2016/17 KFC BBL Fantasy – A word from the Winner..

Updated: January 31, 2017

BBL Wrap: KFC Fantasy winner and OTLS contributor, Kyle Robson reflects on the season that was.

Wow! What a season! While the BBL Final between the Perth scorchers and the Sydney Sixers may not have been the edge of the seat experience we have become accustom too in the BBL this season, it didn’t stop me from pacing up and down my lounge room most of the night.

In the end the Perth Scorchers came out on top by a long way. The fantasy stakes on the other hand came down to only a 30 point margin. Due to some poor mathematical skills on my part, and knowing what the bloke in second scored (due to the wonderful world of social media) I thought I had been pipped at the post. Thankfully, not for the first time in my life, my maths was very wrong and my team ‘Yearoftheunderdog’ came out on top.

How did I do it? A great question, and one I am still not certain of myself. Bye planning was the main ingredient, coupled with an unhealthy obsession with ESPNcricinfo and a pinch of luck. I thought it might be interesting to break down the season that was.

Round 1

Team: M. Henriques ©(192) , D. Hughes (66), S. Abbott (62), T. Head (36), M. Klinger (28), B. Dunk (117), P. Cummins (181), C. Jordan (130), K. Pollard VC (99), M. Marsh (65), C. McKay (45) Reserves: G. Maxwell (DNP), A.Blizzard (DNP), J. Pierson (66), D. Short (114), H. Cartwright (DNP)

Score: 1021

Round Rank: 3865

Overall Rank: 3865

DGR players in starting XI: 9

The Hero: With 9 of my starting XI’ having a double game round (DGR) there was plenty of potential. Pat Cummins begun a breakout season with a score of 181 and Henriques was a solid captaincy choice with a score of 192.

The Zero: No donuts this week thankfully, although considering they played two games, Travis Head (36) and Clint McKay (45) both scored poorly. My love/hate relationship with Darcy Short (114 on the bench) also begun this week. Never could pick when to play him!

Trades (Rounds 1-2):

OUT: C. McKay, T. Head, C. Jordan IN: B. McCullum, D. Willey, A. Turner

With their respective DGR’s over it was time to look ahead to rounds 3 and 4 when the Scorchers and Heat both had their turn. The other driving factor in the above trades was who was losing/making money! If you have never used it before I would strongly encourage using the ‘analyser’ function on the team page (it’s on most fantasy platforms) as this will tell you who in your team is rising and decreasing in value each week. This can be vital when it comes to making trade decisions!

Round 2

Team: M. Henriques (36), G. Maxwell (114), D. Willey VC (11), M. Klinger (18), B. McCullum (74), J. Pierson (15), P. Cummins ©(112), S. Abbott (82), M. Marsh (52), D. Short (1), A. Turner (6) Reserves: D. Hughes (DNP), A. Blizzard (DNP), K. Pollard (DNP), H. Cartwright (DNP), B. Dunk (DNP)

Score: 451

Round Rank: 17,936

Overall Rank: 4525

DGR players in starting XI: n/a

The Hero: Maxwell (114) and McCullum (74) were probably the only shining lights among this rabble. With no DGR’s this round and most of my bench on the bye, I did not have a great round and the result was my worst rank of the season.

The Zero: Again no donuts but Willey (11), Klinger (18), Pierson (15), Short (1), Turner (6) were all pretty awful.

Trades (Rounds 2-3):

OUT: M. Henriques, S. Abbott, A. Blizzard IN: T. Cooper, S. Narine, A. Finch

Hindsight shows some good and bad decisions in the above trades. Aiden Blizzard only got one game all season and Henriques wasn’t as fantasy relevant this year without his bowling. Taking a punt on Tom Cooper at bottom dollar was a masterstroke, whilst trading out the eventual leading wicket taker in Sean Abbott, was not. Again trades were made with $$ in mind and with the Renegades having a DGR in round 3.

