Upgrade Targets After The Bye | Round 14

Another week of the multi-bye rounds is over. We now have another two teams with no more scheduled rests for the remainder of the season. Here’s a club-by-club breakdown of potential upgrade targets who have had their bye round.

Noah Anderson is one of the more interesting prospects coming off the bye this week. The Suns midfielder has showcased over multiple games already this year that he has a top-tier scoring ceiling. Between rounds 4-8, he averaged 126.8 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 133 in SuperCoach. A good outcome over a five-game stretch. If he can deliver that style of scoring run in the coming weeks, he’ll become a boom post-bye selection. As always, matchups and money play a significant factor in your trade plans.

I don’t hate him as a play if you’re skimping on cash to be able to afford other upgrade targets. From a fixture perspective, he plays Carlton, Hawthorn, Collingwood, Port Adelaide, St Kilda & GWS in the next six weeks. On the surface, the run doesn’t look too appealing, but he has shown historically he’s got the pedigree to score big, even in tough matchups. He’s a genuine consideration.

Entering the week off, plenty of coaches considered Matt Rowell, a player who could help them through rounds 14 & 15. He’s a different style of selection to Anderson. Noah is more likely to be closer to the top-line scoring premium midfielders, while just using 2023 data, Matt’s more likely to be a ‘gap filler’ option in the midfield that you look to upgrade upon in later rounds. That said, Rowell’s got plenty of scoring power.

Since round five in SuperCoach, he’s scored six tons, two over 155 and nothing under 85. While in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam, he’s posted four tons, including a 124 & 142 and two additional scores of 90 plus. Another to consider, but I think most teams will probably look for greener pastures… See what I did there ;). #GrassJoke

I’m not a big fan of the play I’m about to suggest, and honestly don’t think any players are looking for ruckmen this week. Coaches already have a combination of either Tim English, Rowan Marshall, Darcy Cameron, Luke Jackson or Kieren Briggs. So I’d be shocked if anyone wants or needs an option in this line. However, if you are, Jarrod Witts is a ruck, and he’ll play this week. NEXT!

Pre-bye, one of the best downgrade targets was Bailey Humphrey, the cash cow has been one of the best of the year, but he shouldn’t be a target now for coaches. At $520,000 in AFLFantasy & $379,300 in SuperCoach with a breakeven of mid-’30s across the formats means that while he’s got some cash still to make, it’s not worth trading into him. The benefit was multiple weeks ago; even the unluckiest coaches should have had multiple chances to get him. If you missed him, that’s ok. Treat it as a learning experience for future seasons.

There are only two ‘premium’ defenders I’d consider trading into this round. One I covered last week in the previous week’s upgrade targets; the other is Tom Stewart. Geelong’s Vice Captain in AFLFantasy is averaging 102 in his past three matches and has dropped his scoring to under 88 in just one of his eight matches. Over in SuperCoach, barring his injury-affected round one, his lowest score of the year is 912, and he’s posted seven tons, including 135, 139 & 167. It’s not a unique play to grab him, but it’s a historically safe move to pick him up. He’s always been in and around the top tier of scoring defenders. Barring Jordan Dawson & Nick Daicos, no other defender is banging the door down every week. So getting is a safe play. And sometimes, the best play is the safest move.

Could you do it? Could you trade into Patrick Dangerfield straight off his hamstring injury? The AFL website said he’s ready to play this week against Port Adelaide. While the Power is one of the most restrictive teams to play against, the pre-injury scoring of Danger was strong. In the five matches before the injury, he scored 86, 92, 104, 82, 110 & 93 in AFLFantasy, and 103, 119, 118, 144 & 124 in SuperCoach. That’s all before succumbing to an injured 68 in AFLFantasy and 58 in SuperCoach early in the third term.

The primary ‘risk’ isn’t that he’s reoccur his injury; rather, it’s twofold. First, it’s that he won’t score near enough the topline mids over the final three months. Is it worth settling for a ‘close enough’ option? Second, the club don’t have the luxury this year to manage their aging stars by resting them for full matches. But should games be ‘over’ by the start of the fourth quarter, Danger would be among the candidates to see his workload managed. Either way, there’s the upside to scoring potential vs price, and Patrick needs to be a consideration, even if it’s only to rule him out as an option.

Not many risks would be bigger than jumping blindly into Mitch Duncan. He’s been a mixed bag already in 2023, from multiple 90+ scores right through failing to register a 50. Looking at his historical scoring, his got the potential to be a great buy, but looking at this year in isolation, it’s layered with risk. He’s only a ‘buy’ if you’re playing catchup on the pack and need to create some forced separation with an upside. If you’re in contention in your league or rankings battle, he’s probably not the play for you. The risk of consistent sub-80 scores for the infrequent 110+ scores probably lends me to advocating for something else.

At the start of the season, many viewed Tanner Bruhn as a potential breakout candidate. However, the only breaking happened to fantasy coaches hopes and dreams. Three weeks into the year, he’d failed to score over 65 across either format and was quickly banished from our squads. However, over the past three weeks, the scoring we’d hoped for has started to appear, especially in AFLFantasy, where he’s scored 93, 79 & 100. At $602,000 with a three-week average of 90.7, it’s only a consideration in this format. The key variable is that we should see multiple changes this weekend, including midfielders Max Holmes and Patrick Dangerfield, who will trump his spot in the midfield. I can’t advocate for it as a play, but I can see why on the surface, people might look at it.

Over the past month, much has been made on our strategy roundtable podcasts of the lack of forward premiums that don’t hold a round fifteen bye. Jeremy Cameron has had a career-best fantasy season with an average in the mid to high 90s across the formats. The key reminder when trading into a player is to remember your not trading into their legacy scores of the year but only the upcoming matches. As a result, looking at the fixture is paramount to determining if it’s a play.

This week’s matchup against Port Adelaide is interesting; Melbourne follows it up in round fifteen and Sydney in the one after. It’s not the easiest trio of games, but he’s got a proven scoring ceiling in 2023 and doing so against good opposition. For example, in round two against Jacob Weitering, he scored 138 in AFLFantasy and 149 in SuperCoach. Like all key position forwards, he’s got the capacity to deliver a 60 basement, but the upside is certainly there for those wanting or needing to take a risk.