Tag Archives: Steve Johnson

They Didn’t Go Marching In But The Saints Are There!(Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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RiewoldtGoal

Saint Nick’s knee holds up long enough for him to do this…

How about that! In a finals series that has already delivered high drama and some classic finishes, we got another oneThe Saints are in the grand final…but they were this freakin’ close to a shock exit. And if it wasn’t for inspirational skipper Nick Riewoldt, they wouldn’t have made it. It really is that simple. That dodgy knee of his is more valuable than gold right now!

You just knew it was going to end in heartbreak for one of these traditionally down-trodden clubs…but recovering from this will be a massive challenge for Rodney Eade’s men. That loss was so harsh that I can’t even find a way to make fun of loudmouth lair Jason Akermanis! As much as I love doing it, it just feels cruel right now, wrong even…

CooneyShattered

The power of the red beard was not quite enough for Adam Cooney and the Dogs.

The Dogs dominated the opening quarter and could have built a more than handy lead if not for a couple of squandered opportunities. As a result, the Saints were able to stay in touch and slowly work their way to the front in the third term. Down by five points at three-quarter time, Brad Johnson put the Doggies back in front but it was the other captain that willed his side into the big one next Saturday afternoon.

Whether Johnson returns next season is yet to be determined but it would be a real boost for a wounded club to have that guy back next year.

RocketComposed

The hacks have quizzed Rocket every week about recruiting Barry Hall for 2010…imagine if David Schwartz asked him now!

And now we go through it all again tonight with the Cats and Pies and thank you Channel Ten…we can see it LIVE,  baby!  No Channel Seven again in 2009 so no more garden makeovers, no more tasty recipes, No Johanna Griggs and no watching Dr Harry feeding the fish…it’s finals action as it happens!!!

SchwartzDisgrace

Last night was Channel Seven’s grand final…and didn’t they deliver some high quality family fun!

SATURDAY NIGHT

Second Preliminary Final – MCG, 7:30pm (local): Geelong v Collingwood (TEN)

kevinscarlett

Matthew Scarlett is hoping to keep his hair for one more week before launching into some post-season stupidity!

Fresh from a nice relaxing week off, Geelong will be buoyed by the inclusion of two vital cogs and now appear to have their strongest available team. Steve Johnson and his dodgy hip will be a bit of an unknown quantity so they need somebody like Tom Hawkins to get on the scoreboard. Cameron Ling is not feeling the pressure now but that might change if Dane Swan gets a few early touches!

Geelong’s Dodgy Headline of the Week: Ling Primed For Ding Dong With Swan! Hmmm…Ling Ding, Swan Dong?

RejoiceEd

Settle Ed, it was just a semi final! Imagine if they actually won the flag!!! Actually, don’t do that…I dread the very thought.

It would have been difficult to forget about last Saturday night’s miracle win but, more importantly, Collingwood need to forget about what happened in round three! They have improved since then, says no-pressure Mick. How Scott Pendlebury’s broken leg has improved enough for him to play is beyond me…we’ll see.

Collingwood”s Dodgy Headline of the Week: Goldsack Wants Crack at Stevie J! All that’s missing is the defender reference so they could use the words back, crack and sack!

CATS by 19

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

0191Bfantasytrophyplaque

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!

francis_and_david

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 Finals1st 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 Finals1st 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.

ChappyPillow

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.

AkerPumped

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.

Fifth Disease! (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

NumberFiveSmall

Pick any fantasy football league that Half Back Flanker is involved in…and all you see is this number!

Apparently, fifth disease is a minor illness that young kiddies get that makes them look like they copped a football to the face…just like Sam Mitchell against Collingwood last week. But I may have just discovered a new strain of the disease that only affects fantasy football team owners! It’s kinda like the disease that Richmond reportedly suffers from where they have to finish ninth…

What are the symptoms? Well, we entered five different leagues over three separate competitions and this week, we sit in fifth spot on the ladder in every single one of them! At least Half Back Flanker has managed some consistency during the 2009 fantasy football season. And with only two rounds remaining in the regular season, every match is crucial for making the top four and ensuring a double chance in August – the ‘Virtual September’!

