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.

In most leagues there are only a few weeks to go before finals are here. That means it’s time for teams at the top of the ladder to consolidate their advantage and try to bring in quality, consistent players to bolster their lists. At the other end of the table, it’s Hail Mary time! If you have a tough run home and are only an outside chance to make finals, it’s time to get creative and risk it for the biscuit. At this stage, picking up a solid 75 averaging defender like Brodie Smith or David Swallow won’t make or break your season. You need to look for players who are both gettable and have serious scoring upside. Unfortunately, this comes with extreme risk and often means that you’ll be worse off than when you started. Examples of the plays I’m talking about (and I want to emphasise, these are high risk, Hail Mary plays for teams with an outside chance of making the finals; not for top teams consolidating their position) could be picking up Jack Ziebell this week with Hall out, on the off chance he reprises his half-back role from the start of last year. Another could be making a trade for Zorko or Luke Shuey and hoping their respective hamstrings hold and their scoring goes bananas. Yes, these trades could well blow up in your face, but if you pick up players with a proven track record of delivering high end scoring, you’ll at least give yourself a chance.

For teams at the top, look to offload your inconsistent players to teams needing that high-risk high reward trade and bring in reliable scorers. Sell the narrative of the Hail Mary play in your conversations and have your team primed for a finals tilt!

Buy: Keidean Coleman

Receiving a lot of salary cap hype before the season started, Coleman was a slow burn in draftland. He didn’t play until round 6, but when he got his chance, he’s looked more than solid, averaging 78 AF and 83 SC playing off half back. In the last three weeks however, he’s really hit his stride, improving to 96 AF and 101 SC. He shouldn’t cost the world, and with forward and back DPP would be a very handy D5/F5 come finals time.

Buy: Mitch Duncan

Before the season started, Duncan was touted as potentially the number 1 forward in the game and went super early in most drafts. Given the capital used to secure him, an average of 85.9 from the first 10 weeks left a lot of coaches with a sour taste in their mouths and the feeling that he’s underperformed. In the last 4 weeks he’s lifted that average to a very respectable 102 and looks to be delivering on his pre-season promise. He won’t come cheap, but you might be able to grab him from someone for around his season average of 90, rather than paying up for a 100-averaging forward, which he could well be for the remainder of the year.

Buy: Travis Boak

Being 33 years old, people are quick to overlook just how good Travis Boak is and how effective a fantasy player he has been this year. An average just a tick under 100 doesn’t really do him justice, with a game where he was effectively rested in the forward pocket producing only 38 points. If you take out that anomaly, he has averaged a fantastic 104.2, making him the 15th highest averaging midfield eligible player in the game. In fact, his first 6 games produced an average of 115, showing the kind of upside that could lead you to a flag. A bit like Mitch Duncan, Boak will not come cheap, but he may well be gettable for the right price. Paying M3-M4 prices for an M1-M2 could be a fantastic result in a tight league.

Hold: Daniel Rich

Bam Bam has been surprisingly durable of late, not missing a game since 2020. He has also averaged a more than handy 94 during that time. It sounds like his hamstring tweak is minor, so I wouldn’t be concerned about him missing a game at this stage. Monitor the injury, but it’s too early to be jettisoning a gun for a short-term mishap.  

Hold: Patrick Lipinski

While forward eligibility has made Lipinksi not only relevant, but a very handy late draft pickup, Collingwood’s game style hasn’t helped him rack up the stats quite as we would like. Despite only managing 66 this week, he still had 20 touches which suggests that he’s not far away from a decent score. A bit like Nick Daicos, his low scores every now and again can be forgiven if he’s still getting his hands on the pill. It’s also worth noting that in the last 8 weeks Lippa’s averaging 83. That’s most people’s M2! Hold on tight!

Sell: Dayne Zorko

The Zork has been a real Jekyll and Hyde act this year. At his best, he has picked up defensive DPP, shown a massive ceiling and pumped out 6 tons. At his worst, Zorko has been injured multiple times, has been wildly inconsistent and cost us important matchups. While a one-week injury in itself isn’t enough for me to want a player out of my side, his injury history combined with his inconsistency this year means I’d much rather not have him in my team come finals time if I can get some value for him now.

Sell: Jordan De Goey

Another disappointing forward who promised the world, Kmart Dusty hasn’t delivered much apart from unwanted media coverage. Averaging 78.6 for the year, in the last 10 weeks, De Goey hasn’t cracked the ton and averages a dismal 69. At this point he’s an unwanted distraction for your finals bound side. Trade him to a team looking for a last-ditch finals tilt and move on.  

Sell: Brandon Ellis

Last year saw Ellis return a healthy average of 93.8. When he picked up DPP this season, a lot of coaches envisaged fielding another 90-averaging defender. What has eventuated however, is a player who scores 60-70 most weeks, with 2 tons for the season. Unless he has a vastly improved role, it’s time to trade in Ellis for something more serviceable!

Add: Ben Hobbs

While his debut season has been positive for a rookie, as a fantasy draft option, Hobbs has been largely irrelevant this year. This trend looked to continue on the weekend, with 32 points to ¾ time. He was moved onto the ball in the last quarter and looked amazing with a whopping 39 points to finish with a respectable 71. Now that he has picked up forward status and some more mid time, he’s becoming tempting, and is certainly worth a punt as a late season lottery pick.

Add: Jaidyn Stephenson

Balancing a decent forward line has been a nightmare for anyone who drafted Stephenson early in 2022. He’s been dropped multiple times, looked completely disinterested, and in some games has struggled to be even considered ball adjacent (how can you play an entire game and only score 14 points?), dropping around 20 points on his average from last year. This has rightly seen him kicked to the free agent list in a lot of leagues. In the last two weeks however, he has been shunted into the half back flank to cover for Aaron Hall who has soft tissue comprised of whatever the Eagles players are rubbing on their hamstrings. He looked good this week and is well worth a gamble given his scoring ability.

Drop: Bailey Williams

With Hunter back in the team, the much talked about wing role seems to have largely disappeared, and with it, Bailey’s scoring. History says, that while the kid has potential, as a defender he’s a mid-60s averaging player at best. You’ll find something more interesting on the waiver wire!

Drop: Jack Scrimshaw

Here’s a player who has been a perennial tease for the few short years he’s been in the AFL system. So often he’s near the top of the stat columns at the start of games, only to fade slowly into irrelevance. If you have him in your AF team as bench cover or a D5 (not great for your defence if that’s the case), look to move him on and pick up someone with more upside. Even with a hundred against the Bulldogs in round 15, he averages a poor 68 from his last 4. No thank you.