In Dozen Deals we use BUY, SELL, HOLD, ADD, or DROP. This is based on a 10 team 22 player roster. BUY, SELL, HOLD, and DROP will apply to players that are generally owned, while ADD will cover players you may find on the waiver wire or as a free agent.

Round 2 is done and dusted. We had some massive scores from premiums and other players are quite rightly feeling the wrath of their fantasy coaches. We also saw a lot of players bounce back after a poor first week (tip of the cap to Callum Mills, Jack Crisp, Dayne Zorko, and Jayden Short). 

That brings me to my main point, that the name of the game this early is to hold your nerve. I’ve come up with a couple of players to sell or drop based on poor roles or unfounded pre-season hype, but for the most part, at this stage of the year, you should be looking to trade in premiums who’ve had a slow start, but are uninjured, have maintained their role and will be bouncing back soon. Remember, the aim is to peak at finals time, not in round 3. Back in your pre-season strategy, look to improve your team if the opportunity arises (buy low, not after a massive 180) and hold onto to those early picks… at least for another couple of weeks. If you need some extra motivation, here are some stats from last year’s first two rounds. Tom Stewart scored 79 and 81 before averaging a healthy 96.8 for the year. Andrew Gaff had a down year by his standards, but bounced back from scoring 70 and 60 to average 97.2. Dayne Zorko averaged a whopping 108.9 in 2021, but last year scored 79 and 81 in the first two weeks. Any of these players would have set you up for the year if you bought them after their underwhelming starts.

Buy: Tom Stewart

A mid 90s defender who is rock solid, Tom Stewart often flies under the radar. I think this is because he doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but what he does do is consistently hit 90+ scores, anchoring your backline as a fantastic D1-D2. With Heppell underperforming and Salem and McInerny injured, doing a deal for Tom Stewart could be a positive way to shore up your backline.

Buy: Harry Perryman

A bit of a hidden gem, Perryman might be the kind of unheralded player you could grab without selling the farm. While unassuming, Perryman plays a fantasy friendly role, never being too accountable and finding plenty of the ball. He’s had a solid start to the year and should average above 90 for the season!

Buy: Errol Gulden

Old mate Errol could well have been the biggest bargain in your draft. An F3 or F4 for most coaches lucky enough to own him, he’s already showing consistency and a fantasy friendly role.  He managed not to get himself locked in the SCG parking lot on Saturday, so he certainly knows his way around the ground! Given he hasn’t had a massive game yet this year, you still might be able to pry him away from an owner in your league and plug a hole left by say, Connor Rozee or any other disappointing forward floating around the bottom of your list. Sometimes you have to get in early before a player’s asking price becomes prohibitive. This is one of those times. Buy while you still can!

Hold: Max Gawn

This paragraph really could have been written about either of the big 2, Gawn or Grundy. Unfortunately for Gawn, we’ve seen Luke Jackson increase his role during games, but big Max is still the skipper, he’s still the big dog at the Demons, and will still score well for the remainder of the year. Sure, he might not have his previous ceiling, but I’m still confident he’ll be a top 2 ruck at the end of the year. Ditto Grundy, who despite an underwhelming start (especially as a number 1 draft pick for many coaches), will bounce back to be a solid contributor. Even if Gawn and Grundy don’t return the scores you’d be hoping for as early round picks, they will return even less in a trade, as chances are, you don’t have another premium ruck on the bench to replace them with. If you took Witts late as a backup, and someone offers you their M1..it might be worth a look, but otherwise hold tight, and trust that the scores will come.

HODL: Patrick Dangerfield

For a lot of coaches, Patrick Dangerfield seemed like the steal of the draft, taken anywhere from M2-M5 for some coaches! He’s already shown that he’s still integral to the Cats’ game plan and will regularly score well. Despite being on the right side of 30 (according to Geelong’s Dad’s Army Strategy), he’s not managing the tag as well as we’d like. As a result, I think there are going to be some big ups and downs for Danger this year.  Ride them out, hold on for dear life and enjoy the big games that get you over the line in your leagues.

Hold: Tarryn Thomas

If you invested an early pick in TT, you’d be forgiven for getting an itchy trigger finger and looking for a quick trade. The problem with a fire sale is that you’d only be getting a fraction of his worth. His scores have been shocking so far (twin 49s), but his upside is considerable. Pending an update on his injury status (fingers crossed it’s not long term), I’d’ be holding on for a few more weeks before parting with talented Tarryn.

Sell: Lachie Hunter

I was on the fence about Lachie Hunter’s scoring potential this year, and then alarm bells rang when in round 1 he was left out of the initial team. The big concern for me, however, is that without Bailey Smith, he was still only able to cobble together 72 points.  He’s someone you probably didn’t draft too early, but is a big enough name, with a proven ceiling, that he may still have some trade value. Look for a coach with an abundance of forwards or defenders who might want to take the risk on him. Make Hunter their problem and tighten up the structure of your own team at the same time.

Sell: Connor Rozee

Well apparently, Kane Cornes thought Rozee would be better then Sam Walsh. In hindsight it’s probably not Cornes’ best bit of expert commentary. What can we say about Rozee? On the upside he averages 1 Point more the Simon Prestigiacomo in his final season. On the downside he is only averaging 34.5 and can’t lace the boots of Collingwood Legend Presti! He has some name value, so if you can do a deal and get almost anyone rosterable for him, I’d be pulling the trigger. He’s not going to play the much-touted midfield role this year, which means at best his average might scrape into the 70s by season’s end.  If you can’t find a trade, I’d even look at dropping him for a better performing free agent.

Add: Luke Foley

Don’t overthink this one. As a highly touted junior player, Foley represents plenty of value now that he’s finally got an opportunity at senior level. There is a chance that his scores could recede as senior players return in the coming weeks, but he could also hold a very healthy average. Pick him up as a free agent and enjoy the next month, then drop him if he loses his spot. Even better, trade him in a few weeks’ time!

Add: Luke Shuey

With hamstrings as strong as West Coast’s heard immunity, so many people have been put off Luke Shuey, that he’s been flicked to the waiver wire in a lot of leagues. If he can keep on the field, his upside is massive. Yes it’s risky, but if you just lost Zach Merritt for 8 weeks, the potential reward is well worth it. Grab him immediately!

Drop: Cam Rayner

Don’t get me wrong, I think he’ll be a star…eventually. This season you’ve probably picked Cam Rayner up based on a fantasy coach-killing combination of pre-season hype coming out of Brisbane, salary cap hype, and his rumoured ‘more mid time’. Most concerning for Rayner owners is that he has been playing predominately through the midfield. His round 2 heat map looks like a bull’s eye over the centre of the ground. Unfortunately, it hasn’t translated to scores, and much like the infamous Paddy Dow last year, Rayner looks destined for another sub-par fantasy season. Drop him immediately.

Drop: Tom McDonald

This is hardly a big call, but I know a lot of people drafted big Tom late, hoping for a solid forward option in what was a pretty dire quagmire at the bottom of the draft pool. He played in defence last week and was played a 50/50 split between forward and defence this week. While this role continues, he’s worthless as a fantasy scorer and needs to be returned to his natural environment… the free agent list. Take advantage of early season free agents to plug that F5 or bench forward position. I’m sure he’ll pop and score a couple of tons at some point during the year, but enduring scores consistently under 50 in the meantime is a season killer.