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The Thursday Scramble

The Thursday Scramble: Round 15

All 18 teams are back but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to Scramble!

As always we are all pretty happy that the byes are behind us but does that mean that things get easier, of course it doesn’t. We are already facing the issues of not having enough money to complete our upgrades, lack of trades in the SC and RDT formats of the game and of course injuries that have occurred during the bye period, I am looking at you here Josh Kelly! Add to all of that some players that are out of form and rookies that haven’t performed and it all spells ….. Scramble!!

Post Bye Problems

Now that we have free reign over who we can pick we have to take a few things into account and the main ones that will cause us problems are Rookies getting dropped and Premiums getting injured. This is only going to get harder as the season goes forward. We are likely to see more rookies get a rest and as bodies get banged up we may see those teams that are out of the finals race put some of their guys in cotton wool and send them for surgery or they will simply give them a bit more time to get over a niggle or two. Having durable players at this time of the season is absolutely critical.

This is where keeping your ear to the ground is the most critical at this time of year and making sure you are on top of all of the different announcements so you can give yourself the very best chance to position your side for the win.

Our Downgrade Focus changes

As we enter this next phase of the season our downgrade target focus will change. No longer are we looking for those players to come in and have a quick burst of 5 weeks to generate some fast cash. Now we are looking for players that are going to have some good job security so that they can sit on our benches for the remainder of the season and be there in case of a late withdrawal. This isn’t as critical as it is normally in AFL Fantasy as we have the rolling lockout this year and previously we would have set an emergency and hoped for the best but at least now if you have some trades left you can adjust on the run.

Can you downgrade to a non playing player for the cash? Of course you can and the longer the season goes on the more viable this strategy is. As we all know making money is very hard in the second half of the season as our best cash cows have normally played early on in the year. But this year we have had even more trouble making money so if you need to drop down to a bargain basement player that isn’t going to play then you may just have to do that and take the risk that you will be stuck with this non playing player on your bench for the rest of the season. The only thing I would stress here though is that I wouldn’t do this unless I had a rock solid option in the other bench positions for each line first. This is particularly critical in the limited trade versions of the game.


I feel your pain with Phillips and I know what you mean about Green too. Phillips promised so much but just isn’t delivering this season. Bringing in Pendles is a great option as he has a solid track record. Haynes has been ok without being fantastic too. Leaving Amartey at R2 does worry me to be honest. I would feel much happier and would sleep better with Grundy there (I am assuming he is named for this week) and Amartey may be dropped at a moments notice. The only reason that I would sign off on this trade is if you are playing the break even game with Grundy. If you can live with Haynes and Amartey whilst waiting for Grundy’s price to drop then do it but just remember that anything can happen and you may have other issues to fix that prevent you from bringing Grundy back in the following week.

The short answer to this is No. I think after Newcombe’s first game we all thought this kid was going to be a star and the answer to all our problems but we saw on Sunday that he came crashing back to earth with his score and the same thing can happen to Amartey too as it can with all rookies. They are a huge gamble to have on field and I would suggest that if you have a better option I would go with that.

Good question Anthony. It is hard to go past value picks and in a season as tough as this one I think we should look to find value wherever we can. We only have 9 rounds to go and the prospect of a rookie making you money in time to do some significant upgrades in a few weeks to make them meaningful is not great. You have to think now, is the player I can get in after this rookie makes money going to get me as many points as the value pick that I can bring in now will for the rest of the year.
In regards to sideswapping, I would only recommend that if you were dealing with a season ending injury, you should always be looking to improve your side.

This is a good follow up to the last question, and I have sort of answered some of it. I am not a big fan of sideways as you are not really improving your team and you should only consider that in case of a long term injury. However, with double downgrading that is certainly an option because it will then allow you to either do a double upgrade the following week or it will allow you to get to a better premium the following week if you have no cash in bank.

But as has been the thread through all these questions this week you need to make sure that you are maximising your points and if you are going to do a double downgrade then you need to make sure that the upgrading that you are going to do will, in the long run, make you enough points to outweigh the lack of points you will get from your double downgrade this week.  Sorry if that came out confusing but it is about the best I can do. In short, Yes stick with the upgrade downgrades as best you can but if you are very short on dollars then a double down is a valid option.

Things to Remember

  • Triple check your bench to make sure you haven’t left any of your premiums on it!
  • WATCH THE SCHEDULE CHANGE. There has been some time changes for games on the Saturday so if you were planning your loopholes around these games just beware that you may have to come up with another strategy.
  • Just 5 more minor round games to go until the majority of the final series start for Fantasy so make sure you are getting those wins in place!

Enjoy the full round of footy being back and hopefully a return to some big scores for your team and I will see you all again next Thursday.

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



  1. Dan C

    June 24, 2021 at 7:45 am

    Great flush Dunny.

  2. Cody

    June 24, 2021 at 11:08 am

    dunny would u rather have newcombe on field or amartey. upgrading flynn to either neale or darcy

    • Aby Benny

      June 24, 2021 at 7:26 pm


  3. Andrew

    June 24, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    Dunny, I’m downgrading 1 bench non-playing rook (brockman) and upgrading an on-field rook to get rid of my on field rooks. But can only get up to Pendles or Dusty at the moment. Either would be an M8 or F7/8. Thoughts out of the two?

  4. Bill

    June 24, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Who would you downgrade to be able to upgrade Duncan to another prem: Cox or Burgess?

