The Buzz: Round 12 burning questions – What to do with Grundy, how to play the byes?

Welcome back to the Buzz for Round 12 as we are approaching our first round of the byes, and have we been thrown a massive curveball with the big news that Brodie Grundy is set to be out for 2-3 weeks which is practically all the byes.

Is this a blessing or is it more of a curse? I will be discussing this later. More importantly however, how should we be tackling the byes and especially in this first week what should you be doing?

Former top 300 SuperCoach finisher & HB scribe Ethan Lee

Finally, I will tackle some of the questions from Twitter to answer some of the problems you have run with your teams during the week.

Trading throughout the byes

The byes, on face value, are a scary prospect to be losing a few of your star players each week however you can easily maneuver around them by making some efficient and effective trades.

The first order of business is understanding what happens across each bye round. Well, you may have noticed you have an extra trade and that will continue for the next 3 weeks. Only the best 18 scores for the week will count to your overall score and finally your players will have lots of blue and green dots next to their name to indicate that they are not playing for the week.

Now, the first order of business is to ensure that you have 18 players playing on your field during the week. If you do not you may want to cull a rookie or two that will have the bye in that week in order to field warm bodies for that week.  The likes of Jacob Koschitzke, Matthew Flynn or Tom Powell might fit that role as they have reached their price ceiling and are starting to come down in price heavily.

If you are in a scenario where you can field plenty of numbers on the field, then you might want to consider building a bank. But why? Well next week ideally, we would want to bring in premium selections who have had their bye already as we can rely on them to cover for other premos. So, keep a watchlist on your premium’s from GWS, North, Geelong, Hawthorn, Port and Gold Coast as we will want to nab them next week.

This same theory will apply for Round 14 as well, we ideally will target players who have had their byes in Round 12 or 13 and thus by having a bank set in place we can simply paint the fence and do a single downgrade and a single upgrade to another premium selection.

However, if you are running quite low on trades and do not plan on bringing in any players who will have their byes next week. Then it is perfectly viable to hold your trades this week and do nothing. Especially from a SuperCoach perspective, the only rookies on the “bubble” are set to have their bye this week (Ned Reeves, Malcolm Rosas, Max Holmes) and the likes of Trent Bianco (AF $198k SC $123k D/M) and Callum Coleman-Jones (AF $368k SC $161k R/F)  can wait another week (however both did look to pass the eye test, so I do not mind going early on either of them).

What to do with Grundy

Brodie Grundy (AF $789k SC $627k RUCK) went down with a 2-3 week injury to his neck, which is much better news than what coaches first feared. However, it is still not quite ideal that a premium of his caliber is going to be missing games. So, what should we be doing? Let us break it down our current options.

The bye periods will allow for minimal impact on losing Grundy as we will only be counting best 18 players, but yet again he is still an averaging 110+ (injury affected score included) in both formats and that may hurt your scoring output. So, who can you realistically replace him with?

From an AFL Fantasy perspective I would not even consider trading Grundy, the next highest averaging ruckman is Sean Darcy (AF $673k SC $554k RUCK) who is averaging 92.1. That is a massive 18-point difference for someone who is only about $100k more expensive. While Darcy is having a breakout year, he is known for being quite injury prone and coaches should take note that he may break down at any time.

SuperCoach players have a bit more flexibility with ruckman being rewarded in their format, Grundy there is currently averaging 121.9 which still is 10 points more than the 3rd most expensive ruckman in Nic Naitunui (AF $613k SC $585k RUCK).

Whilst I do not recommend trading Grundy to Nic Nat, SuperCoach rewards Nic Nat’s play style so well and that is reflective of his high points per minute (PPM). So, while we all know Nic Nat does get managed for minutes in his games, his high PPM makes up for that. Considering in the next 3 weeks he will come up against Carlton, Richmond and the Dogs, teams which do not have great ruckman, it could be an option worth considering. But will you be willing to keep him over Grundy for the rest of the year? Or will you have to chicken out and burn 2 trades to cover for a score that will not matter too much since its best 18?

In my opinion, the best bet rather than replacing Grundy is to trade around him to cover for his donut(s). Many coaches still should have Matthew Flynn (AF $501k SC $367k RUCK) at R3 and while he will provide a donut this round, he still should provide solid cover for both Rounds 13 and 14 given that we have seen in the past he can score well if he plays solo ruck (so keep an eye if Mummy gets rested).

If Flynn does not tickle your fancy however, you can do some swings and roundabouts. Like mentioned above going early on Coleman-Jones could prove a masterstroke given his DPP status and that Nankervis will be unavailable for the next 4-5 weeks with a knee injury. Do not expect him to kick 4 goals each week however, but he will provide solid cover till the other rookie ruck Ned Reeves (AF $245k SC $123k RUCK) finishes his bye week.

Reeves seems to be taking the primary ruck role to free up Ben McEvoy to play down back, this has produced 2 nice games of 66 (AF)/81(SC) and 82(AF)/90(SC) and while he has not played against most elite ruckman (Pittonet & Zac Smith) in that time frame, he has shown some good things that may see him stay in the team, till we get Grundy back.


Twitter Questions

"What do I do with Grundy if I don’t have Gawn...have Flynn, no other need to trade this week.?" @Jonzee1974

Whilst Max Gawn is a premium you will need by season’s end, trading Grundy is not the way to do so. It all comes down to how many players you have playing this week, if you can field 18 or more then you do not need to worry about covering for Flynn or Grundy. If you end up being 1 short and find you are fielding 17 then I would trade Flynn over Grundy. But certainly, it will be difficult to bring back an uber premo like Grundy if you decide to trade him out. Even though that 69 (AF)/76(SC) will drop his price slightly, you are better off upgrading your team elsewhere and utilizing the best 18 ruling in your favor.

"Is darcy the way to go for Grundy or there another option?" @BriersSpencer

If you are playing SuperCoach, no Nic Nat is the better option over Darcy. If you are playing AFL Fantasy, I would not entertain a trade like this just because you are both going to be stuck with Darcy for longer than you want as well as delay your upgrades in your other lines of the field by sideways trading. If you are going to sideways trade, ensure you are doing it to someone you can guarantee will stick in your team for the rest of the year over the player you are trading out. At the end of the day will Darcy over 11 games outscore Grundy over 8-9 games? That is the question we all want to know.

"Should I bring in Steele or hold off a week or two?" @BigV2011WCE

Completely depends on your current bye structure, if you find you lack midfielders in your Round 14 bye then you can of course justify a trade for Jack Steele, but a lot of popular midfield choices will be missing that week such as James Jordon, Clayton Oliver, Nat Fyfe, Christian Petracca and Andrew Brayshaw. Important not to overload on premos from one bye week as the best 18 scoring will not be too kind to you. But again, given he is pretty much the 7th highest averaging active midfielder (not counting Dunkley and Shuey’s one off game), if you can afford to bring him in, I don’t see a reason why not to.

"Is there any way we can break the system and get 5-6 extra trades plus $$ ?" @_itsme_xo

Tim Michell, the people have spoken. It is time for you to deliver. Get it done.

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