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League win: Round 11 – Sacrifice Round

Tuan has been having a think about how to maximise your chances of winning your league by sacrificing a round. For those who are looking at just knocking off their mates, then this is a must read.

Most of my family and friends have asked me what’s the best structure to use this year with the BYE rounds if they were just trying to win their League. I told them they can’t go wrong with the standard Guns & Rookies strategy but then I started thinking a little more….

Most people will try and spread their teams across the BYE and try to minimise the number of donuts.

On FanFooty Monty wrote an article about possibly only using 6 trades to not eat a donut but you would then have to structure 3 of your Rucks and FWDs accordingly and hope that Lycett plays.

So I thought from a different angle and came up with my “Sacrifice Round 11 Strategy” where you load up on Round 11 BYE players.

Why Round 11? – Because most people will try and really minimise the number of Round 11 players in their teams to 2 per position and possibly have a full squad for that first week of Byes – but there is less chance that they are able to do that for either Round 12 or 13 – as per Monty’s strategy.

I think if you sacrificed Round 11 – you would definitely win Round 12 and 13 since for each of those rounds your opponent will most likely have at least 1 donut – you’d have to say a lot more – when have people ever had a full playing bench in fantasy footy – probably only in the first few rounds – very unlikely for Round 12 or 13. So I’m assuming people may have 2 or 3 donuts – possibly 200-300 points down from their average just on that – but then they’re also playing more cheapies from their bench as well – so that’s another maybe 100 points. So all up 300-400 down on their average – makes it an easy win for you if you have a full squad.

Here’s my round 11 Sacrifice Team. As you can see – you can still have one GUN for each position from Round 12 & 13 Bye players – but by doing that – you’ll need to make sure the Round 11 rookies/mid-pricers in your team are all playing. The less Round 12/13 Guns in your team – the less need for this.

If you have rookies/mid-pricers from Round 12/13 bye – you need to make sure that you have traded them out by Round 12. Also – if you do choose1 or 2 Round 12/13 Guns – you will be limited to not being able to upgrade to anymore until after the BYE Rounds.

As you can see – you still have a solid structure of Guns (14 in total if you count Doughty & J. Brown as Guns).

Total spent:

Defenders: $2,501,100
Midfielders: $2,657,600
Rucks: $1,207,600
Forwards: $2,395,800
TOTAL: $8,762,100
Cap left: $17,900


  • Less of a range of Guns to choose from for your starting Squad – Slight weakness in your DEF & FWD is noticeable.
  • Chance of a slightly lower average score for the First 11 Rounds – without the likes of Lids in your DEF & some of the Mid-price MID/FWD breakout propositions this year in your FWD line could mean that you might be behind the eight ball before the Byes come around. But then again – this could be a good thing not having them  – anything can happen to these players as well – with Leagues – it’s all about the Structure of your team for the first H & A (17 matches) – and less about Guns in your team – only affects finals…
  • Finals – you’ve got your team limited to a lot more Round 11 Bye players so there is less chance you will have all the Top 6/7 players per position – i.e. From the above team – you really can’t see Doughty & Giansiracusa being in the Top 6/7 players for their positions – but, how many of your teams in finals in the previous years have had all the Top 6/7 players for each position. Having PODs in Finals may help.
  • Virtually no chance at winning the car.


  • Pretty much guaranteed 2 wins for Rounds 12 & 13 since you have a much higher chance of having no doughnuts during these rounds and having a much stronger team because only maybe one Gun (if you have picked one from Round 12/13) will be missing – if you haven’t then – like the Rucks above – then even better.
  • Rookies – most of them are from Round 11 due to GWS – so if you haven’t been able to trade them out for whatever reason before the Byes – having them available for Round 12/13 will help – also – many of the downgrade targets will most likely come from GWS as well.
  • The BIG ONE – not needing to waste trades – Your opponents will surely use between 5-9 trades during these rounds to minimise their doughnuts – and hence the art of trading will go out the window for a lot of your opponents with them having to make wasted sideway trades. You can continue with building a good solid team structure full of Guns for the finals – the trades that you save as everyone knows are absolute gold during DT Finals.

No chance I’ll be using it – I’m going for overall this year. First time I’ve decided to put in a long preseason for fantasy footy – I’m hoping it pays off.



