Warne Dawgs 2012 in Review
Phew! AFL Dream Team 2012 is over. It has been a massive year for us here at DT Talk with a huge increase in traffic and we continue to build a fantastic community with some of the best minds in the game giving their thoughts in their brilliant articles. Come on a journey of 2012 with me as I review the 2012 AFL Dream Team season.
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Phew! AFL Dream Team 2012 is over. It has been a massive year for us here at DT Talk with a huge increase in traffic and we continue to build a fantastic community with some of the best minds in the game giving their thoughts in their brilliant articles. I’d like to personally thank Tbetta, Dunny, TeeTee, McRath, Adzman, Rainman, Aki, JimBob, Tom, Corey, Jakub and everyone else who produced quality blog posts (regular plus the one offs) and awesome talking points for the thousands of coaches who visit DT Talk every day. Thanks heaps to everyone who comments on articles in a positive way… answering questions, providing analysis, posting news, etc making us the first stop for many DT coaches.
We will have plenty of stuff happening here over the pre-season with articles looking towards 2013 including Trade Week analysis, the Drafts and of course the popular Deck of Dream Team. The Assistant Coach Team Picker will be released mid-December (the FanFooty Planner will be online very soon) so we’ll have plenty of ‘My Team‘ posts to discuss your team. All of this – along with other random strategy – will get us to the opening of DT on February 1 when it all ramps up another notch. Stay tuned for Spring Racing Carnival chatter as well as the Big Bash League Fantasy competition that was heaps of fun last year.
Anyway… thanks once again to everyone who made DT Talk an enjoyable experience this year. Now… here’s my review of 2012!
The Warne Dawgs in 2012
In what has felt like the longest season of my 10 year AFL Dream Team career, we have made it to the end and once again I have learnt a lot on my journey.
2012 was a unique year. After managing single byes last year with some multi-bye rounds, we thought that this would be easier… but with a 3 week stint of 6 teams having byes each round, a truckload of injuries/misinformation from clubs and a year full of late withdrawals, things were pretty tough for all DT coaches this season.
I play for ranking. Mainly due to the credibility we want to get out of running a website like this. As the season draws near the end, we do take our leagues seriously and some decisions are made based on the bragging rights associated with winning out main mates league.
Below is my starting squad for this year.
As the first week came and went, I had a full squad of players… all of my rookies played and I was ‘happy’. Well, not entirely… most of the rookies I played on my ground were outscored by dudes on the bench. Adam Kennedy‘s 116, James McDonald‘s 98 and Tomas Bugg‘s 97 all hurt a fair bit after the first partial lockout but I was happy in the fact that I had 30 players who were playing. I was ranked 41,481st after the first week and then went out to 49,038th after Round 2. This is the lowest I have ever been ranked in DT in my life… but I was thinking all will be good as I’ll trade smartly and will end up alright.
My scores for the season – with rankings – are below.
I usually go into the season wanting to use two trades after Round 2 to jump on the rookies I have missed or fix some glaring errors. This year, I didn’t think I missed anyone… except for Toby Greene, but I was happy to go with who I had selected.
My first trades was for the injured Shane Mumford to get in the bargain Hamish McIntosh and then what I made an art form of this year, Jack Grimes (1 week suspension) for Brendon Goddard. The Mumford trades was good, but the Grimes one should have been held. Goddard didn’t have a great season and Grimes was pretty good after I dumped him (and got him back in Round 13).
My other silly trades was getting rid of Gary Ablett (2 week injury) for Dane Swan. While it meant I got the DT Pig in Swanny, I could have easily used upgrades to get him rather than go through with this plan. Later, I dumped Swan for Ablett (go figure) a couple of weeks before the byes. This was done because if he had have been gone for 3 weeks, I would have ended up a bit of a winner. But as with most stuff this year, it didn’t fall my way. I did however have Swan and Ablett both in my line up for Round 13.
My bye trading was pretty good. I was happy with how that went considering what a sh*t show it was for us. I was able to jump from 5,801st to 2,190th thanks to my trading (and a fair bit of luck, hey Calvin).
Mostly my trading was stock standard… apart from getting back in guys like Swan, Ablett and Grimes. It did get me to a ‘respectable’ final position of 1,245th. It could have been a whole lot better, but anyway I’ll stick with it. I did miss quite a few injuries, so I’ll take that.
Some of my last trades were annoying. I dumped Beau Waters when he was out for only one week (we were told 3-5) and Grant Birchall was a solid replacement, but I would have been better off playing a bench player instead. Same goes for Jonathan Giles. He was in shocking form, but at the end of the day, he scored more than the guy I got in for him, Sam Jacobs, thanks to a late withdrawal and a donut.
