The bye rounds are over and have you been following my advice over the last few weeks you should be in a relatively healthy position. Poor choices along with some bad luck stopped me from climbing the rank I would have liked over this period, although I did still improve slightly and now sit ranked 192.
Post byes are an interesting time as the teams who traded well over the byes are now rewarded returning back to 22 players on field. The principles with trading are simple. Rookies off field and upgrade those underperforming mid-price players. Things to consider when doing these types of moves are how much point gain are you really getting. If we look at the following scenario:
Markov (75) --> Lachie Whitfield (110) = 35 point gain
Caleb Poulter (65) --> Scott Pendlebury (95) = 30 point gain
In this scenario you look to gain more points by trading the mid-price guy first. Therefore it may not be the best move to upgrade rookies first depending on who it allows you to get to.
The second thing in which I think holds huge importance at this time of year is trading in guys with big ceilings and low ownership. Now is the time you want to be targeting these POD types as those are the guys that will enable you to climb up in ranking.
Names to Consider
Jack Steele ($827k MID)
Absolute beast and underrated slightly both as a footballer and as a fantasy player. Steele is consistent and has the ability to hit a ceiling score. The fact he plays for the Saints isn't the greatest as I tend to target players from stronger sides (less volatile scoring/role) but due to Steele's play style it's hard to see him taking a backwards step in the second half. I expect Steele to average around that 115 mark in the second half and with low ownership amongst top ranked sides I think he's one of the better "uber" premium options.
Brad Crouch ($744k MID)
Has shown inconsistencies at times and tends to struggle when the Saints perform poorly. You would think the Saints are going to struggle in the second half of the year and as someone who relies both on inside and outside ball his scoring is more volatile than what a Jack Steele would be. His form is hard to deny though having pumped a 3 game average of 123 and a 5 game of 110. He does have a big ceiling and he's also a fair bit cheaper than some of the "uber" premium options. There are certainly worse options out there.
Andrew Gaff ($708k MID)
Starting to get very cheap now. I wouldn't jump on this week but I expect with the return of Kelly and Shuey that Gaff will return more to an outside role which should see his scoring benefit. He's posted a 110 average in the last 3 seasons and with West Coast playing for finals you'd think he would be in for a much better second half. If he gets closer to $650k he's a buy.
Elliot Yeo ($616k MID)
Has shown elite levels in the past. West Coast look to manage him all season but his TOG could creep up towards the back end of the year. The bye would have done him wonders and at the price he is tempting. I personally wouldn't touch him but if he's all you can afford it's not the worst option. Hopefully we see some increased TOG this week.
Shannon Hurn ($606k DEF)
Has never been a top tier fantasy player but his season to date has been fantastic. Hurn is the number one kick in taker and distributer out of the back and in a team that love to possess the footy, Hurn has flourished this year. Excluding his injury affected score, Hurn has an average of 100. This puts him there or there abouts for a top 6 defender and at a cheap price he could be worth a punt for those risk takers out there. He is 33 years of age and you would think West Coast could potentially give him a rest at some point. Very risky play but he's in great form.
Callum Mills ($776k DEF/MID)
Not much to say here. Top 3 defender and a must have before seasons end.
Jake Lloyd ($722k DEF)
Hasn't been the fantasy player of previous years but I do expect Lloyd to perform better in the second half. Horse stated that Lloyd had been playing sore for the last couple of games and therefore the bye could be the freshen up he needs. I think Lloyd can push an average closer to that 105 mark from this point forward and with low ownership I think he's a decent defense option.
Brodie Grundy ($798k RUC)
A must have sooner rather than later. Very low ownership now and therefore the earlier you can get him back the more beneficial it will be.
Scott Pendlebury ($592k MID/FWD)
Will probably be the most traded in player this week but it's hard to ignore him. Forward status and a sub $600k price tag make Pendles a very attractive option this week. A new coach along with the fact that Collingwood may flick the magnets around are some slight queries but you'd think regardless Pendles will spend most his time in the middle and or half back which should see him average close to if not in the top 6 forwards going forward.
Taylor Adams ($723k MID)
Fantasy stud in previous years capable of averaging 115. I'd be waiting this week to see how he goes but if he looks fit and up to it then he could be a strong target as early as next week.
Andrew Brayshaw ($749k MID)
Shows great tendencies to fill up all stat lines and there is no doubt he'll be a fantasy star of the future. He's only going to get better and I think it's realistic for him to push an average close to the 110 mark in the second half of the year. Low ownership means that he could be a good POD but at the price it is only $50k to get to Oliver who's safer and just as unique. I think I'd rather just pay that bit extra and get to a safer type.
