We’re back on the Fantasy Front with our AFL Dream Team advice for Round 16! Ask our experts your Dream Team questions in the comment section below or on twitter @BlindsideSport!
Roman’s team currently sits 1,307 of 234,106 in AFL Dream Team. Round 16 trades included O’Meara – Hrovat and Waite – Johnson ($90,100 remaining).
With the byes well and truly behind us, most AFL Dream Team coaches will be close to having 22 premium players on the field. Despite that, the unlimited trades afforded to coaches in 2013 mean there is still a lot of work that can be done to improve your team.
Key to Round 16
At this stage of your season, you will have one of two objectives:
- Upgrade your final middle-range or rookie players until you have 22 premiums, or;
- Exploit match-ups and look for points-of-difference to climb your league or overall rankings
Points of Difference
Due to unlimited trades, there is a great chance that many of the 234,003 AFL Dream Team sides will look relatively similar by the end of the season. As such, you’ll need to make bold attempts to differentiate yourself unless you have no ambitions of climbing the standings over the next 7 weeks.
Surprisingly, Matthew Stokes is still a relatively unique option (11.03% ownership) despite averaging 95.07 points per round in 2013. An average performance against Hawthorn last round will send many current owners running but with 4 straight games against sides outside the top 8 coming up, the diminutive Cat could run riot.
His team-mate Steve Johnson is an interesting one. Owned by 22.6% of coaches despite his 2 week suspension, the mercurial midfielder doesn’t seem overly unique until you think about who owns him. With popular forwards Riewoldt, Rockliff and Daniher also missing matches recently, many top coaches would have offloaded Johnson prior to his suspension meaning that many of the 22.6% of teams still holding him would be a fair way down the rankings. Many coaches will be spending trades upgrading defenders or ousting the injured Jobe Watson so if you can bring Stevie in this week, you may find yourself grabbing an advantage.
Trading out players that everyone else owns is also a great way to differentiate yourself from the field.
This week, we’re considering ousting the great Josh Kennedy. Owned by 46.02% of coaches, a great game from JJK doesn’t push you up the rankings, it just means you keep up with the pack. With matches against Sydney (Richards), Essendon (Carlisle), Geelong (Lonergan), Collingwood (Reid) and Adelaide (Talia) to close out the season, the Eagles forward will see more games in which he scores 70-90 than he will big centuries. To that list we would have added this week’s match-up against Fremantle and McPharlin, however a calf strain to the Docker defender is likely to improve Kennedy’s score marginally. Trading out a player who averages 93.15 is always a bit of a tough call but sometimes the risk is worth it. We’re predicting the probably Coleman Medallist to average 89 by Round 23.
Holding onto Matt Priddis, jumping on Joel Selwood or Leigh Montagna and even showing patience with Demon Dean Terlich who averages 106.3 under Neil Craig are great ways to differentiate yourself from coaches looking to big names, not big performances to round out their teams.
The Final Touches
At this stage of the season, we ask, who are the best 22 AFL Dream Team players in the competition?
Goddard, Heppell, Ibbotson, Gibbs, Shaw or Hanley, Terlich or Hartlett
Ablett, Swan, Pendlebury, Barlow, Stanton, Griffen, Montagna, Jack or Dangerfield or Selwood or Cornes
Cox, Goldstein or Leuenberger
Riewoldt, Johnson, Bartel, Martin, Cloke, Stokes
How many of these guns do you have in your squad?
If the answer is most, then perhaps it is time to look to exploit your remaining trades by observing weekly match-ups and trading in unique players for periods of one or two weeks.
Last week for example, with fixtures against Melbourne and GWS upcoming, we moved on Kurt Tippett. Despite having a quiet match aside form the 3rd quarter, he managed to churn out a respectable score of 82.
If you really want to take a risk though, here are my tips for Round 16 as to which players will pump out big scores greater than their average by 20 points or more. We’ll also factor in a ‘risk rating’ out of 5 with 1 being the safest and 5 being our bold predictions:
|Michael Barlow||West Coast||Midfield||110.08||145||2|
|Garrick Ibbotson||West Coast||Defender||99.40||125||2|
Western Derbies are always very high scoring games with the open spaces at Patersons conducive to high uncontested possession counts. The more players you can have in your squad for that game, the better off you’ll be.
I haven’t played AFL Dream Team in a year in which captaincy choice has been so irrelevant. Gary Ablett was so clearly the answer for such a large part of the season, it seems silly to go away from him now. Doesn’t it?
There are a multitude of advantageous match-ups this week to evaluate though and with ‘being unique’ the general sentiment of this week’s edition, we’re going to try and find an alternative to the incredible Ablett.
With Pendlebury likely to get the van Berlo tag against Adelaide, expect Swan (130) to thrive. Other big taggers in Crowley (Gaff), Macaffer (Dangerfield) and Jones (Murphy) aren’t overly captain relevant meaning that Stanton (110) and the players in Western Derby mentioned above are also worth a look.
This week, I’ll personally be choosing between Swan, Ablett and Steve Johnson with all 3 set for big weekends. As we were reminded last week however, don’t take your vice-captain decision lightly!
The Last Word
Averages are often a misleading stat.
Take Dean Terlich for example and his average of 80.85. Seems a tad low for a premium defender, doesn’t it. As we mentioned earlier though, he’s averaging 106.30 under his new coach and we can’t see a reason why that should change.
Matt Priddis, a season average of 95.14 but gas scored 112.30 over the last 3 matches. Joel Selwood’s 96.36 looks a lot better when you know he’s surpassed 120 points 3 times in his last 4 games. That isn’t to mention Matthew Leuenberger who has averaged 96.75 since returning from injury or Hamish Hartlett, who despite being on a lot of coaches’ ‘never again’ list, averages 89.75 over the last month (more than Hanley’s 84.50, Hibberd’s 72.75 and identical to Heath Shaw).
The players with the highest averages don’t count for much if all of their points were scored before you owned them.