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Tbetta’s Bullets: Round 21

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that I had the week off in my main League! Round 21 was one of the more devastating weeks we’ve seen, especially when you take into account the increased emphasis on League match-ups with the DT Finals in full swing.

  • Round 21 issues

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that I had the week off in my main League! Round 21 was one of the more devastating weeks we’ve seen, especially when you take into account the increased emphasis on League match-ups with the DT Finals in full swing. Let’s take a look at some of the bigger issues from Round 21, shall we?

Captain Ablett

It had to be him. If you were playing it safe (which you should have been if you had the better side, as I outlined last week), then you couldn’t be happier with Gablett’s 175 points. Unfortunately for those who were looking for a Captaincy boost to carve out an unlikely win, even Beams (129) couldn’t bridge the gap.

Shoddy Cover

Whilst Gibson was fantastic as ever (more on him soon), the rest of our cover went missing in a time of need. Replacing the likes of Franklin and Mitchell wasn’t easy with Treloar missing, and we were left with Couch (25), Elliott (18), D. Smith (67) and Cloke (52) for the most part. Taylor Adams was the exception, scoring 96 points against the Demons.

Note: Toby Greene was amazing, scoring a huge 146, but most coaches traded him out mid-year.

Late Withdrawals

Sometimes I hate DT, and this is why. (Warning: rant ahead)

Firstly, the Griffin ‘warm-up’ injury stinks of foul play. Let’s take a step back here… If Sandilands was fit to play, why wasn’t he named? And if he wasn’t, why was he listed as an emergency? Fremantle aren’t in a position to be picking and choosing which of their senior players they roll out, seeing as its do-or-die for a finals berth now. So where does that leave us? Fremantle being a bunch of fantasy trolls. Where’s the transparency?! Stop treating the football public likes idiots, and make your intentions clear! Hardwick is right; it certainly isn’t in the spirit of the game. As you can imagine, I copped a Griffin donut.

Secondly, Franklin was withdrawn late from the Suns clash, with the ‘sniffles’ (or something like that) offered as the official reasoning. Really, Hawthorn? Mitchell I understand, (although why you couldn’t name him as rested on Thursday is beyond me…) but you had no need to name Buddy if you were just going to withdraw him at the last second. I was actually shocked when I found out, as this promo had me 100% convinced that he would suit up. Well done Hawthorn, you’ve discovered a way to fool the opposition, but at the expense of your own paying supporters. That’s now 5 games straight without Franklin – surely he’ll be back next week?! I guess we won’t know until the siren actually goes, will we, Hawthorn?

 

  • Makers and  Breakers

It’s hard to go past the premier DTer (actually on the park in Round 21, at least) and the highest scorer this week in Ablett and his huge 175 points. His stat-line was simply ‘delicious’; obviously 43 disposals is fantastic, but the ability to add 9 marks, 8 tackles and 2 sausage rolls is unparalleled. Surely Carlton won’t give Gablett as much latitude as the Hawks granted him on Sunday.

I feel a bit vanilla slotting Marc Murphy in here, given he was the second-highest scorer, but too bad. Murphy definitely deserves it after piling on 163 points against the Bombers, with a very similar box score as the man above him (37d, 9m, 6t and 2g). Coaches who had the trades (or the necessity) to bring him in at under $400k received a sizable return for investment this week.

Goodes is another Premium whose price dipped significantly mid-year due to injury, and just happens to be another who rewarded the clever coaches who snapped him up in Round 21. His form has been very patchy to say the least, but Goodes vary rarely lets his coaches down in crunch time. With big games against Hawthorn and Geelong on the horizon for the Swans, expect the cream to rise to the top and Goodes to finish a difficult year strongly.

‘Who Dares Wins’ may as well be Jack Grimes’ tag-line. Fidgety coaches who play it safe may find themselves with players like Scotland (57), Carrazzo (48) or Suckling (74), which is fine normally; but those who take risks are often rewarded by the likes of Grimes. He exploded for 125 points this week, his 5th ton in his last 6 games. Grimes is now the 3rd-ranked defender, pipping recognised guns like Goddard, Birchall and Waters.

It wouldn’t be the Makers without Sam Gibson this week. With coaches struggling to avoid a donut with the absence of Swan and the disappearance of Mitchell, Gibson would have found his way onto the field for the majority of his owners. Any assertion that his form is temporary now seems to be narrow-minded, as the mature-age gem has notched 4 tons on the trot. Arguments to play him over respected Mids like Priddis, Rockliff and Stanton have to have some weight by now.

 

Round 21 was so critical, yet so disappointing, that I decided to put together an extended Breakers. This way, we can suffer through the heartache and anguish even longer… Each player is at least 5%-owned league wide, with the notable exceptions of Malceski (2.8%), Conca (3.6%), Griffin (1.3%) and Zaharakis (3.9%). Enjoy.

Things went downhill very quickly in the Essendon versus Carlton clash this week. Both sides seemed more intent on locking down the opposition’s playmakers than making any plays of their own, at least early in the piece. There were about 6 or 7 hard-tags assigned from the get-go, which is just plain ridiculous. Those who suffered were popular DTers in Stanton (tagged for 72), Scotland (tagged to 57), Carrazzo (tagging and subbed for 48) and Robinson (tagging and hopeless, scoring 39).

The following game, The Fremantle-Richmond clash, wasn’t exactly a fantasy buffet either. Key DTers such as Deledio (78, restricted by Crowley), Maric (77), Martin (66) and M. Johnson (60) were well down on their regular output, and Pavlich (79) was lucky to squeeze out a respectable score after struggling with a nagging groin ailment for most of the match. Don’t even get me started on Griffin again.