  1. imofm

    February 8, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Interesting read…but i would never do it.

  2. hyperswivel

    February 8, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I really think it’s laughable that people are planning on those bye rounds before the season even starts. There will be plenty of carnage between now and then to ruin the best laid plans. I’m planning for round one, and even the NAB cup is going to impact that greatly, so forget round 11.

    • MJ7

      February 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Agree – bye rounds are not impacting my selections for 3 months time. Burning trades to cover a zero or two might be the difference between tenth and first, but won’t significantly impact your overall position. Luck (breakouts/freak injuries) plays more of a role than these byes anyway.

      Excellent write-up though, and a fresh point of view is always good.

    • tuppy

      February 8, 2012 at 11:22 am


    • Kuruki

      February 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      You should consider the bye rounds when you are selecting your premium players. If you went with Swan Pendels Selwood Barlow in your midfield, you will be eating 2 big fat mid donuts in round 12. if you went Swan Rockliff Murphy Barlow, you would still have a awesome midfield and not eat those 2 expensive donuts in round 12.

    • hatters

      February 8, 2012 at 6:31 pm


  3. adzman

    February 8, 2012 at 9:29 am

    part of me thinks too hell with planning for the bye…. just take it as it comes.. but the other part of me thinks that all the muppets who wont care about their team will be doing that and i want to try and get a leg up against them in the bye weeks… but how!? Is it really worth weaking your squad for 11 weeks just to escape 2-3 zeros? hmmm

  4. Pittbull

    February 8, 2012 at 9:44 am

    My team will be planned for the highest possible scores come round 1, though I’m obviously thinking about how it will look come the bye rounds. In round 8/9/10 I will start planning for the byes which with luck might need only 2 or 3 trades to get the structure I think will be best for overall score. I’m planning to have a full strength round 11 team, and in each of round 12 and 13 one donut and two premiums benched (3 trades in each of 12 or 13). I haven’t been able to minimise the damage any better than that no matter how much i’ve thought about it. No matter what I do it’s at least 6 trades and more likely another 3 or so to plan for it

  5. Ridley U

    February 8, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Interesting in theory and a very good read but not for me.

    I believe that Sam Reid will have the round 11 bye as not round 12. Why wouldn’t you have a couple of extra mids that would their bye in round 13. I really don’t see the necessity of having all bar one midfielder having the bye in round 11. By all means, sacrifice the round, but you still want to maximise your points in case something freaky happens e.g. – opponent has Ablett captain and he goes off injured in the first quarter with a combined score of 6.

    The backs look worse with the inclusion of Doughty. If you swap him out for a Murphy, or Waters it would appear better on paper.

    To have 12 donuts in one round doesn’t make sense.

  6. Ronaldo

    February 8, 2012 at 10:18 am

    It could pay off for that one round win, but if that means your team is weakened for the rest of the season with all the round 11 bye players then it won’t really work.

    I’m just going to tough it out and cop all my donuts (which will be about 3-4 each round) but most teams will do this imo so it’s really up to how strong your team is.

    • eeepobreci

      February 8, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Most teams in your crappy ff leagues!

    • MrCharisma

      February 8, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Agreed. Probable round 12 & 13 wins but this will mean more losses throughout the season. Not a viable option imo.

      • MJ7

        February 8, 2012 at 11:24 am

        My first team has 8 of my 14 starting guns with the round 13 bye. And they are proper guns, not just me picking them because they happen to share a bye. So I might be ‘tanking’ round 13, but I plan to have a ripper side for every other week.

        • Mucho-grande

          February 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm


  7. Dunders

    February 8, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Like most people commenting so far, round 11 is yonks away. I don’t know what all the hype is about I’m going for the strongest team off the bat. A lot can happen between now and round 11, but just need to manage the team accordingly. I believe you can get through the multi byes without doughnuts.

    • Kuruki

      February 8, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      Im loving all the comments about not planning for the bye. It makes my limited planning seem so much more beneficial.
      There is noway you can plan perfectly for the bye from round one. It’s just not going to happen. But there are some very good rules of thumb that you should be sticking to. People that totally disregard these little gem’s will be eating some serious donuts. Tanking for me is not an option, as i want to rank as high as i can overall.

