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BBL09 Fantasy Tips: Heat vs Thunder
It’s back! BBL09 kicks off on Tuesday night and again the Brisbane Heat will host the opener, taking on the Sydney Thunder at the Gabba. While the season this year will be one week shorter, we still see the full home and away roster as well as a revamped five match finals format.
First of all, along with our famous FREE Cheat Sheets and Data Tools in our Data Tools section, new for the BBL09 season, Daily Fantasy Rankings presents the Draftstars Lineup Builder! Using our Data Tools and Projections you will be able to quickly build and import BBL teams into Draftstars by using the CSV upload. Access the Builder including tutorials on how the builder works by clicking the banner below.
The two major Australian DFS sites have gone live nice and early with their opening contests. Draftstars have started with a bang with $20,000 up for grabs in their $15 contest, as well as a $1,500 Mini and even a $200 Single Entry contest for a $10 buyin. Moneyball are offering a $10,000 contest for a $15 entry as well as a $1,000 guarantee on their $2 contest.
With very hot conditions forecast leading into the game we should see excellent batting conditions at what is a typically high-scoring venue. Games at the Gabba generally see batsmen dominate the scoring, while bowlers score a lower amount of fantasy points here than most other venues in the country so keep that in mind when building your lineups.
Both teams finished just a point behind 4th in BBL08 in controversial circumstances, when a lighting failure between these two teams during the season saw them split the points when the Thunder looked well on their way to victory. The Heat won the other clash between the two teams down in Sydney in a rain-affected affair.
Brisbane have lost Brendon McCullum for this season but have done well to replace him with highly-rated English opener Tom Banton. They have also added the BBL’s all time leading wicket taker Ben Laughlin to their bowling stocks while Afghani spinner Zahir Khan will split time with last year’s impressive find Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Sydney have had a competition-leading amount of turnover with losses of big names Shane Watson, Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Fawad Ahmed and Chris Jordan among others. Big hitting Englishman Alex Hales will form a formidable opening partnership with out of favour Usman Khawaja, but South African all-rounder Chris Morris is uncertain to be available for game 1 so keep an eye on his selection.
The Heat are clear favourites in early betting which seems fair considering the firepower of their top order and the question marks over the strength of the Thunder bowling attack. Expect plenty of runs so spending the majority of your salary on your batsmen seems a smart play, while utilising the slower bowlers often works at the Gabba where their variation can provide opportunities not afforded to the quicks on such a true batting deck.
This season, our famous FREE Data Tools have returned for BBL09. We have also expanded our tools to both Draftstars and Moneyball (New!) fantasy sites for the tournament.
You can access Game Logs, Player scores and our famous FREE cheat sheets.
Love It – Who can forget the scintillating form of Usman Khawaja ($18,900 DS, $8,200 MB) when he has been available for the Thunder in past seasons. Holds the best average in the history of the competition and knows the conditions at the Gabba well, playing here for Queensland in Shield cricket. He is the man for the Thunder and will relish the responsibility.
Don’t Love It – Callum Ferguson ($16,600 DS, $7,300 MB) had an excellent BBL08 – even if it came a bit out of nowhere. Given all the firepower in this match, Ferguson offers less on the strike rate side of things as he tends to stay around the 120-130 mark as opposed to the 150+ on offer from most of the other main batsmen. Given his hefty price, he may be a batsman you look to work around given his lower ceiling.
Who Knows – Tom Banton ($16,400 DS, $4,000 MB) brings a big reputation and the hype won’t let up given the publicity of his 121 off 41 balls in grade cricket on the weekend. He’ll get every opportunity at the top of the order and should be very popular, but as a 21yo making his debut in the BBL he brings some risk to your side.
Love It – Josh Lalor ($16,100 DS, $5,700 MB) had a superb season last year for the Heat, taking 20 wickets at an economy rate under 8. He showed the ability to take multiple wickets in the backend of the tournament, which is key for trying to win a DFS contest. In a match where it is hard to love any of the bowling options, Lalor at least provides a high ceiling when he gets it right.
Don’t Love It – Chris Green ($15,300 DS, $6,800 MB) has become one of the Thunder’s most valuable players over the past couple of seasons. However, much of his DFS value has been due to the batting he provides down the order in a brittle Thunder lineup. With some proper firepower at the top of the order and a batting friendly pitch, he might not be in line for much of a hit here and while his bowling is very tidy, it rarely provides huge fantasy points. Throw in the fact he is usually popular among DFS coaches and I’m looking to work around Green in this match.
Who Knows – Zahir Khan ($13,100 DS, $5,500 MB) is the definition of “who knows” – a 20yo left-arm chinaman from Afghanistan with limited experience in international cricket. But given the success of overseas spinners such as Mujeeb, Sandeep Lamichhane, Qais Ahmed and Rashid Khan, it is not hard to make a case for him and this might be the time to cash in on him at lower ownership before he builds an Australian profile.
Late Breaking News - Liam Hatcher ($8,000 DS, $4,000 MB) has been included in the 13 man squad for the Thunder. As per the Thunder - "Liam Hatcher was named in the squad to travel to Brisbane after the BBL's technical committee rubber-stamped the club's request to sign him as an injury replacement player for Gurinder Sandhu". If Hatcher is indeed named in the final XI, he will be a popular tournament play on a rookie that not many will know about. Hatcher bowled 4 overs for 32 runs in the recent warm-up match against the Sixers. Must check teams at the toss here!
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