Team Reveal – Chips Ahoy!

Written by Chips Ahoy! on March 13 2017

This will be my eighth year playing Supercoach. With Free Agency coming up, I’ve already put-off contract negotiations with Motts.

2016 was easily my worst season. My sole focus is overall – not leagues – and I finished a dismal 5000-ish, and didn’t crack the Top 1000 all season.

I’m a big advocate for GnR, but wanted to take the leap from finishing 700-900 to Top 100-200. So decided to roll the dice and somehow went into the season with Wines, Liberatore, Barlow, Greene and Hall. I think I had B.Crouch as well. Maybe Brodie Smith.

It was a disaster.

I then got smashed early with injuries and form, with Ablett, Rockliff, Martin, Barlow, Greene and Hall all missing games.

I planned extensively for the byes, and due to injuries, form and poor rookie selections, entered R12 with 14 (14!) available players.

In R18 I had Gawn and Goldy on field, while Martin smashed out a 162 on my bench.

This season, it’s all about minimising risk. Durability and performance history is what I’m after.

Defence

I don’t really want to start with Howe. He’s a speculative pick, who has never been a premium, which is exactly what I’m trying to avoid. But the money only stretches so far. He was the 30th man picked, and likely the first one out once teams are announced and the rookie shuffle/panic happens.

I view the elite defenders (Docherty, Simpson and Shaw) as the most likely of any line to drop significantly in value. Docherty had his first premium year, which is why I prefer the more proven Shaw. Both Montagna and Rance (who are both 21-22 games a season types) have been in my team, but following pre-season injuries, they were cut.

I like Laird as an option, but with a rookie heavy defense and few spots available, his inability to play a full season counts against him. Due to the injury risk, Adams hasn’t been considered.

I’m not thrilled about my defence, but something had to give. If another def rookie becomes available, I’ll probably drop Howe, and run with a 1-0-5 defence.

Stray observations

While talking about a 2-0-4 defence, I thought I’d make a quick comment on ‘structure’, which is a popular term around these parts. I try to build my team around the best available rookies, and then fill the gaps with premiums. Sounds obvious. However if that meant starting 6 rookies in defence and 6 premiums up forward, I’d be happy to do so*. I have 22 players on the field, and the Supercoach scoring system doesn’t care where my rookies and premiums are ‘structured’. Team Balance means zero to Champion Data.

*The exception here is I wouldn’t start 8 rookies in the mids. Are you nuts?

 

Midfield

I hate doing double-downgrades during the season to build a ‘warchest’ (I also hate that term). It means I’ve just wasted a week while trying to get full-premo. Trying to get the super-prems (600K+) in mid-season is tough, so I’m happy to load up here. Yes, I might miss a break-out (ie: Lachie Neale) but by the time they reveal themselves, they’re generally not that cheap anyway.

My preference is for proven prems (JPK/Hanners/Selwood) over upstarts like Treloar, Cripps or Bont. It does get boring having the same players in here every year though…

My four 600k+ midfielders didn’t miss a game between them all year.

I was very keen on Sloane due to his draw, but he broke my self-imposed ‘interrupted preseason’ rule (along with his face). I also like JPK since he became captain, but he tends to start slowly, and not having him helps my byes.

Instead I’ve gone with Grayย which will give me more flexibility to trade out rookies in R10. He also tends to start the season extremely well, and I want early points. Which brings me to…

Beams. Here’s where minimising risk comes in. Unlike Swallow, JOM, Heppell or Murphy, Beams is a super-prem – a Top 6 midfielder on average. Because I play for overall, I think it is riskier to not select him. If he plays every game until the byes, that will be a huge advantage for those that selected him (in terms of overall). It’s incredibly hard playing catch-up mid-season, and I’d prefer the runs on the board, so to speak. Because his injury will be ‘managed’, I don’t expect him to get injured mid-game and lose 40-50K in one round. I think he’ll just be rested, which means I can plan for it.

Stray observations

I’m not starting with Swallow or JOM because at some point I’d be trading them out. Both make a good case for selection though.

 

Rucks

Until this week, I’ve had Gawn and Martin all pre-season. However Martin’s poor performance in JLT, the coaches saying he’ll spend more time in defence and the emergence of Archie Smith,ย means he’s out.

Sandilands comes in for two reasons;

1 – like Beams, I think picking him is potentially less riskier than not picking him.

2 – after Gawn, I have no idea who the next best ruckmen is. No one knows whats going on with Goldy (injured? Is Preuss playing? are North any good?), Grundy has a low ceiling and has never been a premium, and then I’m back to Martin. So Sandilands – who could make 200K – is an expensive rookie until the answer to the ruck debate emerges.

