Team Reveal – Father Dougal

Written by Father Dougal on March 17 2017

Team Reveal: All Priests @SCT

First, about last season…..

This oughtta be good…

Due to AFL rules changes, 2016 was the last season where the Kermit-vest affected prices would be around. I was unable to resist trying to take advantage of that and using a “moneyball” strategy. If it wouldn’t work with the vested guys available I could figure it would never work. Fallen premiums, breakout candidates, etc. Lack of rookies contributed to deciding to adopt the idea. It was not fun. My first season, I ended up at 33,808. My second I moved up to 10,464. Last season, my third, I went backwards almost to where I started at 27,253. Owch.

(In Nelson Muntz’s voice) Ha! Ha!

A really large number of people told me so ahead of time, and I didn’t actually disagree. I just wanted to give it a try, which I did, and I learned a lot. Suffering is good for the soul or something. That would be the positive from it all. It led to many thoughts, which I have shared, about risk and the value of trades compared to cash. Did I get anything right? I had Gawn and NicNat pegged as ready to improve and both did. Zac Williams I pegged as a useful rising star which he was, even if he ended up not in my team since he was left out week one. As was Zorko; who I regretted not keeping over the rest of the season. In fact, not being ready to handle all the changes that happened in week 1 lineups was another big learning experience. So, moneyball didn’t work and the very cash focused way I tried it probably never will. Money is gold, but trades are like oxygen.

This season I wanted to go very Guns and Rookies, with only any equivalents of Daniel Wells or Tom Liberatore as fallen premiums. But as always the “how many rookies are available in what positions” issue ended up driving everything else. Looking around for rookies, I felt like I was in a Terry Pratchett book. “Where’s my Cow” to be exact.

Is that my cow? It goes “HRUUUGH!” It is a Hippopotamus! That is certainly not my cow.

Is that my cow? It goes “Ow, my ankle!” It is Hugh McCluggage! That is not my cow.

Is that my cow? It goes “There should be more Blues in the tech team!” It is Motts! That is not my cow.

Is that my cow? It goes “We didn’t throw last season!” It is Ross Lyon! FURL! That is not my cow.

Is that my cow? It goes “Buggrit! Millenium hand and shrimp!” It is Foul Ole Ron! That is not my cow.

Is that my cow? It goes “Can’t sleep, must keep writing!” It is Schwarzwalder! That is not my cow.

Is that my cow? “It speaks in italics” It is my Imaginary Interlocutor! That is not my cow.

Is that my cow? It goes “Maybe Pendlebury should be up forward!” It is Nathan Buckley! That is not my cow.

Is that my cow? It goes “The money was just resting in my account!” It is Father Ted! That is not my cow.

Is that my cow? It goes “I had a great pre-season again!” It is Shawn Higgins! That is most definitely not my cow under any circumstances.

And still, I look for cows…..


So, this season’s team has $19,700 left with a projected score of 1833. Way less cash on hand that I would like, but I’m seeing no way to fix that. So the team:

Defense – Why are these guys here?

H Shaw – Because I think he will be a top 3ish defender. Sturdy. More established as a high performer than Docherty, who I expect to pick up after R11.

R Laird – I think he will be a top 6ish defender. I don’t think he is doomed to be injured again. Still some injury risk

J Howe – I think he will be a top 6ish defender. He averaged about 100 once he started playing in defence last season. I think he can keep that up, and if he does he will be a happy keeper.

Z Williams – Because he fits my remaining budget, I think he will end up a top 8ish defender, and I don’t think it is safe to plan on finding five good defensive cows. If he does what he did last year and I am stuck with him that is okay.  Maybe he could break out and be this season’s Docherty?  But, since I am not counting on him to break out, just hoping, I’m not so worried he won’t. I am also emotionally attached after correctly picking him to do well last season, and then not owning him. I’d have an embolism if he broke out and I didn’t own him. So, might be stupid, but at least right now I’m willing to risk it given my cash situation. He is the player most dictated by how much cash I had to spend when the rest of the team was settled.

Midfield – Why are these guys here?

