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.

This week I thought I’d take a look at the depth and kinds of players we’ll both have available to us on the waiver wire and also need to trade for to fill gaps. So to dive right in, as you’d expect, most premium players are pure mids. 20 average over 100, with 7 of those going over 110. To put that into perspective, there are only four forwards averaging over 100, and 6 defenders going at a ton a game. While fantastic if you can get them, those uber premiums are hard to nab in a trade, because there’s so few. In a 10-team league this year, your M3 will likely be averaging under 100.

Looking at the more gettable tiers of players, there are still 29 midfielders averaging between 80 and 100, which works out to about 3 per team (in a 10 team league). That means most people’s M6 or M7 this year are going at somewhere below 80 points per game… grim indeed. Most waiver wires also don’t have many decent midfielders floating around. It seems long gone are the days where you could pick up and stream an 85 averaging mid at any point. This means trading for players likely to fly under the radar (Isaac smith, Noah Anderson, Ed Langdon etc…) could be a really profitable play. Remember, upgrading a 75 averaging M7 to an 85 averaging player, is just as good as upgrading a 100 averaging player to someone going at 110… but it will cost you a whole lot less.

Forwards are thin, as has been howled from the rooftops all year. Only 22 average above 80, so there is plenty of scope to take a punt on payers who might pop in this line, as for most teams, their M3-M5 are hardly superstars. It doesn’t really matter if you’re picking up free agents each week to fill your F5 spot, what you really want to try and avoid are those low low 30s that kill your score (thanks Zac Butters). Such a lack of depth also means that if you are lucky enough to find yourself with a stacked forward line, there may be quite a few coaches lining up to do a deal with you!

The most interesting line for me this year is defenders. A whopping 38 average over 80 so far, with depth similar to midfielders. This means that in most leagues, it will only be people’s D5 averaging under 80, so giving up bench defenders to bring in forwards or midfielders could be a lucrative play, as there’s still a stack of guys averaging between 70 and 80 on most free agent lists.

Buy: Noah Anderson

Someone who’s flown under the radar so far this season is Noah Anderson. Other than one average week, he’s been rock solid, with 5 of his six scores being 90 plus. He hasn’t developed a ceiling yet, which means you might be able to nab him in a trade to bolster your midfield stocks. A 95 average is nothing to sneeze at. Give up a decent defender or two and he might just be gettable!

Buy: Tarryn Thomas

Buying low is the name of the game, and it doesn’t get too much lower than Tarryn’s current average of 49.7. luckily, we know there’s good reason for that, with internal bruising ruining the start of his season. The Roos have struggled without him, and while it might take a few weeks for his scoring to rebound, the juicy mid/forward role should be there for him as the season progresses. Target him in the next few weeks, but be mindful, if he pops with a decent score, it will be hard to pry him away from coaches who picked him as an f1 or f2. 

Buy: Isaac Smith

At 33 years old, Isaac Smith is hardly a new kid on the block, but amazingly, he seems to just keep getting the job done in his role running up and down the wings of Kardinia Park. Bizarrely durable, he averaged 93 last year from 21 games, and is averaging 90 at the moment. If you’re in the market for an M6 or M7 that won’t break the bank, you could do worse. Yes he’ll disappoint with the occasional 60, but he’ll also go over 120 and give you a boost most M7s aren’t capable of. Certainly, he’s someone you’d be happy with if it only cost you a bench positional player!

Hold: Toby Greene

If you’re a Toby Greene holder, this week’s game felt like welcoming back the prodigal son. Unfortunately, your faith would have been rewarded with a paltry 56. Remember, it will take a few weeks for Toby to get back into the speed of the game. We also need to lower our expectations of him. He’s probably not a trade target, but if you own him, expect him to bounce back and average above 80. That’s well worth a hold!

Hold: Zac Butters

He’s had a tough fortnight, and from reports has been a bit banged up and even had a bout of gastro pre-game. I don’t know about you, but I struggle to make it from the couch to the throne when I’ve had a bad meal, let alone running 10km+ in an AFL game. In salary cap, he’ll be dropping from teams like flies, but when playing the long draft game, remember that he’s had a good year so far and hope that he’ll bounce back in a few weeks’ time to take you to a flag!

Hold: Dayne Zorko

This was a really tough one to write, because you could probably make a decent argument to either buy, hold it sell him. It’s been feast or famine for Zorko as he’s adjusted to a new role behind the ball, scoring 4 tons including a monster 140. He’s also stunk up the place with 3 scores under 60. With his back status, Zorko’s well worth a hold if the rest of your back line is fairly consistent. With the ceiling he’s shown, I certainly wouldn’t be looking for a trade, unless a monster offer came knocking.

Sell: Darcy Tucker

Pre-season, one of the rankings coaches were agonising over was Tucker vs Hewitt. Both looked to have great midfield roles and both had back status. Hewitt got the nod in most leagues because of Tucker’s injury concerns, and unfortunately, they’ve held him back from reaching his fantasy potential. It seems Tucker will struggle to find consistent scoring this year with such an interrupted start to the season. If you can, trade him out while he has some value. He’s one more injury away from being consigned to the free agent list. In the meantime, pick up a free agent who will probably finish with a similar 70 to 80 average.

Sell: Joshua Rachele

For a rookie, Rachele is a jet. He’s kicking goals and impacting AFL games in a way few first-year players can. Unfortunately, his scoring as a forward is fluctuating wildly and relies almost entirely on kicking goals… A massive task for a first-year player. He’ll have some more decent games but use his name value and salary cap hype to your advantage. Broker a trade to upgrade a player in another line. 

Add: Connor Rozee

Folks, when you’re right 52% of the time you’re wrong 48% of the time, that’s why Connor Rozee is @NickbWest’s Lock of the week. I can’t believe he’s not Butters has had two fantastic weeks, taking Zac’s role for the fortnight. He’s worth adding if he’s still floating around your waiver, but do it with caution… It’s certainly possible for his role to reverse, and his scores to revert back to the sub 40s. If this is the case, just drop him back again. 

Add: Keidean Coleman

Touted to have the half back role at the lions in the pre-season, an injury derailed his early rounds. In his first game back, he scored a solid 83, and could well be worth a look to see if he can hold that form and role. 

Drop: Jack Martin

A lot of fantasy coaches were bullish that Martin could return to his previous consistent 80 averages with a solid pre-season. Unfortunately, while Vossy seems to have rejuvenated what was a pretty uninspiring Carlton midfield, his magic wand hasn’t passed over Jack Martin. He’s spent a game with the dreaded green vest and hasn’t scored over 60. There’re better options on the waiver wire at this point, cut and run. 

Drop: Jack Redden

With so many players over 30 having solid years, it seemed like Jack Redden was ready to follow suit. 90 plus average last year? Check. Injuries to midfielders providing opportunity? Check. Opposition getting plenty of the ball so he can rack up tackles? Check. Yet despite all these positives, poor Jack Redden has found himself shuffling around the ground, scoring under 80 in all but 1 game (his 98 in round 1). The big worry is the drop in possessions since that first week. Take a gamble and flick him for someone who might pop. They won’t be much worse!