Building Finals Momentum (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

Damnit – last week’s recruit kicked ass…and now he is gone again!!!

It was three out of three for our fantasy football teams on the weekend…though it was a very tight finish in our Herald Sun Super Coach match. Behind by 94 points heading into the West Coast v Richmond game, a pair of 90-plus scores from Troy Simmonds and Nathan Foley proved enough to secure a vital win. We have now pushed up into 7th spot and after some midseason doubts, have a great chance of playing finals.

While we are heading towards a nail-biting finish to the Super Coach season, things are flying for our AFL Dream Team squad, which now sits in first place after winning the top-of-the-table clash last weekend. With top four guaranteed, the run to the finals will be pretty relaxed before tweaking the playing personnel in the hope of winning the first final and the luxury of a week off!

However, we are facing a few personnel problems with our Premium Dream Team! We all know what happened to Dean Solomon and no sooner had Melbourne announced that Brad Green could miss a couple of weeks, Essendon midfielder Mark McVeigh is booked in for knee surgery! We have already found some handy replacements for Solomon and McVeigh but have yet to move on Green. We only have one trade left this round so we want to wait and see if any other players has their season written off first!

Premium Dream Team: 11,280 points, 215th place overall – another rise overall but with all of the leagues that colluded to rig teams in this comp, this figure doesn’t mean much.

League: 16 points (4-2), 136.25% – 3rd place. With the best percentage in the league and one very winnable game in the final three weeks, the top four is pretty much assured. Will aim to stay in the 2nd/3rd place spot for the finals.

Last Start: Defeated OPETH 2,021 to nil – our best week for the comp and topped 2,000 points playing one man down. Let’s hope that we can keep that up against a real opponent.

Good: Made the best choice for captain with Dean Cox – his double points tipped him over 300! Vice captain Cameron Bruce was almost as good with a 141 while there were four other players with 100-plus and five with over 90.

Bad: Leigh Harding…again! Has scored just 331 in total over six appearances and, unless there are a couple of outs at the selection table on Thursday, is gone!

Ugly: Dean Solomon’s season-ending blow to Cameron Ling leaves us with no choice but to dump his arse. His output wasn’t the best either…just one of four defenders who scored in the 60’s.

Next opponent: 6th placed Big Gunz (1,747 last week)…that score is with three players short including late withdrawals Jake King and Nick Malceski as well as Jeff White. If they all play this weekend, and his midfield of Mitchell, Hayes, Cornes, Boyd, Stevens and Ball is damn good, it is game on!

Potential changes/trades: Traded Solomon out the moment the lockout ended and redrafted early season smokie Andrew Welsh…who is firing in his new midfield role at Essendon. The McVeigh injury news stunned us but a quick trade for Carlton’s Bryce Gibbs should work out well for us. The final trade will be a post-selection decision but with Green out and possible Richo, Leigh Harding, who has been on the chopping block for weeks now, will probably survive again. Let’s hope he can perform!

Bryce Gibbs…welcome aboard, young fella!

Super Coach: 30,075 points, 13,884th place overall – another jump in the overall stakes, made up plenty of ground during the past fortnight.

League: 28 points (7-5), 102.91% – 7th place. Third straight win sees us move up one spot and now closing in on a finals berth. A late push for fourth is not entirely out of the question but very unlikely.

Last Start: Defeated Bryzieschamps 2,002 to 1,966 – a third straight 2,000-plus score that narrowly avoided a devastating loss which would have dropped us out of the eight.

Good: Five 100-plus scores but most of those were well above that – Cox (140), Milburn (139), Gibbs (130) and Corey (129). Jono Brown delivered as captain, finishing with 232 points, and another six player with 90-plus helped set up the win.

Bad: The Dogs played the bottom side but high scoring forwards Brad Johnson (55) and Robert Murphy (50) were well down on their average…as were Swan Marty Mattner (58 ) and Rhys Palmer (56).

Ugly: Our defence will need to be bolstered in order for us to go anywhere in the finals…so performances like Sean Dempster’s 28 will make the decision on who to get rid of very, very easy to make!

Next opponent: 15th placed Bridgeburners (1,605 last week) – would be a tough opponent this week if players the calibre of McLeod, Burgoyne, Houli and Shannon Grant return to the field.

Potential changes/trades: Six trades left but don’t want to use any at this stage unless absolutely necessary. Rhys Palmer has performed well all season but do we bench him for the improving Trent Cotchin? And if the Crows look to Kurt Tippett to step up in the Adelaide forward after injuries to Burton and Porplyzia, is it worth keeping him on the field at the expense of Rioli?

Trent Cotchin…the kid can play!

Dream Team: 27,429 points, 11,867th place overall – just like Super Coach, improved our overall standing by more than 8,000 in the past two weeks.

League: 44 points (11-1), 121.33% – 1st place – back on top with just three rounds to play and cannot slip out of the four from here so secured the double chance in the finals. Still with seven trades remaining, this comp remains our best chance at a premiership.

Last Start: Defeated Britt’s Guns 2,040 to 1,475 – the former ladder leader suffered from the absence of Burgoyne and McLeod plus injuries to Ablett and Porplyzia. But even with a full squad, they would have struggled to match us this week.

Good: Nick Riewoldt (242 with double points) always fires against Carlton and proved to be a safe bet as captain, though Cox was our highest scorer for the week at 152. We were a little concerned when Ryan Griffin was out but rookie Trent Cotchin got the call up…and clocked 120 points! We held onto Josh Hill for months after being dropped to the VFL and repaid our faith with a 91 on his return!

Bad: Still relying on too many mid-range defenders to have good weeks. Gavin Urquhart (71) has been solid the past few weeks but Dempster (45), Ibbotson (66) and Nicoski (55) have all been up and down of late. With finals coming up, that defence will need upgrading if we hope to go all the way…though we still have Andrew McLeod waiting in the wings.

Ugly: The Kurt Tippett/Cyril Rioli loop we seem to be stuck in. We play one of them and bench the other but who always scores the highest? The benched one, of course…and it happened again this week! We just know that when it comes to upgrading the forward line, whoever we trade out will perform better for the rest of the season than the one we keep!

Next opponent: 5th placed Carina Lions (1,708 last week) – one of five teams tied on 28 points so they desperately need to win. A midfield of Bartel, Mitchell, Swan and Luke Power is capable of kicking arseso it won’t be easy. But we are less concerned with winning this week and hoping we don’t experience a mass player drain like our Premium DT squad!

Potential changes/trades: With Chad Cornes still running around, we have seven trades left and no real reason to use any of them now. But we have no reserve ruckmen with Leuenberger’s season over and Melbourne’s Stefan Martin looks likely to play the rest of the year and will only be available at a bargain price this week. Might be a nice money raiser and insurance policy as our other bench ruckman (John Meesen) hasn’t played at all this year.

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