Hello from the Sunshine State, where the the big question is: will the weather dampen the return of Chris Lynn to the Bash Bros in tonight's Heat v Thunder BBL match at the Gabba?
FYI - After reading my preview below, 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.
Draftstars have posted a $15k GPP, while Moneyball have a $5k GPP on offer (although they did end up bumping yesterdays GPP to $10k). Yesterday also saw the introduction of AR as a playable Flex option at Draftstars. In case you had any doubts, yes, it's now nearly always optimal to roster 2 x AR's on Draftstars (if you can afford it) - though tonight may be an exception.
The Brisbane weather gets its own sub-heading for this game, and should be a factor in your lineup building. Check the Amberley Airport BOM rain radar.
It's been super hot and humid up here in Brissie the last few days, with classic QLD afternoon/evening mega storms dumping A LOT of rain. Thankfully it's only 27 here today with a 10%-15% chance of rain come game time. There is no sign of the possible midday storm at the time of writing this - but it is still super humid, which could really favour swing bowlers tonight on a bouncy Gabba wicket.
Definitely keep an eye on the weather. BBL rules only require each team to bowl 5 overs each for a game result to be declared. It may pay to start thinking about a "rain" lineup that includes only top 3 batsmen and opening bowlers.
The Heat and Thunder both come into this game with 1 win and 1 loss to their names so far in the tournament, although the Heat could easily be 2 and 0 if they had had tonight's batting lineup - while the Thunder would've been 0 and 2 if not for Shane Watson's match winning/saving 77 from 46 balls against the Sixers.
The Heat hold a 5-1 win advantage over the Thunder and are $1.55 favourites to win this match.
Chris Lynn and Joe Burns return for the Heat, so expect Sam Heazlett and Marnus Labuschagne to drop out of their final XI.
The Thunder have named an unchanged squad, including Callum Ferguson who is hoping to make his 2017/18 BBL debut, which would likey force Ryan Gibson from the #4 spot. There is also a good chance the Thunder will call on Gurinder Sandu for this game, leaving speedster Andrew Fekete from their final XI.
Likely Batting Orders
Six Good Nuts
Bowler – Mitchell McClenaghan
Kiwi import McClenaghan has been a revelation for the Thunder attack, picking up key wickets in both of their games this season. If Thunder captain Watson is smart he'll use slow bowling v the Bash Bros and save McClenagham to rip through the Heat middle order, collecting a ton of fpts for DFS coaches who roster him.
Batsman – Chris Lynn
Chris Lynn only played 5 games for the Heat last season, but was still the BBL's leading run scorer - averaging over 61 runs with 157 SR and 5 sixes per innings! If you are only entering 1 lineup, Lynn is a must play.
Keeper – Jimmy Peirson
Dear Jos, I loaded up on you twice and you let me down so badly I'm now considering rostering Peirson - especially on Moneyball where you are 2.5 times the price!
I hate this spot. For once, WK is toughie. Peirson has only scored more than 19 runs in 2 of his 11 BBL innings (44 and 46) - but it's not like Jos Buttler has any more appeal on form, averaging just 5 runs in his 2 BBL games. Buttler certainly has much more potential for a big score than Peirson and makes a handy POD play tonight. I'll have a couple of shares in Buttler, but mostly it makes more sense to play Peirson and use the salary saving on more reliable fpt earners (especially on Moneyball).
All-Rounder – Arjun Nair
Again, assuming Shane Watson has done his homework, we should see Nair used against the Bash Bros - neither are fans of spin. Nair already has 5 wickets in this tournament and has shown he's capable of tying down quality batsmen. Note that if you're playing Nair, it makes sense to avoid rostering both Lynn and McCullum in the same lineup.
POD Pick – Josh Lalor
Lalor has been the best of the Heat seamers this season and is still bargain priced on Draftstars and Moneyball. Given the likely high humidity and moisture in the pitch tonight, I like his chances of capitalising on a Thunder top order that is yet to really fire.
Note that Callum Ferguson and Gurinder Sandu also make ideal POD plays if named in the Thunder final XI.
Avoid – Ben Cutting
Cutting is another who has let me down this BBL season, leaking way too many runs in his measly 2 overs so far this tournament. With the Heats strengthened batting lineup, Cutting may not even earn DFS coaches any batting fpts in this game. Strong fade.
Good luck with your lineups tonight. Remember to always check final teams – and that it’s all just a bit of fun!