So, About Last Season…. FD’s 2018 Recap

Written by Father Dougal on March 14 2019

So, last season. I have not been looking forward to writing about last season, but I learned a lot, and I promised Schwarzwalder I would. Some of what I learn was yes, that, doing that was good, but a lot of it was, that thing, do not do that thing! Silly Priest, why did you do that thing?

Met asked in a comment “Hey will you be posting your weekly changes? Where can i find them once you make changes”

My reply was “I’m not planning to write about my team every week; I hadn’t thought that would be very interesting.”

That turned out to be, well, wrong. Somehow, I made it up to 4th overall after Round 8. It was, however, all downhill from there. A long, slow, and painful downhill. Which I prefer not to dwell on for some reason. (The reason: I somehow managed to both have my best overall rank ever and at the same time feel really disappointed.) But, I did at least learn from it.

Let’s see, I’ll start with the team reveal. Link below, but listed out in its final form so you don’t have to piece it together from all the changes and ramblings.

Def: Laird, Hibberd, Bonner, Finlayson, Doedee, Murray (L. Murphy, Naughton)
Mids: T. Mitchell, D Martin, J Kelly, Cripps, Fyfe, Coniglio, Holman, T Kelly (Banfield, Barry , Brayshaw)
Ruck: Gawn, Nankervis, (English)
Fwd: Heeney, McLean, Walters, Sicily, Cox, Fritsch, (Giles-Langdon, Garlett)

My big takeaway from my setup was far too many marginal cows. L Murphy, Naughton, Garlett, Barry, and Brayshaw. Cash generation was poor, and that did not help later in the season. Note to self, avoid seriously dodgy cows in the future. I was happy with most of the non-cows. Bonner was bleh, so note to self, be careful of players with too little data. In general, trying to pick undervalued players worked out, at least for a while.

Next would be the trades. All of those listed below. More of my babble after them:

Giles-Langdon ($117,300) to Fisher
Hibberd ($545,200) to Simpson ($516,300)

Kelly ($602,400) to Macrae ($607,300)

Garlett ($212,500) to Guelfi ($117,300)
Bonner ($320,300) to Deledio ($413,600)

Banfield ($269,900) to Spargo ($117,300)
Walters ($460,100) to Gray ($581,500)

English ($287,400) to Ronke ($123,900)
Finlayson ($357,500) to Yeo ($532,600)

Brayshaw ($268,400) to Phillips ($123,900)
Doedee ($355,300) to Webster ($495,600)

Naughton ($289,900) to Rice ($123,900)
Murray ($334,000) to Howe ($526,600)

Barry ($182,400) to Smith ($123,900)
Kelly ($401,700) to Walters ($419,700)

Fisher ($360,800) to Ahern ($123,900)
Martin ($483,700) to Dangerfield ($603,000)

Spargo ($238,000) to Hurn ($484,600)
Walters ($463,200) to E Curnow ($569,000)
Deledio ($473,500) to Giro ($102,400)

Ronke ($324,100) to Rockliff ($403,000)
Holman ($371,200) to Oliver ($560,200)
Macrae ($629,700) to McDonald ($556,700)

Guelfi ($308,900) to Flynn ($123,900)
Nankervis ($453,100) to Grundy ($614,800)

Rice ($238,000) to Lynch ($123,900)
Fyfe ($580,600) to Higgins ($551,000)

Sicily ($508,800) to Westhoff ($508,600)

Rockliff ($405,000) to Johannisen ($457,200)
Howe ($445,700) to Macrae ($551,400)

Yeah, well. Some bad moves, some bad luck. A lot of injuries to defenders, often soon after bringing them in. That hurt and I had to play catch up a lot. But talking about bad luck is boring and easy, so onto what I did wrong and hopefully learned from

First, I kept trying to bring in players who would be top 8-10 in their positions, even if they were expensive. Big Mistake. Getting value for money is key, and had I stuck to that I would have done much better. Robby Grey being a great example. McDonald when I did bring him in. Westhoff. I really should have stuck to value players. Cheap points good. That’s really not so hard, and I feel silly for having lost that focus.

Second, I kept bringing in players who had had good first halves of the season, and good looking fixtures, but who did not have a history of high performance. Shawn Higgins, Ed Curnow.

Third, I kept trying to wait until right before game time to make moves, fearing late outs and such. That is a fine plan for most people but I happen to have a 14-15 hour time difference, and so game times are mostly in the middle of the night for me. At 3am, I’m not smart enough to remember everything I need to in order to make moves. Both in 2017 and 2018 I seriously screwed up by trying to wait until the last minute rather than just making a move while still all the way awake. The risk of a late out is less than me forgetting that, say, I can’t move a DPP who has already played, that I needed to move in order to make the move I wanted. During the byes, when I needed to trade to field 18. Argh. There was a reason my Imaginary Interlocutor and a stuffed Hamster wrote Cow Talk over the byes…..

I did have a few things not work that I don’t feel bad about trying. Deledio and Rockliff. Deledio got me points and some money. I wanted just two matches from him and got one. Rocky, well, we all remember that.

