At this time of the season coaches are faced with very tough rookie decisions, writes John Salmond.
There are still some enticing cash cows, but many coaches are running out of trades. Depending on how many trades you have left, most rookies you bring in at this time of year will likely stay in your side until the end of the season, so choose wisely!
There are many reasons to be cautious in trading over the next two weeks. During the split round, fantasy team lock out will occur prior to six teams being named. Mid season reviews will change the selection policy at several clubs, resulting in more or less opportunities for rookies, depending on the club. A club’s “best 22” could also be affected by the return of injured stars after a rest, new players yet to debut and the opportunity for all clubs to elevate a player off the rookie list after round 11. It may be wise to limit trading in new rookies for a few weeks, unless you have plenty of trades left.
Bubble Boy of the Week
The talk of the fantasy world has been the form of 22 year old Beau Muston and the huge scores he has made in his first two games (DT avg 117, SC 115). Muston looks to have good job security and could be your seventh midfielder who will provide solid scores as a bench player, or at worst, make a large profit very quickly.
Many coaches will not hesitate to trade for him this week. What are the risks and is there any down side to this decision? For a start, who will you trade out of the midfield? Some coaches already have their midfields set, others have Liam Anthony sitting on the bench ready to play and others have cash cows that havenâ€™t fully matured yet such as Dayne Beams and Mark Coughlan. Would it be wise to burn a trade to go from Beams/Anthony to Muston? It is also likely that his scores will drop once opposition teams give him more attention. If you have a reasonable amount of trades and a weak bench in the midfield, then the trade looks to be worthwhile.
Other Bubble Boys
Other than Muston, the only other Bubble Boy likely to play this week is the 23-year-old Kangaroo defender Nathan Grima. Grima was named in the team last week but withdrawn at the last minute to play in the VFL. Dean Laidley’s unpredictable changes are enough to drive anyone mad! Grima has been named again this week and it seems like he will score well (especially in SC) if he can stay in the side. If you have him already, then keep him and cross your fingers. If you donâ€™t have him, then I donâ€™t think he is worth the risk.
Future Bubble Boys
Liam Shiels, Tom Swift and Nathan Djerrkura played their first games last week and may well be next week’s Bubble Boys. Swift, in a rebuilding WCE team, would be best pick of those. Michael Hurley has also played one game and is out injured at the moment, but he could be good downgrade in a few weeks.
Although Jack Watts got the media attention this week, Round 11 will see the debut of other rookies with better fantasy football potential. If all goes to plan these players will be on the Bubble in round 13 so it would be good to keep trades for these downgrade targets. Mature age recruit Hayden Ballantyne could potentially be your eighth forward for the rest of the season. Clancee Pearce will get plenty of opportunity and is a very cheap fantasy back. 21-year-old Liam Anthony played VFL reserves last week and will likely play in the VFL seniors this week. He may get his AFL debut in round 12 or 13.
So whatâ€™s your strategy? How many trades are you saving for downgrade players? Let me know in the comments.