P Dangerfield – Best known captain option going into the season.

JP Kennedy & D Hannebery – The, as far as we know, mostly interchangeable matched pair of established and durable Sydney premiums, are established and durable premiums.

J Selwood – Also an established and durable premium, with a R12 bye.

A Treloar – Close to established and apparently durable premium, who might yet get better.

N Fyfe – He’s a discounted super-premium. His injury was a broken bone and not bad knees. I want him not because he is underpriced but because of how well he can score. I’m willing to take the risk of injury because of his scoring potential. It is quite possible he will be a top three midfielder although I am certainly not counting on that. I’d probably pay more for him, assuming I could afford to, which I can’t.

D Beams – For the same reasons as Chips Ahoy gave, and I discussed in his Prodigal Son sermon. If he stays healthy he will be a top eight keeper and not even cost you a trade, for a way low price. If he gets hurt into the season you will make at least some money, maybe even enough that you can do a straight swap to another premium. Certainly a risk, but huge upside and no sign of issues during the JLT.

Midfield – Where are ….?

S Pendlebury – Yeah, see, there was a mention of an Achilles issue around the Pies last JLT match, and he missed it, and while he has been Dependlebury a long time, I don’t feel like taking a risk when Treloar is available in his place. Priced at 118.68, he is not likely to score enough above that to be more expensive when I want to bring him in later on. Which I will once we know his ankle is really okay and he is still/again Dependlebury. Also, as the rest of the team ended up, the saving from him to Treloar actualy matters in who else I can afford. I made the no Pendles call before price considerations though.

J O’Meara – Well, I want one midfield cow on the pitch, and Beams, and then six premiums and thus no spots for him. Or money as it turns out, but no spots being more of an issue. I don’t want to go with fewer than six midfield premiums since I am going without a premium Ruck. I wanted seven, which I might have with Beams, but can’t afford to get another non-discounted premium. O’Meara is also a 99% sure trade used, which I am trying to avoid for non-cows.

Rucks – Why are these guys here?

A Sandilands – I realized something obvious about him after he played in the pre-season – He is still very, very tall. A lot of his success is due to his being very, very tall. He may be older but he is no shorter. And it looks like he can still play. If he can, he may well be a/the top ruck – up until his very, very tall body fails him. He is very cheap for his possible output, and if he makes it through 8 or so matches, he has a good shot of making decent money. I’d rather a set and forget, but since there aren’t any, I think Sandy is the best option available.

J Witts – I think in terms of whole teams and not lines. There just is not a safe premium Ruck right now, and Witts looks like a good on-field rookie, even at his price. I hate expensive rookies, but Witts looks set to score well enough to make good money while we wait and see which Rucks put their hand up. Since I have been keeping to lower numbers of on-field cows elsewhere, the total number in my team is still fine, as are the total number of premiums. I do hate his Rd9 Bye, but I have backup to deal with that (if I can’t or don’t want to sell him first).

Rucks – Where are ….?

M Gawn – I had him and was happy with him until the uncertainty around his role started. Since he is so high priced, I don’t expect him to score so well.  He will be more expensive later on and there is a good chance he will be cheaper, especially if he has an off match or two. If he was a safe super-premium I’d have one less in the mids and use the opened up spot for a different player, but he isn’t so the open spot went to Witts. Same overall premiums and cows, just rearranged.

Forwards – Why are these guys here?

L Dahlhaus – I think he will be a top 6 Forward

J Macrae – I think he will be a top 6 Forward

T Nankervis – First, backup for the main Rucks. Since Sandilands is 34 and has had some boo-boos in the past, that seems prudent. Second, I will probably keep him as F7/R3 backup. Third, he looks like the sole Ruck for Richmond and that means he has a chance of being Top 8ish forward and legitimate keeper. No, really. Stop laughing dammit!

Snort, I can’t…. your crazy…. giggle…

You again! I thought you moved to Geelong?

Nope, just a visit. Nice place; they have beer there. And you are still insane, don’t change the subject.

But, it is quite possible he will average 95 this season.

He only averaged 74.8 and you are thinking he can raise his average by 20.2 to 95? Who does that?