Stray observations

Does he have a beard because he is Max Gawn, or is he Max Gawn because he has a beard?

 

Forwards

I feel like Riewoldt is hiding in plain site. There’s arguments for him (his early draw) and against him (price, age). Put simply, there’s no reason he won’t play 22 games, and if he does that, he’ll be a Top 6 forward. That’s good enough for me.

Swapping JPK for Gray means I can bring Macrae in, and swing him into the mids during the byes.

I thought about Wingard, but will target him in R10 if he’s playing well. Ryder hasn’t done enough.

Roughead is in the same boat as Beams and Sandi. A Fallen Premium with potential to be a top player in their position.

Stray Observations

There’s a big difference between a fallen premium and a mid-pricer.

 

So that’s it. No alarms and no surprises.

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38 thoughts on “Team Reveal – Chips Ahoy!”

  1. Nice team. I’ve had the same thoughts. Durability is the key for me. If your not wanting g Howe how about Thoey?

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    1. Despite not being on the Tuohy bandwagon, I’ll second this. He’s durable as hell, and actually has the potential to increase his average this year.

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    2. Thanks Matteo! I’ve actually never even bothered looking up Tuohy’s stats, despite him appearing in a few sides.

      His history doesn’t make for pretty reading. His best season was 81, and I don’t like the chances of him increasing that by 15 points. He may well be playing the Enright-role, but lets remember that Enright is possibly the best half-back flanker of all time. Tuohy isn’t even the best half-back at Geelong named Zach.

      Howe averaged 100 once moved into defence last season, and has a high-ceiling. I’m not sold, but definitely prefer him as an option.

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  2. Great write up. I agree 100% with your defensive stray observation. Your thinking in general really. That may be a more “Father Dougal style” team than my actual team……hmmm…..

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  3. Great team Chips Ahoy. With your hesitance regarding Howe, S Burgoyne could be an option but it would leave you with no remaining salary. Good to see that you have highlighted the priority of durability as it is regularly overlooked by many supercoach connoisseurs.

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    1. Cheers Adam. Don’t mind Burgoyne, but in comparison to Howe, I feel they’re probably moving in opposite directions, due to age more than anything.

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  4. Well thought out team Chips. Makes me think I need to out nore thought into selecting my team now!

    Only negative is Robbie Gray. Really limited JLT so not sure he’s 100% fit.

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    1. Thanks for the tip Thommo. I wrote this last week, before his missed JLT on the weekend. You’re right – he’ll have to go, but not sure who for. At this point, Priddis seems like the most likely replacement.

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  5. Well this team looks very similar to mine, so of course I love it. My only suggestion would be to try and find another premium defender you like as a backup, because there’s a chance we won’t have enough defense rookies named rnd 1 to go 2-0-4 and might be forced to go 3-0-3. And if you do find a good backup defender let me know cos I’m running the exact same structure and can’t find a 3rd premium I like (currently got Shaw and Laird, not sold on Howe).

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    1. Good point Uncle Drew – I got caught out last year when certain rookies didn’t make R1. I daresay Laird will be next in line.

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  6. Has to some concern with Robbie Gray was qouted on Fox Footy last night as highly unlikely and has only played half a game all pre-season?

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    1. Thanks Chelsea – I think I’ll have to give him the flick. Definite alarm bells with a limited pre-season. Looking at Priddis and Treloar at the moment. Keen to go back to JPK, but it makes byes tricky, and would need to find 30K.

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  7. Is Pendlebury going to play round 1? I’m not game enough to pick him. Probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever said lol

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    1. Pendles is in the news every other week with something.

      Has missed 10/220 in the last 10 years. He’ll be right.

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  8. Nice team Chips. Howe should work out fine, 100 average after becoming a defender.

    Agree with above, think Gray is carrying something. Late withdrawal on the weekend and only played one game (58% TOG) so definitely being managed. Might need to look at bringing in JOM/Swallow and using the funds to just bring in a couple more expensive rookies with slightly better JS, may be a tad too pure GnR this year but we’ll see come team announcements.

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    1. I have a couple of backup plans, incase certain rookies don’t get named. I feel like I can probably grab Howe and Macrae around the same price all season, so they’ll be the first to go. Not keen on Swallow or JOM, but might not have the option. Thanks for the feedback Hutta.

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  9. I think JPK being a slow starter is a bit of a myth that keeps getting repeated over and over. These are his averages over the first 8 rounds over the last five years:

    2016 – 104
    2015 – 112
    2014 – 120
    2013 – 122
    2012 – 126

    He’ll be good to go from round 1!

