Chad Cornes has been grounded for the year…but who do we replace him with?
We are hitting form at the right time of the season! After experiencing a few problems with each of our fantasy footy squads early in the season, Half Black Flanker has not tasted defeat for a while now. We have only lost one match in our AFL Dream Team leagues so far but after sliding out of the eight in our Herald Sun Super Coach league, four straight wins has seen us rocket into fifth spot and sit out of the four on percentage. With six trades left in both competitions, we are in a great position to improve our lineups ahead of the finals…and with Chad Cornes finally chucking it in for this season, some vital decisions need to be made on player trades.
In our Premium Dream Team league, three straight wins sees us in second spot on percentage but top four seems assured. However, we have major concerns over a few elite players who play for clubs that either have no chance of finals or will drop out of the finals race in the coming weeks. Dean Cox has battled admirably with his foot problem all season but if he starts to struggle in the next couple of weeks, the Eagles might ground him for the year…which would essentially end any hope we have of winning this comp. And we can see similar things happening to Chris Judd and possibly Matthew Richardson once their finals hopes have been extinguished. If we lost all three in the finals, could we find enough quality free agents to replace them and still win the flag?
Premium Dream Team: 13,099 points, 221st place overall – only dropped a few places, bit of a surprise it wasn’t more considering the weekly score wasn’t that great.
League: 20 points (5-2), 135.50% – 2nd place. Crept up one spot and still with the best percentage in the league. This ensures a top-four finish but with first placed Team ManBearPig undefeated, they would need to lose the next two games for us to have any hope of a minor premiership. But we would settle for second of third.
Last Start: Defeated Big Gunz 1,819 to 1,388 – happy enough with our score considering the early injury to Andrew Welsh and we are holding onto the injured Richo.
Good: Dean Cox as captain cleared 300 points – again! Honestly, if this guy packs it in before the end of the season, our premiership hopes will nosedive dramatically. Our two Geelong players (Stokes and Mackie) had big games, Quinten Lynch cracked the ton and Bryce Gibbs, our Mark McVeigh replacement, thrashed Adam Goodes on Sunday!
Bad: Quite a few down players this week…six players under 60 points and that does not include a no-score from Richo. As we feared, Matthew Whelan has yet to produce the big numbers he had before we drafted him while Leigh Harding is just not racking up enough fantasy points to keep him in the side.
Ugly: Andrew Welsh’s fumble and subsequent head-knock in the first quarter against Richmond. It hurt us badly, not only as a fantasy owner (8 points?!) but a Bomber fan who would really like to see them play with 22 fit players!
Next opponent: 8th placed rckets2 (1,618 last week)…some decent names there (Edwards, Enright, Black, Ottens) but have out of form players such as Travis Cloke and no Justin Koschitzke!
Potential changes/trades:Finally bit the bullet on Harding and swapped him for West Coast’s Ashley Hansen, who has scored very well since coming back from injury…hopefully he keeps it up. Richo is due back this week so unless there are any outs at selection on Thursday, that one trade might be it this week. Though Carlton’s Andrew Walker and his dodgy shoulder is still available as a defender…and he looked pretty good last Sunday. Hmmm…
Andrew Walker…worth the risk?
Super Coach: 32,300 points, 10,465th place overall – the upward trend of the overall standings continued, another few thousand spots.
League: 32 points (8-5), 104.47% – 5th place. Just like St Kilda…four wins from four and we are now within sight of a top-four finish. Yet finals are not guaranteed and there are plenty of teams either level on points or one win behind. Level on wins with the 4th placed team but would need to make up a few percentage points in order to claim that spot.
Last Start: Defeated Bridgeburners 2,225 to 1,782 – that’s four straight 2,000-plus scores now…how long can we keep this up?
Good: Almost half the team topped 100 points! Best performers were Milburn (141), Foley (141), Cox (171) and Pavlich (182). So who did we select as captain? Yep, the Pav…364 points!
Bad: Another down day for Heath Shaw (40) while Doggie dou Brad Johnson (45) and Robert Murphy (66) have had two below par weeks in a row.
Ugly: Our Tippett/Rioli dilemma did us in again…the benched Rioli (70) easily outscoring Tippett (29)! With the Crows slipping, it might be time to bench Tippett permanently and choose between Melbourne’s Shane Valenti and Rioli for that onfield rookie option.
Next opponent: 14th placed Channel4 News Team (1,769 last week) – great team name! But they seem to have too many rookies in defence and must sorely miss the contributions of Porplyzia and Palmer.
Potential changes/trades: The Chad is gone for the year and, for the moment, will join grounded Bomber David Myers on the bench. We would prefer to hold off any trades for a couple of weeks but will wait and see if all other defenders are picked to play.
Huge captain’s knock from Matthew Pavlich this week!
Dream Team: 29,305 points, 10,714th place overall – another small climb in the overall standings, very similar to the Super Coach squad..
League: 48 points (12-1), 121.68% – 1st place – still one win out on top and a victory this weekend would pretty much guarantee top-two.
Last Start: Defeated Carina Lions 1,876 to 1,490 – whilst down on previous weeks, our opponent only had one player crack the ton for the round so were in no danger of an upset.
Good: Replacing Dean Cox as captain with Matthew Pavlich paid off in Super Coach but Cox (157) won out over Pav (148 ) in Dream Team. Either way, we couldn’t lose. Having endured some lower scores from Nick Riewoldt (126) and Bryce Gibbs (104) at various stages of the season, they are repaying our faith with a real purple patch!
Bad: Buddy Franklin is still kicking a few goals but 52 this week is again well short of his season average. The Chad Cornes saga is finally over but if we find an adequate replacement, perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. We made a last minute trade before Friday’s lockout, cashing in Josh Hill for North’s Ben Ross. While we now have 200 grand left in the cap, Ross will now be out for a couple of weeks…which leaves us with injured Tom Hawkins on the bench and both Rioli and Tippett on the field.
Ugly: We can accept low scores from rookies such as Cyril Rioli (39) and Kurt Tippett (29)…but a 37 from Andrew McLeod? And a 29 from Nick Stevens?
Next opponent: 10th placed The Pretenders (1,571 last week) – plenty of missing stars…Ablett, Joel McDonald, Houli, McIntosh, Nathan Thompson. Either they are completely out of trades or have lost their computer!
Potential changes/trades: While we still have six trades to go and want to save them for the finals, we currently have no emergencies or bench players that are fit or likely to play in the next couple of weeks. If all of our 22 on field players are selected this week, we might roll the dice and leave the side as it is before putting together our finals team from next week.