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Trent’s Take: Loophole strategy

Last year’s winner got a leg up by utilising the emergency loophole.

There is no doubt the reason I won last year was the luck of managing the emergency loop and allowing it to dictate trading strategy for the last few weeks of the season. We’re at that time again when the emergency loop combined with a non-player on the same line can help boost scoring and dictate trading strategy.

This strategy is very effective in the last few weeks of the season when you know that even if you trade in a 170 K rookie he will not increase in value enough to ever be sold or he will not score enough to ever be on ground (unless as an EME loop).

Last year it was Sholl and Greaves combined with Thompson from the Suns as the non-player which provided the necessary trade options on other lines which effectively got me over the line. An example from last week from my, albeit average, team to give an example and then a few hints for this round.

Last week, I had Bianco as D7 and Byrnes at F7 and I only wanted to play one on ground. Also, I wanted to sell either Nick Haynes or Caleb Serong, but which one? The answer is to allow the loop to help make the decision. First, you need a player playing early in the round (Bianco) and you set a score you are happy to take- for me it was 65. I moved Briggs to D6 as non-player and than sold Haynes to Lloyd. You need a plan B if Bianco scores low, which would have been to sell Koschitzke to Bowes (rather than the option I did take which was Kozzie to West).

This week it can work with Pendlebury and Fyfe and other players who are injured. For example, I’ll play Byrnes at F7 as an EME and if he scores 65-70 then instead of having to sell Pendlebury, I could sell Houston to Mills or Whitfield (or via DPP get Grundy). Obviously, all of the trade in and out targets need to play later than the emergency loop and non-player.

Therefore, this week Byrnes at FWD/MID is a great option. The key is to maximise your score each week (as opposed to trying to increase price value), which is via three means, first is using the highest scorer off the bench (Bianco/Sharp/Byrnes) and the second is the best trade target I can get (Whitfield, Danger, Mills, Guthrie) and third is getting the worst player off my ground (Houston, Serong, Kennedy).

The downside of this strategy is you can’t trade in a player from the first game like Marshall very easily unless you are absolutely confident on how you will use your other trade. Other early round options for the emergency loop this week are Connolly, Dow, D Fogarty, Schache (having said that you would not bring in a player to be the emergency loop unless they were a 170 K player), Phillips Sharp, West. Remember, the later the game the less options available and the trade out player obviously cannot come from the same game (i.e. Bianco as the loop with Pendlebury as the potential trade out target based on the loops score).

It means eyeing off trade in targets slightly later in the round, for example Whitfield on Sunday as the trade target for Houston if Bianco scores well on Saturday (for me it would only be if Briggs is not named, unless you start bringing in a donut). Other trade in targets from Sunday would be Zorko, Lyons, Wines, Amon, Brayshaw, Bolton (someone at Richmond needs to score 90) and Luke Ryan back home. I think the emergency loop generally works slightly better in defence and the forward line because the score differential is not as great with the possible exception of Sharp who you could play at M9 and then use as a loop based on his score.  For example, Bianco could score the same as Houston, but not if you had him in the midfield line would his score be higher than many at M8.

For the last few rounds of the season, we’ll look at some trading strategy options. If you have any particular strategy options, you’d like some research on, just mention them in the comments below. One for next week will be the power of trade match ups late in the season.

Upshot: Go early with the emergency loop and Byrnes in the forward line is the best option or Sharp and West/Bianco on Saturday. Hoping to get Whitfield into the defence or Danger into the forward line. Last week was okay with 2210 and ranked 2143. For those looking to an early trade, the simplest seems to be Marshall from Pendles, but it will be interesting to see how the quarantine players go first week back. Good luck everyone!

Co-captain of DT Talk since we started this thing in 2007. Best finish was 13th in 2009... that was a long time ago. Follow on Twitter: @WarnieDT



  1. Henry

    July 27, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks for another top article. I’m replacing Pendles. Do I go for points with Callum Mills or the extra 200 grand with Rowan Marshall?

