A select few squads received the magical 10/10 rating in the recent Rate My Dream Team comment threads.
First, I’ll list the two teams out of dozens and dozens that had no marks taken off under my marking system, which consists of me giving 10 marks to start with and then subtracting marks for bad player choices or structures that are poorly thought out.
Bartel (posted February 6)
Original review: “While I personally wouldnâ€™t have many of your players, I respect your choices and I canâ€™t see anything wrong with your side structurally, except perhaps for a lack of a second 115 captain (though thatâ€™s minor).”
DoctorE (posted February 11)
Original review: “That is a fine looking squad you have there. Stylistically, I personally wouldnâ€™t be taking the chance on two mid-price midfielders like that, and I think there may be scope for you to downgrade one of your premium backs to fund an upgrade or two. If Armitage and Redden do come off, though, you have an outstanding platform for 2010.”
Darren Jolly, Kreuzer
There are a number of mistakes that kept cropping up again and again with the submitted teams.
Don’t pick injury-riddled players. I can’t remember the amount of times I had to take marks off for the likes of Scott Gumbleton, Jarrad Waite, Michael Hurley and Beau Waters. Even if they do make it to round 1, it’s a poor decision to buy them anyway, because they don’t have the fitness base over the preseason that their competitors for spots in your team have enjoyed. Think Franklin of last year.
Don’t pick players who are LTI. Xavier Clarke, anyone?
Don’t skimp on your starting rucks. I have heard people hemming and hawing about whether to choose David Hille, Brad Ottens or Nic Naitanui. The answer should be: none of the above! Fantasy coaches have been sucked in by the Troy Simmonds story of 2008. No, I don’t think there is a Simmonds type in this year’s crop. Shell out the clams for two premium rucks and hope to God they don’t fall victim to LTIs.
Don’t pick mid-priced key position players. This is a rule that can be broken sometimes for up-and-coming CHFs such as Tom Hawkins or Josh J. Kennedy, but the likes of Ryan Schoenmakers, Colin Garland, Mitchell Brown, Tyrone Vickery and Lachlan Hansen just don’t have enough upside for their price to make it all the way to premium status.
Don’t get too enamoured of the new dual-position rule. Yes, it is going to be handy, but not in your starting side in round 1. You should be looking to exploit this rule towards the second half of the season, when the donuts start rolling in. Don’t pick the likes of Goddard or Goodes in the centres, especially if you haven’t got a matching mid-priced dual-position player to swap with them.
Don’t start a rookie anywhere other than the midfield. The only possible exception to this rule would be Maguire in the backs and Rockliff in the forwards – who are rookie-priced without being rookies – but otherwise I can’t see any of this year’s draftees outside the centres being startworthy.
Don’t skimp on your captain choices. I am seeing a lot of coaches who expect the likes of Bryce Gibbs and Joel Selwood to shoulder captaincy duties from round 1. This is a mistake. At least one midfielder from Bartel upwards is mandatory to ensure a 110+ captaincy average.
Enter your teams in the comments below and I promise to eventually rate all of them (though only once per coach). Please, format them as I have listed above in that 8-line style, and take out the prices so they don’t take up 60 lines.