Will Half Back Flanker trouble the engravers for the second season in a row? Well, we are about to find out!
It’s a little taste of September action right here in August! That’s right – it’s finals time for fantasy football geeks all over Australia and Half Back Flanker is primed for another shot at a virtual premiership! Well, we have five opportunities to win so hopefully we can go all the way in one comp at least!
And if there is such a thing as fantasy form, we definitely have it. The final round of the regular season was a triumph for our AFL Dream Team squad – we scored our highest ever weekly total on the way to victories in all three leagues, securing the double chance for each one in the process. The top four was already out of reach for our Herald Sun Super Coach team but a comfortable victory was also achieved against a side we now face again in the elimination final. A repeat performance will see us remain alive for another week…but it’s hard to see us running the table for the premiership.
But the biggest result last round was a shock top-four finish in our Premium Dream Team comp! After registering an upset win over the second-placed team, a few other results fell our way and we will now participate in a qualifying final this weekend – something we would never had envisioned after our disastrous start to the season. Can we make the most of our outrageously good fortune and challenge for top honours?
At this time of year, injuries play a major role in any team’s progression through the finals and with only a few trades left, every personnel decision is crucial. But, oh my goodness…there were some huge omissions announced on Thursday night that will have many coaches scrambling to field a full side! We only need to trade one forward in order to field twenty-two fit players in Dream Team but our Super Coach squad has been decimated. On the other hand, some of our opponents for this weekend also face some major headaches and if they don’t have any trades up their sleeves, I might benefit greatly!
While Francis Leach’s fantasy team is out of the running, our top four finish in his SEN league gives us a good shot at glory!
Dream Team 35,010 points overall, 10,444th place – another season-high overall ranking, close to cracking the top ten thousand.
Last Week: 2,282 points – another season high, 230th place for the week!
Good: Only one score under 70 points was a major factor in this season-high result. It included ten 100-plus scores with two Dockers, Greg Broughton (129) and Matthew Pavlich (120), and two Pies, Scott Pendlebury (129) and captain Dane Swan (122), the pick of the bunch.
Bad: That score under 70 was Tarkyn Lockyer’s 68 while three of our forwards (Hayden Skipworth, Ryan Houlihan and Simon Hogan) all finished in the seventies. Can we win our way through to a grand final by playing all three of these guys in attack?
Ugly: Watching Buddy Franklin spraying shots at goal all over the shop in Adelaide on Sunday! Hopefully he is primed for a big one this week but he is facing the stingy Saints…won’t be easy!
Public League – defeated Finals or Bust (1,670). Massive win for us and our opponents didn’t Bust either by scraping into eighth spot.
Ladder Position – 3rd place (11-4, 120.00%) – Highest points scored in the league and best percentage…now for the real stuff!
The Finals – 2nd Qualifying Final – 2nd placed Woosha Warriors (1,847 last week). Will be seven players short if current squad remains the same for this weekend. Either he is out of trades or waiting until now to upgrade…and even if he makes two trades, he will still be five short. Looking good here…
SENFrank01 – defeated mansnotacamel (1,961). Would have finished in fourth regardless of the result but the win was nice…
Ladder Position – 4th place (10-5, 106.15%) – Great result in a tough league…a massive challenge faces us this week.
The Finals – 1st Qualifying Final – 1st placed Princess Superstar (2,040 last week). Below par score last week and, if she is out of trades, will be three players short! Primed to spring a major upset and make the prelim…or am I speaking too soon?
Twitter DT – defeated Hybrid Flyers (1,443). The percentage boost was nice but a loss by the D Team lifts us into fourth place!
Ladder Position – 4th place (11-4, 109.17%) – Snuck up to fourth giving us the double chance in all three Dream Team leagues.
The Finals – 1st Qualifying Final – 1st placed BigAl’s Bombers (2,122 last week). The best performed of our three opponents last round but will be six players short if out of trades.
Potential changes/trades: While all our opponents are guaranteed to be short, we can have a full team by just using one of our last three trades! We could go all out and swap Skipworth for an elite like Brent Harvey or Alan Didak…but that would use up the rest of our salary cap.
