Where has the Cash Generation Gone and How Do We Fix it?

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Updated: May 11, 2017

As most of us have come to accept, finally, our cash generation this year has been one of the worst that we have seen for many, many years.  The rookies have been poor, at best.  And to make it even worse, there is very little, to well nothing, on the horizon for that downgrade option and then have that second run of money making cash cows.  So where will this leave our teams?

This is my team after anticipated trades this week, before round 8 starts.  Now I have been one of the more lucky ones who’s cash generation has been very good.  I have a whole team value of just under $13.5 million, which in comparison to most I have spoken to is right up there.  Luckily, I have ample cash cows still making me money.  Comparing this to the top 20 teams, most are around that $13.1 – $13.2 million mark, with a few a bit higher.  So that is why we are going to use this to run through the options.

The Current Team

So that is the current team I plan to have for round 8.  The only thing that may change is that if Myers is named again, I am likely to bring him in and wait a week on Docherty.  But for all intensive purposes, this is the team that I can reach with $45,000 left in the bank.  Also note the players in blue.  This indicates players that traditionally, we would be looking to move on to get to full premium by years end.

The Problem

So as we are accustomed to over the last few years thanks to the inclusion of GWS and Gold Coast with so many rookies to play with we have been able to generate mass cash to easily get to full premium.  But this year we clearly aren’t getting that.  Lets just look at a few numbers.

So as mentioned above, the players listed in blue are those I would be looking to move on before years end to bring in bonafide premiums.   So lets see how traditionally from this point the team would end up looking like.  The rookies in red are non-playing cheap as I could get players.  Normally DPP if there is somebody.

So, the numbers.  This is where it becomes a problem.  Now the expected averages and prices are somewhat speculation of course and as the science is never exact, but you will get the idea.

Player Expected AverageCurrent PriceMax Price Replace WithReplacement Cost
Machbank75$395,000$453,000Defender Premium$600,000
Otten70$370,000$423,000Defender Premium$600,000
Williamson60$273,000$363,000Defender Premium$550,000
Vicker-Willis50$195,000$302,000Rookie$150,000
Hampton70$356,000$423,000Mid Premium$700,000
Horlin-Smith70$348,000$423,000Mid Premium$575,000
Taranto60$312,000$363,000Mid Premium$650,000
Balic60$250,000$363,000Mid Premium$600,000
Barrett70$279,000$423,000Rookie$150,000
Pruess70$375,000$423,000Forward Premium$575,000
Heeney85$463,000$514,000Forward Premium$550,000
Roughead80$407,000$484,000Forward Premium$550,000
Kennedy70$323,000$423,000Forward Premium$525,000
Black75$259,000$453,000Rookie$150,000
Sub Totals$5,833,000$7,000,000
In the Bank$45,000
Totals$5,878,000$7,000,000
DIFFERENCE$1,122,000

So, the first discussion point is how did we get here?  As you can see from the table above, a team that has been generating good cash and looks in a strong position to do so is still well off the mark.  $1,122,000 off the mark.  The reason being that we are not going to get that second round of cash cows coming in to give us that second bite of the cherry like previous years.

All those rookies listed above that we are ready to cull would now start being moved on to a new wave of rookies coming through that will again generate us $150,000 – $250,000 additional cash each.  That is just not going to be the case this year.  Normally it is our last 4-8 trades that we hit full premium.  The above moves would only take 14 trades.  We have 31 trades left!  Those other 15ish trades that we would now use to generate more rookie cash, just isn’t there.  In fact, there are going to be weeks where we look at our teams with what is available and struggle to find a trade or two.  This is the list of rookies we are waiting for, and as you will see, it isn’t pretty:-

  • David Myers – has played one game but struggled.  May still not even be best 22.
  • Nathan Freeman – finally getting a run at it in the VFL and playing well.  But who goes out of the Saints midfield for him?  Steven, Armfield, Steele, Ross, Newnes, Stevens, Billings, Acres, Dunstan……
  • Luke Ryan – also getting on the track in the WAFL, but as with Freeman, who comes out?  Ibbotson, Spurr, Johnson, Weller, Hamling, Sheridan……
  • Darcy Cameron – playing well in the NEAFL, but still seems a long way away from being selected.

After that, it seems to be crickets!

The Solution

Option 1: Delete team now and avoid the pain later.

Option 2: Sit in the corner sucking our thumbs.

Option 3: Pretend that there is no way that this could be the case.

Option 4: Sideways trade for the sake of it just to keep busy.

Now I know there is a bit of tongue and cheek in that, but something that we want to discuss is option 4.  Yes, we know that using ‘Sideways Trade’ is a dirty term in Fantasy Football, but hear us out as this may be our best, or only, chance to get close to full premium.

Let’s keep it somewhat realistic right now and understand that we may still get to full premium on field, or close to it, but to think we can use players like Burton, Kelly, Nankervis and Steele as cover may be somewhat of a pipe dream.  We may need to be finding some rookies or real cheap players just as a heart beat for cover here.  Or just run the gauntlet with no cover.

So without boring you with all the numbers like we have above again here, when we use the same theory over the same spreadsheet, but use Burton, Nankervis and Steele as trades (holding Kelly as a M7 or M8) and having all rookies across the bench it gives us $426,000 up our sleeve.  If we keep Nankervis as ruck cover and Steele as forward cover, it leaves us a shortfall of $302,000.

But lets consider this sideways trading option.  Including Burton to trade out as per the above theory, this will leave us with 16 trades and Nankervis and Steele on the bench.  But 16 trades.  What do we do with 16 trades?  Sideways trade to ride the break evens, that’s what we do.

Lets consider this quick scenario.  This week Sloane owners are looking at Sloane expecting a decent drop in price the next few weeks.  Some of us are looking at Hannebery as his price is unbelievably low.  So lets look at what we think their pricing will look like over the next 4 weeks:-

 Sloane Hannebery
Week 8$703,000$542,000
Week 9$690,000$560,000
Week 10$675,000$580,000
Week 11$660,000$595,000
DIFFERENCE$43,000$53,000

So, to keep this as simple as possible, over the next 4 weeks Sloane is likely to lose around $43,000 and Hannebery to gain around $53,000.  Now there is no certainties in Fantasy Football so this is all just an educated guess, but most are expecting Hannebery to get back to a 105-115 average and Sloane is around that same mark, maybe 5 points higher.  But if you were even to think that Sloane may be 10-15 points higher, if you traded out Sloane to Hannebery now, and then Hannebery back to Sloane in 4 weeks, those two trades have just saved and made you $96,000.  Now in 4 weeks time when Sloane bottoms out you may keep Hannebery and bring Sloane in elsewhere, but you get the picture.

So, that is just one example.  There are many that we could use such as Alex Neal-Bullen to Tim O’brien or Jack Sinclair to ride some break evens for a few weeks.  But our research shows that sideways trading in this method will make you around $35,000 per trade.  Now remember those 16 trades we had up our sleeves?  Pretty simple math from here: 16 x $35,000 = $560,000.  Not only does that cover our shortfall, it covers it easily with something up our sleeve if we need it.  So sideways trading to ride break evens, at least as a strategy this year when there are trades to burn, may be our best chance to get to full premium.

Of course, as mentioned above, nothing is a certainty in Fantasy Football.  All of this is based on the here and now and expectations of the future.  Educated guesses but guesses none the less.  You still need to be on the lookout for a rookie that may pop up unexpectedly that is a bit of a gem.  There is of course always injuries, suspensions and the Ross Lyon method of resting half a team.  But I am sure you get the picture.


Written by Zane Scheffner (@OTLS_Zano)

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