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Post-draft structure for 2009 AFL Dream Team

Post-draft DT structure

I’ll be posting regular tidbits from the Fanplanner leading up to the 2009 fantasy season, with one of the main features being the “structure” posts, where I group together the most popular players in each position according to their price to give you a rough outline of what a generic fantasy team looks like. So let’s drill down into the early December Fanplanner Dream Teams for the latest trends.

For those not familiar with what this post is for, check out the previous one from late October. Players are grouped as “premiums” (highest prices), “mid-prices” and “rookies” (low prices). Note that fantasy coaches use the word “rookie” to mean any player priced very low in Dream Team or Super Coach, typically $150,000 or lower.

4 premiums from: Chad Cornes, Brendon Goddard, Luke Hodge, Sam Fisher, Grant Birchall, Jason Gram, Beau Waters, Josh Drummond, Heath Shaw
2 mid-prices from: Ricky Petterd, Nick Malceski, David Myers, Garrick Ibbotson, Gavin Urquhart
3 rookies from: Jack Grimes, Jesse W. Smith, Nick Suban, Tom Lynch, Alex Rance, Greg Gallman

2 premiums from: Travis Boak, Daniel Kerr, Kane Cornes, Gary Ablett jnr, Jordan Lewis, Nathan Van Berlo, Joel Selwood
3 mid-prices from: Paul Hasleby, Bryce Gibbs, Travis Boak, Trent Cotchin
3 rookies from: Daniel Rich, Mark Coughlan, Patrick Dangerfield, Steele Sidebottom, Jason Davenport

2 premiums from: Dean Cox. Troy Simmonds, David Hille, Hamish McIntosh, Drew Petrie, Brad Ottens, Aaron Sandilands
2 rookies from: Tyrone Vickery, Daniel Currie, Nick Naitanui, Ayce Cordy, Ben McEvoy, Shaun McKernan

2 premiums from: Matthew Pavlich, Nick Riewoldt, Lance Franklin, Steve Johnson, Quinten Lynch, Ryan O’Keefe, Robert Murphy
3 mid-prices from: Shaun Higgins, Scott Lucas, Jason Porplyzia, Des Headland, Alwyn Davey
4 rookies from: Chris Yarran, Jack Ziebell, Hayden Ballantyne, Sean Rusling, Scott Gumbleton

Since my last structure post, money seems to have drifted away from the centres and forwards and into the rucks and backs, with the defences being so cashed up that four premiums is now the norm. With all of the draft news, fantasy coaches are feeling more adventurous with picking draftees in their 22s, especially in the forward line where Ballantyne, Ziebell and Yarran are popular.

Among the losers since October, Matthew Egan and Xavier Ellis are the obvious ones through injury as well as the undrafted Ben Cousins, and the low level of support for Heath Shaw continues. In the Adelaide midfield, the love has shifted from Brent Reilly to his teammate Van Berlo. Taylor Walker is rather scarce in Fanplanner teams nowadays, while Andrew Raines has almost disappeared and Robert Warnock has dropped off the radar. Jack Watts has fallen sharply as more and more fantasy coaches twig about his reduced expectations from the club due to Year 12 commitments. Strangely, Cox does not stand unchallenged as #1 ruck any more, appearing in only around 75% of the latest Fanplanner Dream Teams – what is wrong with you people?!? Kidding!

The big winner, apart from the draftees, is Travis Boak. This surprises me in the absence of any strong training reports, but he’s a top 5 midfield starter in recent Fanplanner teams. Higgins has jumped up to be the most popular forward, which is less alarming given that he’s had some favourable media coverage lately. Plenty of coaches are prepared to support Daniel Kerr despite a softly softly approach taken by the Eagles hierarchy to his training regime.

