12 down, 11 to go.
TECHNICALLY we’ve moved past the first half of the AFL season and to welcome the second half of the fantasy season, we are presented with the hardest bye round of all. The middle bye always throws up a few curveballs, with coaches eager to field as many possible players while staying focused on improving their teams for the final stretch of games. Don’t lose sight of your end goal as the byes start to mess with our thinking, there’s still plenty of the fantasy season remaining.
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2004 – The last year Cheez TV graced our screens
WHAT a mixed bag! Nine scores over 120 accounted for half my score with some seriously lacklustre rookies weighing me down as well. Nick Larkey, Josh Corbett and Issac Cumming failed to fire when I needed them most, but I can’t complain about topping 2K in the byes. Hopefully, avoiding carnage at team selection can help me climb in rank again during the second week of bye action.
FRY’S FAVOURITE FIVE
Honourable Mentions: Tim Taranto (139), Will Brodie (142), Sam Walsh (137), Angus Brayshaw (129), Mitch Duncan (144)
+5. Patrick Cripps, Blues (MID, $713K – 151)
PATRICK mother-effing Cripps! Now THAT was a performance that explains why the Carlton skipper is considered by many as the best player in the entire AFL. A complete 38 touches with four goals (should have been five) equated to the second highest score of the entire round and rewarded those coaches who stuck with Cripps. Let’s share a moment’s silence for the 2,500+ people that traded him out this weekend.
+4. Patrick Dangerfield, Cats (MID/FWD, $692K – 162)
IT’S not often that you post a 160+ and have to settle for the +4, but Dangerfield falls into that bracket this week. Ripe for the picking after his injury theatrics in recent times, a lot of coaches traded the Geelong wrecking ball in for his mammoth score and will happily let him put his feet up this week.
+3. Jake Lloyd, Swans (DEF, $715K – 149)
CLEARLY the No. 1 defender right now, Jake Lloyd is back to his elite best. Following his 129 in Round 11, Lloyd joined the scoring frenzy this weekend with a season-best performance against West Coast. Fuelled by a whopping 42 disposals, Lloyd’s absence will be noteworthy in our back line this week and hopefully, he can stay hot in Round 14.
Image from foxsports.com.au
+2. Max Gawn, Demons (RUC, $812K – 148)
BRODIE Grundy won the game, but Max Gawn won the battle of the beasts. Solidifying his status as a must-have player, Gawn won the hitout contest against his star ruck counterpart 33-30 and gathered 34 touches compared to Grundy’s 14. Gawn now owns the highest three-round average in the league and over half the competition still has their work cut out for them trying to bring the big fish into their sides.
+1. Jack Ziebell, Roos (MID/FWD, $650K – 145)
THERE’S no more scepticism, Jack Ziebell’s the real deal. His second score north of 140 in the last month has the Roos hard nut shaping up as a crucial player to add to our forward lines, especially now Shaun Higgins is out for a chunk of time. Ziebell was handed midfield duties again by Rhyce Shaw and as long as he’s in the engine room, he’s going to keep scoring big.
FRY’S FRUSTRATING FIVE
Dishonourable Mentions: Stephen Coniglio (90), Andrew Gaff (91), Mitch Robinson (75)
-5. Brodie Smith, Crows (DEF, $559K – 38)
THIS is a tad harsh, but given the point total’s from a lot of premium talent, Smith didn’t exactly come to the party. In his defense he was being shadowed by Isaac Cumming against the Giants, but we really needed Smith to help keep us afloat while our rookies failed around the grounds. Not only didn’t he help, he became part of the problem.
-4. Jack Crisp, Magpies (DEF, $634K – 68)
PUSHING his case for top-6 defender status has led to Crisp land in 10% of teams, all of whom were let down with his antics on Monday. He heads to his bye with question marks still surrounding him and coaches who were eyeing off Crisp as part of their trade plans are probably now having second thoughts.
Image from murrayvalleystandard.com.au
-3. Dayne Zorko, Lions (MID, $702K – 80)
In a week were huge scores were all over the park, Zorko failed to join the party. In fact, he hasn’t performed for owners at all lately with no score over 100 in his last three matches following on from an average of 129.3 in the three rounds prior to that. No longer a viable trade in candidate, these up’s and down’s are an annual reminder of why having Zorko in your team is risky business.
