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2010 cheat sheet

The all-bore squad: consensus Dream Team backs

Consensus DT backs

Common players seem to be bobbing up in every nuff-nuff’s Dream Teams at this stage of the season. First, we look at the backs.

Sydney Swans Training Session

The teams posted in the comments of the second editions of the Rate My Team threads, posted after the NAB Cup started, have been a lot more vanilla than those in the first threads, which were largely done before the preseason kicked off. This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but there is an increasingly large amount of complaints about it from the fantasy football public. So I thought I’d go through the most generic team possible and try to attack it from all sides, offering structural critique as well as a raft of uncommon or unique options to take the place of the nuffie’s favourites.

First we will start with the backs, where my early message has been to go cheap, cheap, cheap. The mob seems not to have heeded my advice quite as much as they could have, though, because the most common structure includes four keepers and only three mid-pricers.

#1 back: Brendon Goddard, the rolled gold premium
It’s understandable that you’d want the highest-scoring player in each position, and that’s pretty much how the teams have worked out, apart from Cox in the rucks. It’s hard to argue with Goddard given that he’s got more than 10 points in average over his nearest rival based on 2009 scoring. The only query is whether he will be rested in the forward line as has been mooted in the press and by coach Ross Lyon – a position in which he has provided some good scores in past games, but has also gone missing sometimes as well, which he almost never does in midfield. This is probably the most defensible consensus pick, nonetheless.

#2 back: Corey Enright, the top 7 lock
There’s no question that Enright has had an excellent preseason, and there’s strong supporting evidence that the loss of Tom Harley will mean more points for other players in the Cat defence. With a settled tall back structure of Matthew Scarlett and Harry Taylor down the spine, and Andrew Mackie seemingly being the one asked to do more defensive jobs than Enright, this looks like a no-brainer premium pick with subtle upside flavour. However, consideration should also be given to Ryan Hargrave who is in just about exactly the same position in the Bulldog structure, and arguably has more upside given the Dogs are set to lift their averages across the board this season. There is nothing holding back Paul Duffield at the same price, plus Jason Gram and Simon Goodwin haven’t put a foot wrong in preseason either. This is a price bracket where you probably can’t go wrong (barring injury), so going unique will not hurt you at all.

#3 back: Luke Hodge, the underpriced comeback premium
The received wisdom is that Hodge has had a far better preseason and is cherry ripe for a much stronger run in 2010. As I said on the Coaches Box yesterday, I have been trying out teams without Hodge in them this week, and I’m not missing him all that terribly. He still represents a downside risk, due to the Hawks being so cruelled with injury this year and thus not being able to support him as much when the inevitable tags are laid. I don’t like how his kick-to-handball ratio went down last year and his possession-to-mark ratio went up. He has been “guilty” in the past of sacrificing his own game to help the team and burning fantasy coaches in the process. Yes, last year’s average was his worst in five years, but I don’t see the trends at Hawthorn ticking up all that quickly, especially early in the season with a tough draw. At around the same price you can choose Rhyce Shaw, Heath Scotland, Lindsay Gilbee, Andrew Mackie and even Chris Newman to go unique.

#4 back: Heath Shaw, the redemption pick
I think this is the least defensible of all the nuffie picks, both in terms of the individual player and the team structure. Sure, Shaw had a solid pre-season in numerical terms, with 109 in the televised game against the Saints followed by 64 and 80 against Adelaide and Port away from the cameras. He’s back in the leadership group at Collingwood, though that doesn’t earn you any DT or SC points. He is underpriced for a reason, people: it’s because he can’t handle a tag, and his coach refuses to help him out. Guess what: Mick Malthouse is still the coach of Collingwood. Nothing has changed. I don’t think Heater has changed. He will deliver 100s but then he’ll throw in the odd 40 once a month when he gets a decent forward tag on him and gets isolated in the defensive goalsquare. It has happened many times before, and there are no signs that it won’t happen again in 2010.

