This is one of the most pivotal weeks of the year for fantasy football coaches. Especially in DreamTeam & SuperCoach, given after this round, the prices of players begin to change. So before round three gets underway, MJ looks at a number of trading priorities coaches need to consider.

Embed from Getty Images

Lachie Neale

Depending on the format/s you play and why you play are the greatest two underlying motivations that will drive your decision to either hold or trade Lachie Neale this week. So let’s look at both sides of the coin, the decision to hold and trade. Ultimately, whatever you do you need to be able to make reasoned and logic-driven decisions.

So why would you trade Neale? Simple! First of all, it could be purely based on the enjoyment of the game. That having him on your fantasy footy side is killing your enjoyment of the game. If that is a driving decision maker for you, it’s fairly easy for you to trade him out.

Another motivation could be the way you split up your salary cap more evenly. Perhaps you’ve got an injury forced a trade to make, like Jye Caldwell. Perhaps the dollar combination could be better spent on moving him to a combination of Andrew Brayshaw and Dustin Martin. While it does cost you two trades, it might make your side better in the long run.

The risk is that Neale pulls his finger out and averages 130 over the next three weeks. Yes, his current form is off, but Lachie has a history now over many years to show his capability. Yes, you could still ‘trade him back in cheaper’ you’ve compounded the problem by missing those possible scores. Ultimately, if you trade him, you need to back in that this (like any trade, I suppose) has the potential to blow up in your face horrifically. If you can deal with that potential backlash, then be my guest.

An important feature to take into the discussion is the bye round. If people do trade Neale and intend to bring him back it will ideally need to be for a rd 14 option so there is an easy switch back to Neale afte the bye. By targetting a round 14 bye player, Coaches will also get an additional score from the r14 guy in this scenario.

Between now and the Lions bye round, Neale has 10 games. If he averages 120 (for example) for those 10 games then that equates to 1200 pts. The guy brought in eg. Clayton Oliver or Jack Steele will have 11 games then on top of that will be the extra cash from the trade.

Become a Patron!

So why hold? What has changed from 2 weeks ago with Lachie Neale? OK, in reality, a few underwhelming scores and reports out that he’s playing sore. But in the big picture, nothing. But isn’t he going to drop in value? Of course, but remember, a players dollar value only matters if you have to trade them. Outside of that, it’s just an arbitrary number that, as an owner, means nothing. His price tag only matters if you trade him, not if you hold him.

Seven days ago, people were questioning whether premium players like Brodie Grundy or Max Gawn were worth the big dollars after a poor opening round score. Both of these guys delivered tons across the formats the following week. At the same time, Neale has ‘failed’ at delivering a ton in both games, not just one the principal of backing in your premiums after a few poor scores are important to remind ourselves of.

What do you think Neale will average for the season by the end of the year? Is it 120? If it’s that, then he’ll need to average closer to 125+ over the remaining games. I think in AFLFantasy / DreamTeam, he’s not going to be a top 8 midfielder, and I believed that at the beginning of the season. But for SuperCoach, he absolutely still could be. It’s why for me, in that format, more than any other, a ‘hold’ needs to be a serious consideration even with a ‘sore back.’

Continuing to use SuperCoach as the illustration, in three weeks, he’s forecast to be priced around $600k. By this time, many non-owners will be using a trade to bring him in. Why? Because since joining the Lions, he’s proven to be an elite performer. So the real question actually comes down to this. What’s the value of trades worth? Because I can guarantee you, nobody wants to be off the Lachie Neale train by the time it gets going.

Are the trades you take to move him on and then ultimately strive to bring him back in, will your team be better positioned? Not just in points, but have you got closer to a completed team of premiums? As an aside, how many more trades do you have available to help facilitate that finished team? On average, it takes about 2.5 trades per upgrade.

Don’t just be ‘reactionary’ with your moves. That’s how you burn through trades and find yourself at seasons end, settling for stepping stone players and rookies to fill out spots on the field. That’s a position you don’t want to be in. Rather consider all the options, consider what’s best for your team’s current and long-term needs. And based on that, make your decisions.

Embed from Getty Images

Patrick Cripps

In a similar vein to the Lachie Neale discussion, ‘Crippa’ owners are seriously considering moving him on. Like everything, factor in the motivators behind the desired move and reflect on what your expectations for him are at the start of the season.

What I mean by this is what’s motivating the desire to trade? Is it his reported soreness? Is it because you believe the style of AFL gameplay is limiting his involvement and impact? Whatever it is, can you articulate what’s driving the desire to want to move him on? Once you have, now you can clarify whether that motivation is emotionally charged, tactically driven or something more. The answer to the ‘why do you want to trade’ should ultimately form the basis of whether or not your logic is sound or flawed.

If you believe starting with him was a mistake, then as I said, map out your logic and reasoning and if that’s the summation of your findings, then back in that for the trade. If you believe he’s still likely to average 100+ in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam or 110+ in SuperCoach for the end of the year, then back him in and hold him.