Well…..some past, one season change examples:

Max Gawn: 63.2 to 102.1, rise of 38.9

Todd Goldstein: 65.8 to 113.2, rise of 47.4

Nic Nat: 71.2 to 93.8, rise of 22.6

Shane Mumford: 53.2 to 92.6, rise of 39.4

Brodie Grundy: 62.9 to 90.6, rise of 27.7

Sam Jacobs 74.2 to 92.7, rise of 18.5

Aaron Sandilands 72.6 to 93.3, rise of 20.7

I, wha, er, holy something or other!

Bet you didn’t see that coming did you?

No, I most certainly did not!

Obviously we can’t know or expect that he’ll do anything like that, but it is not a crazy hope. In any case, I think he is worth it as backup and for his potential to make F6.

C McCarthy – I had totally written him off, then I did the research for his Prodigal Son sermon and into my team he went once it was clear the Dockers considered him best 22. I don’t like expensive rookies, but in his case I think it will work out. We already know he can go large, and if, for example, he has a big score Rd7 against the Bombers and then avoids spudding it up in his next two matches vs the Tigers and Blues, he could top out after Rd9 – right in time to be sold for someone who just finished their Rd9 Bye. Not a high odds prediction, but if it hits, that would be sweet indeed. In any case, one big match and he can be sold for good money soon after.

Forwards – Where are ….?

J Roughead – Because I had no spot or cash for him. He was the last to go, and went to fund the much more secure Shaw. I needed to move a cow slot from defense to the forwards to fit the cows available in each line, and he was the one I needed to keep least.

So, Rookies?

Blech. I am hopeful that I can end up with four decent rookies in the defense, another four up forward, and four in the mids. Only five will end up on field, 2 – 1 – 0 – 2. I have two $200,000+ premium cows, but both are somewhat known quantities who have tonned up in the past.

How’s about the Byes? Are you ready for them?

Feeling ok about those. Nothing obviously bad at the start, especially in the mids since I have two round 12 bye players there. Seven round 13 bye players in back, but at least one will be upgraded before then. I mostly care about not setting myself up for failure at this point. I hope to bring in some Gold Coast and Port players after round nine.

Any planned changes? I know you keep possible changes in mind

Well, mostly thinking about cows at this point. I’ve decided I am not going to plan to bring in Gawn or Pendles even if things look ok for them round one. I can’t do it without too many side effects at this point. Hoping for no surprise issues with players it would be a challenge to do a like for like replacement for.

So the team is settled?

Wow, no way can I say that, there is still a ways to go before team sheets start coming out. Cows especially are not settled. I don’t want to mess with the keeper to cow ratio though. Well, I’d add more keepers if I could but I have stretched to the limit on that I think. I do not want to have to find any more cows.

You forgot your R3, Luke Strnadica

Oh yes, “The Lukehole” as it amuses me to call him. I have him.

How does the team look risk wise. You sermoned all over the place about that

I don’t think “sermoned” is a word.

It is now, and answer the question!

Ok, well. In the back, Laird, Howe, and Williams are all technically risks, even though I don’t really think Howe is. I want to say one trade but call it one and a half to be safe. In the middle there is of course, Beams, count him as one. Fyfe, well, a half I guess. Rucks, Sandy, the 211-boo-boo-waiting-to-happen is a trade. Forwards…..well I plan to keep Nankervis but call him a half trade anyways. That adds up to four and a half trades from risk. Not too bad, especially since I think in practice it will be lower, but best not to be too optimistic. There are thirteen total cows, which makes seventeen and a half. Add in five for general bad luck and that is twenty-two and a half. Not too bad.

Did you follow that little system you made up for the Golden Oxygen sermon?

No, I actually was more pessimistic than that system. Not much more though.

Anything else?

One important thing, before you try this at home, remember that I am better at writing about Supecoach than playing it!


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25 thoughts on “Team Reveal – Father Dougal”

  1. If your points don’t get you in the top 10,000 then surely you can talk your way there 🙂
    In my humble opinion the team is good enough with the rucks the question… going the way you have (as have I) it frees up so much glorious cash!?!


