With only 5 rounds remaining for those in overall contention and all salary cap & drafts formats are now one week away from finals, it’s important to make this 5 weeks count. So let’s jump into this weekend warm up before lockout kicks off tonight.
The Key to Success
The choices you make over the coming few weeks will determine if 2016 is filled with success or not. The key to success is knowing the strength of your side in comparison to those around you. The thing that is going to make or break this season for you is your unique players and captains choices. Now, i’m not saying unique “for the sake of it” rather emphasizing that you’ll need some thing/s to make your side separate from the pack in the hunt. Here’s my advice for you. The beauty is it’s equally as adaptable if leagues are your focus or if your shooting for the overall prize.
- Know Your Opponent: Now while you probably don’t know how many trades they have left you will be able to see their teams. How strong is their bench depth? How many unique players do they have compared to you? Knowledge of your opposition helps you to decide who to trade, who to avoid, will they have the ability to match your captain’s choice? And a variety of other important factors. At the end of the day you’ll need something to set your team apart of these final 5 weeks, and the right choice will make you a very happy coach.
- Read & Apply Tim’s fixture analysis: You must read it, seriously it’s good! Following on from my last point the knowledge of your opposition and the potential tough or easy fixture coming their way can really help you know your chances. The Crows, Bulldogs, Blues and Giants all have great runs heading onto the finals and players with low ownership and great runs can really be the difference between league wins or not.
- Be Brave: You’ve got this far, well done, but the job’s not yet done. To win it you’ll need to take a calculate risk. But what’s risky for me might not always be for you.
- Timing is Everything: If you have trades left knowing when to pull the trigger is key. Trading too late means you’ll be out of contention, but throwing away the trade could cost you big time in the final fortnight.
Late season bolter
In 2015 we saw Aaron Hall, Sam Gray, Lachie Hunter & Max Gawn all storm home in the final few months of 2015, some of these guys have even gone on and delivered premiums numbers in 2016. At the commencement of last season they were fantasy footy irrelevant, but by the end of the year certainly became high scoring, cheap and unique scoring options. I know of many coaches who tasted success last year and these players were key in it. The reason they became relevant last year was due to clubs injuries to players previously ahead of them in the pecking order and also clubs looking test out the depth of their squad. If you got on one of these players late last year you’d have been over the moon with them delivering premiums numbers at a fraction of the price. So who are some potential late season bolters for 2016?
Touk Miller: 3 weeks ago after Ablett & Risky both went down with season ending injuries he’s been playing exclusive midfield. With the entire first choice group of Suns midfielders out of action Touk strangely enough finds himself as one of the more experienced midfielders, he’s pretty much the sides #1 midfield option. In the past 3 weeks he’s scored 139, 53 & 112 making a 3 round average just over 100 in SuperCoach. While in DreamTeam/AFLFantasy he’s scored 135, 84 & 111 averaging 110 in his past 3. While who he’s played is a factor (includes Fremantle and Brisbane) he’s clearly got some scoring ceiling and with less than 2% ownership in every format he’s ticking all the boxes. Cheap, good role, ceiling and unique!
Brad Crouch: Injuries have hurt him over his career but history has shown in previous years he’s a fantasy footy star. The reason he makes the list is simple, by being midprice and only getting same continuity in his fitness mid year some teams are hesitant to sideways fattened cash cows or downgrade injured premiums to midprice picks it makes him a unique option. He’s averaging 103 for SuperCoach and 104 in DreamTeam/AFLFantasy in his past 3 games, with The Bombers, Lions and Dockers his next 3 opponents you’d have some confidence in him that his triple figure recent average history should continue.
Devon Smith: He’s always promised to break out but a mixture of struggling to find his role within the year & an injury early on Devon has been off the radar for many. However, with scores of 102 & 91 in SuperCoach and 94 & 110 in DT/AF in the past fortnight everything seems to be aligning for him. With a pretty friendly fixture and low ownership + a cheap price tag Devon could well be a quality late season forward bolter.
Sam Naismith: With injuries to Kurt Tippett he’s been brought into the side and looked great, now this week Callum Sinclair has been ruled out of the side, potentially for the rest of the home and away season. Sam is now the Swans #1 big man and I believe he’ll thrive with the responsibility. Each week he’s looked better and better. Whether it be at R3 or F7 he gives great flexibility and scoring depth.
It was always gonna happen
At this time of the year it happens, every year it does and without doubt it’ll happen again over the next 5 weeks. What am I talking about? ‘The late out’ tweet across the weekend or a Thursday night squad announcement and you see the reason of ‘managed’ in brackets next to your premium players name. In the past 24 hours Matthew Boyd, Matthew Suckling , Stefan Martin and even for AFLFantasy coaches Jamds Kelly (he’s a defender in that format) have learnt a very valuable lesson, that you’ll need trades late in the season & good bench depth. Without one of these your a chance some weeks to cop a 0.
While carnage rounds like this can be a good thing (as it exposes squad depth and those who’ve been patient with trades and/or have strong bench depth can really come out on top. Where possible all of the above mentioned are either one week injuries or restings and should be likely to play next week, so where you can if encourage you to hold. However, if your playing a league match up that can determine if you make finals or not, perhaps even in contention overall rankings choosing to trade may just be aggressive move you need to make. In all honesty it’s very team by team scenario, but remember it’ll be very unlikely that we won’t have another week like this. So think through the scenario wisely.
Your finals match up or overall rankings success over the next few weeks could very well be decided by your bench depth. Yes points on field right now are king, but don’t be naive you’ll very likely need your bench depth to cover you, cause right now plenty of coaches are needing it. I hope for your sake you’ve got it.