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:22 am

      Tough- if cash was not a major factor I’d go Mills. He is a solid 105.

  2. Nathan

    July 27, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    Great read, looping is definitely an effective way to gain rank. But takes a lot of preparation and check ins over the weekend. If going for overall rank it means not having a life all winter. Looking forward to reduced effort for 2022 without rolling lockouts.

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:24 am

      You are absolutely correct- you are right the rolling lockouts mean you are always looking for small points to improve rank. I also hope we return to the Friday night lockout. At least we get more of our weekends back.

  3. Bill

    July 27, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    My looping this year has been dreadful, mostly my fault for poor planning, though Calvin’s selections didn’t help.

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:24 am

      My dreadful looping has largely been the result of poor VC and C choices.

  4. Ashley

    July 27, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Great read, as above – it does take a lot of preparation and constant check ins over the course of the round. Not sure if I’m in a position to make it applicable to my side.

    Def: Laird, Mills, Hall, Stewart, Harmes, Newman (Briggs, Bianco)
    Mid: Mitchell, Merrett, Oliver, Taranto, Steele, Lyons, Macrae, Sharp (Durham, West)
    Ruck: Gawn, Grundy (Reeves)
    Fwd: Kelly, Zorko, Hunter, Dangerfield, Pendlebury, Bramble (Amartey, Madden)

    Currently thinking Pendlebury out to a defender, and Amartey down to a rookie to help next week going Harmes up and a bench rookie down.

    Any thoughts?

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:30 am

      Pendlebury and Bramble seem the biggest holes. Selling Pendles and Hall back seems the easiest solution. If you could get Whitfield with a Bianco or Amartey sell to a rookie than that looks good.

      • Ashley

        July 28, 2021 at 11:07 am

        I can go straight to Whitfield from Pendlebury without another trade and have 46k left over. If I trade Amartey down this week, it should give me enough cash to upgrade Bramble next week.

  5. The Kid

    July 27, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Hi Trent, would you do

    1. M Parker and Fiorini/Whitfield/Oliver/Simpkin (leaves me with slightly more cash)
    2. J Sharp and Whitfield

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:31 am

      Any cheaper player is for scoring and Parker will score less than Sharp. Whitfield in defence over all those in midfield.

  6. Nick

    July 27, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    Which trade option is best?
    1. Pendlebury to Marshall and Briggs/Meek to 170k rookie
    2. Bianco/Bramble to 170k player and Pendlebury to Whitfield (via Ziebell)

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:33 am

      Briggs probably plays this week alongside Mummy against Lycett and Ladhams, unless he trained off in quarantine. Whitfield would outscore Marshall most times.

  7. Burnt

    July 27, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Trent. Interesting read once again.
    Should I trade Pendles to Schoenberg and Ward to Whitfield/ Lloyd/Crisp
    Or Pendles to Marshall and Ward to T Kelly plus 90k

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:35 am

      Marshall- I like Schoenberg at the start of the season, but he could be used as a tagger any week. I have T Kelly, but for me he is a potential sell next week to an Oliver/Guthrie. I think it is a bit sideways.

  8. Charlie

    July 27, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Great read again Trent. I’m a bit torn on what to do this week, the 2 options I’m currently looking at are:
    1. Bianco & Bramble out for Whitfield & $170k rookie (or any MID/FWD up to $239k)
    2. T. Kelly & Madden out for Oliver & $170k rookie (or any DEF/FWD up to $265k)
    Option 1 gets all rookies off my field and makes my team just about complete, but option 2 means I still have some cash gen for the last few rounds. Would love to know your thoughts, current team is below:

    DEF: Laird, Short, Stewart, Lloyd, Ridley, Bianco (Briggs, Madden)
    MID: Wines, Titch, Walsh, Merrett, Lyons, Macrae, Taranto, T. Kelly (West, O’Connor)
    RUC: Gawn, Grundy (Moyle)
    FWD: Hall, Zorko, Kelly, Danger, De Goey, Hunter (Bramble, W. Kelly)
    UTL: D. Williams
    $140k in the bank

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:37 am

      I like 1, and then maybe next week go another 170 K for Madden/Briggs and T Kelly up to an Oliver/ Guthrie

  9. MM

    July 27, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    A great read… looking to get some guidance..

