One down and two to go, fantasy footy coaches all over the country will be living by ‘the glass is half full’ attitude after the first and most likely the worst of the bye rounds have completed. As we turn our attention to this week’s bye round, most of us will be greeted with much less blue dots than last week, and less big name premiums sitting out on the pine. We welcome back some big scoring favourites such as Sam Mitchell and Tom Rockliff, but we also have to deal with a couple of omissions to the likes of Campbell Heath and Sam Kerridge who may still be floating around on some teams’ benches.

A reminder that the teams who will be taking a holiday as part of the bye structure for round 12 this week are:

Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong, North Melbourne, St Kilda and West Coast.

Having the bye next week are:

Collingwood, Carlton, GWS, Adelaide, Essendon and Gold Coast.

There are players from six clubs that have already served their bye for the season and will be feeling fresh and ready to fire that you need to consider bringing into your team. Many notable scorers will return this week, but with just two trades (three for SuperCoach players), who do you pick to add to your line up or to replace a player with a bye?

Sam Mitchell – Hawthorn (midfielder)

Games: 10

Fantasy/SuperCoach price: $472,300 / $534,100

Fantasy/SuperCoach average: 100 / 108.3

Fantasy/SuperCoach break-even: 133 / 141

Despite the high break even, Mitchell will still be a great, consistent option to fill the space left by one of your premium midfielders such as Kieren Jack or Steve Johnson. Against the Blues, Mitchell rarely disappoints with solid averages to prove it, and after the bye and a few easier weeks against bottom placed clubs, expect Mitchell to come out firing and really push to achieve that high break even this week.

Michael Barlow – Fremantle (midfielder)

Games: 10

Fantasy/SuperCoach price: $535,300 / $558,000

Fantasy/SuperCoach average: 108.1 / 111.7

Fantasy/SuperCoach break-even: 76 / 59

Michael Barlow has arguably returned to his frightening best as the Dockers charge towards a possible top four berth. In recent weeks Barlow has been one of if not the most consistent fantasy footy scorer and is still flying under the radar being owned by just 6.87% of Fantasy teams and 4.82% of SuperCoach teams. This is the guy you need to have in your team for success.

Using the same table from this week’s edition of the hot tip, let’s take a look at Barlows scintillating form over the past 5 rounds.

AFL Fantasy Score:     SuperCoach Score:    Opponent:

R6 –               81                                  79                  Gold Coast

R7 –              100                                108                Collingwood

R8 –              123                                119                 Sydney

R9 –              149                                138                Melbourne

R10 –            118                                141                 Adelaide

Total/Ave:   571/114.4               585/117.0

As you can see, Barlow just continues to impress week by week. It has been almost three years to the date since that horrible leg break against Port Adelaide in 2010 and two years since his return to footy. Now is the time to say Barlow is back at his best. The stats certainly don’t lie, and there is no reason why any fantasy coach should look at other options besides him.

Barlow could just be the next Kane Cornes, who has been one of fantasy footy’s most consistent players for the last decade. Compare the recent stats of the Dockers midfielder to those of Port Adelaide’s games record holder and you will be very impressed. If you did not catch this week’s edition of the hot tip then here are the recent consistency stats of Kane Cornes.

Current Price: AFL Fantasy $494,700/SuperCoach $506,000

AFL Fantasy Score:     SuperCoach Score:   Opponent:

R6 –                108                             124                  North Melbourne

R7 –                 99                              102                  Richmond

R8 –                103                              87                   Carlton

R9 –                 74                               73                   Geelong

R10 –               114                              114                 Western Bulldogs

Total/Ave:  498/99.6                 500/100.0

Jordan Lewis – Hawthorn (Forward/Midfielder)

Games: 10

Fantasy/SuperCoach price: $466,200 / $519,900

Fantasy/SuperCoach average: 92.7 / 98.1

Fantasy/SuperCoach break-even: 65 / 65

Jordan Lewis has definitely stood up for Hawthorn during Lance Franklin’s recent form slump fantasy wise by consistently scoring around that even 100 mark in both forms of fantasy footy. With players like Steve Johnson and Jimmy Bartel out this week due to the bye, Lewis would be a very handy replacement for coaches with a little less money in the bank than they would like.

