Setting Up Your Team

24 February 2014
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Many strategies exist for setting up your team. And, much disagreement revolves around how much cash you should have left over, how many guns to buy, what positions to stack with cash, and is Cam Smith worth the cash.  This is how I set a team up, so hopefully it will help.

This is my strategy for “overall”. I will add some H2H notes at the bottom.

Quickly, I will outline the objective of an overall team. You want to start making big scores as quickly as possible. Unlike H2H, where your team should be peaking when the finals start, you want 900+ scores as early in the season as possible. To do this, you may burn a lot of trades through the season and your team may fizzle out when late season injuries hit. But, to win, you need to start strong. This requires a careful balance between the three categories of player: cash cows, mid-rangers and guns. You can’t afford 25 guns, so compromise is the game. In an ideal world, you will recruit a team where all the cash cows and mid-rangers explode and turn into guns, but it just won’t happen. Instead, you will need to recruit cash cows that turn into mid-rangers, who can be cashed out for more cash cows, or upgraded to guns. Ideally, any mid-rangers you start with will become keepers, or even guns.

First, pick Cam Smith. He’s your captain. Doubling his reliable points every week will set you up for a solid score.

Second, identify the cash cows. Some will be obvious, such as rookies starting at $138k and holding down a starting position. Some will be less obvious, requiring hours of study, some guess work and a bit of luck. Importantly, don’t pick a player who isn’t named in the Round 1 team lists. Every year there is some rumored superstar cash cow that everyone recruits, but doesn’t end up playing for the first half of the season. You need every position available to generate you cash.

How many cash cows should you have? – As many as you can get who will get reliable minutes and game time. Beware the cash cow that is covering for a soon-to-return star. Remember, to increase in value, the player must play 3 games.

Next, get some guns. I like at least one in every position. Prime candidates are -HOK: Smith, FRF: Fifita, 2RF: Parker, HLF: Cherry-Evans, CTR: (not sure this year), WFB: Greg Inglis. An important consideration when thinking about guns (and mid-rangers) is how they will be affected by the byes. If they are origin certainties and their team has byes when origin isn’t restricting availability, they will miss more games than some other guns. Look into it.

Finally, pick the good mid-rangers. This is where the high risk is. Will that player returning from injury play well, or will his knee explode again? Will that rookie from last year keep improving? Will that workhorse forward get the minutes required to score big at his new club. Remember, mid-rangers need to do better than their price predicts they will, otherwise you just have a player who averages less than 45 who hasn’t made you any money.

So, once you have locked down these players, you should have a few positions left over that you haven’t filled yet. You don’t have the cash for guns, there are no more obvious cash cows left, and the remaining mid-rangers look too risky. There are three remaining strategies: 1) Pick some cash cows and hope they play (bad idea, see above), 2) Buy some reliable mid-ranges who will keep scoring 40 all year (better, but not great), and 3) Take a gamble on some exciting mid-rangers who will improve.

Personally, if you want to win Overall, you have to take option three. Sure, Mannering is mister reliable, and will not get injured. But, someone else will pick that player who is the same price as Mannering and ends up scoring 15 pnts/round more. You have to find that player.

These final selections are where all the hard work goes in. Taking players in and out. Tweaking, adjusting, reading articles, making spreadsheets, asking questions on Renegades – make all the work count!

For me, I like to spend all my cash when setting up my team. But, if there is a mid-range player who is too risky to snap up straight away, but could be a must-have once his true form is obvious, than some spare cash may be advisable. Because, before the price rises too much, you will want to get that player, and as none of your cash cows will have made anything yet, you need the money. Last year, I did this to keep an eye on SBW, and it paid off.

H2H notes:

H2H is difficult to give advice for, as your strategy really depends on how good the coaches are in your league. If there are enough noobs in your league (you know, the guy from accounting who follows AFL and is in the league to make up numbers) your position in the top 8 will be assured. In that case, go for lots of cash cows so you have plenty of cash come finals. If it’s a gun league, expect the competition to be tight and making the 8 a difficult proposition. In that case, you may want to start with a more balanced team, such as one aimed to win overall.

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The Renegades Writers combine passion for the game, with a lack of editorial oversight. When they aren't next to the water cooler bitching about that try assist the stats guys missed, they are churning out sports articles that have been widely touted as "readable".

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