘88, in food, it’s the best thing since sliced bread, in the AFL Fantasy Football circles, it’s The Next B… loody comparison.
In 2010 there was a mature age rookie who not only lit up the Fremantle supports, he also set Fantasy Football Coaches hearts soaring. The man, in his debut season averaged 109.8 until an untimely end (thanks to everyone’s favourite Dream Team player: Rhys Palmer) saw him sitting out the rest of the season injured.
So it was of little surprise what happened in 2011 when a mature aged rookie for Carlton Football Club by the name of Ed Curnow debuted. He showed promising ball winning ability and high scoring potential for coaches. Within hours of his first game where he scored 107 points he was being touted as The Next Big Thing, and coaches couldn’t help but drawn comparisons to the Fremantle Star who came before him. Sadly, this cursed young Edward, and he went down with an injury shoulder injury soon after, and was to be never heard of again.
In 2012, the Gold Coast Suns debuted another mature age rookie. He too was labelled The New Benchmark. The next week Kyla Horsley was shit, and then he stayed home and played scrabble the week after that. This brings us to now, and Dayne Zorko. A mature aged recruit from the Brisbane Lions, with huge scoring potential, and the weight of Dream Team coaches on his shoulders is starting to build. Dayne is his own man; he will play the game his way. Do not curse him friendly coaches, do not weigh him down with expectation, just sit back, enjoy, and don’t even f**king think of calling him The Next Barlow!
Last week when I sat down during half time of the Queens Birthday match to write the Makers, I’ll admit, I cried a little. Not happy tears either. Thankfully, the Dynamic Duo (Beams and Sidebottom) managed to turn that frown upside down and not only supply Dream Team coaches with something to smile about, but spots four and five in the Makers. But that was last week. This week , there are Makers a plenty, and narrowing down the field of who should be and shouldn’t be in the Makers has been a painful, yet joyous exercise. This weeks top five Makers are all popular picks, as a big score from a unique pick in a Multi Bye Round is like an pleasant voice on a fashion model. Nice to have, but not really all that important.
Let’s start with the standout, Dayne Zorko. Zorks smashed out an attractive score of 140 this week, and to make it even more enjoyable, I doubt anyone had the pain of missing out on these points with him sitting on his bench. He managed to kick three goals straight amongst his twenty-four possessions, which included seven tackles, nine marks and a beautiful ratio of three kicks for every one handball. This all added up to him being the highest scoring Forward eligible player of the round. Zorks also shot up roughly $70,000 in price, and removing his sub affected 26 on debut, he is averaging 108 from his last four. What a sexy beast!
Although not the highest scoring Defender (that title goes to Nathan Grima with a whooping 132), Brian Lake managed to temporarily distract a quarter of all coaches of teammate Ryan ‘But I’m Le Tired’ Hargrave’s late withdrawal. His final score of 112 was largely inflated with a nice 41 point fourth quarter against the Power, however in a round that depended on every man doing the best they can, Lake managed to produce a great response to his previous poor showings of 52 and 49. He has now produced six scores over 90 out of the ten games he has played. Not bad for a defender who looked like having retirement forced upon him last season.
Midfielders round out the Markers this week, with Scott Thompson, Matthew Boyd and Gary Ablett scoring 141, 133 and 148 respectively. The three high scoring ball magnets stood up when it mattered, with a combined total of 115 possessions (39, 34 and 42) in a round where one of these three were most likely to be your captain. All three featured in the top five scores of the round, and with only Nic Natinui or Dayne Zorko the other two top scoring players, the most you could have missed out on in your captaincy differential with these players were fifteen points (presuming you own all three). With Gary Ablett having proven his point, Scott Thompson showing he can stand up in a close match without downhill skiing, and Matthew Boyd continuing his fine form, if you don’t own any of these three, it could well be worth looking at why not?
Honourable mentions go to: Nathan Grima, Ivan Maric, Nic Naitanui, Andrew Carrazzo, Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Lance Franklin and Robert Murphy.
Now I don’t want to cast stones as we all have differing opinions, and we all know how much the world loves a keyboard warrior, but last week, Dr Dreamteam suggested it was time to invest in this week’s number one Breaker, Chris Judd. In his AFL sanctioned article [http://www.afl.com.au/news/newsarticle/tabid/208/newsid/138403/default.aspx] which is read by casual and amateur Dream Teamers everywhere (well, mainly at school or living at home with their parents) the good doctor believed that the former Eagle was ready to turn his season around from it’s 93 point average. Well he did turn it around. He slammed on the breaks, did a U-ey and pumped out a pathetic 61 points for the % of coaches who own him. The bye could not come at a better time for Judd.
Power Forward cousins Nick Riewoldt and Jack Riewoldt punished coaches this week, with dismal outings in games they were expected to tear apart. Jumping Jack was very well held by Mohr, who obviously learnt his lesson after getting destroyed down at Manuka during the final NAB round. Although kicking three goals (mostly at ground level), Jack just could not get rolling, being completely held out of the contest in the second quarter with zero touches.
Nick, who St Kilda deny was injured at training last week before the game, spent much of the first quarter jogging in front of the channel seven camera in the change rooms during the Friday night clash against the crows. Thankfully for his owners he got into the game in the last quarter, and kicked two goals for the match, as at three quarter time he was on a mere 22 points.