      Saying you will fix your team structure by trading leading up to the bye’s is a risky option. You could be forcing yourself to trade rook’s that are not primed, just so you can get closer to the structure you could have had from round one.

      My planning is not extensive, i have been pretty flexible with my rookie selections. My premium picks however, are where i have been more cautious.
      I have a stacked round one midfield. Swan GAJ Rockliff Murphy Thomo Barlow. That’s two players from each bye round. I dont think i have limited my scoring too much at all by sticking to some basic rules.
      Disregard the bye’s completely, and you may find things get allot worse then you can imagine, come round 11.

      • ncd2888

        February 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm

        put your side up …… how can you afford to have that midfield without hurting other areas

  8. MC

    February 8, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I think rather then tailoring your team to loose one round but win the others. I think you should start with what ever team you think will get you the best score then trade with the bye rounds in mind to then loose one out of the three.

    Basically what people are saying above. However if I were to go along with this method I would preffer to loose round 12 or 13 as I think a majority of better premo players come from this group. (Collingwood Geelong Essendon Fremantle) you could make a pretty good team with a core of those players.

    • Ridley U

      February 8, 2012 at 11:18 am

      +1 – pick the teams that are more DT relevant then sacrifice that round. Great point MC

  9. tkol

    February 8, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I’d rather give up DT than have Doughty in my side!

    • Ridley U

      February 8, 2012 at 11:19 am

      +100 couldn’t agree more :-)

    • gruff griffo

      February 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      TKOL….you crack me up and I reckon 99/100 comments are pure genius or the funniest thing on the site each day :))

    • Tales

      February 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm

      +1 agreed A team from the round 11 bye would be horrendous and I couldn’t look at it for 11 weeks.

    • NoLIMITS

      February 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Why does everyone suck up this guys arse??

      Wouldnt class that comment as “genius”

      • gruff griffo

        February 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm

        ????? I said laugh OR genius :)

    • The x Factor

      February 8, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      haha tkol, your’e so funny!

  10. johnmorgan

    February 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I read too much into it last year and it cost me in the end. Wanted Shiels and Savage in my midfield from the start but went against because of “team balance”, not wanting too many from same club.

    I won’t be making that mistake again – as someone else has said here, round 11 is a long way away.

  11. Kevin

    February 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I’m planning my side around the whole year, not just the bye rounds. I want to try and have the best team I can have without compromising it for three weeks. This may mean I’ll lose points during the byes but they can be more than made up for by picking the right players over the course of the year.
    The byes will be taken into some consideration but won’t be the determining factor. I have the same view of using DPP rookies in the midfield. I’ll pick who I think is the best player in that position. If they are DPP that will be a bonus.
    Time will tell.

  12. Ben

    February 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I’m not really pre-planning for the byes, i’ll just cross that bridge as i get to it.

  13. Tim

    February 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    To be honest, I can’t see this team doing better in leagues than a standard overall team.

    I agree you will probably get 2 wins in 12 & 13, but also a definite loss in 11, which means you will be 2-1 through the bye rounds. In the context of a 17 game season, thats hardly overwhelming. In all the other rounds (especially rounds 3-10) you will be giving away so many points with players like Gia and Doughty that in a competitive league you would struggle hard to make the finals.

    After the bye you will have more trades left than average, but I can’t see that compensating for what you are giving away.

  14. 7ator

    February 8, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Has anyone else noticed that in the player profiles in DT, under venue history there is Gabba and The Gabba?


      February 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm


  15. Chris

    February 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Hey guys, just started a new DT league, was hoping to fill it with 17 others who have some sort of an idea about how to play DT, considering most of my mates still think Angus Monfries and Luke Power should be first selected… Hoping for a top 100 league ranking! Expected average per week 2100+! League code 929216. Would love to get Warnie, Roy or Calv in there as well!

    • Milk_Lizard

      February 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      Just putting your league code on this site is definitely not going to attract people that would take you to a top 100 league ranking. There are just as many muppets on here as there are decent DTers.

      • salza

        February 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

        which do you think you are?

        • Chris

          February 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm

          Yeah you’re probably right, but im at least hoping if people who are logging on to this site have more of a clue than others… they at least know how to type dream team into Google!

