Wow, where has that season gone? Hard to believe we are at finals already. Now I know that some of you may have already started finals or don’t start for another week because of customisable leagues, but I am referring to the traditional leagues where the finals are played across the last four weeks of the AFL season. We have battled through lots of injuries, suspensions and just all round rubbish scoring to get to this point, the part of the season where legends are made! So…. what does it all mean and what do we do now? Well join me as we scramble our way through the first finals week.
How do Finals Work?
Well in the vast majority of leagues they work just like the AFL top 8 system does. And if you aren’t sure, just click onto the Finals tab in your league and you can see the graphic that shows you how it all works. Basically you want to be in the top four. This gives you a double chance so if you lose this week you are still in and if you win you get next week off.
Having that week off in the second week of the finals is massive. What this means is that if there are any one week injuries this week or someone gets suspended for a week you can (assuming you are only focused on one league or get the week off in all leagues and don’t care about ranking) just do nothing and rock one of your bench players for a week and you aren’t stressed about maxing out points.
Finals Trading Strategy
Something that you can do, which is easier in AFL Fantasy with two trades per week, is a tactic I have mentioned here in recent weeks and that is to look at your opponents team and either neutralise their best player by getting that player in or trading a player you both have out for one that is better to try and get the edge. This part of the season is where this is often a tactic.
In Supercoach you can often take that one step further and by using the rolling lockout you can make decisions on the fly as to whether or not you actually need to trade. If you have the game won before the player you were looking at trading out has to play then you can just hold that trade for another week and see what pops up then. There are lots of ways to play this. Just make sure you think trades through as once you have made them there is no guarantee you will be able to trade a player back next week (assuming you have enough trades left in RDT and SC).
Did you finish in the bottom 10? Well if you are in the bottom 2 then you are done for the year and you are now only playing for ranking and pride. But if you are in the consolation finals then you can still regain a bit of pride and finish as the best of the rest.
How Many Trades in RDT and SC?
The age old question is how many trades should you have left? Well my theory is that I would like to have at least two trades left over the last three weeks. However, if you are in a knockout situation and you need to trade to go down to 1 to win then by all means that is what you should do.
Throughout most of the year we tend to ignore our bench cover most of the time as we generally don’t need it (unless you have a heap of Geelong players). But as we get closer to the end of the long season we see a lot more late outs than we often do early in the year. Coaches do like to play a few games and blokes are often sore and are given right up until the last second a chance to prove their fitness. And as if that wasn’t enough you don’t want to be the person that loses a final just because you didn’t have any bench cover.
Quinton Narkle – Many would have been relying on him as bench cover for this week. He is just being rested so we expect to see him in round 21.
Shaun Higgins – Expected to just miss the one week so if you have cover you may want to hold him.
Brodie Smith – Back for the Crows for his first game of the season! In Draft you may want to pick him up!
Tom Doedee – Back from Concussion this week and those that still have him will be keen to put him back on field.
Shane Savage – He has been hanging out in the back line for a number of teams but is out injured with a hamstring complaint. He could be a forced trade for you.
Tim Taranto – OUT with a knee injury. If you have him you may need to trade him. But I haven’t seen any details on how long he could be out for.
Dylan Shiel – Shiel is also out with an ankle injury. It would be best to trade him out.
Michael Barlow – Finally back in the squad after about 100 possessions in each of his last couple of NEAFL games.
Michael Hibberd – STILL OUT. I think those that held him would have traded when he first went out if we knew it would have been that long.
If you had players like Hibbo still in your team and were rocking Savage you could find yourself stuck for trading and having no choices. Others could have gotten through with no issues this week. That is simply the luck of playing these games. I must say this is where the two trades a week that you have in AFL Fantasy really starts to pay off.
Things To Remember
- If you are in an elimination final, don’t hold back! Go for it!! Don’t have any regrets.
- If you are in the qualifying final then just keep an eye on the future, you know that you still have another week to fight on.
- Loyalty goes out the window now. If someone is not performing or is out for even a week or two then you have a green light to trade them out.
- Look at the run home of any one that you look at trading in. Check Cal’s Scale of Hardness just to see who is the best option.
- Don’t focus too much on the past average of players (obviously it is a factor) but the key is what they will score over the next four weeks.
Good luck in your finals, hopefully you are still in the game next week! Even if you do happen to drop out don’t give up, there are still rankings to play for and you should be looking to finish as high up as you can.