AFL Fantasy Fan Team Review

Last week I hosted a competition over on my Instagram page in which 65 people entered. Firstly, I want to start by saying congratulations to Kate, coach of Purple Devon Giant for winning the privilege of having her team reviewed and as a result I've composed this article to help guide Kate to fantasy greatness. In this article I'll be covering Kate's side, how her bye structure is looking and which types of players I'd be looking to target if I was in Kates shoes. Kate has been kind enough to allow me to share this with the rest of you fantasy freaks as I think this knowledge could be valuable as the principles discussed can be used by all.

Kate's Current Side

As explained in my bye strategy article, the ideal structure or the structure I've found works best for me in the past is to have an 8-10-12 set up. I won't go into depth why but if you're interested you can read that article here. At the moment you have a 12-7-11 which means you have too many players with the round 12 bye and for the most part not enough players in the round 13 bye.

If we break down the makeup of your side you have 5 of these round 12 bye players in defence along with 4 in your forward line which is quite heavy and therefore you should be looking to trade round 12 bye players from these respective zones. Your midfield on the other hand has 5 round 13 bye players, so while these are the players you want to be targeting you wouldn't want to be looking at round 13 midfielders as this zone is already saturated with these bye players. As a result I'd be looking to target round 13 forwards and defenders.


If we are to look at round 13 defenders we have Rich, Houli and Heppell who are currently the top 3 in price, but I wouldn't be looking to target any of these guys. When targeting an upgrade you should always be looking for some sort of upside on where they are currently priced and I believe that these guys are priced appropriate to their output. I never pay full price for my players as the goal is to generate cash so that you can keep progressing your side. Defenders that I think present value in that round 13 bye include Jordon Ridley, Caleb Daniel, Liam Baker and Nic Newman.

Jordon Ridley is the safest option and someone who will be a popular pick. He's consistent and a safe bet to be around that 90-95 mark in my opinion. Some would argue his upside is more but I think he's seen a slight role shift and looks to be slightly hampered by injury at the moment. I think 90-95 is a fair assumption on what he can average going forward, regardless he's a buy at his current price.

Caleb Daniel can put up numbers with the best defenders but on the flip side is also subject to an opposition tag. As a result, he produces rollercoaster like scoring. Luke Beveridge has experimented using Daniel up forward at times as a coping mechanism for if this tag is to occur and therefore it's hard to trust or know what you are going to get here on a week by week basis. With very little difference between him and Ridley I'd feel safer paying the extra 10-15k to get Riddles.

Liam Baker is a super interesting one and certainly one that's left field. Massive role change saw him play as an inside midfielder last week and as a result scored 118. Richmond have depleted stocks at the moment so this is one that you could potentially take a risk on. He's super unique and he could be one that can make you some cash leading up to his bye to when you then offload him to a round 12 premium type such as Whitfield. He's more of a stepping stone opposed to a keeper (which Ridley could be) and comes with a high risk.

Nic Newman is a guy who has shown he can be a 90 average guy in the past. His first game back he looked to take Docherty's role in defense which freed Doch to play up the field in a wing type role. Newman recorded the most kick ins for the Blues and posted a score of 85. Another one who is certainly cheap and with super low ownership. He's 20k less than Baker and he probably comes with slightly less risk as his scoring isn't dependent on him having a particular role as such.

Out of this bunch I'd be looking to stay vanilla this week and look to bring Ridley in. You want to take some risks in order to move up the rankings but going into the bye it may not be the best time to take a punt on a guy like Baker as you'll need a back up plan and with other issues needing to be fixed you could potentially get stuck with him which could be an issue if he doesn't perform. Ridley is a safe option.

This Weeks Trades

When trading you always want to go one down and one up as the ultimate goal is to limit the amount of rookies you have on field and get to a complete team as fast as possible. The issue at this stage of the season is we have limited rookies coming through to downgrade to and with the byes around the corner it's hard to know how good their job security is. Therefore you could end up bringing in someone who then gets dropped which leads to another potential trade. It's about at this time of the year where I like to start fixing these guys up. In your case this would be players such as: Hunter, Kelly, Brockman and potentially Highmore if he gets dropped again.