Otherwise we could bring in promising (and cheap) young Doggie Brennan Stack for Liam Jurrah and have 230 grand left for our final two trades. We are leaning towards Stack and hoping that HBF can earn the week’s break in all three leagues!
Captain: Swan has been extremely reliable this season but there is something about facing the Crows at AAMI Stadium on a Saturday night worries me. So the captaincy might be passed to Geelong’s Joel Selwood with Bryce Gibbs as deputy.
Paul Chapman can use that pillow to rest up for the next couple of weeks…but it’s the last thing I needed heading into an elimination final!
Super Coach 37,178 points overall, 17,605th place – tiny drop but just treading water this week before the finals.
Last Week: 2,071 points – around my average weekly score, need to be well above average from here!
Good: Ten 100-plus scores, including captain Gary Ablett (115) but seven players managed to score higher than him. The best…vice captain Swan (170).
Bad: Seven scores under 60 points; including three of my defenders and a rusty Steve Johnson (32).
Ugly: A hamstrung Darren Jolly (24)…after trading up for Jolly in round 17, the last thing I want to contemplate is using one of my three remaining trades to replace him. At least Melbourne’s Jake Spencer is getting a run again…but if you are relying on him to win you a fantasy final, that’s not great!
GMHBA – defeated Hardy’s Heroes (1,821). Solid win and, as luck would have it, have the chance to repeat the dose this week.
Ladder Position – 5th place (10-5, 106.39%) No double chance, need to go the long way to have a shot at the flag.
The Finals – 1st Elimination Final – 8th placed Hardy’s Heroes! Difficult to tell how many short they will be. There could be as many as five missing but they have trades to use, and both Alex Rance and Peter Burgoyne could make the cut for Sunday, so they might be just one player short.
Potential changes/trades: Even if you include our two trades this round, we will be three players short. So we have to go for it! Jed Adcock will make way for his teammate Josh Drummond – not only does he own the third-highest average per round for defenders but he is around 50 grand cheaper and has a date with the spluttering Essendon this Saturday night that might lead to a big total.
With plenty of cash in reserve, we can swap Skipworth or Jurrah for a forward the calibre of Leon Davis, Jonathan Brown or even Harvey who is running into form for the Roos but doesn’t have the hefty price tag. That way, if we are fortunate enough to survive another week, we will have a little cash to use for our final trade.
Captain: Pinning our hopes on Ablett to have a huge game. Our opponent does not have Gazza in their lineup so if he produces, the double points might be enough to save my arse for another week. Pavlich has been red hot since his return from injury so he will be the vice captain.
We asked Aker to fire up…and he delivered big time! More please…
Premium Dream Team
Last Week: 1,596 points – Second best weekly score for this comp, couldn’t have been timed any better!
Good: Jason Akermanis delivers a massive 142-point game while 100-plus efforts from Gibbs (119), Jack Grimes (109) and Adam Cooney (100) contributed to the win.
Bad: All that effort to nab Colin Sylvia didn’t pay off after he was banished to the reserves after serving his suspension. Also the switch of Saint Jason Blake from backup ruckman into defence didn’t pay off…just 34 points!
Ugly: The Brent Prismall captaincy experiment failed (78) while the tradition of the benched Bomber midfielder outscoring the on-field Bomber continued…Jobe Watson’s 121 going to waste!
Public League – defeated TheDream Team (1,512). Caught them on a bad week and took full advantage!
Ladder Position – 4th place (5-4, 98.35%) Losses last week by the fourth and fifth placed teams sees us sneak into the four!
The Finals – 1st Qualifying Final – 1st placed Teal Power (1,559 last week). Players out – Leigh Montagna, Lenny Hayes, Leigh Harding and Hayden Skipworth. Those first two are major blows and one will need to be let go in order for them to field a full team. Or will they play short rather than dump one of their key Sainters?
Potential changes/trades: In order to field a full team, we need to trade either Goddard or Grimes. Didn’t particularly want to lose either but will make a last minute trade for a new defender and hope they are still there when I try to trade them back in at the end of the round.
Captain: Carlton’s Gibbs to take on the responsibility this week with Brad Sewell as vice captain.