But if we want to claim a spot in the top four for these leagues, we will have to earn it. And what better way to achieve this than to knock off the fourth-placed team…a task we face in three of our leagues this round! Amazingly, the fifth-placed Half Back Flanker plays the team directly above them in the Public and SEN leagues of the AFL Dream Team competition and the GMHBA league of the Herald Sun Super Coach competition. Fifth verses fourth…win and we are in! Lose and face the possibility of being ‘one-and-done’ in the finals.

But to give us every chance to finish in the top four, it might be time to reach into our collection of remaining trades and cap space to boost our squad. We have some big names Jimmy Bartel and Matthew Pavlich back this week but still no sign of Steve Johnson for my Super Coach squad…and now that ruckman Mark Jamar is out too,  we either need a back-up or a straight trade with him! Didn’t need that right now…

hodgeumpcuddle

Luke Hodge is firing again…can you feel the love!!!

Dream Team 30,513 points overall, 16,116th place – crept up a couple of thousands spots overall, nice little bonus.

Last Week: 2,187 points – a season-high weekly result…just when I needed it!

League Results

Public League – defeated Superstars (1,688). They struggled big time without Peter Burgoyne and Aaron Sandilands.

SENFrank01 – defeated Soti’s Superstars (1,653). Not a bad score for them considering the number of injured stars out.

Twitter DT – defeated Comsroom Killers  (1,594). Only two 100-plus guys and another two missing really gave them no chance!

Ladder Positions

Public League – 5th place (9-4, 119.70%) – One win behind third and fourth but have the best percentage in the comp.

SENFrank01 – 5th place (8-5, 103.85%) – Less than one percent behind fourth…which is probably the highest we can get.

Twitter DT – 5th place (9-4, 106.49%) Equal with fourth on wins but percentage not good enough. Need the extra win for a double chance.

Good:  Hawk duo Luke Hodge (138) and Lance Franklin (106) among our ten 100-plus guys this week. Our risky choice as captain paid off with Hamish McIntosh racking up 120 points while our trade for Geelong’s Simon Hogan (104) paid immediate dividends.

Bad: The loss of Jed Adcock in defence leaves us a little vulnerable when our inexperienced guys like Greg Broughton and Jack Grimes don’t pull big numbers. Shannon Hurn (54) is not producing either but he will either be an upgrade target or an emergency come finals time anyway.

Ugly: Every week that Matthew Pavlich misses with his calf problem. He has selected to play this week and would love him back firing for the finals rather than breaking down again and us burning one of our final trades to replace him.

Next opponents:

Public League – 4th placed 2009t1 (2,038 last week). Hawk heavy team that is also loving the resurgence of Hodge and Buddy!

SENFrank01 – 4th placed HARDCORE HARRY (1,691 last week). Would be even more hardcore if Jimmy Bartel, Steve Johnson, Pavlich and Cox had played. If they are out of trades then we might be fourth next week!

Twitter DT – 6th placed Germinators (1,971 last week). Must win against a team that should improve if Steve Johnson plays.

Potential changes/trades: The injury to Jack Grimes has forced our hand in defence as we have seen that playing Courtenay Dempsey and Shannon Hurn together doesn’t usually end well…plus we have no emergency defender. Time to cash in Jed Adcock for an elite…how about Tarkyn Lockyer? Rarely fails to produce and, believe it or not, actually costs less than Adcock so we have a few extra grand for later! This move allows us to bench Hurn and provided Grimes will be back in time for the finals, the back line looks good.

If we make a second trade, it would be to upgrade the midfield. There has been doubt over Paul Hasleby all week and with Daniel Rich still powering on, the temptation is there to cash in Hasleby and turn him into Dane Swan. We have the funds and would still have plenty to spare for our final three trades of the season…

Captain: Scott Pendlebury is very reliable and now that the Hawks had success with tagging Alan Didak, the Blues might follow suit. If this allows Pendlebury to rack up the stats, great for us!

bartel

James Bartel was sidelined last week…hopefully he has a big one in store on the weekend!

Super Coach 32,734 points overall, 20,217th place – again down slightly, suffering from playing short.

