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Bench deluxe combo: two bench players from the same AFL team

One-team bench combos

Scared of the deathly power of zeroes? Load up your benches with teammates to give strategic cover.

One of the most frustrating things in fantasy is finding that your AFL Dream Team or Super Coach squad is going to have to cop a zero or three due to the inflexibility of the trading system, restricting you to two trades per week while injury and AFL selection can rob you of many more players each week. Towards the end of last season the situation got as bad as anyone can remember, particularly in the backs where quality on the low end was very scarce.

A tactic I am going to consider strongly this year is buying two or more cheapie/rookie players from the same side, in the hope that you’ll capture enough of a team’s fringe players that at least one of them will play each week. It may rob you of choices, but it will almost be a requirement for certain structures where you do not want to have to burn trades chasing down zeroes each week. I’ll list the most likely combos I can see.

Daniel Currie and Jesse White. Few fantasy coaches are going to be banking on having to make a trade in their ruck bench this year, and with Peter Everitt retired the second ruck fiddle to Darren Jolly is wide open at the Swans. White and Currie may even both play for stretches of the season, with White being tested as a forward in the preseason. White is cheap enough in SC to make this very tasty – particularly if you are also starting Jolly, who is more of an SC player – but it’s a bit of a stretch in DT at a price of $137,500, which may mean that Currie would be teamed up with rookies Jake Orreal or Mike Pyke, ensuring that you’d set-and-forget about the #4 ruck.

Collingwood Magpies Training Session

Dayne Beams and Steele Sidebottom. Sidebottom has forward eligibility, of course, so he may not often be teamed up with Beams in the centre bench but I think there’s enough competition for forward rookie spots, and strangely not really a whole lot in the centres. You know Mick Malthouse loves playing the kids, and if you want to start some rookies in the centre, as most structures call for, then this is as good a tandem as any from the 2008 AFL draft.

Stephen Hill and Nick Suban. It would be a courageous coach to spend an extra $56,000 in DT and $70,000 in SC over a basement rookie to buy a #8 back. However, I’m considering this duo myself to support the all premium back structure I blogged about at the start of the year. With these two in the back bench, you can have added confidence that you can forget about trading altogether in the always-troublesome defence, where there’s every likelihood that the 2008 backopalypse will happen all over again. If you don’t want to spend all that extra money, there’s also the possibility of the rookies Clancee Pearce and Greg Broughton, who are being given a full airing this weekend in the NAB with two free upgrade spots waiting for them from round 1 if they show enough. Another variation on this would be to buy three of these four and commit to starting at least one of them, as you would have to be pretty unlucky for all three of them to not be picked.

Shaun Hampson and Sam Jacobs. Sure, why not? With Robert Warnock out for an extended period and Cameron Cloke skulking around half forward, Hampson is still barely cheap enough to make this a viable option.

Collingwood Intra-Club Match

Aaron Kite and Jared Petrenko. Toss in Rory Sloane as the dark horse and… you may still not get anyone who plays consistently. I’ve gone right off this situation.

Scott Gumbleton and Jay Neagle. Do you trust this new four pillar policy that Matthew Knights has been going on about? Even if you do, word from Bomber training is that Neagle can’t stay healthy, so I’m going to avoid this combo.

Mitch Thorp and Beau Dowler. This would be a big longshot for mine, even if you throw in Jordan Lisle instead of Dowler. None of these three are guaranteed a game at this point, though as the NAB progresses we may have to return to this choice and look at it with a bit more depth.

Tyrone Vickery and Angus Graham. It is certainly true that Troy Simmonds has had a knee bandage on during the preseason, but I don’t think you can justify this combo unless you’re also buying Simmonds. They talk a lot in American fantasy football about “handcuffs”, so I think when it comes to ruckmen you can consider the likes of Vickery and Graham as handcuffs for Simmonds.

How about you, do you give any credence to the theory of “handcuffing your studs”, or at least trying to give yourself more chance of playing 22 fit blokes every week? Do you think committing to one team’s kids restricts yourself too much to finding value elsewhere? What other combinations can you see that might have some value? Give me some more options in the comments.



  1. Cam

    February 12, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    The successes of ’08
    Craig Bird and Keiran Jack
    Cameron Stokes and Cyril Rioli

    The duds of ’08
    Scott D Thompson and Lachie Hansen
    Adam Hartlett and Darren Pfeiffer

  2. Dan

    February 12, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Do then think that Goldstein would be a good handcuff for McIntosh? Or do you think the Roos would just use Hale and Petrie if he were to go down?

  3. Chad

    February 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Good post monty, one wonders how bad Simmonds knee is with the bandage. Will have to have a look during the NAB sunday night. Is there anywhere publishing the TOG stats for the Nab Cup?

    Suban seems too be becoming less and less of a lock. Although it is nice to see Hill with back eligibility i think he is just priced a little too high for a bench player. The 60k more than a 86k rookie would certainly score you alot more points if you upgraded one of your 22 players.

