THREE passionate Fantasy 'experts' coaching the same side is always a recipe for disaster.
However, off the back of our busiest and most comprehensive pre-season to date, we were able to agree on our final AFL Fantasy Classic team heading into the partial lock-out on Thursday night followed by the final lock-out on Friday.
Our team structure is something that will most likely not change when teams are announced.
However, we have left a little wiggle room to allow for the uncertainty of some rookies.
Although Warnie is convinced that 'de-fence' is something that runs around your house, our three key premiums will provide us with some strength in an area that has caused so much back pain in the past.
From our initial 30-man team, only 12 players survived the pre-season and two of those were Rory Laird (DEF, $707,000) and Jake Lloyd (DEF, $649,000).
Although Laird didn’t set the JLT Community Series on fire, he is destined to be a top-eight defender, therefore he retained his spot.
Of the rookies, Nick Coffield (DEF/MID, $256,000) and Aaron Naughton (DEF, $254,000) join the team after impressive pre-seasons despite coming with hefty price tags.
Paying for job security was one of Selby’s (2017's AFL Fantasy winner) strategies last year and many coaches are employing this tactic in 2018.
We’re anticipating that Cam O’Shea (DEF, $231,000) could be named for the Blues in Thursday night's opening game. If this is the case, he may even replace Naughton after his 49 point quarter in his final JLT game.
In the midfield
This is where we may have lost the plot.
We have swung the axe on some players who dominated the JLT Community Series and did nothing wrong.
Lachie Neale (MID, $706,000) had the highest JLT score for the series and was removed so Tom Rockliff (MID, $725,000) could hold his spot.
This decision was obviously all Roy’s. After not playing a single JLT game, Rockliff was removed momentarily until Roy kicked and screamed and his beloved Fantasy Pig was reinstated.
Other unlucky players were the under-priced Stephen Coniglio (MID, $663,000) and Jaeger O’Meara (MID, $438,000).
These players were injured for the majority of 2017, but showed plenty in the JLT Series, only to be upgraded to ultra-premium players in our midfield. A decision we most likely will regret.
With that said, you can’t go wrong bringing in a Brownlow medallist like Dusty and a star like Josh Kelly (MID, $795,000). Kelly cruised through the pre-season and is set to have another big year.
The rucks all maintained their positions, even though Stefan Martin’s (RUC, $703,000) name was thrown around quite a bit, as a replacement for Sam Jacobs (RUC, $700,000).
Calvin held firm on this one claiming that Jacobs is a guaranteed solo ruckman where as Martin may have to share his duties with Archie Smith, who played six games last year.
Aaron Sandilands (RUC, $539,000) has had one of his best pre-seasons in his career and even though he’d save us $160,000 on Jacobs and Martin, this idea from Warnie was quickly shot down.
After a hamstring scare that put Jack Billings' (FWD, $666,000) pre-season back a week, all we needed to see was an appearance in the JLT Series and he did that in style, scoring 58 points in the opening half.
He’ll partner Isaac Heeney (MID/FWD, $649,000) as our two premium forwards - Heeney has sat in our side from day one.
Although we feel we have the structure right, the rookies are still an area of concern … but when aren’t they?
Cameron Rayner (MID/FWD, $270,000) should be playing games early and although we’re not expecting huge scores, we’re hoping he will be used as an early trade option after he has gone up in price throughout the early rounds.
Adelaide’s Darcy Fogarty (MID/FWD, $248,000) is a contentious one and will be replaced by Bayley Fritsch (FWD, $210,000) if he is named in Melbourne’s round one team.
Placing a more expensive rookie in a position of uncertainty allows plenty of room for movement when the final teams are announced. It maintains your structure and even gives you a little extra cash that you can use in other positions, or to tidy up other rookie positions.
The Traders' round one team