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DT 101

How To Win a DT League

People play Dream Team for various reasons. They may have played it for years and live for it. They may have heard others in the office talking about it and decided to give it ago. They may play it so every game of the weekend has a bit of interest (yes, even the GWS games). Are you playing for a league win? The Dream Team Guru looks at some strategy for you.

People play Dream Team for various reasons. They may have played it for years and live for it.  They may have heard others in the office talking about it and decided to give it ago.  They may play it so every game of the weekend has a bit of interest (yes, even the GWS games).  No matter what your motivation, one thing has probably become clear by now.  You are either in the top 1-2% of coaches and a decent chance of winning overall or you’re not.  If you are like most of us and can’t beat everybody, all is not lost.  It is ok to simply concentrate on a league and try to take it out. If you concentrate on winning a league, a whole new strategy comes into play with your trades and what you should do week to week.  Below is some advice on how to win a league.

First of all, you might be in multiple leagues.  This can become confusing if you want to win.  I suggest concentrating on one league only.  Pick a league that is either filled with most of your mates or a league you think you have a decent shot at winning.  Keep an eye on the other leagues you are in, but don’t worry if you lose – you have a goal and that it to win a specific league.  Who knows – you might fluke a second premiership too!

OK – now you have a league that you want to win.  Your next goal is to make the finals.  The higher you finish, the more likely you are to qualify for the double chance.  However, DT is different to regular football and teams that qualify for the double chance do have a tendency to lose both of their finals.  The reason?  They have burnt trades to get into a high position and will have to play 0’s in the finals.  This will get you beaten.

So we want to qualify for finals but have trades up our sleeve.

To make the finals, you need to win more games than you loose.  Have a look at the average scores of your league and see who you realistically think you can beat already.  If your squad is stronger than theirs, you won’t need to trade when you take them on.  Even if you have injuries, if your remaining squad is stronger than theirs, you can save that trade for later in the season.

The Dream Team website show you who you are about to take on.  If you click on their name you can see their entire squad.  Make an informed judgement – can I beat this team or not.  If I make a trade, have I more of a chance of winning, or will they beat me anyway?  If they will beat you anyway, don’t waste a trade – you don’t have to win every game, just enough to qualify for the finals.

To win a league, I advise only using trades when you have long term or season ending injuries or when it will make a potential loss into a guaranteed win.

Remember – the longer the season goes, the shorter the amount of time to recover.  If a player get a 5 week injury in week 20, it means that they won’t play for you again that season.  If it happens in round 10, different story.

Entering finals, it is ideal to have as close to 8 trades left – this leaves you 2 trades a week during the final series.  There is an element of risk here too.  If your team qualifies 8th and fails to win, you are out of the league with 6 trades in the bank.  I say this is a risk worth taking.

Remember, other players you are playing won’t have the same motivation, and have probably used all their trades in order to stay a highly ranked team.  If they have used all their trades when it is time to play them in the finals, odds are you can field a stronger team.

So remember these rules: trade only when you have to.  If it’s an “8 point” game and will make a big difference to your team consider it.  Pick the teams you can beat, pick the teams that you can’t and don’t waste futile trades.  Qualify for the finals and then wow the opposition with some monster trades at finals time!

Keep up to date with Dream Team websites for trade targets so you make the right trades when it matters.

Good luck with your league!




  1. Lee

    April 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    awesome just registered first time poster long time reader

  2. blackandwhitenoise

    April 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    are league games scheduled for bye rounds as well?

    • PurpleArmy (aka Space Goats)

      April 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Yep, donut feat for everyone! :)

    • Harps

      April 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      yeah they are this year

    • DucKing

      April 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm


  3. Barony

    April 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    To all the Karmichael Hunt’s who joined my $100 cash league and then refused to pay up at the start, join the queue the far queue.

    I got 8 out of 18. Serously who whould pay at the end, it has to be the start.

