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