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Let’s try this: Top 10 signs your 2009 fantasy AFL team is terrible

10 signs your team is terrible

Once a year we put on the double-breasted suit, hold a little blue card and make like Letterman.

The first version of this feature looks a lot like this year’s second edition, funnily enough…

#10: You haven’t got Chad Cornes. Okay, so this advice last year wasn’t great, as Chad picked up about a gazillion injuries and eventually succumbed, Gulliver-in-Lilliput style, but not before making his owners suffer through some un-Chad-like scores. When fit and firing, as he appears to be now, Chad is the #1 fantasy back, capable of averaging 100+ in both AFL Dream Team and Super Coach. The only other back to consistently average more than 90 as a fantasy defender (as opposed to Johnny-come-latelies like Heath Scotland) is Joel Bowden. It is mandatory for a good AFL fantasy team to include Chadwick, a.k.a. Studley, a.k.a. The Chad. Don’t leave home without him.

#9: You’re starting a rookie ruck in your 22. For some reason, the rucks have been the subject of some of the most intense speculation in the 2009 fantasy pre-season on the various boards, such as the Bargain Ruck Theory thread on the FanFooty forums. All sorts of theories have been put forward as to why you should avoid the likes of Dean Cox, David Hille and Drew Petrie and instead plump for lesser options. Yes, it’s easy to see that Nick Naitanui is a quality player. Sure, Jesse White looks like he’ll do alright this year. Fine, have Jake Spencer in your 30. Just don’t put any of those boys in your 22. Young ruckmen take a long time to develop. Even Josh Fraser, first picked in the 1999 draft, had a debut season in 2000 that was not fantasy-22-worthy. Keep them on your bench and start Bradd Ottens or Hamish McIntosh as your #2 ruck at the very least.

#8: You’ve picked injured and/or sore players. Obviously you shouldn’t have any of the players who have already been ruled out for the first month at least, but I’m talking here about players who are probably going to represent some good value at some stage during the season, but not from round 1. These players are on the dreaded “modified program” due to very poor fitness levels from an interrupted preseason, and many of them won’t even play in round 1. This includes Mark Coughlan (who I’m still seeing in a lot of sides), Matt Maguire (ditto), Xavier Ellis, Jesse W. Smith and Hayden Ballantyne. It is not out of the realms of sanity to select someone like Ballantyne or Naitanui and take a chance on their fitness returning well before the first cash cow culling window of rounds 6 to 8, though that is a big risk – especially with those two players in particular, who would be likely to be eased in through the WAFL first.

#7: You haven’t at least addressed the cluster in your structural thinking. The adoption of the rolling zone in 2009 is going to mean some changes in fantasy scoring. While we don’t know for sure, we can guess that it is going to mean big numbers for half-backs, be they flankers who play kick to kick who will be great for Dream Team, or Luke Hodge types who will be fabulous for Super Coach as well as DT. This also means that loading up on premium key-position forwards is a far riskier proposition this year, as many of the NAB games have featured a lack of inside 50s while the ball pings between the arcs.

#6: You haven’t picked Shaun Higgins. Last year I nominated Nick Stevens in this slot, and while Paul Hasleby would have strong claims, Higgins is even better value with a stronger fitness base. Come on, he should be an absolute lock. Should give you 22 games of sterling service.

#5: You’re buying too many premium forwards. Last year I advised not getting the entire ABC engine room of Geelong’s midfield because they didn’t have much improvement left in them. Bzzzt, wrong answer! Oh well. So, take, this advice with a grain of salt: I reckon the large array of options among the mid-pricers and rookies in the forwards are too good an opportunity to pass up, particularly relative to the back and centres. Any more than two premiums in Dream Team and three in Super Coach is too many in my opinion.

#4: No rookies in your 22. Don’t play it safe! I learned this lesson the hard way. It’s not actually a “risk” to start rookies in your 22, it’s mandatory. You are selling your team short if you don’t. Picking the right rookies is vital, obviously, but the rewards are far greater than picking a bunch of third-year players priced at $150k-$200k who will deliver the same scores at best. (Note: this advice is unchanged from last year.)

#3: You’ve picked 2008’s fantasy young guns instead of thinking about 2009. I was successful with this advice last year by talking down Joel Selwood, Jake King, Ricky Petterd, Andrejs Everitt, Clinton Young, Alwyn Davey, Tim Boyle and David Rodan. All would have been bad choices, or at least disappointing compared to what you would have been hoping out of them. This year a lot of coaches are buying Bryce Gibbs, another player whose breakout year may well have been last year and whose scores could level out below premium levels, like Selwood’s did in 2008. Whether this rule also applies to Bradd Dalziell, Cyril Rioli and David Mackay is going to be interesting. Other players you shouldn’t pick up according to this rule would be Rhys Palmer, Cale Morton, Tom Lonergan, Josh Hill, Simon Buckley, Harry Taylor and Garrick Ibbotson.

#2: You haven’t aimed for the top. It’s no good having 10 players in your squad who, at best, will improve from averages of 75 last year to 80 this year. You have to pick players capable of cracking the ton every week. It’s worth spending the extra money to get Brendon Goddard rather than Jason Gram, Brett Deledio rather than Travis Cloke. Goddard and Deledio are the players who can deliver consistent 100+ games, whereas Gram and Cloke just can’t get there often enough. That sort of penny-pinching will only pinch points away from your team in the long term.

#1: You just posted your entire squad to BigFooty. 😀



  1. wardy

    March 23, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    i’m with you heater..some of you guys need to back your own footy instincts, thats if you have any….

