Round 9 Score: 2,258
Round Rank: 8,625
Season Rank: 3,865
The kid gloves come off this week – we enter the first of the three dreaded Bye Rounds tonight. Last week’s score of 2,258 was a good week for us, and it sees us ranked in the top 2% of the competition, which is our highest overall ranking since Round 5.
We decided to double downgrade last week so that we could give ourselves a bit of wiggle room in the budget. Serviceable cash cows Harley Balic and Aaron Black have both been out of their respective teams in recent weeks, and as a result, we decided to bring in Daniel Lloyd (53) and James Stewart (50) into our team. Lloyd sat on the bench, but Stewart was named on the field for us. We’re hoping that they maintain their spots in the coming weeks, especially during this tricky period.
Overall, it was a great week for our defence, with most of our players delivering in spades. Sam Docherty (124) continued in his excellent vein of scoring, as did Taylor Adams (109) who continues to keep churning scores of 100+ – this was his ninth century in ten matches. Rory Laird (89) and Heath Shaw (76) were slightly below expectations, but still faired decently, whilst Nic Newman (72) kept form with a solid score. The dropping of Fraser McInnes was particularly annoying, but having Tom Stewart (91) cover his absence with a season-high was a great result for us. Caleb Marchbank (70) continues to score well, but it appears as though his price has peaked, so expect to see him moved on very shortly, although the fact that he has the bye this week means that he may stay afloat in our side for a week longer.
We had a great week in the midfield this week, with most of our players going big. We had no hesitation in playing the loophole trick on Patrick Dangerfield’s (163) massive Friday night total, but he had plenty of mates who joined the party over the weekend, with Adam Treloar (141), Scott Pendlebury (130) and Dayne Beams (127). Tom Mitchell (104) also topped the ton, but Marcus Bontempelli (87) was a little down on what we were hoping for, as was Nat Fyfe (78), but Jake Barrett (77) was very good and maintained his strong outing from the previous week. Sam Powell-Pepper (55), David Myers (45) and Daniel Lloyd (53) all provided strong cover on the bench and made some much-needed money as well.
Aaron Sandilands (0) was listed on our field, but only so we could loophole Dangerfield’s score. Fortunately, we didn’t have to deal with a doughnut this week, as a certainly Brodie Grundy (120) returned to form for the Magpies and for us – this was his first century in six weeks. Toby Nankervis (78) didn’t have his best night, but an important goal late in the game saw his score balloon out a little bit, which was handy.
Definitely the weakest line in our team this week, with no one scoring over 89 points. Isaac Heeney (89) had a big last quarter which helped his scoring, but Jarryd Roughead (86) had an even bigger impact on the same game by kicking the winning goal. Bulldogs pair Jack Macrae (85) and Luke Dahlhaus (78) were ok, but we would’ve been hoping for an extra 20-30 points from each of them. Cash cows James Stewart (50) and James Parsons (42) scored at a rate similar to what we were expecting. Oliver Florent (47) made a solid return to the team, maintaining the rate of scoring that he had achieved at the start of the season, and Luke Strnadica (0) continues to be a great non-playing captain’s option.
As we mentioned earlier, we’re going to have to be very careful with the way we trade over the next few weeks, to make sure that we’ve got enough players to remain competitive in all of the bye rounds. But at the same time, this is also the three-week period where you want to start targeting players, and with a maximum of three trades a week over the next three weeks, we can start to think about bringing some of those players in now. Brisbane, Carlton, Melbourne, St Kilda, Sydney and the Western Bulldogs all have the bye this week, so we certainly won’t be bringing in anyone from those teams in this week, but we’ll definitely be looking at targeting some of their star power once they get their bye round out of the way. The next three weeks are going to be a tough stretch, but we’re ready for it!!
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