In the collection of the Coaches Panel, we have multiple winners of formats in Rids and Fish. Plus, numerous top 100 finishes across all formats for all of us. What’s the one common feedback we all endorse? Success in the ‘classic’ formats of the game is won or lost at the trade table. You won’t ‘fail’ because of a few weeks of underperforming premiums in your starting squad. Your success is based on how well you trade.

Embed from Getty Images

Taylor Walker

Who would have ever thought that after round two, Taylor Walker would be ranked first for total points in SuperCoach?! Yet here he is. While in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam, he’s ranked 8th overall. The reason he should be on coaches trading radars this week isn’t that he’s the ‘Jy Simpkin‘ of 2020. Rather it’s about the cash he could generate for prospective owners in the next few weeks.

By trading into Walker, the mindset shouldn’t be around viewing him as an underpriced premium. That might happen, but you cannot bank on that. Rather, the trade is the focus of cash generation while also netting a few handy points on the field.

‘Tex’ currently is priced under $300k in SuperCoach and has a breakeven of -114. In three weeks time, he could’ve made $150,000. In AFLFantasy, he’s already gone up to $104K, but at $470,000 with a breakeven -4, he’s still got another $70-$100k to make in the next fortnight scoring dependant. While DreamTeam, he’s priced just over $354k while his breakeven of -75 means he could jump in value to $500,000 by the end of round 5.

These scoring increases aren’t based on him going for big tons, rather they are on him averaging around 75-85. Should he deliver 1-2 more big scores then his cash generation will only further rise.

Over the coming three matches Adelaide play Gold Coast, North Melbourne and Fremantle. Not only are they three winnable games, but they also matchups that are favourable for Tex.

Perhaps you’ve got an injury forced to trade in Jye Caldwell. Or an underperforming stepping stone, then Walker could well be the perfect 2 week strategy for your team.

Embed from Getty Images

Jordan De Goey

Coming off the back of a ’90’s’ score across all formats seeing Jordan De Goey’s name might surprise. But the reason for it is predominantly about one big issue. Collingwood’s forward structure. They look more likely to win games of AFL when he is a target inside 50. Not many sides have the defensive cattle to stop him when he gets going. While I know the Pies want him through the middle, the facts are evident. Collingwood is a more dangerous side when he is playing forward.

What further compounds this problem is Jamie Elliot is set for an ‘extended period’ out injured. He’s the only other consistently dangerous Magpie forward. With him out, the pressure falls back to the forward structure to deliver, and JDG could well be the internal solution to the problem.

This means that Jordy’s scoring variables and ceiling could be more dramatic as he’ll need to kick goals to score higher. A factor that can change from week to week. Is moving him on this week a must? Certainly not! But the more time he spends inside 50, the less he’s likely to challenge the top 6-8 forwards across fantasy football formats. Right now, he’s a watch and see unless you have zero other trading needs and are lacking in the premium forwards that are delivering, e.g. Dusty and Dunkley.

Embed from Getty Images

Paddy Dow

The hype player of a preseason, Paddy Dow, has been a huge disappointment for the owners who spent up picking him. The equation is simple. When you have cash cows scoring at a comparable or better rate that is cheaper, then it’s an easy decision. Trade! Whether it be Tyler Brockman, James Jordan, Sam Berry, Chad Warner or any other cow you’ve currently missed on. If you don’t have them, see Dow as an easy trade move. Don’t see it as a ‘wasted’ trade; rather, it’s a correctional trade.

It’s OK, picking him has been a mistake up until this point. Take this chance to correct that and learn from it.

Embed from Getty Images

Cash Cows

This week’s greatest priority for every fantasy football coach is about making sure we have the cash cows nailed. If you’re missing Errol Gulden, Matt Flynn, James Rowe, Braeden Campbell, James Jordan, Sam Berry or Thomas Highmore, these are the players that need to be your greatest trade priority! Why? These players with high negative breakevens and low starting cash investment are the ones that will have the most rapid financial growth.

Getting these moneymakers into your side is critical to the success of your side. Remember, the aim of the game is about completing your team with premiums as quickly as possible. These cash cows can increase your ability to generate income and get to a completed side more efficiently.

What’s the greater trade priority, fixing up failed premiums or getting the correct cows? Simple! It’s nailing the cash cows.

Embed from Getty Images

Jye Caldwell

He’s injured. A trade is a necessity as simple as that. What might not be as simple as the player you trade him to? Do you go up, across or down in the forward line? The only premium forwards I like right now are Dustin Martin, Dayne Zorko and Josh Dunkley. Midprice moves can be risky. Just ask those that brought in Jaidyn Stephenson last week.

I think if you’re making a sideways move in the forward line, it should be to play the breakeven game and chase the money quickly. Going down to a cash cow is fine, on the premise you’re making a secondary trade to use it on another move. Don’t let your salary cap sit dormant on the sidelines. Make it work for you either in cash generation or in securing premiums for points on the field.

The last thing, don’t just limit yourself to a like for like line replacement. Through the wonders of DPP, you might find a better solution for your unique side.