Friends With Benefits – Part ONE

Written by Schwarzwalder on March 15 2017

Trades, retirements & delistings are a regular part of the Football industry.  And while we don’t wish injury upon anyone, it also happens on a weekly basis.  Many teams may stagnate after losing their star player/s.  Others reach deep within their talent pool and step up in a crisis, benefitting from their star’s absence.  This can lead to a spike in Supercoach numbers for players who previously weren’t SC-relevant.

A prime example of this theory is Zach Merrett during his breakout season last year.  While I tipped teammate David Zaharakis to step up in the ‘Bombers 2012’ absence, it was Zach Merrett that enjoyed a massive leap in SC output.  It occurred in direct correlation to the suspension of his teammates before the season started.  Merrett’s average jumped 23 pts in the space of 12 months, simply huge!

So who is set to step up in 2017?  Who will benefit from the misfortunes of a fellow teammate?  Today we look at the first six clubs (in alphabetical order):



Injury: Brad Crouch (hamstring), Cam Ellis-Yolmen (knee) & Rory Sloane (fractured eye socket) have been hit hard over the pre-season.  Add to that the departure of Jarrad Lyons and the Crows are starting to look depleted in the midfield.

Beneficiaries:  If the JLT Series is anything to go by, then Rory Laird might just be the one to increase his time in the midfield.  This would be a welcome move for the thousands of Coaches starting with him in DEF.  It also opens the door for Harrison Wigg, Dean Gore (unfortunately, neither played on the weekend) and other rookies who might get their chance early in the season.



Departure: Daniel Merrett retired at the end of 2016.  Add to that the de-listing of Hugh Beasley and the Lions are looking short down back.

Beneficiaries:  New recruit Jack Frost is one of the rare tall defenders now at Brisbane but has never exactly been a SC machine.


Departure: Josh Green traded to Essendon & Pearce Hanley traded to Gold Coast.  There’s also the collarbone injury to Allen Christensen who will miss the first few Rounds (at least).  Top draftee Hugh McCluggage is also out for a few weeks with an ankle injury.

Beneficiaries:  The usual midfield suspects in Tom Rockliff, Dayne Zorko & Dayne Beams (if fit).  There might be a few rookies that are tried early however, looking at Jake Barrett (MID) in particular.



Injury: Ruckman Andrew Phillips has gone down indefinitely during the pre-season.  Daniel Gorringe is also facing a race against time for Rd1 & back-up Cameron Wood also retired at the end of 2016.

Beneficiaries:  Obvious one is Matthew Kreuzer that needs to stand up.  Question is how long can he stand up for without getting injured?  😉  His record is not great.


Departures: Michael Jamison retired at the end of 2016 & Zach Tuohy was traded to Geelong.

Beneficiaries:  Sam Docherty & Kade Simpson should continue to find plenty of the pill down back.  Maybe Jacob Weitering will step up further in his footy development running off half-back?  Ex-Giant Caleb Marchbank is another who could score well from Rebound 50s.  He looks to have a spot in the Blues’ best 22.



Departures: Nathan Brown traded to StKilda & Jack Frost traded to Brisbane.

Beneficiaries:  Returning from suspension, Lachlan Keefe is one of the only tall defenders remaining at Collingwood.  He should get his chance early on.  Jeremy Howe should be able to hold down Centre-Half-Back for the Pies and is very durable.  Ben Reid is also an option if he can stay fit.  He scored a 103 against the Tigers on the weekend.

Departure: Jarrod Witts traded to Gold Coast.

Beneficiaries: Brodie Grundy is now undisputed #1 Ruckman at Collingwood and should get a little relief from Mason Cox (and maybe even Lachlan Keefe).



Departures: Michael Hibberd traded to Melbourne & Cale Hooker is battling hamstring issues over pre-season.

Beneficiaries:  This leaves a hole in the Bombers backline.  While there are no obvious choices just yet, Michael Hurley is sure to see plenty of the ball during the year.  Is it enough to consider him for Supercoach though?  Not really a designated ball-carrier from defence at this stage.  Would Mark Baguley be an option?  (Essendon fans? Who should we be looking for?).


