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11 challenges: 2011 fantasy options

2011 fantasy options

VirtualSports’ Peter Jankulovski has kicked off speculation among fans as to how to deal with the bye and the new GC17 team in the 2011 AFL Dream Team and Supercoach competitions.

Peter JankulovskiI attended the Digital Sports Summit at the MCG yesterday with Peter, who as MD of VirtualSports is the architect and manager of both the AFL Dream Team and Supercoach competitions. He gave a speech to about 150 industry colleagues from a variety of sports working in digital content production, including a large number of AFL club and league representatives. After the speech, which dealt largely with industry issues not relevant to this blog (apart from a screenshot or two of FanFooty and DT Talk!), makingmemark from the BigFooty forum asked him for his initial thoughts on how the DT and SC competitions would change next year to take into account the introduction of GC17 and the byes in the extended season that this would necessitate. As Mark reported over in the BF thread, the two takeaway quotes were that he was inclined to do less rather than more, and that his more likely options were to increase the amount of trades and/or bench players.

I talked with Peter at the event about various things, including this issue. I’m still trying to get him on the Coaches Box to talk about it in more detail, which may happen before the end of the season. This issue has already been discussed on fan boards, including threads on the FanFooty forums. Without breaking confidences, I thought the best way to handle it prior to Peter speaking about it in public would be to hand the discussion over to you guys. I have created a new board on the FF forum called 2011 fantasy rules, which will carry guided discussion of the various options that are some chance of getting up.

On that last point, there are some things that fans have been asking for that won’t appear in the list of options. First of these is my own hobby horse of introducing unlimited trades, which at this stage is too radical to even be discussed. Oh well. Another one that has had a lot of fan support is the idea of giving a player on bye a phantom score based on their rolling average, which I am relieved to report is not on the agenda either. Finally, though it would be a good idea to increase the multi-positional player eligibility, unfortunately VirtualSports are locked into the Champion Data player designations, so that’s not going to be changed unless Champion have a change of heart (unlikely!).

The polls – which, I should stress, are not official or endorsed by VirtualSports in any way – at this stage are as follows:
Spread of starting positions
– 7-6-2-7
– 6-8-2-6
Spread of bench positions
– 2-2-2-2
– 3-3-3-3
– 4-4-2-4
Pricing of mature-aged draftees
– Leave them as rookie-priced
– Price them on their lower league stats with a discount
– Give them a price premium based on age
Pricing of GC17 and GWS draftees
– Keep their pricing in line with other draftees
– Give all new GC17/GWS draftees a price premium
Number of trades
– 20, two per week
– 30, two per week
– 20 plus extra allowed for a point penalty, two per week
– One free trade per week (max 24) plus six “wildcard” trades, up to seven per week

I look forward to hearing what the FF community thinks about these issues. The DT and SC games have been changing on the field, if not in the rules, for the last few years with teams being “finished” as early as round 10 this year. Something has to give next year. Or does it? Maybe you lot will want no changes at all. Fire away!



  1. Prospector

    July 8, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Other rule changes???

    Many people are very keen to be able to enter more than 3 leagues – up to six or more.

  2. Marcz

    July 8, 2010 at 9:51 am

    extra bench options and a handful of extra trades would be fine everyones going to cop donuts here or there based on the amount of players selected from 1 team, it will just make it more strategical which im totally a fan of

  3. carltonboy

    July 8, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I love the wildcard idea and also this has nothing to do with 2011 however i think i speak for alot of DTer’s when i say you should be able to reverse trades you have done during that week before lockout, because we have all done those stupid trades without thinking, this rule would be very handy.

  4. Master Q

    July 8, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Cheers m0nty.

  5. Marchos

    July 8, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I like the idea of being able to field your reserves out of their designated positions as there are no restrictions in the real game. However if you do field a reserve out of their designated position maybe a 20% reduction penalty on their score can be applied as it is not their natural game?

    No need to change the number of trades too much as this aspect is what separates men from the boys.

  6. Didak4

    July 8, 2010 at 11:26 am

    @carltonboy – If you are dumb enough to use one of your 20 trades without thinking, then that is your bad luck. Good coaches don’t do that, and all it would do is allow morons who trade before teams to be given a second chance. While we are at it why don’t we allow you to change your starting team after round one free of trades!

  7. stevemac

    July 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Lets cut to what really matters – More options with DT logo design!

  8. keyboard

    July 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    how would it be to have a starting 18 plus 4 bench players? The bench players are non-positional, and simply fill in as required.

  9. hugh

    July 8, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Keep it simple.

    Why not leave the trades and team sizes as per 2010 but include a new toggle button allowing for a new option for a “temporary trade”.

    Where one of your players has a bye, the toggle button appears and allows you to substitute that player (for one week only) with any other player of the same position and for equal or lesser value.