  16. giants

    February 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I think if you were to employ this strategy, tanking in Round 13 makes more sense. There are better premiums available in round 13, so your team won’t be as weak from the outset and you will have had time to upgrade to some round 11 and round 12 premiums to minimise percentage loss.

    You don’t have to worry about your opponent having a full team in round 11, because even if it is more likely that your opponent will have 22 players that round, they will most likely be missing key components of their team (say Boyd, Leuenberger, Brown and all thier GWS rookies), so you’ll still be at an advantage.

    • kelonwheels

      February 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      +2 first paragraph. +0.75 2nd paragraph

  17. Groyne

    February 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Last year was only my 2nd year and I played Supercoach, and playing for overall, so I am not sure if the following helps. While I finished in the top 30, I failed because I left too many trades too late. The top teams virtually finished trading around round 14! I also failed because I choked but that’s another story. So I will be planning to minimise exposure to rd11, trade 9 up to rd11, and 7 during 11-13, and try not to choke. But that is my ‘2 bobs worth’.

    • kelonwheels

      February 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      I hope that’s your real name

  18. tradejunkie

    February 8, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Interesting article. Gave this idea some thought myself, but looking at bye teams/prices I also came to the conclusion that missing out on 2/3 of the roster was too extreme a price to pay. Even with a very strong round 11 bias, I’d be suprised if you didn’t need to trade anyway to avoid donuts over the remaining byes and make it all worth your while.

    Seems as if the key is to make the bye trades count – you want as many legitimate upgrades as possible, taking a donut here or there and nabbing those premiums that have already had a bye. Likely your opponents will likely be taking a hit as well, so I don’t see that sideways trades should be all that necessary (unless your defecit is extreme).

    As a result my current thinking is to have a slight bias toward bye week 12 and 13 players – particularly the better round 13 rookies. They will have had time to fatten into round 11 premiums as I trade through the byes, but means I will have to forgo starting with all of Thompson, Rocky and the Berger until then. That’s about all of the consideration I am willing to give the bye rounds in my initial squad…. the GWS rooks being in round 11 does make it a bit tricky though, they had better fatten up quickly!

    Be interested to hear to what extent people are planning for the byes in their initial squad…

  19. Aus vs Magpies

    February 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm



    • Kuruki

      February 8, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      Haha It’s mister league stalker!!!! Your a trippy character. I wanted them to leave you in purely for the chat box banter haha.

      • Kuruki

        February 8, 2012 at 8:17 pm

        Who gave you the code?

  20. Spiff

    February 8, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Ive been mulling this idea over for a little while now (easy to say after the event) but Im still no closer to a decision. Why? I have not finallised my team as many will not unit final teams are released and we work out which rooks get the nod. Great article, keep em comin

    • Spiff

      February 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      Oops, until

  21. Birdy

    February 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    just to scrutinize slightly, you would ideally want your ruck rookies to not have round 11 byes so they still play then, as coz and berger will hopefully be fine for 12 and 13, however you have to have giles and orren i guess..

  22. spudda057

    February 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Did anyone else notice that Billie Smedts is down as a round 11 bye… Its actually round 12 :D

    • spudda057

      February 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm

      And that Treloar is actually 11 and not 13.. am I blind or am I actually getting this right?

      • ncd2888

        February 9, 2012 at 12:20 am

        the person that wrote this is blind…….

  23. Dylan

    February 8, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Make use of the DPP’s they are gold. The new trading rules should be important through the byes as well.

  24. Spiff

    February 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I agree dylan the DDP’s are gold and I intend to upgrade to many of these as we get going. To maximise my points early on I have the usual suspects running around the middle (which are not DPP’s) and plan to turn over my midfield rooks to some DPP’s. My only concern is clubs will use their bye’s plus a game either side to freshen up some players for the run home and all the planning we do goes to shit. But thats just another challenge and we are all in the same boat. Also thanks for the slight scrutiny Birdy and I have those ruck rooks. Im either going the Sandi/Giles (rowe, Big O or Derickx) or SandiMac (rowe, Big O or Derickx) I just cant decide at present where to spend the $170K if I go the first option. But I still have 44 days to decide.

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