Round 3

Team: M. Klinger (134), A. Turner (175), B. Dunk (57), B. McCullum (107), S. Narine ©(308), A. Finch VC (144), T. Cooper (31), G. Maxwell (1), M. Marsh (205), D. Willey (163). P. Cummins (113)

Reserves: D. Hughes (40), D. Short (21), J. Pierson (1), K. Pollard (58), H. Cartwright (DNP),

Score: 1502

Round Rank: 2

Overall Rank: 29

DGR players in starting XI: 7

The Hero: Where to start! Huge round thanks to both the Renegades and Scorchers on the DGR. I moved up 4500 odd places and the stress followed soon after! Ranked second for the round and easily the round that won it for me.

The Zero: Glenn Maxwell with 1.. Had I subbed Pollard in for him I would have taken home the round prize. Spewing! But you have to take the good with the bad with a player like the ‘Big Show’.

Trades (Rounds 3-4):

OUT: H. Cartwright, A. Finch, M. Klinger IN: D. Christian, C. Lynn, B. Hogg

Even though the Heat had the DGR in round 4, with both them and the Scorchers having a bye in week 5, I could only bring in one heat player in order to be able to field a full team in the coming weeks. The choice was simple, Mr Lynnsanity himself! (Crazy to think I didn’t have him until this point). Bye round scheduling was also the reason behind moving on Klinger and Cartwright and bringing in Christian and Hogg with both these players playing twice in round 5.

I also traded out Finch (only to bring him back in a round later) on the assumption that he would make the Australian ODI squad. Waste of a trade right there!

Round 4

Team: C. Lynn (131), B. McCullum (116), D, Willey (30), D. Short (92), G. Maxwell (55), J. Pierson (90), M. Marsh (93), P. Cummins (52), A. Turner (14), K.Pollard (13), D. Christian VC (272)  Reserves: D. Hughes (105), T. Cooper (DNP), S. Narine (DNP), B. Hogg (DNP), B. Dunk (63)

Score: 958

Round Rank: 1030

Overall Rank: 9

DGR players in starting XI: 3

The Hero: Vice Captaincy should always be used on someone unique with a high ceiling. This week I got lucky and took a punt on Dan Christian whose score of 136 was more than enough for me to loop in a non-playing ‘captain’ and bank the points!

The Zero: No donuts, but the patience with Kieron Pollard (13) starts wearing thin at this point and he earns a permanent bench spot for pretty much the rest of the season. Really hurt this week especially with Hughes (105) on the pine.

Trades (Rounds 4-5):

OUT: D. Willey, M. Marsh, J. Pierson IN: A. Finch, C. White, T. Paine

Pretty logical trades this week with Willey back to England, Pierson with the bye, and Marsh off to the ODI team. Once the ODI team was finalised Finch comes straight back into my side along with ‘The Bear’ and T-pain, with each playing twice in the forthcoming round.

Round 5

Team: D. Hughes (57), T. Paine VC (66), B. Hogg (31), C. White (69), S. Narine © (248), T. Cooper (68), G. Maxwell (78), D. Short (20), D. Christian (114), A. Finch (127), P. Cummins (63)  Reserves: B. McCullum (DNP), C. Lynn (DNP), B. Dunk (111), A. Turner (DNP), K. Pollard (25)

Score: 941

Round Rank: 417

Overall Rank: 2

DGR players in starting XI: 8

The Hero: Finch and Christian were both the goods again but full credit to my main man Sunil Narine. I used him as a captain a few times throughout the season and he never failed me. Using some of the stats materials available it was evident pretty early on that bowlers were scoring slightly better than batsmen in general. So when the captaincy choice was difficult, I always went with the bowling alternative. At least you know they should get 4 overs in!

The Zero: Darcy Short was his usual inconsistent self (20) and like everyone else this week I thought that with two games T-pain (66) would outscore Dunk (111). Wrong!

