By now you would be aware that the dreaded multi-bye rounds are fast approaching, meaning the next two weeks of trading need to be spot on to ensure your fantasy team doesn’t drop too far off the pace in the battle for glory at season’s end.

One thing you need to remember is that consistency is the key to success in any code of Fantasy football. Keep in mind that only your best 18 players will score during the bye-rounds from round eight to 10. This of course will bring the average par score down from a healthy 2100 points to a measly 1700, if you’re lucky!

When searching for a consistent fantasy scorer, you should often look away from players who have scored a flashy 120 + points one week and a few average scores in the 70’s and low 80’s surrounding the big score. Instead you should look at a player who is going to score you a comfortable 90 – 110 score week in, week out.

With consistency the theme for this week’s Fantasy face-off, Hawthorn star Grant Birchall will battle it out against the thumping left-footed Trent McKenzie from the Gold Coast Suns.

Grant Birchall – Hawthorn (Defender)

AFL Fantasy/SuperCoach/AFL Dream Team price: $430,867 / $466,500/$433,000

AFL Fantasy/SuperCoach average: 85.4 / 90.8

AFL Fantasy/SuperCoach/AFL Dream Team break-even 78 / 114/ 90

Next five: Richmond, St. Kilda, Sydney, Bye, Port Adelaide

For the last few seasons, Grant Birchall has been an absolute lock in the majority of fantasy squads providing plenty of run and carry off half back resulting in very consistent scores during the Hawks dominant years in the competition. Since 2011 Birchall has scored over 85 Fantasy/SuperCoach points 48 times from his last 60 games, a rate which is among the most consistent defensive options in the competition.

Perhaps the only downside to trading Birchall in to your backline this week is his below par average in recent times against his next two opponents, Richmond and St Kilda. Averaging just 79 Fantasy/82 SuperCoach points against the Tigers and 75 Fantasy/79 SuperCoach points against St. Kilda since 2011.

Trent McKenzie – Gold Coast Suns (Defender)

AFL Fantasy/SuperCoach/AFL Dream Team price: $404,470 / $453,500/$418,800

AFL Fantasy/SuperCoach average: 76.6 / 81

AFL Fantasy/SuperCoach/AFL Dream Team break-even:  72/ 99/ 99

Next five: GWS, North Melbourne, Bye, St. Kilda, Western Bulldogs

Since dishing out a paltry 49 Fantasy/42 SuperCoach points in round one against Richmond, McKenzie has responded in style recording an impressive run of 87, 90, 76, 80 Fantasy/87, 99, 87, 90 SuperCoach points from round two onwards.

While McKenzie finds himself in a rich patch of form, the Suns will also head in to the next five weeks full of confidence after defeating all four of their upcoming opponents in 2013. It is well worth noting that against these four teams last year, McKenzie averaged a consistent 91.6 Fantasy/91.4 SuperCoach points as the Suns stormed home to win.

At such an affordable price heading in to round six, he would be a terrific replacement trade for Matt Suckling or even a perfect upgrade option from North Melbourne’s Luke McDonald or Collingwood rookie Tom Langdon if you have the extra cash in the bank.

The Verdict:

Trent McKenzie’s next five weeks look fairly promising and at a more affordable price tag than his Hawthorn opponent, The 22 year-old Sun gets the nod in this week’s fantasy face-off. There’s no real limit to how far either of these players could go in terms of fantasy scoring, however McKenzie has the greater potential to score just a little higher than Birchall during the multi-bye weeks.

With rookie players now getting to the stage where upgrading can be considered, Trent McKenzie makes for the perfect target ahead of the multi-bye rounds beginning in two weeks time.