I figured I have kept in hiding for about long enough, for anyone who took my advice on any of this years left-fielders (bar Sideass and maybe Higgins) I apologise. Injury (Enright, Dixon), poor form (Petrie), etc have all conspired to prove almost all my calls wrong.
In my own side I have got lucky with a few starters like Jacobs and early on got in Jaensch and Wright. Seriously how did we all not pay more attention to the Crows early season draw and factor that in!!
Anyway, I have been reading a lot these past few weeks about how we need to set our teams up for the byes, and try to get as close as possible to a 8/10/12 split heading into the MBR’s to try and minimise donuts. Some people even advised against picking up perennial DT gun Swan at his cheapest last week because he wasn’t the right bye week for most teams?! 122 points later….
At the start of the season I tried to plot out a plan to get my team balanced for the byes, and found myself with many tough choices. Pendles or Swan? Ablett or Stevie J? Danger or Dusty? Petrie or Harvey (ok that one should have been easy!)? Bartel or Enright? Cotchin or Sidebottom? Jacobs or Goldstein? Swallow or Mackie?
The more I looked at it, the more I realised the majority of those I considered stayers (starting picks that are likely to be in the top-tier of their position at season’s end) all shared the round 8 bye. Yes there were a few obvious exceptions as below (value picks in brackets)
Backs Mitchell, McVeigh, (Suckling)
Mids Mundy, Ebert, Watson, Stanton (Shiels)
Rucks Cox, Minson, (Sandi)
Fwds Riewoldt, Mitchell, Parker, (Higgins)
..but I started to think it would be a lot easier if these were the only upgrades I needed to worry about (obviously the value picks I started with) rather than try and juggle my whole side for the first 10 rounds to try and keep/get it balanced for the 3 byes, and then burn through a lot of trades (likely all 9) trying to scrape 18 together each week with a lot of sideways trades that don’t end up improving my side and don’t guarantee me even 1 win over the 3 mbr’s.
Enter the Tank.
What if I just assumed round 8 was going to be a loss, in head to head leagues one loss isn’t season ending – it’s barely a blip really. Suddenly I realised my starting side could have a large number of players from the below list THAT I WOULDN’T HAVE TO TRADE.
Backs Bartel, Enright, Swallow, Mackie, Henderson, Houli, Hansen
Mids Gaj, Stevie J, Pendles, Beams, Sideass, Jelwood, Swan, Cotchin
Rucks Jacobs, Goldstein
Fwds Harvey, Petrie, Dusty, Danger, Caddy, Varcoe, Wright
Obviously I couldn’t fit all these and the rookies/mid pricers in that I wanted but I started with a fair number of them as below:
I got the Petrie vs Harvey call wrong, and actually traded Swan to Swallow before price changes. I started with 12 (I thought) keepers, of which 11 were round 8 byes.
Suddenly the 30 trades we have this season feels like a lot when I worked out I wanted to do about 10 upgrades. That’s roughly 20 trades in the old 1 up and 1 down scenario with 10 left for injuries and finals. Dependent of which starting guns you went, most people will need to do about 10 upgrade/downgrades to complete their side. Add in say 5 sideways trades over the byes to try to scrape 18 each week and you are down to 5 for injuries and finals….
This is a snapshot of what my team looks like after two trades this week, green are stayers, orange are midpricers, yellow are rooks (first priority to upgrade)-
in rounds 8 and 9 I plan on using 3 trades each week which will give me the following side (I have used the assistant coach break-evens and allowed a 10% worse result in all prices) in round 10, with 14 trades left (plus another 3 in round 10 if desired)-
|Stevie J||J Hunt|
So what I have ended up with is starting round 8 with a 20/5/5 structure, using 6 trades over rounds 8 and 9 to upgrade 3 rooks (Polec, Macdonald and Varcoe (who is prob more a failed midpricer than a rook but work with me here ok) to 3 likely keepers (Jelwood, Mitchell and Sideass). I will lose round 8 but stand a huge chance of winning rounds 9 and 10 as I will likely have 21/22 on field in each of those 2 rounds to get a best 18 score from (barring horrible injury or resting luck, but I should be ok if I can get through this week as most of my players will have already had their bye). I also enter round 10 with 17 premos plus Jaensch, Suckling, Higgins and Merret of which I think at least 2 will prove to be keepers. So 5 or 6 trades to upgrade the other 3 including Crouch – likely to Parker, Ebert and maybe Wingard- leaves me with about 8 or 9 trades left to cover LTI’s, jump on any rookies that pop up late and then finals. This year with the limited trades finishing top 4 and getting the week off is once again of paramount importance as you can save whatever trades you have left whilst your opponents have to use theirs in cut throat finals.
Now this strategy is only for head to head leagues – if you are going for overall ranking than forget everything you have read above as it will make it almost impossible for you to win as you will lose too much ground in round 8. If you assume average of 90 per player if you play 18 every week equals 1710 each week or 5130 over the 3. I will only have about 8 players in round 8, so that’s likely about 800 that week. The other 2 weeks I think I will average 100 per player (top 18) so that’s 1900 each during 9 and 10. Total of 4600 over the 3 rounds, or roughly 500 less than those who can manage to field 18 each week at an average of 90. If that average drops to 80 though it is suddenly a lot closer between the 2 strategies….
Anyway this is my approach to handling the byes this year in RDT, time will tell if it works but if there are any out there suddenly going “crap – half my team is out round 8!” maybe consider making three-quarters of your team out in round 8…..