Formerly run by the man himself, Stevie Fizz has allowed me to step up to his Dozen Deals article. We’ll continue to use BUY, SELL, HOLD, ADD or DROP. Continuing with a view based on a 10 team 22 player roster, buy sell and hold will apply to players that will generally be owned, while add and drop go for those you may find on the waiver wire.

For those who are new to draft, trading will likely be the biggest change. Unlike salary, you have to manage the expectations of the other coaches, not the raw score and price. You’re just not going to be able to pry the player you want from some coaches, who have unrealistic expectations. So know the league members. A group chat or active posting on league boards will give valuable insights.

Don’t just drop a trade request on the website, if you can help it. If salary is like buying on the stock exchange, draft is like wining and dining potential business partners. Getting direct feedback on your offers will increase the chance of a deal, and allow for a more open dialogue with counteroffers. Plus, there’s nothing more infuriating than receiving a trade offer cold with no explanation, and it’s one of your top players for a bunch of waiver garbage. It can turn you off trading with that coach all together. So relationships matter.

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You have to learn to negotiate like the best

DROP – Alex Rance / Tom Doedee

Awful news, ruptured ACLs mean both of them will miss the season. Will have ramifications for the rest of the Tiges defence, too. Garthwaite likely comes in, but replacing Rance is not so simple. Richmond will need to set up differently without their main pillar, watch the game against Collingwood with interest.

HOLD – Nick Vlastuin

Could get more chance to get behind play and help the Tiges set up. If you have him wait to see how they defend.

ADD – Darcy Tucker

Entering his fourth season, Tucker hasn’t been too prolific. He’s never threatened the 70 mark over his first 3 years. But the midfielder cupboard is bare at Freo. Neale leaving and Blakely sidelined means someone has to help Fyfe. After a few years in the AFL system Tucker has the opportunity to step up.

ADD – Jack Watts(!)

Oh hell yeah. As an unapologetic Jack Watts fan boy, nothing sparks joy quite like the start of a new year when Jack Watts can be added into your side. Unbridled optimism aside, Wattsy has moved away from the volatile forward line and into a steady role in defence. He should see a nice supply and he likes using his boot. Bonus if you’re in SC or score more for effective kicks and intercepts

BUY – Zach Merrett

The ankle injury in Jan was hardly ideal, cutting out a lot of the preparation time Zach had for the season. The Bombers as a whole looked slow, and the media are having a field day piling on. Take advantage of the situation and send an offer through to the Merrett owner. Especially if it’s that Essendon fan whose opinion has gone from ‘Top 4’ to ‘sack everyone and rebuild’. A good target for Rocky and Sheed owners. Speaking of…

SELL – Tom Rockliff

You couldn’t could you? Rocky is back to his best and flying. At this stage, explore your options. Float his name out and see if there’s anyone willing to put a big name on the line to get a deal done. If no one wants to give you enough, choo choo. Same goes for Dom Sheed. Just maybe don’t offer him to any Collingwood fans…

ADD – Sam Lloyd

The Sydney killer. He’s a forward in UF, so jump on there. Could be worth a speculative add as a midfielder in deeper SC leagues. One of those guys that was just too good for VFL, but didn’t fit the Tigers need for speed.

HOLD – Jack Riewoldt

Credit where credit is due, Carlton’s defence did quite a good job stopping Richmond’s talls. I see Jack as moving more up the ground with Lynch at home. Might take a few weeks to get used to working with each other too. I’m holding tight for now.

ADD – Jack Lonie

A speculative add, but there were some signs of Lonie pushing up a wing off half forward, where he managed 22 touches, with 14 being kicks. He’s 22 and just hit 50 games, a good age and games profile for a breakout. It will all depend on how the Saints use him and if he can stay in the side, as Richo has tended to drop him in and out over his short career. A promising start, nonetheless.

ADD – Jacob Weitering

Ed Curnow called him a physical beast. We’re seeing why now. Great size. Looks thick. Solid. Tight.

Playing on a 1 legged Tom Lynch certainly helped, but there was something else. Confidence. Late in the fourth, Weitering took an intercept mark and took off running, faking out a Tiger before drilling a kick to a teammate. Given his role and style of play, he’ll make a better SC player.

DROP – Lachie Weller

I’d be very tempted to drop him, given that he seemed to be playing defence against the Saints. Felt like he’d get more of a run in the midfield, especially with Swallow playing forward on a bung knee. Maybe you can get another week out of him, but right now it’s looking like another year with a mid 70s average. If Blake Hardwick is available, he may have more upside.

ADD – Blake Hardwick

His stock is rising after the weekend. Looked to be sharing kick in duties with Sicily, could be lucrative. Jump on.

Bonus ADD – AFL Stats Pro

You will need an AFL.com.au account that’s been activated on a Telstra phone ( In theory though you could just use a friends telstra connected phone, log in and activate the telstra check, then log back in on your phone/computer.)

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But you din’t hear that from me.

Stats Pro is a great tool. If you want to see how a player got their touches, it presents a little highlight package. Perfect for reviewing a bit of footage before putting waivers in.