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New Toyota NRL Dream Team season

Discussion in 'Fantasy Footy and Tipping Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    New Toyota Dream Team scoring
    Welcome to the New Year dreamers and welcome to a new Toyota NRL Dream Team. It's my belief the updates to the scoring system will make the official (and best) NRL fantasy game more competitive in 2012, without changing the special character of our game. From the feedback so far, it seems most of last year's Dreamers agree.

    For those who missed it, it's worth reading up on the new scoring system and the other significant changes to the game this season in my last column.

    The restructured scoring system hasn't been introduced for the sake of change. The changes were made to remove some of the predictability of the game and to prevent the trend that has all Dreamers chasing the same 17 at the business end of the competition. More importantly, the new scoring system should give you more incentive to buy attacking stars by rewarding contributions all over the park. Hopefully, we'll see a fantasy competition that better mirrors the action on the paddock.

    That said, there's no need to panic if you're a long-time Toyota Dream Team fanatic, as the bread and butter of DT scoring (tackles, run metres and kick metres) will remain unchanged from previous seasons. The players who dominate these areas should still be the highest-scoring players.

    In 2012, you just need to factor in an extra (and admittedly more random) component: a scoring system that rewards out-and-out attacking players too. This should bring a new batch of players into contention as potential Toyota Dream Team guns.

    Scoring boosts

    Now the scoring system rewards out-and-out attacking players, as well as the hard-workers. Tries have doubled in value from four points to eight. Try assists – the hallmark of a good playmaker – are now worth five points. Line breaks have jumped from two points to four, and, due to popular demand, players will now earn three points for a tackle bust. Field goals – usually a crucial play in the context of a game – are now worth five points, while successful 40/20 kicks are worth four.

    In the context of a game, these are all big plays and are now significantly rewarded. The changes mean that the players who have traditionally struggled in Toyota Dream Team – fullbacks, wingers and true centres – will now have the chance to score big points each week. Genuine match-winners like Billy Slater and Akuila Uate will now be rewarded for their game-breaking plays in Toyota Dream Team.

    Needless to say, Nathan Merritt's huge show against the Eels last year would've fully rewarded DT coaches who had picked him. A quick calculation of his error-free, five-try effort shows that he would have scored 99 points under the new scoring system – well above the 57 he scored in that game last year. Still, it's worth keeping in mind that's a near perfect game for a winger and still doesn't quite hit the magic 100-point mark.

    Bigger penalties

    While more pointscoring options are available for players this year, on-field blunders will also be punished more harshly.

    A missed tackle will now cost a player -2 points, while an ineffective tackle will be -1. Handling errors will now be worth -3, and a player will be docked 5 points for a sin-bin and 10 points for a send-off.

    An "ineffective tackle" is when a defender who is trying to make a tackle allows an attacking player to get an offload away. As such, it's not quite a tackle, and not quite a missed tackle.

    For busy defenders, negative points for ineffective tackles will generally be balanced out by the fact they also make a lot of one-on-one tackles, and tackles in general. But the harsher penalties for ineffective and missed tackles will punish weak defenders – usually backline players who are in the team for their attacking prowess. So while these players now have the opportunity to score big points through attacking plays, they can still be a liability in your Dream Team if they are turnstiles in defence.

    Although not as significant as the attacking adjustments, these changes mean you should also be wary of unreliable defenders, players with poor ball security and undisciplined players.

    How 2011 would have looked

    The people behind the new scoring system have tested it against last year's season stats. Below are the players who would have topped the average scoring charts last season under the new points system. (DT traditionalists will be happy to see the usual suspects still at the top of the list.)

    Player – average score per game under 2012 rules (average under 2011 rules)
    1. Cameron Smith – 73.1 (63.71)
    2. Corey Parker – 71.81 (62.74)
    3. Paul Gallen – 63.77 (49.17)
    4. Daly Cherry-Evans – 62.38 (48.86)
    5. Michael Gordon – 58.46 (37.44)
    6. Johnathan Thurston – 58.12 (44.69)
    7. James Maloney – 57.71 (48.57)
    8. Jamie Soward – 57.40 (46.05)
    9. Shaun Fensom – 56.50 (55.41)
    10. Nathan Hindmarsh – 56.47 (55.82)

    Note the scores for back-rowers Shaun Fensom and Nathan Hindmarsh are largely unchanged. It shows players who score almost all their points through tackles won't get any significant boost from the new points changes – something to be wary of when picking your squad this season.

