AFL Dream Team

Rollercoaster: Round 11, 2008

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A reminder of the premise of this regular feature: Rollercoaster follows the ups and downs of weekly price variations in salary cap competitions such as AFL Dream Team and Herald-Sun Super Coach. I will try to figure out when premium players have bottomed out and rookie players have reached their ceiling, two things which every successful fantasy coach needs to master to lock in the right trades at the right times.

Big Dippers

I said last week that you might want to wait until round 12 to get on Andrew McLeod, but with breakevens of 105 in DT and 125 in SC, this week might not be so bad either. Scores of 57/69 this week with Angus Monfries tagging him in the game against Essendon were at least somewhat of a recovery after the two shockers in the previous fortnight. It is a worry that he gets tagged every week, but this week the Crows play the Tigers who are without their primary tagger Kane Johnson. If you think Chris Hyde will get the job on McLeod then you’ll understand why I’m hot on him this week, especially in Super Coach: Hyde’s last three targets have been Gary Ablett jnr (135/164), Brent Stanton (64/92) and Adam Goodes (96/142). Expect McLeod to blow through his breakevens as the Crows spank another minnow team in their dream 2008 draw. The only fly in the ointment is that Adelaide’s draw gets considerably harder after Richmond with pretty much every top 8 side in a row… but I only ever considered McLeod a Super Coach prospect and he still should do well in that competition despite what seems to be a weekly tag.

Also last week, I recommended waiting another week on Nick Riewoldt. His price dropped again in all competitions after a 108/138 but his breakevens are down into the 60s this week. Don’t expect huge things out of him this week because the Bulldogs haven’t given up a DT ton to a KP forward this year, but he should be solid for 80-90 at least from here on in.

Coming off an unprecedented two years of 105+ averages in Dream Team, plus lifting his Super Coach average to 112 last year, Kane Cornes was targeted by many coaches as a mid-season upgrade target. The smart thing to do was to wait for the two scores from his Sydney games to cycle through – not surprisingly, his two lowest scores for the year – and that process is almost complete. With breakevens of 123/97 and year-to-date price drops of $69,500/$166,100 the time to do that trade is probably next week, after playing a Carlton side that has been surprisingly effective at dampening the scores of opposing midfielders in 2008… albeit he’s averaging 106 in his last four against the Blues.

Adam McPhee has been very disappointing so far given his top 10 finish in the backs last year, but his role in the Adelaide game has raised some questions about a possible exhumation of his fantasy value. Far from the return of Scott Lucas further hurting his value with less space in the forward line, it has actually led to him moving further up the ground and getting more link-up work. 12 kicks, four handpasses, 12 marks and three goals straight is a highly respectable return. Having dropped $104,000/$139,800 from his starting price and with breakevens of 57/32, he makes a sneaky upgrade target with considerable risk and considerable upside.

Loop De Loop

Austin Wonaeamirri, come back! Where has that goalsneak dynamo with the fistpump action gone? I know it’s a compliment when you’re in your first 10 games and the opposition coach puts a stopper on you just because you’re so valuable to the team, as Ross Lyon did with Sean Dempster, but it destroyed Wona’s fantasy momentum if not his real game momentum. Scores of 42/37 inflated his breakeven back up to his trailing average, meaning that he’s going to need another big gamewinning performance to get this cash cow to start milking again. The only consolation is that his spot on the senior list is most likely safe since Russell Robertson‘s ruptured achilles put him on the LTI list.

Cyril Rioli, too, is starting to dry up in the cash cow stakes. Breakevens in the 70s are the result of his 46/27 against the Dogs. I have a bit more faith in Junior Boy, however, because he was looking like he might have hit the rookie wall back in the Collingwood game in round 7, where only some garbage time charity from Shane Crawford saved his day from complete calamity, but he rebounded with good scores in the next two games. The other reason I’m not selling him this week is that his next opponent is the Bombers who are the worst team in defending against small forwards, with Mathew Stokes, Eddie Betts and Paul Medhurst getting 120+ DT scores against them this year already.

Briefly, other players who look to have hit their peaks and/or already be on the way down: Kieren Jack, Leigh Harding, Tim Callan, Bernie Vince, Clint Bartram, Bachar Houli, Kurt Tippett, Greg Baum.

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