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The Friday Scramble

The Friday Scramble: Round 17

Late outs and poor scores hurt some coaches last week, and this is just the beginning! Time to Scramble.

Late Outs! We all know they are going to come but are you ready for them? We saw one planned and one unplanned last week and this is where our bench depth gets really challenged. Anyway, enough chit chat… let’s Scramble!

Late Season Strategy

With just 7 weeks to go most leagues only have three games left before finals. If you are going for a league win the you need to start making sure that you are locked into the top 4 and if not do everything you can do to get into the top 8.

Struggling to get into the top 8?

This may mean that you need to play a little differently if you are battling to keep your spot in the 8 or trying to get in. In that position you may need to take a risk. Risks you may want to take include the following:

  • Trade in uniques that are on a hot streak. If you are desperate for wins and a massive underdog check for guys that are not in as many teams but are scoring well. Trade out someone that is common between you and your opponent and roll the dice.
  • Pick someone different as your captain. Now I am not suggesting that you go against our beloved pirate Calvin, but once again look at your opponents team and find a captain on Calvin’s list that your opponent doesn’t have. This is another way that you can get an edge in your matchup.
  • Use the Scale of Hardness. When bringing a player in it is almost imperative now that you examine their run home. By bringing in players that have an easier run you should end up with better scoring.

Are you at the top of the table and locked in the top 4?

If you are sitting pretty and aren’t as worried about rank then you can be a bit strategic with your trading. You could employ some of the following ideas:

  • Get all of your rookies off field.
  • Get some solid bench cover. If your field is all sorted and you don’t need to trade there, work on getting a good set of bench players so that when the inevitable late outs occur later in the season you will be prepared and it won’t cost you a game.
  • Load up on guys that have a great run during the finals. If you bring in a guy that has a few bad matchups now but a great run in the last four weeks it will benefit you when you need him most, not now when you are already locked into your spot in the finals.

What do you do with short term injuries?

Struggling to get into the 8? Well just keep playing it like you have been but now you trade a player out at the sniff of a potential miss of a game. But if you are locked into top four you can afford to hold a gun like Josh Kelly if you genuinely think they will be back for all of the finals and use your trades to strengthen your team elsewhere.

Now clearly the above all is related to AFL Fantasy where we have two trades a week. In relation to Real Dreamteam and Supercoach then you need to use those trades wisely and the number you have left will determine how aggressive you can be.

How many trades should I keep?

In both RDT and SC then your trading will be governed by how many trades you have. Below is a bit of a guide on what I would do in various circumstances.

8 trades or more.
Go hard with your trades. Use a few in the next couple of weeks to strengthen your side and make sure you get into the finals.

8 trades
Use between 2 and 4 to get your team as strong as you can. But ideally hold 4, one for each week of the finals.

6 trades
You can use 2 to get an upgrade done, two hopefully if you have some cash in the bank.

4 or less
Essential trading only. With 7 weeks left you may need to use all of these on injuries.

From here on in you don’t want to go down to less than one trade every two weeks if you can help it. But don’t hold trades just for the sake of it, if a situation arises where you must use them then do it.

Selection Table

A few big ins and a few big outs this week as things just keep getting harder for fantasy coaches.

John Noble. Two weeks in a row now that we have had a rookie from the Pies. If you need a quick cash grab then go for it.
Patrick Cripps. Crippa returns from his foot injury and not before time for those that have held.
Chad Wingard The Chad is back for the Hawks but don’t count on a huge score, you just never know what you will get from him.
Grant Birchall Birch returns after what seems like an eternity on the sidelines with injury. Give him a week or two but if he scores well and gets through the games he could be a very cheap option for you.
Griffin Logue isn’t as bullet proof in his job security as we all thought he was! He has been dropped this week after a fairly poor game last week. If you were relying on him as D6 then you need to trade him if you don’t have some good bench cover.
Matthew Parker Fan favourite and Fantasy faviourite Parker finds himself dropped. If you were looking for an excuse to finally trade him out then this is the time.
The Giants. Great to see that Whitfield returns and Coniglio is named in the side but as we expected Josh Kelly is out of the side for a number of weeks. Trade Kelly out but you may want to wait a week on Whitfield returning to your side as he does have some big BE’s in the various games.
Max Gawn!! The big fella has been named as being back in the side which is a huge relief for those that held him. Just keep an eye on the teams tonight to see if he stays in the side.
Marty Hore Trade Trade and Trade again. He is out with a broken collarbone and is now highly unlikely to return this year given how late in the season it is and that Melbourne are very unlikely to be playing finals.
Travis Boak The Power former skipper returns to the side after he was the latest of late outs last week. Just keep a close eye on the team sheet tonight but given they play last on Sunday he should be ok to return.
Stef Martin has been named but in the extended squad we also see Oscar McInerney and Archie Smith. Now don’t panic too much as they are probably just bringing these guys in to combat the Power big men.

Things to Remember

  • Late outs and General Soreness are in season. Be prepared!
  • Consider both value and strength of schedule going forward. Sometimes trading in the cheaper player could be the best course of action as cash is hard to come by this season.
  • 3 games to finals! Make sure you get yourself in the finals!

Whilst there were some big scores last week from some teams even though we lost Boak and Gawn things like this are going to become more regular as players start to get sore and tired. Also don’t be surprised if we see players rested. As teams like Geelong and West Coast lock in spots in the top 4 or even top 2 they may start to give some stars a rest so just beware of that.

Good luck for this week and let’s all pray for no more big injuries!



A passionate Port Adelaide Fan who simply loves footy! That is how I would describe myself. Catch my weekly article "The Friday Scramble" with all the last minute things to think about for the weekend Follow: @pkd73.

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