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I bought a Jee..nah screw that I got a Tank!

Lefty looks ahead to the byes and his strategy of tanking. We will see some more bye strategy coming later this week from Matt. but we always love a leftfield look at fantasy.

tankHi all

I figured I have kept in hiding for about long enough, for anyone who took my advice on any of this years left-fielders (bar Sideass and maybe Higgins) I apologise. Injury (Enright, Dixon), poor form (Petrie), etc have all conspired to prove almost all my calls wrong.

In my own side I have got lucky with a few starters like Jacobs and early on got in Jaensch and Wright. Seriously how did we all not pay more attention to the Crows early season draw and factor that in!!

Anyway, I have been reading a lot these past few weeks about how we need to set our teams up for the byes, and try to get as close as possible to a 8/10/12 split heading into the MBR’s to try and minimise donuts. Some people even advised against picking up perennial DT gun Swan at his cheapest last week because he wasn’t the right bye week for most teams?! 122 points later….

At the start of the season I tried to plot out a plan to get my team balanced for the byes, and found myself with many tough choices. Pendles or Swan? Ablett or Stevie J? Danger or Dusty? Petrie or Harvey (ok that one should have been easy!)? Bartel or Enright? Cotchin or Sidebottom? Jacobs or Goldstein? Swallow or Mackie?

The more I looked at it, the more I realised the majority of those I considered stayers (starting picks that are likely to be in the top-tier of their position at season’s end) all shared the round 8 bye. Yes there were a few obvious exceptions as below (value picks in brackets)

Backs                  Mitchell, McVeigh, (Suckling)

Mids                   Mundy, Ebert, Watson, Stanton (Shiels)

Rucks                 Cox, Minson, (Sandi)

Fwds                  Riewoldt, Mitchell, Parker, (Higgins)

..but I started to think it would be a lot easier if these were the only upgrades I needed to worry about (obviously the value picks I started with) rather than try and juggle my whole side for the first 10 rounds to try and keep/get it balanced for the 3 byes, and then burn through a lot of trades (likely all 9) trying to scrape 18 together each week with a lot of sideways trades that don’t end up improving my side and don’t guarantee me even 1 win over the 3 mbr’s.

Enter the Tank.

What if I just assumed round 8 was going to be a loss, in head to head leagues one loss isn’t season ending – it’s barely a blip really. Suddenly I realised my starting side could have a large number of players from the below list THAT I WOULDN’T HAVE TO TRADE.

Backs              Bartel, Enright, Swallow, Mackie, Henderson, Houli, Hansen

Mids               Gaj, Stevie J, Pendles, Beams, Sideass, Jelwood, Swan, Cotchin

Rucks            Jacobs, Goldstein

Fwds             Harvey, Petrie, Dusty, Danger, Caddy, Varcoe, Wright

Obviously I couldn’t fit all these and the rookies/mid pricers in that I wanted but I started with a fair number of them as below:

Mcveigh Langford
Enright Geourgiou
Stevie J Cunningham
Swan Ellis
Jacobs Currie
Sandi King
Dusty Rohan
Petrie JKH

I got the Petrie vs Harvey call wrong, and actually traded Swan to Swallow before price changes. I started with 12 (I thought) keepers, of which 11 were round 8 byes.

Suddenly the 30 trades we have this season feels like a lot when I worked out I wanted to do about 10 upgrades. That’s roughly 20 trades in the old 1 up and 1 down scenario with 10 left for injuries and finals. Dependent of which starting guns you went, most people will need to do about 10 upgrade/downgrades to complete their side. Add in say 5 sideways trades over the byes to try to scrape 18 each week and you are down to 5 for injuries and finals….

This is a snapshot of what my team looks like after two trades this week, green are stayers, orange are midpricers, yellow are rooks (first priority to upgrade)-

McVeigh Langford
Swallow Langdon
Stevie J Cuningham
Ablett Hallahan
Jacobs Currie
Sandi King
Dusty Loyd
Wright JKH

in rounds 8 and 9 I plan on using 3 trades each week which will give me the following side (I have used the assistant coach break-evens and allowed a 10% worse result in all prices) in round 10, with 14 trades left (plus another 3 in round 10 if desired)-

McVeigh Langdon
Swallow Tippet
Stevie J J Hunt
Ablett Hallahan
Jacobs Currie
Sandi King
Dusty Loyd
Wright Honeychurch

So what I have ended up with is starting round 8 with a 20/5/5 structure, using 6 trades over rounds 8 and 9 to upgrade 3 rooks (Polec, Macdonald and Varcoe (who is prob more a failed midpricer than a rook but work with me here ok) to 3 likely keepers (Jelwood, Mitchell and Sideass). I will lose round 8 but stand a huge chance of winning rounds 9 and 10 as I will likely have 21/22 on field in each of those 2 rounds to get a best 18 score from (barring horrible injury or resting luck, but I should be ok if I can get through this week as most of my players will have already had their bye). I also enter round 10 with 17 premos plus Jaensch, Suckling, Higgins and Merret of which I think at least 2 will prove to be keepers. So 5 or 6 trades to upgrade the other 3 including Crouch – likely to Parker, Ebert and maybe Wingard- leaves me with about 8 or 9 trades left to cover LTI’s, jump on any rookies that pop up late and then finals. This year with the limited trades finishing top 4 and getting the week off is once again of paramount importance as you can save whatever trades you have left whilst your opponents have to use theirs in cut throat finals.

