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The Thursday Scramble

The Thursday Scramble: Prelim Final Week

It’s all do or die now as we head into the Prelim Finals! Let’s Scramble!

What a weekend of footy that one was! We saw some huge scores but our teams and particularly our benches were also tested with some outs including one incredibly late out that caught out a heap of coaches. We also saw the loophole in play in lots of situations and the pitfalls that can cause too. So with all that in mind, let’s review that information and get ready for the Prelim Finals as we all Scramble towards the finish line.

Is the Loophole a Luxury or a Necessity?

There was plenty of looping going on this week and not just for VC and C purposes. There was a lot of loopholing going on when it came to positions too. Particularly with some of the Giants players on the Friday night against the Cats. Briggsy copped the E from a lot of coaches and so did good old Timmy Taranto. Now whilst this seems to be a great strategy (and it can be) there are some pitfalls that you can fall into here and I just want to outline a few of them so you are well aware of them heading into such important matches this week.

When to Loop?
This is an interesting one. Clearly looping early in the round gives you the best chance to have a non-playing player that you can throw on the field to get your bench guy’s score. But the earlier you do this and lock it in, the more chance you have of being caught by a late out like we saw with Mills on the weekend.  The ideal situation is to have the player you want to loop on the bench with the E early in the round and to have the non-playing player as late in the round as you can, preferably after all your other players have played, that way you can leave them on the bench in the event you have a late out and still get your looped player’s score and hopefully avoid a donut.

Double Emergencies?

Most longer term players of these games know the risk here. If you put the E on two players and you need to use an emergency then you will get the lower of the two scores. Obviously if you have two players out on field you get both scores in this situation.

Don’t set all your E’s at the start of the round
This is one that I have been doing of late. I will set maybe 2 or 3 emergencies at the start of the round but will hold one up my sleeve if I can and this is generally the Ruck Emergency. If I know that I don’t need to use it then I will hold that one in the event that I need to use two emergencies in a different line thanks to loopholing and having a late out as mentioned above. The other part is that if I don’t set an emergency early in the forward/back or midfield then it gives me more flexibility on who I can loop later in the round. Nothing worse than being stuck with a locked in player because their team has played but they haven’t on your bench that is chewing up an E that you can use somewhere else. If they are never going to play don’t bother putting an E on them.

Use your DPP
The DPP is critical here work your DPP to get the best outcome for you to be able to loop players. If you can get the right DPP’s going it makes it easier to switch around your non playing players so that you can get your loop going. Similarly you can use it to manipulate who you can loop on and off based on where they play across the weekend.

I guess my last piece of advice for Looping is do it with extreme caution.  There are plenty of pitfalls but there are also plenty of gains to be had too.  Just don’t get annoyed when you stuff it up because it will happen, it is just a matter of time.

A quick word on looping in draft too.  That can be also very dangerous.  I looped in a final on the weekend taking a defender’s score and then ended up with a donut when Mills was a late out. So there is always a risk to doing it no matter how safe you think it is.

Look at more than just the score before you trade.

Last week everyone was advising that we should be trading out Tim Taranto. But as the weekend got closer and teams were out there were some doubts. We knew that Hopper was out so that was one tick in his favour. But then once we heard that Kelly was a late out for the game then you should have been mashing that reverse trade button as hard as you could. Once we had two key mids out for the Giants it was a high probability that Taranto was going to have a much better score than recent weeks.

There are other examples throughout the year that we have seen where someone being out will change the fortunes of a player. This time of the year we need to take this into account. But we may not always know which way things will fall.  Take this week for example. We know that Reilly O’Brien will be missing and the Crows play Melbourne. Does this mean that Gawn will have a massive game (I certainly hope so) but is it also an opportunity for the Dees to give him a bit of a rest and allow Jackson to shoulder the bulk of the load? This is a conundrum that we need to consider.

Things to Remember

  • All or nothing! No point holding back this week, you need to get yourself to that GF.
  • Check your opponent’s team. I know we are in multiple leagues but I bet you have a favourite, you may want to check who your opponent has and try and counter or offset their team with your trades.
  • Hold your trades as late as you can, particularly if they are luxury trades.

Best of luck with your prelim finals! It is a massive week for you and your team. Hopefully we don’t get too many late outs and hopefully the teams tonight are also very good to us! If you are missing players then do your best to try and make the most of the situation to improve your side.
Catch you all again next week as we head into the last week of matches!  Good Luck!

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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