If I was to learn something (again) from this season… is that plans can go astray. For example my Kyal Horsley trade plan that turned sour during the bye rounds costing me zeroes and getting Alex Sexton wasn’t my finest moment. Also I wouldn’t get too excited about mid-priced players and trying to find value for ‘upgrade’ trades. Allen Christensen was a perfect example of this. He was coming off 110 and 101 and while injury took hold, he was a failure of a pick ending up a lot cheaper than what I got him at!
The Bye Rounds
As I mentioned earlier, I navigated the bye rounds quite well. My trading over them kept on improving my team.
- ROUND 11 – 3 zeroes. 2 from byes, 1 from injury.
- ROUND 12 – 2 zeroes. 1 from byes, 1 from suspension.
- ROUND 13 – 1 zero from byes.
So all in all, this was pretty epic. The planets aligned for me – that’s why my ranking increased dramatically over these weeks. If I was even luckier, I could have actually got away with 4 donuts which would have gained me a lot more points on the thousands of coaches who ended up with double figures over these rounds.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the byes for next season. We know the fixture will look just like it does this year, so the playing field will stay the same (3 rounds where 6 teams have a bye). Stay tuned to DT TALK for your chance to have a say on how AFL Dream Team should be played over the bye rounds.
My Biggest Mistake
As you’re already thinking… I’ve made a few errors – even if at the time I justified it to myself as the right thing to do. But we always evolve and learn things every year as DT coaches… it was was easy, we’d be winning it every year… yes a sh*tload of luck comes into it but every year we are challenged and no matter how good we get, we still can spot some things we could improve.
Anyway, my biggest mistake came thanks to the invention of something that I have loved about AFL Dream Team this year – the Reverse Changes button.
It was the week that Greg Broughton was injured with his back and I wanted to trade him out (Round 17). I only had 3 trades left and a bit of cash in the bank. I was going to hold Broughton and get rid of Marty Clarke to cash him down to Mark Baguley as Clarke was out and my mail was that he was a minimal chance to play again this year. Silly me clicked Broughton to Baguley thanks to not checking my reverse changes and with the help of 10 beers. Long story short, I’ve got a sh*tload of cash, 2 trades left and I’m now playing a dud on my ground.
Luckily (yes, again Calvin), Broughton was announced the week later to be done for the season so my initial thoughts of holding him (before I stuffed up and traded him out) came out alright. Still not happy that I used 2 trades to get Heath Scotland in but it didn’t end up as bad as I first thought it would.
I did learn a good lesson to check and double check my team!
My Final Team
So after 24 trades… way too many of them being sideways ones and not the upgrade that I would have liked due to injury my team looked like this when AFL Dream Team closed this week.
The players who spent the year with me were:
- Brett Deledio
- Jack Grimes*
- Marty Clarke (finished on bench)
- Gary Ablett*
- Matthew Boyd
- Joel Selwood
- Bryce Gibbs
- Jarrad Redden (bench)
- Orren Stephenson (bench)
- Buddy Franklin
- Steele Sidebottom
- Dustin Martin
- Tory Dickson (bench)
* denotes traded out and traded back in… idiot!
Crazy that there are only 9 starters that are keepers there (7 of which spent the whole season – sorry Gary Ablett and Jack Grimes). And then out of these guys I started with… and stuck with for the whole season, Brett Deledio, Matthew Boyd and Steele Sidebottom are probably the only keepers I had from the list I was happy with. I penciled in 15 keepers at the start of the season and while Joel Selwood and Bryce Gibbs were part of that, they were let downs this year… especially Bryce. Dustin Martin wasn’t the biggest failure, but I – like many others – expected more. Buddy Franklin wasn’t really a failure, but Captain Hindsight says I should have traded him when he first injured his hamstring.
It’s interesting looking over your team like this. 24 trades should be heaps… and even now I agree with that. We had heaps of injuries, but through whatever reason (mostly mis-information from clubs and medical staff), we traded or held trades when we should have done the opposite, hence wasting trades. Next year will be a different playing field as we were blessed with rookies for cover, however we have learnt this year that these guys can hold their own in most cases.
So now the Warne Dawgs are in pre-season mode for next year. There are a few players added to the never again list and I will try to follow the rules I make for myself next year. We always go in thinking we can win the thing and we have the best team in the competition… and next year won’t be any different. There are a few blokes who are shortlisted from my squad this year to go around again and we’re seeing a new breed of DT premiums come through. 2013 will be a very interesting year.
Stay tuned to DT TALK over the pre-season as there will be heaps happening… but in the short term, we’ll have a post going up looking at how the game should be played in 2013 – that is, possible rule changes to make the game better and more enjoyable. If you would like to have your say, then watch this space. We will make sure the big dogs are listening!
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