Last Week: 2,136 points – not bad for just 21 players…and three definite forward line starters out!

League Results

GMHBA – defeated Champs (2,058). It wasn’t by much but an important win with one less player that guarantees finals action.

Ladder Positions

GMHBA – 5th place (9-4, 107.12%) Could finish anywhere between fourth and sixth…but most likely to stay in fifth and miss the double chance.

Good:  Eleven players over 90 points with Daniel Rich (149) leading the pack and looking like a keeper the whole way – rare for a rookie. Dane Swan (140) was next best while captain Gary Ablett (124) is still great value even during his quieter games.

Bad:  Patrick Dangerfield has had a good year but unlike Rich, he doesn’t score big every week. His 42 point effort didn’t quite fill the shoes of the injured James Bartel.

Ugly: My face if Pavlich and Hayden Skipworth do not play this upcoming week. Steve Johnson is out already so we would be a player short yet again…

Next opponents:

GMHBA – 4th placed All Champs No Duds (2,381 last week). Unfortunately for us, the name is pretty accurate. If they all fire, we are toast!

Potential changes/trades: Pavlich and Skipworth (Sunday squad) are both named so we have cover for the absence of Johnson but have none for Jamar in the ruck. He is listed as out with a quad…which is potentially a number of weeks. We were hoping to use our final four trades on upgrading rather than replacing but we can’t afford to be one player down. Jamar out…and Sydney’s Darren Jolly in!

We also have a Grimes/Adcock bench in defence and Melbourne’s Kyle Cheney is in the Sunday squad but no guarantee of playing. So time to cash in on Adcock…but do we go with Lockyer here as well? He is significantly cheaper so we stand to make a nice profit but Adcock’s Brisbane teammate Josh Drummond is slightly cheaper again and one of the few defenders with a 100-plus average. However, Drummond is injury prone so while the payoff could be high, Lockyer is a safer bet to survive the season.

Captain: Whispers of injury troubles for Gary Ablett will have plenty of owners nervous but we will stay with him as captain, Swan is a more than capable vice captain should Ablett sit this one out.

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,393 points – Just when we were getting better with every week…disaster!

League Results

Public League – lost to Shellys Boys (1,562). No nailbiting finish this week…this one wasn’t even close!

Ladder Positions

Public League – 5th place (4-3, 99.06%) Behind fourth on percentage only but top three out of reach.

Good:  Hamish McIntosh (120), Adam Cooney (108) and Sam Gilbert (100) were the few shining lights, Cooney’s double points as captain proving handy.

Bad:  Only one midfielder topping the 100 mark with Jobe Watson (38) and Bernie Vince (49) well down on their averages. Sub-50 scores from Bret Thornton and Josh Drummond didn’t help either…

Ugly: Should have known that whoever I benched out of Bombers Watson and Brent Prismall, the benched guy will score higher. And sure enough, I missed Prismall’s 91 point effort.

Next opponents:

Public League – 3rd placed Silly Fairies  (1,628 last week). Really good team. Think I’m in line for a third straight loss…

Potential changes/trades: Justin Koschitzke’s one-match suspension and far from stunning scores saw him kicked to the curb this week, Freo’s Dean Solomon coming straight in. Jared Brennan has been selected to play but if he pulls out late, Cyril Rioli is waiting in the wings. Campbell Brown will also start in the place of the injured Grimes.

Captain: Adam Cooney will need a big game against the Saints to help get the Doggies home – he is my captain again so I’m banking on it! Hamish McIntosh takes Bryce Gibbs’ spot as deputy.

You Snooze, You Lose! (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

CornesDumb

I hesitated with the opportunity to pick up defender Chad Cornes…it ended up costing me victory in Premium Dream Team! Now I feel as dumb as he looks…

Half Back Flanker endured another nail biting finish in the AFL Premium Dream Team comp last week…but this time ended up on the wrong side of the ledger at the end of play. By three points. THREE! LOUSY! POINTS! And this was after missing out on picking up free agent defender Chad Cornes during the week when I had the chance to pick him up. Cornes went on to outscore each of the three defenders I had marked as possible trades for him and it has cost me a fourth straight win. Nice work, brainiac…

It capped a mostly disappointing weekend for our fantasy footy teams – just two wins from our five leagues; both of those coming in AFL Dream Team  for our Public and Twitter DT leagues. And now we face a vital three week stretch leading in to the fantasy finals and a real dilemma. We have six trades remaining in both Dream Team and Herald Sun Super Coach, which we were hoping to save for a major splurge during the finals in the hope of winning a virtual flag. But injuries galore in both comps means we might have to upgrade now and hope those players remain fit and firing for the next seven weeks.

