Thursday, 29 March 2012

AFL DreamTeam & SuperCoach - the final first sides ...

OK, so I've finally locked in my teams for round 1 of the AFL season!
I'll list my teams below & explain my selections at the end of the post, as well as people I still have my eye on as upgrade/downgrade tagrets.
The important thing about my present teams is that they were all named to play in round 1 (although some have already worn the dreaded green or red vest at various times during the opening two games of the season). Hopefully this is something that will continue (players on my team being named to play each week), as I think that Job Security will be a major factor in the various fantasy competitions this year, with only 2 players on the bench & the potential hassle of the bye rounds in the middle of the season.
Anyway ... on to the teams:
Remaining Cap: $1,800
DEF: B Goddard, H Shaw, B Deledio, G Birchall, B Lake, M Clarke, B Ellis, B Smedts, T Bugg
MID: S Pendlebury, G Ablett, J Bartel, S Coniglio, D Shiel, J Magner, C Smith, J McDonald
RUCK: D Cox, S Jacobs, J Giles, J Redden
FWD: L Franklin, N Fyfe, D Martin, R Nahas, P Dangerfield, D Hale, D Smith, J Paine, A Hall
Likes: I'm very happy with my premiums across the park. Obviously they are the key to scoring the vast majority of points, but I think I have a number of premiums who should be able to score me 100+ each week. I'm also happy with some of my rookie selections - McDonald scored well against Sydney (though he did get a 2 week suspension from the game as well) & Coniglio looks like he gets plenty of the ball (but needs to kick more often than he handpasses). Bugg started well for GWS also & I think guys like Hall, Magner & Bugg should all make decent cash for upgrading throughout the season.
Dislikes: There are a few concessions that I have had to make for the salary cap - not yet completely convinced of Smedts & Paine as rookies on my bench & would love to have found a place for Mzungu in the midfield & Suckling in the backline, but am happy with Bartel & Birchall (yes, I know the Mzungu/Suckling combo is cheaper than Bartel/Birchall ... but I was hoping to have Mzungu as my fourth premium midfielder).
Uncertainty:  The 'bargains' in the team are my main cause for concern. Will the likes of Lake & Clarke score the 80+ points I would like from them, or will they just be the run-of-the-mill players scoring in the 50s & 60s? Nahas, Dangerfield & Hale in my forward line are also somewhat concerning. Nahas' score last night (didn't get to see the game) was underwhelming & I'm not completely sure that Dangerfield & Hale will be able to push the 100 point mark regularly throughout the season ... but I suppose that is the risk I have accepted by selecting them.
Future plans:  There are a few rookies & premiums that I have left out of the team who I would like to get in at some stage throughout the season. Obviously as mentioned, Mzungu & Suckling are on the radar as upgrade targets. The usual suspects as far as the midfield are concerned are always in consideration (Swan, Boyd, Murphy, Thompson, etc), while there are still a few rookies with potential who can slot into the side as downgrades later in the year (the likes of Couch, Zorko, Patton, etc).
The other thing to consider is how well I manage to start the season & if I consider going for the overall finish, or just concentrate on going for league finals & the like. 
Remaining Cap: $5,900
DEF: B Goddard, B Deledio, H Shaw, B Houli, D Heppell, P Duffield, B Lake, B Ellis, T Bugg
MID: S Thompson, J Caddy, S Coniglio, D Smith, D Shiel, J McDonald, J Magner, H Cunningham
RUCK: D Cox, S Mumford, J Giles, J Redden
FWD: L Franklin, N Fyfe, D Martin, R Nahas, P Dangerfield, D Hale, A Hall, B Smedts, J Paine
Likes: I like the idea of the team ... with the stacked forward & backline (with 2 premium rucks) & mostly rookie midfield.
Dislikes: The risk involved in this system - obviously its a very risky approach (something I don't mind doing with SuperCoach this year), but I'm concerned that I could look like a fool come round 15 when I'm hundreds (if not thousands) of points behind the leaders.
The other thing I dislike about my team is that I currently have a combined 11 players from GWS & Richmond! That's over a third of my team made up of players who will likely not be involved in finals (not to mention players from Gold Coast & Port Adelaide) ... its a concern in terms of having too many players from the one team, as well as the thought that if the team in question (GWS or Richmond) does poorly, then their fantasy scores could potentially suffer across the field.
Uncertainty: I'm just not sure I have the right players in my team! I think there will be an obvious group of premiums in each position who will be the standout players (at least in fantasy team terms), but other than a few players (Franklin, Fyfe & Cox are the obvious choices), I'm not completely sure that the others I have selected will be in the 'season's best' team, which is what you'd ideally like to have happen. I'm also somewhat unsure that the strategy is the way to go this year - it is based on what Jay To (winner of SuperCoach in 2011) did in his initial side in 2010, but I'm not convinced that this year's midfield rookies are quite up to the standard of the 2010 group that prompted the strategy.
Future plans: Obvioulsy the main idea of using this strategy is to upgrade the midfields as soon as possible, so that you essentially end up with 20+ premiums on the field sooner than others who take a more 'traditional' approach. The fact that quite a lot of rookies have DPP status (with midfield being the most common position) means there are plenty of downgrade targets to choose from & there are the usual crop of star midfielders to bring into the side (Ablett, Swan, Pendlebury, Boyd, etc). The other hope with this system is that some of these premium players are initially overpriced (such as Pendlebury at $700k in SC), and will drop from their initial price in the early rounds of the competition, so that I can pick them up later & spend less money doing so.

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