If you see some strange guy cheering for random footy players at the Salamanca Market in Hobart on Saturday afternoon, don’t panic. It’s just me!
Preliminary final weekend is here! And with Half Back Flanker having the week off in our four remaining leagues, the team should be fresh and ready to qualify for a grand final place, right? Well, that theory works wonders in the real football world but in fantasy, the players still need to go out and play. Or, in the case of Paddy Ryder, go out and injure your knee…putting an end to your fantasy footy season! Crap!!!
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!…NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
It is not just Essendon that have paid a hefty price from their upset win against St Kilda last Sunday. Our AFL Dream Team squad is now down an additional two defenders with Ryder and Courtenay Dempsey out of action while we cannot afford to take a chance with the slightly hamstrung Dustin Fletcher in our Premium Dream Team prelim. And if Jack Grimes, who is in both our squads, fails to make it back this week we will have some eleventh hour trading to make before the Friday evening deadline.
But making last-minute trades and team changes could be tricky as Half Back Flanker will be spending a few days on the road in Hobart this week. With up to two trades possible for us in both competitions this round, Thursday night’s team selection will dictate how we choose to bolster our team for a shot at virtual premiership glory. And we will need to make some shrewd decisions as it appears those opposing sides that dipped out two weeks ago thanks to the mass exodus of St Kilda stars will be at full strength and primed to strike back hard this time around.
HBF is up against very stiff opposition in our ‘SEN Frank’ and ‘Twitter DT’ leagues so our best chance at snagging a GF spot seems to lie with the ‘Public League’ for both Drean Team and Premium DT. After a long fantasy season, surely we can have at least one shot at glory next weekend! Please?
I might have erred in cashing in Liam Jurrah for a cheapie two weeks ago…will I pay the ultimate price this weekend?
Dream Team 38,766 points overall, 9,512th place – down a little but still inside the top ten thousand.
Last Week: 1,860 points – another unimpressive score, fortunate that I was not in a do-or-die clash!
Good: Captain Dane Swan (125) keeps producing big scores while others over 100 points includes Tarkyn Lockyer (109), Brett Deledio (108), Bryce Gibbs (105) and Scott Pendlebury (104).
Bad: Four defenders under 70 points, including regular high scorers Brendon Goddard (66) and Greg Broughton (64). Those two injuries (Ryder and Dempsey) don’t help either. Joel Selwood (69) also had a rare quiet week.
Ugly: That Stack for Jurrah trade in round 19 is looking even worse now that Stack probably won’t play again this year while Jurrah came back and lit up the ‘G for 95 points. The extra cash is nice but now, unless both Shaun Higgins and Hayden Skipworth come back this week, Simon Hogan (34) might have to play the preliminary final.
1st Semi Final – Fats Rockets (1,958) defeated Uninformed (1,845)
2nd Preliminary Final verses Fats Rockets – Matthew Bate was the standout for Fats last round, hopefully they both suffer a letdown this week!
2nd Semi Final– The Dominators (2,141) defeated mansnotacamel (1,936)
1st Preliminary Final verses The Dominators – might fall short here as they look the better side…almost 300 points better than us last week!
2nd Semi Final– D Team (2,067) defeated The Irish Invaders (2,032)
1st Preliminary Final verses D Team – might be one player short due to Mitchell Brown’s injury but on last week’s form, could beat us regardless.
Potential changes/trades: Two trades and $229,500 left…what to do? A lot will depend on team selection late Thursday but we will cross our fingers in the hope that no other omissions from our squad pop up. If selection is kind, plus reports that Higgins will play for the Bulldogs, we should have 22 fit players. If that happens, we have enough money to turn injured Crow Patrick Dangerfield into the great Gary Ablett and give us six elite mids and Daniel Rich as a more than handy emergency. If Grimes does not come up, Ryder can be traded for somebody like Paul Duffield, Andrew Mackie or Heath Scotland.
Captain: If we pick up Ablett, it will probably come down to a choice between him and Dane Swan.
Jobe Watson starred last week and another big effort on the weekend could get Essendon in the finals…and HBF into a GF!
Premium Dream Team
Last Week: 1,645 points – Back to back weeks over 1,600 points
Good: Five 100-plus scores, including Jobe Watson’s masterful 146 against St Kilda. Two of our reserves also reached triple-figures – Jarrod Harbrow (123) and Brent Prismall (112).
Bad: Our two Saint defenders Jason Blake (60) and Sam Gilbert (43) – lucky we had the week off!
Ugly: Dustin Fletcher’s hamstring injury! With substitute Jack Grimes no certainty to come back, we had to let Fletch go.
2nd Semi Final – TheDream Team (1,630) defeated Shelleys Boys (1,473)
1st Preliminary Final verses TheDream Team – loses Patrick Ryder and Joel Bowden from defence and ruck stocks not great. There shouldn’t be much in this one…but still a good chance
Potential changes/trades: North Melbourne’s Nathan Grima looked the best option of the free agent defenders so he has come in for Fletcher. Happy to leave the rest of the side as is if there are no further omissions but Brad Sewell might make way for Brent Prismall in midfield. If Grimes plays, I will start him and probably bench Melbourne teammate Clint Bartram but if he is still out, Essendon’s Jarrod Atkinson is available and coming off an 82 against the Saints. Tempting…
Captain: Bryce Gibbs has been very reliable as skipper but Watson’s recent form might be enough to take him in as the captain. Tough choice…could be the difference between qualifying for a grand final or missing out!