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Mr Fantasy: the finals dance

Mr Fantasy  August 22, 2013 10:00 PM

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The acquisition of Mark Hutchings has proved a worthwhile one for the Eagles

IT IS AFL Fantasy Dream Team preliminary final week, and your chance to be crowned champion is so close you can smell it.

I am also involved in an AFL Fantasy Elite Grand Final over the weekend and it will be the end of quite a fascinating season. 

The most interesting part of AFL Fantasy Elite is the cat and mouse game that goes on during the trade period, with everybody so cautious of making an error that could cost them the flag.

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Probably my most beneficial trade with an opponent was when I acquired Harry O’Brien in a straight swap for Quinten Lynch.

O’Brien missed a chunk of footy mid-season, but his form upon his return has been fantastic, including an average of 104 in his past three matches. 

The trade is part of the reason I am playing off in the big dance.

West Coast would also be happy with its return after Lynch decided to head east.

The Eagles ended up with pick 60 in the 2012 AFL NAB Draft as compensation for Lynch leaving, and have used that pick wisely.

Mark Hutchings – on St Kilda’s list in 2010 - has been a very handy pick-up and is clearly one of the shining lights in the AFL Fantasy world this year.

Playing his first game in round seven (worth $102,700), Hutchings has averaged 91.33 this season and is now worth $394,400. 

Lynch has endured a topsy-turvy first year at Collingwood and has disappointed Dream Team followers to date. 

He has only reached triple figures once in his past 12 matches, averaging just 63.4 in his past five attempts. What is more damning is that Lynch has scored fewer than 70 points on nine occasions this year.   
 
With Lynch turning 31 before the start of the 2014 season, it is safe to say the Eagles have come out of the deal with a better outcome.

We know that players react differently when facing off against their old club, but you can be sure that Lynch will be keen to have one of his bigger games of the season against the Eagles. Those who stuck with him in AFL Fantasy circles certainly deserve it.

Mr Fantasy’s trade recommendations
Ins: Grant Birchall (Hawthorn)
After missing eight weeks thanks to a knee injury, Birchall returned to the Hawks side last week and is now at a very reasonable price. Birchall ($317,500) looks the perfect pick if you aren’t loaded with cash, and was averaging 111 after five rounds. The defensive stocks have been rocked by injury, so your choices are limited this time of year. 

Outs: Dyson Heppell (Essendon)
Heppell was ruled out this week with a foot injury, and it may derail his 2013 season. His currency is still great ($404,300) - one of only a handful of defenders with a price tag of more than $400,000. It means his replacement could just about be anybody. Fremantle’s Danyle Pearce looks a fair replacement after scores of 96, 94 and 124 in the past three weeks.