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Trent’s Take: Pre-bye planning

2020 winner Trent looks towards the byes.

Wow, what injury carnage. This will make the next few weeks of bye planning a bit of a lottery; however, it creates massive opportunities.  But, before we get into the serious business of bye planning, I thought I’d look at the next few weeks of games from the viewpoint of winners and losers. We’ll focus on some winning options this week and the those to avoid next week. The aim is, can we find a gem in the next few weeks who will score a little better than others think based on the team matchups.

Here are the teams over the next 4 weeks which have an interesting run of potential wins and losses, for potential wins and close losses, Hawthorn, Port, Essendon, Geelong and West Coast. Whilst, for losses and some tough games the sides which spark interest are Fremantle, Bulldogs, St Kilda, Carlton and Collingwood (but more next week).

Port and Being Flat Track Bullies

Round 12 bye creates an issue, so you are probably only bringing in a Port player to replace a non-player or your bye planning is going well (i.e. Rozee for Stephenson). In their 2 losses to the Eagles and Lions, here are the fantasy players you’d be looking at scores, Rozee 57 and 76, Boak 91 and DNP, Wines 85 and 126, and in both games, there were 3 scores over 100. In all their wins, except the outlier against St Kilda, they roughly average 2-3 players above 100.  Whilst they may be flat track bullies it does not translate into fantasy whether they win or lose. This means irrespective of their draw, I wouldn’t be buying a premium from Port Adelaide unless it was Wines or under-priced Rozee.


This won’t shock anyone, but Essendon average around 3 players over 100 irrespective of wins and losses apart from the Collingwood game (that is a theme). The players are midfielders and occasionally a defender, which means get Ridley in the next 2 weeks.

Teams which play Collingwood


Sydney: feast on Lloyd or Mills. Port Adelaide: see above, unless you are gambling on Houston’s shoulders or DBJ.  Geelong: sadly, just before the bye, but Stewart if your team is looking okay.  Adelaide: Sholl and Laird.  Melbourne: Salem and May.

What I found interesting is the number of forwards who have dined out against Collingwood, discounting North last week because their forwards apart from Stephenson rarely see the ball. Listen to these players, not are all forward superstars, Corbett 109, Wright 114, Allen 91 and Darling 90 (and we know the Eagles have minimum entries), Finlayson 81, Greene 103, Zorko 133, and in Round 1 B. Smith 131 when he played half forward.  So maybe isolate a couple of these forwards in the bye leadup,

Sydney: Gulden if you kept him, Warner is a keeper this week at least, or dare I say Franklin (you couldn’t do it). Safe option is Mills or Lloyd.

Port Adelaide: I mentioned Rozee as an option last week, and he is now 495 K and plays Collingwood in 2 weeks. Others like Gray and Dixon are problems, remember even if they score 120, you have them the week after also.

Geelong: Who is game to pull the trigger on Jeremy Cameron?  He scored 121 against Richmond and now is against the up and down Saints, Suns and Pies. After 2 average games, he looked his best last week.  A BE of 43 and priced at 487. You could go from a rookie to Cameron (I know it took six goals to get to 121!, but he could get 15-20 goals over the next 3 weeks. The gamble is he could pull a hamstring at any point).

Hawthorn & Tom Mitchell

Tom Mitchell often scores better in losses. His only bad game was the O’Connor tag, and with Turner, Curnow and Miller coming up, he might get extra attention. Also, North holds the ball so much in their defensive half, the Hawthorn players who gather possession back of centre for those cheap plus sixes can miss out- think Bulldogs, Melbourne and Collingwood midfielders who we thought would go 150, but lots just went 100.  Basically, even with a favourable draw, I would not be buying any Hawthorn players, although I would keep Kozzie hoping he scores against North (Phillips I want to sell).

West Coast Midfielders at Optus

This is well known, and we flagged it weeks ago, but there is still some value in West Coast mids leading up to the bye: Gaff 70, 154, 131, 111. Sheed 138, 100, 103, 101. Kelly 111, 94, 84, 141. Them’s some good numbers and games against Adelaide and Essendon at home before Carlton at the MCG. You could easily sideways Stephenson or Bolton via DPP to Sheed.

