Trade Talk and Break Evens: Round 3

Updated: Apr 14

Another round out the way and with that comes carnage. Popular trade targets last week in Stephenson and Sholl both flopped and Caldwell pinged a hammy. I was unfortunate enough to trade in both Stephenson and Caldwell which was far from ideal. My top two mid price targets last week in Hind and Markov both continued on their merry way and look to continue to generate a fat stack of cash.

Round 2 saw a plethora of injuries (Shiel, Day, Draper, Caldwell, Budarick, Webster, Fyfe and more) and whilst there weren't a heap that were too fantasy relevant it may be a tell tale sign that we could be in for a crazy year. The increased speed of the game along with reduced interchanges looks a recipe for more injuries and more players rested throughout the year. Just something to keep in mind going forward.

As for your trades this week, the premise is very much the same as last week. You want to focus on cash generation and fix up jobs. For example if you have a Caldwell you will obviously have to trade. You should then look to fix up dud rookies. If you have guys on your bench who aren't playing you should make that your next priority and look to trade them to some of the cash cows mentioned below. The next category of trades are your luxury trades and should be looked at providing all 30 of your players are playing. These types of players may include your Paddy Dow, Tom, Green, Dom Tyson type of players. I still don't recommend trading your under performing premos but I'll touch on that later in the article.

Lowest Break Evens

I suggested last week that if you don't own Jordon, Gulden, Flynn, Warner that you made that a priority. I assume most of you reading this do have these guys but for those that don't you have to get them this week. They are getting pricey but their break evens are extremely low and they'll still make a lot of coin. Must have cash cows for those who are serious about Fantasy.

For those who are looking for a downgrade target and assuming you have the guys mentioned above, these are the guys I would be looking at. I have listed the following in terms of where I rank them based on scoring potential and job security. Some rookies may have better scoring potential but if they don't have the job security they may not put enough games together to make you enough cash. It's important to consider both these factors when selecting rookie players.

1) Braeden Campbell ($312k BE -4)

2) Charlie Lazzaro ($211k BE 7)

3) Miles Bergman ($227k BE -6)

4) Sam Berry ($262k BE 2)

5) Tyler Brockman ($232k BE -9)

Braeden Campbell: Has a nice role at half back and the swans look to get the ball into his hands and take advantage of his weapon left boot. Took a few kick ins last week which is always handy and has super strong job security. Higher price tag but rookie job security is something worth paying for and his scoring should be good enough to have him on field.

Charlie Lazzaro: Didn't rate his pre-season game overly great but upon further inspection I think my comments in the rookie guide were overly harsh. The kid has talent and respectable scores at junior level. There are still a couple on the outside looking in ie. Ben Cunnington but having the Friday game we will know nice and early if he holds his spot. The Roos rate him so I think his JS should be good despite him being the sub in round 1. The cheapest on this list and unless you want to pay for Campbell, he's probably the best midfield option.

Miles Bergman: I was concerned with Bergman's JS with Hartlett to come back. An injury to Bonner looks to have opened up a spot for both of them in the side, there aren't many outside of the 22 I can see really pushing Bergman out but it is Port so there is always the risk. Hinkley seems to like him and I think he should be safe long enough to generate enough coin. His role at half back seems fantasy friendly and is a factor to why I have him ahead of Brockman as a forward option.

Sam Berry: The reason I have Berry ranked below Lazzaro is due to a couple factors. The first being he costs roughly 50k more which can always come in handy. There is also no guarantee how long he stays in the side for with Matt Crouch looking to come back soon you would think and likely presents as a straight swap. His role looks good playing a decent chunk inside. He attended 50% CBA's from 80% TOG in round 1 but that dropped to 34% CBA's and 64% TOG in round 2. This is somewhat of a concern and he seems to rely heavily on tackles to score. His ability to find the footy doesn't look fantastic so at $262k I think there are better targets this week.

Tyler Brockman: Hawthorn look to gain Chad Wingard back this week which is obviously a concern as they both fill that small forward role. While I think Hawthorn will elect to keep him in the side I'm a little bit hesitant to bring him in considering Hawks play on the Monday to close the round out. Taking this chance means you'll be locking him in with no confirmation he plays and if he doesn't end up playing you essentially waste a trade.

A couple other guys we could see gain a debut this week include Will Phillips ($266k MID) and Archie Perkins ($254k MID/FWD). Both these guys look like great options and if named would be guys to consider also. I would potentially bring these guys in over the guys mentioned above despite their BE being higher. Perkins would be one I'm quite interested in due to Essendons midfield injuries.

Force Trades and Others to Consider

If you have guys like Jye Caldwell, Sam Draper, James Harmes (last week) etc... my advice would be to go down to one of the rookies mentioned above and use the cash to perform an upgrade. Some of the other guys who have their neck on the chopping block include Paddy Dow, Dom Tyson and Jordan De Goey.