Trades (Rounds 5-6):

OUT: P. Cummins, C. Lynn, T. Cooper IN: T. Perera, K. Pieterson, M. Stoinis

ODI time meant unfortunately it was time to go for Cummins and Lynn. What a fantasy season from Cummins especially! Easily my most reliable bowler. Regrettably traded out Cooper a week or two early but with the completion of his DGR’s I thought his time was done. Took a calculated risk on Perera having not seen him play before, but if in doubt always trust the stats (ESPN Cric info is a godsend)! Lastly I brought in Stoinis and Pietersen for their upcoming DGR.


Round 6

Team: B. Dunk (86), B. McCullum (15), B. Hogg (46), C. White (54), T. Perera (63), S. Narine © 190, M. Stoinis VC (1), A. Turner (46), D. Christian (38), D. Short (51). A. Finch (83)

Reserves: D. Hughes (0), K. Pieterson (32), T. Paine (12), K. Pollard (17), G. Maxwell (DNP).

Score: 706

Round Rank: 983

Overall Rank: 1

DGR players in starting XI: n/a

The Hero: I have already sung the praises of Sunil Narine, but what about Ben Dunk! Phenomenal season from the Carl Pilkington look alike and the only real Wicketkeeper option all year.

The Zero: Marcus Stoinis (1) – unfortunately not the last time he will stuff me around as a VC option. Especially when he goes nuts the following week.

n.b With the lack of DGR round towards the end of the season it is really important to manage your bench and trade throughout the lockout period. This is the reason why for example I have KP on the bench and never traded Maxwell. Essentially you can put players playing earlier in the round on the bench, get a ‘free look’ at their scores and then complete your trades accordingly.

Trades (Rounds 6-7):

OUT: D. Short, B. Hogg, A. Turner IN: B. Hilfenhaus, S. Boland, R. Quiney

Time to trim the fat and get one last crack at a DGR with the Melbourne Stars, the only team to play twice in round 7. Quiney’s form through the middle section of the competition was second to none! It was tough to leave Luke Wright out given his ability, but as stated above I think there is more value and safety in trading in bowlers and this strategy seemed to work out okay.

Round 7:

Team: A. Finch (19), K. Pollard (96), R. Quiney (67), Pieterson VC (88), C. White (10), B. Dunk ae (40), S. Narine (31), B. Hilfenhaus (103), S. Boland (102), T. Perera (84), M. Stoinis (118)

Reserves: B. McCullum (0), D. Hughes (20), T. Paine © (DNP), D. Christian (DNP), G. Maxwell (DNP)

Score: 758

Round Rank: 165

Overall Rank: 1

DGR players in starting XI: 5

The Hero: From Zero to Hero Marcus Stoinis was the top scorer of the round which was great because with a low average many opted for someone like Luke Wright or Peter Handscomb instead. Kieron Pollards return to form was also good for someone like me who stuck it out through his poor form in the middle of the season (never trade a keeper). He was on my bench but as the Strikers played first I was able to manipulate my team using Maxwell and Christian to get his score.

The Zero: Aaron Finch was below his best with 19 but this isn’t something that is too annoying when you know that everyone else is in the same boat and that a few would have captained him.

Trades (Rounds 7-8):

OUT: S. Boland, T. Paine, B. Hilfenhaus IN: S. Abbott, P. Nevill, S. Watson

With no DGR rounds left, trades are all about fielding the best team possible and giving yourself the best looping opportunities. Towards the latter part of the competition I started to monitor the other top 20 fantasy teams through the ‘rankings’ page of the website. This showed me what POD’s people had and who I could not afford to be without.

Interestingly enough, no one in the top 20 had Shane Watson in round 7, and batting at three and bowling four overs he was a no brainer. Abbott on the other hand was owned by plenty and I just couldn’t be without him any longer (even though it goes against the rule of trading a player back in). P. Nevill was traded through mid round 8 to loop Ben Dunk’s score. If Dunk hadn’t performed I would have left Paine on the field and upgraded elsewhere.

Round 8

Team: A. Finch (106), S. Abbott (104), D. Hughes (46), K. Pietersen (39), B. McCullum (4), B. Dunk ae (85), S. Narine (48), D. Christian (10), S. Watson VC (212), K. Pollard ae (91), T. Perera 94.

