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The Talking Point: Using Your Last Few Trades

“The Talking Point”is a brand new segment dissecting the main issue taking place inside of the fantasy world each week. Tom Craigie is here to bring us his talking point of the round over these final few weeks of AFL Dream Team 2012!

For those coaches who are yet to run out of trades, deciding on how to best utilise them can be a tedious and nerve-racking process–particularly at this late stage of the year as DT finals approach. Rather than blindly predicting the total amount of points your trade will bring you between now and the end of the season, there can be merit in analysing how you can appropriately time the use of these trades and their potential to have the biggest impact on your premiership pursuit.

Though it is often a pointless exercise trying to foresee the DT future, two things you should be able to gauge are

  • The quality of your round 19 opponent; and
  • Where you are likely to finish on your league ladder.

This will be different for everyone, so it is important to remember that the trade decisions you make must be circumstantial and specific to your own ladder position, fixture and amount of players you have absent. Though some would advise you to make all of your remaining trades prior to DT finals, you may find greater benefit in holding one or two throughout your finals campaign should carnage occur – which history tells us it will.

For example, if you will still hold a place inside the top four or eight(depending on your own realistic objective) regardless of if you win or lose this weekend, then there is no point in trading just so that you can move from third to second or from sixth to fifth. Though you may have a preference in regard to who you would rather face inside your respective quartet come week one of finals, the trade you save now, could later be used to cover a donut and be a secret weapon in the weeks to come.

Perhaps your ladder position is still undecided and you have an important match coming up this weekend. While it will be difficult to resist the urge to trade, the ~20 points per week you might gain from trading say Brandon Ellis to Sam Fisher this week, may come at the detriment of the 100+ point surge you could potentially receive later on if you trade to cover a donut. Having the freedom to trade out an injured player while your opponent stares down the barrel of a donut could be the difference between being knocked out in the semis or progressing through to the grand final.

However, a top-four ladder position can be greatly beneficial and there are some trade situations where you should not hesitate. If you are facing a must-win game this weekend and can significantly improve your round 19 scoring potential, don’t be afraid to be aggressive if necessary or you might die wondering what could have been.

Brent Stanton and his apparent hamstring injury could potentially place coaches in a predicament that could decide the outcome of their season. Stanton appeared to experience some kind of cork or hamstring strain during the third quarter of Essendon’s Friday night clash with Hawthorn. He was iced up during the fourth quarter and took no further part in the match. While the club has not released any information on the possible injury, if Stanton isn’t named to take on the Crows this Sunday then coaches will have an important decision to make. We have been burnt by misleading injury information more than once this year, with big names such as Scott Pendlebury and Buddy Franklin being out for longer than initially anticipated. If your bench cover is at all shallow and given Stanton’s recent form, if he is not named on Thursday then I would be inclined to trade him. The similarly priced Marc Murphy looms as the obvious replacement.

In saying this, the advice of others is not all that relevant at this late stage of the season. Only you have a thorough knowledge of the state of your current side, only you understand how few trades you have left, and only you can rightly judge what it will take to carry your side deep into finals. Remain calm and be open to tweaking the trading strategy you have implemented throughout the year as you look to achieve finals glory.

Any questions or discussion via twitter @tomcraigie





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