Ryan Griffen – Western Bulldogs (Midfielder)

Games: 10

Fantasy/SuperCoach price: $488,100 / $606,700

Fantasy/SuperCoach average: 105.5 / 122

Fantasy/SuperCoach break-even: 55 / 56

Ryan Griffen is enjoying a handy little purple patch at the moment coming off 166 Fantasy and 176 SuperCoach points up in Darwin. Round 10 was also the second time this season Griffen has topped 170 SuperCoach points. Coming up against a Collingwood side which has been up and down all season, you would be mad to write off Griffen achieving another massive score this weekend. Griffen also has a very low popularity in fantasy footy due to being selected by just 0.91% of Fantasy teams and 1.27% of SuperCoach teams, making him a very unique option that could win you league matches as an added bonus.

If you were to take a look at the cash cow paddock right now you would see two of the lowest ever break even scores for rookies in the games history. Sydney’s Tom Mitchell and Gold Coast Sun Tom Nicholls are the players who are facing the super low break evens of -173 Fantasy/-158 SuperCoach points and -120 Fantasy/-142 SuperCoach points respectively. Unfortunately, Tom Mitchell has the bye this week, so his price will not rise until round 13 after the Swans travel to face Port Adelaide. However, Nicholls’ stakes will rise after this weekend’s match against Essendon. It would be a wise move to trade Nicholls into your team at the expense of young ruckman Marc Blicavs from Geelong or either of North Melbourne pair Majak Daw or Dan Currie who will all be missing from action due to the bye this round. With the Suns lacking ruckman Zac Smith, Nicholls will be likely to keep his spot in the team after two solid performances in the centre. Another high score from those players could easily see their cash value rise well above $200,000 immediately.

Collingwood’s Kyle Martin has been selected on the extended bench for the match against the western Bulldogs. His price will rise if he plays this match as he faces incredibly a low break even of -109 Fantasy/-110 SuperCoach points. If there is room for two downgrades – Nicholls and Martin, for example – then go for it, as this means more cash for you to use up in the coming weeks. Both of these players have the bye next week though, and you need to be sure that you will have a full squad of 18 players for the final bye round.

Remember, it is only two more weeks until normal fantasy footy will return and we can forget about bye rounds for 12 months. The light is definitely at the end of the tunnel.

Ins and outs for round 12:

In: A.Carrazzo, J.Bootsma
Out: S.White, C.Yarran

In: M.Bailey, J.Gunston
Out: K.Cheney, S.Grimley

In: R.Conca, B.Ellis
Out: S.Lonergan, M.Dea (calf)

In: D.Mackay, M.Jaensch, M.Wright, L.Brown
Out: B.Reilly, J.Petrenko (shoulder), S.Kerridge, B.Crouch

In: A.Silvagni
Out: C.Sutcliffe

In: M.Leuenberger, T.Rockliff, J.Lisle, D.Rich, M.Golby, N.McKeever, S.Mayes
Out: B.Moloney (back), J.Polkinghorne, P.Karnezis, B.Longer, J.Crisp, S.Michael, M.Paparone

In: T.Pears, J.Merrett
Out: W.Hams, D.Fletcher (groin)

In: D.Gorringe
Out: C.Dixon (ankle)

In: W.Hoskin-Elliott, Z.Williams, T.Greene

In: M.Thomas, M.Lobbe, P.Stewart, A.Moore, N.Blee
Out: C.Heath, J.Redden (shoulder)

In: S.Dwyer, T.Broomhead, J.Elliott

In: M.Boyd, A.Cooney, L.Markovic, T.Campbell
Out: T.Williams (shoulder)