Now this strategy is only for head to head leagues – if you are going for overall ranking than forget everything you have read above as it will make it almost impossible for you to win as you will lose too much ground in round 8. If you assume average of 90 per player if you play 18 every week equals 1710 each week or 5130 over the 3. I will only have about 8 players in round 8, so that’s likely about 800 that week. The other 2 weeks I think I will average 100 per player (top 18) so that’s 1900 each during 9 and 10. Total of 4600 over the 3 rounds, or roughly 500 less than those who can manage to field 18 each week at an average of 90. If that average drops to 80 though it is suddenly a lot closer between the 2 strategies….

Anyway this is my approach to handling the byes this year in RDT, time will tell if it works but if there are any out there suddenly going “crap – half my team is out round 8!” maybe consider making three-quarters of your team out in round 8…..





  1. Daniel

    April 29, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Interesting to hear I’m not the only one who was considering the idea of ‘tanking’ round 8 and being stronger for it afterwards.
    Personally it was only half planning, and half ‘I usually have too much carnage to factor byes into my trades’.

    I do care about my overall ranking, but I’d much rather have the team I want in round 9+ than a bunch of ‘plan B’ guys who only helped me out for 1 week (i.e. picking someone like Libba instead of Swan).

    My midfield premos: Pendles, Swan, Beams, Ablett, Jelwood.
    If the DT gods stay out of it, I’m going to enjoy the 2 wins 1 loss.

    Good article Lefty. You’ve always had similar logic to me.

  2. Lefty

    April 29, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Cheers Daniel. Be interesting to see how my ranking changes from start of round 8 to start of round 11.

  3. Elliott Dwyer-Long

    Elliott Dwyer-Long

    April 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Is this RDT? Pretty sure you can only use 2 trades per week every week? You mentioned 3 trades per week over 8&9…

    • D Day

      April 30, 2014 at 9:49 am

      RDT mate.

  4. Elliott Dwyer-Long

    Elliott Dwyer-Long

    April 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Great work though, I love your ideas and as I’m mainly focused on Head to Heads I may implement some of the ideas in this.

    • Henry

      April 29, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      In rdt you can use 3 only 2 for fantasy

      • Elliott Dwyer-Long

        Elliott Dwyer-Long

        April 29, 2014 at 9:13 pm

        I know, I was just asking which competition he was talking about..?

  5. Sam Bowler

    April 29, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Lachie instead of a petition to bring back virtual sports, why didn’t you play Real Dream Team?

    • Ben

      April 29, 2014 at 11:58 pm

      Couple of points 1) Thanks Lefty great article definitely got me thinking appreciate your efforts. 2) @ Sam I think like Lachie many of us do both and have done fantasy for many years and FanHub are incapable and incompetent compared to Virtual sports. I have not had a weekend yet where issues do not arise whether trading or viewing the teams especially on weekends.

  6. Mark

    April 29, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    I thought dreamteam talk was just that, DREAMTEAM talk. Deleted the app because for the last 2 mths there has been nothing on DT and only info on super coach. Sorry for the rant but gotta put it somewhere. Rant over. Good article by the way in rollin with the same sort of setup for my leagues

  7. Lefty

    April 29, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Hey Elliot- sorry mate yeah this a RDT article, I should have mentioned that!

  8. NoNonsense


    April 30, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Lefty, I’d be interested to know how much $$ you have in the bank b4 your trades this week. If I am in a similar situation, then I might try this strategy this year.
    Very informative and potentially very helpful in winning a league, which is my aim every year.

  9. matt

    April 30, 2014 at 7:02 am

    I love this game, so much scope to think outside the box,to fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Great write up, great theory, I’m gonna do it.

  10. Lewis

    April 30, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Not my tactic my bye structure will be 9-8-8 at the start of round 8.

    • Lewis

      April 30, 2014 at 7:47 am

      oops i mean 8-7-7

  11. Lefty

    April 30, 2014 at 9:13 am

    No Nonsense- I have $185,600 in the kitty before trades this week and currently sitting 1252 in rankings. Cheers

  12. PoRk KnucKle

    April 30, 2014 at 10:49 am

    good intelligent article lefty, always enjoy an alternative strategy! not for me however, theres a few reasons why – i think this strategy is risky if you come up against another team of the same strategy – i think its worth researching your opponents first. Likewise, the projected points margin of 1900 vs 1710 for rounds 9,10 – a vest and a shit performance is all it would take to square things up! all in all though, i will directly benefit from your drop in overall points:)

    • Lefty

      April 30, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      Cheers mate – I will do a quick summary after round 10 and outline how I went in my leagues and overall rankings, and also how my team looks after the byes.

  13. The General

    May 1, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Really interesting read lefty, you could also consider that by having better (rd 8) premos in the first 7 rounds you gain points that way as well

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