Expert Panel: Navigating the byes, managing the extra trade/s, prime targets

The byes are full of challenges, particularly with the added complexity of the moved West Coast-Richmond fixture, so we’ve assembled a gun Expert Panel to help you navigate your way through.

This week’s Expert Panel includes two SuperCoach guns in 21-year-old Commerce student, Geelong fan and coach of Duncan Donuts, Zac Rockett who is currently 254th as well as 18-year-old student, North Melbourne supporter and coach of The Flukes, Isaac Cullen who is currently 668th.

From an AFL Fantasy perspective, we’ve got 30-year-old, Canberra-based sport biomechanist and coach of DC Caterpillars, Daniel Cottam who is currently 18th, and 39-year-old mortgage broker, Perth-based Hawks fan and coach of Hans Olow, Aaron Olow is currently 325th.

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HB: Who are the top trade targets for R13, coming off the bye, and why?

Zac (SC): Top trade targets coming off their bye are GWS duo Lachie Whitfield and Josh Kelly. Whitfield took a few games to get into action and his last two scores are 110 & 120. Priced at just $503k, now is the time to jump on. Josh Kelly has received a better role the past month and subsequently has a five-round average of 119. GWS next three of North, Carlton and Hawthorn make both Kelly & Whitfield attractive options.

Isaac (SC): The top target coming off the bye is Lachie Whitfield. Proven scorer in the past and shown in the last couple weeks that he has worked his way back into form after coming off an injury. With GWS already having the bye, and Whitfield being only $500k, I think it’s silly if he isn’t your main trade target this week.

Other options include Tom Stewart and Aaron Hall who both look to be top 6 in their positions at affordable prices.

Aaron (AF): Number one has to be Whitfield. He hasn’t missed a beat since he has come back and in my opinion will be the number one defender by season’s end. Second is to find a unique premo mid, right now that is looking like Ollie Wines.

Daniel (AF): The Giants have an excellent run in their next three games, with match-ups against North, Carlton, and Hawthorn, so coaches should be prioritising Lachie Whitfield, Josh Kelly, and Tim Taranto if they’re not yet in their team. Value picks such as Nick Haynes, Matt Rowell, and Dan Houston all carry some level of risk but may propel coaches up the rankings if they pick the right one.

HB: And who are the top trade targets for R14, coming off the bye, and why?

Daniel (AF): There are some top end premium midfielders that coaches should be targeting off the Round 13 bye, if they don’t already have them. Jack Macrae, Zach Merrett, Darcy Parish, Sam Walsh and Marcus Bontempelli could all finish the season as top 8 mids and must be considered. Players with more potential upside at the moment include Lachie Neale, Kyle Langford, Nic Newman, and Bailey Smith, if you think he will stop being “Bevo’d”.

Aaron (AF): With eight teams having a bye, it’s a tricky one. I’d like to get one more look at Neale before bringing him or if you have the cashola, Jarryd Lyons.

Isaac (SC): If you have the cash, Bontempelli, Parish and Macrae are all fantastic options if you don’t own them. One player who I think will be very popular next round is Bailey Dale. With all of the uncertainty in the forward line this year, it is a godsend for someone with a solidified role of the half back flank. Add to this that he plays for a team hoping to win every week and takes a fair share of kick outs, this makes Dale a very attractive option.

Zac (SC): Coming off the bye in Round 14, Sam Walsh looks a good get. Averaging 114 Walsh has proven he can now be considered a safe premium option, with a floor of just 89 points. If looking for a forward Kyle Langford has a three-round average of 117 at just $474k. With McGrath injured, Langford should hold his midfield spot and looks a good get at his price. Lastly, if you can ignore the 163 breakeven, Lachie Neale won’t be far off a return to form, priced at just $575k and will get a favourable matchup in North Melbourne straight up.

HB: Any must-trade players in R13 or R14?

Zac (SC): Two trade options that are not must trades but interesting decisions to make are Zorko and Fyfe. Both will miss two rounds (potentially extra for Fyfe), leaving you with $600k for Zorko sitting on the bench. Despite being a lock for top 3-4 forwards trading Zorko could net you an extra 40-50 points this week (difference between rookie and premium score traded in) and 100+ points in Round 14 assuming you have less than 18 players in round 14. For this reason, Zorko will likely be making way for me.