Our injury list includes such footballing luminaries as Dean Cox, Steve Johnson, Jimmy Bartel (Super Coach), Matthew Pavlich, Jed Adcock and Hayden Skipworth (both SC and DT). While the decision will be easy on a player like Adcock, who is pretty much done for the year, what to do with the Bartel/Johnson/Pavlich types who are major contributors bu might not play until next week…or the week after…or the week after that?

BuddyWins

Yeah, Buddy…about freakin’ time!!!

Dream Team 28,326 points overall, 18,420th place – virtually maintained current spot overall, which is a surprise.

Last Week: 1,856 points – lowest weekly score in a month.

League Results

Public League – defeated O’Brien (1,093). Massive win puts me back in the frame for the double chance in the finals.

SENFrank01 – lost to Boost (2,043). Would have needed everything to go right to beat this team…just didn’t happen.

Twitter DT – defeated Bloodbath 1945 (1,850). Lucky. Very freakin’ lucky!

Ladder Positions

Public League – 5th place (8-4, 118.82%) – Good percentage boost should see us play finals now…and maybe a top-four spot.

SENFrank01 – 5th place (7-5, 101.73%) – Percentage hit probably leaves us out of top-four contention, need a win to stay on track for the eight.

Twitter DT – 5th place (8-4, 104.23%) Equal wins with fourth but behind on percentage. Could still finish anywhere between fourth and ninth.

Good:  What a bargain Freo’s Greg Broughton (120) has proved to be…he was clearly our highest scorer this week. Next best was Lance Franklin (113)…and thank goodness for that! It’s been a loooong time coming…

Bad: Benched what appeared to be a tired Paddy Ryder as he faced the Swans…and his 95 points would have made him my equal second-highest defender! Think he might be back in this week…

Ugly: Jed Adcock’s knee…watched it happen on TV and instantly freaked out!

Next opponents:

Public League – 10th placed Superstars (1,808 last week). Solid team that could prove tough to beat.

SENFrank01 – 14th placed Soti’s Superstars  (1,510 last week). A few missing pieces, including Cox, but Ablett should be back. Probable win.

Twitter DT – 12th placed Comsroom Killers  (1,440 last week). Appear to have a number of personnel problems, a loss here would be tragic for us!

Potential changes/trades: We gambled on playing one short last week and, apart from the SEN league, got away with it. We could possibly get away with it again this week but we are only really certain of finals footy in our Public League. By trading Adelaide’s Taylor Walker for somebody like Geelong’s Simon Hogan, we can have a full team this week and make a small earner as well…leaving us a touch over 200 grand in the cap with five trades left.

Captain: This might be a left field choice but Hamish McIntosh is coming off a 100-plus game and faces up against some inexperienced Tiger ruckmen at the ‘G on Sunday. Like his chances of another big score.

AdcockKnee

A bit like Jed Adcock’s knee…my Super Coach team is falling apart!

Super Coach 30,598 points overall, 19,250th place – plummeted down the overall standing this round!

Last Week: 1,781 points – second worst scoring round of the season.

League Results

GMHBA – lost to Grenaguns (2,103). Potentially damaging loss but top four not out of reach.

Ladder Positions

GMHBA – 5th place (8-4, 107.42%) One win in final three rounds should be enough for a finals berth.

Good:  A few that you would expect – Paul Chapman (152), Dane Swan (136) and Brendon Goddard (112). And a couple you would have never expected – Patrick Dangerfield with 138? Liam Jurrah with 133?

Bad:  Too many players with below average days…Goddard was my only defender to score more than 70 points! Can’t afford that when you are playing two short.

