The Time For Change Is Now! (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

Curse you, little Ablett…curse you and your kick-ass footballing ways!

Every time Gary Ablett racks up outrageous fantasy footy numbers, Half Back Flanker curses like a sailor…which means we are swearing our heads off every weekend! The young Geelong champ is killing it this season, proving the worth of a strong midfield in any fantasy footy team. Ablett was one of the highest priced players on the market when it came to preseason team selections and our strategy was to shy away from the very top priced midfielders, settling for those just below who are still proven performers, eg. Brent Harvey, and invest more heavily in top-line defenders.

This strategy appears to have been unsuccessful, mostly because of poor seasons from our targeted defenders Joel Bowden, Heath Shaw and Andrew McLeod. And while we have managed to do well with young midfielders that are having an impact this year (Houli, Palmer, Bird, Cotchin), personnel problems in attack and defence means that we have not put sufficient time into cashing in on rookies and upgrading to top line midfielders.

We are now paying the price…big time! Can we turn it around? It’s certainly not too late for our AFL Dream Team squad to earn league honours, still entrenched in the top four after a virtual bye last week, but our Herald Sun Super Coach squad is teetering just outside the eight and has a vital game coming up. The aim this week is to make one trade to raise enough funds for a second trade of blockbuster proportions to boost our midfield!

Premium Dream Team: 5,486 points, 584th place overall – another drop of a couple hundred places…our first week high score may have just been a one-off!

League: 8 points (2-1), 111.94% – 4th place. Comprehensive loss ends out unbeaten start but still in the top four…though only by one half per cent.

Last Start: Lost to Team ManBearPig 2,150 to 1,736 – destroyed in midfield and poor output from our captain spelt disaster…huge reality check!

Good: RICHO!! 145 points makes us kick ourselves that he was not our captain for the week. Our new defender Ryan Hargrave made a sparkling debut with 117 while Brock McLean and Andrew Mackie almost cracked the ton. Our last minute trade for Barry Hall (87) should pay some handy dividends but our choice of trading out Dean Solomon (82) over Leigh Harding (42) might have been ill advised.

Bad: Michael Johnson’s output dropped by 91 points compared to last week! Alan Didak, Craig Bolton and Harding dropped down into the 40’s this week while Jordan McMahon, David Hale and Brad Fisher were not much better. Captain Cox may have produced a far from disgraceful 82 but with eight teammates scoring more (Richo almost double that), our choice of captain was way off!

Ugly: Continuing the midfield woes that have beset all our squads, the Brad Sewell injury was bad enough but our replacement midfielder has been a disaster…Leigh Montagna averaged less than 50 over two week and has already been moved on!

Next opponent: 3rd placed Fixymatosis Bunnys (2.045 last week)…they have Gary Ablett so we are already about to concede defeat! Seriously, if Ablett is kept quiet against the Eagles, this should be close and our choice of captain will be critical if we hope to win this week.

Potential changes/trades: Montagna is already out with Cameron Bruce getting the nod (narrowly over Ryan Griffin)…though that does leave us with three Melbourne players in our midfield! This might be the only move unless there are some outs at the selection table. Captain? Cox may bounce back or perhaps it’s time for the Richoman!

Is it time to reward Richo’s hard work with the captaincy?

Super Coach: 23,714 points, 21,517th place overall – the slide continues.

League: 16 points (4-5), 98.54% – 9th place. One win outside the eight but with a slightly better percentage than the eighth placed side so not all hope is lost!

Last Start: Lost to Crooka\’s Big Guns 2,145 to 1,766 – an even bigger flogging than last time…just shows how far behind the top sides we are. Can we rebuild in time to make the finals and become a danger side?

Good: Four tons from the forward line including a massive 164 from Matthew Pavlich; the others coming in the same game from Jono Brown and Dogs Brad Johnson and Robert Murphy. Chad Cornes is back in town with 100 while Brent Harvey was our best midfielder with a good effort over in Perth.

Bad: The rest of our midfield…Foley had a 79 while everybody else scored in the 60’s! Collingwood pair Heath Shaw and Nathan Brown scored terribly to highlight our defensive weaknesses while 17 players outscored Dean Cox…a poor choice as captain this week!

Ugly: We forecast the trade of injured Daniel Bradshaw for either Jake King or Nathan Bock but held off after King was left out of the Richmond team. So what happened? Bock had a huge night and outscored three of our defenders put together…could have been a handy addition!

Next opponent: 8th placed The Clungeplungers (1,547 last week) – winner is in the top eight, the loser is out…pretty straight forward. Their team has quite a few holes to fill and not a lot of bench strength so it could be our week…provided we get our trades right.

Potential changes/trades: Ben McKinley for a cheap bench-warming forward such as Melbourne’s Shane Valenti will give us around $240,000 to put towards a top midfielder. From there, we are thinking either Craig Bird out for Joel Corey or Bryce Gibbs out for Adam Cooney. Either way, our midfield is looking much stronger!

Dream Team: 21,405 points, 18,923th place overall – still dropping despite our best weekly score since round five…when we were in 2,388th place!

League: 32 points (8-1), 113.36% – 2nd place – nice percentage boost this week puts us into second spot and with the bottom side coming up in two weeks time, finals actions is almost guaranteed.

Last Start: Defeated K-Mart 2 1,829 to 1,174 – sure, they have given up but having spent too many frustrating hours queuing for service in our local K-Mart store, this victory felt especially sweet!

Good: Eight goals from Matthew Pavlich saw him lead the way with 123 points while Brad Johnson and Brett Deledio each topped 110. Holding onto Chad Cornes paid off with a return to form of 104 while Michael Osborne and Ryan Griffin topped 100 points as well. Andrew McLeod’s 81 was his best for a while…hopefully he continues to improve.

Bad: Three defenders (Ibbotson, Dempster, Myers) in the 50’s and three midfielders (Cornes, Gibbs, Stevens) in the 60’s could havve cost us had we been facing a fair dinkum opponent. Buddy Franklin’s 66 was also a rare low…but at least he is still playing this week!

Ugly: Kurt Tippett has featured in our Ugly section more than once and survived the chop…but a 15 will not cut it as we move towards the business end of the season. Time to go?

Next opponent: 9th placed Neversaydiepies (1,526 last week) – a Magpies supporter…this becomes a must-win purely for pride! Brett Burton returns for them but need to find replacements for Hamish McIntosh and Travis Cloke.

Potential changes/trades: This side should be good enough to win this week without making any trades but will wait to see what happens at team selection. With Bryce Gibbs playing defensive roles recently, he could either be used as a cash-in for a cheap bench player like Bulldog Callan Ward or as part of an upgrade in the midfield should we raise more funds by grabbing somebody cheap for one of our young forwards Rioli, Hawkins, Tippett or Hill.

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