It seems strange this year that we have been talking about the byes since the season started, but in all honesty most teams didn’t make a serious effort in picking their initial squads with the byes in mind. Some trades may have been made with a rough plan in place, but the time is here. After this round we hit the dreaded bye rounds. Depending on the way that you look at them they can be either a hindrance or a help. Ask any coach who has prepared for them in recent years and they have proven to be a starting point for a charge up the overall rankings. On the other hand, those that have simply traded with the view to bringing in the best premiums and rookies may be a little bit nervous over the next month.
A key to success in the past has been using maxed out rookies and stepping stone midpricers to trade into premiums that have already had their byes. In essence, it allows you to field a player in that position over the entire bye rounds. There are a number of Rd 13 bye players that are going to offer some great value heading into Rd 14 and this will be the last game that you get to watch them and decide if they are actually a viable option for your squad. Using RDT prices and numbers I will consider a few of them.
Brandon Ellis. A combination of Sam Gibson and a poor game from Ellis against easily his worst scoring team in the Kangaroos resulted in easily the lowest score Ellis has recorded across the formats this year. Ellis has had an underwhelming year, but the whole point of this game is to pick up underpriced premiums when they have bottomed out. In the month after his bye the Tigers have some nice games against Brisbane, Port Adelaide and Essendon. At a touch under $450k, Ellis provides some serious value for a player that can put up the numbers that he can. Owners of the likes of Dunkley, Petracca and Hopper may only need to find an extra $100k to make the upgrade.
Gary Ablett. A few weeks ago a lot of us we worried about whether Gaz was becoming a mere mortal. Some have held their nerve and kept him, while others traded out. After a run of 5 consecutive scores under 91 and an injury enforced rest Gaz has returned with 120 and 124. He should return form his bye at almost his starting price for the year. He was a bargain then and if he can come home with a huge run he could be a great addition to the squads that don’t have him.
Leigh Montagna. After putting up 4 x 100 scores in a row and a massive 160 earlier in the season, Montagna had a very poor game on the weekend finishing with 36. End result is that Montagna may be available for around $500k after his bye. For a forward that is averaging 101 for the season, that is a price that is too hard to ignore. It’s an easy trade from a maxed out rookie like Petracca.
Sam Jacobs. At the start of the season Jacobs was viewed as a possible premium ruck. His consistency over the last few seasons has been outstanding and seen him average in the mid 90s. Jacobs has only put up 3 x 100 scores this season, but on the weekend against the Saints he appeared to be back to his best by getting around the ground and picking up plenty of possessions. At times, Jacobs moves like an extra midfielder and provides the link in Crows ball movement. With so much confusion as to who the best rucks actually are this season, it may be possible to get on Jacobs at the perfect time as he comes on a solid run home. A trade from Leuenberger might cost around $100k at Rd 14 to shore up the second ruck position.
Aaron Hall. It seems strange to highlight a player who is in over 50% of teams, but there were still almost half the competition that basically didn’t start with Hall or get him in as quickly as possible. It is obvious that Hall has been playing under an injury cloud over the last few weeks and his impact has been diminished. A rest might be exactly what he needs. If you don’t have him it might pay to consider him as it won’t be long until he returns to the form of the first month of the season.
Brett Deledio. As was the case last season, an injury stalled start to the year has seen Deledio start slow and start to build into form. His consistency has been outstanding and his scoring has always been reliable. Still only in 3% of teams, he could provide a great point of difference in the second half of the year.
Kade Kolodjashnij. It is only his price that makes him worth a look at this point, as his scoring has been all over the place and the consistency that was a hallmark of his year last year has not been evident. KK is a simple straight swap from the likes of Dea, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Byrne-Jones and Wagner and is the perfect option for a Rd 13 bye player swap from one of the maxed Rd 14 rookies. Use this week to watch him game closely and if you see enough it should be an easy trade after his bye.
Rory Laird. After a month out with his toe injury Laird returned on the week and cruised around the backlines picking up so much uncontested ball that he put up 96 without laying a tackle. I would expect him to match the premium Rd 13 options in Docherty and Simpson, with a price tag that saves some serious dollars. He will be priced at less then what he started the season at after his bye and he has averaged 94 to this point of the season, even included the game that he was injured and missed an entire quarter. The easy choice if you are after a Rd 13 premium defender.
There is nothing to say that you can’t go after any of the other Rd 13 bye premiums. I just believe that there is some value in these players. Are there any that I have missed? Do you have a different plan to navigate the byes? Let us know on Twitter @brettfish15 or @coachespanel or join in the conversation at our Facebook group here.