Many of my fantasy opponents had star players that were laid low by injury in the first week of finals…
…and now we can be laid back this week as we enjoy a break before the prelim finals!
Half Back Flanker is officially…one lucky son-of-a-gun! While many owners struggled mightily to field full squads in round 19 due to the massive injury toll of key fantasy players, we capitalised big time in AFL Dream Team and Premium Dream Team by winning all four qualifying finals to earn a preliminary final spot and one week’s rest. When it became apparent that each of my opponents in the AFL Dream Team finals would be short anywhere between four and eight players, I used up one of my final three trades to ensure I filled all 22 on-field positions and secure my path to the final four in each league.
While the trade (Liam Jurrah for Brennan Stack) was not really necessary as I would have won all three matches comfortably with one forward down, I have two trades and a wad of cash awaiting me for preliminary final weekend. How I use those trades could determine how many grand finals I can qualify for…or if I even make it into one!
Nick Dal Santo, and a few of his teammates, sat out last week…it helped me immensely!
My strategy for Premium Dream Team also paid off, electing to wait until the final minutes of trading on Friday night to release my two injured key defenders, Brendan Goddard and Jack Grimes, in order to field a full team. It was a risk but, considering my league-leading opponent Teal Power refused to part with injured Saints midfielders Lenny Hayes and Leigh Montagna, it was worth taking if I wanted any shot of the upset. And when Nick Dal Santo failed to make the trip, leaving my opponent another mid short, I managed the win by 124 points and my tactic paid off. Now having traded my key defenders back in, let’s hope that they are both fit and firing come round 21.
However, it wasn’t all good news for Half Back Flanker last weekend. The good fortune on the injury front did not extend to our Herald Sun Super Coach team, knocked out in the elimination final stage by the team we easily defeated just the week earlier. Too many absent players meant that even with the addition of two new elite players via trade, we were well short of a competitive team and a 500-point drop from last round meant our year was over.
So, no matches this week…but still plenty of homework to be done. We are planning to make the most of our final trades and field the strongest possible lineups in the upcoming preliminary finals. Hopefully we can win our way into some grand finals but if we do, we might find ourselves in a couple of rematches against the top-ranked teams we just knocked off that won their way through…and have all their injured players back!
Buddy took one for the team! He’ll be right…but if he wants to take it easy this week and be right for round 21, fine by me!!!
Dream Team 36,906 points overall, 8,596th place – best overall position for the year, probably overtook many teams choc full of St Kilda players!
Last Week: 1,896 points – a drop of almost 400 points from last round…but it was still good enough.
Good: Having 22 fit players was great! Five players over 100 points (including captain Dane Swan with 103), three of those over 120 – Joel Selwood and Greg Broughton (128) and the much maligned (by me!) Shannon Hurn (121).
Bad: Big names Lance Franklin (55), Chad Cornes (57) and Luke Hodge (70) not up to standard. Concerned that any or all three of these guys might not be major contributors in the final two rounds, especially if finals are out of reach for their teams.
Ugly: The Stack for Jurrah trade ensured I had 22 players, and a little extra cash, but it was probably a panic move that wasn’t required considering the size of my winning margins. Stack (20) didn’t produce and provided Jurrah is back by round 21, he would not be the preferred option if I needed a replacement forward to play anyway.
2nd Qualifying Final – defeated Woosha Warriors (1,205). Fielded just 13 players.
The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of Fats Rockets (1,873) and Uninformed (1,702). Expecting to face the minor premier Fats Rockets for a spot in the grannie.
1st Qualifying Final – defeated Princess Superstar (1,619 last week). Good score considering they only had 18 players, unlikely to have beaten this team otherwise. But…I’ll take it!
The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of The Dominators (1,904) and mansnotacamel (1,759). Dominators would have beaten me this week and they had just 20 players…will need to make the most of my final two trades to beat them!
1st Qualifying Final – defeated BigAl’s Bombers (1,619 last week). Big Al just had 17 players so feeling fortunate that he wasn’t at full strength as well. But that’s the way it goes.
The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of The Irish Invaders (1,645) and D Team (2,021). Irish actually had 20 players while the D Team had a full team and a good round. Might be the 6th-placed D Team that wins through.
Potential changes/trades: Can stick the feet up this week in terms of trades but will keep a close eye on which players do and do not run out this weekend. Hoping that Goddard, Grimes and Hayden Skipworth will be ready for round 21 so that my final two trades can be used to bring in some elites.
The loss of Goddard (and many others) was too great to cover…so cross us out for season 2009!
Super Coach 38,777 points overall, 20,427th place – big drop. Big big drop!
Last Week: 1,599 points – the biggest round of the season and it’s our worst score!
Good: Not much…four 100-plus scores
Bad: Nine scores under 80 points…the last thing you want when you are three players down to begin with.
Ugly: We were relying on a massive night for captain Gary Ablett in the hope that the double points could somehow keep us competitive. Alas, a mere 81 – his lowest score for the year. In fact, it was probably his lowest score in five years!
1st Elimination Final – lost to Hardy’s Heroes (1,799). From our meeting the week before, they dropped almost 30 points. We dropped almost 500 points! And just like that…season over.
Jared Brennan kicked arse last round…just don’t headbutt anybody on the weekend, I will need you!
Premium Dream Team
Last Week: 1,659 points – Second best weekly score for the season and best of all teams in the league this round.
Good: Seven 100-plus scores including a 127-point effort from Jared Brennan and four of our five midfielders. The only midfielder under 100 was Brent Prismall…who chalked up a 93 after being a replacement for Hawthorn’s Brad Sewell.
Bad: Shannon Byrnes (58) is another victim of Geelong’s overall struggles, Aaron Davey (60) seems to be fading out a bit.
Ugly: Injury concerns over Josh Drummond (67) – wished he was a late scratching after reserve back Jason Blake pulled out a 102!
1st Qualifying Final – defeated Teal Power (1,535 last week). Those three missing Saints midfielders made all the difference but, provided at least two of them fire this week, this team should feature in the other prelim final. Will we meet again in the big one?
The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of TheDream Team (1,490) and Shelleys Boys (1,552). Can sixth-placed Shelleys Boys make the prelim? Interesting that TheDream Team has drafted retiring Richmond stat-machine Joel Bowden…does he have one last pearler in him before hanging up the boots?
Potential changes/trades: As soon as the Sunday lockout ended, went back in and reclaimed our two key defenders Goddard and Grimes, dropping Campbell Brown and Bachar Houli in the process. So unless something catastrophic occurs to one of our players before Friday, we might use our last trade on a speculative pickup for an injured player that should be back in action for round 21. Bulldog Shaun Higgins is a prime example and if he was right to go next weekend, would be a better option that teammate Jarrod Harbrow.
Update: just checked all the available forwards and somebody has already taken the gamble and drafted Higgins. Skipworth is still there but might just wait until team selection and see if any players suddenly become available.