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The Thursday Scramble

The Thursday Scramble Round 13: Bye Week 2

One down, Two to go! What can we learn from the first round of byes?

One down and two to go. And what a wild one it was too, we saw some very interesting scoring and we learnt a few things along the way too. But we are just a third of the way through the battle with the hardest part arguably coming this weekend with so many popular players out. This is the week where this applies the most!  Let’s Scramble!!!

What did we learn?

It doesn’t matter how much planning and time you put in, sometimes everything just falls apart. For a lot of coaches that happened on Friday night with Tom Stewart getting subbed out after he had a big start to the game. If you were running with the bare 18 then this would have been devastating for you!  So if you can manage it in the byes it is handy to try and have 19 0r 20 so that you aren’t running with the bare minimum.  But that is obvious right??

The Byes are really a period of risk v reward. If you had 22 or 21 playing players last week you might have taken a risk and traded one out for a player on their bye so that you had more players later in the bye period, but you can get bitten by that when you have a premium score a poor one or get injured early. But that is how you need to play this game, aggressively. If you just sit back and play safe you aren’t likely to make any headway up the ranks.

Something else we learnt is that Oscar McInerney is a ruck killer!  He has claimed a few scalps this season with Sean Darcy being the latest one. I know lots of people traded him in this week (with some people bringing him in over Max) and they were very disappointed with what he dished up. But don’t despair if that was you. The Big O is going to claim many more rucks this season as he is incredibly hard to score against.

The Rooks are Running Out!  We are starting to really run out of good downgrade options. Thankfully the Tigers have given us one this week for tonight’s game but outside of that we are starting to get to that point in the year where we need to downgrade for cash and sometimes that is to a rookie that is unlikely to play.  This can be an incredibly risky move, particularly during the byes but if it is what helps you get to a fully upgraded team then it might be the right play for you.  I would try and refrain from it this week if you can but if you need to do it next week or beyond then it might just be the right move. The risk of doing it this week is that you don’t know what the teamsheets will throw up at us next week. I mean who thought that Sam Hayes would be omitted from Port’s side tonight. But once we get to R14 and we have the teams and you know that you will have full compliment the week after you can start to throw a bench position just to get some cash in after that.


Great question John. This is one that many people will be toying with and it often comes up over the byes. Your first comment is the most critical…. if your bye structure suits. Any advice on any podcast or on any website over the byes will be fairly generic and you need to weigh it up against what you have in your team.  But here with the discussion about Bailey Smith you would have been planning to be without him this week anyway so moving him to another R13 bye player is certainly a very plausible move. Let’s be honest, any player that is going to miss 2+ weeks for any reason we would trade in a heartbeat and this situation is no exception, Smith is a must trade. I really like Laird and he is one that I would most definitely target if I had the cash. However, if you want to really sure up your side for this week as well as next, grabbing one of the R12 bye players is certainly well worth it and it is the option I would consider first before any R13 player.  If you haven’t finished your backline then Doc is where I would be heading first and foremost. All signs are pointing to him being a top 6 defender at the end of the year and hence he would be my first target. But I also do like Kelly and if you already have your 6 defender premiums then certainly Kelly would be a great trade in this week.

So if I was to summarise all that, I would say Yes to trading out Bailey Smith, and then, unless you have 20 or more playing this week I would go with Doc first and then Kelly.  If you do have 20 playing this week with a good number of premiums in there you could really improve your side by picking up Laird.  If Laird hadn’t been missing round 1 he would have been in my side and he would have been in a hell of a lot more than he is now.

Ok James, now this is a bit more tricky and that is for a number of reasons.  Firstly we will have only just seen the teams for the GWS game as the Richmond v Port game gets underway. And if Whitfield is named but on an extended bench that could cause some worry. Also with Judson Clarke and Wines both playing on Thurs night you don’t really have much time to make any decisions.

However, you do mention that you already have a completed backline and in that case I would certainly be steering away from the Whitfield pick. He isn’t someone that I would be considering for my midfield at the moment and the only reason you would pick him up is if you had a Def/Mid that you wanted to swing into the middle to make room for him. He has been out for a couple of weeks prior to his bye and he didn’t hit many heights prior to that. I really want to see a game or two of him under the new coach before I make any calls on bringing him in.

Your other trade there of downgrading to Clarke I like since there aren’t too many other options. However, I don’t know that Wines is the answer. For $19k less you can pick up Zac Merrett. I like him as an option a little more.

Things to Remember

  • Get those blue dots off the field!
  • Have backup plans for trades! Teams are spread out this week with games from Thurs to Mon!

