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The Thursday Scramble

The Thursday Scramble: Round 18

Is it Carnage or is it Opportunity? Let’s Scramble!

It had to happen right? We all knew things were going along just a little too smoothly. So it was time for the Fantasy Gods to have their way with us and not only throw us a couple of suspensions but injuries also.  If ever there was a week for it… it’s time to Scramble!!

Could this actually be a good thing?

One of the biggest complaints that we often hear about this game is that by the end of the season all the teams are the virtually the same and have just a handful of unique players. Well, this is the sort of week that can really mix the competition up. So we should embrace this as it is really a chance for a bit of a reset of your team and your ‘uniqueness’ which could propel you to victory in your league or if you are like Roy, a hat.

There are a few ways this can go and it all depends on how many of the guys that are out you have. For the purposes of this article I am going to assume that the Heeney appeal fails and he is out (despite the fact I strongly believe, like Roy, that he should not have been suspended for this and we have seen far worse go unpunished). Other than that we know we are without Rankine, Gawn and McGovern. Just like Roy, I only brought Rankine into my team in SuperCoach this week which really frustrates the hell out of me.

There are a heap of factors to consider in this situation and they are

  • how many of the trouble players do you have?
  • are you willing to hold any of them?
  • how much cash do you have?
  • what bench cover do you have and are you comfortable playing them?
  • can you loop any of them?

All of those factors are going to determine not just yours, but all of your opponents strategies coming in to this week. And don’t forget, there could also be further carnage on the way when we get teams tonight. If there was ever a time to have some more green dots on the bench this is the one.

Heeney. Let’s consider for now that he is out. To me he is the least of our problems. He is fit and healthy and is only going to miss one week. Unless you have none of the other guys then I believe you should be holding him and trying to loop one of your bench players on the field. However, your only choices here are players from Friday night because unfortunately the Swans have one of the early Saturday games this week. So it is a Mannagh, Sullivan, Richards or maybe a Krueger that you would be able to loop on. If you can get anything over a 60 out of these guys then I would be running with that and keeping Heeney. As always it can be very difficult to get someone back in as we have no idea what carnage awaits us next week.

Gawn. Initially I was a hold here too (assuming you had some cover you could use). I was of the understanding it was only going to be the one week but now it is sounding and feeling more like a 2-3 week issue and unless you have a top line replacement for him already in our team then he is a trade. Jackson is about the only one that I would say you would be likely to have just hanging around in your forward line to use and with Darcy out this week he is looking like he should score well. So if you believe that Gawn is going to spend more than the one week out then I would be moving him on.

Where we are going to get some diversity amongst the teams is going to look at whether you have the available funds to get to a Xerri, English or a Bank or whether you need to look for more value like a De Koning or a Meek because that cash allows you to fix other problems.

Rankine. There is no question here. The bloke has to be traded out. We can’t have someone sitting on the sidelines for four weeks when we are at a critical time of the season for us leading into our Fantasy Finals. Just like above cash is going to be one of the big deciders. Rankine isn’t in the top price players and hence to get to a Caldwell or a Zorko you are going to have to have some loose cash which you may need to get from a Gawn downgrade as I mentioned above. Or if you don’t have that option you will need to stick around is price point and look at a Miers or a Jezza Cameron. I think that the Rankine trade is the one that is going to give us the most variety amongst teams as there are plenty of options (and you can do some DPP with your mids) and also lots of this trade depends on the dollars.

McGovern is listed as just the one week but this could be one that lingers. His ownership is low so he has been quite a unique player and with his good scoring prior to this last week he could have helped you win games. Like Rankine he doesn’t have a huge price on his head which will make it harder get to one of the big gun defenders.

Looping Concerns

If you are going to use some of your bench players as a loop make sure you analyse it in a lot of detail before you decide to pull the trigger on that plan. Things you need to think about are….

  • When in the week does your loop player play? The earlier the better.
  • Who is your non playing player (usually your injured/suspended player) is playing. So we have Heeney on Sat Early, Rankine and Gawn on Sat night. So once they play they are locked out. You must have your plan in play by then.
  • If your loop fails, then when is the player you want to trade in playing? You need to make sure that if you need to trade Gawn, Heeney etc out, make sure the player you want to bring in hasn’t played yet.
  • Have multiple scenarios in mind. We know this game can be fickle and we need to be ready for anything!

Don’t forget the scale!

With all of these issues we need to deal with this week, when you are trading in it is well worth consulting the Scale of Hardness. As I say at this time every year, it doesn’t matter so much as to his average for the last 17 rounds, it is the next 7 that we care about. And some teams will have much harder runs home than others so you must take that into account. I am going to bang on about this over the coming weeks because it is very important.

Things to Remember

  • Where other coaches will lament this carnage, you need to seize the situation and take advantage of it.
  • Plan, plan and plan some more. Have multiple plans in place as anything can happen.
  • Not trading is also an option, but only if you think the guy is only going to miss one week.
  • If you can save a bit of cash for next week it is a good thing. It just gives you more options.

Best of luck navigating your way through this maze this week. It is what makes this game fun. And this is a real opportunity for you boost your way up the rankings!  Catch you all next week.


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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1 day ago

Ive got Gawn & Reville & Clohesy
Is it crazy for me to move Clohesy to Ryan & Gawn to Jackson (with the idea to move him forward next week and bring in english)
OR play it safe and do Gawn to English and down/upgrade Reville to maybe Simpkin?

1 day ago

Why do people still listen to these guys. It really makes no sense. I’ve said for the last few years that Roy is the only sensible won out of the 3 when it comes to the game. Listening to Twiddle Dumb n Twiddle dee will get you know where.

1 day ago
Reply to  Xlr8rs

You may have noticed we’ve got your comments moderated … so that’s why they don’t appear here. But, please, for the sake of the English language… can you spell check your comments, Marcus?!

My students’ assignments written in crayon have fewer mistakes than your comments on here.

22 hours ago

Field mannaugh or Dowling?

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