Upshot:  Price point bargain is Rozee. Gambling option is J. Cameron. Plan to get Ridley.  Safety Mid: Gaff. Safety Def: Mills and Lloyd.  You are off your rocker: Franklin or Heeney (if named and massive BE’s) or Dixon.

Last Week: like most just hovered over 2100 with 2116 and 801 Rank. Good luck as you begin bye planning, especially getting non-players out of your squad.

Trent Sutcliffe, coach of 'aluniesheis', won AFL Fantasy Classic in 2020, one of the most challenging seasons to date.



  1. sean C

    May 12, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    Hi Trent, what are your thoughts on Jack Ross as rookie-like target with all of Richmonds problems?

    • Aluniesheis

      May 12, 2021 at 1:41 pm

      Not sure he has the ceiling. He might go 70-75 but at 346 he might go up 50K. Unless you think he will go over 80 for until the byes.

  2. Aluniesheis

    May 12, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    Tough split, certainly in the short term 1 for points, but for long term cash 2. So, if you have other cash generator options than go 1. But Crouch for me is not a great long term option as he is up and down.

  3. Johnny

    May 12, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Hey Trent if you had to choose between Lloyd or Mills for Stephenson this week who would you be picking? Both seem like great picks I just can’t split the two

    • Aluniesheis

      May 12, 2021 at 2:45 pm

      Mills has been better 109 to 100 with the Swans playing quicker and not as many dodgy plus sixes for Lloyd. I think overall Mills will beat Lloyd even if Lloyd goes better against Collingwood.

      • Johnny

        May 12, 2021 at 3:10 pm

        Cheers mate you’re a legend for responding to everyone!

  4. Nick

    May 12, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    Get Parish, Mills or Guthrie

  5. Nick

    May 12, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    Which combination is best (all will be fielded)?
    1. Any 810k player and Brynes
    2. Harmes and Rooze

    • Aby Benny

      May 12, 2021 at 5:34 pm

      option 1

  6. Randy

    May 12, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Downgrading Flynn to either Sweet or Bryan and then I can go from Bolton to either Mills Mitchell or JKelly, what would you recommend?

    • Wei

      May 12, 2021 at 5:45 pm

      Gaff or Mills?

    • Aluniesheis

      May 12, 2021 at 7:20 pm

      Martin out for a few gives Sweet maybe 3-4 weeks. Mills has been awesome and maybe is a better buy because of his DEF status, but that works with Kelly, but he could be bought still after the byes. One word of caution is have a look at Mills’ scores at the SCG. I wonder if the smaller ground dampens some of the high midfield scores.

  7. Ben

    May 12, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Which combination?
    1. Mills/Gaff and Byrnes/Poulter (fielded)
    2. Rooze and Harmes

    • Aluniesheis

      May 12, 2021 at 7:18 pm

      1- Gaff and Poulter. Gaff and Mills are keepers, Rozee and Harmes are short termers but ultimately sells. Hopefully Poulter makes 100 K which is what Rozee and Harmes would make.


    May 12, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    Duggan out , Harmes in. Same same. Stephenson out, Marshall fwd and Gawn in. Seems like a winner. Bye impact with these changes?

    • Aluniesheis

      May 12, 2021 at 7:16 pm

      Run with it- a good week with a lot of coaches making forced trades to go slightly left field rather than follow the herd.

  9. ShredderPigs

    May 12, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    Thanks heaps for all your articles Trent, they are always so educational.

    How many rookies should we have on the ground atm (I have 6) and is it worth trading someone with a higher break even, say gulden instead of fixing a ruck or defensive red dot? (I only have 2)

    🍻 mate

    • ShredderPigs

      May 13, 2021 at 9:04 am

      Therefore, something like this Stephenson and Gulden out for 1. Gaff and C. Daniel or 2. Mills and T. Kelly or 3. Steele and Byrnes 🍻

      • Aluniesheis

        May 14, 2021 at 10:43 pm

        2. Mills top 6 DEF and Kelly at home

  10. Tom

    May 12, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    Which two to field?
    RCD, Poulter, Scott, F.Macrae, Brockman, L.Jones, Kozi, Lazarro, H.Jones

    • Aby Benny

      May 12, 2021 at 9:01 pm

      RCD and Poulter. Kozi’s playing at utas where he kicked a bag last time and against North. I’d take the risk and field him over poulter. Brockman and Lachie jones are omitted and injured respectively.

