Well, after an opening round full of surprises (hello Short, Weatherald and Gibson), disappointments (cough * Travis Head * cough) and some high scoring from our usual suspects, it’s time to load up on Christmas pudding and we ponder our trades for Round 2.
Round 1 provided high scores for many coaches, but one things for sure, it gave us a few timely reminders in a few key areas of fantasy team management. Stacking up on double game players proved to be the order of the day with all too five point scorers coming from the Sixers, Thunder and Strikers.
The highest scoring player in Round 1 turned out to be the bargain priced Pat Cummins, whose return to the big time is getting the whole nation excited. Despite starting at $48K, someone was rather skeptical about his Twenty20 economy rate and decided to overlook him (that’s right, yours truly missed out on Pat’s score in round 1). To be fair, his bowling was rather poor, especially in the Sydney Smash but scored a huge number of points through lower order hitting and fielding; ending on 181.
Another prevalent matter in regards to BBL fantasy which arose from round 1 is the all-important captaincy pick. It’s safe to say that an overwhelmingly large majority would have chucked the C on Andre Russell, and despite not being at his usual best…he delivered a very healthy return of 128 points. As for the rest of us who captained Travis Head (including yes, yet again, yours truly) we can find peace of mind that it’s only round 1, there’s still a long way to go.
However, he warned, after a very high scoring round to start the season; Round 2 sees only three matches with no DGW teams. If we take a trip down memery lane back to BBL|05, we will find a similar story. Round 1 was incredibly high scoring, with multiple DGW teams, followed by a harsh reality check in round 2.
Round 2 Preview
Bye: Melbourne Renegades, Adelaide Strikers
After a DGW in Round 2, the winless Strikers have a bye to regather their thoughts, which leaves us fantasy coaches with a few decisions to make. Hopefully, based on pre season advice and analysis, you would have no more than three strikers; who can easily be replaced using trades or substitutions. We have quite a number of solid looking bench options this season, so benching the likes of Travis Head, Chris Jordan, Ben Dunk and Kieran Pollard won’t cost too many points.
The Melbourne Stars travel to Tasmania to play the in-form Hurricanes on Boxing Day to start their campaign, so know is the time to bring in any Melbourne Stars you wish to have in your side. But remember, one of last seasons most popular picks: Kevin Pietersen is not available as he is spending Christmas with his family. The good news is he will be available for every game thereafter.
If you are one of the more organised coaches, with all fronts covered including byes to the Strikers and Renegades, you should start thinking about Round 3; where both the Renegades and Scorchers play twice. Start stocking up on Perth Scorchers players now in order to do the same with the Renegades next week. English imports David Willey and Ian Bell are in form, while Aussie favourite Mitch Johnson impressed on debut.
Prominent Renegades to consider consist mainly of the usual suspects: DJ Bravo, Aaron Finch and Sunil Narine should be at the top of your list, with Bushrangers Cameron White and Marcus Harris being more unique selections. Also be sure to monitor the fitness of placement James Pattinson after he missed Round 1 due to a slight hamstring strain.
Be prepared for much lower scores than what we saw in Round 2, and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd, as one unique yet masterful move can propel your side up the rankings.
There won’t be any cricket on our screens until Monday, with the Boxing Day test and Hurricanes vs Stars clash to kick off a hectic post-Christmas period. Take this time to spend some quality time with your loved ones before you dive back into the twists and turns of BBL fantasy.
Merry Christmas! 🎄
Feel free to leave any questions or comments below.