    • Zan

      April 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      what dogs

    • giants

      April 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      You should have admin powers to boot them from the league, right? You’d need to find replacements though, otherwise it will fill up with randoms.

    • giants

      April 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      Oh, and Captain Hindsight here, remember next year not to give out the league code until you’ve been paid.

    • PointlessExercise

      April 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Same shit happened to me, I was taking the monies and giving the code got through about half and then some duck went and gave the rest of the shortlisted players the code, and after they saw their first round scores they refused to pay to play, I don’t want any old randoms coming in and sharking us all though.

  4. Rambo Tambo

    April 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    League is always my first goal but I do want to rank well also to earn some respect. This is going to be hard to do come the bye rounds as I only intend to upgrade those rounds and not sideways trade unless I see it as a long-term improvement. However I do tend to make my move after those byes when everyone else runs out of trades.

    • Dave

      April 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      8 trades left by rd 20.I would like to see that!
      I think 4 would be the outside.
      I play to get as close to the FJ as possible.
      And have a crack at the Eliminator.
      Lets get a petition organised for more prizes fellas.
      Surely top 10 should receive a prize.
      assist coach this year up from 10 to 20 dollars.
      i wonder how many coaches have signed up.
      Overall its a great game and beats watching all the other crap on the box.

      • benno

        April 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm

        agreed – 4 trades is good number to aim for – 8 is redonculous!
        i agree with more prizes… DT is the “official” fantasy game of the AFL… you should see bigger prizes over all…

        “thou other fanatsy game of whoms name we shall not speak of” puts up a huge cash prize – advertising on the footy show + Fox footy channel and other bits and pieces… where as DT doesnt get much promotion at all.

        i reckon more focus on this and get ppl signing up in larger number which turns into more $$ spent on ass. coach + more exposure for sponosors which equals more possible revenue which can be then turned into bigger prizes…

        then the circle begins again the following year – more sign ups – more revenue – even bigger prizes…

        first – sack Dr Dream team and get the DT talk boys the official “Faces of AFL DreamTeam”…

        • Apache

          April 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm

          +1 benno

          • ManZzZoid

            April 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

            Scrap that one of 10 prizes to make a league first, $1000 each.. stupid prize. Add it to top 10 or top 10 weekly $100 or something.

      • madhawk

        April 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm

        In saying that my bank got a $1000 dollar deposit yesterday, from the afl courtesy of the create a league competition. Thanks afl :)
        Having broughton, golby and shaw it’s probably the only thing I will win all year haha

        • NT MAGGOTS

          April 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm

          Congrats dude

      • Rambo Tambo

        April 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm

        Yeah 4 is plenty really, got a bit of a plan to save trades later on and hell yeah more prizes! Getting top ten is a huge effort and should definitely be rewarded

  5. kenjo

    April 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    hey guys, what do you think about broughton to adcock and darley to clarke??? more importantly do you think the first one is necessary? the way i see it, adcock has been released into midfield and will score well this year, whereas broughton is used as a shutdown player on dangerous small forwards. so far this year he has gone to stevie j and o’keefe. in the coming weeks freo v stkilda (milne), carlton (betts & garlett), port (gray), hawthorn (rioli) and so on, meaning he will probably keep up the 60 avg for most of the year. what are peoples thoughts???

    • Robbie

      April 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Have you considered Waters instead of Adcock? Adcock can be a bit injury prone (although so can Waters) & he can be a bit inconsistent. I was at the West Coast game last week & Waters is playing a similar role to Suckling of Hawthorn, in that his long, left foot kicking is being used to set up attacks off the back flank. By memory he had about 18 kicks & 1 hand pass, which is great for DT! He’s cheap as well, so you can pocket the cash for future trades.

      • GrainFedBeef

        April 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm

        Did you see Waters shirtfront………he does play a risky aggressive style of football…………was legit but a little higher and 2-3 weeks annual leave. Will be interesting to see if the risky players like Waters, grimes pay off this year. Something to consider.