-2. Rory Sloane, Crows (MID, $674K – 81)
THOSE out there who own Rory Sloane would have arguably rather seen him sidelined, allowing them to trade him on to another stud midfielder. However, that wasn’t the case and Sloane pushed through a sore hamstring and a Matt de Boer tag to still finish on 80. Given the circumstances, it’s slightly unfair to paint Sloane in a negative light, however, the bar was set high for a par performance this round.
-1. Bench Rookies
THE bye rounds are a wonderful time of year that forces us to field players like Josh Corbett and Isaac Cumming. Those two were just a few of the rookies usually sitting on our bench that we are relying on to deliver during the ‘best-of-18’ rounds. Jack Petrucelle, Noah Balta and Nick Larkey we all members of the sub-40 club as well and while we won’t be greedy and ask for a huge score if they could tread water for the next fortnight and not dish up another putrid score that would be fantastic.
IN – TRADING in players who are coming off their bye is the wisest move for coaches right now. Heading the pack is Zach Merrett (MID, $791K – BYE) and Jack Macrae (MID, $675K – BYE), two midfielders who depending on your financial situation could be nice additions for coaches. I for one am not too worried about Macrae and my bet is he returns to the uber-premium level we all love him at. In other lines, the likes of James Sicily (MID, $652K – BYE) and Josh Dunkley (MID, $707K – BYE) are the best available candidates you should chase.
THERE are downgrade targets coming off their bye that could be brought in for a large number of coaches too. Brett Bewley (MID, $203K – BYE) and Dylan Clarke (MID, $291K – BYE) could help strengthen midfield’s and promote cash generation, while Ryan Gardner (DEF/FWD, $178K – BYE) could be worth a desperation play if he holds, even though it seems unlikely. While it isn’t the greatest idea to trade in a player who still has their bye to come, a ton of coaches will jump on Richmond youngster Patrick Naish (DEF, $201K – 79) after his impressive debut. Fingers crossed he holds his spot in the side even with Brandon Ellis’ impending return.
OUT – EXPLOSIVE performances from Patrick Cripps and Stephen Coniglio in recent weeks are a prime example of why it’s wise to hold on to you premium players. It’s tough to tolerate the high’s and low’s that come with players like Isaac Heeney (MID/FWD, $581K – 114), Angus Brayshaw (MID, $599K – 129) and Dayne Zorko (MID, $702K – 80), but my advice is to patch up holes elsewhere on your ground. The last thing you would want to do is move them on only to see them get hot with all three capable of turning their misfortunes around.
ON the rookie front though, now is the perfect time to move on underperformers and cash cows who’ve reached their peak. Instantly the likes of Tom Atkins (MID/FWD, $362K – 56), Jack Petrucelle (FWD, $325K – 32) and non-playing types like Jay Lockhart (MID/DEF, $383K – DNP) and Charlie Constable (MID, $500K – DNP). In more luxurious positions, coaches may be looking to part ways with Gryan Miers (FWD, $462K – 86) and/or Marty Hore (DEF, $471K – 71), both of whom have serviced their role for coaches and can be turned into a jet at their respective positions.
WAIVER WIRE MOVES
THERE are two clear additions coaches need to make for their Draft sides from the waiver wire in Round 13. Whether your league takes part in the bye rounds or not could dictate your thinking to an extent, but if not Brayden Sier (MID, 19% – 95) is virtually a must-have while he’s in Collingwood’s 22. Will Brodie (MID, 17% – 142) is the other, who may be more appealing to people who are forced to field a team this week, with his huge scores making him a hot target.
CALE Hooker (DEF, 40% – BYE) returning from a week off is worth considering with a huge 116 in Round 11 before his rest, with Bayley Fritsch (DEF/MID, 15% – 97) bound to find himself added in a few leagues, even though he’s heading on to his bye. One of the most recent DPP candidates Sam Lloyd (MID/FWD, 26% – BYE) needs to be considered with coaches in deeper leagues potentially eager to chase Mason Wood (FWD, 6% – 92) given his recent goalkicking prowess. The rucks are almost as bare as can be, but don’t forget Nic Natanui (FWD, 30% – DNP) could be back any week now.
THESE are very early moves with rookie selection set to dictate who I’m moving in/trading one. One move that HAS to happen for me this week is landing Merrett for Whitfield, even though the extra money I can make by choosing Macrae instead is appealing. Cumming/Young/Drew are all on the chopping block with some combination of Gardner/Naish/Clarke likely to come into my side.
L.Whitfield → Z.Merrett
W.Drew → P.Naish
I.Cumming → R.Gardner