Ugly: Well, I have Jed Adcock in this comp too…there’s your answer!

Next opponents:

GMHBA – 13th placed  Champs (2,079 last week). Covered the loss of Ablett, Mackie and Johnson with ease. Tough assignment for a bottom-four opponent.

Potential changes/trades: Can’t afford to be three players short this week so time to make some trades. Can’t rely on Dean Cox to come back in a couple of weeks and tear up the comp so he is out…and the choice of elite replacements has narrowed down with Josh Fraser and Aaron Sandilands injured as well. Hamish McIntosh has the fourth highest average of all ruckmen and only costs 405 grand…done – and we make 143 grand to boot!

The second trade has to be a forward and we have four of them unavailable this weekend. Pavlich, Johnson and Skipworth should all be back in a week or two so the odd man out (again) appears to be Walker, who has been out of the Crows lineup for a couple of weeks now. Lance Franklin’s value is down at 344 grand but he is fresh off a 177 point outing against the Roos. So, believe it or not, we can go from being three players short to just one, add McIntosh and Franklin…and make over 130 grand in profit!

Captain: Gary Ablett is back, he’s at home and he is facing the Dees. I’m sold! Dane Swan is a more than capable deputy but hopefully he is not required…as I have no reserve this week with Bartel injured and Hawk Beau Muston at Box Hill.

BrennanCarr

His effort on Josh Carr alone is enough to warrant picking up Jared Brennan…now he is back, can he deliver some stats?

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,522 points – Big drop from last week’s season high.

League Results

Public League – lost to peckin away (1,525). Too distressed to talk…

Ladder Positions

Public League – 4th place (4-2, 100.74%)

Good:  Jason Akermanis (122) pulled out a big score under the roof at the Dome while Hamish McIntosh (110) picked up plenty in the ruck down in Tassie. Josh Drummond (101) proved he was worth the wait after a few weeks out.

Bad:  When you lose by three points, you always wonder “what if…” – playing it safe with injured players by benching Jobe Watson (93) for Brent Prismall (71) is one of those decisions.  Campbell Brown’s 38 was also a factor in the loss…especially with reserve Dustin Fletcher’s 81 going to waste.

Ugly: The thought that my decision to sleep on the Cornes trade, and eventually missing out, actually cost me a result…but will it also hurt in the long run?

Next opponents:

Public League – 6th placed Shellys Boys (1,389 last week). Contains many inconsistent players, any result is possible here.

Potential changes/trades: Happy enough with the squad for now but Watson moves into the starting midfield for Prismall, Fletcher in for Brown in defence and Cyril Rioli comes out for…Brisbane’s Jared Brennan! Yes, Brennan was available late last week as somebody dropped him due to his suspension. No Chad Cornes style hesitation on this one – gladly swapped him for Ryan Houlihan and this week comes into the side, sending Cyril Rioli to the bench again.

Captain: Adam Cooney could run amok in the Friday night shootout against Essendon so the captaincy is his this week.

What A Nailbiter! (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

BryceGibbs

Forget Michael Gardiner…our last-gasp hero was Carlton’s Bryce Gibbs! A couple of late stats for him against Freo secured a vital win for Half Back Flanker!

And you thought the St Kilda-Geelong match produced a grandstand finish…what about Half Back Flanker’s AFL Dream Team public league match! Having lost four of the past five matches in this league, nothing short of victory would suffice and heading into the final two minutes of the last match of the round, HBF was trailing the third-placed NoobsRUs by just four points. Keeping a close eye on the live scoring, I looked on nervously in the hope that one of my Dockers or Blues would pick up the necessary points…and Bryce Gibbs delivered to give us a nine-point win!!!

In fact, we scooped the pool in all our leagues last week – three wins from three in our AFL Dream Team leagues, a 49-point triumph in AFL Premium Dream Team and a nice effort with no contributions from players Dean Cox and Steve Johnson to get up in our Herald Sun Super Coach league. Now with four rounds to play before the fantasy finals, we look certain to be involved in the big games for four of our leagues while a tight race to the finals looms in the Twitter DT league.