Although it is unfair to expect Jason Blake to continue his run of form as when he played the sole ruckman for the Saints as his last three weeks, nobody would have expected McEvoy’s inclusion to drop Blake’s output by as much as it did. With some coaches picking up the Defender as a Point of Difference (POD) coming off 94, 75 & 131, Jason was subbed out in the third quarter with a miserable score of 5. Talk about a POD you don’t want!
And finally, as much as I do not like seeing rookies included in any negative list, it is impossible to ignore Adam Treloar’s score of 17, which was not injury, or sub affected. The rookie Giant just could not get going in the wet down at Skoda in front of 7,000 fans and a couple of lost tourists from Parramatta. Whilst Toby Greene and Jeremy Cameron pumped out nice scores of 87 a piece, Treloar limped to just above his minimal breakeven, giving away three free kicks in the process, and ending as the lowest scoring player on the field, excluding Brett O’Hanlon, who had about six minutes of game time in which he managed to score half of Adam’s total points.
Dishonourable mentions go to: Devon Smith, Chris Yarran, Brendan Goddard, Patrick Dangerfield, David Hale and Robbie Warnock.
Tweet Me Nicely
It’s a good question, with a rather simple answer, no. But don’t go off racing to the trade table just yet! Both Dylan Sheil and James McDonald still have reachable break evens this week, at 58 and 66 each (which is approximately fifteen points below their season averages of 72 and 81). And even better, they are coming up against theDees.
Unlike the bottom of the table Giants, the Demons really do leak points left, right and centre. But not only does that mean potential for both of the GWS boys to score big, but it also means James McDonald will be up against his old club, and just about bet your bottom dollar that (if fit) Sheedy will be playing McDonald (and Scully) in the centre square.
I should probably also take this opportunity to explain why we are starting to see the GWS players drop off a bit. Not only are the players either quite young, or quite old, and are playing very tough contested football (which would be reason enough), but including the NAB Cup, the Giants have played at: AAMI, ANZ , Aurora, Blundstone, BISP x2, Etihad, The Gabba, Lavington, Manuka x3, Skoda x2 and Simmonds Stadium. This week they will play at the MCG which will be the 12th ground they have played at this year (out of 16 possible matches), whereby not a round has gone by where they have not had to do a return interstate flight, and still doesn’t include a trip to Perth. It’s enough to make anyone tired, and this is why there is significant importance on rotating these young players.
So hold a week (on trading these two) and then get rid of them (preferably through upgrading), as after next week it’ll only get harder; coming up against both Sydney (ANZ) and Hawthorn (MCG).
This is a great question and it comes down to a matter of opinion. Both players can score massive, and both have a tendency to go missing (at times). They both know how to finish off a season (Goodes averaged 112 over his last five games last year, Beams averaged 123) and they have both also had issues with their groins in the past 12 months.
To be honest, as much as I would like to think that Goodes still has plenty to look forward to, and despite how long he has been a stalwart of the AFL Dream Team community, it is near on impossible task to overlook Beams in his current form. Let’s take a look at his recent run:
Dayne has knocked up six hundreds this season, and in his past seven games has averaged 124. He is playing this week against the Eagles, who are his third favourite team to play against (averaging 105 against them) at the MCG where he just scored a salivating 155. He is the eighth highest scoring Midfielder in the competition (and the second highest scoring Forward) at an average of just under 112 points per game, and he is in a team that plays free flowing, high scoring, Dream Team friendly football.
Actually, I changed my mind. It’s not a matter of opinion at all… You Must Get Beams!
As you may have noticed I got to this earlier as it is a pretty pressing issue for most coaches. With some rookies really not doing very well in the past few games, you do have to look for downgrade targets, but finding them isn’t easy. Bradley Hill from the Hawks looks promising after starting a sub and is still fairly cheap ($135,000), Sam Gibson got off to a slow start but seemed more comfortable as the game went on, and Dual Position Player Hayden Crozier is ‘on the bubble’ (meaning he has played two games and ready for his first price rise). Tom Mitchell and Tom Couch are absolutely killing it in the VFL, but you may have to weigh up if you want team structure vs. more donuts if you bring them in this week.
My best advice is keep checking in with the other DTTalk boys over the course of this week, with Chook likely to have some answers later in the week, Aki looking at it in his weekly Market Watch, and Roy, Calvin and Warnie likely to have a few ideas of their own come team selections on Thursday’s live show.
So next week is the final MBR, and the one which was flagged at the start of the season as the most devastating to our backline. Popular backs in Goddard, Deledio, Scotland, Ellis, Morris, Suckling and Birchall, as well as Ablett, Martin, Mitchell, Horsley and Robinson all feature in more than 15% of teams and will all miss. Alongside them: Ebert, Cotchin, Hayes, Montagna, Grigg, Dal Santo, Cornes, Foley, Ellard, Iles, Steven and Judd are all PODs that are averaging over 90 who will be also causing you headaches.
Whatever you do, and however you trade, make sure that it fits your overall team structure; as many experienced coaches aim to have their team set coming into round 14, with very limited trades remaining. Also make sure you check your bench, and only trade if you have to! Last week, an experienced and successful Dream Team coach realised half way through Friday night’s game that by brining Priddis in to his team, he now had seven premium Midfielders with no MID/FWD link. Sound good and can’t see the problem? There are only six playing spots on in the midfield! All because he forgot to double check what his team would look like after the bye round.
There’s no partial lockout this week, and no games on Monday, so hopefully there will be no second guessing (more than usual) in the team selections. Good luck, happy trading, and keep dreaming! Oh yeah, and tbetta should be back next week!
Gotta a grenade of your own to throw? Let us know below!