Tuesday, 3 April 2012

AFL DreamTeam & SuperCoach Round 1 ... the first look!

I suspect that this post will become something of a regular weekly 2-parter, reviewing the round of AFL from a fantasy perspective, with the first of these being the 'knee-jerk' reaction & initial thoughts on the weekend. I would suspect a second (related) post will occur later in the week once some more analysis has occurred (such as the regular Fantasy Freako newsletter & various DreamTeam podcasts) & I've had more time to think about the previous week's action & how it will impact my side & decisions.
Anyway, onto the week in review ...

Score: 2008
Rank: 37,444 (of 244,802)
Highest round score: 2352
Thoughts on players overall
Excellent: Birchall, Bugg, Ablett, Pendlebury, Bartel, Magner, McDonald, Cox, Jacobs, Franklin, Fyfe, Dangerfield
Satisfactory: Goddard, Delidio, Clarke, Smedts, C Smith, Coniglio, Giles, Redden, Martin, D Smith, Hall
Disappointing: Shaw, Ellis, Lake, Shiel, Hale Nahas, Paine ... plus having Bugg & McDonald on the bench!
If you look at it by position, then my mids & rucks are doing about the job they should be doing (aiming for an average of roughly 100 points per player), with the mids scoring 706 (with the double-points captain) & rucks 205. The only real issue there was playing Shiel ahead of McDonald, which would have given me an extra 60 points. I suspect Shiel is worth keeping in the team, but with McDonald's suspension it might need to be Clay Smith who starts on the field.
The forwards were reasonable, scoring 608, when you consider the disappointments that were Hale (68) & Nahas (49). Martin was a little down on what would be expected of him (he should be able to score close to 100 each week), but Devon Smith had a good game for a rookie scoring 69. The backs, however was where things went pear-shaped for me, bringing in only 489 points! I think the issue rests squarely on the shoulders of two players ... Heath Shaw & Brian Lake! Although Shaw was reasonable from a SC perspective, 56 is a horrible score for a premium player at any time of year! Lake's 29 was even worse, though I suppose with his 'bargain basement' pricing in 2012, I could only realistically expect consistent 80s from him (though there is still a huge gap between 29 & 80!). Ellis had a disappointing 38, though it is not so bad for a rookie ... and again if I'd started Bugg over Ellis, I would have picked up another 60-odd points, which would make my round 1 score look much better!

If you compare my team with the team of the leading round 1 scorer (Gamebreakers), the highest scoring team was as follows: 
Birchall, Carrazzo, Bugg, Goddard, Delidio, Hargrave, Golby (Morris, Yagmoor)
Ablett (c), Thompson, Boyd, Magner, Swan, McDonald (C Smith, D Shiel) 
Jacobs, Giles (Redden, Stephenson)
Franklin, Fyfe, Kennedy, Sidebottom, Robinson, Martin, D Smith (Hall, Couch) 
If you ignore the bench (as their points don't count), you will see the following differences: 
Backs: Carrazzo, Bugg, Hargrave, Golby v Clarke, Shaw, Ellis, Lake
Mids: Thompson, Boyd, Swan, McDonald v Pendlebury, Bartel, Coniglio, Shiel
Rucks: Giles v Cox 
Forwards: Kennedy, Sidebottom, Robinson v Dangerfield, Hale, Nahas
If you consider positions that are effectively cancelled out (eg: Golby v Clarke; Thompson & Swan v Pendlebury & Bartel), you can see that the differences are primarily that there is an extra premium midfielder in the highest scoring team (Boyd) & that has been counter-balanced by the extra premium ruck in my team (Cox). Obviously in this round the Boyd & Giles combo outscored my Cox & Coniglio combo. When this is combined with my various underperformers (Shaw, Lake, Shiel, Hale & Nahas), it is easy to understand why I am roughly 350 points behind the leader so far. 
I'm happy to stick with Hale, Nahas, Shaw & my rookies - hopefully they will have better games in coming weeks. The concerns for me after week 1 are that Lake's score was extrmely low, and that it may be better to trade him very soon for someone like Hargrave or Davis, or possibly a rookie like Mohr. Having said that, I'll hold off on any 'knee-jerk' reaction & wait until later in the week before I consider any trading, as unlikley as it might seem. 

Score: 1971
Rank: 113,201 (of 323,938)
Highest round score: 2452
Thoughts on players overall

Excellent: Goddard, Bugg, Thompson, McDonald, Magner, Cox, Giles, Franklin, Fyfe, Dangerfield
Satisfactory: Delidio, Shaw, Duffield, Heppell, Houli, Ellis, Caddy, Coniglio, D Smith, Mumford, Redden, Martin, Hale, Hall
Disappointing: Lake, Shiel, Cunningham, Nahas, Smedts, Paine ... plus having Bugg & Magner on the bench!

Something of interest is just how different the week's top scoring side was from my own side ...

CarntheCrows (2452)
Goddard, Yarran, Bugg, Murphy, Mohr, Guthrie, Hunt (Ellis, Tomlinson)
Pendlebury, Ablett, Kennedy, Murphy, Sloane, Kennedy Dangerfield, Hoskin-Elliot)
Leuenberger, Giles (Redden, Stephenson)
Tippett, Franklin, Riewoldt, Walker, Cloke, Porplyzia, Hall, (Smith, Dickson) 
In terms of similarities between teams, there are surprisingly only a few - Goddard, Bugg, Ellis, Dangerfield, Giles, Redden, Franklin, Hall & Smith. 

I won't go into the level of analysis for SuperCoach, needless to say that I again had a few issues with high-scoring players on the bench (Bugg & Magner), as well as suffering from 'the vest' ... with Shiel, Cunningham & Redden (as well as Clay Smith in my DreamTeam side) all wearing the green or red vest at some point during round 1. 
Another aspect that is problematic for my SuperCoach team (given the risky 'rookie midfield' option I have started with) is that it relies on making sure I have the very best rookie midfielders available. Although I have a number of rookies I am happy with, there are a number that I don't have (Clay Smith, Kennedy, Mohr, etc) & it seems as though they aren't necessarily confined to the midfield as I had hoped. The last-minute decision to bring in Thompson as a midfield premium should have had the (c) go with it, so I also missed about 60 points there by leaving the (c) on Cox, who will score 100s fairly consistently, but won't go far above 100 on most occasions. 

I suspect I'll come up with some more thought-out decisions for the week, needless to say that Brian Lake is the most likley to be involved in a trade this week if I end up making any trades. Although I managed to score around 2000 in both competitions, the overall higher scoring nature of SuperCoach means that I really need a much better performance this week, otherwise any plans of a high overall finish will be gone ... and the season's only just begun!

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