Buy low on Barlow: Boys on the Bubble for Round 3, 2010

If you haven’t already got recordbreaking fantasy star Michael Barlow in your team… last chance!

AFL Rd 2 - Bombers v Dockers

As promised in the preseason, I have now converted this semi-regular feature into a couple of dedicated pages, so that when I’m too lazy to write up the list, at least you can browse through the names yourself. The Boys on the Bubble – Dream Team and Boys on the Bubble – Supercoach pages give you an updated list of all players who played their second game on the weekend. I will do something similar for the regular Rollercoaster feature next week.

And now, a few words on the lists from this week, which are naturally very long as most players have played two matches after two rounds.

Backpocalypse

I have heard of coaches already who, outside of their premium keepers, have their entire backlines filled with negative breakevens. Sucks to not be them! I am glad that my early call of “attack from the backs” was so accurate, though even I didn’t anticipate the start-worthy scores of players like Alex Silvagni and Matt Maguire. On those two, however, I would sound a note of caution in that they have both played in two wins by their clubs, so I wouldn’t be restructuring my backline to push them into starter slots just yet. Maguire in particular looks very injury prone. Silvagni has benefited from being the third tall in the manner of Andy Otten last year, but the injury to Chris Tarrant may give him more responsibility and remove his cheapness. If you picked Mitch Farmer or Jackson Trengove you chose… poorly. As for the likes of preseason favourites Josh Hunt, Beau Waters, Tadhg Kennelly, Nick Malceski and Rick Ladson, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Centrageddon

Amazingly, Michael Barlow is owned by only a third of the coaches in each competition. If you are part of the two-thirds majority, consider yourself a nuffie and burn a trade this week to get him in. I saw a lot of benches in the preseason with the combo of Luke Shuey and Ryan Bastinac, which is paying off in spades right now. Two of my predictions that almost no one heeded, however, are also coming true: Ben Howlett in one of the three mature-agers who make up the top three for lowest breakevens, while I also foretold that the headline act at Melbourne of Tom Scully and Jack Trengove would be upstaged by an older player no one had heard of. My bet personally was on James Strauss, but it turns out Jordie McKenzie was the dark horse. He will be looked at this week by owners of Luke Ball, David Armitage and Mark McVeigh as a sideways trade.

Ruckolocaust

Those who were hemming and hawing in the preseason over which of David Hille, Nic Naitanui, Brad Ottens and Mark Seaby for their #2 ruck would be kicking themselves at this point if they didn’t go with Seaby. Robert Warnock came back to earth this week, and can’t be relied upon to be a starter, thus invalidating some of the more ridiculous trade theories I was hearing last week to push him into a starter slot.

Forwardystopia

There’s not a whole lot of bad news here. Carl Peterson and Mitchell Duncan owners will be very pleased, particularly as injuries and suspensions have increased their respective job security factors greatly after Monday’s game. Cameron Hitchcock has totalled 65 in Dream Team in first quarters this season, then 65 in the remaining six quarters, which is a worry, but the news of further complications to Daniel Motlop‘s injury gives him added JS. Scott Gumbleton looked far better in round 2 than his first game of the season, giving his owners hope of a brighter future. Even owners of James Podsiadly will be happy with Cameron Mooney‘s suspension which will surely give Pods a call-up. The only tragedy is those coaches who went with a combo of Tom Rockliff and Relton Roberts, both of whom are going to struggle to get picked in upcoming games.

Time for a bunch of questions to you lot, which I have been neglecting in recent posts, which is a shame because I know it fires up the passions in the comments. How many of you are confident enough not to tinker with any of your eight bench players this week? How many are regretting going with a premium-heavy backline given the embarrassment of riches in the cheap and rookie price bands? Is anyone prepared to take a chance on McKenzie given how out of the ordinary his R1 and R2 scores are compared to his prior history and his 2010 NAB? How many of you were sticking pins in voodoo dolls of me yesterday as I was at the footy and the live scores weren’t working? 🙁

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