Rules of Cow-quisition: 2019

Written by Father Dougal on March 8 2019

Hi Everybody!

I am going to try and pay more attention to Rule #3 this season. I’m doing ok aside from Collins, who I just keep coming back to> Well, JLT will help. Also, Rule 15 makes me wonder about Brodie Smith, who I have had in my team for a while but am waffling on. He is just expensive to make it hard for him to make money without being a season keeper. enough May still take him, but I ought to think harder about breaking a rule. Another wait on the JLT….

I think my biggest uncertainty is Rule #7. I am no longer sure it applies to high priced cows.

So, what do you all think? Did you use these? Any that are clearly wrong? Ideas for new ones? Lemme know.


Father Dougal’s Rules of Cow-quisition

Rule Number One: “Start the season with as many good cows as you can get, up to where you have undesired left-over money.”

Rule Number Two: “Good cows have good job security. A cow without job security is just an unreliable loophole.”

Rule Number Three: “The cheaper the better. Lower cost and higher profit.”

Rule Number Four: “Cow availability determines your structure; not the reverse. Select all the good cows, none of the dodgy cows, and build the rest of your team around them.”

Rule Number Five: “Money is gold, trades are oxygen, and downgrade targets are platinum. Never waste a downgrade target by starting with him on your bench.”

Rule Number Six: “There is NO rule Six!”

Rules Number Six-A: “A cow and a premium are better than two mid-pricers with the same total cost.”

Rule Number Seven: “When a cow is best 22, you pick that cow”

Rule Number Eight: “DPP is nice, but no more than nice. Definitely not enough.”

Rule Number Nine: “No matter how much you like your herd, when the teams are announced, you will have to make changes. Be ready”

Rule Number Ten: “The cows you have to pick from are the cows everyone has to pick from. Stop complaining and start planning.”

Rule Number Eleven: “Better an unknown cow than a known bum steer”

Rule Number Twelve: “A cheap cow that loses his job is a loophole. A high priced cow that loses his job is a source of funds. A mid-priced cow that loses his job is a problem.”

Rule Number Thirteen: “It’s going to go wrong. Pick the cows who will go wrong in the ways you can best cope with”

Rule Number Fourteen: “A cow that has both job security and ruck as a position is a rare gift, for he allows you another cow on field.”

Rule Number Fifteen: “A fallen mid-pricer is a lot like a cow, but they have to have fallen really, really, far”

Rule Number Sixteen: “A fallen premium is not like a cow, no matter how far they have fallen, because you aren’t going to sell them to turn them into a premium.”

Rule Number Seventeen: “Cows on better teams tend to score better.”

Rule Number Eighteen: “Cows playing better teams tend to score worse.”

Rule Number Nineteen: “Know your coaches. It doesn’t matter if a cow should play, it only matters if the coach thinks he should play.”

Rule Number Twenty: “Know your teams. A cow filling in for two weeks before a gun comes back from injury is really a loophole waiting to happen.”

Rule Number Twenty One: “Sometimes you have to suck it up and downgrade to a loophole. When you do, find as cheap of one as you can.”

Rule Number Twenty Two: “Downgrading to someone who might be a loophole beats downgrading to someone you know will be a loophole.”

Rule Number Twenty Three: “Some cows aren’t worth a trade to deal with. Keep them, be patient, and hope. It’s a long season, sometimes things go right in the end.”


Thanks for reading!


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25 thoughts on “Rules of Cow-quisition: 2019”

  1. Great article Father! Not even 20 minutes ago I wrote a long comment on the Groupthink article, but I think it’s relevant here as well so I’ll copy and paste it here:

    After reading this, I decided I needed to completely delete my team and start again from scratch. My strategy, which follows the ol’ Father Dougal rule of building your team around the cows, is first picking the 7 players I consider locks (Williams, Cripps, Oliver, Grundy, Gawn, Dangerfield, Heeney) and then filling the rest of my spots with nothing but rookies. I then one by one, starting with the rookie I was least satisfied with, started upgrading rookies to premos until I had no money left. After this, my on-field lines looked like this:

    DEF: 2 premos, 1 mid-pricer (Williams), 3 rookies.

