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The Thursday Scramble

The Thursday Scramble: Round 19

General Soreness has been replaced by Isolation as our new arch enemy! Let’s Scramble

Can anyone explain to me what the hell just happened! What a weekend of footy we had and things have only gotten weirder since. Some coaches got burnt, some didn’t. I did in a couple of formats and in draft and whilst I was exceptionally annoyed at the time, I just had to sit back and think, at least we still have footy. I keep thinking that we have seen it all, but there is always something that makes us Scramble!!!

Late Outs!

Who saw this coming, just an hour before the final game of the round we saw two guns miss in Mills and Greene.  I was caught out by Mills which cost me a draft matchup. It was too late for us to do anything. Our regular enemy “General Soreness” has been replaced by a far more evil player “Isolating”. Seriously though, this just shows us how important it is to have some bench cover across each of the lines. It also shows how dangerous it can be to loophole.  Here are a few thoughts I have on late outs…..

Bench Cover. It seems obvious but each year we wring every single dollar we can out of our bench rookies. Sometimes to the point that when we trade down we go down to someone that is no chance of playing but they are super cheap and allow us the dollars to get to a better premium. Just be really careful doing this and make sure you only have one person on the bench that is like this. You should always try and have someone that is going to get a game week in and week out so that when you need them they are there.

Hold your E’s. If you don’t need to have an emergency on a line, don’t have one. This is even more important in this era of rolling lockouts. For example, if your two ruckmen play very early in the round and your bench cover doesn’t, then once the two field players have played, then you can take the E off the bench player and use it elsewhere if need be. For example, in Supercoach this week I had Highmore with the E on him as I held Whitfield and was looping Highmore on the field. If he had failed I would have put Bianco on field. I decided to take the 64 from Highmore so left Whitfield on the field. If I had another E to use (and if Bianco’s game hadn’t started) when the news of Mills being out came through, I could have used that other E in the backline and had two E’s and not had a donut.  That is a bit of a long way around of saying that you should use your E smartly over the weekend where you have the opportunity to do so.
Having said that, I always start the weekend with the E’s up in place just in case something happens and I can’t make a change, but as the round unfolds I will move them as required.

Careful using the Loop. As I mentioned above, I got burnt by using the Loop of Whitfield when Mills was a very late out. Now normally it isn’t so bad as it hopefully isn’t the very last game of the round. But it is always a risk you take when you do use a loophole. This is why we have long held that if you are going to use the Captain loophole the best place to do so is in your ruck line as the odds of two players playing is better than the odds of all 6 of your forwards or backs playing. So just make sure you are prepared.

Don’t trade til you have to. This is particularly important when you are making a luxury trade. If you can hold that luxury trade as long as you can it will give you a chance to pivot and trade out a player that is a late out to avoid a donut if you need to. Just be careful and make sure you set yourself an alarm or a reminder because it is very easy to forget as life gets in the way of fantasy on the weekend and you miss the start of a game.

Fixture Changes

One thing we have had to be over the last two seasons is agile. We keep hearing this word and it means that we need to keep on our toes. We have seen it this week with three games being brought forward from R20 because the matchups work better based on where the teams are geographically located at the moment. Over the coming weeks I fear that we will see more of this and a mini footy frenzy may also be on the cards just so that the AFL can get the season finished before we hit the finals. If this happens we just need to adapt and make adjustments to our strategies. It is going to affect everyone so we just have to put up with it. With all forms of the game, I suspect that unless there is a game abandoned or postponed we won’t see any rule changes so we will just have to suck it up and play the hand we are dealt.

Does this affect the Scale of Hardness? Well not completely. We do know that the teams remaining to play for any given player won’t change, it is just the order that they are going to be played that could change. The major impact here would be who they play in round 21. Why R21 you ask? Well anyone that is in the top four and wins that first final has no matchup in the week so if their gun midfielder comes up against a tagger that week it won’t impact you as you don’t have a game. Similarly who the player plays in R23 is also important. You want the best matchup you can get in your GF so that will be a factor too. But we have no control over it so once again just ride with the punches.

Trades Remaining

In AF this isn’t a factor of course but in RDT and SC it is a huge factor. Particularly with all these late season injuries and late outs. Many SC coaches are down to 1 or 2 trades left and some have even used them all. This is where those coaches that have been prudent with their trades and have 3+left will get the advantage. The temptation is to use a trade for every out you have. My advice at this stage of the season would be to only trade someone out if they are out for more than 1 week. Holding those trades are critical as it will give you a massive edge when you get to the GF week.

Things to Remember

  • This is the last week of minor round games in most leagues! Make sure you get the W
  • Dusty has to go, but make sure you get value for your trade by getting the best you can or trading to save some cash to upgrade someone else. Maximise the benefits.
  • Stay close to social media as best you can to make sure you can react to the late outs and covid changes as best you can over the weekend. It will happen, we just don’t know when.

Have a great weekend of footy watching everyone, and for those that are in lockdown, stay safe, support your mates and above all look after yourselves. Lockdown is something rare for those of us in SA and hopefully it becomes something rare for everyone going forward.  Importantly, get those league wins this weekend, get yourself into the 8 at all costs and hopefully into the top 4 so that we can push on to GF Glory in R23!!

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.

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