Dream Team gets easier: AFL Prospectus details

The 2009 AFL Prospectus has already hit the hands of fantasy coaches with price and player position info.

As the hardcore fantasy coaches already know, the first look we get at the player prices and positions in both AFL Dream Team and Super Coach is the AFL Prospectus, published in late January by Champion Data. Details are now out about the 2009 issue, and here are the main points:

• Magic number increases to around 4438, a 2.2% increase. We already knew the salary cap would increase by 3.5%, making this the first year for a while that the game has become easier.

• The previous 42% rule for discounting players who miss an entire season due to long-term injury has been discarded in favour of the rule of arbitrary discounts of 10%, 20%, 30% or 40% which have been doled out to selected players who managed between 1 and 8 games. This means Ben Cousins only gets a 10% discount on his 2007 averages, while Paul Hasleby gets a 30% discount, and Hayden Skipworth gets no discount at all on his 2006 averages.

Mark Coughlan at $176,400 in DT uses a new rule which is based on a 10% discount of his 2008 price. Trent Hentschel, the other player who has missed two years in a row, is at $122,700 using a different equation.

• Price premiums for top draft picks have been extended from the previous rule of the top 10 to now the full first round of 16. This pushes up the prices of the top 10 by a further $20,000 on what they would have been last year, meaning DT prices of $150,600 for Jack Watts and $146,600 for Nick Naitanui.

• The previous rule about maintaining a “minimum” price for older players whose average after discounts would have been placed below draftee prices – which was significantly above draftee prices – has been abandoned, meaning that players like Scott Gumbleton, Mitch Thorp and Mitchell Brown of West Coast are now at draftee prices of $86,600/$94,200.

• Important player positional moves: Brent Harvey returns to the forwards, joining Simon Goodwin, Shaun Higgins, Andrew Walker, Steele Sidebottom and Skipworth; Corey Enright, Andrew Carrazzo and Jason Davenport are now backs while Jed Adcock returns to the backline as well.

• Important player positional non-moves: Brett Deledio stays a forward, Chad Cornes remains a back.

Jack Grimes does not get a discount, and neither do Higgins, Beau Waters, Shannon Hurn, Ben Reid, Lachie Henderson, Patrick Dangerfield or Jared Rivers.

Jesse W. Smith gets a 20% discount, as do Sam Butler, Patrick Veszpremi, Ryan Houlihan and Andrew Raines.

The first thing that strikes me is that it seems crazy that Gumby is $62,000 cheaper than Watts in DT. The second is that I already thought we had more value picks at the lower end of the forwards than we could handle, and now we have got some more bonuses in Sidebottom and Skipworth, not to mention the mystifying classification of Walker. Davenport is going to be another teaser in the backs.

Thanks to Jan Juc on BigFooty for sending along all these details. I’m sure the Fanplanner will be running hot today, so let me know in the comments what your reactions are to these big news items.

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