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    1. It’s not so much that JPK starts slowly, so much as he starts less explosively than he finishes. If you look at his averages over the final 8 rounds for each season, they’ll be huge.

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      1. Actually this isn’t the case either, here are his averages over the last 8 rounds for the last 5 years:

        2016 – 123
        2015 – 114
        2014 – 111 (not counting R21 injury)
        2013 – 98
        2012 – 125

        With the exception of last year, he averaged about the same or lower in the last 8 rounds than he did in the first 8.

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        1. I think I know where I was getting confused (and possibly where the ‘myth’ comes from): I was thinking of his Dreamteam scores.

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      1. I’ll trade him. Last year’s injury was an accident, but his calf strain is a major concern.

        I’m also looking to get Preuss/Witts in, which isn’t a fool proof solution, but better than nothing.

        The way I see it, I’m already compromising my side by having Sandi; I don’t want to do further damage by using Ryder/Nank/Boyd as cover.

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        1. Who will you bring in if Sandilands goes down early, you don’t have the cash to upgrade him to a premium, and there are no rookie rucks playing?

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    1. Yes, very.

      Dee’s only play one top 8 side in the first 6 weeks, so can probably carry Spencer even if he isn’t performing. I don’t think Spencer will last, but can see Goodwin giving him 3-5 games.

      The reason I’m sticking with Gawn is based on who he’ll be playing: Hickey (R1), Kreuzer (R2), Zac Smith (R3), Nank (R5), Leuenburger (R6) and Mcevoy (R7). A couple of 150s against these guys and he’ll only drop 40K, which isn’t the end of the world.

      He does play Goldy/Jacobs right before his bye though, so you could wait. Hard to bring 600K players in though.

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  10. Love everything you wrote Chips even though I don’t entirely agree with everything.
    Interstred in your thoughts on why Roughy? He’s trending down coming off a bad year and wouldn’t be a top 10 forward by years end… I’m not convinced he’s in the same boat as Beams but his price is admittedly tempting. Perhaps a F7 at years end.

    The other tong re team balance. I agree if all the best rookies sit in defense to use your example you pack your forward line with five premium forwards but does that mean you need to guess which those premium forwards are before a ball is kicked? Although it makes statistical sense there’s still merit for a little bit of team balance ….

    But love the team and love the thinking for most of it. Makes sense why you’ve been so successful for a long time.

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    1. Cheers Leo. In regards to ‘guessing the premiums’, this also falls back on my conservative approach to trading players in. Because I favour performance history, I have a tendency to dismiss break-out contenders; I picked up Doc quite late last year, didn’t grab Zerrett until R23 and missed Neale altogether. So keeping spots open for breakout players doesn’t really suit the way I play (which is to my own detriment on occasion).

      Rough is trending down, but still averaging 95, which would see him as #5 forward this year. A year off (not from injury), becoming captain and the inclusion of Vickery (meaning Rough can play higher) are all positives. Certainly not a lock, but I’m confident he can finish as a top forward.

      Also, with the lack of forward options this year, if not Rough, then who?

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  11. Interesting team Chips, really like it. The stray observations are what interests me most though.

    Could this year be the year to play a ruck rookie on field? With no certainty over how the premiums will be scoring and not the usual rookie offerings Witts or Preuss could be an option for those with the guts to play them on field.

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    1. I had sandilands and Witts at one point lol. I’ve got nankilands combo right now but I’m waiting for team selections. If Spencer isn’t named Gawn is back in. I don’t like Grundy and Goldstein looks underdone. I’ve considered putting Ryder in forwards for backup and then upgrading him or Nankervis to a ruck once it’s clear who’s going to be a good choice

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    2. I’ve got no problem with starting a rookie ruck at all Duffer. In fact, rookie rucks often score better than other positions – thinking back to Gawn, Martin when they broke out, as well as Zac Smith, Nicholls, Giles – so having them on field makes sense.

      Nicholls averaged 92 over 8 games in his first proper season. I’d prefer having that on field than a def rookie only scoring 70.

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  12. You talk of injuries killing you last year Pendlebury and an achilles hard to get right. Take swallow G/C and dump Pendles. This will let you take a second premium player in defence.

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    1. Thanks Shane – I know I’m contradicting myself with Pendles. He started last season with busted ribs, and played OK. Until his achilles snaps, he stays.

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  13. What about Gray to T.Mitchell? Excellent pre-season 119,109 sc both games, very durable hasn’t missed a game in 2 years because of any injurys, #1 Mid at Hawthorn, a inside midfielder = hard to tag, highest possesion getter in both JLT games he played.

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