One other thing to remember is that just because a player had a great second half of the season last year it doesn’t mean they will do it again this year. If they are cheap now it is for a reason and that is that they haven’t been performing this year to date. If you are keen on a guy that had a great second half last year, just check to see why that happened.  Did they have a role change in the second half? Was someone out of the side that caused them to play a new role?  Just like in investing, past performance isn’t always an indication of future returns!

Catch you all next week where we will have another 6 teams of bye free players to choose from!

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. James

    June 9, 2022 at 10:23 am

    Thanks dunny. Hoping a 190k rook gets named but wanted to be on top of it all with the Thursday game. My other trade is Bailey smith down to Merrett so wines will be my target.

  2. jjbkeeper

    June 9, 2022 at 10:31 am

    Left field/irrelevant question – What gets a player Ruck DDP? Is it number of ruck contests\hitouts across the field, or CB ruck contests\hitouts? Or something else?

  3. jjbkeeper

    June 9, 2022 at 10:38 am

    J. Short or S. Congilio + cash this week? Chances are I will bring in the other next week.

    • John1

      June 9, 2022 at 11:11 am

      gotta go cogs this week, they’ve got north

  4. Andy

    June 9, 2022 at 11:02 am

    Bit worried Juddy Clarke will lose us money!

    • Port Adelaide Piglets

      June 9, 2022 at 12:38 pm

      Is Juddy Clarke a viable option? what scores do we think he will produce?

      • Mike

        June 9, 2022 at 12:49 pm

        He debuting on field..

        • jjbkeeper

          June 9, 2022 at 3:04 pm

          Fingers crossed it’s better than Matty Roberts

          • Jay1

            June 10, 2022 at 2:35 am

            2 goals in a tight game…good signs he’ll keep his place for next week now.

  5. Paul

    June 9, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    Any thoughts on Hobbs or Merrett which is the better cheers guys great site as i am new to this.

    • pendles4brownlow

      June 9, 2022 at 4:10 pm

      This a little unusual comparison. You would be going to Zerrett for a totally different reason than you would bring in Hobbs.

      Hobbs is a rookie. You would only be chasing him as a means to make some cash. He has already gone up in value by $193k, so you have missed the boat on getting a lot of money from him. His BE is only 38, so he could make some money, but his average is only 62, with a top score of 95, but most between 58 &72, with a couple lower. He won’t make much and he is not a premo, so you won’t be keeping him. So, I wouldn’t take this train; it left the station ages ago.

      If you go with Zerrett, you are taking him up as a premo. If you believe the rest of the season is going to be like his previous seasons, which were much better than the first half of this season, then go for it. He is massively under-priced for someone who has an excellent Fantasy record. However, it is a risk. He has not been playing the same role as he has in previous years. If the coach does not move him back to what he does best, Zerrett will not improve his scores. He is a good option if you can’t quite afford the current in-form players and you believe he will improve after the bye. Zerrett is the better option of the two.

      • Paul

        June 9, 2022 at 5:30 pm

        Cheers for that answer ive bought in Sinclair and Owens haven’t got the cash to get Zac anyhow so im after a mid price mid any ideas and cheers for the answer mate much appreciated .

        • Jay1

          June 10, 2022 at 2:34 am

          a cheaper mid pricer than Zerrett?
          How about Whitfield or Kmart Dusty?

  6. BestowedMisery

    June 9, 2022 at 5:24 pm

    I’m focused on improving my team post byes
    I can’t see my team scoring as last week. 1900.
    Round 14 is set.
    I do have Cripps and Trac..
    If they both spud it this week..wielding the 🪓

  7. Nathan

    June 9, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    Current team:
    DEF: Rich, Zorko, Hewett, Dawson, Sicily, Coleman (SDK, PMcCartin)
    MID: Neale, Oliver, Miller, Macrae, Cripps, Hately, Soligo, Clark (McComb, Owens)
    RUCK: Gawn, English (Hayes)
    FWD: Dunkley, Coniglio, Butters, Smith, Martin, Brodie (Windhager, Durdin)
    UTL: Hobbs
    Cash: 79k

    Am I crazy for thinking this is a viable move?
    Smith, McCartin and Hately > Docherty, Wehr, Andy Brayshaw

    Am tempted by Kelly, but think Brayshaw will average more from here out despite playing one less game.

  8. pendles4brownlow

    June 9, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    Had to go out with the family and missed the teams being named. I had a trade in place already that I intended to change once teams were named. Because I had swapped the players around and one is playing tonight and I did not make it home until after kick off, I can’t reverse the trade and now am stuck with 17 players. FMDT! I will never make preliminary trades again. Whose idea was it to have kids?

  9. Russell Pindick

    June 9, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    Happy with my punt on Judson Clarke

    • The Octopus

      June 9, 2022 at 10:16 pm


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