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tbetta’s Bullets: Round 20

The last League head-to-head matches are complete, and it’s time to get serious! In this week’s Bullets, I give the Weekly Wrap, and look at Fantasy Floggings, the Rising Star, the Makers and Breakers, and an extended look forward to Round 21 and our first final!

  • Round Robin

That’s it. All gone. For those who have League matches as their main focus (and even for those who don’t) Round 20 was the last match-up for the year. It was also the last chance to choose a smoky Captain. The last chance to experiment with your line-up. The last chance you get to watch a game of football to see who actually wins. The last chance you’ll have to see your partner over the weekend…. Because now, it’s serious.

Hopefully you all had a win this week, and were able to patch up that top 4 or top 8 spot, although common sense says that that probably only worked out for half of you. It’s the thought that counts anyway…. Par this week was about 2300, which would have had you in the top 9000 or so for the round. It’s not the same scoring that we’ve seen for the last few weeks, with a couple of key outs and some popular underperformers in the backline and rucks especially. But more on that later.

  • Colinoscopy

We were all a bit pissed off when we learned that Sylvia was dropped this week, and then subsequently named in the Emergencies. Many coaches, including myself, thought that meant he’d be a late inclusion and therefore placed him on the field with plenty of cover. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) some had Mzungu (114) as that cover, and spent a sleepless night praying that Sylvia picked up a bad case of the runs, or got a massive forehead pimple (like Ablett did last year) and was too embarrassed to play.

Ultimately, Melbourne reported no late changes, meaning Colon was off to play in the Magoos.  While this was good news in the short run for many, it’s bad news for all in the long run, as he only managed 7 disposals and a goal for Casey.

Surely we won’t see him in a Melbourne Guernsey this week?

UPDATE: Apparently my info was wrong (there will be an internal inquiry done) and here’s the real story. Apparently he played a shut-down role perfectly in the first half, then got loose in the 2nd to kick a goal aswell.  Contradictory to earlier reports, he had more than 7 disposals, collecting at least 16.

Surely we will see him in a Melbourne guernsey this week?

  • Rising Star 

The race is heating up, with Dyson Heppell and Luke Shuey both in great form at the business end of the year. Some bookies have Heppell as certain as $1.50 with Shuey at $3.20, but this is probably to cover their projected losses from bets already placed over the year. BetAustralias’ odds of $2.65 and $2.75 respectively is probably more indicative of the tightness of the medal race this year.

There’s been a lot of talk about the criteria, and whether the fact that Heppell is a first-year player and Shuey is a 3rd year player should be taken into account. Apparently it isn’t – all eligible candidates (basically you must have played 10 games or less prior to Round 1, whilst being less than 21 years of age) are treated equally. Let’s take a look at the head-to-head stats:

HEPPELL

vs

SHUEY

19

Games

18

21.4

Disposals

20.1

6.0

Marks

2.9

2.7

Tackles

3.6

2.6

Inside 50s

4.5

0.1

Goals

1.1

0.5

Goal Assists

0.8

83.3

Dream Team

81.7

83.2

Supercoach

91.4

3-6 votes

Projected Brownlow

5-8 votes

A lot of these discrepancies can be attributed to playing in different positions – Heppell plays Half-back/Midfield, so it makes sense he leads in disposals and marks. Shuey on the other hand plays Half-forward/Midfield, so he leads in I50s, Goals and Goal Assists. It gets interesting towards the bottom of the table. Heppell leads marginally in Dream Team, while Shuey takes the cake easily in Supercoach. Shuey also leads slightly in projected Brownlow votes (according to PhantomBrownlowMedal.com.au).

SC usually rewards better users of the football and more effective players – which is probably the best objective criteria we have for the Rising Star. Although recent history says this isn’t always the case – Hanneberry won last year’s award with an average of 80.0, beaten only by Tom Rockliff who averaged 86.0. Rockliff ended up finishing 3rd.

But here at DT Talk we are only interested in all things Dream Team. The AFL DT NAB Rising Star award easily goes to Heppell, who started the year at $132,500 and has increased by 188k, becoming a permanent starter for most backlines. Shuey on the other hand is ineligible for this prestigious award, having started the year at $280,300, although he’s pushed that to $313,000 as of Round 20.

  • Hey Mickey

When Mick Malthouse talks, people listen. Compared to when Jeff Kennett talks, and people throw rubbish at him. At least I imagine they do.

This week the big issue on Mick’s mind is the widening gap between the top teams and the cellar-dwellers. It’s been on show in the last few weeks, with record beatings at the hands of the competition elite in the Cats and Pies. He argues it’s a blight on the game, which is probably true, but what does it mean for Dream Team?

It means points galore – as long as you have players in the winning team. Of the 100+ point thrashings since Round 14, the average winning team score is a huge 1938, while the losers average 1284. That’s an extra 28 points per player!

In terms of the magical ton, the discrepancies are huge. The losing team on average only boasts 1.33 players in a 100 points belting, while the victors have a cool 7.5 players per game over that mark! And of those games, the lowest amount of tons was 5 players.

But what we are concerned with are our guns – how do they perform in they demolitions? The average top 3 score over these games is a huge 139.0 DT points – so if you see a thrashing in the future, expect some monster scores!

  • Makers

Swan was the most-picked Captain this week, and for good reason. His recent form has been scintillating, and his history against Port is legendary. Both continued at the weekend, with the Collingwood gun collecting 47 touches and booting 3 goals on his way to a round-high 155 DT points. He yearns for the big stage – Friday night against the Saints is a perfect opportunity for him to re-stamp his authority on the competition.

