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Author Topic: Backline Chaos  (Read 1708 times)
Mr.Craig
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« on: January 20, 2015, 01:54:25 PM »

A continuing series of ramblings about AF 2015. This week's episode - Backline Chaos

We've become accustomed in previous years to having great DPP options in the backline. Bartel, Mitchell, Deledio, Goddard, Gibbs...the list goes on. Even prior to the 2015 Dual Position announcements I was suggesting there'd be a significant shake up in the premium backs, many of the best averaging players were in the twilight of their careers and appeared to be near the fantasy tipping point where they slowly fade into irrelevancy. I sense there was a certain delight in the Champion Data camp as they took an axe to the past premiums and made things even more challenging. Hodge, Simpson, Hibberd and Malceski were left as the only players above 500k with others like Kelly, Burgoyne and Enright almost certain to dip in average this year.

The likelihood is we won't have as many points coming out of the backline and there's been two very different reactions to this. I often visit the "My Team" section at DT Talk during the pre season to see how other coaches are building their teams and there's a distinct difference in how coaches are approaching backline selections. On the one hand, there is the fairly formulaic 2 premium/3 midpricers/1 rookie. In previous years this might have seemed like lunacy but given the situation we find ourselves in that structure has a certain amount of merit. To my shock there were a number of coaches going the 1/3/2 or even 1/4/1 route. You can see their minds ticking over, looking at all those tasty forward line premos and desperately wanting to pick them all, then stealing from their backline to make it happen. Going cheap in the backs has its pitfalls. Seedsman, Waters, Ibbotson, Henderson and Whitecross are all appearing in one combination or another. I don't think I need to say much about the risks associated with those players but one thing that I feel is important is to leave a couple of those guys out so at least you have some kind of sideways option for when Waters invariably breaks in half or something else goes wrong. Mayes and Savage have their supporters too, with both having legitimate pros and cons.

They don't call it fantasy football for nothing and there are some ridiculous selections popping up in the sub 200k category. Matt Fuller is currently in 16% of teams at DT Live. Why? Because the site has a projected average next to his name and without doing any research coaches are flocking to him. It's all about getting the highest overall projected total so they can go back to DT Talk and show off. Same deal with Christian Howard last year. A cursory look at Fuller's 2014 VFL stats reveal he averaged just 10.2 disposals a game and wasn't named in the best once. Strike him off the list. A fellow 120k Bulldog, Joel Hamling has slight better prospects for getting a game and 19% of coaches have selected him to this point. It's hard to tell if the nearly 16% of people who have picked Matt Scharenberg are oblivious to his knee reconstruction or simply have their heads in the sand. Even with the late start to the season it is fanciful to expect him to play many (if any) games prior to the byes. Maynard, Jones, Dick, Jaksch, Wigg, McGuinness, J.Kolodjashnij and Clurey are amongst the other popular cheap picks. A couple should hopefully come through but those thinking they can get away with playing two rookies on the field each week will be in for a rude shock.

At the other end of the spectrum we are now on the hunt for new premiums. Newnes, Docherty and Brodie Smith are the hottest properties in that 400k-470k bracket, along with Lumumba who is getting a massive amount of love. It's entirely unwarranted in my opinion, sure he could improve his numbers but I highly doubt he'll be returning to the 87 average of 2013. Instead of being a cheap barbie it's much more wise to pay that little extra for the likes of Newnes and hopefully save a trade if he becomes a keeper. A couple of picks that aren't "sexy" but have some merit are Hurn and Birchall. Hurn is underpriced 3 points due to an injury game and could easily average 85, coaches are understandably shy about selecting Birchall but the reality is he only went sub 70 four times last year and has some runs on the board.

When it comes to structure I firmly believe the backs and forwards should receive a similar amount of funding. Currently I have a distribution of 28% in the forwards and 25% in the backs. If that gap goes too far beyond 5% then you're asking for trouble because you'll likely be fielding someone in the backline you really shouldn't be. There's no easy answer to what the best strategy will be in the long run, downgrade targets appear extremely thin on the ground and the potential for one or more mid pricers to fail is high. Dangerous seas are ahead but at least we're all in the same boat.

Next week - Mid Priced Mayhem.
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The_Captain
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2015, 01:58:45 PM »



Great write up MC!!!! SO many rookies that are just not there in the backline this year as opposed to last year! Which means either load your cash in the backline... or go mid price backline. Tough decision points v value ! I still have no idea which approach ill be taking!
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Grazz
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 02:02:05 PM »

Nice work Mr C. The backline is still up in the air for me, no idea as to how to approach it yet and until the rookies become clearer i doubt my team will change much between now and then, then i'll have to nail down strategy.
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Money
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 02:28:40 PM »

Very interesting read and very solid points! I currently have 1/5/0 (if Whitecross is considered mid price) and 4/0/2 in forwards! So obviously not your cup of tea but i think that gives me more scoring potential!
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Mr.Craig
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2015, 02:41:15 PM »

Very interesting read and very solid points! I currently have 1/5/0 (if Whitecross is considered mid price) and 4/0/2 in forwards! So obviously not your cup of tea but i think that gives me more scoring potential!

It will work great for you if everyone succeeds. History says that won't happen though. :-\
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Money
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Mr West Coast

« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2015, 02:43:47 PM »

Very interesting read and very solid points! I currently have 1/5/0 (if Whitecross is considered mid price) and 4/0/2 in forwards! So obviously not your cup of tea but i think that gives me more scoring potential!

It will work great for you if everyone succeeds. History says that won't happen though. :-\

Time to re-write history i'd say! Backline will 100% make or break your season this year!
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Mr.Craig
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Grew Up On Or Around A Spud Farm

« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 02:47:51 PM »

Either that or it turns out to be a puzzle that can't be solved and we all suffer.
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Rabid Hamster
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2015, 02:51:24 PM »

Very interesting read and very solid points! I currently have 1/5/0 (if Whitecross is considered mid price) and 4/0/2 in forwards! So obviously not your cup of tea but i think that gives me more scoring potential!

I've gone for this backline strat as well. I hope to make 50-100k off the mid-pricers and then trade them out for fallen premiums asap.
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Mr.Craig
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Grew Up On Or Around A Spud Farm

« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2015, 02:53:06 PM »

I'll get more into that when I talk about the mid pricers next week.
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Nige
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2015, 02:53:33 PM »

I love this, just as good as the first one.

Not sure what to do with the backs right now, just made my team and don't how whether to love it or hate it.
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nrich102
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2015, 03:05:49 PM »

Very good article Mr C.

I currently have 3 premiums (Hodge, Hibberd and Shaw), then Mayes as a break out option. That's then leaving 2 rookies on field and rookies on the bench.
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Capper
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2015, 04:44:56 PM »

Good read. Im expecting a vent about why AF didnt go to 3 rucks like SC as well
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chaosAD
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2015, 06:03:38 PM »

I havent done any form so far this year, i logged on to Fantasy today and cant believe how bad the defenders are.
Not alot of gun premos to pick from
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T Dog
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Big Trav gone..I might move on..not sure yet

« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2015, 06:26:37 PM »

Why aren't there 3 rucks like SC?
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The_Captain
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2015, 10:44:21 PM »

Why aren't there 3 rucks like SC?

Coz afl fantasy are tards!
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