Wednesday, 29 February 2012

AFL Dream Team & Supercoach

Something a bit different this time ... time to talk Fantasy AFL! That means Dream Team & Supercoach! This was something that I first tried last year & found it added something to just watching AFL games when they were on TV. I made a few basic mistakes last year (yes, I had Karmichael Hunt in my team until midway through the season!), but hopefully with the experience of last year I can put in a competitive performance, both in the overall competition (which has a car as first prize), as well as various 'leagues' I have joined, many of which are related to various chess and other forums I post on.
Some of the things I picked up from last year ...
1. Have some really good players, 'premiums', who will be the backbone of your side, scoring a large percentage of your points & staying in your team for the entire season.
2. Be very selective about new or cheap players, 'rookies', who will be in the side for part of the season. These players not only need to be able to score points, but they must be playing on a reasonably regular basis in their respective teams (this was something I didn't check well enough at the start of last season). Their main purpose is to gain value, so that you can trade them for better players later in the season, thereby improving your overall team.
3. Don't waste trades! There is a limited number that you can use throughout the year (24 in fact) & there will always be injuries & suspensions to players that you have selected (Selwood, Shaw and others caught me out in this regard last season) ... so only make trades when you need to, and make sure they serve a purpose (eg: replacing injured player, upgrading to better player, downgrading to make money, etc). My big trading mistake was getting rid of Robin Nahas after 6 or 7 rounds, after an inconsistent start to the year (scoring anywhere from 20 to 80 in alternate weeks), only to see him consistently score 100+ for much of the remainder of the season!
4. Have a mix of players from a range of AFL teams. This is so that you can maximise your points score, as well as not having the various players taking points off one another - after all there is only one ball on the ground in a match! This need for a variety of players is somewhat reduced this year, as there are only three bye rounds this year (although this year there are 6 teams having the bye at once), whereas last year there was a need to find a balance between getting the best players and byes (when there was at least one team not playing every week due to the odd number of teams last year).

As a result, I've been selecting & modifying my team accordingly. So far I'm up to my second effort for Dream Team (I haven't looked at SuperCoach too much yet), but I'm sure there will be a few changes between now & round 1 for the latest version of my side.

Some other things to bear in mind about the competition (at least for Dream Team) is that you have to select 30 players in your squad & have a 'salary cap' of $8,780,000.

I will post both v1 & v2 of my sides ... feel free to comment on one, both or either of them.
v1 (My initial side, which I have since changed):

Brendan Goddard $474,200 STK
Jed Adcock $417,700 BRL
Dyson Heppell $415,900 ESS
Matthew Buntine $161,700 GWS
Marty Clarke $141,500 COL
Bradley Harvey $104,200 BRL
Tomas Bugg $104,200 GWS 

Warrick Andreoli $104,200 STK
Alex Brown $98,700 SYD
Dane Swan $598,300 COL 
Scott Pendlebury $576,900 COL
Gary Ablett $554,700 GCS
Jack Redden $540,100 BRL
Patrick Dangerfield $349,800 ADE
Stephen Coniglio $175,200 GWS
Dom Tyson $170,700 GWS
Anthony Morabito $168,000 FRE
Nic Naitanui $371,500 WCE
Hamish McIntosh $273,500 NTH
Jonathan Giles $117,800 GWS
Orren Stephensen $98,700 GEE
Lance Franklin $503,000 HAW
Nathan Fyfe $486,600 FRE
Dustin Martin $442,500 RIC
Robin Nahas $415,700 RIC
Setanta O'hAilpin, S $327,200 GWS
Israel Folau $115,800 GWS
Ahmed Saad $115,800 STK
Billy Smedts $104,200 GEE
Aaron Treloar $104,200 GWS
This team was revised to create v2, which I am happier with overall, but still not completely happy with ... and I'm still not sure I have the 'right' rookies in my team at the moment:

Backs: Brendan Goddard (Def) $474,200 StK
Heath Shaw (Def) $454,000 Col
Matt Suckling $448,900 Haw
Sam Gilbert $345,600 StK
Jack Grimes $329,400 Mel
Ryan Hargrave $232,700 WBD
Marty Clarke $141,500 Col
Tomas Bugg $104,200 GWS
Peter Yagmoor $98,700 Col
Scott Pendlebury $576,900 Col
Gary Abblett $554,700 GCS
Sam Mitchell $554,000 Haw
Luke Shuey $413,000 WCE
Stephen Coniglio $175,200 GWS
Chad Wingard $157,200 PtA
James McDonald $98,700 GWS
Dylan Shiel $104,200 GWS
Matthew Leuenberger $459,100 Bri
Zac Smith $355,400 GCS
Jonathan Giles $117,800 GWS
Orren Stephensen $98,700 Gee
Lance Franklin $503,000 Haw
Adam Goodes $491,000 Syd
Dustin Martin $442,500 Ric
Robin Nahas $415,700 Ric
Terry Milera $115,800 StK
Ahmed Saad $115,800 StK
Billie Smedts $104,200 Gee
Tommy Walsh $104,200 Syd
Sam Kerridge $98,700 Ade
I'm sure you'll notice some similarities between the two sides, but there are also a decent number of changes ... some of which I'm happy with, some I'm not so happy with.
I'd love to have Nathan Fyfe in the team & I'm not completely sure about the Leuenberger/Smith ruck combination. I'd also like to find a way to fit more rookie midfielders into the team, as midfield seems to be the most consistent scoring position (especially for rookies), but without sacrificing the premiums who will strengthen the midfield, in particular Pendlebury & Abblet.
Of course things like Jack Grimes' recent shoulder scare add to the potential need to change the side, and since selecting this latest version, I think that Grimes just has to go, as he just seems too injury prone (even though as a club captain at Melbourne he is now almost guarenteed of playing whenever he is fit). At the moment I'm looking for other options around the same price mark, but nothing stands out. Another option would be to go for Heath Scotland and a rookie in exchange for Grimes & probably Gilbert ... but again I'm undecided.
Let me know your thoughts ... and if you're looking for more info on the various AFL fantasy leagues, check out Fan Footy, Footy Utopia or Dream Team Talk, which all seem to be pretty decent sites, often with weekly podcasts too!

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