As for your moves this week I'd most likely elect to go against trading one of these down as you have Ziebell. As I stated earlier, you need to be getting rid of round 12 defenders and while Ziebell is a premium player (I don't advocate this move often) he's also quite overpriced in my opinion. Currently priced at 114, I expect Ziebell to be around that high 90 to 100 mark for the rest of the year and therefore at his extreme price tag I don't mind jumping ship and using him as your way to get some cash. This move comes with less risk in my opinion as you're not relying on another rookie holding their spot for the next couple weeks.

I'd be looking at:

Jack Ziebell ---> Jordan Ridley

Burgess ---> Dustin Martin (via Hall DPP)

In doing a move like this you're essentially moving Ziebell to a player who I think could average quite similar but it banks you over 200k. You're then also following the principle of getting a rookie off the field to a guy who's underpriced and has upside. Dusty is currently priced at 81 and history says this is 10+ points underpriced (average over the past 3 years has been 93, 97 and 93). You're then also switching 2 round 12 defenders to a round 13 defender and forward which is perfect for your bye structure.

Moves Going Forward

When planning your trades you want to be planning ahead and structuring your moves so that it leaves future possibilities open. This is why it's important to have a list of guys you're looking to target so that you can plan around getting them at the perfect time. I'd look at fixing a bench rookie such as Hunter for a playing 170k guy or someone who comes in this week and performs. Trent Bianco ($170k Mid/Def) looks very close to getting a game and he'd be the one I'd grab if he's playing. This won't give you much cash but it should be enough to get Powell up to Newman for example. It also gives you the ability to see how Newman goes again this week and if he performs you can jump on board opposed to taking that risk off one game of data. Newman is just an example of a player but as long as they are in your budget, have upside and suit your byes then they are a target in which I'd look at.

The reason why I suggest trading Burgess ahead of Powell is purely for the fact of maximizing points on field. While Powell looks to drop some value this week his scoring potential is quite high and trading Burgess will allow you to get Koschitzke off field this week who is highly likely to score in that 40 range.

These moves should have you in much better stead and therefore going into round 12 (first bye round) I'd be looking to trade those bench guys that aren't playing. I'd be trading Brockman/Burgess (whoever you didn't trade the week prior) along with someone else and then using the cash to get Bergman up if possible.

If you follow a blue print such as the one I've laid out you should be able to get your bye structure in a better position, eliminate non-playing rookies from your bench and also progress your side by eliminating rookies off the field.

Trading During the Byes

As you progress through the byes you want to focus on trading players who have the bye that week (or in the next week) for players who have just had the bye. Therefore in round 13 you want to be bringing in round 12 players.

These are a few players that I would look to grab or who could present value at the time:

Lachie Whitfield

Dan Houston (If fit)

Tom Mitchell

Travis Boak (Risky)

This is going to depend on pricing as to who you feel are the best options but Lachie Whitfield would be my number 1 target in round 13 and someone I'd advise targeting here.

With limited rookies coming through (especially ones who can score with job security) I think this year opens up many different avenues in order to generate cash. During the byes I think trading premiums is acceptable when they are on their bye week. Finding reliable rookies is proving difficult so if there aren't any good ones available I wouldn't hesitate to move a premium down to an underpriced guy to generate some cash that way. Same principle as my suggested Ziebell trade earlier. This could potentially bring greater point output + cash generation if you nail those underpriced guys. Obviously this comes with a bit of risk and therefore you want to be taking an educated punt on these types if you were going to do it.


Remember this is just a guide! If you have your own players of interest follow your gut feel. Too many times in the past I was influenced by what others had to say which resulted in me not pulling the trigger on some left field names which could have given me a huge edge. As we get further into the season the more you want to try and differentiate your side from others as this is how you will make up ground. Don't be afraid to take risks as it's the only way in which you can go far in this game. I hope this article has helped provide some guidance and structure going forward and a solid blueprint in which you can use to help climb up the ranks. Good luck in the future Kate and to everyone else who is reading this... Until next time... Keep climbing up the ranks!

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