The Finals – Week One (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

Shaw and Didak – two key members of our Super Coach squad outed on the eve of the finals! Great work, dickheads…

It’s fantasy footy finals time! All three Half Back Flanker squads will feature in the finals action and we are well positioned to participate in that last Saturday in August in our AFL Dream Team and Premium Dream Team leagues. Having finished first and second in those respective leagues, the week off and a direct path to the preliminary final beckons with victory this weekend.

The fortunes of our Herald Sun Super Coach team, on the other hand, have suffered a quadruple blow. After a narrow loss ended any hope of a top four finish and now a do-or-die rematch with the team that just knocked us off, our two fibbing, boozed up Magpie mates have ruined all our plans to use the last two trades to upgrade our team this week! And did we mention that we have Darren Milburn as well? Although his suspension was reduced to one match, he won’t play this weekend so we haven’t quite figured out how to use our two trades to cover three elite players…

The Qualifying Finals

Premium Dream Team: 16,944 points, 105th place overall – close to cracking the top hundred and hoping to finish in double-digits in one month’s time.

League: 28 points (7-2), 133.24% – 2nd place. Two games behind the undefeated ladder leader Team ManBearPig but finish with the best percentage in our league.

Last Start: Defeated BatterdSosage 1,905 to 1,508 – big win over the team level with us on points to secure second spot but there will be no rematch in week one of the finals.

Good: Five 100-plus efforts this week – Didak (108 ), Birchall (105), Bruce (102), Stokes (101) and Andrew Welsh (100). Dean Cox battled manfully against the gangly Sandilands and scored 98 (196 as captain) while Wirrpanda, Mackie and Priddis cleared 90 points.

Bad: Ryan Griffin and Corey Jones both fell below 60 points this week while Judd, Whelan and Hale didn’t fare much better…but every player topped 50 points so it was not a major problem.

Ugly: Matty Richardson’s awkward landing on Saturday night, jarring his knee in the process. He will be in some doubt for the game this weekend and we can’t afford to hold onto non-contributors in the finals. We just got rid of Didak, will we be forced to dump Richo as well?

2nd Qualifying Final: 3rd placed Fixymatosis Bunnys (1,600 last week)…one of the teams that defeated us during the regular season but had only two 100-plus players last week and will lose Reimers to injury. But big games from Jason Akermanis, Kane Johnson and Paul Medhurst could easily help them to a more than competitive score.

Potential changes/trades: Forced to trade Didak, we went with Melbourne’s Shane Valenti who is averaging more than 80 points over the past month. Unless Richo is out, we can’t see any other changes…but Griffin’s 56 was well below average and with finals coming up, look at some of the midfield free agents we could pick up – Bradd Dalziell, Jarryd McVeigh, Nathan Van Berlo, Travis Boak, Byron Schammer, Daniel Wells. Tempting, isn’t it!

Dream Team: 33,139 points, 10,063th place overall – creeping closer to the top ten thousand and hopefully our scores during the finals will push our overall tally even higher!

League: 56 points (14-1), 120.72% – 1st place – minor premiers! Seven straight wins helped us to top spot but now the real competition begins.

Last Start: Defeated Moolias 1,976 to 1,679 – solid win over the second placed side to wrap up top spot and the highest score of the round in the league.

Good:  Big 100-plus scores for Buddy (139), Nick Stevens (134) and Kane Cornes (125) while Brad Johnson, deledio and rookie Bradd Dalziell also topped the ton.

Bad: Only one of our eight bench players actually took to the field on the weekend and unless Paul Chapman and Michael Osborne play this week, we may need to use more than one of our three remaining trades to plug some gaps.

Ugly: Osborne’s omission from the Hawthorn line-up, and our final-round trade freeze, forced us to play Sean Dempster (34). If Osborne does not recover in time to play this weekend, can we afford to play Dempster in a final?

1st Qualifying Final: 4th placed Heroes2 (1,492 last week) – the only team that has beaten us in this comp but appears to be out of trades as they have Gary Ablett, Chad Cornes, Adam Goodes and Hamish McIntosh still in the side. You can now add Porplyzia to that list but Ablett should be back…and that usually spells trouble for us!

Potential changes/trades: Will hold onto our three remaining trades but have put Chapman back in the starting line-up at the expense of Griffin – a bit risky as Chappy didn’t score too highly in his first game back from injury earlier in the year. Same with Osborne, taking the place of the oft-maligned (by us!) Sean Dempster.

The Elimination Final

Super Coach: 36,583 points, 8,835th place overall – continuing to climb up the overall standings and a great recovery from being outside the top twenty thousands just five weeks ago!

League: 36 points (9-6), 105.99% – 6th place. With other results last weekend, we were destined to miss out on the top four whether we won or lost last week.

Last Start: Lost to Team Name 2,285 to 2,243 – our second highest score of the season was still not enough for victory and it sets up a rematch that could end our season this weekend!

Good: Nine players over 100 points again this week and our captain Joel Corey (270 in total) was the best possible choice.

Bad: We held off from upgrading our side for a few rounds and with the closeness of the competition, and the defeat last week, it may have cost us a top four spot. At the very least, it has landed us in an elimination final against the form team of the league.

Ugly: Losing by just 42 points when your emergency midfielder scores 107! If Bradd Dalziell was on-field in place of Nathan Foley, we win by one point!

2nd Elimination Final: 7th placed Team Name! Second week in a row and sunk us with huge scores from Franklin, Bartel, Jono Brown, Pavlich, Nick Stevens, McLeod, Roughead…If all these stars fire again this week, our season will be over! But if a couple of those guys are down this week, plus the Heath Shaw problem, then it’s anyone’s game.

Potential changes/trades: Two trades, three headaches! We can probably afford to just bench Didak with forwards Valenti and Rioli our two interchange players but we can’t get away with swapping Shaw and Milburn for either Dempster or Magpie teammate Nathan Brown. So the plan is to trade Shaw for Richmond’s Chris Newman, leaving us with around 80 grand for our final trade. From there, we could just bench Milburn for Dempster or Brown and hope we get through…or use that 80 grand for an upgrade.

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