Mad Mick’s Mayhem (emphasis on the “Mad”)
I fully expect what I am about to show you will be criticized by many and titled as ridiculous by many fantasy expects. Some days I look at this team and I hate it and other days I look at this team, and think “what a stroke of genies”. My problem is that every time I clear my team to start rebuilding, I keep coming back to the same players and more importantly the same strategy. Earlier this preseason I wrote an article titled “The death of Guns & Rookies” and I really believe that this strategy is not relevant, for this season at least. I trust very few rookies to score well, especially in the defense and forward lines. I did consider a loaded back and forward line with a rookie midfield but this would mean that I would be losing out on the abundance of value premiums in the midfield line, and more importantly I do not trust the vast amount of premiums in the back and forward line to score consistently.
It was for those reasons I have adopted a very heavy Midprice team. So much so I could almost rename my team to “Mad Mick’s Midprice Mayhem”
So without further delay behold the “Mayhem”
1. Bye Breakdown
I have thought very carefully about the byes and have a very good spread across the different bye weeks. However, despite putting a high premium on being bye ready from the get go, it actually wasn’t the main reason for some big name absentees that some of you are looking at in my side. I’ll explain those reasons later. Rookies weren’t solely picked on their bye round, however it is a bonus that 7 of my rookies have a round 10 bye. This will help during those byes to maximize those trades. I do have a trading plan outlined and if I get no injuries I believe I can be full premium at the other end of the byes in round 11. If this works out it will be three rounds earlier than last season and should give me a fair chance at claiming the rankings in the second half of the year.
2. The Defense
I have spent the least amount of coin per player in the defensive line. This is a lesson learned from last season when in hindsight I went in with one too many top end players. This year I might have over corrected but only time will tell.
Player by player
- Mitchell – easy choice – I believe he will be the top scoring defender by the end of the year and I think he and Hawthorn will get off to a fast start.
- Swallow – ended last year very well averaging 105 in the last 7 games playing through the midfield. Will play in the guts this year and I would expect he will average 90+ for the year. Expect him to be my D6 by seasons end.
- Pittard – I’m sure a few eyebrows raised at this one! I’ve liked his preseason and at 21 I believe is ready to make a big jump in 2014 playing as a damaging rebounding defender. BIG RISK – BIG REWARD
- Bugg – Similar to Pittard in many ways. Some don’t even have Bugg in GWS’s best 22 but he has had a great preseason. Has a great running capacity and seems to get to a lot of contests. Has played on the wing with rotations in the middle all preseason and I thinks he’s nailed his role on the wing. GWS will be no easy beats in 2014 (will win 6 games minimum) and there is some real value in this squad. BIG RISK – BIG REWARD
- Webster – Has come to the piece very late but with the saints missing a few for round one and beyond he could prove to be a value pick up early. Would look to move him on very early in my trading strategy, hopefully after a few big scores run through his rolling average.
- Georgiou – Is the sole rookie on the field in the backline – still needs to be elevated but hopefully that will happen later this week. Suspect he will outscore McDonald and hence why he gets the nod.
- McDonald – safe rookie lock
- Clurey – Not much else in the way of rookie defenders – it is what it is
I do suspect that I might have to use a corrective trade early on this line. I know most teams are running with Suckling but I’ve think there are more upside in the players I’ve selected. If it blows up in my face I have options to change it. Obviously I’d prefer if I didn’t have too.
3. The Midfield
Let’s just address it straight up shall we! No Ablett and no Pendlebury. Am I crazy? Probably.
This wasn’t how I planned to build my team. I always had Ablett until last week when a question mark was raised over his calf. I know he will play round one but if he’s not at 100% I don’t trust his worth at 695k. He also dropped off over the last third of last season (only averaging 116) as some of the young stars like Prestia and Bennel started to dominate games on their own. I also know he was carrying a knock over that period too. I don’t think Ablett will average less than 120 but I do suspect if he is carrying an injury his output will suffer and I’m willing to roll the dice and go in without him. I’m sure I’ll get him for less than his starting price through the byes, and the plan will be to snag him round 9.
As for the Captain issue, I’m confident I will get it right over the first 8 rounds before I bring him in. THIS COULD BE MY BIGGEST RISK.
Player by player:
- Rockliff – averaged 129 after Vossy was pushed out last year. No more wasting time playing forward – is one of the best centre bounce players in the game – contested possession, clearance and tackle machine= supercoach gold.
- Liberatore – averaged 119 over the last 7 rounds last year. Like Rockliff is a centre bounce specialist – expect him to add more consistency to his game in 2014 and a healthy increase in his average.
- Cotchin – was lcoked away in November and nothing has changed. Played injured last year and has 10+ point increase on his current price – bargain
- Murphy – another who was carrying an injury last year. Has had a solid preseason and has something to prove to the doubters. I am slightly scared going in with Murphy but at this price I am certain he won’t go backwards – might need an upgrade towards the end.
- Beams – locked since November – this was one of the easiest selections I have ever made.
- Thomas – just too cheap not to pick despite his injury concerns– confident he will average 90+ and will be turned into Ablett in round 9 (if he stays fit)
- Michie, Polec, Eliis and Dunstan I feel are the best value safe rookies. Output should be high and job security looks good for all. Including avoiding the red vests which is very important. We all remember Mitchell (Port) from last year.
I like this line and don’t expect to have any surprises that I will need a correction over the first few weeks.
This line hasn’t got much thought all preseason. The two I have selected were locked very early in the piece. It has only been the last two weeks that I have started to doubt my R1. If fit I know Naitanui would be the top scoring player in the competition, no exaggeration. The fact is I don’t know if he is fit or not.
Player by player:
- Naitanui – rolling the dice (again) and backing that even if he is only 90% he is still value at his current price
- Sandilands – You burnt me so bad last season but I forgive you. The funny thing is I hear many people worried about Sandilands getting through the first game. He has had a great preseason. Has played both NAB games and their practice match and has just dominated. They byes are perfect this year. They split the season in three for everybody and I suspect this will benefit the likes of Sandilands. I am confident he will be the top scoring Ruck come the first set of byes and he’ll play every game. Also think he is a sneaky VC on the opening weekend. He will be up against the very inexperienced Grundy who isn’t ready to be a sole AFL ruckman.
- Currie – suspect North might play two rucks this year, if not I’ll look else where
- King – Captain Loop Hole player. Melbourne play a lot of games on Sunday and this gives me the best chance to make the most of the loop hole.
I have hated this line all preseason. I don’t trust any of the premiums to maintain any consistent scoring. But there are just no rookies on this line either. I have ended up spending a lot of money on F2 and F3 that I didn’t really want to, but those top three players should end up in the top 10 forwards with ease come the end of the year.
Player by player:
- Dangerfield – shouldn’t play favorites in this game, but when your favorite player is Dangerfield it makes it a hell of a lot easier to pick them. LOCKED
- Martin – suspect he will be inconsistent again this year but I’m banking on fast start while opposition teams work out how to limit his influence across half back. (a la, Walker (Carlton) last season)
- Roughead–Not locked in just yet. Never pick a key position player. Still working out if Roughie is a KPP or not. Suspect hawks will get off to a flyer as they don’t want a repeat of their 2009 premiership hangover, and Roughead is likely to be key part of it. Back to back Colman medals? If Rohan scores well on Saturday as my emergency I may select Rioli as F3 instead. Watch the space.
- Wright – only got locked over the weekend on the back of Douglas been out for 6 weeks. Had an amazing NAB cup and I’m backing he gets the opportunity to take that into the season proper. BIG RISK – BIG REWARD
- Caddy – good value at this price and lots of midfield opportunities at Geelong
- Higgins – sorry Jock but has been in my team since November and have seen nothing that has changed my mind. Hey at least I don’t have Watts, right?
- Rohan – wasn’t happy spending so much on a bench rookie but who else is there?
- Kennedy-Harris – best forward rookie available. Could get moved to onfield if Wright doesn’t perform round 1.
Final Word: So there you go community, an insight into my thoughts pre-round 1 lockout. I know there is a great amount of risk in this team but I can assure you don’t come close to winning the 50k by taking the safe options because there are 200,000 other players doing the same thing. This team could very well back fire on me but I always say go with your gut and this is where my gut feelings have taken me. Live by the sword, die by the sword.
Wishing all the community all the best in 2014 and I’ll see you in the trenches come round one.
It’s Footy Time!! Woop Woop
Stay tuned ….