Another interesting aspect of the structure is who gets benched and who gets to score for your 22. Fanplanner coaches who buy Sean Rusling are buying him almost always as a bench player but not as a starter. Is he less trustworthy in your 22 than a Yarran, Ballantyne or Ziebell? Many of you think so, apparently. The same goes for Gumbleton. I’m guessing the thinking there is that these two are not going to be consistent in their scoring, with the example of Kurt Tippett‘s 2008 yo-yo numbers as a fresh example in our minds for young key position forwards. Steele Sidebottom is another bench specialist, though this is harder to fathom. It seems to me as if the vast majority of fantasy coaches are prepared to stomach playing one draftee on the field from round 1, and this year that draftee is Rich, and there’s no room for anyone without at least one year under their belts and a tighter grip on selection.

This list is compiled from Fanplanner teams you lot have been making, so tell me if I’m gauging your mood correctly. Why are Rusling, Gumby and “Frontbum” not getting a look in for your 22? Where’s this Boak love coming from? Is it really possible to have a satisfactory fantasy team without Big Cox? Tell me in the comments.

NB: Yes, a Super Coach structure post is coming soon.



  1. amobema

    December 10, 2008 at 1:34 am

    Great stuff m0nty, this will help an awful lot when I start my fanplanner draft.

    Personally, Cox has been by first choice in the last few years and this year is no exception.
    I think people see Boak as the strongest candidate to become a true 95 gun, which is backed up by his scores in the latter part of last year.
    I think this year the mid priced players are going to be the ones that make or break teams, with the salary cap being proportionally lower than last year. This makes the players like Petterd, Higgins and Malceski crucial.

  2. Chad

    December 10, 2008 at 8:10 am

    “The big winner, apart from the draftees, is Travis Boak. This surprises me in the absence of any strong training reports”

    Been a bit of press over here about how Boak has put on a fair bit of muscle. That plus end of last year Chad Cornes commenting that he thinks Boak will win a brownlow. Personally with Boak, i would rather pay the extra 70k and get Kane not just because Kane can get a few more cheapies, but Kane hasn’t missed a game in 5 years.

    At the moment my stucture is looking like 6 back “premiums” (read keepers) and 3 rookies, 2 premiums 1 mid and 5 rookies in the middle, 2 premiums 2 rookies in ruck and 3 premium 2 mid and 4 rookies in the forward line.

    “weak” mid i think is offset by the 2 premiums being extremely durable and the mid i only need 10 games from.

  3. Dan

    December 10, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Interesting that people are reacting to last year’s backs being a nightmare under the [rather large] assumption they’ll be a nightmare this year also.

    That ‘buying premium backs as insurance’ strategy didn’t work last year anyway… see: Chad Cornes and Heath Shaw.

    You should only be buying premiums backs if you are seeing less value in the backs and more value in the other positions. Even then the premium back you are buying should show some element of being good value.

    With Rusling being on the bench, that is because I click ‘sort by price’ and it puts him there. I figure that last spot in forward line is going to whoever is getting a game out of Rus/Ballan/Yarr 🙂 1 of them should get games — also thinking Gumby from his training reports sounds good, but I am sticking with the small crumbing forwards as per monty’s analysis 🙂

  4. Chad

    December 10, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Dan, the loading of backs from my point isn’t the disaster that was last year, it is because they are

    1) cheaper premium/keepers meaning i can get more in my starting team

    2) lacking rookies capable of playing and scoring. There is quite a few options in the mids and forwards, and not much in the backs.

  5. Chad

    December 10, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Sorta on the topic of stucture. The thing that sucks with the fixture for round 1 is that the 4 teams that will probably be the most relevant for rookies (melbourne,fremantle,port adelaide and essendon) are playing on Sunday, meaning we will only have squads not teams.

    What effect will this have on the 160 minutes of madness? will people be changing from unknown to a rookie that is named for another team? will it mean less people changing because their rookie could be playing?

  6. Cam

    December 10, 2008 at 9:26 am

    you’ll find that most people have rusling and gumby on the bench because they’ve clicked on “SORT BY GURU SCORE”. Their guru scores are worse than Ballantyne and Yarrans.

    Maybe you could add a manual sort option, where you can swap bench and field players without having to go through the whole. “drop player-trade player-add player” routine which makes it all not worth it.

