So we are half way through the NAB Challenge and its glorious to have Footy back on TV. But at this time I think it is important to address some AFL Fantasy questions and in particular, structural team concerns that I am seeing out on the forums and from other DT websites.
WHY HAS DTFML BEEN SO QUIET THIS PRESEASON?
Great question… We pride ourselves on providing sound structural and player advice for both Fantasy and DreamTeam and this type of advice can be undermined very easily by rash decisions, jumping on the flavour of the week or supporting a bit of forum group-think. We have seen it already where even the AFL Fantasy gurus (The Traders) have been publishing teams prematurely, in both printed form and online… which are made to look stupid a week later by injuries and retirements.
Many casual Fantasy fans refer to these teams and this advice to pick their teams to start the season. In the official AFL Record (below), the Traders recommend players like Beau Waters (he has retired), Kreuzer (he is injured), Stevie J (injured), S.Selwood (battling injury) etc.
At DTFML we would rather not provide risky advice, which our thousands of followers might take on board. We believe in having a duty of care for our Fantasy followers.
HAVE A THINK ABOUT IT
We have noticed an alarming trend this preseason, of people focussing on picking lots of GUN forwards, because there are more available than ever before (Swan, Martin, Gray, Deledio, Goddard, Franklin, Bartel, etc). The dual position inclusion of Swan, Deledio and Goddard in particular have set the Fantasy world into crazy mode. I’m seeing all these teams and advice recommending you pick 5 GUN forwards, and save money elsewhere!
The Traders published their team with Martin, Swan, Deledio, Franklin and Swan!!! That’d be a decent forward line to finish the year!!!
Lets have a think about it first shall we.
If we were to pick our teams based on which position has the most guns, our midfield would be 8 guns locked from round 1. Why dont we do this? Because the entire Fantasy game is based buying low and selling high, picking the cheap young rookies and bargain players who play well, rise in price and sell them to make the profit and upgrade our team. In fact the entire game revolves around making money. And midfield rookies make the most money on average because they get the most possessions, tackles etc. So we dont pick 8 gun midfielders, we pick 4 or 5 and slot in 4 or 5 midfield rookies and bargain picks.
So why is everyone racing to fill their forward lines with guns. Are there no value rookies up forward this year?
Quite the opposite.
This year more than any in my memory, there is a total lack of defender and ruck rookie options, but a healthy supply of cheap forward options.
Players like Clark and Hogan returning from injury, Karnezis and Honeychurch hoping to cement a spot, 2nd year players like Lennon and Boyd, and rookies like Lambert are all under $200,000 and are likely to play throughout the year, rising in price and providing the much needed money to upgrade our teams.
If you pick 5 gun forwards… this leaves only 3 spots to pick forwards who are going to make you money? But in 2015 with the absence of solid defender/ruck rookies, we will be relying on forward and midfield rookie/bargains almost alone to generate the cash needed to upgrade our team.
So from a structural perspective, we cannot possibly support the widely discussed belief of 5 gun forwards.
Instead – structurally, we are slightly more conservative approach.
STRUCTURE OVER SELECTION
In the coming weeks you will see us here at DTFML reveal our Fantasy and DT cheat sheets, for each position. These are not and never intended to be an exact list of players you have to pick. Rather it is the advice on how to best structure your team, in regards to spreading your salary cap across the 4 positions, and finding the best balance of Guns, Rookies, Bargains and Midpricers.
Our forward cheatsheet below starts with the obvious:
F1 – Lock in SWAN – the Fantasy pig should be the first picked in almost every team. No questions asked.
F2 & F3 – Pick 2 Forward Guns – there are plenty to choose from as mentioned above, and while we strongly favour Robbie Gray and Dustin Martin, everyone has their own preferences and favourites, so locking Bartel, Franklin or Goddard into these 2 spots would be equally awesome.
F4 – Pick a Value Player – there are plenty of forwards who will be playing ample midfield time this year, and are poised to possibly break out. Tom Mitchell is the most obvious, who will score like a Fantasy beast if he can just secure a regular position in the Swans lineup. Other options include Bontompelli who should see plenty of midfield time (especially with Libba’s injury), Taylor Adams who looks poised to slot into the vacancies left by Beams and Ball in the pies midfield, or even an up and comer like Jack Martin or Josh Kelly who with all their junior talent and promise could explode at any point. The purpose of this pick is to find the one under priced super star who can still score like a premium forward, but at a cheaper price.
F5 & F6 – Bargains – We strongly recommend the last 2 spots on your field are Bargain picks. 2 players who are priced like a rookie, are locked into their teams starting lineup and will score that 60-70 points each week, seeing a great price rise, while still scoring relatively well. The obvious ones are Clark returning to the AFL with the Cats and has demonstrated he can score 80’s in the past. Jesse Hogan, the Demons hopeful, also falls in this category, as a 2nd year player getting his chance after injury last season, should play high centre half forward and have enough marks and kicks to score 60+. Patrick Karnezis is another name we see often in preseason. He has demonstrated strong scoring potential before, but the difference being the chance of slotting into Beams old spot on the wing for the Pies and cementing regular games.
F7 & F8 – Bargains/Rookies – We also think there are enough bargain priced players and rookies coming through that we can comfortably fill the bench too. Perhaps Mitch Honeychurch will lock a regular place in the Bulldogs lineup, more likely with an injured Libba out for the season. This kid was a fantasy superstar as a junior and could be something special for Fantasy still. Lambert is a mature aged rookie for the Tigers who if elevated from the rookie list should score consistently well for a $120k player. Tom Boyd will score his 50’s at full forward for the Bulldogs, and Ben Lennon should also see plenty of games for the Tigers. There is also Membrey who has moved from the Swans to the Saints for opportunity and is set to play regularly.
There are certainly enough players to fill this structure, and while we would all love to start with Swan, Martin, Goddard, Franklin, Gray and Deledio, it just doesn’t make sense to sacrifice the rest of the team, when there are so many good value options up forward who will make you the money you need to upgrade your team.
SHOW ME THE CHEATSHEET!
It is half way through the NAB and things will certainly change, and some more bargain/rookies might standout for selection.
We are not telling you specifically who to pick at this stage, but the structure below should get you a great headstart to picking a strong team for Round 1.
Go play with your team
You can play with your team right now in AFL Fantasy at http://fantasy.afl.com.au