It’s unfortunate Heath Scotland has a bye during DT finals, because otherwise he would be a lock in defence this season. His lowest score all year has been 74, at an average of 101.3. That’s improved to 121.3 over his last three rounds – like I said, he would normally be a no-brainer. This week he had 148, a season-best for him.

It’s time to get on the Goodes Train! We all know he steps it up towards the end of the year, and here it is in motion. Round 20’s huge 139 included 29 touches and 3 goals, and most importantly, follows 150 from the previous week. He’s now priced at $393,300 with a BE of only 22, so it’s now or never!

The interview with Tom Rockliff a couple of weeks ago proved he is a good bloke, but his scoring over the last month has proven he is a scoring machine! He’s a very unique addition to the teams that have him, giving them a healthy edge given his recent form. This week’s 138 brings his average over his last five to 119.4, and he’s topped the ton in his last seven! Great pick-up.

With Ablett, Boyd and Sylvia noticeable absentees from the majority of fantasy teams this week, it forced many coaches to turn to DPP Docker Tendai Mzungu. The floppy-haired wingman didn’t disappoint, living up to his pre-season reputation by scoring 114, his best effort to date. Others turned to Smith (95), D. Swallow (70) or Howe (67), but the crazy Zimbabwean was the only one who truly satisfied.

1.  Zac Smith   40

2.  Broughton   57

3.  Birchall   63

4.  A. Swallow   52

5.  Knights   23

Now before anyone gets too excited, I realise Goddard (69) and Cox (57) both had shockers. But the whole point of a ‘Breaker’ is someone who ruins your week compared to everyone else – these guys are in everyone’s teams, so there’s really no point in discussing them.

Given his impressive rookie season, it feels a bit wrong giving Zmith the dishonour of being the Number 1 Breaker for Round 20. But when a big chunk of coaches have already upgraded their 2nd ruck, 40 points hurts a hell of a lot more for those who haven’t. He was ‘only’ playing Geelong, who were without first-choice ruckman Ottens. The same thing happened earlier in the year, and the youngster scored 88 that week.

Broughton is back to his old ways – question is, for how long? A niggling injury picked up in the final quarter of Fremantle’s clash with Hawthorn meant that the proven accumulator was sent back to the back pocket. A position where he is notorious for poor fantasy scoring, particularly evident earlier in the year. So it was no surprise 57 was all he managed against the Saints on Friday Night. Hopefully this is a one-week thing, I don’t know if his owners have the strength of mind to take another setback with the defender.

Shame on you Birchall for convincing us you were a premium this year. The Hawks’ backman had a great mid-season patch, bumping his average up to 93 after Round 14. Since then, he hasn’t managed a ton, averaging only 75.2 in that time. Against the Roos this week he only scored 67, which means that like Coles, his price is down, down, and staying down. And it’s down for a reason.

There’s no denying that Andrew Swallow is a good player, but it’s games like these that prevent him from being a great player. Spitter was well tagged by Jordan Lewis, only managing 13 touches and 52 DT points against the Hawks. The fact he was coming off three tons makes it even worse – you need consistency in this business.

It’s a tough call, but the injured Chris Knights rounds out the Breakers for Round 20. A week after tricking everyone he was back (and he probably was) with 114, he injures himself, stranded on 23 as he slipped on the red vest. With the help of temp coach Mark Bickley he could have been a great cheap unique forward, but it wasn’t to be.

  • Week One Shorts

Okay, down to business. First week of finals, and what’s on the horizon for us?

    • Obviously North Melbourne has the bye, which means no Harvey, Swallow or Petrie (or Richardson or Harper!). This is where those who didn’t bite on Petrie have a slight advantage this week.
    • Early tribunal news is that Franklin has been reported, and Petrie and Harvey may be in some trouble for Round 22. Franklin can be covered this week if he misses, and let’s be honest, with his shocking record, he isn’t much chance to get off. But if Harvey and Petrie miss it might be wise to trade them – they would miss at least half of the remaining games in that scenario. Adam McPhee will also certainly miss, but really, who cares? Goodes’ bump on Monfries will also be scrutinised, but a combination of there being nothing in it, Monfries’ diving tendencies and Goodes’ protected status will mean it will be thrown out.
    • Monday rumour-mill has it that Knights is still likely to play this week, and Callinan has declared himself fit for this week also. It was also tweeted Sylvia is in the mix despite his terrible game in the VFL at the weekend, and Cox has brushed off any injury whisperings. Ablett is another who is apparently cherry ripe for this week after missing with hamstring soreness, but wait for Thursday teams before you get too excited.
    • Let’s not forget the dreaded issue of Resting. I think it will be huge this year, with the unprecedented subs rule increasing fatigue for players in the modern game. Hawks this week against Port is one to watch, as is the Round 24 clash between the Pies and Cats for Collingwood players. Geelong stars not so much, as they have been rested throughout the year and get the bye in Round 23. Still, be on your toes… Keep those trades!

Whether you are in the top 4 or 5th to 8th, winning this week is essential for your finals chances. Top 4 contenders earn a week off (and skip Geelong’s bye!), while the rest need a win to survive.

Weighing up a trade will be particularly hard this week, because it’s hard to know how long you’ll be in the race. You don’t want to use your trades too early, but no one wants to be bailed out of the finals hunt with 2 or 3 trades up their sleeve!

My tip of the week: Upgrade your rucks if you haven’t already. That’s a guaranteed 50 point bonus right there.

Until next week.

 

Also, quick fun fact: Chris Judd has already been paid out for the Brownlow by one bookmaker, who has him at 30+ votes! C. Judd, 3 votes.

 

Tweet me: @tbetta9

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