Gold in them thar boys: 2011 Fanplanner

The Fanplanner is open for 2011 for you to craft squads for next year’s major comps with estimated prices and positions.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 22: Players pose for a photo in the new uniform during the Gold Coast Football Club AFL Launch at the Southport Sharks Function Centre on July 22, 2010 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Next year will include a lot of changes to Dream Team and Supercoach, of course, not least of which is the shift from 30 players to a squad of 33. What this will do to the magic number, such as it is, is known only to the Vapor Media crew. I only know that there will be some downward adjustment to take into account the extra three players needed. For now, I have set the Dream Team MN – the number by which season averages are multiplied to arrive at the base starting price – at 4272. It was 4393 last year. Similarly, the Supercoach MN is at 5057 in the Fanplanner, down from 5312 last year.

As far as positional changes go, there are a few contentious ones. I suspected Luke Hodge would change to a CTR this year, but he stayed a CTR/BAC. There’s even less justification to keep him as a BAC this year but I’ve left him as such in the Fanplanner, because I know there would be an outcry if not. I have given BAC eligibility to Brett Deledio, Brady Rawlings, Brent Staker, Andrew Walker and Robert Murphy, among others. I have not given dual positioning to Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy, Shane Tuck or Joel Corey despite them spending time out of the middle this year. I have taken forward eligibility off Tom Rockliff, Travis Varcoe, Jack Ziebell and Richard Douglas. Ben McGlynn, Steele Sidebottom, David Zaharakis, Ricky Petterd and Lynden Dunn are now eligible as FWDs.

The first-round price premiums go all the way down to pick 25 this year. This means that the #1 draft pick is significantly higher-priced than in previous years, which is why you will find David Swallow so exy. Discounting is always problematic because the “rules” change every year and get rather random as to who qualifies and who doesn’t, but I’ve been generous where possible. Daniel Harris and Andrew Krakouer present particular conundrums, your guess is as good as mine as to how they will be priced but I’ve given Harris a 40% disco and put Krakouer at draftee price.

As always, I’ve been keeping an eye on trends in plan teams from those who have already been pottering round with the database. Without giving too much away from what is always sensitive material, here’s a list of the most popular player in each position so far.

Starting backs: Andy Otten. As soon as he went down with an LTI early last season this was always on the cards, and with Nathan Bock leaving a big hole at CHB there’s no doubt he will be in all serious fantasy teams next year. There don’t appear to be nearly as many home-run cheap backs as last season in the Fanplanner, so everyone is going to gravitate towards Andy.

Starting midfielders: Dane Swan. With the departure of Gary Ablett jnr to the Gold Coast, fantasy coaches seem to have dropped off him in droves. While the likes of Matthew Boyd and Leigh Montagna are still strongly represented, most coaches are using the strategy of not skimping on their premiums, with Swan leading by a margin of three to one for each of those two.

Starting rucks: Aaron Sandilands. It appears that 211 has settled in comfortably to the role in fantasy sides that Dean Cox used to fill, albeit with a more traditional ruckman’s role than the more mobile and athletic Big C. I’m not sure Sandilands can string together as many great scoring years as Cox given his style, though, and his late injury problems this year indicate that he’s not going to be as reliable.

Starting forwards: Nick Riewoldt. Of the 11 games he managed in 2010, you could say three were injury-affected: the 20 in the round three game in which he tore his hamstring, and the first two comeback games in rounds 15 and 16 where he could only manage 68 and 71 in Dream Team. Thus, his season average of 94.4 is significantly depressed from his average for the other eight games, which totalled 879 points for an average a tick under 110. Makes perfect sense, which is why he’s the most popular.

Bench backs: Josh Toy. As you’d expect, the first four slots in this list are filled by Gold Coast players. A word of warning, though: most of the senior recruits to the Suns have been in the backline, so I’m not sure Guy McKenna can fit Jarrod Harbrow, Campbell Brown, Toy, Karmichael Hunt and Sam Iles all in the same defence. Michael Coad probably has more job security as second fiddle to Nathan Bock. Then again, there’s merit in the thought that you know you’ll get at least one of them playing every week.

Bench midfielders: Andrew Krakouer. No one wants to miss out on 2011’s version of Michael Barlow, if such a creature exists. Of course it won’t, Barlow was unique in many ways. Krakouer’s story has been different in a number of ways, not least that he has already played at the AFL level. Krakouer’s popularity is an aspect of a common trend among fantasy coaches, that they don’t wan’t to pay a cent more than base draftee price for their mid bench. It’s why the likes of Luke Shuey and Ryan Bastinac were so prominent last year. In 2011, the usual suspects are the hot Dog father/sons in Mitchell Wallis and Tom Liberatore, as well as Sam Blease and a bunch of kids already on the Gold Coast list.

Bench rucks: Zac Smith. This one’s not even close. It’s a no-brainer, really. Prior to the draft, Smith is set to carry the Suns ruck division at a draftee price. Things may change after the draft and give the likes of Sam Day or Daniel Gorringe more currency, depending on how the picks fall.

Bench forwards: Brandon Matera. Another one where there’s daylight between first and second on the list, with the obvious Gold Coast connection bolstering job security for another kid. Behind him there’s not a lot of knowledge or confidence in any draftee prospects, so the draft will have to sort them out.

Happy planning!

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