Apart from the individual, there’s also the problem of structure, and this is where I think nuffie teams will get it wrong. There are many more possible cheap and mid-priced backs who are startable well below Shaw’s price, and it would be a mistake to spend this much money on your #4 back. If you’re still looking for a little more stability in this slot, you can go just a little cheaper with Shannon Hurn, Xavier Ellis or Joel Macdonald.

#5 back: Tadhg Kennelly, the prodigal son from Donegal (actually he’s from County Kerry, but that doesn’t rhyme 😉 )
#6 back: Nick Malceski, the forgotten keeper
I have few qualms about these picks, actually. There are a few concerns about fitness both long-term and short-term with both of them, especially with Malceski being a late withdrawal on the weekend with a muscle problem, but he has returned to full training this week so that seems a furphy. The old dynamic with the flag-era Swans team was that two of its three halfback runners would have good fantasy days while the one to miss out happened at random, so who knows what the share will be like with four of them when you chuck in Rhyce Shaw and Martin Mattner. It’s pretty hard to go past the upside of these two, nonetheless.

#7 back: Josh Hunt, the LTI comeback cheapie
While Hunt has edged him out for popularity all pre-season, Beau Waters is knocking on the door for this spot with his two late scores of 87 and 70. I think Hunt should stay ahead of Waters due to superior job security and fitness concerns, though I would be completely fine with having both as your #7 and #8 backs. Other valid candidates for this slot include Levi Greenwood (despite the two-to-three-week broken toe he got by pulling on his trackie dacks), Lachie Henderson (though probably only for SC), David Myers (though he pretty much exhausts your injury allowance all by himself), Rick Ladson and Matt Suckling (but only if Suckling is picked in R1).

#8 back: Matt Maguire, the Houdini act at CHB
The flogs have got this one right. There really is no other option at the #8 slot, as Maguire ticks all the boxes to be the Zac Dawson of 2010 in fantasy terms: a slow burner on the cash cow front who will provide solid if unspectacular coverage against the near-inevitable donut-flavoured carnage of fantasy backlines.

#9 back: Phil Davis, the early bolter
I was surprised to note that even at this late stage, a lot of fantasy teams are being created with Davis as back coverage. I get the fact that he might be bought purely because he has FWD and BAC eligilibility as part of a wider multipositional support system, but that doesn’t explain why he’s still so popular given that it has become abundantly clear that Scott Stevens is taking the spot vacated by Andy Otten, and Davis will spend most if not all of the year in the SANFL continuing to learn his craft. Davis should have been replaced in your side by now by either Mitch Farmer, Jordan Lisle, Ben Nason or Alex Silvagni.

Next up, of course, are the midfielders.



  1. Superfist

    March 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Monty it’s probably a bit much to think your advice weighs particularly heavily on the mind of a serious dt-er.
    I read your stuff because the articles are generally well written and thoughtful. Anyone who changes their mind or structures their team based upon what you or anyone else has written, rather than considering it as a drop in the ocean of information out there, is of no real concern.
    Unfortunately, the more information that is readily available regarding fantasy football, the more that teams are going to be relatively similar.
    Just make sure you keep my smokies Darren Millane and Gary Dhurrkay quiet!

  2. jarrad_

    March 19, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    just remember people the winners of both competitions last year didnt go for unique picks

    they won it because they traded imaculetly

    of course having the best possible starting team makes a huge difference

  3. mdon11

    March 19, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Jarrad hits the nail on the head. Regardless of how your initial squad (unique/ho-hum) is, if you trade like a spaz. You will have a car-wreck of a team.

  4. buddyforpm

    March 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    My approach is “no risk”. For example Malceski = risk so not not in. I don’t know if that right but that how I pick my team – unique or not.

  5. buddyforpm

    March 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    and…….My team is named after buddy but I can’t pick him because of the “risk” of suspension, and poor DT scores when hawks play bad. Plus the umpires hate him.