  2. Orba

    March 23, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    According to that i am breaking rules 5 and 6. I have got 5 premium forwards in my side. Your much better going for broke up forward with proven DT players and taking a risk on rookies in the middle of the ground if you ask me. In the mids we are spoilt for options (Rich, otten, zibell, swift, beams, anthony, hartlett, dangerfield.etc). Up forward for the same price there is the likes of walker, brown, gumbelton, grant and only probably a couple more. IF a rookie forward dominates you MIGHT get 2 goals out of him and 70 points. IF a rookie mid dominates your going to get your 100 (palmer). Cyril and hill early last year were exceptions to this rule. For my money, load up ur backs, forwards, cox and a cheaper ruck option (leunberger, maric.etc) then have 2-3 quality mids (ablett and co) and then the rest are rookies.

    Higgins will be good but he is a little turd and goes missing when the going gets tough. For 210,000 im thinking i might be crazy for not having him but im willing to take the gamble ona rookie who will get no attention at all. Higgins will probably get the best midfield player at all behind cooney because he is damaging unlike cross.

  3. Gonzo

    March 23, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Monty. Thanks for the slap in the face with Bryce Gibbs. Nearly had him locked in there for a minute. Will back him for the brownlow however just in case.

  4. pascoe

    March 23, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    yeh get off gibbs, too much, go for someone else

  5. phil

    March 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    i am new to the site and love it. just worried we all end up with the same team. finished top 2000 last year and wondering with all this head spin if its gonna get better or worse. we will know soon enough.great work monty

  6. turtle

    March 23, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    great work monty…
    i’m keen on krakouer this year.. word from the club is that he will play the loose “peter burgoyne” role this year across half-back, while peter goes into the middle. i just traded j.brown for krakwhore and saved 200k… nice… might have a beer to celebrate…

    keep up the great work m0nty

  7. Nick2

    March 24, 2009 at 3:52 am

    You always set yourself up for a fall with this sort of a blog entry!

  8. Charlie

    March 24, 2009 at 8:30 am

    # 5 – No more than two premium forwards.

    I disagree with this. The more I look, the fewer options I see in the $250/- to $390/- price range up forward. The possible players all have issues: Roughead (FF with the zone, might have to go back), Bate (too much time at FF to get many 100s?), Sylvia (where do I start?), Porps (the shoulder not going to be DT gun, yet).

    I just don’t see any players who look like they’ll step up to gun / premium keeper status. So starting with only two guns means 5 players need to be upgraded. Too many.

    I originally had two premiums, but have moved to three, and paid for it elsewhere. The trick, of course, is picking the right three!

    @ Nick2 (above) – you’re right. So credit to m0nty for sticking his neck out and giving us a hand, rather than hiding in cyberspace waiting to shoot other people down.

  9. John

    March 24, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Orba, you have no clue mate.

  10. Brad

    March 24, 2009 at 1:12 pm


    You might need to give us a thread on the top 10 sedatives that will be required for fantasy coaches in the next 24 hours, or at least include a link to Beyond Blue because some people seem to be taking this to unhealthy levels this year.

  11. Orba

    March 24, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Why do you say that John? I no im no DT freak but i have finished in the top 2000 for the last 5 years of DT so i must have some clue champ (800 last year).

    If you are referring to the higgins comment then as the days go by i realise that may be a mistake and i might have to put him in. I just dont know who i want to take out of my forwards to get him in. I could downgrade tuck but i think he will be heaps better than higgins. Worth the 60k? only time will tell.

  12. Dale

    March 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Get Daniel Gilmore in your rucks

  13. john

    March 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    your a fool orba, you havn’t come in the top 2000 for the past 5 years, your a genuine knob..

  14. T-Lads

    March 24, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    monty u are clueless mate..

  15. T-Lads

    March 24, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    monty’s a good lad

  16. Disco (UK)

    March 25, 2009 at 12:10 am

    #11 – you go by the name of ‘Dr Dream Team’.

  17. Butane

    March 25, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Last year I went with 3-4 rookies starting. I finished 538th. I know that strategy works and that people can win the competition using it.

    But… you have to change your strategy depending on what’s available. By that I mean there were more rookies available last year than there is this year (only in my opinion!!). So I’ve changed tactics and will be fielding 0-1 rookie in the 22 and firming up my bench.

    None of the rookies in the backs/midfield are screaming ‘regular 22’ so why would I start any in my 22? I’d rather have them on my bench where if they are playing at least they provide back up and cash in the bank. I’d hate to be starting them and have them miss and have to turn to my ‘2nd rookie back up’, which is more dubious then my first rookie, who isn’t even guaranteed game.

    Yea, that made no sense but if your still with me what happens if one your premium players gets suspended for 1 match on top of all this? Your stuffed.

    Like I said, just my opinion and you can play the game anyway you like as both ways can be successful but I wouldn’t set the ‘no rookies starting’ rule in cement.

  18. Disco (UK)

    March 25, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Orba – easy orb man. Clearly your strategy works from your ranking, with big rookie earnings from the bottom end. Perhaps a top end element to your strategy might get you into the 100’s by picking 1 or 2 possible top 12 players in each pos that aren’t there now.

  19. Seb

    March 25, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    In a perfect world, it would be nice to have 6 rookie starters, but the risk is huge, they are “kids”, who knows what there going to dish out, and even if some came along ok throughout the season, you would be so far behind the league halfway through the season, that scrapping into the top 10000 would be a huge achievement.

  20. archibald

    March 25, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    rookies are the risk, but i came top 50 last year in dream team, and by taking the huge risk of starting a rookie in each category besides rucks. this year i have hurley,hill, ziebell, rich, brown all starting in my 22. also have gearry and krakeour.

    they will increase in value immensely giving me enough cash by about rd 10 to have upto 8 premiums playing in my side and by rd 15 have around 12 premiums in the starting 22

  21. Confused

    March 26, 2009 at 7:09 pm


    I have 13 premiums in my side now?

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