The Fantasy Front – AFL Dream Team Round 12

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Roman’s team currently sits just inside the top 600 of 230,470 in AFL Dream Team.

Round 12 trades included Rory Laird – Tom Mitchell (Vlaustin DPP) and Jaegar O’Meara – Matthew Boyd ($167,700 remaining).

 

Whether you’re looking for League or Overall glory, the bye rounds in any Fantasy competition represent a unique opportunity to gain some ground on those teams ahead of yours in the standings.

Key to Round 12

Make sure you have at least 18 and preferably 19 players on the field. The hardest hit position will most likely be your forward line with superstars Kennedy, Cox, Riewoldt, Bartel, Johnson and Stokes all having their week off. With all of these players potential keepers for the season, you ideally don’t want to sell them if at all possible.

Sell

As mentioned above, try not to sideways trade any of your premium players. Whilst trades aren’t a major consideration in 2013, it is almost criminal to waste one in the future trying to get your team back to its former glory.

Melbourne trio Dean Terlich, Michael Evans and Matt Jones have all done their dash and are primed to be upgraded if you’re struggling for numbers this week. With fantasy prospect Tom Nicholls also on the bubble after two brilliant performances in the ruck, Geelong fan favourite Mark Blicavs could also be on the chopping block – if you can afford to sell a player still likely to make a further $80,000 or so. If you’re like the many coaches out there who will be seriously impacted by Round 13 byes, look ahead and try and minimise damage a week early.

Rory Laid still has money to make but with Heppell, Goddard, Shaw, Stanley, Scotland and Gibbs all missing in Round 13, offloading him early may be the lesser of two evils. In the midfield, most will sell almost-guaranteed Rising Star Jaeger O’Meara next week, but with Ablett, Pendlebury, Swan, Stanton, Watson, Murphy, Ball, Dangerfield, Thompson also having byes, once again it ay be wise to act earlier, using four trades with your focus firmly on next weekend. Sam Dwyer is another candidate who, after missing two weeks with a groin injury, will have a bye next week with selection no guarantee in Round 14.

If you do find yourself having to sell a premium this round to field a full side of 18 players, look to offload West Coast’s Josh Kennedy, who despite a spectacular start to the season faces a hard run into the finals in what could be a disappointing campaign for the Eagles. Kennedy is also owned by 50% of all teams so if you’re looking to distinguish yourself from the pack, this is a brave but potentially beneficial move.

Mathew Stokes is another who doesn’t have anywhere to go but down. Benefitting from Paul Chapman’s continued absence, the break-out Cat could easily be sideways traded to one of our recommendations below.

Buy

With six teams in the AFL already having endured the excruciating Fantasy pain that is the bye, now is the perfect time to bring in some of the competition’s elite without worrying about them missing another game.

The primary candidates who fit the bill are Michael Barlow and Sam Mitchell, who have had sublime and solid starts to the season respectively. Barlow has an easier back half to the season, but his scoring style is suited to congestion and as such, his production could decline. Mitchell on the other hand is a major risk and hasn’t produced quite to his usual standards. With Hawthorn’s form showing no signs of dropping off despite Birchall being tagged hard in recent weeks, expect opposition to move to Mitchell, hoping to slow down the Hawks.

Matthew Boyd is possibly the standout bargain in the AFL currently. The proven fantasy stud averages only 97 following a slow return from injury to start the year and is priced at a meager $481,100 despite averaging over 115 points since 2010.

In defense, Paul Duffield has snuck under the radar, averaging 100 points per game over the past 6 weeks. Grant Birchall is another option who after a blistering start, is under-priced after a series of poor matches. He has also already been rested by Clarkson so is at lesser risk of missing games than his Hawk counterparts.

In the forward line, it is a toss-up between Dustin Martin and Tom Rockliff. Both have high break-evens and will most likely fall in price. Whilst concerns over consistency still plague Martin’s reputation, the Tiger has a soft draw over the coming month – 5 straight games against teams outside the 8 – and could churn out some enormous scores – averages 117.25 against teams outside the Top 8 in 2013. Rockliff on the other hand is coming back from a soft-tissue injury and despite being fit for this week, could be underdone. With 3 straight games coming against Top 8 sides – average of 78.33 in 2013 – it is best to hold off on the young Lion.

On the cash-cow front, who you target is dependent on how your team is structured for the byes. If you’re good for numbers in the midfield this week, jump on Tom Mitchell a round early, if you’re struggling generally bring in the impressive Nathan Hrovat who has already had his bye and if you – by some miracle – have a full midfield in Round 13, grab Collingwood rookie Kyle Martin. If you’re struggling in the ruck, Tom Nicholls is a standout prospect and his Round 13 bye is perfect to pair with Goldstein, Naitanui, Cox, Minson and Maric.

Captain

In all honesty, it isn’t worth writing anything in this section for now. Gary Ablett is head and shoulders above the rest with 9 straight scores over 100 and a season average 8 points higher than his nearest competitor this week in Dane Swan! This round, he takes on the Bombers and whilst he’ll be tagged heavily, most likely by Hocking, and the Suns will most likely lose, Ablett scored 160 against Essendon in their lone meeting in 2012.

The Last Word

Last week, the overall leader in AFL Dream Team scored 1,879 points. Of the Top 10 teams in the weekly standings, 9 were ranked outside the top 10,000 prior their Round 11 scores. The byes truly are the best opportunity you have to set yourself for the year so make those trades count and make sure you have a at least 18 players named on Thursday night!

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On twitter @rombarbera. Australian sports by day, international sports by night. Co-founder of Blindside Sport. Fantasy sport addict.

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