    1. Would you do classic up/down to bring in Whitfield + 170k rook on the bench for Pendles OR 2x similar price value picks by going Pendles/Hind->Marshall/T Kelly. (Will factor in your loop guidance too).

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:39 am

      I think option 1, Whitfield is every chance to score 70 with a tag, but 140. The other mid pricers could all score the same as each other. End of season is not for mid pricers unless they are guaranteed to score highly.

  10. Petracca

    July 28, 2021 at 8:05 am

    Hey Trent, which of these do you like best:
    1. Pendles & Ridley –> Schoenberg & Whitfield
    2. Pendles & Serong –> Marshall & Sidebottom
    3. Pendles & Taranto –> Dunkley & Tim Kelly
    4. Pendles & Rowell—> Matt Parker & Whitfield
    5. Pendles & Serong —> Schoenberg & Tim Kelly

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:42 am

      Interesting- POD option for the end of the season would be Dunkley. Be great if you could go Whitfield and Marshall. Not sure I’m trading out those other players for similar players, but obviously both players are on ground. If choosing one the lowest scorer of the trade outs would be Rowell in the midfield.

  11. Harmes

    July 28, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Hi Trent. Please help

    1. Crouch to Guthrie
    2. Boak to Forini
    3. Hind to Sidebottom

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:44 am

      Biggest scoring differential this week I suspect would be 1. Guthrie I think is the most likely to score.

  12. mac

    July 28, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Hi, would appreciate some help. What would you do out of:
    1. Pendles & Harmes to Whitfield & Marshall (would have to field W.Philips with Brockman the only emergency)
    2. Pendles & W.Phillips to Marshall and Schoenberg

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:32 pm

      Schoenberg could tag again, but he looked good last week, but it is risky, but it is better than fielding Phillips on ground.


    July 28, 2021 at 10:58 am


    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:31 pm

      No- I think he looks a bit disinterested- and his midfield role was more as a consequence of Pendles out. The only way he is, is if the Pendles replacement is not a genuine midfielder

  14. Doug

    July 28, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Any love for Cerra with Fyfe out? Or even JPK who used to storm home a couple years back
    Stuck on 2 options with 2nd trade atm with Pendles to Marshall being my 1st trade..
    1. dump Haynes (Mills back on the field) to Macrae, bank the 416k, but have to play Bianco/Macrae at M8.
    2. move Haynes to Cerra, JPK, JOM, Gola or Worpel, keeping Bianco as EME.

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:30 pm

      I do like Cerra, but he looked better last week, but he could get 70 and you wouldn’t be shocked. Not a great fan of the mids in option 2- Haynes needs to go though, but Bianco is an okay option for6 60-70, but i’d rather find a player- can you get to Bowes?


    July 28, 2021 at 11:02 am





    Any help would be much appreciated with my trades big qualifying final this week cheers1

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:27 pm

      It looks like you have Briggs on ground- that has to change- Sell your tow highest other players to get Briggs of ground.

  16. George

    July 28, 2021 at 11:35 am

    A great read Trent, looking for some help
    I have Pendles Bolton Hind and Houston
    Thinking of Pendles to Tom Stewart and don’t know know who to get rid of first out of the other 3, only got in Bolton last week so was potentially thinking Houston or hind to Jake Lloyd, your thoughts?