  6. cheez79

    March 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    people seem to be forgetting whos website this is…as Denny Crane would say “name on the door”

    Who give a stuff if he uses odd phrases, calls people nuffs nuffs etc etc, he can do what he wants, fact is its the best DT site, shitloads of people use it, wonder why?

  7. nameless

    March 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I dunno if mentioned, but i’d recommend players like Kelly and Harbrow down back.

    I personally prefer Kelly over Enright and Harbrow will become a keeper as my 5th back.

    I have Waters on my bench as well, perhaps you could suggest that?

  8. farqup

    March 19, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Not bad work Monty. Hodge will star and be 100 weekly.Goddard a must with Fisher out 4-6 weeks he will get so much ball.

  9. jusso

    March 19, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Great work Monty with post like this you may even break into the top 25000 this year

  10. TheBaron

    March 19, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Cheez79, Monty can indeed to what he wants. No-one is suggesting otherwise.

    But to respond to the contention of so many teams having the same picks, is it any wonder why, when there are so many sites that seem to be doing “rate my team” and “x vs. y” type things to death? Did YOU ever wonder why?

  11. grass73

    March 19, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    who gives a s$%# about similar teams,if people wanna jump on the band wagon and get some tips from these type of websites so what!! just focus on your team and pick the players that u want. just enjoy thats what fantasy football is all about,people obviously take it 2 serious.

  12. Arky

    March 19, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    People are fundamentally insecure, we all ask people to rate our teams even though we probably don’t agree with ’em. Unless you’re a newbie to DT and want to get told your big mistakes, or you’re trying to get information on players from other clubs you don’t know much about (like finding out which players got substituted in NAB challenge, for example… 50 in a half and 50 in a full game are pretty different!), what do you really think you’ll get?

    Monty’s blog articles, like the stuff from the DT Talk boys, gets people thinking even when you don’t agree with it or think it’s dumb. I know that when I looked over my team this evening and made some changes, one of the results was Heath Shaw out and Hargrave in (starting backline is now Goddard-Hargrave-Enright-Grimes-Bock-Hodge-Waters, so yeah, not exactly listening to Monty on structure am I? But after being stranded with the likes of Harding and Firrito and Mundy in my backs all last year, I am totally over mid-price back strategies).

  13. carpsi

    March 19, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Everyone

    After reading all the posts on this subject, only 2 of them make any sense. The post from mdon11 and jarrad. At the end of the day who cares who everyone else picks to begin with. Who cares if all teams are similar and have no uniques. That is all irrelevant!
    What matters {which is the most important aspect of DT or SC}is WHEN to trade and who you trade in your team. You need to know when your rookies or mid pricers have reached their max price then trade them out straight away. This is critical and crucial.

    I guarantee if I had the exact same starting team as some other people, by the end of the season I will come out in front due to my trading technique.

    I play SC because I think DT is for beginners. Every possession a player gets in DT you get points. I feel you need more thought in constructing a SC team due to the points system.

    I am going more the mid priced option because for example, if I have mark mc veigh or masten or someone else in this price range and they increase in value I have a better opportunity to buy ablett or another premium midfielder that has decreased in value.
    If i start my midfield with 3 or 4 rookies the range from their starting price to the premiums price is just too big.

    Thats my 2 cents. I know there will be people who will disagree and criticise what i wrote but I am intitled to my opinion.

    good luck everyone

  14. Arky

    March 19, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    The game mechanics of SC and DT are exactly the same. Teams selected the same, price movements the same, trading the same, captains the same. The only difference is that some players score higher in one or the other- even then, player scores in SC are as consistent in SC as in DT.

    Do SC scores get closer to recognising a players worth than DT scores? A bit. But for us out here, the games are exactly the same, there’s not a single way that SC requires more skill or less skill than DT 🙂

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  16. tom37

    March 20, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Monty, I don’t agree with all you say, but in criticising your strategies etc I have to question my own. That is NEVER a bad thing. Well done and keep posting.

