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k1w1nOz’s Sunday BBL Preview: Thunder v Strikers

Posted Sun 07 January by k1w1nOz

Back on their home turf, the Thunder are out to avenge their huge BBL07 game 4 loss to the Strikers – needing their batsmen to find form quickly if they are any hope of winning this one.

Both teams feature quality bowling attacks, but the Thunder batting lineup has been exposed as ordinary – totally reliant on a big innings from Shane Watson.

Tonight sees a continuation of the $15k GPP’s on Draftstars and a $6k GPP on Moneyball.  It’s a super tough DFS game on Draftstars with only 3 likely starters priced under $11k.

Salary Soapbox

Ol’ mate Deep Point had a little rant at Draftstars salary’s in his preview of yesterday’s game – today is my turn.

The average cost of the likely XI’s on Draftstars is $14,630 (for a $14,285/player cap), whereas Moneyball’s salary’s average $5,474 (for a $6,667/player cap).  It’s waaaay more fun to build lineups on Moneyball at the moment.

Someone at Draftstars needs to realise that DFS tournaments are sooo much more fun when you can play a lineup you like, and that all the inflated salary’s are doing is reducing the number of possible lineup combinations (as well as user enjoyment).  Why change AR to a Flex option, then set salary’s so high that no one can play an AR in Flex?

Rant over.  Let’s take a look at tonight’s game being played at Spotless Stadium, where very warm & clear weather is forecasted for game time.

The Teams

The Strikers annihilated the Thunder by 53 runs at the Adelaide Oval 22/12/17, and now hold a 4-3 advantage over the Thunder.

It can’t get any bigger for the 2-3 Thunder.  Another loss puts their BBL07 hopes right on the back foot.  Not only do the Thunder need to win this game, they also need to keep an eye on their net run rate in what is shaping as a tight race to the finals.

The Strikers are sitting at 3-1 in the tournament.  They are expected to bounce back from their heartbreaking 7 run loss to the Hurricanes 3 days ago, and are $1.70 favourites to win this one.

Likely Batting Orders

The Thunder have named an unchanged squad for this rematch, while the Strikers have added leg-spinner Liam O’Connor for fast bowler Wes Agar.  This pitch suits spinners, but there is no indication that O’Connor will make their final XI.

The Strikers may opt for Jono Dean over Jake Weatherald,  who only has the 1 double digit score to his name this tournament.  Likewise Ben Rohrer’s 6 run average may see the run-poor Thunder opt to give Aiden Bizzard another crack (but don’t hold your breath).

Thunder Strikers
1 Kurtis Patterson 1 Alex Carey (wk)
2 Jos Buttler (wk) 2 Jake Weatherald
3 Shane Watson 3 Travis Head
4 Callum Ferguson 4 Colin Ingram
5 Ben Rohrer 5 Jonathan Wells
6 Arjun Nair 6 Jake Lehmann
7 Ryan Gibson 7 Michael Neser
8 Chris Green 8 Rashid Khan
9 Gurinder Sandhu 9 Peter Siddle
10 Mitchell McClenaghan 10 Ben Laughlin
11 Fawad Ahmed 11 Billy Stanlake

Players to Consider

Bowler – Rashid Khan

Man of the match in their previous encounter, Khan has gone on to collect 2 wickets in every game this tournament at an impressive 5.06 ER.  No player offers closer to guaranteed quality fpts in this game than Khan.  Well worth spending up for.

Worth noting is that although Ben Laughlin claimed 4 wickets (including 3 in 4 balls) when these sides meet  few weeks ago, they were batsmen #6, #7, #8 & #10 chasing a big score and swinging for the fence off every ball – making Laughlin more appealing if the Strikers again bat first.

Batsman – Colin Ingram

After double figure starts in his first 3 innings, Ingram finally kicked on to a big score 66 in his last game.  We’ve seen a few of the big name batsmen, like Aaron Finch, take a couple of games to get going, then continue to score runs.  Now that Ingram has his eye in, I like his chances of another quality fpt return for coaches who roster him.  Another worth spending up for.

Keeper – Jos Buttler

Playing his last game for the Thunder before joining the England ODI squad, Buttler will want to end his BBL07 campaign on a high note.  Coming off back-to-back 50’s, including his impressive New Year’s Day 81 of 43 balls, he looks to be in great touch – scoring more runs than the last in each successive game this tournament.

All-Rounder – Arjun Nair

By now you’d know that I favour AR’s who can score with bat AND ball, making Nair my preferred play in this game.  The last time these teams met he claimed the 3 key wickets of Carey, Head & Ingram and scored 23 runs with the bat – further enhancing his appeal.

Looking at the other AR options, Watson is just too expensive for his volatility, Travis Head has appeal but offers a much lower ceiling than Nair, while Michael Nessor has probably had his 1 big outing and returned to reality last game.  Nessor would probably be a playable option if he was a few $k cheaper (hint, hint Draftstars).

POD Pick – Alex Carey

This game poses as another coin toss at WK – as has been the case many times this tournament.  While Buttler is more likely, we know that Carey is also capable of hitting a big score.  At half the price of Buttler on Moneyball, Carey will likely have reasonably high ownership there – but on Draftstars, where they are basically the same cost, I’m expecting Carey to be a POD play.

Avoid – Jake Lehmann

I rarely like to play anyone batting at #6 or lower.  Lehmann’s salary is tempting, but his ceiling is truly terrible.  Batting so low has meant he’s only faced 47 balls in their 4 games.  Don’t be fooled by Lehmann’s ok looking run scores – they came from some super sketchy and very lucky batting.

I’ll be fading Lehmann and the rest of those $3k batsmen on Moneyball, while on Draftstars Jake Weatherald offers a much high ceiling than Lehmann for $900 less,if you are struggling with the cap.


If you’re new to BBL DFS, check out my BBL DFS Strategy Basics article.

You can build lineups for free using the basic version of the Fantasy Insider lineup cruncher here.  Premium subscribers have access to player projections and powerful advanced settings like player exposure levels.

Check out dpwoodford’s How to build BBL lineups video to learn more about the Lineup Cruncher advanced settings.

Good luck with your lineups tonight. Remember to always check final teams – and that it’s all just a bit of fun!

k1w1nOz

@k1w1nOz has been playing DFS since its beginning in Australia, and was lucky enough to jag 1st in a $10k NRL tourney in his 2nd week of playing - which financed his DFS learning curve to become the +ROI GPP player he is today. DFR ranked #2 '17, #12 '18 NRL DFS player k1w1nOz contributes DFS strategy and game preview articles to Fantasy Insider to help you build winning lineups - and to help grow DFS in Australia.

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