    • Another Arctic Flying wombat Panda of Doom named Drowning fish

      June 24, 2021 at 4:23 pm


    • Belly

      June 24, 2021 at 4:48 pm

      Assuming neither are on field, trade Cox he has more value tied into him and might not reach his BE this round, Burgess only needs 38 to go up in $.
      Both are needing to be traded though.

    • Bill

      June 24, 2021 at 6:49 pm

      It was made easy in the end with Burgess getting axe.

  5. josh

    June 24, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    thoughts on bringing in brad crouch

  6. Brian Smith

    June 24, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    My field team is:
    Def – Mills, Laird, Hall, Short, Daniel, Jiath
    Mid – Macrea, parish, Merrett, taranto, Walsh, Mitchel, Cunnington, Ward
    Fwd – Kelly, Langford, Hind, Phillips, Poulter, Kozzie
    Ruck – Gawn, Flynn

    The priority order to fix from my point of view is: Kozzie, Jiath, Phillips, Flynn, Poulter.
    Does this sound reasonable? I’m hoping to do one per round for the next 5 rounds.

  7. Nathan Grant

    June 24, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Can u have too many rucks?
    I’ve got Gawn, Darcy, Reeves & Flynn, but trading Flynn & D.Robertson out to get Amartey & ROB as think ROB might be better than Pendles as I wanna see how Pendles play with new coach first. That gives me 5 Rucks but 2 playing forward.

  8. Nathan Grant

    June 24, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    D: Whitfield, Doc, Lloyd, Cumming, Daniel, Udon (Highmore, Madden)
    M: Macrae, Parish, Tararto, Titch, Merrett, Laird, Walsh, Neale (Bianco, Newcombe)
    R: Gawn, ROB (Reeves)
    F: Hall, Kelly, Darcy, Danger, Poulter, Amartey (Briggs, Wilson)

  9. Beady Eye

    June 24, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    I decided to take advantage of some rare live footy in Hobart during Covid, and went along to the Brisbane/North game to scout old mate Lachie Neale ahead of THE RUN. A handful of notes on him, and some others with fantasy relevance – might aid a few people thinking of bringing him in ahead of tonight’s game.

    Very scrappy game in the first half before opening up in the second, which saw fantasy scores tick over. It was likewise a tale of two halves for Neale, which was reflected in his quarter-by-quarter scoring.

    – First half, he stayed well outside stoppages and was largely stationary other than laying tackles.

    – Second half, he moved aggressively through stoppages and looked to take first possession, hunted the handball out of packs. For a player that’s not especially quick or explosive, movement at stoppages is crucial to his scoring.

    – Positives: showed no signs that the ankle injury was bothering him, was happy to tackle, had plenty of bench rotations but still scored well in his TOG, if he can replicate his 2nd half over a full game he’ll rack up some big numbers.

    – Negatives: no tag or rough treatment from North (unlikely to enjoy the same from Geelong), generally cruised around at a jog without a set opponent, did lots of pointing to get teammates in advantageous positions but did nothing for his own scoring, was surprisingly non-vocal calling for the ball (ie. Ziebell), potential impact of adding Zorko into midfield rotations, reason for the discrepancy between halves wasn’t clear (rocket needed?).

    – Verdict: definitely wait until after the Geelong game. While he racked up a solid score off basically one half of work, a similar effort against the Cat is unlikely to be as productive.

    Other notes:

    – Lyon went completely under the radar throughout the game. Matched up with Cunnington in Q1 but no direct midfield matchups the rest of the way. Just kept finding space for easy possessions, played a bit more outside than expected. Easily BOG but I was surprised by his final score.

    – Robertson was the predictable casualty of Neale’s return. Scoring sat in the 20s most of the game and only bumped up with his very nice weave through traffic and goal in Q4. Few CBA and when he did the hitouts went elsewhere – story of his night, as he often was where the ball wasn’t, despite futile calls to teammates. Good effort to scrape to 57 but Zorko’s return seems likely ot push him further to the fringe of the midfield.

    – Rich wasn’t as involved as earlier in the season, Lions didn’t use him as the quarterback from defence the way North did Ziebell.

    – On the North side, it was a typical game from Cunnington, played his old man game the same as he does every week.

    – North rookies completely unsighted, Stephenson in particular didn’t enjoy the physical scrap – buffeted out of contests far too often. Bloody good goal though.

    – Lots of good signs from Thomas, a potential gun scorer with some more experience under his belt and less veteran teammates to compete for possessions with. Untapped potential if he ever gets enough touches. Didn’t want any part of his shot from the forward pocket though (very un-piggish behaviour).

    – Ziebell looked the better of the premo North FWD/DEF. Stationed himself a kick behind the play for easy intercept marks and was the clear go-to out of the backline, called for the ball even when he was in no better position than the player in possession.

    – Aaron “why kick when you can needlessly handball to a teammate for a 1-2 and then kick” Hall was less prominent (potentially impacted by return of McDonald?). Was a defender in name only, roamed the field with zero accountability between surprisingly frequent trips to the bench. Showed that Whitfield-like ability to score in bunches to close out the game and finish with a respectable score.

    Anyway that’s my 2c worth, hope if helps with some 50/50 decisions! Might venture to Suns/Kangas and scout Matty Rowell this week.

    • Dulcify

      June 24, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      Great stuff Beady Eye. Very well done.

    • Bill

      June 24, 2021 at 6:51 pm

      Great info. Cheers!

  10. EmeraldIllusion

    June 25, 2021 at 5:48 am

    Who’s more important to bring in this week? Amartey or Pendlebury?

  11. Cooper

    June 25, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    Who to field? Treacy or Briggs?

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