So, it turns out I have put a lot of work into figuring out how to pick a starting team, and not so much into what to do once the season starts.

This season, I’m going to be more careful with cows, and more open to no cows vs a bad one. And, I am going to start putting some research time into mid season moves. Or Moooves, to throw in my traditional cow theme. Anything interesting will probably end up in Cow Talk.

I encourage you all to pick apart my season for the good of all. It’s been long enough, I can take it. If not, I still have a stuffed hamster who can step in and write Cow Talk if needed!

Thanks for reading!


Leave a comment / Scroll to bottom

10 thoughts on “So, About Last Season…. FD’s 2018 Recap”

  1. Hate to be Captain Obvious but looks like your bye structure was your downfall, R12 placing 103k, no es bueno. Best of luck in 2019, Father.


  2. Great job, mate. It’s always a nasty reality check analysing last season’s trades. Everything looks worse in hindsight!

    I’m like you, I’m pretty good at starting teams, always starting the season in the top 2-3k for Rd 1, but tend to trade poorly and reactively.


  3. Wow! Great read, thanks for sharing father!

    One thing that shocks me is how high your scores were in rounds 1 and 2 – almost 2400! Really makes you realise just how tough this game is, you need to start on fire and then make all the right decisions from then on and get lucky along the way.


  4. Great to see an honest appraisal Father. Like you, I got a game out of Deledio. I also got 4 points out of Dean Kent, after trading him in off two tons and a BE of just 14!
    At least we picked up Macrae at the same time which covered nearly everything woeful.
    Reactive is the key isn’t it? I remember you saying something about the mean. I mean, if a player starts dishing out large ones, he’ll likely return to the mean and what does that mean? Well it means he’ll likely start spudding it up and so, return to his mean. What I mean is, look for upgrade targets who may have ‘fallen’ due to extenuating circumstances that won’t effect their long-term output (Merrett, Crouch), or look for younger players who have been impressing enough to get moved further up the ground, where they’ll be forever closer to that red/yellow thing (Brayshaw, Dunkley).

    Excellent stuff FD. Thanks for sharing and best of luck in 2019!


    1. Yep.

      Considering Father Dougal was kind enough to post his team, may as well use it as a prime example for the analysis of ‘above/under the mean’ trading. The following obviously has a huge hindsight benefit but I don’t think any of it is a massive call to say would have been reasonable to assume at the time.

      Traded in Ed Curnow, averaging 114, priced at $569k., career best season average of 101 and only 1 year out of 7 over 100. Seems unlikely he’ll maintain this average based on history – making him overpriced and likely to score less to reduce his season average to a norm. Averages 90.5 for the rest of the year.

      Lachie Neale, averaging 104 @ 520k. Last 3 years had gone 104, 113, 109 – chances are he is at his minimum. Averaged 121.4 for the rest of the year.
      Dayne Zorko, averaging 93 @ 527k. Last 2 years had gone 109, 111. Averaged 99.6 for the rest of the year.
      Dayne Beams, averaging 90 @ 515k. Had 6 years between 101 and 123. Averaged 116.7 for the rest of the year.
      Matt Crouch, averaging 93 @ 501k. Had averaged 111 in 2017 and had finished off 2016 with a bang. Averaged 108.4 for the rest of the year.
      Luke Parker, averaging 102 @ 512k. Had 2 years of 112 and 108 in the past 4, not as underpriced but close. Averaged 105 for the rest of the year.
      Zach Merrett, averaging 90 @ 493k. 2 years of 111, 109. Averaged 113.1 for the rest of the year.
      Scott Pendlebury, averaging 99 @ 476k. Great scoring history, 107 in 2017. Averaged 109 for the rest of the year.
      Taylor Adams, averaging 86 @ 466k. Averaged 108 in 2017. Averaged 105.7 for the rest of the year.
      Josh Kelly, averaging 110 @ 552k. 114 in 2017. Averaged 116.7 for the rest of the year.

      9 players – all cheaper than Curnow, all with better scoring history than Curnow, all averaging under recent season averages, some with injury-affected games in the 1st half of the season lowering their true average.

      Only advantage Curnow had was the bye – presumably that’s why he was picked.

      Perfect example of buying low, selling high. Not chasing points that have already been delivered whilst not in your team.

      The Grundy/Macrae types are a lot rarer than the E.Curnow types. Choose wisely. A 28 year old midfielder in a rubbish team is unlikely to be the one to boost their average by 20.


  5. Great stuff Father Dougal. I wish I kept a record of my trades during the season so I can see where it all went wrong. My biggest mistake (outside of starting Billings) was trading the injured Kreuzer to Stef Martin instead of Grundy in rd 3. I also jumped on the fallen premos early, maybe too early, and was never in a position to be able to bring in Macrae or Grundy for the rest of the season.


  6. Thx for sharing the pain FD. My biggest mistakes last year was starting with Dangerfield and Beams.. carrying a premo (Danger) on the bench from the get-go is dumb, then waiting for him to wind up over multiple rounds … very costly.. could have brought him in on the bubble much later.. Beams … don’t pick premo’s with a track record of not playing all games (those picking non-premo B Crouch.. listen up)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *