Mick the Mad Irishman – The Premium Trap
We welcome one of our old mates Mick the Mad Irishman to the lineup today. Mad as a cut snake but one of the finest Supercoach and Dreamteam minds in the country. Also recently won the inaugural Jock Reynolds Fantasy Footy Cage Fight at The Crouching One’s gym. You can listen into the coverage of the fight in our recent festive podcast.
The Premium Trap
Premiums, Midpricers and Rookies. Even the most novice of AFL Fantasy footballers would be familiar with these terms. There is a general consensus amongst the AFL Fantasy community that there are only these three categories of players and we tend to bracket all players in one of these three groups. But is it that simple ?
It appears to be an unwritten rule that a player averaging over 100 is a premium, and we as coaches aim to have our teams full with them come Supercoach and Dreamteam finals in August. Last season 51 players finished with so called “premium status”, averaging over 100 a game. But as you would expect the gulf between the top and bottom was quite considerable. Take these two midfields for example, both are filled with “premiums” but I know which one I’d rather have!
If, for argument sake two coaches filled their midfields from the start of last year as shown above and we assume all players played a full season, the midfield on the top would have outscored the midfield on the bottom by over 1500 points and yet they are both “premium” midfields.
Clearly there are different levels of premiums, in fact there are even different levels of midpricers so I think we can leave the simple three categories of player for the novice coach and step it up here at the Jock Reynolds Fantasy Football Community for our more experienced users. Below is a table outlining seven categories of player that I think better represents what is happening within the game and will better help us coaches when selecting our initial teams without falling into the “premium trap”. For the purpose of this article I will just be looking at the top three categories in detail.
Now instead of looking for a team of premiums, we should really be looking for a team of Elite and Super Elite Premiums. As you can see only 6 players in 2013 will start with super elite status, all midfielders. 17 will start with Elite status and 29 will start with Premium status. Looking a little closer we can see that only 6 players from the Elite and Super Elite levels are something other than midfielders. Of these six, there are two forwards (Pavlich and Franklin), two rucks (Maric and Sandilands) and two ruck/forwards (Cox and Natanui). Of the 52 players above Premium status amazingly only four are defenders (Goddard, Shaw, Waters and Scotland).
There has been a fair bit of early talk on this site already about loading the midfields from the start and going light in the other lines. Looking at the table above I really think this is the best option. Too many coaches look for a well-balanced side from the start with premiums spread across all lines. I say forget about premiums, fill your team with as many elite and super elite players as you can and simply there are just no elite or super elite defenders, and only 4 that have forward eligibility. Obviously the key will be to pick the players with the scope to move up a level.
Now, I just have to decide which ones do I pick ??? Stay tuned …
Mick the Mad Irishman