WIll Steve Johnson fill the void left by Matthew Pavlich and lead us to glory? We friggin’ hope so!
Well, the fantasy football season comes down to this…one final week to determine who takes out league premiership glory! And Half Back Flanker will be taking part on that last weekend in August…though it will only be for our AFL Dream Team squad. Having been virtually top four in this comp all year and finishing as the minor premier, it is a nice reward to have a shot at the grand geeky prize!
Last week, we prophecised about how it only takes a bad game here, a late withdrawal there and months of good results can go down the gurglar. And sure enough, our Premium Dream Team suffered that very fate. Matthew Stokes drops out of the Geelong team, Jordan McMahon (27 points? At home to Fremantle?) may as well not have played either…and we lose the prelim by 156 points! So third will play fifth in the grand final and we are left to smash our head against a wall, cursing the name Alan Didak!
But forget all that. We have a big game to focus on this week and the good fortune of having two trades left to plug any gaps…like the one Matthew Pavlich is leaving in our forward line! Having waited until the final hour before making our all-important trades, we now sit back and wait for each game to unfold…hoping that we can pull off a big win in the grand final. And with one of our opponent’s elite midfielders (Dane Swan) being outpointed by our mid-range defender (Garrick Ibbotson) in the Friday night match, things are going our way early!
The Grand Final
Dream Team: 39,009 points, 8,334th place overall – also finishing strongly in the overall category.
Last Week: defeated Moolias 1,860 to 1,612 – comfortable win but the decision to keep two bench forwards that were not selected to play almost backfired when Pavlich withdrew late. At least he won’t do that to me again…
Good: A nice spread of solid scores, with only Nick Stevens producing a spectacular 134! Nick Riewoldt was our only other 100-plus player (that was on the field, at least…) but there were twelve others in the 80-90 range.
Bad: We left Paul Chapman on the bench because we had some doubt over whether he would score well or even play at all. Sure enough, he produces a 121! Don’t worry…he’s straight back in this week!
Ugly: After weeks of leaving Kurt Tippett and Ben Ross as our benched forwards and running the risk of no emergencies, it finally caught up with us when Pav dropped out on Saturday. We were left praying that it wouldn’t cost us a spot in the grand final and there were some anxious moments…
Grand Final: 5th placed Carina Lions (2,070) – great effort to make it this far after finishing outside the top four and a midfield that contains the big guns (Bartel, Swan, Power, Mitchell) will make them tough to beat!
Final changes/trades: Time to cash in those final two trades. Firstly, it’s bye bye Matthew Pavlich…and we have traded him for Geelong’s Steve Johnson. We did look at Matthew Lloyd but not only is Johnson cheaper but playing a home game against the depleted Eagles…we feel that Lloyd won’t quite get the same amount of scoring opportunities.
That left one more trade and plenty of cash to finally upgrade our defence…and with Mark Nicoski facing the Cats, we felt he would be the best trade option. So it’s Nicoski out and Melbourne’s Paul Wheatley in! He was a great addition to our Premium Dream Team when we nabbed him from free agency after an injury layoff and we can sense a 100-plus outing against Richmond coming up for him!
Defenders – Chris Newman, Andrew Mackie, Daniel Bradshaw, Michael Osborne, Paul Wheatley, Andrew McLeod, Garrick Ibbotson. (Emergency: Sean Dempster)
Midfielders – Kane Cornes, Nick Stevens, Bryce Gibbs, Rhys Palmer, Paul Chapman, Bradd Dalziell. (Emergency: Ryan Griffin)
Rucks – Dean Cox, Troy Simmonds.
Forwards – Lance Franklin, Brett Deledio, Nick Riewoldt (c), Matthew Richardson (vc), Steve Johnson, Brad Johnson, Cyril Rioli. (Emergency: Kurt Tippett)