We’re a fortnight away from the commencement of the bye rounds, so let’s look at some of the trade priorities as we head into another round of fantasy football.Embed from Getty Images
Unlucky in Mills
There are two key things that Callum Mills’ injury reminded us of. The first is the significant impact the luck variable can have on your season. Everything about trading into Mills optically looked good. From his price point to the return of the midfield role and coming off the back of a ton, it screamed pick me. Nobody can predict an injury like that; it’s just bad luck. Plain and simple. We’ve seen countless moments of that this season and over previous years. For the most part, it was a good trade, but it could have been better in some places.
For example, I wouldn’t say I liked trading into him via Will Setterfield. On our round review podcast episode, which is available for our Spotify podcast subscribers and premium tier Patreons, I unpacked it further. But the premise was that with no Darcy Parish, the midfield role had returned, and the fixture was opening up for the Bombers. After the tough matchup against Brisbane, which has now passed, they play Richmond, West Coast, North Melbourne & Carlton before the bye. Given the scoring trend of inside midfielders on these teams in 2023, he always has a chance to average 100 over this period. So while it looks like a ‘hindsight’ call to say Mills-Setterfield wasn’t a good trade, it had more to do with the variables around Will than an injury to Mills.
The irony is that now Will is out injured with a foot fracture. So it may seem a void point to bring up, but it’s rather about unpacking the mindset and process of trades than anything specific about Will. Remember, trades aren’t just to be viewed about who you’re getting onto, but who you jumping off and when.Embed from Getty Images
Ripe for the picking
No Darcy Parish or Will Setterfield and a fixture of Richmond, West Coast, North Melbourne & Carlton before the round fourteen byes. The breakeven suggests you could wait on trading into Zach Merrett, but the fixture and lack of midfield support indicate that you could afford to trade on now. Only a few premium midfielders have the legacy history of scoring 110 across the formats for multiple seasons, but Zach does.
Rory Laird will be at an attainable price for only so many more weeks. Last weekend’s precautionary vesting meant that the window is still open to trading into him. Yes, there’s been some ‘calf tightness’ concerns, but that wasn’t the causation behind his red vest against the Saints. Has he got some risk? Sure! But the upside is he has shown that his legacy scoring ceiling is still within his reach regularly.
I don’t love the matchup for Bailey Smith this week. The Crows are a notoriously tough team to score against for midfielders. That said, in AFLFantasy, I could get behind trading into him. At $815,000, he’s got the proven upside of pushing an average deep over 100, while the downside is he’s someone you trade out of at the round fifteen byes. One thing that might tip you over the line to trade into him is a round fourteen matchup against North Melbourne. He might be the perfect bye-round booster for your scoring.
I’m not a fan of doing it yet in AFLFantasy or DreamTeam, but getting into Darcy Cameron in SuperCoach, if named, is a serious consideration. Priced at under $500,000 with a breakeven of 55, he’s coming off the back of scores of 103, 137 & injury impacted 89. His RUC/FWD status and round fourteen byes will be helpful for versatility. In addition to creating some depth in the RUC/FWD lines, especially for those with an RUC/FWD dead cow at R3. And lastly, two of the next three weeks are against North Melbourne and West Coast. ‘DC’ has shown he’s a scorer in this role. The only concern is that Collingwood might phase him into the lead ruck role, but it’s worth consideration.
Lastly, there’s a pair of GWS Lachie’s to consider. Ash & Whitfield. The injury to Isaac Cumming that will see him out to the byes has meant they no longer have the challenge of squeezing three fantasy prospects, only fit into the two scoring halfback roles. Rather both Ash & Whitfield are now free to fill their fantasy footy. The next five weeks have some juicy matchups for halfbacks. St Kilda, Geelong, Richmond, North Melbourne and Fremantle.
In the previous three weeks, Lachie Ash has scored 89, 102 & 123 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 80,87 & 109 in SuperCoach. At the same time, Lachie Whitfield has gone at 106, 102 & 99 in SuperCoach and 88, 130 & 105 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam. So they’ve got some risk, but the scoring power, role and fixture are all there.Embed from Getty Images Become a Patron!
Send in the Cows
Many conversations are happening across the community about the need for more cash cows coming in as downgrade options. One of the primary drivers of this conversation is that we’ve now got several cash cows potentially topped out in their generation. The likes of Kade Chandler, Oliver Hollands, Oskar Baker and Connor Mckenna all need to be put into the trade-out process. While Will Ashcroft and Reuben Ginbey‘s good scores of last week mean they’ve still got another few weeks of cash to make if required. To maximise the money they’ve made, we need both upgrade and downgrade targets to align, and herein lies the potential challenge.
Many believe there are no or poor cash cow options available as downgrades, but options are abundant. They all have an element of risk, but that’s the same as what happens in most seasons. So to suggest there are no cows is false. We’ve got plenty. All with risk elements, but you’ve got options.
Bailey Humprey has one of the lowest breakevens across the formats, has DPP and structurally helps you with the round thirteen byes. The only issue is he’s already had some cash generation. But he’s one of the better downgrade options this week. For example, trading into him via Kade Chandler will net you $141,000 in AFLFantasy, $144,200 in SuperCoach & $160,100 in DreamTeam. Now, I could go down to Blake Drury and make plenty more coin, but the reality of his breakeven means I can still wait another week if needed. Additionally, I’d feel much safer trading into Humprey than Drury if the player was also required on the field. Bailey has shown he can be trusted for a 50 over the past fortnight.
They aren’t the only two options, either. Mitch Knevitt (MID) is comparable in price to Humprey and also helps structurally for you through the byes. Harry Sharp looks like he’ll be every chance of playing up to the byes, and a further two weeks of price movements are enough for you. And don’t discount Campbell Chesser; while he’s sitting on plenty of benches as a red dot, the Eagles need to keep flooding kids. Now that he’s fit and played a game in the WAFL, we could see him very soon. Depending on the format you play, even a Josh Weddle or Arthur Jones might be worth it. Both appear to be safe inside their respective clubs best 22.
Are there risks involved with some of our downgrades? Of Course! But no more than usual at this time of the season. Wondering which players have the best breakevens? We’ve got them listed here.Embed from Getty Images
Early next week, I’ll dive into my predictions of who I think will pick up an additional position after round eleven. But a warning, we’ll be getting an influx of premium forwards that will drastically affect the best prospects in the line.Embed from Getty Images
Sneaky Look Ahead
Do you play SuperCoach? Then Nat Fyfe needs to be on your radar. He’s priced at $267k with a breakeven of 101 this week. Entering round thirteen after the Dockers week off, he can be priced at under $250k. To get a player with MID/FWD status, with no byes, and the upside of proven 100+ scoring is an absolute gift. He’d create an avenue of available cash through a downgrade via an Ollie Hollands type and only be needed on the field through the byes. After that, he’d have a basement of being a depth and versatility play. With the upside of being good enough to field. At the very least, one to consider. But for me, only injury or suspension will prevent this play from happening for me.