Can you believe that we are back at round 1 again! It has been one of the most difficult pre seasons for us Fantasy Coaches. We have no 2020 data for the Victorian rookies, we only had one AAMI Series game and the depth of rookies is one of the lowest we have seen. But we still find ourselves here, just a few hours away from the first bounce (depending on when you read this of course). How is your team looking? As bad as mine? Well let’s see if I can help you get you a little closer to the ideal starting squad.
Rookies are Gold
We all want the guy that scores 120+ every week but whilst they boost your score each week it is the rookies that make your season! For those that are seasoned players we all know that we need to generate cash to upgrade our team so we can get close to Roy’s Rolling 22 and hopefully Fantasy Glory! Not only do we need the cheap players but we need the guys that are going to play regularly and score too!
There are plenty of experts out there but we have our very on guy and that is Fry! So be sure to have a very good read of Fry’s Cash Cows from earlier this week. You need to know everything there is to know about the rookies for season 2021 prior to the first game starting tonight.
At this stage I am still unsure of which way I am going to go, I currently have Gawn and Grundy but am really toying with the idea of downgrading Grundy now that we have a plethora of rookie ruck options. The one thing holding me back is the knowledge that it can be incredibly hard to get these very expensive guys once the season has started!
Why do I want a Rolling Lockout?
Unfortunately we have had the Rolling Lockout thrust upon us in season 2021. Those of us that play Real Dreamteam and Supercoach are very used to this concept but those that have stuck to AFL Fantasy would have only had a taste of it last year.
With teams only being announced 24 hours prior to the games it makes it very unfair to lock us out of our teams on the Friday night when we don’t know who is playing on Sunday.
What does this mean for you? It means you need to be on your to toes all weekend. It means you need to check your team each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (and even Sunday nights when there is a Monday game).
The best way to deal with a rolling lockout is to remain flexible in your team. These are the key golden rules I apply to rolling lockout games:
- Don’t trade until you absolutely have to. You may have a slam dunk trade that you are going to make but you never know what else may pop up in the lead up to that game, particularly if that game is on a Sunday. Leave it as late as you can to give yourself the most flexibility you can.
- Have a couple of different scenarios planned. In conjunction with what I said above, you need to make sure you have a couple of plans just in case. If there is a whisper one of your players may be a late out or not make a cut as a rookie, then have a plan for them being in and then another plan for them being out! This way, when we get to final teams 60 mins out from game time you won’t be scrambling to find a solution to a problem you sort of already knew about.
- Don’t Panic early in a round. Be calm and execute your plan. If you have a minor hiccup on the first couple of games, like a bench rookie isn’t named, and you have a big upgrade planned elsewhere, don’t panic and fix the rookie you weren’t using anyway, do your upgrade and then look to move your rookie on next week. If they don’t play they don’t lose any value.
The Floating Donut
One tactic that is often used in games with Rolling Lockouts is that of a Floating Donut. That is a player that is never going to play and you use to loophole either captains scores or emergency scores off the bench. I am an advocate for the floating donut as it can help boost your score. But unless there are no bargain basement rucks playing I won’t start the season with one. So this year with Flynn, Meek and Hunter all set to play round 1 you can’t pass up the opportunity to get some cash generation from them. You will have a non-playing player on your bench soon enough to use as a loophole!
Captains… oh yeah, we need one of them.
As we all know there is only one man… sorry, Pirate, that we should be listening to when we want a Captain and that is of course our very own Calvin. Make sure you have checked out his latest installment of Calvin’s Captains and follow his advice. Importantly this week he explains the Loophole (for about the millionth time) so if you aren’t sure how it works then have a read and get on board.
With the rolling lockouts you can use the loophole or even delay your selection of a captain until later in the round if you like but just make sure you don’t get caught out. I have seen it done and I have done it myself! As games tick over and players get locked in position you may find yourself unable to get a non-playing player on field and hence ruin your chance of using the Captain Loophole. Similarly you may even outsmart yourself and leave yourself extremely limited in having a captain to pick!
So my advice here is to still have your VC as early as you can in a round so it gives you far more options and ability to get your non playing player on field if you need to. It also gives you a much wider range of captains to pick from.
A New Rule Already??
So yesterday we were hit with this new “Injury Sub” which looks set to cause us even more concerns. Here are a few of my thoughts on this position and what impact it will have on us.
- Sub to come from the emergencies. So this sounds well and good, but if we get to that 60mins before the game and the coach wants one of the emergencies to play the whole game you may still find someone from within the 22 lines up as the injury sub after being replaced in the 22 by an emergency. Hopefully we don’t see this too often but I wouldn’t put it past the coaches to do this (looking at you Chris Scott).
- It could kill cash generation for a rookie. If your rookie is on the fringe and finds themselves demoted to injury sub one week and they come on for the last qtr or even worse last 15 mins, their score will count and it will mean they are virtually zero chance of reaching their break even. So, you don’t want your players as the sub and if they are just sit there and pray to the fantasy gods for no injuries!
- It may make some rookies cheaper than their starting price. If a rookie hasn’t played a game yet and we haven’t selected them, this could work in our favour. In the same example as above where they come on for the last few minutes you may find that if they score poorly their BE could actually drop from its’ starting point. And if the player they replaced is out longer term they may find themselves with a full game and a ridiculously low BE the following week making them an even bigger lock to select.
As with any rule, the coaches will find a way to exploit it. But I do hope that doesn’t happen here. I think the only way this rule can have any integrity is that the player coming off is mandated that they miss the following week. No exceptions.
Get your leagues sorted out ASAP. As the weekend rolls through we will find that the 1’s and 0’s of the computer systems that run these wonderful fantasy games will start to fill up your leagues to make sure that you don’t have a bye (we all remember how much they sucked). So fill them up before the weekend and then you know who you are playing against. If you get real stuck in AF, shoot me a tweet and I will try join if I see it in time.
In the meantime here are a couple of leagues for you to join, PLEASE only join one of them to allow others to get in too.
I ran out of SC leagues to create one unfortunately.
Things to Remember:
- You won’t win the comp in round 1. Don’t panic if one of your stars has a quiet round 1. It happens all the time.
- Trust your research. You have done your research so don’t go picking up the next Relton Roberts tonight!
- Have Fun! This game wasn’t created to stress us out (although it does a good job of it), it is there to have some fun with our mates and hopefully win a car (or in some people’s case a third car hey Selby!).
There we have it, hopefully you are all set for round 1 starting tonight and you are in for a great season ahead. I will be back next Thursday to hopefully sift through what has been a successful round 1. If not, then that is fine too, gives me more things to write about!! Until then, enjoy having the footy back!