Now that the AFL Dream Team competition has opened, let’s take a look at some typical fan-made squads.
I probably haven’t done enough of this in years past. I have a particular way of rating Dream Teams and SuperCoach squads, which starts with a perfect 10/10 and lops points off for bad players, bad structures and overall mediocrity. I give out very few 10s, especially early doors.
(A note for you SC freaks: a SuperCoach-only version of this post with different teams will follow later today.)
Let’s rip right into it with three teams from the Rate My Dream Team forum on this very site. First we have Paddy13’s team which has $7000 left over:
This is not a terrible side. The structure is fairly balanced with one rookie starting in each of the three non-ruck positions, with extra mid-pricers in the backs. The squad contains 16 or 17 keepers from the get go. I don’t like the Cox/Hille pairing though (-1). Admittedly I am probably biased considering this was my starting DT ruck pair last year, but there are way too many injury concerns on both players to have them in tandem. I like Vickery as a unique over Warnock, though. I am going to have to mark down the Edwards buy (-1) as I see zero upside for him. Also I am docking points for starting Trengove (-0.5) and Gumbleton (-0.5). Finally, I do not like the lack of Goddard (-0.5). 6.5/10
Next up, we have Selwood4brownlow’s masterpiece which has $59,500 in the kitty:
At least this side is different, with only 11 players shared with Paddy’s team. There are a number of things wrong with it, though. Starting NicNat is terrible, just terrible (-1.5). He is not a fantasy-relevant player this year, trust me. This team lacks a rolled gold captain option (-1). Jack Riewoldt is not going to rise to premium status this year, as the Tigers will be favourites for the spoon (-1). Starting Sheppard is a bad idea at this stage (-0.5). I know Tippett opens up multi-positional possibilities but I don’t like him as a forward (-0.5). I also really hate the fact that this team has none of the plethora of attractive cheap backs (-1). Back to the drawing board, S4b. 4.5/10
Then there’s Robert Harvey 35’s effort, which fits neatly into the salary cap with zero dollars left:
J. Brown, Pavlich, Franklin, Rioli, Gray, Ziebell, Gumbleton
Not much in the way of uniques, but Team Director showed last year that uniques can be overrated. This is a solid team with not much I can critique it for. Starting Gumby is one (-0.5). I will give people a pass for including Palmer even though news came through today that he will miss round 1, since that news is new. So to speak. It will be interesting to see who becomes the new favoured mid-priced midfielder. Overall, this is the sort of team you’re going to see a lot more in the next week or so leading up to the NAB… after which everything changes, of course. 9.5/10
Now let’s pick a handful of recently created plan teams from the Fanplanner, at random. The first has $13,000 in the can.
Aaron Sandilands, Mark Seaby
Robert Warnock, Jackson Trengove
I admire this side better than any of the previous three, as it takes chances and seems to be structured better. I like the fact that the two Cat midfielders are paired up as dual captain options, even if at least one of them will probably be overpriced. I am in favour of starting two rookies in the midfield as the preferred option at this stage – not necessarily the best one when the rubber hits the road, but there’s no telling at this early station if the likes of Sheppard, Dennis-Lane, Davis or Gumbleton will be startable, and I’d feel safer with midfield rookies. Having said that, I do not like Waters (-1) as even if you think he’s going to start the season fit (a big if) big Beau has shown a propensity to get injured midseason so he’s not worth the risk. McNamara is certainly unique so I won’t be too harsh on this pick (-0.5), but he’s struggling to be best 22 even in the poor Demons outfit. I would like to dock for Seaby though I won’t, because he could still prove that it’s not going to be the expected 50/50 ruck by committee with Mumford, even though I doubt it. This team gets a lower score than the last one, unfairly in some ways because its upside is higher and many coaches value upside over safety. 8/10
Next cab off the rank has $96,400 left over.
Dean Cox, Cameron Cloke
Jamie Charman, Jackson Trengove
If this was a fish I’d throw it back in. What a stinker! Cloke (-1), Taylor (-1), Healey (-1), Still (-1), Robinson (-1), Schoenmakers (-1), starting four rookies (-1), starting three forward rookies (-2). I am only including it to show you what not to do. 1/10
Let’s cleanse the palate with something a little more serious, with $14,400 in hand.
Gary Ablett jnr, Brendon Goddard, Adam Cooney, Luke Hodge, Shaun Burgoyne, Jack Trengove
Kane Lucas, Lewis Jetta
This is more like it. I like Hargrave as a unique. Kelly not so much, but it’s passable. Goddard and Hodge in the centres is interesting and suggests this coach is looking for a BAC/CTR or two to trade into the backs during the season so as to facilitate the move of both of them to their rightful place in fantasy defence. The only other reason for them to be in the centres is to cover with Carrazzo, Cornes and Kelly, though that’s not reason enough. Essentially he has bought seven BAC keepers but he can only have five of them in the backs, thus he’s wasting his centre spots. In the absence of lower-priced cash cow BAC/CTRs in the backs, I’m going to have to dock for that (-0.5 and -0.5). Elsewhere, I don’t like Staker and Burton due to their advanced age and receding importance to their respective sides (-0.5 and -0.5). Starting two forward rookies (-1) fills me with dread this year, especially in conjunction with the previously mentioned old blokes. 7/10