How to Avoid the Panic Button

Written by Chillo on March 18 2019

You’ve put in weeks, maybe even months of research. You’ve looked at the past records of dozens of players, analysed draw strengths, agonised over the bye structure and scouted the injury lists of every club, all while trying not to make reactionary changes based on JLT form and keeping an eye on all the pertinent rookies. You’ve finally manipulated your select squad of 30 into some sort of form that doesn’t keep you awake at night, in fact you can almost taste that sweet, sweet $50,000 first prize….

…and then the round 1 teams are announced.

Apparently Christian doesn’t agree with the team sheets either.

Unless you’ve been absolutely meticulous in your preparation – not to mention more than a little lucky – you will have to make at least one change to your precious squad shortly after 6:30pm this Thursday, when the majority of teams are announced and all hell breaks loose. For inexperienced coaches (and some experienced ones too), it can be extremely tempting to throw your hands in the air and hit the fabled “clear team” button, all while muttering words that have not yet been invented. At SuperCoachTalk, even though we always encourage you to make your own decisions about the make-up of your team, we must also say: Please don’t do that!

Here’s a short guide to preparing for and surviving Supercoach’s own version of D-Day this Thursday. A lot of this may seem like common sense, but it turns out that common sense can be a rare commodity when you’re under the Supercoach pump!

  1. Don’t panic. Sounds simple enough, but it’s important to stay the course here. You’ve put in the hard work, you know what to do, and you probably have more time than you realise to make the changes you need. Don’t set fire to all that preparation at the final hurdle. Take a deep breath and get to work.
  2. Be prepared and have a back-up plan. For each line, it helps to have at least two reserve players in mind beforehand, to be called on in case of emergency: one ‘premium’ (or midpricer, if that’s your thing) and one rookie. This is a good safeguard against making a panic selection and putting someone in your team that you really didn’t want. A few years back, I was stuck with dodgy internet in a remote location on teams night. One of my rookies missed out on round 1 selection, I panicked, and I wound up picking someone called Clem Smith even though I knew nothing about him. Clem averaged 26ppg from seven games that year and hasn’t been seen since. If it’s good enough for the Scouts, it’s good enough for Supercoach: Be prepared!
  3. Be certain about your Blues and Tigers. By the time the teams are named on Thursday, Carlton and Richmond will be in the final stages of their warmup for the season opener. At the first bounce any Blues or Tigers players in your team will be locked in, but thanks to the rolling lockout, you effectively have at least another 24 hours to make any other necessary changes to your team. So the important part here is to be certain about any Carlton and Richmond players in your team well in advance. For example:
    Do you want Simpson in your defence? Is Dusty a lock in your midfield? Are you taking a punt on the Nank? What about all those Blues rookies? Will you put the VC on Cripps?
    Answering these questions ahead of time can only make it easier later on.
  4. Pick expensive rookies, or leave a bit of emergency cash in the kitty. Either option is fine – spare cash can be used, and expensive rookies can be swapped out for cheaper ones. But if you pick cheap rookies and have no cash to play with, then unfavourable team selections could leave you looking at a complete restructure. Trust me, it gets ugly. Leave yourself some room to move, and save yourself a whole lotta rending of garments.
  5. When teams are named, check once and then leave. You picked all the players in your team for a reason, probably more than one actually. The only good reason to drop them after all that analysis is if they’re not playing. Making radical unforced changes to your team on game eve might work out for you, but it probably won’t. Nobody likes the guy who turns up in round six and moans “blah blah was in my team all summer and then I dropped him five minutes before the bounce”. Don’t be that guy.
  6. Don’t forget the Motts Manoeuvre. OK, so disaster has struck, and one of your premiums is a late out in round 1. Actually, this is not necessarily a disaster at all – because it potentially opens up an opportunity to utilise the high-risk, high-reward Motts Manoeuvre! You can read more about this unique tactic, instituted by SCT founder and creator Motts, right here.
  7. Enjoy. Crack open a stubby/wine cooler/soda water, catch up with some mates, and enjoy the game. Remember that Supercoach is good, but footy is great. I’m sure there are a few folks around the world who call themselves professional fantasy football players, but for the rest of us it’s just a bit of fun. So have fun!



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21 thoughts on “How to Avoid the Panic Button”

  1. Great write up Chillo, calming words before we go forth and commit hari kari on Thursday night. I have a back up plan for Kelly just in case, and most of my rookies are in the 117-123 range. Now all I have to do is to remember to BREATHE !!


