As we get closer to the first round of BBL|06 our teams are starting to take shape but there’s always room to consider more players, possible PODs (Point Of Difference) and various tactics to make your lineup standout from the rest.
Similarly to AFL SuperCoach, A League Fantasy and any other fantasy sports game going around, rookies and basement priced pickups are vital. Not only do they provide potential cash cows, but also allow coaches to save funds and splash the cash in other positions on reliable, big-name players.
Here, I’ve outlined five players priced at/or under $30,000 who can start on your bench but have the ability to develop into cash cows by earning starting places for their respective sides.
Marnus Labuschagne [BAT] ($30,000) – Brisbane Heat
South African born batsmen Marnus Labuschagne burst onto the Australian domestic scene with a solid performance in the Matador Cup in October. The 22 year old Queenslander finished the tournament as the Bulls highest run-scorer and tenth overall with 271 runs at a healthy average of 45.16 and a strike rate just over 90. Labuschagne has never played a regular BBL match before but comes into BBL|06 in good form and would have the likes of Nathan Reardon and Alex Ross fighting for their positions in the Heat middle order.
Daniel Hughes [BAT] ($30,000) – Sydney Sixers
New South Welshman Daniel Hughes also comes into BBL|06 with strong form stretching back to the final rounds of last seasons’ Sheffield Shield and continuing into the 2016 Matador Cup. Hughes scored an astonishing 386 runs at an average of 64.33 to sit in third behind state captain Moises Henriques and veteran Bushranger Cameron White. His Matador Cup run included two 50’s and a highest score of 122 at the top of the order. Should Nic Maddinson retain his spot in Australia’s test side, Hughes may slip into the Sixers lineup batting alongside Henriques at No.3 or No.4.
Jake Weatherald [BAT] ($20,000) – Adelaide Strikers
Jake Weatherald is another prospect who has emerged in fantasy calculations on the back of a promising Matador Cup. The South Australian opened the batting for the Redbacks and finished ninth overall – one place above Labuschagne on the overall run-scorers list. Weatherald scored 284 runs in six innings at an average of 47.33 including a highest score of 141. But Jake’s best stat in terms of BBL Fantasy is his excellent strike rate of 108.81. He also played a crucial role in taking the Redbacks to last seasons Sheffield Shield final and could find himself with a spot in the Stikers top order following the departure of Mahela Jayawardena and with national duty occupying state captain Travis Head.
Jack Wildermuth [BAT/BOWL] ($20,000) – Brisbane Heat
Primarily a bowler, Queenslander Jack Wildermuth finds himself with DPP status following a strong showing with the willow in the Sheffield Shield. In four Shield matches this season Jack has notched up scores of 93, 76, 73* and 42* demonstrating his all-rounder capabilities. At the basement price of $20,000; Wildermuth can slot onto either the batting or bowling bench and if named, has bonus scoring potential.
Hilton Cartwright [BAT/BOWL] ($20,000) – Perth Scorchers
Probably the most well known of the players listed, Zimbabwean born Cartwright recently earned a call up to the Aussie ODI squad which hosted New Zealand. The 24 year old Scorcher is a big hitting batsmen and is also handy with the ball – think Mitchell Marsh. Cartwright made consistent runs for Australia A in the winter and opened the batting for Western Australia at the Matador Cup. His first class average stands at a healthy 44.5 and he also comes with prior experience in the Big Bash. But above all, alongside his basement price and Australian selection, Cartwright must be considered due to the Scorchers injury list. Both Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Counter-Nile are set to miss most if not all of BBL|06 which could open up an all rounder spot for our man Hilton.
For advice on wicketkeepers both premium and rookie priced; please refer to Schon’s preview here.
Any other unique players you’ve got in mind? Feel free to leave a comment below.