Expert Q&A: Fantasy Sports gun Damion Maher on his 2021 SuperCoach AFL top 10 run
Fantasy guru Damion Maher is a top 10 finisher in EPL, BBL and Horse Racing but he’s never made it in AFL. But this might be his year, as Team Damion are currently eighth overall in SuperCoach AFL.
Given Damion’s level of success, including three SuperCoach BBL top 10 finishes, across a variety of Fantasy sports and leagues, Honeyball caught up with him to discuss what works for him.
You’d be surprised to learn, he’s got a relatively casual approach, trusting his own eye test but also building his plans around a deliberate original layout.
HB: You’ve had a great start to the 2021 SuperCoach AFL season and you’ve done this before in other formats, so what’s worked for you?
Damion: What works for me is I like to back myself in not worrying about what other people are doing and who everyone else is picking, also picking players I like watching normally they are good players so in turn good fantasy players.
HB: Open-ended question, but what’s the underlying principles behind your strategy thus decision making?
Damion: I don’t really have a strategy haha just pick and hope for the best (laughs).
HB: Everyone always says they just got lucky but can you talk to us about your original team layout and your approach? What’s gone right? Anything gone wrong?
Damion: While being flexible and pending where the value is I normally like to have a layout of
Defenders 3/1/2 (Premo/Mid-pricer/Rookie)
I feel this works best for my side. You get to take a punt on a couple of players. While sticking to the guns and rookies tactic which is one of the best tactics to use.
Picking the right mid-pricers in Changkuoth Jiath, Jack Ziebell and Jarman Impey to start with has helped my side a fair bit and trading in Taylor Walker to get a bit more cash gen in to the side.
Trading has been my downfall so far as it is with every other competition I play. I feel this is one of my weak points if I can nail this, I would be a much better fantasy player.
HB: There’s been a lot of mid-pricers do well this season, like Jiath, Impey, Ziebell and Oleg Markov who are in your team. Have you proactively gone after them?
Damion: I think having little faith in rookies this season forced me to pick a few mid-pricers. Then it was just a matter of ranking the best to worst. Wasn’t anyone in the midfield I liked and there was enough rookies to cover that line. In hindsight I probably wouldn’t have traded in Markov, he has awful skills, don’t think the champion data gods like him either.
HB: You’ve got Grundy and Gawn. Was set and forget always the strategy?
Damion: I did have Braydon Preuss before he got injured in the pre-season along with Grundy. Then toyed with the idea of Grundy and Flynn while the rest of the team looked good. I think a few late starting picks to my side Jiath and Impey helped free up cash to just get Gawn instead of Flynn. So far it’s paid off.
HB: You’ve got Flynn at R3, what’s your plans with him?
Damion: Good question still running through some ideas. Some being, do I get Zac Smith after his second game or do I hold after byes or even hold for the season in case one of Grundy/Gawn get injured or rested. Or even downgrading to a ruck DPP to pair with Marshall later in the season.
HB: Some quick ones, best starting player this season?
Damion: Jack Ziebell not only has he made a stack of cash ($325k) he is one of the top scorers of the season this far, so it’s hard to go past him.
HB: Worst starting player?
Damion: Tom Phillips but I quickly gave him his marching orders at the end of R2 to Taylor Walker. Would have to be on the never again list for Supercoach.
HB: Best trade you’ve made this season?
Damion: While I have already used up a lot of trades (10) it’s slim pickings for best. I think Phillips to Walker wins by default.
HB: Final piece of wisdom?
Damion: Have fun don’t take the game too seriously. You can’t control what players do out on the field.
HB: Brilliant, thanks for your time Damo and good luck this season!