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AFL Dream Team

Rollercoaster: Round 7, 2008

Rollercoaster of love

A bit late this week but still very relevant, seeing as the next three rounds are where cash cows start topping out and underperforming premiums hit their lowest points. 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.

Rollercoaster of love... down!Big Dippers

My first recommendation last week was Brad Johnson, and while his price did drop again in all competitions, his score was good enough to suggest that he’s turned the corner so it was worth buying him. He’s still a great pickup this week. The other big forward premium to plummet in value this year is Jonathan Brown, but I am not going to recommend him. Apart from the fact that he is rumoured to be a late withdrawal this week due to a knock to the leg he picked up at training, I think there are still too many doubts over his role in the Lions attack, with Daniel Bradshaw sucking the oxygen out of the forward 50 and Brown being reduced to a leadup role on the wings that his motor can’t handle. Browndog’s breakeven remains very high and I wouldn’t touch him until the point if and when it gets below 100 again.

I’m not a huge fan of Jobe Watson as an AFL player, so I’ll keep this short, but Son Of Timmy is actually a pretty decent Super Coach player when he’s up and running with lots of contested effective handballs. After consecutive sub-40 scores in rounds 2 and 3 he returned to three figures in the Anzac Day game, even getting votes from Mick Malthouse. Strictly for Don fans, this pick, but it wouldn’t be the worst in the world.

If you haven’t got Matthew Pavlich, shame on you, but all is not lost. This is the week to pick him up if you are one of those rare few, because all signs are that he’s going to destroy Nathan Carroll and smash his breakevens in all comps. Similarly, Nick Riewoldt is already slightly on the upswing on his rollercoaster ride so get on board now if you can to take advantage of the midget Richmond backline in round 7.

Sam Fisher is an interesting one. Plenty of people will be looking around for replacements for Joel Bowden et al this week and may look with childlike glee at Fisher’s price (get it?! 😉 ). Three poor scores out of the last four is the cause of that, all coming in losses. The Saints have a good run in the next month and I expect him to bounce back starting with the Tigers game.

Rollercoaster of love... up!Loop De Loop

Not many player types do well against the Swans and small forwards are not immune. Matt Campbell and Lindsay Thomas have been decent lower-priced cash cows to start the season, and now is the time to cash in because the Swans have burst their bubble.

Two Crow forwards have also reached the end of their fantasy effectiveness, though this time it’s their own teammates who are the cause. Jason Porplyzia and Bernie Vince have delivered excellent point and dollar returns for their coaches, mainly due to the injuries to Chris Knights and Brent Reilly, along with the move of Simon Goodwin up forward, thus giving the normally stingy Neil Craig a reason to allocate more midfield time-on-ground (TOG) to the two younguns. However, Knights returned in round 7, causing an instant TOG drain on both Porps and Vince, and Reilly will most likely return after the Hall of Fame break as well. Those coaches who have ridden these two to the top of the rollercoaster can thank their own judgement and their luck, and bid a fond farewell as the Germanic-coloured jumpers disappear down the ramp into normality once again.

Elsewhere, it is a minor tragedy that many coaches will not be able to cash in on Xavier Ellis this week due to the continued bloodbath in the backs, but this is the ideal time to move him on. Two sub-60 DT scores and a breakeven of 96 speak of a player who is hanging onto the rollercoaster car for dear life and staring at the abyss yawning before him. Similarly, Cale Morton is looking increasingly like he needs a dose of Sandringham action to restore his confidence in his ability to attack a contest… not surprising really since his arms appear to have been glued together from spent matchsticks.

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