Yep, here they are folks – the dreaded bye weeks. Obviously your strategy should be to ensure you have as many players on the field as you can, as your top 18 scores are the only thing that matter this week. Having said that, I strongly urge restraint in the trade area this weekend, as any player you bring in will obviously have a bye next week or the week after. It all comes down to individual team balance of course, but I would be cautious of making upgrade trades this week unless you are absolutely desperate for a win and have plenty of trades in the bank. Downgrade trades may benefit in the long run though – and if you are unlucky enough to have any of the three players listed below, they have to leave your team now.
Aaron VANDENBERG – Melbourne – $369,200 Av 77 Hamstring injury, out for a month
One of the most popular rookie selections in 2015, VANDENBERG has had an impressive season thus far, averaging 77 pts per game including a highest score of a whopping 131 in round 8. This productive play has seen his price rise $241,300, but now the time has come for the 25% of SC teams who have him to cull him and gain then benefit of all that cash as he has succumbed to a hamstring injury that will seen him miss the best part of the next month. Good pick-up, but time to go.
Andrew BOSTON (GC) – $124,600 Av 67
Elliot KAVANAGH (Ess) – $145,100 Av 77
Trent DUMONT (Nth) – $194,200 Av 54
Dom TYSON (Melb) – $389,900 Av 71
Allen CHRISTENSEN (Bris) – $398,100 Av 80
Dayne ZORKO (Bris) – $408,500 Av 84
Jack ZIEBELL (Nth) – $458,900 Av 89
Verdict : Upgrade or downgrade for cash, the choice is yours. If downgrading BOSTON is the obvious choice – he’s the cheapest and has relatively good job security. Upgrading depends on your war chest, but I like ZORKO and ZIEBELL as nice PODs and should be keepers by seasons end.
Michael JOHNSON – Fremantle – $426,600 Av 78 Hamstring injury, out for 8 to 10 weeks
Another to have fallen foul of a dodgy hamstring is Fremantle defender Michael JOHNSON. A perennial SC favorite, JOHNSON is in only 3.5% of SC teams this time around, and has been slightly disappointing in 2015 with a match average of just 78 pts despite consecutive hundreds in rounds 7 and 8. His is a bad tear that will see him miss 2 months at least, so holding onto him is not an option. Fortunately, at his price, the replacements are quality.
Marley WILLIAMS (Coll) – $428,100 Av 81
Alex RANCE (Rich) – $428,200 Av 94 (Bye this week)
Jeremy McGovern (WCE) – $444,600 Av 93
Harry TAYLOR (Geel) – $445,400 Av 93
Tom McDONALD (Melb) – 490,100 Av 105
Verdict : If you have the cash in the kicker, then McDONALD is a great choice, having a breakout season and playing the Saints this week. However if you can’t reach him, I like McGovern and TAYLOR – both consistent players who rarely disappoint.
Tom BELLCHAMBERS – Essendon – $294,900 Av 62 Omitted this week
Normally a player wouldn’t make this article having been just been dropped, however when you take into account BELLCHAMBERS also has his bye to come it might be time to move him on. Selected in 24% of SC teams, BELLCHAMBERS has been a disappointment in 2015, averaging just 62 pts per game with a highest score of 82 back in round 1. The bombers are even prepared to go into this week without a recognized ruckman, such is the hole BELLCHAMBERS has been in recently. If you have him, I’d be moving him out now.
Mike PYKE (Syd) – $352,900 Av 71
Billy LONGER (St.K) – $353,100 Av 71
Brodie GRUNDY (Coll) – $436,000 Av 93
Tom NICHOLLS (GC) – $472,000 Av 93
Verdict : GRUNDY is the value bet here, but if you have a bit of cash and can stretch up to NICHOLLS, I think he is a genuine star.
So, its only the first week of the three bye weeks and already its beginning to put paid to the best laid plans. Trade if you have to but my theory is if you can snare one or two league victories during this period then you are travelling okay. Of course, if you are in the hunt for the competition lead, then you need to keep in touch and trading might be the only way to do that. There is plenty of footy left in the season though, just keep that in mind.