  7. Big Jim

    December 10, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Great stuff monty – I never know whether to be heartened or dismayed when I look at your structure posts and realise that ALL of my team is on your list. Does that mean I know what I am doing, or just not being ballsy enough to be different? Oh wait, I have ONE player different!

    @chad – agree about the rookie backs, compared to the rookie mids and forwards they are a barren wasteland. Heres hoping Virtual Sports classify a few rookies as B/C to help us all out a bit.

  8. Dan

    December 10, 2008 at 9:54 am


    Didn’t mean to make it sound like I was having a go at your comments – I was actually commenting on monty’s blog comments about people loading up on backs.

    From what you just said, it sounds like you are chasing value which was my main point.

  9. Chad

    December 10, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Didn’t take it that way Dan 😉 just explaining my thoughts behind it. Thing i learnt from last year (which was my first full year) was the value of durability shouldn’t be under estimated.

  10. Nick

    December 10, 2008 at 10:02 am

    A B/C along the lines of Scott Selwood last year? It seemed to me that we got ripped off last year, anyone who didn’t stand a full forward was classed a centre.

    Dodgy lead in, I know, but Scott Selwood is a player who was studying last year, got in a few games, could perhaps step up this year now he is available?

    Can you guys think of anyone else who has a disappointing ’08 but now the problem is gone, they could run a little freer this year? The guy that carried the injury all year, sat in the goal square half the year and scored nothing but had the surgery and is good to go now?

  11. dylan

    December 10, 2008 at 10:23 am

    i have 4 premium,1 mid and 4 rookie backline(going to change when i find out more about the mid range players)

    3 premium,2 mid and 3 rookies for midfield

    1 premium, maric mid or premium so what ever he is and 2 rookies

    2 premium forwards,3 mid and 5 rookies.

    i have lots of rookies atm,i just got to figure out which 1s to keep and get rid of.

  12. dylan

    December 10, 2008 at 10:29 am

    nick are u trying to talk about porp? lol
    he is recovering and hopefully his scores will improve a lot when he can play a full game without his shoulder coming out

  13. Chad

    December 10, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Porpy is an interesting one. Certainly a very classy player, but as we know DT isn’t about class but statistics. 373k is an interesting price, to pay 373 for him i think you would want him to be a keeper/premium. If you have to use a trade to upgrade them then maybe someone like vezpremi would be better?

    A blog i would love to see monty is “mid price players who have potential to become keepers”. The only one that could possibly come to my mid would be maybe Scott Lucas if he can average the 85ish that he has in the past, that could be a keeper in the 7th forward position.

  14. Nick

    December 10, 2008 at 11:55 am

    That’s exactly the line I’m thinking on Chad.

    If I’m going to shell out that much money I would rather look at my team thinking that at least most of these guys are going to improve on last year, rather than spending a fortune on last year’s guns and preying they don’t change when the only way for them is down.

  15. ryz

    December 10, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    might sound silly, not sure, but does it really matter that much that in the first week you might not know the teams for the sunday games?

    its a hit or miss scenario i know, but noone knows what the other 21 weeks (9-12 for cows) are gonna bring anyway. k you might miss out one week, but speculation over kids and theyre likelyhood to play doesnt mean they aint gonna play at all, if theyre gettin some intrest its not cause they’re names are cool (necessarily, see: steele) but cause they shown something to warrant the pick, eg rhys. although that was just a toolhead coaching move.

    to be honest i have no idea, i really would like to know if it is that big of a deal to pick a solid playing 30 round 1?

    also, had boaky last year from round 1, the kids a fkn star. he was scoring in massive bursts, a 40-50 point quarter followed by only making 90-100 wasnt uncommonn, another year, another preseason, wouldnt be surprised to see this kid avg. 100 at all, hes in my team

  16. Chad

    December 10, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Not sayingBoak isn’t a star, he absolutely is. Most players at the 400k mark are though 😉

  17. ryz

    December 10, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    haha true that, you recon he can up it further this year? also thoughs on chris knights? was a toss up between him and gibbs

  18. Chad

    December 10, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    The thing question mark i have over Boak is will be play 22? seems to miss a few games and i think his scores last year improved at the end because the “cue was in the rack” and alot of players were missing (injury/surgery) but thats just me.