I think the upgrade downgrade strategy is the best way to approach things early in the season as the rookies will generate the most cash early and therefore build that all important team value. When performing an upgrade you should always look to target guys you are happy keeping long term (potentially the whole year) as you essentially don't want to willingly use another trade to upgrade them later. I advise never picking a premium guy at top price and instead going for someone who has dropped value from their starting price but has a proven track record. There are a lot of under performing premiums at the moment that fit this category which I'll get to later.

As for premium upgrade targets, the ones that provide the best value and I can advise chasing now if you're after an upgrade include:

1) Josh Dunkley ($761k MID/FWD)

2) Rory Laird ($778k MID/DEF)

3) Jack Crisp ($733k DEF)

4) Jack Macrae ($880k MID)

There aren't to many premium options I like at this stage of the year as most of the options I'm interested in are fully priced or still have a little bit to drop. Like I mentioned earlier I like to make sure my upgrades are genuine and so I'll be looking to target guys like Taylor Adams in 1 or 2 more weeks and focus on building my team value. The beauty about waiting a little bit longer to upgrade is that you have more data to work with and more consolidation over role, TOG and you can identify trends a lot easier. I understand you can't chase value forever and if you have a bank from you're last weeks trades I'm not against making an upgrade move. Just make sure you target someone you are happy with and take into consideration if you think you need that player now or if you can potentially get them cheaper later in the year.

An example of a popular upgrade target for many is Dustin Martin. I'm not a fan of this move and these are my reasons why.

In the past Dusty has averaged 93, 97 and 94 over the past 3 years. This gives us a fair indication of where about Dusty sits (mid 90's type). His role this year looks similar to past years and therefore he should be around the same mark. He currently sits priced at an average closer to 100 and therefore you're over paying now for what he'll potentially dish up for the rest of the season. Dusty is an excitement package and has started with a bang but as the season goes on he'll have some quiet games and will be the tag target most weeks. This will allow plenty of chances to pick him up later at a cheaper price. I certainly don't think he's a must have at his current price.

Highest Break Evens

The graphic above displays the players with the highest break evens. These are guys that look to drop in value and are guys you want to monitor going forward. When I talk about avoiding "fully priced" premos this is where I'm looking to find the guys to target. A lot of the guys on the list above are proven scorers and will be near the top in their respective zone. A Taylor Adams ($825k BE 134) for example may drop again and bottom out in 1 or 2 weeks. When you compare him to a guy like Clayton Oliver ($873k BE 119) you can potentially grab him 60-70k cheaper and steal yourself a bloke who potentially averages the same come seasons end.

It's important to monitor these high break evens just as much as the low ones. Having a good idea of these guys will allow you to structure your trades better so you can have cash to pounce on guys you like once they have bottomed out.

As for those of you that own a Neale or a Gaff etc... My suggestion for you is to hold. As frustrating as it is seeing your premiums bleed cash by trading you essentially consolidate that cash loss as well as locking in those poor scores. These guys are proven players and will come good at some stage. You just have to hope it's sooner rather than later.

The only premium I can consider moving would be Riley O'Brien. Although Gawn and Grundy tonned up last week, I still think rucks will score less over the next few weeks. This makes it hard to see how O'Brien can get back to a level that makes it worth keeping him. He's going to continue to drop a lot and you could use this chance to get on a Grundy now. The only other guy I would consider is a Witts but then you still probably need to trade Witts up at some stage to Gawn/Grundy anyway so you may as well save the trade now if you are considering this move. To go to Witts it only gives you 100k so unless you need that coin for other moves I would be trying to go to Grundy if you plan on trading O'Brien.

MID Price Options

Most of the options I mentioned in my last trade talk article are still relevant ie. Markov and Hind although they are getting up in price. There is still probably enough value to get on this week although this is probably your last chance if you want these guys. As for some other guys I'll have an article coming out tomorrow covering all the mid-pricers I have my eye on with some data and reasoning behind why I like them, stay tuned for that!


To sum things up, my stance on early trading is no different to last week. Use your trades to fix up non-playing rooks and sort out injuries/forced trades. You want to try and build your team value as much as possible early so target guys who look to make the most money. As for what I'm looking to do I'll be doing something along the lines of:

If you've made it this far here's a little tip for you. If you own Jordan Clark I have a little inkling he might get dropped this week if Geelong look to bring Menegola and Duncan back. If you're in a super luxury position you could pull the trigger this week potentially. He plays in the last game on Monday so we won't know if he is/isn't playing until the round is almost complete. I'll be risking him but just make sure you have some cover you are happy with.

If you've made it this far you're a bloody legend. Good luck with your team this week homies and hopefully we all have a successful round this week. If you have any questions drop them below and until next time... Keep climbing up the ranks.