    Some other big improvers under the new scoring system:
    Benji Marshall – 51.36 points per game (36.86 ppg last season)
    Matthew Bowen – 48.34 (29.32)
    Billy Slater – 46.64 (24.86)
    Josh Dugan – 43.88 (20.82)
    Akuila Uate – 42.50 (19.40)
    Ben Barba – 40.98 (20.55)
    Jason Nightingale – 40.36 (26.10)

    The early indications are that halves will be even more crucial in Toyota Dream Team this season, with a large batch of playmakers capable of producing regular high scores. Good playmakers will be crucial for Toyota Dream Team success, just as they are in the NRL. Forward workhorses will also dominate as usual (it's hard to see the holy trinity of Smith, Parker and Gallen being bumped off the top of the tree) while outside backs are likely to see their scores fluctuate week-to-week, with big scores up for grabs when they take on the weaker defensive teams.

    Hopefully that's provided some food for thought as you plan ahead for the start of the Toyota Dream Team season. The game opens on January 25, with player prices to be adjusted based on measuring the new scoring system against each player's stats for the past four years.

    So start planning your squad now...



    http://www.nrl.com/lone-scout-handli...6/default.aspx


    Toyota NRL Dream Team 2012 changes revealed

    After much research and debate, the powers-that-be in the NRL fantasy world (me included) have come up with a few exciting new elements that will be introduced to Toyota NRL Dream Team in 2012.

    Rest assured Dreamers, these changes will not alter the dynamics of the competition next season. The official fantasy league of the NRL gets only a small upgrade, so neither newbies nor veterans will be disadvantaged by any of the adjustments.

    I'll cover some of these new developments in more detail in the weeks to come before Dream Team launches on January 25, but the basic rundown of the new improvements are below.

    Changes to the points system

    The point-scoring system has been adjusted to bring better returns for the NRL's game-breakers. We've altered the points attribution for the scoring stats from previous years, as well as adding a few extras like one-on-one tackles.

    In 2012, the new point values will be: try (8 points), goal (2), field goal (5), tackle break (3), line break (4), 40/20 (4), try assist (5), offload (2), line break assist (2), tackle (1), one-on-one tackle (1), ineffective tackle (-1), missed tackle (-2), run metres (1 point per 10 metres), kick metres (1 point per 20 metres), penalty conceded (-2), error (-3), sin-bin (-5) and send-off (-10).

    In case you're concerned, we've done some hard work on the stats make-up to come up with these numbers. Your previous favourities will continue to score highly in 2012, but so will some of the other NRL guns like Billy Slater and Matt Bowen. (I'll have a more detailed run through of how the scoring changes will affect the game in my next column.)

    Squad structure changes

    The structure of your 25-man Dream Team squad will be changed slightly with a tweak to the backline positions. In 2012 wingers will be grouped with fullbacks rather than centres, giving coaches a squad with four centres (two playing and two reserves) and five fullbacks/wingers (three playing and two reserves).

    By moving to a back three formation we're giving you more opportunity to utilise the game's attacking stars, while shifting some of the emphasis away from dual-position centres/backrowers.

    A more flexible game

    In 2012, Toyota NRL Dream Team coaches will also have improved functionality to play with. Amongst the significant improvements are:

    (1) A new trading wizard that will allow two trades to be completed at the same time, giving Dreamers more flexibility and opportunity with trades, especially with dual-position players.

    For example, say you have a dual position secondrower/half in your second row (Greg Bird, for example), and want to trade out a half. You can now remove the half from your squad, switch Bird from the second row into the halves, and then trade in another secondrower. This change provides much more flexibility and makes utility players all the more valuable.

    (2) A 'reverse' button that will provide a safety net for all the Monday morning trade compulsives. Any trades you make during the week can be undone, right up until lockout. This will be particularly handy when any surprise injury news arrives on a Friday afternoon.

    (3) A new look for the Dream Team site with a more streamlined interface for better accessibility and more opportunity to share scores, ranks and league data via Facebook and Twitter.

    (4) A fully revamped Assistant Coach complete with trade wizard, team analyser, player research centre and player ratings data.

    These changes will make the official fantasy league of the NRL even more enjoyable and easier to use, so get the family lined up for next year.

    Social Scout

    I too am not immune from change, so the Lone Scout's online activities will also undergo some adjustments in 2012.

    To keep me from suffering at the hands of the keyboard cowboys and to allow me to keep an eye on those that should be sin binned, my Facebook page will be updated regularly, but comments from the punters will be restricted to Tuesdays (team lists) and Fridays (late mail).

    I will be using my Twitter feed more in 2012 (so it's time to start following along) and will also be answering your questions via the nrl.com website (more on that in due course).

    Speaking of Twitter, you will be able to link up your Twitter account for single click sign-in to Toyota NRL Dream Team in 2012. In addition, everyone who you follow on Twitter and has also connected their Twitter account will be automatically placed in your "Twitter League".

    So plenty of new features to get your head around for next season. Dream on, dream believers ... Toyota NRL Dream Team 2012 is closing in fast.


