THREE words that strike fear into AFL Fantasy coaches; multi-bye rounds. The first of the most challenging trio of weeks hits with Carlton, Hawthorn, West Coast and Western Bulldogs players enjoying a weekend off.
A lot of leagues choose to put their head-to-head match-ups on hold but for those playing and going to the best overall ranking possible, some rules have been changes for rounds 12, 13 and 14. The best 18 players from your on-field 22 will count towards you team’s score. It is to be noted that normal emergency rules will be in place; that is, an emergency on the bench will replace a non-playing player on field. Coaches will have three trades to use in each of the multi-bye rounds.
With four teams on the bye, the ‘easy’ bye round doesn’t seem so easy following team selection.
News dropped on Thursday morning that Dustin Martin flew to New Zealand as he nurses a calf injury. He joins fellow Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe, who was suspended, on the sidelines.
Stephen Coniglio hasn’t recovered from his concussion sustained against the Crows and will miss two games as the Giants have the bye. Adelaide will be without Rory Laird and Tom Lynch for their clash at Optus Stadium. Laird has a broken hand but is a chance to miss just the one game as the Crows held hope earlier in the week that he’d play on Sunday.
ALL THE TEAMS Check 'em out
One of the most disappointing selections of the season for Fantasy coaches was forward Jack Billings. The Saints have had enough and sent him back to the twos. Anyone still holding him will be keen to offload him in the same way.
Nic Newman has been omitted, while a couple of popular low-priced players of the last couple of weeks in Jordan Ridley and Timothy Smith are also out this week.
Of the good news, well, there isn’t a lot! Nick Coffield makes his return for St Kilda. After multiple weeks out of the side most gave him a one-way ticket to Tradesville. Aaron Sandilands and Jeremy Howe will help their Draft owners. If Dylan Clarke makes the cut for the Dons, he might be an option to bring in to help cover the carnage this week brings. Just over 33 per cent of coaches will be hoping that Sam Murray makes his way back into the side for the Queen’s Birthday clash on Monday. He has been named on the extended bench.
Get them in
Paul Ahern (MID/FWD, $207,000) finally made his long-awaited debut and didn't let anyone down with an impressive 29 touches and 92 points. Although he has the round 13 bye which many teams are traditionally heavy, he is borderline must-have as a downgrade due to his ceiling and DPP status.
Logan Austin (DEF, $294,000) surprised many coaches by not only backing up his impressive debut in Saints colours, but smashing it out of the park with 14 marks and 112. He played loose and was the primary option for his teammates looking for a target in the back 50. He looked nothing like the bloke who averaged 30 for the Power and although he now comes at a cost, he is the second most popular trade in this week.
Angus Brayshaw (DEF/MID, $655,000) is the third most traded in player as coaches scramble to get him in before he is $700,000. He backed up his 166 with a 133 and is well and truly locked in the top six defenders. He is coming off back-to-back career high possession games with 37 and 39, along with marks, tallying 14 and eight. He has a nice match-up with the Pies and is a great option if you are not too heavy in the round 13 bye.
Move them on
Sam Murray (DEF, $495,000) is the most traded out player this week. He has been named in the extended squad, but unfortunately we won’t know if he is named until after lockout due to the Monday game. Following the carnage this week, using his $325,000 increase to patch holes isn’t a bad idea, especially with Jeremy Howe also coming back in, he is unlikely to make the cut.
Allen Christensen (FWD/MID, $468,000) is the second most traded out player this week, on the back of his -3 points following a KO. He has however, been named to play so it might be worth reversing given the fact many teams are running low on players this week. He has a breakeven of 108 this week which isn’t disastrous considering the circumstances.
Nat Fyfe (MID, $731,000) is the seventh most traded out player this week on the back of his suspension that ensure he will miss two of the next three weeks. It’s a big call with the champ averaging 109 for the season, but given the circumstances following team selections, it’s survival at this point and he might have to go.
1. Dayne Zorko - He averages 47 points more at home than away, and returns to the Gabba this week after averaging 124 in his last three games. 124, 108 and 104 are his most recent games against the Bombers and there’s no tag coming his way this week.
2. Max Gawn - Gawn averages 125 at the MCG this year and against Grundy in the past he has scored 70, 146 and 107. He’s never lost a hit-out count to Grundy and with Nankervis (131), Martin (130) and Kreuzer (120) all scoring well against Collingwood this year, Max shouldn’t have much trouble either.
3. Brodie Grundy - This is a long way down the list for a guy who has scored 131, 124 and 135 in the last three weeks, but he’s up against Max Gawn and will find it much tougher. Big name ruckman like Jacobs (49), Kreuzer (78), Witts (80), Martin (68) and Goldstein (60) have all struggled against Gawn this year with Tom Hickey (89) having the top score against him.
4. Dayne Beams - Scored 113 against the Bombers last year and is averaging 122 at the Gabba in his last three runs. Coming off scores of 137 and 127, he will be great again.
5. Jake Lloyd - I know, talk about scraping the barrel but Lloyd plays his favourite team in the Saints this week and will be awesome. Firstly, they conceded the most points to defenders and over his career against them he has scored 63, 122, 119 and 121. Lloyd loves playing at Etihad and could be something special in a time of need.