INJURIES and underperforming premiums are causing headaches over the first two weeks of the season.
Over the years, holding premiums regardless of form slumps has proven to be a successful strategy as the stars always find their way back into form.
The unbelievably poor start and price plummet by some the biggest names have coaches seriously considering breaking the 'rule' this year and I can understand why. Coaches paying the big bucks for the likes of Lachie Neale, Andrew Gaff and Reilly O'Brien, who are all coming off sensational seasons, have big decisions to make in regard to riding out the storm or cutting their losses to stop the bleeding.
There are certainly justifiable arguments for both sides of the story and the decision to hold or fold needs to be made this week.
As for the injuries and forced trades, that has been cruel. This week, Bomber mid-pricer Jye Caldwell looked like being a great selection and the possible addition of forward status for Nat Fyfe has certainly had the shine taken off it given he will miss time following his concussion on the weekend.
Looking forward, if you have the luxury of some fix-up trades, make sure you have all the best rookies locked in as they are generating cash at an unbelievable rate following impressive starts to their career. Players like the Swans trio of Errol Gulden, Braeden Campbell and Chad Warner are all capable of holding a spot on the ground while their price continues to rise and you can't afford to miss that cash generation despite their inflated price tags.
TOP FIVE PRICE RISES
- James Jordon (MID, $282,000) +$75,000
- Errol Gulden (MID, $333,000) +$74,000
- Taylor Walker (FWD, $470,000) +$68,000
- Matt Flynn (RUC, $281,000) +$62,000
- Blake Hardwick (MID, $531,000) +$60,000
TOP FIVE PRICE FALLS
- Lachie Neale (MID, $829,000) -$71,000
- Reilly O'Brien (RUC, $727,000) -$64,000
- Andrew Gaff (MID, $756,000) -$50,000
- Dylan Shiel (MID, $722,000) -$43,000
- James Worpel (MID, $675,000) -$43,000
- James Jordon (MID, $282,000) -39
- Errol Gulden (MID, $333,000) -30
- Matt Flynn (RUC, $281,000) -24
- Chad Warner (FWD, $263,000) -12
- Tyler Brockman (FWD/MID, $232,000) -9
- Lachie Neale (MID, $829,000) 191
- Reilly O'Brien (RUC, $727,000) 171
- Max Gawn (RUC, $878,000) 159
- Andrew Gaff (MID, $756,000) 159
- Lachie Hunter (MID, $849,000) 154
Blake Hardwick (Hawthorn – DEF, $531,000)
When you look at defender roles, Hardwick has the lot. He is taking his share of both kickouts and marks, which is being reflected in his first two scores of 91 and 135. Against the Tigers he had an impressive 27 kicks and 15 marks to give him a breakeven of 13.
Zak Butters (Port Adelaide - FWD, $620,000)
Although the young gun only attended seven CBA, it didn't reflect his scoring with an impressive 119. He is still available for a bargain price which is reflected by his BE of 62. He is currently owned by just 10 per cent of the competition and has the luxury of playing in a dominant team.
Errol Gulden (Sydney - MID, $333,000)
If you are one of the 47 per cent of the competition that didn't start with Errol, you have missed two great scores but you haven't missed the boat completely. He is averaging 101 and has a breakeven of -30. Get him in.
Also consider: Braeden Campbell, Marcus Bontempelli, James Jordon.
Lachie Neale (Brisbane - MID, $826,000)
The last thing Neale (and his Fantasy coaches) needed coming off a quiet first round was a hard tag against the Cats. He scored just 51 which has seen his price drop $106K since the start of the season and he has a whopping BE of 191.
Tim Taranto (Greater Western Sydney - MID, $719,000)
Although attending 12 of the 21 centre bounces wasn't awful, he still spent a lot of time forward and scored well short of the midfield premium numbers he was selected for. The positive from this is he remains on track to gain forward status in round six which would keep him relevant.
Jake Lloyd (Sydney - DEF, $812,000)
Has had a very disappointing start to the season with an average of 81, which has resulted in a price drop of $61K. He will bounce back to be one of the best defenders but is currently taking a hit due to the injection of the capable youngsters.
Also consider: Andrew Gaff, Lachlan Sholl, Ben McEvoy.
Jaidyn Stephenson (North Melbourne - FWD, $531,000)
After collecting 33 possessions and laying seven tackles the week before, the Roo recruit looked completely disinterested and lacked any hunger for the contest against the Suns with 14 and two for a score of 51 playing predominantly forward.
Reilly O'Brien (Adelaide - RUC, $727,000)
I'm all for holding premiums, but get off now before your season is a complete write-off. He has dropped a total of $101K in just two weeks and still carries a breakeven of 171. It's tough to find a ruck replacement at the moment but given the fact he is averaging under 50, you would take anything.
Jye Caldwell (Essendon - FWD/MID, $529,000)
After a great start to the season with a triple-figure score on debut for his new club, the midfielder was on track for another impressive return until succumbing to a hamstring injury that will keep him out for a number of weeks. Trade.
Also consider: Nate Fyfe, Dylan Shiel, Shaun Higgins.