There was plenty of good news at the selection table with some more-than-handy players returning this week; including Dean Cox, Chad Cornes, Cyril Rioli, Jobe Watson and Josh Drummond. But no Matthew Pavlich, Steve Johnson is out again and now Hayden Skipworth has a knee problem! So much for saving all our trades this round…unless we choose to go in one or two players short. Again!

skipworth_rd4_a

We have already endured injury woes with Skipworth early in the year…how long will he be out for now?

Dream Team 26,470 points overall, 18,723th place – nice little jump in the overall standings

Last Week: 2,011 points – only the third 2,000 plus score for the year, hopefully can pull out a few more in upcoming weeks.

League Results

Public League – defeated NoobsRUs (2,002). Final-minute triumph a much-needed win that keeps top-four hopes alive.

SENFrank01 – defeated Leica Hawk (1,726). Only out of the four on percentage and look assured of finals now.

Twitter DT – defeated The Irish Invaders (1,890). Now one game back from the 4th placed Irish but spot in the eight is far from assured.

Ladder Positions

Public League – 7th place (7-4, 115.72%)

SENFrank01 – 5th place (7-4, 102.83%)

Twitter DT – 5th place (7-4, 104.60%)

Good:  Eleven players over 90 points, eight of those over 100. Carlton duo Gibbs (140) and Judd (132) were great while Melbourne’s Jack Grimes (143) has provided a massive boost for us in defence.

Bad: Paddy Ryder (52) was looking mighty tired on Friday night and his scores might start to suffer from here on in. The same might be happening to Daniel Rich (52) but it’s probably time to upgrade him anyway. Not sure what Ryan Houlihan’s excuse is though…his 53 indicative of his drop-off since the early rounds.

Ugly: Who would have thought that Lance Franklin, in any sense, would be tagged as ‘ugly’! He was lucky to wind up with a 33 and actually worth less than Houlihan now. What do we do with him now?

Next opponents:

Public League – 15th placed O’Brien (1,334 last week). A big win would certainly help our top-four push…we might just get one here!

SENFrank01 – 9th placed Boost  (1,962 last week). Decent score last week playing only one ruckman, pretty even contest.

Twitter DT – 3rd placed Bloodbath 1945  (1,792 last week). Three players short last week so wondering if they are out of trades? If not, and if Cox is back, then we might be in trouble.

Potential changes/trades: Six trades left and one player short in attack…but very tempted to leave it that way this week. I could trade out Taylor Walker at a pinch for somebody like Freo’s Hayden Ballantyne and make a tidy profit as well as fielding 22 players this week. But Ballantyne won’t win me a fantasy flag and that leaves our forward line with two injured players (Pav and Skippy) a few guys out of form (Houlihan, Franklin and Leon Davis) and another rookie in Liam Jurrah. Cannot afford any more sideways moves in this area…

Also tempted to cash in Hawk Beau Muston for Kangaroo Liam Anthony. It gives us an extra 100 grand in the cap and Anthony could well fill in as a sixth midfielder if required. We really want to add two to three elite players for the finals and we have to raise the cash somehow. Might be a last-minute decision…

Captain: Both Bryce Gibbs and Chris Judd had a field day last round and face Richmond this week. I suspect that redheaded Tiger tagger Daniel Jackson will torment Judd all day so Gibbs might be the safer option.

StevieJOut

Steve Johnson pulled out late last week and will now miss again…um, that’s not good.

Super Coach 28,817 points overall, 14,028th place – big leap in the overall, highest mark since round four.

Last Week: 2,252 points – highest score since round three and only had twenty scoring players!

League Results

GMHBA – defeated Cool Cats (2,132). Good win that makes finals a definite, top-four a real possibility

Ladder Positions

GMHBA – 3rd place (8-3, 109.76%)

Good:  Plenty of good! Fourteen players over 90, eleven over 100 and huge games from Chris Judd (165), James Bartel (149), Grimes (142), Paul Chapman (139) and Jed Adcock (134). Removing Shane Mumford last week and adding Mark Jamar (80) provided immediate dividends.

