A (Possibly) Helpful Approach To Team Selection

Written by Father Dougal on March 5 2018

Making the big into the far away small! 

How do you select a team?

Pick players until I run out of money!”

True but not useful. And not even all the way true, since we often have money left over on purpose. How about we talk about which players and why?

Whole sites are devoted to that! Are you mad? That’s not a one post topic…..is it?”

Well no, not when asked like that. A better question might be, “Is there any approach to team selection that might have an advantage over others, for actual reasons?”

Well certainly a better question…..”

Yeah. Anyways I think there is. It’s not Supercoach specific or original though. Make the choices that are most restricted first, and let those decisions narrow down the options in other areas where you are more flexible.


Well, for example, there are a lot of good premium midfield candidates. So rather than start with them, start in somewhere with few options. Like, do you want a fwd/ruck swingman, if and so who is it? If you take one, that tells you that you can have a perma-loophole at R3, and how you have used a forward spot. If you don’t take one, now you know that you have to come up with another plan for ruck backup, or decide to go without. Also, by knowing what kind of ruck backup you have, now you know what kind of restrictions you have on your R1 and R2.

So, since all the fwd/ruck blokes this year are crap, I know that not having a fwd/ruck for backup means I really want set and forget Rucks?”

Exactly. Which is serious no-fun due to the lack of good set and forget ruck options. Which means you can go back and rethink the bad swingmen, or look for a cheap backup.

Ok, so which is it?”

Oh, I’m not gonna try to answer that, Huttabito already wrote all about rucks. I’m just pointing out how to approach the problem, not handing out solutions to it.

It’s not like you have the solution”

Exactly! Um, wait, well, yeah. So anyways, once we pick rucks we know what we have for the rest of the team. Next we can look at say, perma-captain options, meaning Dangerfield. You take him or not and spend the money on him or not. Since he costs a lot, decide early if you want him and that tells you more about your budget.

What other things look in short supply? Premium forwards, and premium defenders seem to be hard to find this season. (Let us say a short prayer in memory of Sam Docherty’s and Zac William’s 2018 seasons.) Or, you could look at it the other way, and figure out how many cows there are that are worth taking at each position, which lets you know a lot about how much you can spend, in what lines, on your premos. I usually prefer that method, because cows.

After that, you can see what sort of bye structure you have, and can start accounting for it in the slots where you have options. Maybe picking players you fancy who have good byes, until you are not in danger of tragic bye-failure, and can start thinking about how to fill in the remaining slots.

“How about dual position players?”

Good catch! Yeah, if there is only one good fwd/def and you like having a fwd/def in your squad, then that is an early call. The very last spots you should fill are premium midfielders I suspect.

Is that it?”

Pretty much. I suspect long time supercoach players do a lot of this automatically. But for people first starting out, well, its a lot. Breaking a big problem down into manageable parts, and then doing the tricky bits first, can take the “un” from the unmanageable.

Is that anything like how you approach picking your team?

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12 thoughts on “A (Possibly) Helpful Approach To Team Selection”

  1. Excellent advice as always, Father.

    The Interlocutor definitely needs his own Twitter account. Please make it happen!


  2. Excellent summary.

    IMHO, the most important parts of the team to get correct from the start are (in order):

    – The C/VC options
    – The rookies
    – The rucks

    1. If you don’t have solid C/VC options from the start, you’re asking for trouble. So it’s definitely worth spending extra on these types of players.

    2. The rookies are EVERYTHING in this game, so it’s extremely important that you get them as correct as possible, and don’t leave any decent options out, simply because you’re fixed on a particular structure, and don’t want to accommodate more / less rookies on a particular line.

    3. The rucks always cause grief, so it’s also definitely worth spending the extra $$$ if it means you believe you’ll have a little less to worry about on this line.

    Once you’ve locked these in, then it’s really a matter of filling the remaining space around the rookies. In the end, it really doesn’t make THAT much of a difference if you choose Premium ‘G’ instead of Premium ‘H’, at least not as much of a difference compared to mistakes with Captaincy options or rookie selections.


  3. Dangerfield, Martin, Ablett, Fyfe, Pendlebury, Bontempelli, Cripps, Rockliff. My midfield has just become a forward line.
    Oh well there should be plenty of DPP’s next year.


  4. Normally my thought process is similar to your outliine Father, but this season I decided it was time for a change.

    Every time I find a ‘lock’ I chuck the player in until I run out of cash, then I replace the weakest player with rookies until I have a team of 22.

    Only just locked R2 yesterday.


  5. Another Great Article Father!

    You are clocking uo the Followers on Twitter. I told you that you were a hit as you have already gathered 60 after just 3 Tweets. However , it would be good if you could get a Tweet out about your latest article once it is up on the site to give your Followers something and help promote the site.

    Keep up the Good Work though Mate.


  6. Glad you weren’t taking the un out of fun, because that would leave me with what I’ve been saying a lot after the JLT games…


  7. One way of looking at the captain option is that he scores double points so his points per dollar of salary cap are very high. Choose who you think is going to be the most consistent high scorer as it could be argued that you will be getting him for half price!


    1. That’s somewhat correct, but not necessarily accurate. On that basis, you’d consider paying DOUBLE for the optimum Captaincy option, yes? I can’t imagine anyone considering spending almost $1,500,000 on Dangerfield.

      You’re definitely right though, it IS worth paying a premium for a good C/VC option. Think of it in terms of how many extra points this person would get you on any given week. Let’s say your C/VC gets you, say, 140 points. Let’s also say that, for the first several weeks at least, your team scores around 2,000 points per week. That would work out to about 7% of your total score. So, in theory, you should be willing to pay a 7% ‘loading’ for this particular player.

      Note: This isn’t an exhaustive analysis, just some ‘back of the napkin’ stuff

      Based on that, as Dangerfield costs about $750k, then you could consider Dangerfield’s price threshold to be about 7% more than that … about $800k-$805k. This would appear to be the price point at which you would still be willing to bring him into your team.


  8. My first selection criteria was rucks, because there is so little depth there, with the risks involved in with two rucks at so many teams this year, and no viable dpp options. Hello Maxy Gawn. Hello erm. Um… still juggling that one.

    My next selection was Rory Laird, because, well, Rory Laird. He is the only true reliable premium defender this year. There are others I call premium, but none of them offer the consistency or the low risk of injury.

    From there it became “who has a massive discount compared to his capability?” Which obviously brought in players like Fyfe on his international series form.

    After that, it was 2 perma captain options (need 2 just in case you can’t loophole due to fixture) and a loophole. Hello Titch. Hello Danger, with some heavy trepidation – the risk of significant price loss with Ablett is high. Hello Olango too, based on the FIX erm fixture.

    Then, it’s rookies. Mature agers first for the bench spots, then high priced top draft picks for field.

    The reality is most midfield premos are pretty interchangeable. The difference between say a Cripps, a Parker, a Selwood is pretty darn small. They will average within 5-10 points of each other. You can juggle them for your byes without any concern.

    What you really need to decide is your risk profile, and whether you want to touch the higher risk premos who are discounted like Sloane, Beams and Rocky for the same price as Selwood or Parker. The reward is 10 ppg extra. The risk is burning trades.


  9. Great article. I’ve subconsciously followed that path however the rucks are giving me premature grey hairs.

    Every break at work i’m on the phone jumping between a solid R2 and a potential bolter who’s cheap starting price may give me licence to have a crack at fielding previously injured players (Christensen, Armitage) rather than fielding a baby cow who may have job security/points issues after rounds 3-4. Any more stress then I may have job security issues of my own



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