    Follow Lone Scout on Twitter at @lone_scout.

    Follow Lone Scout on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nrllonescout.

    The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the NRL or its clubs.




    Parramatta's Ben Smith: a handy Toyota NRL Dream Team dual-positon player - if he lines up in the back row for the Eels. Copyright: NRL Photos
    The dawn of a new Toyota NRL Dream Team season is almost upon us, with a competition that's bigger and better than ever.

    A whopping $89,850 worth of prizes is up for grabs this time around, with prizes for weekly winners, club champions, the eliminator winner, and the overall champ (who gets a brand new Toyota FJ Cruiser, among other things), plus two brand new mini-games: Toyota All Stars Dream Team and Toyota Origin Dream Team.

    You can even win cash just by setting up a league with 15 mates before Round 1 of the season kicks off. (Although for most Dream Teamers, beating your friends in head-to-head match-ups each week is reward enough.)

    There have also been tweaks to the game itself, which I've covered in some detail here and here.

    But for the newcomers to the best fantasy football game around, here I'll run through some of the general tactics to keep in mind when picking your initial squad. (Dream Team die-hards stay tuned, I'll have my say on this year's bargain buys in the weeks to come...)

    1. The big guns

    First things first. Toyota NRL Dream Team awards points to players for carrying out certain acts on the field, from tackles and tries to run metres, offloads, 40/20 kicks and tackle breaks. (Check out my full rundown on Dream Team scoring.) So your ideal Dream Team isn't necessarily the Australian Kangaroos lineup – it's the combination of players that will score you the most Dream Team points by the end of the season.

    So players like Cameron Smith and Corey Parker – who make plenty of tackles, gain run metres and kick goals on a regular basis – are more valuable than backline superstars like Billy Slater and Greg Inglis. Even with the changes to Dream Team scoring this season, which rewards attacking plays more than ever before, the players who are most involved on the field for 80 minutes each week will still be Dream Team's top dogs.

    Smith, Parker and Paul Gallen are the best examples of these players (and will be among the game's most expensive). Any busy forward who can stay on the park for the full 80 minutes each week will be a very handy Dream Team scorer. One or two of these big scorers will be vital in your Dream Team from the start of the season.

    2. The playmakers

    Dominant playmaking halves will be more important in 2012 than ever before. Guys like Johnathan Thurston, Daly Cherry-Evans and Jamie Soward have traditionally scored strongly with plenty of points from kick metres, but the increased value of try assists, tries and line breaks this season will give these playmakers more opportunities than ever.

    Look for a half who is his club's go-to man; who will do the bulk of the kicking in general play and be the player most likely to set up his team's tries. James Maloney, Scott Prince and Terry Campese also fit the bill.

    3. Utility men

    Versatile players are more important than ever in 2012. For those new to DT, each player is designated to either one or two positions (the six Dream Team "positions" in 2012 are: fullback/winger; centre; half; second-row forward; front-row forward; and hooker).

    Dual-position players are handy for two reasons. One, they may actually play in a strong scoring position (like hooker, half, or second-row forward) for their team, but can also be picked in another position in Dream Team. The most obvious example of this is a hard-working second-rower who you can pick in the centres, players like Ben Smith, Nathan Smith and Mitchell Aubusson. With these players in your squad, you can effectively pick four second-rowers in your starting lineup, rather than the allocated three.

    The second benefit of DPPs (dual-position players) is that they will make life much more flexible when making trades. Say you want to trade out an under-performing centre, and you have Ben Smith in your squad as a second-rower. This year, you can select the centre you want to trade out, then replace him by moving Smith into the centres, then trade in a high-scoring second-rower to take Smith's place. It means you can effectively trade a centre for a second-rower. (If this feature still isn't clear, don't worry – you'll work it out when the game begins.)

    This added versatility both helps you cover for missing players during the season, and could save you invaluable trades at the end of the year.

    4. Squad depth

    The temptation when you pick your initial squad will be to grab a bunch of your favourites, then fill out the rest of your 25 with bargain-basement cheapies. But beware, squad depth will be key in 2012.

    Having 25 players who actually turn out for their teams every week will make life much easier. For one thing, you don't want to be forced to make a trade every time a player gets injured. You will also need to cover for byes this year – between rounds 10 and 18, at least two clubs will have a bye every week. Sure, some clubs will fare better than others (I'll have more on that in the weeks ahead), but as a rule it's good to have back-up options in reserve if some of your key players are out.

    So when picking cheap players, at least aim to buy those who stand a good chance of getting game-time – particularly at the start of the season. At worst, these are the players who will rise in value during the year, meaning you can cash them in to boost your spending power later on.

    That's it for now. Follow me on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates on news that could affect your Dream Team, and stay tuned to NRL.com for more hints and tips throughout the year.

