I should record a couple of things that have changed with the Fanplanner recently. First, I have tweaked the magic number due to some discussions with respected fantasy coaches. Second, I’ve added a new line below completed teams listing your “structure”, which requires a bit of explanation.
On the magic number, the BigFooty poster 54dogs, who has more top 10 Dream Team finishes than the vast majority of you lot (including me!), pointed out to me that the Dream Team salary cap will only go up 3.5% per cent this year, not the 7% that I had previously got stuck in my head. I had the number right in the Fanplanner, but for some reason I mistakenly thought that it was a bigger inflation number than it was. Of course, this means that my previous prediction for inflation of the magic number of 10% was most likely way off. I have since adjusted the magic number used to calculate Dream Team prices in the Fanplanner down to 4603, which is a 6% increase on last year’s 4343 – as opposed to the 4777 I had been projecting.
I have also tweaked a few prices:
• Ben Cousins is now discounted only 40% on 2007 averages, not 42%, which is in line with the policy on Stuart Dew last year.
• Ben McEvoy is now at the regular draftee price of $88,600/$94,200.
• Hayden Skipworth is now at the minimum non-draftee price of $96,600/$101,900.
For those of you wondering whether I’m also wrong on Super Coach, I can assure you that the salary cap and magic number don’t change at all from year to year in that competition. They have been $10,000,000 and 5365 from the start.
On the structure feature, that’s something that came up on some private boards I’m subscribed to, and I’ve developed it into a minor innovation. Hopefully, it should give you some thoughts on how your team is balanced. The format of a typical listing is like so:
5/2/1/1 – 3/2/2/1 – 2/0/1/1 – 3/1/3/2 = 13/5/7/5
Each of the first four segments corresponds to a position – backs, centres, ruck and forwards – while the last are team totals. For each of the segments, the listing is formatted as premiums/mid-prices/cheapies/rookies. The definition of a rookie is a player who is at the basement draftee price or below, indicating that they have not played a game yet. For the purposes of this feature I am including the draft picks 6-10 as rookies – Phil Davis, Tyrone Vickery, Chris Yarran, Daniel Rich and Jack Ziebell – and classifying the top 5 as cheapies, due to their inflated prices. The cutoffs for premiums and mids as follows, based on my own judgments:
Back: premiums 350k+, mids 180k-350k
Centre: premiums 400k+, mids 200k-400k
Ruck: premiums 340k+, mids 200k-340k
Forward: premiums 380k+, mids 180k-380k
Back: premiums 450k+, mids 250k-450k
Centre: premiums 480k+, mids 200k-480k
Ruck: premiums 400k+, mids 200k-400k
Forward: premiums 455k+, mids 220k-455k
For those wondering what this is all in aid of, let us look at a couple of teams from last year. The 2008 Peckin Away squad of 2007 Dream Team winner Steve Morfesse is an example of the guns-and-rookies strategy, whose structure I have pegged as:
3/2/1/3 – 3/1/1/3 – 1/1/2/0 – 4/1/0/4 = 11/5/4/10
Contrast that with 2007 Super Coach winner Casha’s 2008 SC squad, which takes the opposite approach of relying heavily on mid-price improvers:
3/4/0/2 – 2/4/1/1 – 1/1/2/0 – 3/1/2/3 = 9/10/5/6
It is important to realise which way you are leaning on this axis, something which the structure system will tell you at a glance. Neither way is a guaranteed path to success, as both can succeed if the right players are fitted into the right slots. Let me know which way your team is heading in the comments.