    • Aluniesheis

      May 14, 2021 at 10:42 pm

      Scott and RCD or gamble on Kozzie with Scott

  11. Mat

    May 12, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    What do we think of Jackson Billings?

    • offthebit12

      May 12, 2021 at 10:52 pm

      im looking to bring him in next week against north

    • Aluniesheis

      May 14, 2021 at 10:40 pm

      Missed this until the game- I spoke on him a few weeks ago and yes I think he is almost getting to top 6 and maybe 95-100 avg. Hope you backed yourself in.

  12. I am a sinner

    May 12, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    Thanks for the article, very helpful as always. I am locking in ziebell to Hall for the money and better role. But then I don’t have any rookies who aren’t going to increase in price other than Sam Berry. The money I have isn’t enough to upgrade him so I could switch him to Byrnes. Or I could upgrade Phillips to the Bont or Keays. Which do you think is a better option?

    • Aluniesheis

      May 14, 2021 at 10:41 pm

      The SNAFL numbers for O’Connor look the best of the new rookies, otherwise go to a premo like you’ve suggested.

  13. Stu

    May 13, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Hi Trent,

    What are your thoughts on Stephenson to Rowbottom and Cox to Harmes? i.e. a sideways and a rook off the field. Or better to go Stephenson up to a keeper like Lloyd/Mills and do a traditional downgrade hoping Cox goes alright against Freo (assuming he’s not dropped!). Just interested on your thoughts going midpricers at this time of the year, especially ones that look to make cash and score well before the bye.

    • Aluniesheis

      May 14, 2021 at 10:39 pm

      Rowbottom’s leg still looks sore, but he is a solid 85. Harmes good,

  14. Josh K

    May 13, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Trent

    Would you go

    1. Bergman to B Crouch
    2. Warner to J Kelly
    3. Powell to Gaff
    4. Kosi to Worpel
    5. Rowe to Rozee?

    • Aluniesheis

      May 14, 2021 at 10:38 pm

      5 because the other 4 can play on ground, or with Worpel I am not as confident with Jaegar. Crouch was good tonight, lets hope he hasn’t got a cheekbone injury.

  15. James

    May 13, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    Kosi to Dusty or Meek to Rozee?

    • Aluniesheis

      May 14, 2021 at 10:37 pm

      Rozee is this week or not at all, Dusty could still be next week.

  16. Suff2Say

    May 14, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Trent. I had this question on Dunny’s Thursday Night Scramble thread, but I’m probably better off asking you.

    Is one of my plans for the bye weeks a waste of a plan for any reason? That being, to use the extra trades, or even two trades per week two or tree times to swap non-playing bench warmers to playing bench warmers, hoping for a bit more job security? Would that be a good Plan A, or should it be more of a Plan B or C? What are the other good plans?

    • Aluniesheis

      May 14, 2021 at 10:36 pm

      It is hard to have confidence. For example, I have two bench warmers with Will Martyn and Will Kelly. My aim is to get the rest of my side in okay shape and then in R12 use my trades to get them out if they are not playing with a 1 up and 2 down play. For example, Powell- Martyn – Kelly for 2 rookies and hopefully a mid premo if I can save 100 K from the week before.

      Unless you spot a rookie who you have confidence in, but very tough before you see them.

  17. Patrick

    May 15, 2021 at 9:47 am

    Harmes or Ridley? Thinking Ridley and miss out on Harmes but can upgrade Phillips/Fantasia next week.

    • Aluniesheis

      May 15, 2021 at 9:49 am

      Either is good, Harmes is a this week buy, Ridley could wait.

  18. Tim

    May 15, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Harmes or Kelly this week. Thinking of bringing in both over the next 2. Tempted to get harmes for break even but worried that Kelly will go big.

  19. Jim

    May 15, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Would you go Hall or Harmes this week? Is Hall the bigger fish?

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