AFL

Prophet’s Profit: Round 7 – What’s your bye strategy?

The Prophet’s Profit is back with a bang for a 5th year! Here to take you through the ups and down of the fantasy season. The aim of this article is to empower you with knowledge of the current fantasy stock market.

Apologies for the lack of Prophet’s Profit last week. This week is a bumper edition to make up for it!

The byes are a scary proposition in fantasy draft leagues and they aren’t far away! It’s round 8 this week and the first set of byes are next week. You need to have a strategy when it comes to draft leagues, and that may involve throwing one of the three bye round matchups in order to maximise your chances of a win in the other two.
Here is the bye week schedule for 2017.

Round 9
Port Adelaide
Gold Coast
Round 11
St Kilda
Western Bulldogs
Brisbane
Sydney
Carlton
Melbourne
Round 12
North Melbourne
Richmond
West Coast
Geelong
Round 13
Adelaide
GWS
Collingwood
Essendon
Fremantle
Hawthorn

You have to carefully consider your team’s bye round prospects, and weigh up whether you have the cattle to win 2 out of 3, or go on an all-out assault to win them all. I’ve developed a 5-pronged approach to guide you through the bye rounds.
1) Set your bye week lineup now
Your draft league should have a feature that allows you to set your team for future weeks, without changing your team for the weeks in between. So go ahead and fill in all the eligible players into starting positions, and put all the bye players on the bench for weeks 13, 14 and 15. Note – do them in order, any change in prior weeks will effect subsequent weeks.
2) Assess how many starters you will have vs your opponent
Count how many starters your team will have for each week of the bye. Then go ahead and count how many starters your opponent for that week will have. You will have to go into their team to see their squad players to count the total starters your opponent team will have. I have assessed the starters for one of my leagues in my team and my opponent’s team for each week below:
Rounds 9 11 12 13
My Team 22 17 19 15
Opponent 22 18 19 19

3) Pick your strategy
As you can see my team has fared pretty well when it comes to the bye rounds in rounds 9 and 12, I have more players available to me than my opponent, so I’ll be looking to win those games. The primary focus will be on rounds 11,12 and 13. As unless you have lots of Round 9 bye players you’ll back your team to cover your losses.
“Two out of three ain’t bad”
Employ this strategy if you are in a situation where you have a high number of players out for one of the bye weeks, and are in a good position for the other two. Two out of three wins is a good result in the bye rounds, and is the minimum amount of wins you should be aiming for. As you can see from above I am down to 15 players in round 13, with my opponent almost at full strength, chances are I’m going to lose that game so what I will try to do is trade for someone who doesn’t have a round 13 bye to further shore up my chances in round 11 and 12. I’ll likely make one deal before the byes to sure up my team for Round 11. But the majority of trades I will make before Round 13, as there will be teams desperate for a win that week after not adequately planning for the byes, and will give me good value by trading their Round 13 bye players to me for my starters that I won’t need, considering I’m resigned to losing that week.
“YOLO, I’m gonna win all three”
This is a strategy that should be employed if you are in a situation where you aren’t significantly disadvantaged in any of your match ups. This is a strategy that should be utilised by those teams down the bottom of the ladder. Look to the teams up the top to give you some value on players.

4) Execute your strategy
“Two out of three ain’t bad”
If you are going for the win in two out of three rounds, the main aim is to maximise your chances of winning those two games – throw the third. Trade wisely from now on, with an eye to when your trade targets, and trade bait, are scheduled to have a week off.
“YOLO, I’m gonna win all three”
To execute this strategy you cannot afford to carry any injuries with you. If you have injured players that won’t make it back before the byes, see what you can get for them on the trade market in your league.

5) Target those swing players
When setting your line-up for the bye weeks you will notice that some weeks your forward line is lacking, other weeks it will be your back line or midfield. This is when swing players are invaluable. It is important you use swing players plug in gaps. Make sure you target swing players in trades. They become so important during the bye weeks.
If you don’t play through the byes
If you’re league has decided to skip the byes then it’s time to start thinking about picking up those players that are 4-5 weeks away. With only 2 weeks until the main set of byes, you don’t have to hold them for too long to get the reward off them. It’s definitely worth a look through the injury list to see what you can pick up and improve your team post bye.

Josh P Kennedy
The Sydney midfielder has had a relatively slow start to the season by his lofty standards, only average 91 fantasy points over the first seven rounds. Over the first seven rounds of last season he averaged 96, but then went onto average 114 for the rest of the year. It’s definitely worth trading him in if you can. The 28 year old will improve as the season goes on and as Sydney finds some form.
Verdict: Buy Low

Charlie Dixon
The Port Adelaide forward has had a couple of good games in a row, with his form aligning very much to the Power’s fortunes this year. Dixon has scored 125 and 124 in the last two games respectively, booting 7 goals in those two games and racking up over 20 disposals in each of them. However, if we don’t learn the lessons of history we are bound to repeat them. Dixon has never been a reliable fantasy player for an extended period of time. An injury, or change in role can easily see him lose all of this value. If I owned him I’d be looking to capitalise on his recent scoring and sell him.
Verdict: Sell High

Other options
Matthew Scharenberg
The highly rated Collingwood youngster racked up 32 possessions in the VFL on the weekend and has been averaging 99 for the year in the VFL. Considering the Magpies loss to Carlton the Magpies are expected to bring Scharenberg in. He may be worth an add off the free agent market in your league, at the very least as a wait and see as to whether he will be playing in a fantasy friendly role for the Magpies this week against GWS.

Lachie Whitfield
The GWS midfielder finishes his ban this week and could come straight back into the selected side for GWS. In usual circumstances he might have come back through the VFL, however with long term injuries to Adam Kennedy and Nick Haynes, Whitfield may be required to play a role off half back for the Giants. This makes him considerably more valuable, as a future position change is likely if he plays in this role.

That concludes the Prophet’s Profit for this week. As always if you have any questions please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

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