Bad:  Lost Steve Johnson on Sunday and had no reserve to take his spot. Having already gambled with Cox, this made me a tad nervous…

Ugly: Heath Grundy. Played him for weeks and suffered through his 63-point average input. Bench him…and he racks up 100 points and outscores Brendon Goddard? Why now? That pissed me off…

Next opponents:

GMHBA – 4th placed Grenaguns (2,254 last week). Played one short and could have Josh Drummond and Steve Johnson returning this week.

Potential changes/trades: Will take an anti-trade stance in Super Coach as well…even though we are two players short in the forward line at the moment! Could do the Muston-for-Anthony deal and have close to 400 grand to splash on upgrades in the finals…we’ll see.

This move gives us 394 gra

Captain: Sticking with Gary Ablett…even though ten of my players registered higher sores last week than he did. That won’t ever happen again!

Brent Prismall

Young Bomber Brent Prismall…welcome aboard! But will he make the starting line-up?

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,708 points – Best weekly score by a loooong way. Eighteen fit players seems to help…must remember this!

League Results

Public League – defeated Brady Way Big Hits (1,659). Win streak now at four but percentage not that healthy so need to keep winning to stay up there.

Ladder Positions

Public League – 3rd place (4-1, 100.93%)

Good:  Five scores over 100, including the big ones from Grimes and Gibbs. Sam Gilbert’s performance (119) in the Sunday blockbuster was also great.

Bad:  Ryan Houlihan (53) might find himself on the bench if Cyril Rioli is right to play this week. Jason Blake will also be on the bench as our reserve ruckman but the bad thing is – he outscored starting ruckman Hamish McIntosh 108-67. Still won’t start him though…

Ugly: Our reserve midfielder Shane O’Bree (46) couldn’t match the output of the injured Jobe Watson and was our only player to score less than 50 points. That just won’t cut it.

Next opponents:

Public League – 5th placed peckin away  (1,715 last week). Outdid me by just seven points…will probably live or die behind a couple of decisions that need to be made at selection.

Potential changes/trades: Having witnessed the below-par game of O’Bree and the impressive effort of new Bomber Brent Prismall, wasted no time in making that trade on Sunday night. Even though Jobe Watson has been picked this week, Prismall will play in his place. Also managed to add another chapter to the Chad Cornes debacle – having mistakedly drafted him as a midfielder instead of a defender, only to see him pick up a knee injury and forcing me to dump him from the team. At the news he would return this week, I almost picked him up on Monday afternoon but opted out…mainly due to some uncertainty as to who to drop. By the time I went back on Tuesday, Cornes had been picked up already. Maybe it’s just as well…but he will probably come bak to haunt me!

Captain: Gibbs again – particularly with Adam Cooney facing a tougher opponent in Collingwood and Brad Sewell’s Hawks taking on the Roos in Tassie.

Round Fourteen – Saints Defeat Cats, Now Face Connor MacLeod!

ConnorMacleod

Only decapitation from the blade of the Highlander stands between St Kilda and immortality! Or they might lose to the Doggies…

There can be only one…undefeated team left!

GardinerMark

And that team is…St Kilda! The Saints survived in an epic contest at Whatshishead Stadium. Thirteen wins each, two months of anticipation and no shortage of hype but the game delivered everything we all expected…perhaps more! An amazing start, great fightback from the Cats and a grandstand finish. How crazy will the build-up be to this year’s grand final if both these teams make it…please let it happen!!!

There can be only one…reigning premier – but not for long!

MitchellShattered`

The Hawks are stuffed.

There can be only one…Tom Cruise!

CruiseFooty

And he was at the footy on Friday night to take in some of the action between the Pies and Bombers. Katie Holmes was there too…she spent the night trying to find a back exit or open window from which she could escape! Run Katie – run for your life!!!

There can be only one…Jim Stynes!

StynesJumper

The former Demons star and club president faces a tough battle having been diagnosed with cancer. His team put in a performance on the weekend that befitted the emotional week for all involved at Melbourne…unfortunately, this type of performance is a rarity for the Dees.

There can be only one…Kevin Sheedy!