    MID: 4 premos, 4 rookies

    RUCK: 2 premos

    FWD: 4 premos, 2 rookies

    Although on paper this team looks awful, (I’d much rather drop a premo 0r two in the forward line, and upgrade a rookie on another line to someone like Brayshaw or M. Crouch, or Whitfield or Hurn etc. etc.) because the rookies on that line are shaping up to be good (especially the mids) I can actually trade up to the premos I want eventually.

    By starting with 4 premos in the forwards, it mean I have to rely less on the weakest line of rookies in order to upgrade to these players that I’d want. It means although I lose out on about 30-40 points a week early on, I get maximum cash generation, meaning if all goes well, I can go full premo so much quicker than I would be able to if I upgraded the other lines for maximum points early.

    Anyway, sorry for rambling, I hope this all made sense, and hopefully it made you at least have a think about a different approach to your teams. Happy building!


  2. I’ve come to a problem where I’ve identified in the mids, Walsh, hatley, butters, bewley, drew, constable, Atkins, hind, gibbons. There’s also libba and cousins to consider.
    Is 2-3 premium mids OK lol.
    The expensive rookies seem pretty good Walsh, hatley and butters. The cheap ones seem fine for quick coin.
    Libetore and cousins could also work.

    So if all these players are justifiable do you select them for the money at the expense of a premium?

    This season is so confusing. And that’s just in the middle.
    Think I’m going to go 3-4-2-4.


    1. It’s certainly tough TOF. innit?!
      I would pick the best fifteen rookies (regardless of position) to start. Based on JLT1 stats, the current top 20 (ranked from biggest potential money-maker to least) are:
      Justin McInerney X
      Charlie Constable (OR Tom Atkins)
      Jackson Hately
      Noah Balta ?
      Will Setterfield
      Brett Bewley
      Will Golds X
      Jack Ross X
      Willem Drew ? Wines
      Liam Baker X
      Zak Butters
      Harry Jones
      Francis Watson X
      Jye Caldwell
      Declan Keilty X
      Michael Gibbons
      Jordan Clark
      Chris Burgess
      Isaac Cumming
      Nick Hind

      I’ve put Xs next to those players I am not sure will start (or have worrying JS) and ?s next to those whose JS may not last (due to players soon returning from injury/suspension). Players like Atkins, Parker, LDU, Hayes, Walsh and McKay (in that order) appear further down the list.

      We have another round of JLT to look at yet and then we have the dreaded team drops for Rd1 to navigate. I wouldn’t panic just yet 😉

      I’m leaning towards 3.5-4-2-3.5, where a .5 is a midpricer and my R3 will be a loophole. That kind of fits with current decent cows showing. With the above structure, I’m looking at a cow set-up of: 4-7-0-4

      NB. Walsh, even after his 102 in JLT1 is currently ranked 34th!

      Of the top 15 cash-cows from Rd1 last year, only 1 (Ben Jacobs, $200.1k #8th) was priced over $200k and only two others (English $134.7k #14th and Stephenson $180.3k #13th) were priced over $124k.


    2. In principle I would have no objection to having 11 rookie mids (i.e. 8 on the field) and starting full-premium on every other line, if that’s where all the good cows were.

      Back to present reality, I think this year I probably start five premium mids, but that could end up being as few as three if the cow situation warrants it.


    3. Well, Libba, for example, is not a cow, so the rules don’t really apply to him. But, I can see wanting him, since I have him in my team right now. If you are using your cash, then you can’t go too far wrong. (Rule #1.) Form what I have been seeing it is hard to get enough good cows for leftover money to be a problem.


      1. And don’t forget that leftover money gains value over time due to the multiplier!

        Also, having a couple of hundred thousand dollars leftover could enable an upgrade without a downgrade early in the season, thus saving a trade. It also makes it a lot easier to fix any problems with your team that you discover in the opening rounds.

        All in all, as long as you’re not skimping on premiums just so that you can have it, leftover money isn’t a bad thing at all.


  3. I printed this out last year. It was stapled in the front of my first ever SuperCoach A4 notepad. It is now stapled in my latest notepad and etched into my brain, lest these commandments NEVER be forgotten. There endeth the lesson for me.

    I will be attempting to find the best 15 cows, REGARDLESS of position. I will then select Sweet as my loophole as I’m going Grawndy. I will then select my top 12 premos. The remaining cash will be spent to fill the remaining holes, with those players I think will give me the best chance of winning, regardless of how popular they are with other SuperCoach players.