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:25 pm

      keep Bolton, back in WA and against Fremantle- Houston was at least back in his old role with Duursma back, but he just will not tackle with that dodgy shoulder. The trouble is I wouldn’t be backing Hind against the Swans as he will not get the time- maybe Hayward runs with him like he did 2 weeks back against Haynes. All up, Hind to go.

  17. Connor Hackling

    July 28, 2021 at 11:54 am

    1) Pendles Bianco > Fiorini Durham (can loophole Durham/West this week)
    – Whitfield VS Fiorini (Rank 9000 and trying to improve as much as possible)
    2) Pendles Haynes > Sharp Fiorini (Adding a third rook)

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:23 pm

      If the rook is on ground than 2 as Sharp has shown he can score.

  18. Beady Eye

    July 28, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    Who to choose out of Whitfield and Oliver as Pendles replacement? Can’t quite get to Mills.

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:22 pm

      Whitfield in defence as the next best options on that line won’t score 110

  19. Jacko

    July 28, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    Hey Trent. Love your work again mate. Awesome stuff.

    Thoughts on the below trades:

    Bianco > Oliver
    Pendles > Marshall

    Pretty happy with them but just want your opinion. It’s either Oliver, Fiorini or Guthrie I think but i think Oliver is the pick for me. What do you think?

    And at that price I think Marshall is the best pick but if there’s anyone else to consider I’m all ears.

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:21 pm

      I like Guthrie because of the easy plus 6’s he gets off the half back, but you can’t go wrong with either. Marshall is the player at that price.

  20. Chief007

    July 28, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Anyone got any advice on below:

    Pendlebury to Marshall or up to someone after a bench downgrade seems to be all I can see, thoughts appreciated.

    Laird,, Stewart, short, Cumming, Ridley, Houston (Bianco, j.madden)

    Steele, Taranto, Merrett, Mitchell, adams, Walsh, Oliver, macrae (west, ginnivan)

    Gawn, o’brien (reeves)

    Kelly, hall, Pendlebury, degoey, Dangerfield, bramble (amartey, weightman)

    Utility: Briggs

    95k in the bank

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:20 pm

      Madden or Amartey to any 170 K player named and Pendlebury up to the best you can get

  21. Paul astokes

    July 28, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    Would you get someone like Whitfield for Pendlebury but get rid of Bianco (on bench but E) or get rid of a non-playing rookie like Briggs/Meek/D.Williams/P.Walker and go Pendlebury to Marshall?

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:18 pm

      Non-players are not that important to get rid of now- it is about points and having at least one player on every line as an emergency. You still want a player generating cash on the bench, but with 8 trads left there will not be a lot of time to worry about it.

  22. Den

    July 28, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Trent, interesting read mate
    Do you agree that it’s time for Stringer to go? Apart from Pendlebury, he and M. Kennedy are my weakest links. I’ll be bringing in Whitfield, but can only get someone like Marshall/T. Kelly with the remaining cash. Too sideways or the right move? Otherwise I keep them and trade a bench rookie for cash for next week?

    • Aluniesheis

      July 28, 2021 at 10:17 pm

      Stringer against the Swans. It will be interesting to see who Hewett goes to at stoppages- maybe Merrett or Parish, but at stoppages he might go to Stringer. Kennedy surely cannot play full forward again, i’d watch this week to check out his role, but really he and Stinger are sells and you sell if you can get to a better scorer which Marshall and Kelly are.

  23. Belly

    July 28, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    Am I missing something with Marshall? I see one good game where he kicked 2:2 and even with that score a 5 game average of 77.
    Is it just that he is 584k ?

    • Aby Benny

      July 29, 2021 at 6:02 pm

      mostly, but he can score, as seen in the past.

  24. Denny

    July 28, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    Hi Trent, interesting article and strategy.

    Do I trade:

    1) Pendles to Touk (Bramble DPP) and Bianco (bench) for 170 rookie. Only rookie on ground
    2) Pendles to Marshall and Harmes to Gaff. Bramble M8.
    3) Pendles to Marshall and Cumming to Guthrie. Harmes D6. Bramble M8.