    You could still make a long term trade if you wanted to & at the end of the round, the “temporary trade” automatically reverts to the original player.

    It would cause a loophole if you had an injured player on your list where, because of the bye, you effectively get a free pass, because you get to bring someone else in rather than having to cop the donut (or bring in a bench player). However, other than that, it works reasonably seamlessly.

  10. RobotNinja

    July 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I may be swimming against the winds of time here, but how about Zero trades – what you get is what you get and only the tough survive.

    My other idea is instead of a Cpt and Vice, you can pick a captain and a spiritual captain and whoever gets the most gets the double up.

  11. thedaveyb

    July 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Starting positions the same (7-6-2-7), one extra bench player for defenders, midfielders and forwards (3-3-2-3) increase emergencies to 4, leave mature aged rookies at rookie prices, keep the G17 players in line with other draftees. As for trades leave them the same as they are, 20 – two per week, including a wildcard trade option (4 trades), but make it only available to trade out players with the upcoming bye.

  12. keyboard

    July 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I’m lost on the wildcard idea – can someone dumb it down for me?

  13. Bigzac

    July 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Why dont they look at how other fantasy sports games from around the world do it? I’ve played the English Premier League Fantasy game a few seasons ago, and it worked well.
    Similar to the way DT & SC are, but the main difference is that you were limited to the number of players from each team. At least that way you wont be stung if you have too many from one team and they have the bye.

  14. Gibblet

    July 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Reserves being able to field in any position makes complete sence and would still keep in line with the strategy of the game.

    This would help much of the problems dealing with byes.
    Simple but very effective and a new strategic element which all hardcore DTers and SCers will love.

  15. chared

    July 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Increase benches to 4-4-2-4 and leave it as it is! If you have a bye well then you have to use your bench! Also give an extra allowance in the cap to account for the increase in 6 players, say $1mil?

    Think all GC17/GWS should have a premium price! All the kids should be priced at what scully was this year and those former AFL/WAFL/VFL players should be given a price according to their VFL stats this year!

    Leave trades as they are! It should be about holding onto your trade for when you need them. Would like to see perhaps 25 trades, as this would give some more freedom but think 30 trades would be to many!

  16. Bomber man

    July 8, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    @carltonboy- i dont know about that, i reckon one of the best things is thinking long and hard about a trade and if you make a bad one you have to live with it.

    @hugh- loving that idea!

    @RobotNinja- that is a shithouse idea

    i reckon 2 trades per round for every round of the season and like Marcz said it forces you to be tactical in how many players you pick from each team.
    all i know is that they have to get it right or ppl will be reluctant to play the game

  17. RobotNinja

    July 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Which idea was a house of shit? The no trades is a bit bold I guess. But that captain and spiritual captain idea is a ripper. Gary (at my work) agrees.

  18. benmo001

    July 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    OMG Huge. You stole my idea!!! The TEMPORY TRADE is the answer. e.g. 4 guys out for bye total cost $1.2m, you can pick any 4 other players for that 1 week only upto that value. When lockout finishes the tempory trades gets reversed.

  19. Waspy79

    July 8, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I also like the sound of the TEMPORARY TRADE proposal. As a side I would like the vice captain to score 1.5 times points in addition to the captain scoring 2.0 times points. A deputy vice captain can be selected to fill in for either captain or vice captain should they not play. Choosing two players who scores count for more than 1.0 times adds more skill to the game. As it stands there is little skill in making Swan or Ablett your captain every week.

  20. m0nty

    July 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Temporary trades are no chance of getting up.

    Additionally, those calling for them are soft. Harden up, lads. 😉

  21. benmo001

    July 8, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    I would have thought tempory trades maintained the current rules and fantasy game as much as possible? Wouldn’t 30 trades and extra players on the bench be the soft option?

  22. Pingback: The Coaches Box - AFL DreamTeam/SuperCoach Podcast | CB AFL Dream Team and SuperCoach Podcast #102: Pre-Round 15, 2010

  23. hugh

    July 12, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Monty Monty Monty.

    Harden up? The Temporary Trade idea is the most rational suggestion going. Increasing overall trades does nothing to releive the situation.

    I’m pretty confident that the TT idea has more legs than the Unique Pick idea – which, while very “hard” doesn’t appear to have worked its way into the top 10K yet (you had my brother fooled (thank you) but not me).

  24. poita78

    July 12, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    The two biggest problems with the bye are:

    a) if a team, say Geelong, has the bye in the final round, there would be little or no point selecting players from that team as they are not going to being playing in fantasy grand finals.

    b) there are going to be 34 byes across a 22 (or 24 week) season. The issue is not especially in the weeks where 1 team has a bye, but where 3 or 5 or more teams have a bye.

    Given the above, there needs to be enough bench cover to deal with these weeks (say an extra 6-8 players) and enough trades to cover the additional uncertainty in the competition (say an extra 5).