Isaac (SC): Whilst there could be benefits in holding him for cover/more cash gen, Poulter has been in every one of my trade plans for next week. He might be able to make a little more cash, but he is one of the only rookies with the bye next week who have made any money.

Aaron (AF): Hurts me to say this but it's time to go for Jordan Ridley to go. I've had the privilege to see him play live here in Perth over the past couple of weeks and quite simply his role isn't there unfortunately. Players like RCD and Byrnes are on borrowed time as well but with their respective sides' injury concerns this week, they get one more week in my side.

Daniel (AF): Other than players with longer term injuries (e.g. Nat Fyfe), the ‘must-trade’ players for your team should depend primarily on your bye structure. Consider trading round 14 bye players this week if it means that your team looks better next week. If your structure is okay, then maxed out round 13 rookies such as Harry Jones, Anthony Scott, Alec Waterman or Archie Perkins can all go this week. Trade similar players next week as well (e.g. James Jordon, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Ryan Byrnes) and particularly move on rookies who aren’t likely to play regularly or generate much cash (e.g. Meek, Rantall, Macrae).

HB: How's your bye structure? What's the ideal bye structure?

Daniel (AF): I should manage to get 21 or 22 playing this week and 20 in Round 14. That will involve using all seven of the trades available to move on Round 14 players. I don’t think there’s necessarily an ideal bye structure but you should always aim to have at least 19 playing on every week of the byes and you should make an effort to come into the byes with as many non-rookie players (i.e. premiums and mid-pricers) as possible.

Aaron (AF): Very sound at the moment. I tried to have a plan from the beginning of the season around byes and it has mostly gone to plan.

Isaac (SC): Trading in players like Aaron Hall and Touk Miller pre-byes have helped me be able to have a decent amount of premiums playing each week. At this stage I’m looking to field 19 this week and at least 16 next week. My main priority is to trade in premiums coming off the bye with high quality such as Whitfield, Josh Kelly, Bailey Dale next week etc.

I think this year more than ever it’s OK to cop a couple of donuts in R14, with most of the top 10k only being able to field 15/16. Ideally, you would be fielding as many premiums as you could each week, without compromising the quality of the premiums which you are trading in.

Zac (SC): My bye structure looked solid until the fixture change of Richmond & West Coast plus injury to Grundy & suspension to Zorko, putting me in a terrible position for the Round 14 bye like most. With so many people looking to be struggling to field 18 players in round 14, if you can field 16+ players you will be in a solid enough position to hopefully hold rank. Ideally, you should have 19-20 players available for Round 13.

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HB: From a SuperCoach point of view, will you be using all 4 trades in both rounds, and why?

Zac (SC): For Round 13 I will likely use 3 trades and then 3-4 trades in Round 14, trying to balance continuing upgrade momentum, whilst attempting to field 16+ players for Round 14. Across these potential 7 trades, most will be continuing to upgrade as planned, as I don’t want to waste the extra trades given to sideways premiums I don’t want to trade. Despite difficulties in Round 14 I would rather keep my team in a good long term position than make sideways trades for one round. However, everyone will likely be in different positions pending trades left & players available.

Isaac (SC): With the lack of rookies which we can trade in that are playing next week, I think the smarter option is to not use all 4 in both rounds. This means that you will have more trades to use post byes when you can trade in whoever you want.

HB: And on AFL Fantasy, thoughts on the additional trade for R14, does that change your plans?

Daniel (AF): I think the one extra trade was the right call for Round 14. Coaches should be able to adapt their teams sufficiently with the seven trades we have available before Round 14 to still field at least 18 or 19. Teams that can’t manage that may have been too heavy in Round 14 bye players in the first place. My trades this week will involve moving on Round 14 bye players rather than Round 13 but I’m still confident in putting up a strong side in both weeks.

Aaron (AF): Love it. I'm hoping It will give me more opportunities upgrade my rooks to premos.

HB: Thanks lads, it's been insightful, good luck with the byes and the rest of the season!

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