    To add to the Goddard debate, I have to wonder whether his fanboys (of which I may be 1 by lockout) are just chasing last year’s form. If you did this last year you would have chosen as the top 4 backs:

    Hodge 96.4 down to 83.5 last year
    Carazzo 93.9 down to 85.1
    Mackie 91.2 down to 83.1
    Fisher 90 down to 85

    That’s a lot of cash to burn!

    Keep writing Monty. I enjoy your posts even (and perhaps more) when I disagree with them.

  17. sleepwalk

    March 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Monty thanks for your posts. I’m a Supercoach man myself but let’s face it – the players we pick come from the same pool and they have the same injuries and game time no matter the competition.

    Your point about the Swans backs sharing the points unevenly is a good one. Maybe if anyone includes these players they could take three of them – the averages would work out okay that way. If anyone wanted to take Shaw they could consider Rhys instead – half his games in SC last year were 90 and he had very few bad games (one stinker from memory). For mine, I’d just as soon take Heath because over the year his average is fine and there’s always the chance he’ll have one of his big games in a week that takes you close to winning it. A player like his brother with more even averages won’t do that for you.

    As always there are a few smokies in this year, but you have to have the courage of your convictions to consider some of them. For example, Mark Nicoski has done me no favours in the past but he’s a newly designated half forward flanker who has the faith of his coach and above average skills. He may slot into his position nicely near after familiarising himself in some low scoring pre-season games. At his best he’s an 85-90 (Supercoach) points player.

    Nathan Brown was playing hurt last year; I think as a third year player with a good physique, no fear and a rock of Gibraltar full back next to him, he can take advantage of the improving Collingwood back six with more possessions and some contested marks.

    There are more of course and these guys have risks attached but I believe the backs offer a wider choice than a lot of fantasy coaches think.

    As for the obvious cheapies, it’s entirely possible that one or even two of Kennealy, Malcevski, Ladson, Hunt, MacGuire, O’Brien and Waters will return averages high enough to lock them in for the season. I’d be perfectly happy with the scores they’re capable of generating at their best in sixth and seventh spot. I’d be concerned about Taidgh’s knee, Rick’s fitness, Matt’s place (as the Brisbane hierarchy see it) in the best 22 and Beau’s capacity as an honest and hard player to generate consistently high points, but I doubt all of these players will need to be traded.

    The beauty of it is that you can easily take five of them and let the year decide the outcome for you – plan for the worst and hope for the best 🙂

    Anyway, just some thoughts. I’ll keep my gems to myself for now. I’m sure everyone understands 🙂

    One final point – it doesn’t matter how many ’nuff nuffs’ choose popuklar oplayers. There are so many of them to spread across 30 positions that it’s almost impossible to end up with the same squad as anyone else.

    Good luck all.


  18. sleepwalk

    March 20, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Should read “half his games in SC last year were 90 (eight 100 )”

  19. sleepwalk

    March 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Hmmm – I see the blog doesn’t accept plus symbols


    March 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I think when a player that your dodgy on for fitness reasons plays nab cup and challenge games and scores well is then a good indication of wether there worth having or not,and therefore freakos information is good.Maybe i have misunderstood what you wrote monty

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  23. skspies

    March 22, 2010 at 9:43 am


    Harry O’ or Heath Shaw? I know harry has done quite well in pre-season games this year, not only NAB cup.. What’s your opinion?

  24. MissPies

    March 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    ^^^Being my first year following this site..I am trying to get used to your quirky annotations Monty. Maybe a ‘Monty glossary of terms’ would be emailed my lol.

  25. Najo_man86

    March 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Great blog Monty, enjoying going through all your workings…

    In light of reading the above discussion… thinking about downgrading Enright – (currently – Goddard, Enright, Hargrave, Hodge, Harry O, Waters, Maguire)

    As a possible replacement, thinking one of Mackie, Doughty for differential…

    Any particular way I should be leaning towards out of Mackie or Doughty?


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