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DT 101

Dream Team 101: Downgrading and Upgrading

It’s time for another post which is very relevant at this time of the Dream Team season because this is how you ultimately make your team better. Some have already been doing it, but now is the time that you can find some great value and get the most bang for your buck!

Your ultimate aim at the end of the season, whether you are playing for a league win or for the car is to try to have the best team you possibly can in Round 22. In a perfect world, you would have the best 7 defender, best 6 midfelders, best 2 rucks and best 7 forwards. But of course, it will never end up like that – unless you have a creative accountant that the Melbourne Storm have hired.

So lets look at some simple definitions:


To downgrade a player, you are looking at trading out a player for one of lesser value. The best example of this is looking at cash cows. This week, I am trading out Ben Nason (priced at $227,900) for Jeromey Webberley ($89,500). This adds $138,400 to my DT bank account. I’m a trade down for this cash, but in my opinion, Webberley has pretty good job security and is my 9th defender anyway.


When looking at upgrading a player, you are getting a player who will end up scoring/averaging more than a current player. The best example of this is looking at a maxed out cash cow and turning them into a premium player. I have Jack Trengove ($283,700) who, in my opinion, has peaked with his price. There may be some more movement, but nothing too significant. I want to turn him into a premium player. With my $138,400 in the bank, I will add that to Jack’s price and be able to upgrade him to Sam Mitchell ($416,600), who is down on value and capable of an average of about 20-30 more points per week than Trengove.

If you play it smart with your downgrade/upgrades, you can turn your peaked cash cows into some absolute jets.

The problem some people have with downgrading is that they look to downgrade dudes who are on their ground. For example, some might want to offload someone like Hayden Ballantyne this week for Danny Hughes. All well and good, but it’s probably not getting you very far if that means Hughes (or maybe a Gumbleton) is going to now be on your ground. Downgrades work best if it’s happening on your bench.

What this looks like for the Warne Dawgs

Here’s my current team ahead of Round 9.

I have a few dollars in the bank, and while I’m doing my downgrade of Nason to Webberley, I am actually going to upgrade Trengove to Leigh Montagna. It’s upgrading season. I have also been able to turn Mark Seaby into Dean Cox and Dustin Martin into Lenny Hayes over the last fortnight. While this has got me down a bit in trades, my team should be scoring very well over the next few weeks.

The scary thought is that I will now be down to 9 trades (with approx $30K in the bank).

This year I’ve decided that I would like to keep Matt Maguire as my permanent 8th defender Webberley as 9th) and Scott Gumbleton as my permanent 8th forward (Hughes as 9th). This is important as there is great job security for these two. I worry about my midfield bench of Ben Howlett and Luke Shuey.

With 9 trades left, I am going to have to ride out a few blokes who really aren’t the best dudes I can have in their position. My midfield is strong, I love that, my defenders are solid… I would love Brendan Goddard in there (probably at the expense of Tadhg Kennelly). I don’t mind my forward, but the bottom three of James Podsiadly (yes, he is a gun), Jack Ziebell and Robbie Gray aren’t what I really wanted there. Hopefully Ziebell will back up his good score last week (without Liam Anthony in the side) and Gray can actually string a few quarters together. He was a silly/frustrating pick – but, would have probably been Barry Hall or Paul Medhurst if it wasn’t him. If I get lucky later in the season, I will probably try to upgrade at least one forward. Will need a whole lot of luck with 9 trades left!

That’s a fair bit of dribbling on about my team, but hopefully you got something out of it! Especially those rookie coaches who might do things a little differently next year!

I think those who haven’t done as well as others with selecting the right cash cows – for both onfield and bench positions – will be starting to struggle now, unless they get very lucky with some sideways trades!





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