    I agree that there should be emergency cover for all positions and you should be able to play reserves out of position for a (small) penalty.

  25. jarrad_

    July 12, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    defitnetly dont agree with “mature” aged rookies having a price premiuim

    and gcand gws rookies should be 2nd lowest price

  26. Pat Burke

    July 13, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Don’t know why it will be that different from nrl or epl dt, both if which deal with several byes or short rounds. Everyone in the comp will have the same issues so if Geelong have a bye in the dt finals then good chance ur opponent will also have ablett, you just need cover for one week.
    I think emergencies may become reserves and become ‘non-positional’, u simply select a starting side and bench players who’s score will count. (in epl their score is /2)
    I don’t mind the vc getting 1.5 as it adds an element.
    Temporary trades is ridiculous and won’t happen.

  27. Pat Burke

    July 13, 2010 at 11:33 am

    You will need depth which adds a great element. Also in nrl there is no fixtures in the short weeks, but there is still eliminator. Many hardcores plan trades around these few weeks, also origin players miss games which adds more depth to planning.
    Don’t know what was wrong with pricing this year, seemed fine to me. Obviously barlow, rockliff, waters, podsiadly helped teams get set early, but it’s a just reward for those who notice these guys and their scores. I don’t think vfl stats should have too much influence as it is a very different level of competition. No disrespect.

  28. Triplebird

    July 13, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Hey new to site.
    i reckon 25ish trades, and be able to use maybe 4, 5 time in the season the rest of the time just 2. more emergencies, maybe only 1 in ruck Although you need to be able to select more than three if it is going to help!!!!! 8 mids 6 forwards 6 backs 2 rucks. (there are more good mids than any other spots). BUT MY BIGGEST POINT IS, if we are ganna have more emergencies we need a bit ore of a salary to be able to afford them!! not meaning to be soft but that seems obvious!!

  29. Triplebird

    July 13, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    sorry about the poor spelling

  30. Buff Nuts

    July 15, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Starting positions the same (7-6-2-7), one extra bench player for defenders, midfielders and forwards (3-3-2-3) increase emergencies to 4, leave mature aged rookies at rookie prices, keep the G17 players in line with other draftees. 20 trades – max two per week. have the option of buying additional trades, say 50k for 1 additional trade. no temporary trade, thats crap. 1 wildcard for the year where u get 4 free trades, CANT use normal 2 trades that week. wildcard CANT be used before round 6

  31. jackflash

    July 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I think the solution is not so complicated.
    Easy fix is players with a bye carry over their score from the previous round into the bye round.

  32. james585

    July 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    My idea for solving this issue is to limit the number of players that can be picked from any one team to 4 max (1 for each position).
    Then have a bye bench (3-4 spots)that can be used to trade players out that are on a bye. The value of the players on the “bye bench” determines how much you have to spend on players to bring in. At the end of the round the players on the “bye bench” are automatically placed back into your team and the “bye bench” is left empty for the next round.

  33. gwilliams

    July 17, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I like RobotNinja’s idea, zero trades.

    Team squad sizes would be increased, I think the current AFL team list size is 46 at the moment, but that is probably a bit high. Maybe a slightly higher salary cap but you would need to have a lot more mids and rookies to afford a few premiums. And lastly, a long term injury list maintained by the comp manager so that if your player goes down, as per Barlow, you can make a trade. Overall that would more closely resemble an actual AFL team experience I reckon, with a definite feeling of ownership of your players.

  34. mezzoculo

    July 20, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    My proposition is that rather than drastically increasing the number of trades – which would decrease the strategic component of the game – how about a revision of the current positional set-up?

    Instead of limiting each player to one or two positions (i.e. single or dual position players), I think current positional restrictions should be lifted so that a DT coach can place his players anywhere on the ground (while retaining the 7/6/2/7 positional structure). This change would reflect the flexibility available to all 16 AFL coaches (think Brian Lake and his occasional forays forward) and would help cover donuts from unavailable players (injuries/byes/dropped/whatever). To balance this increased flexibility (and better reflect the reality that no player is suited to all positions), players would be penalised a percentage of their weekly score if they are placed in a role to which they were unsuited (think Jake King in ruck). Each players’ ‘Favoured Positions’ would be defined as one which each player is currently listed to play in (e.g. Waite – FWD/DEF or Swan – MID only) and a player not placed in one of their ‘Favoured Positions’ would incur this for as long as they remain there. As an added benefit, each emergency would then be able to cover late withdrawals anywhere on the ground (albeit with a penalty to their score). I’ve been following football for long enough to know that the current DT/SC emergency set-up is unrealistic – in the unlikely case that an AFL coach has to plug a last minute gap then he will fill it with his ‘least worst’ option rather than running out with fewer than 22 players.

