SuperCoachTalk has already covered a lot of ground this summer in an effort to optimise your team selections. Included amongst all this were the 12 Golden Supercoach Rules, as written by SCT legend MJ, as well as the 10 Rules To Supercoach Success, generously provided to us by Dan Begala of the Herald Sun’s SuperFooty team. Following these rules throughout the year will certainly increase your team’s scoring potential, send your ranking soaring, and help you rack up those vital league wins.
What follows though are some of the less famous, even slightly dubious tactics and theories. Some of these will be familiar to you; others you may be hearing of for the first time. Be warned that this list of scams, cons, hustles, hoodwinks, gambits, flimflams, stratagems and bamboozles¹ are the nitroglycerin of Supercoach. These are risky strategies that should only be attempted with a high degree of caution and care, lest they blow up in your face and ruin your weekend, or even your season.
The Captaincy/Emergency Loophole
Let’s start with the basics. You put the VC on a player you think might score large, and if they do, then you put the C on a non-playing member of your team. Voilà! Your VC score is doubled. You’ve effectively had a guilt-free second bite at the captaincy cherry, with no risk involved. Sounds easy, no? Yet every season is inevitably littered with Monday’s tales of woe. You would’ve won, but. You had an awesome weekend, but. Everyone played great, but.
You stuffed up the loophole.
Remember, you need to consider four players when using the loophole:
- your VC,
- your captain in the event that your VC doesn’t work out,
- your non-playing captain if the VC does work out, and
- your bench emergency player to cover your non-playing captain.
Take careful note of when these guys play, and work out whether you can actually utilise this tactic. The captaincy loophole, when used effectively, can reap you hundreds of bonus points in a season. But choose poorly, even for one round, and it’ll leave a sour taste in your mouth that no beverage can wash away.
The Art of Handcuffing
It sounds like a play from a trashy paperback novel, but handcuffing in a Supercoach sense is actually a niche tactic designed to provide insurance against a late out, particularly in the ruck department. Handcuffing involves selecting a bench player from the same team as one of your starters. The idea is that if the starter misses a game, your bench player will replace them, and hence provide you with an active emergency.
The best example of this in 2018 is the Port Adelaide combo of Patrick Ryder ($566,500) and Billy Frampton ($123,900). Should Ryder miss a game throughout the season due to injury or suspension, it is most likely that he would be replaced in the Power team by Frampton, which would save a valuable donut-avoiding trade for any coaches who had both players in their squad. (Please note the italicised most likely; there are of course no guarantees that Frampton would take Ryder’s place in the Power 22). Given that there are seemingly no viable bench options at all in the rucks this season, The Handcuff is very much a tactic worth considering.
Note: Port Adelaide have the Round 10 bye this year, which makes the example given above problematic for a different reason. Further details to come in Volume 2…in the meantime…
The Solo Ruck Corollary
The Handcuff is indeed a useful strategy, and can save you a few donut-induced headaches throughout the season. However, it is imperative not to lose focus on the bigger picture: picking the best possible player to put on the field in the first place. Deciding exactly who that is can be a tricky business, even in the rucks, despite the smaller pool of players to choose from in that position.
Being the generous souls that they are, some AFL coaches (not mentioning any names…) like to help us out by instituting their own version of the Dual Ruck Theory. Having a second ruckman in the team may or may not boost team performance on the field. But one thing we do know is that a two-ruck system is Supercoach kryptonite for the primary, as reflected in last year’s scoring by some popular ruck choices:
as Solo Ruck
(no. of games)
with Secondary Ruck
(no. of games)
|Stefan Martin (BRL)||Archie Smith||102.2 (16)||87.7 (6)|
|Todd Goldstein (NTH)||Braydon Preuss||103.1 (13)||77.5 (6)|
|Brodie Grundy (COL)||Mason Cox||105.6 (13)||81.7 (7)|
As you can see, sharing the ruck work resulted in a 15-25 ppg penalty for these three premiums. When picking your rucks, it’s vital to consider not only each club’s best ruckman, but their second-best ruckman as well. For example, it’s already been indicated that Carlton will run with Two Matthews this season, with last year’s top scorer Kreuzer forming a tag team with new recruit Lobbe. That sound you can hear is the drone of Supercoach sirens, and they’re going off all over the countryside. Rucks: solo is the way to go!
The Josh Glenn Rule
Rookies are the lifeblood of every Supercoach team. History shows that a team of midpricers, even really good ones, just does not stack up in the long run against a well-orchestrated Guns ‘n’ Rookies approach. So get plenty of rookies and get them as quickly as possible, right?
Wrong. One of the quirks of Supercoach is that player prices do not change until after the player has played their third game of the season. In the case of rookies, you effectively get two games to have a look at them at their starting price, before deciding whether they’re worthy of a spot in your team.
From this quirk comes the aforementioned Rule, named in honour of the former Gold Coast Suns midfielder who burst onto the AFL scene in 2015 with 103 points on debut. Many desperate coaches traded Glenn in early at his basement price, but Josh failed to reproduce this form and was dropped after his second game, lumping all those coaches with dead weight for the rest of the season.
Please, wherever possible, wait until your rookies have been selected for their third game before trading them in. Fewer tears, less fury!
Coming up in Volume 2: More on rookies, as well as theories on navigating the dreaded byes, and the spotlight shines on an SCT legend!
¹ That’s one for the attentive Stinson fans out there.
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