Hello again dreamers and a massive 'well done' to those that rode out the Round 1 craziness and reaped the rewards in Round 2.
If your team scored 650+ in Round 2 you are flying and well set for a big year. If not, you have a little (or a lot) of work to do in the next week or two, starting with a double trade this Friday.
To help out I've had another run at answering some of the most typical DT trading queries.
I'll have another go again next week after the majority of player prices have moved for the first time, so keep your questions coming to email@example.com .
So, here we go for this week. A week when you should be paying close attention and thinking trade strategy.
Toby Batchelor (Batchelor XIII) - Trades: 28, Bank: $14.1K
Q: I have already made 2 trades to cover long-term injuries and do not really want to make any more if possible, but I think my FRF, especially on the bench, are a bit weak. Should I trade for say Aiden Tolman or get a cheapy who will increase in value as the year goes on?
A: Firstly, I should start by repeating the opening of an article I did for Big League this week. "Have you been having sweet dreams or nightmares now we’re two rounds in? Either way you should be preparing to trade this week as this is potentially the most important trade week of the year".
So, even though you've had to make two trades already I'm all for you making another two as there is a guaranteed cap increase on offer and it's worth more than the loss of two trades (you should be able to manage the 26 left, if the league gods are not cruel).
With that in mind, I suggest you do the following, but keep in mind that there are many cash cows out there and just as many temporary DT duds (players who score well in general, but are having a rough trot and about to dive in value).
1. Chris Houston ($84.1K) in for Sam Burgess ($263.0K) handing you an instant $178.9K (for a total of $193K to play with) and an instant 30+ points per week.
2. Aiden Tolman ($233.4) in for Daine Laurie ($92.5K) sending you back to a bank of $52.1K, but giving you another 40+ points per week.
That's an extra 70 points on the weekly total and an extra $40K+ in the bank, plus the bonus of a 100% certain increase in the price of the two guys coming in.
I also notice you have Laffranchi in your team, meaning you have a high-price, potential dud on your hands. Look closely at trading him in for one of the DT superstars (Fensom, Hindy, Gallen, etc) in future and remember you have two played-games grace before you need to make this decision. Watch his scores and his potential price shift.
Sam Ross (Wite B's All Stars) - Trades: 30, Bank: $7.5K
Q: I would like to know what improvement I can make, seeing as I'm ranked in the Top 5000. Who should I swap Vatuvei out for, if at all.
A: As per the answer above I'd be making two changes this week if I was you.
1. Bring in Chris Houston ($84.1K) for Mark Riddell ($164.1K). You make a decent wad of cash and up your weekly points potential on a guy that will increase in value next round. Besides you have the multi-position cover in place with Thompson & McGuire.
2(a). Bring Jack Reed ($73.6K) for Etu Uaisele ($84.1K). You're thin in the CTW area and can't carry three injuries for long. Reed gives you a few extra dollars, will score about 20 this week and go up in value.
Doing the above should add about 20+ to your weekly score, but importantly will increase your bank significantly and also your potential player value increases.
2(b). Alternatively, trade in a better-performed CTW. With the $80K you make on the Houston-Riddell trade you have just enough to turn Uaisele into Alex Glenn. It leaves you with no dollars in the bank - that's not new - but I'd go with this one for the extra 10+ points a week and longer-term security.
Big Manu stays. For now.
PS - You can do better than John Sutton as a 2RF and Trent Hodkinson is an expensive inclusion, whose salary could be better spent.
Mark Simmonds (The Bee-Sharps) - Trades: Assume 30, Bank: $35.6K
Q: I'm wanting to get another 30-40 point 2RF into the team as a reserve, am a bit short on $ ... who would you say could be a good buy?
A: Looking at your team, I'd say you are barking up the wrong tree at this stage. With a 2RF group made up of three guns (Gallen, Parker & Johnson) and three cash cows (Shackleton, Houston & Foster), I think there's little to be gained by trading in this position, at this time. Play the three guns & use Houston & Shackleton (if needed) as reserves.
Instead, you should trade out Isaac De Gois ($176.9K) for Jamie Buhrer ($92.5K). That would give you an extra $84.4K to do some work in your centres. For mine, you should trade up on Fisiiahi or Niko, who are good prospects, but doing you no good for the forseeable future. Round 4 is coming fast and a 20-30 point-a-week gain here will be invaluable.
You will then have a choice of the following five players as reserves: Cherry-Evans, McGuire, Houston, Shackleton & Buhrer (with Allgood injured). All should have decent price rises over the coming weeks. Once this has happened and you're in position, trade up to another gun 2RF.
