Expert Q&A: Two-time AFL Fantasy top 10 finisher Kyle Holmes’s principles & starting line-up tips

Perth-based Kyle Holmes has the highly commendable record of being a two-time AFL Fantasy top 10 finisher, coming within six points (one straight kick!) of top spot in 2021.

Kyle Holmes

The 29-year-old, who is studying a masters in secondary teaching, clearly is doing a thing or two right, so we wanted to drill into his mind to understand his Fantasy strategies and philosophies which underpin his undeniable success.

You can also read the full Q&A with Kyle in the 2022 Honeyball season guide magazine for only $7.95 via this link with our weekend special offer.

HB: You’re a two-time top 10 AFL Fantasy finisher, so you must be doing something right. Can you tell us about your key principles?

KH: 1.    Look for value in every single player you select in your starting squad selections. That doesn’t mean you load up on mid pricers, but try and find players who will score in-line with the top players in their position whilst coming in at a discounted price

2.            Don’t be afraid to go against the competition. There are times where you need to go with the crowd and then there are times when you go against them. You won’t win the car without taking educated risks

3.            Be aggressive with your trading. If a player is there to make cash, don’t be afraid to jump off them early.

4.            Plan for the byes. I have never once considered byes at round 1. However, from round 4 or 5 onwards, your trade plans need to reflect a balanced squad for the bye rounds

5.            During the season, hunt great players that come in at fair prices, rather than fair players that come in at great prices. Uber premiums are uber premiums for a reason.

HB: Expanding on that, can you talk about strategy for your starting squad and then on your trading strategy through the season?

KH: Learning of the GOAT Selby, A solid starting squad that presents value is a must. I’m a big advocate of the guns and rookies model, with the guns you select having the potential to score in-line with the top players in their position, whilst also improving on their starting price. Being able to jump on the right mid-pricers at the right time will win you the comp, but starting with too many will also lose you it. For this reason, I prefer to start guns and rookies and then trade into mid-pricers when they show something over the first few rounds. In terms of trading, the obvious thing is that you are trying to end up with the best 22 players on field by seasons end. I like to group players into the following categories: Uber premiums, under-priced premiums, mid-pricers and rookies. Barring injury, to ensure you complete your side you shouldn’t be trading out your uber or under-priced premiums. However in AFL fantasy with two trades a week the key is being aggressive. If early on an under-priced premium demonstrates they will not in-fact be close to the top in their position, then they are just a mid-pricer that needs to be traded ASAP. When picking mid-pricers and rookies, they are purely there for cash generation. Once again, the aggressive nature of AFL fantasy means that there highest price rises will be in the first 5 weeks, meaning anytime after this point you can trade them out onto the next, knowing they have made most of the cash they are likely to make. 

HB: Can you tell us your 2 top starting picks in 2021 and why?

KH: Jack Macrae – Priced at 116, Macrae is my boy. Only 17% owned, Macrae is consistently a top 8 mid averaging 116, 112, 115 and 122. You know what you will get with Macrae and is safe as houses to lock in at M1 as your captain option. If you need more convincing, he averaged 78% CBAs in a year he was All Australian and his team made the grand final. I expect Macrae to feature heavily in the midfield rotations again and sits at M1 for me.

Jake Lloyd – Priced at 98, has averages of 114, 107 and 101 in the last 3 years. When picking your premiums, you want to try and find some upside also to potentially sneak another premium onto the ground. With Dawson leaving, hopefully Lloyd can demand a little bit more ball in that backline and take his average back into the 100s.

You can also read the full Q&A with Kyle in the 2022 Honeyball season guide magazine for only $7.95 via this link.

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