Jostling For Positions (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

Andrew Mackie will make a very handy replacement for Chad Cornes in our Dream Team competition.

Fantasy footy finals might be one more week away but for all the Half Back Flanker squads, the preparations are already underway. All three will feature in finals action with both our AFL Dream Team and Premium Dream Team squads hoping to earn a week off and direct path to a preliminary final. And while top four is still a slight possibility for our Herald Sun Super Coach league, we are taking more of a do-or-die approach as we could be just one match from elimination next week.

With a small stockpile of trades in each competition, we have started to build our finals teams. In AFL Dream Team, we used two of our six remaining trades last week to cash in Bachar Houli for rookie Lion Brad Dalziell and upgrade Chad Cornes for Andrew Mackie. Now we have four trades, money to spare and deficiencies in our forward line and defence to plug up…though we can afford to wait another week before we bring in new players.

We took a similar approach to our Super Coach squad by swapping Houli for Dalziell but instead of upgrading Cornes, we cashed up by trading him for West Coast rookie Eric MacKenzie. Now with almost $600,000 in the cap and four trades left, there is plenty of scope to bring in an elite defender and forward…do we act now or wait until next week? Two shrewd moves now could see us break into the top four and with seemingly less deficiencies in this team compared to our AFL Dream Team, we could cause a bit of a boilover in this upcoming finals series.

In the draft-based Premium Dream Team comp, a couple of handy trades last week boosted our forward line (Ashley Hansen for Leigh Harding and Corey Jones for Brad Fisher) and with a couple of midfielders struggling for form, there could be some more additions after the AFL teams are announced on Thursday night. We’ll see…

Premium Dream Team: 15,039 points, 139th place overall – decent rise in the standings this week…can we crack the top hundred?

League: 24 points (6-2), 134.17% – 2nd place. No hope of finishing top but secured the double chance and level on points with third and fourth. Need to win this week to avoid a first-up finals clash with the minor premier.

Last Start: Defeated rckets2 1,940 to 1,542 – weekly score up thanks to big inputs from Andrew Welsh and Matthew Richardson…the injured duo contributed just eight points between them last week!

Good: Richo returns from injury with a 132…no great surprise there. But Welsh with 131 points? Sure, he’s playing well (when not concussed) but holy crap…what a bonus! Other century makers included the league’s largest midfielder Quinten Lynch, Mackie, Stokes, Cox, Judd and new player Corey Jones, an ‘impulse buy’ for Brad Fisher that might work in our favour.

Bad: The midfield underperformed with only Judd (104) producing really good numbers. Rhys Shaw’s poor showing (44) reflected the performance of Collingwood in general while Matt Priddis (45) was well down.

Ugly: Alan Didak. Apart from his looks, that report on Henry Slattery had the potential to create selection headaches this week but fortunately for him, the charge was thrown out. Justin Koschitzke must be thrilled at that decision…

Next opponent: 3rd placed BatterdSosage (1,668 last week)…had seven players under 50 points last week so should improve and big names include Nick Riewoldt, Jonathan Brown, Ryan O’Keefe, Joel Selwood and Nathan Bock.

Potential changes/trades: Apart from any omissions on Thursday, the only changes that might be made is in midfield. Plenty of good options are around for trades; including Brad Green, who we originally drafted and performed well until his hamstring injury. If he is fit to play, a swap for Shaw or Priddis might be in order.

Matthew Knights has turned Andrew Welsh into a kick-ass centreman…and we are reaping the benefits!

Super Coach: 34,340 points, 9,768th place overall – crept inside the top ten thousand which reflects our improvement over the past five weeks.

League: 36 points (9-5), 106.67% – 5th place. Really tight finish to this comp…could finish as high as third or as low as eighth!

Last Start: Defeated Channel4 News Team 2,040 to 1,395 – five straight wins takes us from the brink of failed campaign to possible top-four. But it can all come undone pretty quickly…

Good: Nine players with 100-plus points…the best coming from Brent Harvey, Marty Mattner (136 each), Joel Corey (120) and Steve Johnson (111). Emergency Cyril Rioli’s 99 proved very handy when Pavlich was a late withdrawal while Melbourne rookie Shane Valenti’s first outing for us produced a 97!

Bad: Alan Didak (50) needs to lift, for our sake and Collingwood’s, and Robert Murphy (64) has been down for three weeks now.

Ugly: Both Darren Milburn and Matthew Pavlich were late outs and while we received good contributions from both emergency players, lucky that these two players were not picked as captain and vice captain! And could the late withdrawal of big name players be a taste of things to come in the next few weeks?

Next opponent: 7th placed Team Name (2,074 last week) – great score last week with no points from Pavlich and Wonaeamirri. No guaranteed victory this week so need a big one to have any hope of a double-chance.

Potential changes/trades: We will wait for the teams to come out Thursday but in terms of trades, we can move Collingwood’s Nathan Brown or David Myers out and replace with either a top priced defender or go with the in-form midfielder Andrew Welsh at $391,000. If we do the latter, we will have at least $400,00 left in the cap and that can turn Kurt Tippett into any forward we like…except for Nick Riewoldt! But Ryan O’Keefe would sure come in handy!

This is how we felt when Pavlich didn’t play…lucky it didn’t cost us this time!

Dream Team: 31,163 points, 10,546th place overall – very small climb…could have moved inside the top ten thousand if not for the late withdrawal of Pavlich!

League: 52 points (13-1), 120.96% – 1st place – double chance is assured but the rest of the top four are one win behind so could end up facing any of those three in next week’s first final.

Last Start: Defeated The Pretenders 1,858 to 1,653 – still racking up the wins but our weekly score has fallen each week for the past month…not a great sign!

Good:  Dean Cox (101) has been a great captain choice all season but going with Nick Riewoldt (230 points all up) paid off this week. Troy Simmonds (130) put up Cox-like numbers while other to rack up 100-plus included Kane Cornes (128 ), our first-gamer Andrew Mackie (108 ) and Deledio (107). And while the returning Rhys Palmer (104) was left on the bench this week, he will make great cover for the hamstrung Paul Chapman!

Bad: No fit bench forwards hurt us when Pav didn’t play so considering we were one player short, plus sub-50 scores from Dempster and Cotchin, our score for the week was pretty good.

Ugly: We should just call this the Kurt Tippett award…11! But we had no choice with two injured bench players in Hawkins and Ben Ross…hopefully Tippett can have one big game this week before we send him to the bench for the finals.

Next opponent: 2nd placed Moolias (1,919 last week) – a final round clash to decide the minor premiership! We face a great midfield of Bartel, Cross, Boyd, Hayes, Priddis and Nick Stevens so it will be interesting to see if we can beat them without upgrading our line-up.

Potential changes/trades: After our two trades last week, we have four remaining and $328,200 left in the bank. We will settle for whatever result comes our way this week but there will be no trade action until the finals. But our two bench midfielders from last week (Palmer and Dalziell) will get a run at the expense of the injured Chapman and Cotchin.

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