Community, the time is upon us. We have now entered the most defining time period of the fantasy year, the time we bring in our first upgrade.
The time for corrective trading has passed and now the serious business of upgrading those cash cows is upon us. It is the most defining because the guys you chose to bring in now will shape how your team stands up against the very best. Chose the wrong upgrade and you will be left ruing the decision to bring them in, and watch on as the teams that brought in the correct (sometimes left field) players out score you week on week until the seasons end.
At the start of the year we all have grand ideas of what the best overall team will look like and we tend to look to upgrade to those perceived better players that we were unable to start with. For example I didn’t start this year with Franklin but have always thought I’d bring him in at some stage during the year. I have now built up enough cash that if I wanted to, I could upgrade a forward rookie to Franklin as my first upgrade. However this is something I won’t be doing, and not because Franklin is set for further price falls over the next couple of weeks, or because I’m worried about external factors like his contact saga. The reason I won’t be looking at Franklin as my first upgrade is because now is the time to pick up the less obvious upgrade target.
A player who is going to provide you with a Point of difference, a player who you are going to pick up now at their cheapest price for the year, ensuring that those that don’t chose him now will find it hard to bring him in at a later date.
I’m going to go back 12 months ago to give you a better understanding of the type of player I am looking for. At the start of the 2012 year not too many fantasy coaches would have thought that Dayne Beams would have finished in the top 7 forwards last year and a such not too many coaches looked to make him their first upgrade target.
I remember having an upgrade selection dilemma after round 7 last year where I was weighing up Dayne Beams and Jack Riewoldt. Beams was just finding good form at this point of the year after been given more rotations through the midfield since Luke Ball had gone down with injury in round 3. He was now averaging 97.6 and was priced reasonably due to his low scores in rounds 1 and 2.
Jack on the other hand was coming out of a period where he had a 29 and a 48 run through his 3 week rolling average and looked ripe for the taking at his bottom out price. The dilemma was do I spend a little bit more money and take a punt on a breakout contender or to I pick up a “known identity” at a fallen price who I can rely on to average out the season at 90+. I chose to take the conservative option and brought in the more proven fantasy scorer (granted only modest scorer) in Jack Riewoldt.
What transpired next was that Beams would go on to average 133 from this point on while Riewoldt averaged 99 until the end of the season. While a 99 point average was nothing to cry about from picking up Riewoldt at his cheapest, but I actually missed the boat on Beams and couldn’t afford to bring him in further down the line when he really started going off. I had the money in the bank to bring Beams in then and I chose not to and ultimately missed out on 510 points and one of the best unique players of 2012. For those reading this now that picked up Beams I am sure they will be recalling how Beams was the difference most weeks when they came up against someone who didn’t have him.
So Irish you mad B**tard who are you looking to bring in this week?
Current Price $518,400
Priced to Average 100.8
So what makes Andrew such an intriguing prospect for me as my first upgrade. Well there are a few key indicators we should all look for when looking at a breakout contender.
- Age: 20 to 22 according to Higgo’s Bell end, sorry Bell Curve http://www.jockreynolds.com.au/2013/02/27/the-breakout-zone-20-22-years-of-age/
- New Coach: Can often invigorate a player, whether they work harder to prove themselves to the new guy or just new ideas can freshen up players and give them a new lease of life. The proverb that a change is as good as a rest.
- New Club: Like the above (partially because with a new club comes a new coach) this often gives a player a new lease of life.
- New Roll: A new roll that normally sees a player benefit from more possessions and thus more fantasy scoring points. These roles are normally a move to the midfield, wing or the rebounding half back.
Andrew Walkers ticks the box on two of the above, with a new coach in Mick Malthouse and a new role as the rebounding defender that rotates through the midfield. This last point is arguably the most important as it normally equates for the largest increase in a players average.
Above is a table showing the key differentials from last season when Walker was playing as a forward and this season where he is playing as a rebounding defender. All the obvious stats are there, like the improved possession numbers but what is also pleasing is that there is an improvement in a couple of aspects that aren’t a guarantee of a position role.
Walker’s effective disposal numbers have increased by 9% which is showing he has a real poise for his new role. He is also spending a staggering 96% of time on ground which tells me a couple of things. One, Mick has great trust in him and two, he is resting forward instead of coming to the interchange which means he is getting opportunities to kick goals and thus continue to score fantasy points. In fact even though his role has changed he is only slightly down on his goal average from last year.
Now I know a lot of you who are reading this will still think that Andrew Walker is still a very risky pick but there is also another reason for why I want to get him in this week and that’s Carlton’s draw.
Over the next five rounds Carlton will be lining up against Melbourne, St Kilda, Port, Brisbane and GWS. This is the guy who has currently averaged 115 against Richmond, Collingwood, Geelong, West Coast and Adelaide so surely he can at least maintain that average over the next five weeks. My fear is that if I don’t get him this week I might be left in the same position I was in last year when I missed the boat on Beams and couldn’t afford him later on down the track. I also know that many of you will think that the boat has already sailed with Walker but If I can refer you to last year one last time when many thought the boat had sailed when Beams reached $520k too and yet he went on to price well over 600k.
I really believe that the next 3 weeks will shape your fantasy year more than all the rest combined. Pick the correct upgrades now and you will be laughing all the way to that top four position you are chasing, or in some of our cases that 50k grand price. However it isn’t always the most obvious player that will think of and is often that left filed guy who you nearly got in.
Go on. Take the chance, and get them in. Who is your unique upgrade, the player that will make the difference for you ??
Mick the Mad Irishman
Mad as a cut snake – but one of the most developed Fantasy Football brains in Australia. Click here for more from the Mad Irishman