Injury: Tom Bellchambers returns from suspension but is still being hit by injury over the pre-season.  Matthew Leuenberger injured his hamstring in the last JLT Series match on the weekend.  He’ll struggle to be there for Rd1.

Beneficiaries: Shaun McKernan made some cameo appearances over the last few years and might have to step up early.  Could Joe Daniher see more time up the ground when he’s fit?




Injuries: Zac Clarke will miss the bulk of the season after having more surgery on his troublesome knee.  Jon Griffin has also had an interrupted pre-season with Achilles trouble.

Beneficiaries:  Aaron Sandilands hasn’t had an ideal preparation but if he can stand upright long enough, then it’ll be unopposed as #1 Ruckman.  Getting on in years but plenty of upside if his body holds up (as seen in the JLT Series)


Retirement: Matthew Pavlich is no longer a part of the Dockers side, leaving some big shoes to fill.  Add to that Chris Mayne being traded to Collingwood and there is a huge void.

Beneficiaries:  New recruits Cam McCarthy & Shane Kersten are bound to get plenty of game time early on.  Will they take their chance?  Is it worth using them as a ‘stepping stone’ option or just avoid altogether?


Delistings: Deluca, Mzungu, de Boer, Smith, Morabito, C.Pearce, Barlow & Grey are no longer at the club.

Beneficiaries:  Fyfe, Neale, S.Hill & ex-Hawk Brad Hill seem to be the only midfielders of any note at Freo.  While it may be a long year for the Dockers, those first two should continue to score well in Supercoach.


Injury: Defender Alex Pearce has another partial fracture in his leg and is out indefinitely at this stage.

Beneficiaries: New recruit Joel Hamling is set for a new challenge after helping the Dogs win the flag in 2016.  Not a massive SC unit, but expect his numbers to improve as a key defender at Freo.


All beneficiaries are personal tips of mine.  I’m quite sure I missed a few along the way.  I’d love to hear from you in the comments.  Who are your tips to ‘benefit’ from trades/injury from the clubs above?


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8 thoughts on “Friends With Benefits – Part ONE”

  1. Thanks Schwartzwalder.

    I know you haven’t reviewed Gold Coast yet but I think T Lynch will really benefit from Gazza and co coming back this year.

    I usually avoid KPP’s but I see him similar to NRoon and Buddy, plays up the ground a lot and should be a top 6 forward this year.

    Thanks again.


    1. I’m starting with him! He dominated last year, and now that he has an almost full midfield feeding the ball to him, I reckon he can go 105 this season.


      1. Me too.

        I think NRoo will out score him early but I don’t expect the Saints to make the 8. So I’m thinking he might be rested later in the year.

        Fast forward to round 19 and, N Roo out with” General Soreness” may force some to burn a trade early in Finals.

        I feel T.Lynch(Considering his age) is also less likely to miss games with Injury.

        T.Lynch a lock at F2 for me.

        I considered Macrae but for my bye structure he will have to remain an upgrade target.


    1. If I could pick him as a Forward he may get a spot in my team.

      As a Mid he will be lucky to finish top 20.

      Although as a an X Freo player he will probably go BANG and Ave 120!


  2. As far as Freo Mids go I rate Mundy over the Hill brothers.

    He is probably past his best and I doubt he will finish in the top 20 Mids

    L Neale should post similar numbers to Trelore and Bonts with a much lower ownership.

    I think he can outscore Fyfe. But for the price its Fyfe for me.


  3. Great work Schwarz

    Since you asked I thought I’d add my 2 cents as a Bombers supporter. I think this year the main rebounders will be Kelly, Stanton and to a lesser extent Goddard. Sadly BJ and Stanton are mid only, and Kelly’s probably gonna drop his output a bit with the full squad back. Gleeson’s the other one but I think he’s on the fringe. Baguley will just keep getting lock down jobs on opposition small forwards, steer well clear.

    I’m a big fan of Hurley and am a bit surprised he’s not being considered more given he averaged 95 in 2015. But I actually think he does better with Hooker in the team, then he doesn’t have to always take the no. 1 forward and can float across to take more intercept marks playing that Gibson role. I don’t think he can do that as much with Ambrose/Hartley as the other key defenders.



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