SuperSheedy

The highly predictable campaign to make Sheeds the next coach of Richmond was officially launched last week after the crushing loss to St Kilda. Of course, all his supporters appear to be aged 50 or above…and his campaign manager is a guy who was so out of touch with the coaching caper twenty years ago, he got the flick from Tigerland and refused to go near the place until recently. As great a coach as Sheedy is and/or was, do any of these old dudes realise it is almost the year 2010 now?

There can be only one…most glamorous WAG?

WAGSurvey

According to the Herald Sun’s annual footy survey, these are the types of questions us footy fans really want to know the answers to. Now I know that this particular media outlet is designed to entertain us rather than inform us so there is no point taking it seriously. But honestly…shit like this is just a waste of f@&$#ng time, isn’t it?

There can be only one…Channel Seven!

Plugger91

A flashback to a classic Geelong-St Kilda match…the perfect lead-in to yesterday’s blockbuster. But what did CH7 show before this?

RevengeNerds

Yep, nothing helps builds the anticipation for a massive game of footy like…Revenge Of The Nerds 4!!!

There can be only one…Terry Wallace!

WallaceMedia

How the hell does Terry Wallace get flooded with offers from all forms of media after his disastrous tenure at the Tigers? And is there anybody less qualified to comment on what Richmond should be doing right now than the guy who just actually effed it up over five years?

The Games:

FraserGoal

Magpie fans celebrate as ruckman Josh Fraser plays well and doesn’t even dog it once! Suck on that, Grant Thomas…

Well, Anzac Day seems like a lifetime away now, doesn’t it!  And nice to see our beloved media hacks working Tom Cruise references into their work as best they could! That’s right – Collingwood Cruised to victory against Essendon to open round 14 action, leaving Matthew Knights to pick up the pieces and keep Essendon in the finals hunt. At least Mark McVeigh will be fresh for the next match…unless Dean Solomon is back in town this week!

PregameDees

Alright, which of you blokes have stolen the footys? We only have two and can’t afford to buy any more. Just give ’em back, will ya’s?

Yes – Melbourne finally had a win! Yes – they did it for Jim Stynes! And yes – they showed the passion and commitment to make their supporters proud on such an emotional day! But, come on – they were playing an equally crap team who have barely won outside of Perth since Chris Judd left town. If they couldn’t win this match, then there was no hope for this club whatsoever…

BrennanCarr

It will cost him a few weeks but for what he did to Josh Carr, on behalf of the AFL world, I say…thank you Jared Brennan!

Gee, the Power must really love Mark Williams! In the first game since they learnt that Choco would be given the opportunity to coach on at Port Adelaide, his team blitzed high-flying Brisbane in the final quarter and dragged themselves back into finals calculations. So how did they do it? They prepared…now that’s a handy tip!

ThumbsUpRocket

Wow, a rare smile and a big thumbs up from Doggies coach Rocket Eade! But who is he copying…Barry Hall or Arthur Fonzarelli?

Bulldogs – awesome! Hawthorn – shit! Probably no need to elaborate much more on this one…

FoleyBoot

Surely you don’t need to employ Kevin Sheedy as your coach to teach players where your footy boots are meant to go. Um, Nathan Foley…try your feet!

Up at Carrara Stadium, Adelaide scored a relatively comfy win over Richmond. Local boy Kurt Tippett showed a liking to playing footy in Queensland with five  goals for the winners. Wonder if he has heard about this new team that will be starting up on the Gold Coast soon?

MickeyO

Micky O’Loughlin whoops it up after kicking the sealer. He only has a couple of months left so let him lap it up while he can!

Whether this was Sydney’s first taste of life without Barry Hall has yet to be determined. If so, it appears that it will be a struggle. But the Swannies did win a close one against North Melbourne that keeps them within reach of the finals. But let’s face it…without the prospect of witnessing a Bazza brainsnap, who really wants to see Sydney feature in September action anyway?

StevieJOut

Steve Johnson out? Guess it is too late to change my tip…

What a freakin’ game!!! What a freakin’ game!!! What a freakin’ game!!!

CarltonYellows

The famous old dark…yellows? No, seriously…THAT is the Carlton team. They actually played in that!

Fremantle and Carlton played last night? Really? With all the excitement of the St Kilda-Geelong game, I totally forgot! Apparently, the yellow team won