Alastair Whittington (halcombe) - Trades: 30, Bank: $1,031K
Q: At what value on the MVP value does the price of the player rise or fall. I assume that if Nathan Fien's MVP stays at 3,204 his value will rise and if Scott Prince's was to stay at 8,114 his value will fall, do you know where the cut-off point is between rising and falling.
A: The MVP (or Most Valuable Player) total is a dollars-per-point-scored value. It's worked out by dividing the player's current value by their current average score per round.
As such, I reckon there is no cut-off point in relation to price movements, because price change is tied to recent round scoring in relation to current average and current price (roughly speaking). As evidence my simple brain says a player with an MVP of 8,000 could still rise in price if he's killing it, while a player with an MVP of 3,000 can drop in value for poor scoring.
That said, the MVP is an useful quick reference to check on cash cows. The lower the MVP the better. For instance, DCE has cracked 78 points over the first two rounds (avg. 39) and his value is $73,600 giving an MVP of 1887.
MVP of selected cash cows following Round 2:
- DCE: 1887 (39 average)
- Jack Reed: 3680 (20)
- Ryan Morgan: 3504 (21)
- Beau Henry: 3004 (24.5)
- Aaron Woods: 2582 (28.5)
- Sam Kasiano: 3200 (23)
- Tariq Sims: 4329 (17)
- Shane Shackelton 3304 (28)
- Chris Houston 2713 (31)
Nothing revelatory there. Just a good reference to reaffirm what you probably already know. So, if you're looking to decide which (potential) cash cow to choose from a list of candidates, check the MVP as it may help to make the decision.
The MVP can also be useful toward the backend of the season. If you compare MVP totals with an MVP for the recent three- or five-round averages, you get a rough idea of who's in form and who's not, but really it's all a bit Daine Laurie - it seems useful and productive, but doesn't deliver anything you don't already have, for a substantial investment.
PS. Alastair - I'm also keen to see how you go with your uber-cash cow tactics. Last year two guys tried this in my personal private league and came a cropper when they couldn't get the momentum to get in the Top 8.
PPS. For those that our new to DT in 2011, the Most Improved table in the Rankings section is also a great guide to trade candidates, once price changes have begun.
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After doing your head in, a quick session of I told you so.
Last week many, many people asked about trading out Shaun Fensom (or someone similar) because they'd had one average score. I cautioned against this, suggesting you needed to think about any such trade as a long-term scenario. One week and 64 points later, Fensom is Round 2's top scorer.
To illustrate the point further, here's a similar question I got last week, from Cameron Waite - who didn't tell me his team name, so I'm picking on him ... in a nice way. (LS does not condone bullying in any form.) As we've now moved on a round I had a crack at a two-part answer, with the added hindsight of last weekend's scores.
Q: I have Hindmarsh, Fulton and Johnson as my guns in the second row. With Fulton being injured, and Butriss moving to hooker, I think I have 3 options:
1. Fulton out, Buttriss in - four to six weeks is a long time.
2. Hindmarsh out, Buttriss in - Hindmarsh is looking to go down in price.
3. Make no trade - decide on Buttriss next week.
A Part 1 (for last week): Option No.3. Buttriss ended up going okay, but not well enough to justify trading out a 2RF gun.
A Part 2 (for this week): Option No.1, but it's time to redo the maths. Now that you've waited, there are better options than Buttriss for the Fulton trade and if you're smart you should also make a bit of cash to help buy Liam back if & when the time comes.
For mine No. 2 was never the answer. You need to have some long-term scoring machines, who you aim to hold onto all year. Movement in their price is irrelevant. It's how they score that matters and Hindy (God love the man) ripped out anther DT blinder (62 points) in Round 2. He's a keeper.
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And finally, some handy advice for the new Dream Teamers out there courtesy of a question from Dallas McCann (on Facebook).
Q: Hey Lone Scout I have played the last two weeks and scored 607 and 590 and my score is down as a zero. Why is this? Can this please be fixed I know I am not the only person in this case as 2 others in my league are in the same position. Thanks.
A: Dallas - I assume you and your mates aren't sitting in the same room looking at the screen, as a I suspect you would notice all 16 players in your league have a duck egg. Click the 'Rank By Total Points' button in the green section above the league table you're looking at ... better? The default league table is Head-to-head.
If that hasn't resolved your issue, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org , with a subject line that mentions your name and I'll ask a few discreet questions.
That's about all for this week. As ever, keep an eye on the late mail and follow the trading debate on Facebook and Twitter.