Buy, Hold, Sell: Can a ‘new manager bounce’ impact the fortunes of an out-of-form fantasy gun?

A-Leagues reporter James Dodd takes you through all the fixtures from round four of the Isuzu UTE A-League 2023-24.

To buy, to hold, or to sell? That is the question facing fantasy managers ahead of Round 4 of both the Liberty A-League and the Isuzu UTE A-League.

The A-Leagues Fantasy Podcast crew debated long and hard on this week’s episode over which players to buy, hold and sell ahead of Round 4 – with Victory forward McKenzie Weinert turning heads in the Liberty A-League, while Bernardo Oliveira of Adelaide United continues to be a tantalising prospect due to projected price rises.

Read on as aleagues.com.au takes you through the players to consider buying, holding or selling ahead of Round 4.

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BUY

Mariana Speckmaier (Wellington Phoenix FWD – $217k)

In a promising Wellington Phoenix attack, Mariana Speckmaier has shone early doors in the Liberty A-League. Her 16-point Round 3 haul took her total for the season to 31 points, and saw her value rise by $27k. Speckmaier is tipped to have a $56k increase after Round 4, and is currently in just 4% of fantasy teams.

Bernardo Oliveira (Adelaide United FWD – $281k)

After a massive $98k price rise after Round 3, Adelaide United teenager is set to see his value soar once again after Round 4 due to his impressive start to the season. Bernardo has 40 points after three games, helped by a two-goal showing against Melbourne City in Round 2, and is expected to see his value climb once more this weekend by an estimated $60k on current form.

The suspension of Nestory Irankunda opens a gap at right wing that Bernardo may be asked to plug from the start; at the very least, you can predict an increase in minutes off the bench for the 19-year-old due to Irankunda’s absence.

McKenzie Weinert (Melbourne Victory FWD – $217k)

McKenzie Weinert is the A-Leagues Fantasy Show’s pick as a Round 4 star, dropping into the official podcast team after a 14-point showing against Adelaide United in Round 3. Weinert has two hauls of nine and 14 sandwiching a two-point showing in Round 2; her value has climbed by $27k and is predicted to keep climbing after this weekend’s clash with Newcastle Jets.

McKenzie Weinert.

HOLD

Joe Lolley (Sydney FC FWD – $382k)

Has a projected $51k price drop convinced Joe Lolley owners to part ways with the Sydney FC star?

Well, the player in 10% of fantasy teams has been the seventh-most traded out player since the end of Round 3 – but plenty of owners are choosing to stick with the Sky Blues winger to see what Ufuk Talay’s arrival to replace Steve Corica as head coach does to the struggling club’s Isuzu UTE A-League fortunes in the weeks to come.

Sydney FC are currently dead last without a single goal on the board. If the mood lifts at the club this week, you can bet that Lolley will have something to do with it.

Melina Ayres (Newcastle Jets FWD – $434k)

After missing out in Round 3, Newcastle Jets striker Melina Ayres is back in the mix for Newcastle Jets this weekend – and there’s no club she’d like to score against more than her former side in Melbourne Victory.

Ayres has an 11-point predicted total for Round 4 and will be Newcastle’s best avenue to goal should she get on the park.

Michelle Heyman (Canberra United FWD – $425k)

Only one player has been traded out of more Liberty A-League Fantasy teams this week than Canberra United’s Michelle Heyman – but holding onto the Canberra captain could see you beat the trends and rise up the leaderboards, despite her side having a bye this week.

Heyman is the most prolific scorer in Liberty A-League history and a four-point showing last weekend along with a week off, shouldn’t deter you from holding on to one of the best striking assets in the game.

She is up against a typically porous Western Sydney defence in Round 5.

SELL

Daniel Penha (Western United MID – $376k) 

A $98k price drop after Round 3, and another hefty loss expected after Round 4; Western United creator Daniel Penha has not yet shown his full potential in green and black, and his viability as a premium fantasy asset is diminishing as a result.

Penha was also dropped to the bench for the clash against Macarthur FC, but came on for Michael Ruhs in the 46th minute.

There’s still plenty of time for Penha to turn it all around this season, and three rounds is a small sample size for a player returning from a significant injury last season. But currently priced at $376k, it may be time for 7% of Isuzu UTE A-League fantasy managers to shift Penha and monitor his form until it improves.

Tameka Yallop (Brisbane Roar MID $348k)

The Matildas star has not yet had liftoff in her Brisbane Roar homecoming. Tameka Yallop’s fantasy value is expected to drop by $64k as she features in her third game of the season this weekend. A breakeven of 30 points is needed to avoid a price drop.

Hana Lowry (Perth Glory MID – $337k)

With the likes of Grace Jale and Susan Phonsongkham relishing brilliant starts to both the Liberty A-League and fantasy seasons, Hana Lowry’s current $337k price tag appears steep. The price of Lowry could be used instead on Phonsongkham in Glory’s midfield, priced at $242k after a $77k value rise which is expected to soar again after Round 4.