        • imofm

          April 17, 2012 at 10:56 am

          You certainly tempted fate on that Grimes comment.

    • Rockafella

      April 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      I traded out Broughton for Deledio so i had to use another trade for a cheepie to make this happen which I am happy with.
      I had a long look at the players around Broughton’s price and I couldnt really see any one that stood out as a player who will outscore Broughton over the year, I would stick with him if you dont have any extra cash for the players that cost 40k more.(IMO)

  6. Rockjet

    April 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I think after four years of Dreamteam I’m in it for the League’s having finished 2nd, 4th & 5th out of the one League that I set up each year with mates & family. One of the League I joined this year is crackalackin currently 29th dreamteamtalk.comG. Definately having the best start this year and couldtnt do it with out DTTalk… Keep up the great work boys!!!

  7. Chipsy_DT

    April 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Hey guys, racking my brain over wether its worth burning a trade to bring in greene. My options are either take out shiel or mcdonald. The money gain with greene is the positive, the only problem is both sheil and jmac aren’t bad options on the pine, is the trade going to be worth it?

    • Blair

      April 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      JMac will rise sharply in price too. I’m keeping him and Shiel on the pine, but tossed Cogs for Greene.

      • cream team

        April 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm

        Greene in is a must. his price will rise more than 100k in the next 3 weeks

        • GrainFedBeef

          April 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm

          Luxury trade, also looking at whether shiel/smith for Greene. early trade but could pay off $$ wise.

          Smith has the higher average however another sub and his value matrix will be similar to shiel.

          • GrainFedBeef

            April 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm

            * Clay Smith (not Devon who is in my fwd line)

        • ManZzZoid

          April 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

          Week 3 means a lot… 100 in that counts 3 times, that week 1 score is goooone! after this week. I’d hold your horses for a round or 2 if thinking about swapping Shiel for Greene.

    • Shazzam

      April 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      Wasted trade, the money your gonna make on Green will just take two weeks longer with JMac.
      If you don’t cash in on Green before you would have with JMac or Sheil then its not worth it.

  8. Dave

    April 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I would say do it only if your backs and fwds are good.Old mac and shiel could be your permanent bench players who are likely to get lots of game time.Do you have magner and kennedy if so i would leave it.

  9. Cubbie

    April 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Always play for the league first. I win in my league usually means a finish inside the top 2k.

    No reason not to trade early in aleague comp – making money is very usefull.

    I am stumped this round what to do with Golby and if I should grab Milera or Greene

    • cream team

      April 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Milera is likley to get subbed this week which will hurt his rise in price, im not convinced on his job security either. Greene is surely a must have

      • Cubbie

        April 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

        Well I don’t have the cash for Greene (just a couple of K short). So would have to trade Golby.

        I want Hall or Semdts for Greene (use DPP to free a spot in the mids)

        • cream team

          April 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

          ditch golby for clarke, morris, mohr. if you have the $$$ dempsey from essendon could be a unique pick

    • Apache

      April 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Golby has to go mate,hargraves or dempsey lot better options as the are the go to defenders.
      Get greene in but i would wait for a better js fwd option.

      • Cubbie

        April 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

        I was thinking Dempsey has he has GC. Will tade out Hall move Kennedy to the fwds a bring in Greene.

        Have stronly considered Geary and Bower.

  10. cream team

    April 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Would love to know some thoughts on marty clarke and how safe his spot is in the pies lineup. didak and johnson still to come in. Im looking at trading K.hunt to clarke but am also considering mohr and morris

    • cream team

      April 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      i must have been on a B.Cousins’ bender when i picked K.Hunt

  11. Paynton

    April 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    i have Luke Parker in the mid, do i ditch him for Jobe Watson who i can afford or let parker play 1 more week and bring in Dane Swan next week?

    • Paynton

      April 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      or Someone under 580k

    • Cubbie

      April 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      If you are making the trade then Jobe. He was top scorer last year until his Hammy, and he will score a bundle this weekend.