Reserves: R. Quiney (79), C. White (24), P. Nevill © (DNP), G. Maxwell (DNP), M. Stoinis (DNP).

Score: 931

Round Rank: 347

Overall Rank: 1

DGR players in starting XI: n/a

The Hero: Shane Watson in a losing side with 106 as my VC. Was able to loop Pollards score from my bench again as well.

The Zero: Brendon McCullum with 4, but at 50% ownership who cares! Also me, for benching Rob Quiney (79) over Dan Christian (10).

Trades (Rounds 8-9):

OUT: Sunil Narine,­­ A. Finch, B. Dunk, P. Nevill, D. Christian, S. Watson, K. Pollard, T. Perera IN: M. Steketee, B. Cutting, T. Bresnan, C. Munro, B. Haddin, S. Whiteman, A. Agar, S. Heazlett

With unlimited trades during semi’s its all about trying to pick which way the games will go and also carefully constructing your bench. I did a lot of trades after the first semi as I had Boland, Agar, Whiteman and Pieterson on my bench. As they went terribly I was able to bring in a stack of Sixers and Heat players and recover a little in a round where I didn’t have Johnson or Lyon. If my bench had gone well I would have traded in Non-players into my starting team and looped their scores.

In terms of trade ins Tim Bresnan was a no brainer with a 75 odd average since he started in the BBL and Mark Steketee had been getting solid 65’s all year (and was in a lot of top 20 teams), Colin Munro was a POD decision with potential and there wasn’t much choice in the Wicketkeeper department.

Round 9 (Semi-Final)

Team: B. McCullum (78), D. Hughes (46), R. Quiney (0), S. Marsh (88), C. Munro (43), B. Haddin (58), S. Abbott ©(228), M. Steketee (65), B. Cutting (23), T. Bresnan (41), M. Stoinis VC (43).

Reserves: K. Peitersen (5), S. Heazlett (0), S. Whiteman (21), S. Boland (24), A. Agar (51)

Score: 713

Round Rank: 1774

Overall Rank: 1

The Hero: Sean Abbott – My one shining light as captain this round.

The Zero: Shocker of a round where do I start. Probably me for thinking that a depleted Melbourne Stars would compete against a form outfit like the Scorchers.

Round 10 (Final)

Team: M. Klinger (111), A. Agar (28), D. Hughes (8), S. Abbott (c) (20), M. Henriques (22), B. Haddin (73), M. Johnson (68), T. Bresnan (79), A. Tye (19), B. Dwarshuis (30).

Reserves: S. Marsh (DNP), C. Munro (DNP), S. Whiteman (73), A. Turner (23), J. Behrendorff (DNP)

Score: 513

Round Rank: 5959

Overall Rank: 1

The Hero: Michael Klinger was my top scorer but with everyone having him it didn’t help all that much.

The Zero:  Everyone of my POD’s. Captain Abbott (10). Most of the sixers in general.. Not the best round to rank around the 5k mark! Genuinely thought I had lost after the game as I knew that my opponent had captained Bresnan. Luckily he also had Voges (0) and Lumb (5). Had Voges come into bat at 3 It could have been a very different result! End result overall winner but lost every single head to head final I was in!

Whats next for me?

No rest for the wicked with the NRL season just beginning to get underway, starting with the all important Auckland 9’s competition this weekend. I will be predominately doing Supercoach but also each of the other NRL fantasy competitions as well. For team lists, injury news and other relevant content including my own fantasy picks follow me on instagram @ underdog_fantasy. OTLS will also be posting some Auckland 9’s preview articles over the next few days so watch this space!

Thanks to all the legends who participated in the BBL competitions this year, what a cracker! Special shout out goes to all the members in the facebook groups ‘BBL Weapons’ and ‘BBL Legends’ I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in giving it a real crack next year to get involved in these groups as they were invaluable to my season!

Written by Kyle Robson –  IG: underdog_fantasy

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