    Ziebell/Liam Anthony could be another to consider. But Laidley is a killer of young fantasy players.

  4. Macca

    February 12, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I know you don’t like Presti from the Pies m0nty….but he’s a cheap backman that could play the whole season!

  5. m0nty

    February 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Yes Macca, but does 30 points per week really matter?

  6. Cam

    February 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    30 points is always better than 0 points… The point i think was that he would be a cash cow but a dependable “bench” when Goddard gets suspended and Hodge does his hammy.

  7. Cam

    February 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    ^^^ NOT be a cash cow I meant

  8. Scuzzlebut

    February 12, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    I like the frontbum/Beams idea.

    Any idea why Suban isnt playing? Also missing are Hinkley, Gilmore or Drum, who I thought were all training well.

  9. Cam

    February 12, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I thought Gilmore was playing

  10. Dicko

    February 12, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I like Beams and Sidebottom but I am waiting til Collingwood gets around to playing them to see how they go, but the Swans baby rucks are locked into position 3 and 4.

  11. Dicko

    February 12, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    “Any idea why Suban isnt playing? Also missing are Hinkley, Gilmore or Drum, who I thought were all training well.”

    No Andrew Foster either

  12. TRS

    February 12, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    I think as a salary cap competition, DT/SC demands that all or nearly all players MUST increase in value in order for a team to be successful, and therefore handcuffing of players is probably better suited to competitions where players are uniquely drafted to one team (and therefore you can “protect” your investment in a player by getting his back-up too).

    The exception may be the ruck, where ruck benches don’t really appreciate much in value anyway.

  13. Rodger

    February 12, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    The Hill/Suban and Ziebell/Anthony combinations are too scary to consider given that both teams will not be finalised at lockout.

  14. Dublin18

    February 12, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Gday Monty,

    What are your thoughts on Lachlan Henderson at 139,200. I read he is likely to improve significantly this year. Is there anyone you could put in a backline combo with him?


  15. Alex

    February 12, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    I agree with TRS… you’re better off going for the players with the most chance in appreciating their value, regardless of their team.

  16. Dan

    February 13, 2009 at 1:12 am

    <- old Dan

    Right now i’ve got Pearce/Broughton just as placeholder so I don’t forget to watch them in NAB cup 🙂

    I am pretty sure dazza on BigFooty went into the fact that Laidley isn’t always a rookie killer. For every Scott D Thompson there is a Gavin Urquhart. I picture Ziebell being an Urquhart more than a Thompson. Apparently Liam Anthony is “training the house down” 🙂

    TRS – yes good comment on salary cap comps — I made good money from my ruck bench last year

  17. Butane

    February 13, 2009 at 1:41 am

    I’m fairly confident I’ll be doing a ‘set and forget’ ruck combo of Cox/HMac/White/Currie.

    But I don’t think it has much play time outside the rucks. Maybe if you went Hentschel/Walker? I still think the money you can bank from your bench is more important then playing uber safe.

  18. Heater

    February 13, 2009 at 9:44 am

    You know I’m not sure Sidebottom & Beams will start together unless there are injuries. The Collingwood midfield looks pretty settled to me though Sidey could play half forward/pocket. I reckon Beams will start Rd1 with Sidey getting his 1st game on Anzac Day (MM likes to debut young players on this day eg: Trav Cloke). Just my gut feeling….

  19. Chunky

    February 13, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Great post Monty.
    I’m not convinced that Beams and Sidebottom will play regular senior footy this year. The Pies are set for a good year and it will be a hard team to get into. Perhaps rookies in poorly performing teams such as Freo, Melbourne and West Coast will get more opportunities ?

  20. Tony

    February 13, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    what do people think about Max Bailey?? He is touted as the next no 1 ruck at the hawks, with R Campbell struggling with wrist injury, S Taylor on the way out, and B Renouf with his off field indiscretions i think he might make a good no4 backman this year.

  21. Tony

    February 13, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    buckup that was meant to say!!!

  22. steve

    February 15, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    hey there Is anyone opting for Monty’s PREMIUM BACK selection for SC this season . and what about you MONTY ??

  23. john24

    February 16, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Dicko, dont even look at Foster, he has hurt his back again and wont be playing in the 1’s until at least Round 8.

  24. Rikle

    February 19, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Monty, I want to push you on some of your logic here: You say regarding Frep backs: ‘Another variation on this would be to buy three of these four and commit to starting at least one of them, as you would have to be pretty unlucky for all three of them to not be picked.’
    It feels like you are assuming that if one of the three Freo backs play, you’ll be fine. This is not true. If one of your six non-Freo backs miss, you need two of your three Freo backs to play; Stephen Hill (on the field) AND one other. Just saying.

  25. m0nty

    February 19, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    That’s true Rikle, but it doesn’t invalidate my statement as it assumes the other six are playing.

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