    And remember, Toyota NRL Dream Team (and All Stars Dream Team) opens on January 25.


    Lone Scout: Four essentials for 2012

    The dawn of a new Toyota NRL Dream Team season is almost upon us, with a competition that's bigger and better than ever.

    A whopping $89,850 worth of prizes is up for grabs this time around, with prizes for weekly winners, club champions, the eliminator winner, and the overall champ (who gets a brand new Toyota FJ Cruiser, among other things), plus two brand new mini-games: Toyota All Stars Dream Team and Toyota Origin Dream Team.

    You can even win cash just by setting up a league with 15 mates before Round 1 of the season kicks off. (Although for most Dream Teamers, beating your friends in head-to-head match-ups each week is reward enough.)

    There have also been tweaks to the game itself, which I've covered in some detail here and here.

    But for the newcomers to the best fantasy football game around, here I'll run through some of the general tactics to keep in mind when picking your initial squad. (Dream Team die-hards stay tuned, I'll have my say on this year's bargain buys in the weeks to come...)

    1. The big guns

    First things first. Toyota NRL Dream Team awards points to players for carrying out certain acts on the field, from tackles and tries to run metres, offloads, 40/20 kicks and tackle breaks. (Check out my full rundown on Dream Team scoring.) So your ideal Dream Team isn't necessarily the Australian Kangaroos lineup – it's the combination of players that will score you the most Dream Team points by the end of the season.

    So players like Cameron Smith and Corey Parker – who make plenty of tackles, gain run metres and kick goals on a regular basis – are more valuable than backline superstars like Billy Slater and Greg Inglis. Even with the changes to Dream Team scoring this season, which rewards attacking plays more than ever before, the players who are most involved on the field for 80 minutes each week will still be Dream Team's top dogs.

    Smith, Parker and Paul Gallen are the best examples of these players (and will be among the game's most expensive). Any busy forward who can stay on the park for the full 80 minutes each week will be a very handy Dream Team scorer. One or two of these big scorers will be vital in your Dream Team from the start of the season.

    2. The playmakers

    Dominant playmaking halves will be more important in 2012 than ever before. Guys like Johnathan Thurston, Daly Cherry-Evans and Jamie Soward have traditionally scored strongly with plenty of points from kick metres, but the increased value of try assists, tries and line breaks this season will give these playmakers more opportunities than ever.

    Look for a half who is his club's go-to man; who will do the bulk of the kicking in general play and be the player most likely to set up his team's tries. James Maloney, Scott Prince and Terry Campese also fit the bill.

    3. Utility men

    Versatile players are more important than ever in 2012. For those new to DT, each player is designated to either one or two positions (the six Dream Team "positions" in 2012 are: fullback/winger; centre; half; second-row forward; front-row forward; and hooker).

    Dual-position players are handy for two reasons. One, they may actually play in a strong scoring position (like hooker, half, or second-row forward) for their team, but can also be picked in another position in Dream Team. The most obvious example of this is a hard-working second-rower who you can pick in the centres, players like Ben Smith, Nathan Smith and Mitchell Aubusson. With these players in your squad, you can effectively pick four second-rowers in your starting lineup, rather than the allocated three.

    The second benefit of DPPs (dual-position players) is that they will make life much more flexible when making trades. Say you want to trade out an under-performing centre, and you have Ben Smith in your squad as a second-rower. This year, you can select the centre you want to trade out, then replace him by moving Smith into the centres, then trade in a high-scoring second-rower to take Smith's place. It means you can effectively trade a centre for a second-rower. (If this feature still isn't clear, don't worry – you'll work it out when the game begins.)

    This added versatility both helps you cover for missing players during the season, and could save you invaluable trades at the end of the year.

    4. Squad depth

    The temptation when you pick your initial squad will be to grab a bunch of your favourites, then fill out the rest of your 25 with bargain-basement cheapies. But beware, squad depth will be key in 2012.

    Having 25 players who actually turn out for their teams every week will make life much easier. For one thing, you don't want to be forced to make a trade every time a player gets injured. You will also need to cover for byes this year – between rounds 10 and 18, at least two clubs will have a bye every week. Sure, some clubs will fare better than others (I'll have more on that in the weeks ahead), but as a rule it's good to have back-up options in reserve if some of your key players are out.

    So when picking cheap players, at least aim to buy those who stand a good chance of getting game-time – particularly at the start of the season. At worst, these are the players who will rise in value during the year, meaning you can cash them in to boost your spending power later on.

    That's it for now. Follow me on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates on news that could affect your Dream Team, and stay tuned to NRL.com for more hints and tips throughout the year.

    And remember, Toyota NRL Dream Team (and All Stars Dream Team) opens on January 25.
     
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