Season 2021

The Best Fantasy Footy Replacements for Patrick Dangerfield

Three weeks suspension! That was the verdict handed down by the AFL tribunal. It’s now long enough for Fantasy Footy coaches, even the most pro Danger owners, they know a trade needs to be done. Why? Because he’s eligible for only 7 of the next 11 rounds of AFL footy due to the suspensions and the Cats round1 2 bye.

As always, each format requires a different mindset and strategy. So I’ve broken down by formats the best Fantasy Footy replacements for Patrick Dangerfield.

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You don’t HAVE to trade

It’s certainly more SuperCoach and DreamTeam favourable given the limited number of trades available. But holding Patrick Dangerfield could be a viable option. What are the benefits? Firstly, you have a potential loophole VC/C option to used every single round. The points gap between the cash cow you field + the potential increase of points in captaincy could be minimal compared to the player you trade in for him.

Second, you hold onto an extra of those precious trades. Who knows what the season might hold? Already this week, we’ve seen coaches who own Matt Rowell into a forced trade. Even more so if you owned James Harmes. Across most games last weekend, we saw the medical sub become active. There is already an anecdotal concern in the AFL community that injuries will be more prevalent across the year. Why then not save these trades for players when they are forced out for longer term or injury related reasons.

As with any decision you make, there is a risk involved in holding him. But the benefit of having a unique Danger might just be enough to sway some coaches. My only encouragement is that IF you choose this approach. It would be best if you were all in on it. Commit to the three weeks. Don’t deviate after him missing one or two. That just further compounds the error. Either trade him before the Cats game this week or hold for the full three weeks.

The easiest like for like replacement is Dustin Martin. 50% of players already own him, and if he continues to perform like this for the next 4-6 weeks, non-owners will be playing catch up very quickly in the season. If you already own Dusty and want a premium forward, then Josh Dunkley and Dayne Zorko are probably the next 2 in line. Others like Isaac Heeney, Tom Phillips or Zak Butters are options, especially if you need a slice of cash to fix other issues like Matt Rowell.

If the forward line for you feels strong without Danger, then it’s time to look at the obvious next line that needs bolstering. Maybe it’s driven by a desire to move more cash cows off the field. Or potentially it allows you to trade in a player you want.

For you that could be Tom Mitchell, Rory Laird, Tom Stewart or Jackson Macrae who all had strong round one score. It could be you wanted a point of difference option like Travis Boak or Callum Mills and lacked the courage prior to the season to pick them. The Dangerfield suspension gives you a chance to right that ‘wrong.’

Ultimately whatever you choose, my encouragement is to pick a player you believe is a clear top tier performer in that chosen line. That’s what Dangerfield was, so use that mindset on this trade.

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If you’re looking for a simple ‘forward premium in, forward premium out’ approach, then you have three clear options. Josh Dunkley, Dustin Martin and Dayne Zorko. All were damaging options last weekend and showcased why I think they’ll be inside the top 6 performing forwards of the season. As good as Steele Sidebottom will be, I don’t think he’s worth the pick at his inflated price.

Staying in the forward line but looking for more value then Tom Phillips’ final three quarters were exactly what owners had hoped. Similarly, Jye Caldwell owners will be happy with his return, but I don’t see the ceiling enough to either generate the money you want or make him a top 6-10 forward. Pass for me.

One of the most popular trades in this format is to Jaidyn Stephenson. It nets coaches a cool $250k + gets them to a player who was the second highest scoring forward of the round. Throw in the fact that the former Pie has a breakeven of 25. He’s forecasted to make anywhere from $50,000 – $100,000 over the next few weeks. I’m less bullish that he’s a premium (avg 90+), but at his price point, he’ll tick all the boxes you need. Score well, generate cash and free up salary cap for other potential fix up moves.

The other option is to look to trade him to a premium in another line. For the 30% of coaches who own Tim Taranto, the fact that he played over 70% of the game forward, according to Champion Data, is potentially positive news. Why? Because should that trend continue, he’ll certainly move into the top scoring group of available forwards.

By Moving Danger into a midfield or even defensive option it could help you get the right cash cows on or off the field it could pay a huge benefit both in points on field and cash generation opportunities.

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Unlike in AFLFantasy, where you can use stepping stone options to generate cash while scoring points. I’m hesitant to advocate for that same trading ideology in DreamTeam. You picked Danger as you believed he’s a premium. So I’d be encouraging you to look in the same vein of replacement.

If, however, you do like the looks of a Jaidyn Stephenson type, know the potential risks it holds. Were yopu’ll either have to use a second trade to get him to another premium. Or you’ll have to hold a potential sub par performer for the season.

Like in SuperCoach, the best three premium replacements are Josh Dunkley, Dustin Martin and Dayne Zorko. Beyond them, the only other DT candidate I’m comfortable advocating for as a forward premium move is Tom Phillips. He showed enough to me to suggest he’s a top 6-10 scoring forward for the season.

Beyond the forward lines, you can use DPP to open up trading to any other line. My encouragement is to target clear top tier performing defenders or midfielders. Whether that’s a Jackson Macrae, Rory Laird, Zach Merrett or Tom Stewart type I’m not fussed. But find one that’s right for your structures.