 

  • Premiership Killers

It’s that time of year where two poor weeks in a row can effectively kill your entire season. It doesn’t matter whether you finished Top 4 and secured a double chance, because if your team reneged over Rounds 20 and 21, then you’re toast. Another-season-down-the-drain type stuff… Here’s a list of the guys that have failed us when it’s really mattered:

To be eligible for the above list, a player must have averaged 80 or more for the season and have averaged at least 20 points less than their average over Rounds 20 and 21.

The main culprit has been Mitch Robinson, averaging -50 over DT finals compared to the entire season. Yes, he is coming off a calf injury, but it seems his entire role has changed to counter that fact. It’s really not looking good for us Robbo coaches in the run home.

Joel Selwood and Tom Rockliff are the most disappointing members of this group. Both were selected as Premiums, expected to punch out those tons like clockwork; unfortunately, all they’ve managed to do is anger their owners with paltry scores in the 60’s and 80’s.

Maric, Waters, Pavlich and Johnson are the other Premium-type players on the list, and their owners must be feeling more than a little frustrated with their output at this critical time of the season. However, just like there are players down on form, there are plenty up and about:

To be eligible for the above list, a player must have averaged 80 or more for the season and have averaged at least 20 points more than their average over Rounds 20 and 21.

The first guy that jumps out to me is Bryce Gibbs, who’s averaged a huge 41 points extra over the DT Finals. He’s been the nemesis of all those who jumped on the pre-season pump-up bandwagon, but he’s finally repaying coaches for the faith. The same goes for Brendon Goddard, who started slowly but is now putting up the big numbers we’ve come to expect from him over the years.

Kade Simpson, Brent Harvey and David Hale are the huge ones for the clever traders, with each priced at less than $400k as recently at Round 18. All three have averaged over 108 points since then.

The fortunes of your side in the last fortnight could well depend on how many of these players you have. For me, I’ve got just the one Killer and three Boosters, so I’ve had a reasonable fortnight, all things considered. How about you? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

  • Burst Fire

# Hopefully you took my advice with the trades I suggested in last week’s Bullets. Stevie J had 98 points, rewarding the hordes of coaches that jumped on at his bargain price, while Hale (136) and Simpson (131) exploded with near season-best scores. Without Bailey in the side, Hale looks like becoming a fantasy beast over these last two rounds.

# Beams is now the 3rd-highest averaging DTer in the competition, on the back of a six-game tear where he has averaged almost 130 points an outing. As such, it looks increasing unlikely that he’ll be given Mid/Fwd DPP again next season (despite kicking 25 goals this year), but it doesn’t matter – he’ll be one of my first picked in the midfield in 2013.

# Guess who’s the 10th-highest averaging possession-winner so far this season? None other than Toby Greene. The first-year midfielder is in some elite company; with some huge names either of him on that list. He’s enjoying an excellent run of form, collecting 29 disposals or more in his last seven matches! I dream of a day 4 to 5 years from now, when my midfield reads something like Greene, Gaff, Beams and Cotchin….

# Has anyone else considered the merits of including 1%ers in DT? Say, 1 point for each intangible? Unsurprisingly, every single player in the Top 50 for that category are Defenders, with the majority of those manning a key post. It would be incredible for bringing those lock-down types of players in the game!

  • Preliminary Thoughts

If you’re still in the hunt for fantasy glory, then congratulations! Just two more games, and victory could be yours… Unfortunately, you need to get past a Preliminary Final this week, so let’s quickly glaze over the big issues taking shape for Round 22.

Ablett or Swan or Smokey?

As far as the Captaincy goes, there are two types of coaches. Those who are likely to win, and those who are unlikely to experience the sweet taste of victory. If you’re the former, then either Swan or Ablett have got you covered. If you’re the latter type of coach, then you have to hope for a Hail Mary and charge into Round 22 with a Smokey skipper. Either way, stay tuned because Calvin’s got you covered with all the relevant Captain advice on Wednesday, but I will say this: Swan absolutely loves playing the Eagles, loves the wide expanses of Patersons Stadium, and hates missing games. He’ll be back with a vengeance this week!

Griffin Gone

If (like me) you have Griffin (stranded at $349k) as your second ruckman, then it’s time to say goodbye. Unfortunately, there are very few options in his price-range, bar one man: Shane Mumford. If you have the $20k spare, that is. The Swan colossus has scored 90, 92 and 101 in his last three games after initially struggling to find his feet following a restrictive back injury.

However, If you don’t have any cash in the bank, then… you’re stuffed. Actually, Kreuzer ($350k) hasn’t been so pathetic lately, and West ($327k) hasn’t been terrible when he’s been on the park, either.

Gibson or Premo

Most of us have got him, and most of us wouldn’t normally be playing him once Swan returns to the fray. So what’s the move? Do we consign the player with the 6th-highest four-round average to the bench, or do we play him over some underperforming big names, such as Selwood, Thompson, Rockliff or Stanton? If you can’t split them, then stay tuned for the Friday Scramble with Dunny – you might remember he was spot on with Gibson over Thompson a couple of rounds ago…

No Buddy’s Business

Will Buddy Franklin play this week? That’s the million dollar question. I’m 100% certain he’ll be named, but who’s to say he won’t trip over a midget or break a nail or something the day before?
To me, a far more intriguing question is whether he’ll play out a full game or not if he suits up. Sydney is hardly a push-over, so perhaps they’ll grant him an entire match – especially if it’s close? My main worry is that the Hawks will put the game out of reach by half-time, giving Hawthorn the luxury of resting the superstar forward. In that case…

 

Go Sydney!

 

Tweet me at @Tbetta9 for all things fantasy!

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