    Thinking of number 2 as it will give me cash for Amartey and Cumming to Dunkley/Mills next week and following week Bramble and Bianco to final M8 upgrade?

    Thoughts pls?

    • Denny

      July 29, 2021 at 8:15 am

      Sorry point 1 clear up:
      1) Pendles to Touk (Bramble DPP) and Bianco (bench) for 170k bench rookie. Only rookie on ground will be Bramble at F6

    • Aby Benny

      July 29, 2021 at 6:02 pm

      2 sounds good harmes is no good. Cumming is fine for a week after last weeks score

  25. Charlie

    July 29, 2021 at 9:26 am

    Oliver v Suns or Guthrie v North… Who would you rather Trent. I know it’z clutching at straws but that’s who it’s down to for me.

  26. Josh

    July 29, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Can someone do a quick explanation to me on how the emergency loophole works. Not the captain VC but the one people have been using for your rookies.

    Do you put the rookie who you think will score the highest (and plays earlier in the round) on your bench and if they score well you just put a certain donut on the field to take his score?

    • Pluagger

      July 30, 2021 at 2:16 pm

      Yes, you have it worked out.

      You just have to be confident, then, that there would be no other late outs on the targeted line after the donut has played.

  27. Nick

    July 29, 2021 at 11:53 am

    Mills or Whitfield?

    • Albo

      July 29, 2021 at 1:14 pm


    • Aby Benny

      July 29, 2021 at 6:01 pm


  28. Bailey

    July 29, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    Hi Trent. Just a quick one. My defence is pretty settled now with Laird, Mills, Whitfield, Short, Lloyd and Cumming. I have Stocker and Foley on the bench. At this point of the season, should I still be downgrading Stocker to a Durham or Finlay Macrae (via DPP) or just go straight down to Joel Jeffrey and bank the extra 51k/54k? I still have Bianco/Bramble on field so Durham or Macrae can play on field in stead but Bianco will go for me next week and Bramble is scoring well at the moment

  29. Belly

    July 29, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Hi Trent,
    Rich, Stewart or Short ?
    Or risk Gaff?

    • PLugger

      July 30, 2021 at 2:37 pm

      Depends. If your are looking at league match ups over the finals, then Gaff may give you the higher ceiling against a match up where you are not favourite. I am in that position and looking at Gaff, over Stewart (who my better-on-paper opponent has). When I play opponents with Stewart (given his run home) but who do not have Gaff (none of them do) then I would prefer Gaff. How is your situation? Context always influences decisions. Mine is a league based decision (against a likely GF opponent – ‘if I get there’ because he will do the GF, baring intervention form the ‘gods’), but again, if you are coming from behind going for a ‘cap’ would you rather Gaff if matched up against opponents who have Rich/Stewart or Short? Again context may influence. According to Cal’s Scale of Hardness Rich and Short have the easier runs home. So their reliability, under circumstances of an easier run, might count more against Gaff’s ceiling, if you are in the box seat in upcoming match ups (league or ‘cap’). Otherwise, if you judge you need to come from behind, then the higher ceiling (as a POD) may be more attractive.

      • Belly

        July 31, 2021 at 12:06 pm

        Thanks mate, appreciate your reply.
        I’m 5th in my league but should have an easy win this week..
        Two of the top 4 have Stewart, none have any of the others.
        But I think I’m going to go Gaff, didn’t realise he still has the highest average of them and does have the highest ceiling.
        Plus he has the lowest BE and none of the others are likely to change much in price and some might drop slightly so I can still grab them next week.
        Subject to my usual injury carnage!

  30. Kim Telly

    July 29, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    Hi Trent, Lloyd or Danger?

  31. John

    July 29, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Trent, I can trade Pendles and Hind to Marshall/Lyons or Stewart/Lloyd, which two would you be leaning towards?

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