    Last year, the best 15 Rd1 cows made, on average, $226k each. You therefore cannot afford to compromise on these rules.

    Thanks FD and happy-hunting SCTers.


    1. All Saints, make sure you share the Rookies ranking list with the community. I am sure Schwarzy would give us a thread on this.


      1. You can grab all this info off the spreadsheet Schwarzy posted after JLT1. Will do another after JLT2 🙂


  4. Forgive me Father, I am a sinner. I picked my 5 guns Mids and wanted the rookies to fit into that Mid structure. Oh dear!
    Just hoping there is going to be less than 6 good Mid rookies ( Dreaming , right?). Always good to hear your sermons.


    1. The main thing is being ready to change when teams drop, since they will certainly have some surprises that will ruin any existing plans.


      1. Just a thought Father.

        How much cash do you think you need keep in the bank for early rookie correctional trades?

        Surely you need 80k to go to Walsh if you don’t have him?

        Or we should spend all our cash ,but go a couple of the more pricey guys hoping they will have better JS and not need trading.

        At least this way if they don’t work out we can trade them out for cheaper options on the bubble and bank the cash.



        1. hey FT

          I am willing to start with next to NO cash in the bank, as it is looking like I am going to have to pick a number of pricey rookies and a couple of midpricers, given DECENT cheap cows seem few and far between.

          i. Because if cheaper DECENT rookies should emerge between now and the first bounce, I can trade them into my starting line-up and save the subsequent cash of that process (so building my bank), or
          ii. if they don’t emerge, then I should be able to cover any corrective trades I need to make, with the cattle I already own.

          Basically, if you don’t think you’ll have the cattle to make necessary corrective trades, keep a bank that will cover your worst-case scenario, but if you think you do have the cover through ownership, then don’t worry about your bank so much!

          Hope that makes sense?! 😉


        2. I’m not sure there is a single right answer. I feel like however much you have left over after getting the players you really want. That could be next to nothing or several $100k Some cash is nice, but not as nice as the players you most want.


  5. Sounds like I’ve done my side all back to front and topsy turvy, father!
    Now I’m rethinking my whole side haha my onfield structure is as follows:

    DEF: 1-2-3
    MID: 5-1-2
    RUCK: 2-0-0
    FWD 3-0-3

    Premos: 11
    Midprice: 3
    Rooks: 8 (16 in total)
    I currently have a bank balance of 350k.
    I feel i’m one premo short down back but about 50k short of a hurn/crisp.


    1. I feel like you are better off letting the players available determine your structure than letting a structure determine your players. Also, where your cows and premos are doesn’t matter. What matters is the total in the team, not in individual lines.


  6. Rule number 4 is why I haven’t put a proper team together all pre-season. Just a few more days and I can start!


    1. Even knowing Rule #4 I tend to put teams together. I just do not get attached to them. I feel like it helps me know the players and their prices better. Changing it around when the data on cows changes is sort of practice for when it happens when teams drop.


      1. Unfortunately, I’ve found it a bit hard in past years not to get attached. So, I’ve imposed this policy on myself this year to avoid that.


  7. I posted this in another thread, but it’s very relevant here. I took AllSaints’ excellent JLT1 spreadsheet and took the top 50 players by $PPM, and then filtered out all those that were more expensive than Sam Walsh ($207,300). Here’s what it revealed:

    Number of players by position:

    DEF: 13
    MID: 20
    RUC: 3
    FWD: 12
    TOTAL: 42

    Average SC, PPM, $PPM by position:
    DEF: 60, .81, 176
    MID: 68, .89, 157
    RUC: 69, .76, 199
    FWD: 60, .83, 166


    1. Hmm, how were the top 6 at each position? Top 3? Including the not likely to be picked cows seems to be devaluing the mids, for example.


      1. This was some days ago, so I’ll have to go back and have a look. I’ll report back a bit later on!


  8. Amazing read, Father!

    Equally as good feed back / read in the comments by many a seasoned SCT coach, this SCT community is amaisingly razor sharp with absolutely everything SC worthy!

    Well done again, Father & fellow SCT coaches.


  9. Great article Father. I reckon the best tip for new Supercoaches is to let available cows determine your structure.



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