    Knights is similar, our of knights gibbs and boak i would be looking at boak or gibbs, and probably be leaning towards gibbs.

  19. dylan

    December 10, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    chad is that because u go for port ur saying pick gibbs and/or boak? lol

    out of those 3 i would be going for gibbs because he improved a lot last season and i can see him getting even better. and he is a number 1 draft pick

  20. Ben

    December 10, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Personally I rate Gibbs over Boak!

  21. Chad

    December 10, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    not at all dylan, i just dont thinks knights is as durable.

  22. Scuzzlebut

    December 10, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Knights is a ball magnet, and he’s under priced. I’m really considering him coz I reckon he will average 90 this year. I don’t know how much more Gibbs can improve. Knights only missed 1 game in 07, so I don’t reckon he’s as injury prone as people think.
    We might also have to make room for Cuz after all, now. I’m getting a boner just thinking about Tuck, Foley and Thomson dishing it out to Lids and Cuz.

  23. Brendan

    December 10, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Boak is in there twice

  24. SWB

    December 10, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Yeah monty my starting 22 can only be sorted by guru or price so Its not a decision to tell the truth.

  25. SWB

    December 11, 2008 at 12:06 am

    Where did the love for Tuck go?

    What Does everyone think of Symes?

    I find that my team generally has more premiums/rookies and less mid-prices than these structure posts suggests. Mid-price picks depend heavily on NAB scores but overall I feel that having more premiums from the start stands your team in better stead to pick up bargains and cover for injuries throughout the season as less trades ‘must’ be used for structural purposes.

  26. ryz

    December 11, 2008 at 9:06 am

    yeah, just a bit concerned over gibbs is all, never rated him that much, my gf is mad carlton fan and i went to quite a few games, and personally i think hes soft as…only my opinion but. Getting a half decent ruckman to carlton will help, although i rated cloke, but i just dont see him improving that much, but hey i cant predict the future:D

    i would love to have all 3, but ive stacked my team with alot of rookies / mid pricers with only 2 prems, and wanna keep those guys for some money…typically ive always focused on winning leagues against mates, so ive always stacked with rookies and left over stacks of cash for upgrades at will, realized this isnt the BEST strat for getting rankin up but, currently im sitting on extra 700k in the bank, am i a complete toolhead? haha monty check out my side and tell us

  27. Virgil

    December 11, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Currently have something along the lines of:

    4-3-2 in the backs (don’t like the idea of playing those cheap backmen)
    2-2-4 in the middle (some decent lower-end value to play with)
    2-2 in the rucks (lock and leave, done and dusted, etc.)
    3-1-5 in the forwards (lots of value picks, will make or break the team)

  28. Chris999

    December 14, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Is Brent Reilly worth being considered rather than knights? I feel he can improve his average of last year by a mile, perhaps somewhere into the 85-95 region. Is he worth the risk over the already established Knights? He is also much cheaper than Knights

  29. HAWKA

    December 14, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Great point Chris999, and that is what I reckon I will do. I was/am tossing up between the 2 in fan planner, and have come to the decision that Reilly has far more room for improvement than Knights, and is far less injury prone. Very smart thinking.

  30. dylan

    December 15, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    reilly is pretty injury prone and he will have to fight for his spot because Adelaide have a few players coming up all playing his type of position so if he drops for a bit or get injured he will have to work hard to get it back

  31. Big Jim

    December 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    By the way, am I missing something or is Jesse W Smith a bit pricey to be considered a rookie in this structure? Fan Planner has him at $265,100 (I’m just scouring for good rookie backs!)

  32. neddy

    February 27, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    waz up my dream team is soooo awsome mates

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