Adam Cerra ($578k MID)
Having battled an ankle injury early in the year Cerra is one I expect to hit some form in the second half. Cerra should be at 100% now and with Fyfe playing hurt you would think his midfield opportunities increase. The fact he's also playing for a contract are motivating factors to perform. I think Cerra could be 95-100 in the second half and whilst it's not top 8 worthy it is a lot of value at the price and if it's all you can get to I think he's one of the better cheaper options.
Dan Houston ($584k DEF/MID)
Whilst I don't think he'll be top 6 defender quality, I do think he can be 95 possibly 100 and at the price tag that's certainly good enough. Super option at a cheaper price. Dual position adds flexibility and he'll once again be a top target this week.
Clayton Oliver ($800k MID)
Oliver is a beast and I can see him having a huge second half of the year. As we get deeper into Winter it's safe to say that we'll see more rain and more contested footy. Oliver will be around that 115 mark going forward and after a couple of sub par efforts I don't think many will be targeting him. He does have a high break even and therefore he's not a must have just yet but he is a must have at some point in my opinion.
Christian Petracca ($739k MID)
Pushing hard for a top 2 spot, Petracca is the type who steps up when it matters. He's slightly under priced at the moment and unique. His scoring can be inconsistent but he should be close to 110 in the second half. At the price he's certainly one to consider and you won't be disappointed owning him.
Nick Haynes ($512k DEF)
Has been in tremendous form and has proved a good pick up for those who got on board during the bye rounds. At this point I don't see Haynes averaging enough to be a keeper and therefore despite the low breakeven he's not one I'd jump on now. If you're of the opinion he can average 90+ from this point forward than he's worth the risk at that price but I think he'll be more around that 80-85 range.
Dion Prestia ($560k MID)
Has been a 95-100 guy in the past and comes in dirt cheap. You'd think he's going to be managed pretty carefully and therefore I wouldn't be jumping on straight away. He's one to monitor for now. If you're desperate and looking for a cheaper upgrade I'd still have Houston and Cerra ahead of him.
Dustin Martin ($612k MID/FWD)
Despite recommending him for the last few weeks and despite the fact I do think he's underpriced still, if I didn't own Dusty I probably wouldn't be jumping on now. His ceiling is limited, his scoring is inconsistent and he's highly owned. That's enough for me to stay away at this point.
Touk Miller ($897k MID)
Surprise packet of the season and has certainly taken his game to another level. You'd have to rob a bank to get him and realistically you'd need 2 weeks worth of trades to get him now. His ceiling is top tier and he's very lowly owned. For these reasons I do like him but at that price I think you can better spend your cash and therefore I'd be more inclined to go with an Oliver type who comes in $100k cheaper and shouldn't be much worse if at all.
Ollie Wines ($824k MID)
Sat in my team all pre-season and last minute decided against it. He's been super this year and is another who's taken that leap into "uber" premium territory. I expect Wines to be 110+ for the rest of the year but at the price you get what you pay for. He'll be consistent and has shown he has a ceiling but I'm not sure he's worth the coin. I'd rather go with Merrett, Titch or Oliver.
Jake Stringer ($481k FWD)
I had to chuck him in for the lols. Where the fuck did that come from. 30 touches and 4 goals! That's crazy and probably a feat Stringer will never achieve again. He did attend 85% CBA's and was super effective, therefore you'd think Essendon would continue to use him there. If you're very short changed and poorly ranked he could be worth a throw at the stumps but in all seriousness he's not a legit option.
Jack Ziebell ($751k DEF/FWD)
Many thought that McDonald back would negatively effect either Ziebell or Hall. It looks like McDonald is playing a wing role and therefore these two should continue to do their thing at half back. Ziebell can produce big numbers and with the dual position status I expect him to be a top 6 defender and or forward. He's dropped a little bit in price and with Gold Coast this week he should be big again.
Tom Mitchell ($796k MID)
Looked the pig of old. We all know what sort of numbers this man is capable of and if you're a non-owner then I'd make a plan to get him at some point. Matt De Boer could go to him this week which I'd be wary about and therefore potentially look elsewhere this week but long term I can see Titch going 115+
Top 5 Targets
There you have it guys. Those are my thoughts on which guys to target this week. As for rookie selections we do have some debutants this week. Amartey looks to make a lot of cash and could be a great field option for those still relying on rookies on field. I don't think he's a must have as cash generation is less important this time of the year. If you can get to an "uber" premium by going to a cheaper option then I would do it.
I hope this has helped in guiding you and your trade decisions this week. Once again I want to apologize for not having this ready before the Thursday night game. A lot of you rely on these insights and therefore may have had to make calls tonight with limited guidance. For this I do apologize. I hope the majority of you haven't been affected and can still use this information to good effect. Thanks for the support legends and until next time... keep climbing up the ranks!