  2. Excellent advice. I call the first team drops “The First Defenestration” because it is when all our plans go out the window.

    Balta is a big question we will not have time to think about if named.

    Probably need to know the two rookies in each line you most want after the ones you have put into your team, so you are ready when the ones you put into your team are not named.

    This is perhaps the time I most hate my time zone difference. I have to be awake and thinking really hard about season defining things at 3:30am! Probably why I try to plan ahead of time so much. But, planning ahead is good for everyone!


    1. I’ve heard vastly conflicting reports on Balta, not sure he’s worth the risk. I agree with you about the two backup rookies.
      Good luck on early Thursday morning FD!


  3. Great idea for a post Chillo. Coaches should also remember to set emergencies up now. I just realized last night I didn’t have a single E set-up!


  4. Great stuff Chillo. Your point about RIC and CAR players is so important. Garlett hadn’t been in my plans at all last year, but when he was named, I panicked for fear that other rookies wouldn’t get named in final 22s … and stuck him in!
    DO. NOT. DO. THIS.
    Thanks again Chillo. So good I read it twice.


  5. Good news: I’ll be on a plane for teams/bounce.
    Bad news: I’ll be on a plane for teams/bounce.

    I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. I can’t destroy my team in panic but I also can’t make a minor adjustment if I need.


  6. I love no. 7 Chillo. I couldn’t decide a F3, so I said stuff it, I’m picking Worpel as I’m a Hawks supporter!


    1. I’m the opposite with my Roo Boys BB. I feel taking a punt on your own team’s player is either lose-lose or win-win with no middle ground. If Worpel doesn’t come on as many predict, your SC team will suffer AND you’ll be frustrated as a Hawks supporter. If Worpel does have a great year it’s double delight for you.


    2. Well said BB. I’ve had Worpel in and out about six times this week. In the end I just put him in and saved the cash for team announcements. Hope he does well but I’ll be ok if he does not. Thanks Chillo, great article and will have another look at my blues and tigers players…..cheer an$ good luck…M.


  7. Thanks Chillo.
    My team has been finalised 3 weeks ago and JLT only changed 2 players, so I am sure I will panic and bring in the wrong cows who are named R1 then dropped 3 weeks later….like every year.
    But I will try to remember and stay calm.


    1. Stay strong Jeannot! I reckon you can probably count on one hand the number of JLT-influenced picks that have actually succeeded in this game over the years.


  8. I’m thinking of a strategy to overcome any last minute panic, by spreading the panic over the four days. The idea is not to get caught with any non playing rookies, except for a c loop.


    1. Name on the field all the blues/tigers you would select anyway
    2. Name on the field all other guns, fallen cows, breakouts that you have chosen (in my case Ridley, Libba Moore, and possibly add both Billings and Cousins) that you think are safe.

    Most of the above players will probably give you plenty of notice if they are not to take the field.

    This should leave you only the genuine rookies selected plus loop. In my case it is 4 def, 4 mids and 2 fwds. Now comes the tricky bit.

    To ensure no non starters, I will replace these 10 players, with absolute spuds playing on Sunday..for example, Clark, duursma Burgess and Hore make way for Carter, Watson Brown and Wigg.

    As each game approaches, and final teams are announced, preferred players can be swapped back on the field..for example Clark for Carter pre cats game. Or if the preferred player is not picked at all, a replacement is chosen when another set of teams is announced.

    It means a lot of close attention, particularly re emergencies and vc/c, but it alo means no non starters which i have had before when final teams announced.

    Am I making it too difficult ??


    1. Could you say that again wighty?
      As a side note, two of your sunday spuds , brown and wigg is the name of a farm supply firm in my town . How is that for some useless information.


  9. Love it Chillo!
    Some top tips and a good reminder from Thommo in the comments too, I only just put my Emergencies on earlier today!
    Especially love number 7, I bloody love SuperCoach, but I am just pumped about footy starting. Not even a blues or tigers man but will be saddled up on the couch with a coldie on Thursday night!


    1. Walsh, Setterfield and Gibbons all seem to have decent JS, but Gibbo’s cash potential worries me.
      Balta for the tiges but his JS seems shaky at best after Dimma said he’s unlikely to play when Lynch is available.
      Hope that helps.



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