    From an implementation perspective, I would argue that my suggestion is merely the reverse of the current captaincy scoring system. So it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for the ChampionData/DreamTeam/SuperCoach tech gurus to adjust to. That said, I have no idea how complicated the system it already is!

    So, an (hypothetical) example. One of my two usual onground rucks (Dean Cox) blows a hammy. With my two bench ruck options both hitting it out in the twos, I place one of my FWD bench players, Leigh Brown, in the now vacant ruck position. As his Favoured Positions are FWD/DEF he receives a 20% penalty (arbitrary value – could be less/more) to whatever score he manages for the round. As with the current captaincy system, this penalty is only incurred by me, not by any other coach who has played Setanta in one of his two Favoured Positions and the penalty does not affect Brown’s breakeven and price fluctuations.

    So, what do you think? Seems to be a sensible option which reflects the flexibility available to the 16 ‘real-life’ AFL coaches and considering it is similar to the current captaincy scoring set-up, it shouldn’t be too difficult to implement. This change would also lessen the pressure to significantly alter the number of overall trades (although why there is a limit of two per round seems an odd restriction to me) which, in my opinion, would negatively impact upon the most intriguing aspects of DT/SC – tactics and strategy.

  35. mezzoculo

    July 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Oops. Replace Setanta with Leigh Brown…

  36. tallanvor

    July 23, 2010 at 2:19 am

    Monty(or anyone else for that matter), could you please explain to me why a temporary trade system would not work? Or whats wrong with temporary’s? To me it makes the most sense and keeps everything at a level playing field. Instead of fiddling with the number of trades, the size of the bench, an increase in multi-positional players, bench players that can play anywhere and every other theory out there, why not go with the temp trades? Everything and I mean everything can therefore stay exactly the same as this year except when your players have a bye.

    I can tell you right now, if we dont do temporary trades, there will be rounds where teams will be decimated because of the bye. I mean say for instance Geelong and Collingwood have a bye the same week. From my current best 22 that would wipe 8 gun players. And you think I(or anyone) am going to be able to cover them using bench players. Your dreaming. And what happens if a couple of important(drwamteam wise) clubs have byes in the last round of the yr? Our dreamteam gf’s will be absolutley fukd. And no ones gonna have 5 trades laying around to fix their team. People might argue that you should look ahead and not have so many players from one side when you know theyve got a bye in the last rd. But what are you spose to do .. look ahead at our prelim as well … our semi’s?? Its not possible.

    Monty … temporary trades are the only way to go. I dont understand why people oppose it. It keeps everything simple, and it keeps the format of Dreamteam the way we’ve always played it, the way we love it.

  37. hintos

    July 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    This is the best idea because it is the most realistic
    at the start of the season you pick a squad of say 44 or 46 players. That is the squad you keep for the whole season. each week choose a squad of 22 with three emergencies to cover late withdrawels. This enables you to have a full team each week no matter byes and it gives a sense of the real thing

  38. LightningM

    August 4, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Why change something that is not broken?!
    It’s fine the way it is.
    I play nrl supercoach as well and half the strategy is picking players around their byes. It’s not like you pick more than 2 players in the same line anyway (and if you did want to you would trade your third in after they had completed all the byes)
    The only thing we should look at adding is the auto emergency (like nrl) which gives you the lowest score of a non selected player regardless of their position (in the event a selected player gets 0)

  39. youngaj

    August 9, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    a) 5 6 2 5 = 18 starting scoring players

    b) 3 3 2 3 = 11 on reserves roster

    c) any 4 nominated reserves(interchange players) to score chosen from roster

    i.e. 22 scoring players

    d) allow a nominated emergency to score if needed – will assist coverage for byes &/or a late withdrawal

    thank you for your consideration ! cheers

    tony y

  40. youngaj

    August 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    can i add an option or two?

  41. youngaj

    August 9, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    please dont “trick” comp just to accommodate a one-off bye year i.e. no wildcards, no reverse swaps etc.

  42. youngaj

    August 9, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    also for consideration

    increase to 24 trades – will allow the bulk of players to go deeper into the season without losing heart – stuff the men from boys analogy – its a game!

    – it will be best served if everyone eg. fantasy fanatics, players, coaches, girls and boys alike can be kept interested over a long season

    can i have sat 24 trades please

  43. youngaj

    August 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    how about compulsory no trade zones say at round 11 & 12 and also 16 & 17 – would generate mid season interest and maybe bring to life some lack lustre leagues

    should not upset the hardcore players yet give momentum to fringe players

  44. Fatbar5tad

    September 11, 2010 at 1:09 am

    I run a divisional comp with a promotion/relegation system. In other fantasy comps such as A League, when they changed the amount of teams in it they changed the amount of teams allowed in each league.

    Will they do the same for SuperCoach and how many matches will we end up playing? Will it stay the same or will it be 17 team leagues therefore 16 matches.


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