    • Cubbie

      April 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      If you are making the trade then it has to be Jobe. He was the top scorer last year until his hammy and has GC this weekend.

  12. DS

    April 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    “To make the finals, you need to win more games than you loose”

    Yep……cheers for that mate *thumbs up*

    • Noodles71

      April 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Lose not loose

  13. MC

    April 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I think an interesting point about going for leagues is dont just look at a teams assistant coach projection. I for one am being sneaky about it and placing players like Goddard, Franklin, Ablett on the bench to throw my projected total off, therefore hopefully fooling my opponent into a false sense of security only to pounce with a much better score, when i put them back on the field 10 minutes or so before lockout. Im dubbing it the MCf**kwithyou. (evil laugh) Haha.

    • Bolverk

      April 14, 2012 at 1:29 am

      I’m fairly sure projections are based on the team from the prior round, and would not take benched players or trades into account before the next lock out.

  14. Shazzam

    April 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Andrew Carrazzo is playing Collingwood next round, historically he doesn’t score as well against them

    We’ll see Assistant Coach, we’ll see.

    • Shazzam

      April 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      Bet my orphaned Shaw smashes my adopted Carrazzo :(

      • Ezmae

        April 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm

        I hope so :)

    • cream team

      April 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      He’ll probably go to pendles

  15. Apache

    April 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Apaches treble this week fellas paying $20.
    collingwood 1-39
    port 1-39
    hawthorn 1-39

    • chess

      April 14, 2012 at 2:25 am

      How’s that going mate…

  16. Paynton

    April 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    i can trade anyone in except for swan this week, is watson my best bet or just wait the week and get swan next week

    • Cubbie

      April 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      Did you not ask this already….

  17. Danger

    April 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Really cant decide what to do. Should I trade Luke Parker out for Kennedy or Greene? If I trade Parker out for Greene I will have 290k in the bank.

    My next question would be, do I trade out Smedts or Hall for either Kennedy or even Chad Cornes?

    Parker > Greene

    Aaron Hall or Smedts > Kennedy or Chad Cornes

    Any help would be very much appreciated.


    • Cubbie

      April 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      They both look like solid moves. whilst Kennedy looks like a super cash cow, Chadwick will also make some cash and has the potential to be a keeper.

      • Danger

        April 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

        Thanks mate. Opinion on what would be the better of the two?

        • eeepobreci

          April 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm

          I picked Parker assuming he’d ave 75-80, he is not & therefore will become Greene.
          Sure it was bad luck he copped the hit to the jaw….he was scoring so sweetly!
          I also don’t have to worry about Parker being the sub either!

          I’ll probably grab Kennedy for Rohan too…….won’t have to worry about him being sub either, lol.
          Would love to get Hargave in for Howard tho, but have cover in Morris/Ellis.

          N.b I’m not sold on Cornes, being a keeper, age/rests/injury???

          • stew42

            April 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

            soz, bru. Parker 89 this week, 30 possies…

            Surely the Sub candidate for most weeks would be either Jetta or Rohan, or a utility like Everitt or LRT?

        • Cubbie

          April 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm

          You could look at Kennedy this week and then Cornes the next. Hall then Smedts

  18. Shazzam

    April 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Whos more likely to play soon, Kerridge or Pfeiffer?

    • Danger

      April 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      All depends on injuries one would think. Kerridge clearly close to getting a game. Just need another injury or two (which I hope we dont get).

  19. Noodles71

    April 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Great article. I am in it to win my work league. Last year I used the strategy of no trading until I had 2 left per week including GF.
    Lost the GF but the strategy certainly helped me outdo many in the comp.
    Of course you need a good starting team to do this. At the moment I have Dickson and Hall on the pine so will need to ride it out until Round 16.
    There will be losses in this but if I make finals I can use the trades to my advantage.

    • Birdy

      April 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      you will miss so many cash cows.. sounds silly to me, way too extreme

  20. mtooler

    April 15, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    What’s a league? Is that code for overall rank?

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