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 look at an odd phenomenon that inevitably pops up in single season leagues at this time of year; trades that look ridiculous on paper but make sense given there are only a few weeks left for most people. A great example at the moment is the decision that Darcy Parish owners are faced with. He’s listed as being out for 3-4 weeks, which means that best case scenario, he’ll only be available for your grand final, at which point he will have spent a month on the sidelines and could be underdone, with an upside of 80-115 points. The worst-case scenario is that he costs you a space in the finals altogether. If you can (and it’s a big if) trading him for a midfielder like Selwood, Shiel, or anyone similar could ensure you have some solid scores at the bottom of your midfield instead of playing someone from the waivers. Yes, trading Parish for Shiel sounds terrible on paper, but given the late season scenario, it could be the type of trade that keeps you in the game! Some other players you might consider moving on include Witherden, Ladhams, Oliver (if his injury is worse than first reported), or Nankervis (again, if his injury is worse than it seems). If you are sitting just in or just out of finals with two weeks to go, it might just be worth offloading a floundering gun to make the leap to the pointy end of the table. You can’t win a final if you don’t make it!

Buy: Nat Fyfe

He has a midfield role and the rust seems to be flying off him at an alarming rate for opposition coaches. He probably won’t go massive, but a ton certainly looks like it’s on the horizon, which is enough to make me want to throw out an offer for him! A player capable of averaging 90 in the last 4 weeks would be a great get for most midfields.

Buy: Tom Atkins

How Tom Atkins keeps flying under the radar is beyond me. He started on the waiver wire as a player no one had ever heard of (‘isn’t his first name Rory?’ Was a refrain heard in a lot of leagues), and he contributed almost nothing at the start of the year. Since round 10 he’s averaged 90 and has moved from defence into the Cats’ midfield, ahead of players like Parfitt and Narkle. He ticks every box for a breakout player and has only gone under 70 once since round 3, which was a respectable floor of 69. Get on board to shore up your backline for the end of your season. 

Buy: Dylan Shiel

With Parish out and McGrath doing jobs around the ground, there are bulk midfield minutes finally on offer for Dylan Shiel. He’s averaged 96 in his last 5, he has the role, he has a ceiling (123 in round 13) and to cap it off has Collingwood and North Melbourne in rounds 19 and 20 which look like great matchups for him. His diabolical start to the year means that this under-priced diamond in the rough could be quite gettable.

Hold: Clayton Oliver

His season has been incredible to date, but if you’re an Oliver owner, a broken hand was terrible news on the eve of your finals campaign. Hopefully it really is only a week and you can wait it out before he continues his midfield domination. If any news comes to light that his layoff has been extended, I’d be brokering a trade if you need those valuable premiership points.

Hold: Lachie Neale

If you’d told me at the start of last year that Bailey Dale would be the target of a tag, I would have been stunned. Someone I’m far less surprised about is Lachie Neale. Good players cop a tag from time to time, unfortunately that’s the nature of the beast. We know with Neale that he’ll deliver monster scores with the odd potato thrown in, you just have to take the good with the bad. He has the Giants next week (Lachie Ash?) but finishes with Richmond and the Gold Coast where a hard tag is less likely, so hold on and take the banger scores when they come. His ceiling is too good to consider a trade.

Hold: Lachie Whitfield

Whitfield is in a different boat to Neale and Dale, in that he generally doesn’t cop a tag and seemed to have a putrid role on the weekend. It’s strange, because since McVeigh took over, he’s averaged a more than respectable 108…. before this week. Luckily the giants got trounced, so hopefully he returns to his freewheeling ways. Hold for one more week, but if he returns another 40, look to offload. 

Sell: Alex Witherden

I’ve tried to offload him in a couple of leagues, but the best offer I have in return is a half-eaten ham sandwich. He averages 95 when he plays and was even a sneaky captain option earlier in the season. If anyone in your league wants to take him on (who knows, Shannon Hurn’s calf could give way at any moment) give them the option, otherwise, a heartbreaking drop may be on the cards. 

Sell: Toby Nankervis

Injured, at this time of year? I don’t think you need to eject the Nank from your side if your only option is draper or something equally horrible. He may well play this week and be OK for the end of the year. If you can get Goldy or someone else decent however, it might be worthwhile. If you hold Nank, at least make sure you have a ruck/forward you can swing over to cover him at a pinch to avoid a dreaded doughnut. 

Add: Marlion Pickett

Marlion is another that has slid under the radar of a lot of coaches. He’s averaging a respectable 82 over the last 5 weeks and could be a handy M7 who can score reasonably well. If he’s sitting on your waiver wire and you need a mid, grab him. 

Add: Sam Reid

Sam Reid as a fantasy relevant player? That’s something I never thought I’d see. With Ladhams out though, he’s getting to ruck contests and has averaged 87 over the last 5 weeks. You could certainly do worse in a pinch!

Drop: Jaidyn Stephenson

He didn’t get the juicy backline role, he got injured, he averages 64, and he’s only had 2 scores over 73 for the year. There’s not much more to say really, drop him and move on.

Drop: Jake Bowey

He looks like he has the chops to be a fantasy jet in the future, but it feels like people are seduced by his 125 in round 2 and constantly pick him off the waiver hoping to stream him for a decent score. There are more consistent players to try. Toss him permanently back to the free agent list and try someone else.