    1. My take on the rucks is really simple. If Witts makes 6 or 8 rounds it’s a great outcome whether you keep or sell him.

      Given preseason ruck scoring who knows, yo be honest.

      If he doesn’t and you have to put Nank at R2 at some point you are only really 90k worse off than starting with Nankilands and Preuss, and the “lukehole” (i love it) can do his job just as easy in the forward line.

      Given Nankilands is both a fallen premo and a breakout contender, and Witts is merely a pricey cash cow this is hardly a bad option unless some unfortunate issues to do with meteor strikes, orbital mind control lasers, or deranged unicorns happen.

      Which usually is what derails my season. Two years straight on the blasted unicorns.

      Jayden! Jayden! What have i told you about playing death metal to the unicorns?


  2. Your team last year was one of my favourites because it was so left-field; I’m sorry it didn’t work out!
    Good luck this year.


  3. I love the Terry Pratchett reference FD. The great man is sorely missed!

    Regarding your team, I believe you are playing Silly Buggers with the ruck department. *frantically trades Witts out of team*


  4. interesting point about pendlebury vs treloar. I wanted both but went with selwood instead of treloar due to bye structure (already have fyfe, Tom Mitchell and Omeara). I could do with the extra $50k thats for sure.


    1. Because I am using my R3 is a loophole, having just 2 players to back up both the Forwards and the Rucks it is indeed tight. Backups are the place where lines matter. Points are points, but injury cover can’t come from anywhere.


  5. Personally not a fan of taking risks at a low price ala Witts. If he goes wrong early who do you trade him to? You’d need to use an extra trade just to have the cash to move him to another playing ruck!

    On the other side, Gawn/goldy
    may be a lot more expensive of a risk but if it goes wrong​ at least theres options and it only costs 1 trade.


    1. Given you the thumbs up as I do agree but you probably trade Witts for a FWD rookie swinging in Nankervis definitely need a swing in Midfield to make that work though because thats a lot of Fwd rooks.


    2. With Nankervis as F3, I don’t have to make any trades if a ruck gets hurt. Witts would work the way any other injured rookie would.

      The real issue is the R9 bye. With two forward rookies also having a R9 bye, one of them has to be replaced if I want to avoid the donut.


  6. Interesting team FD. I’m so glad the imaginery interlocutor has left Geelong.

    A fine point about Sandilands not getting shorter. For those into their Spanish basketball, OK no one, I happened to meet Fernando Romay who is 213cm. Sandilands is now in my team!

    I disagree with the no set and forget ruck options. I also think Vardy is a viable 3rd ruck option instead of nank stinking it up in the forwards. If he wasn’t listed as a ruckman, would he be in any teams?

    All the best for the season ahead!!


    1. Thanks!

      It would be more correct to say there are no set and forget options I like. Since I am not big into breakout candidates I would probably be less interested in Nankervis if he could not cover the rucks. But he is and as I pointed out, it is not mad to hope he has a solid season.


  7. Very solid team, I like the Williams selection. I agree with you on expensive rookies, the majority tend to fail. But what happens when Marchbank is about to play Thu night and the Sunday rookies are still on the extended bench? I guess that’s why you’ve gone 4 premiums deep, but still it’s gonna be tempting to just lock him in.


    1. That is indeed exactly why I went four premiums deep. I am ok trying to find four defense rookies, but not okay trying to find five. I really hate high priced cows unless there is a reason to think they can score to support it If the defensive cows are so bad I can’t even turn up three non-expensive ones to go with Hampton, I’d rather deal with a dodgy rookie than reduce the premiums. I don’t think three is too much to ask for though.


  8. Good read FD!

    I like the logic of Witts being an expensive rookie and allowing you to bring a premium into another line. If Spencer is named rd1 I will do the same thing.

    McCarthy has me scratching my head … he has great JS but for $200K I would like confidence in good scoring consistently. At this stage I have Florent instead for only $166K.


    1. McCarthy is there for his job security, which is huge, and because I know he can go very big. It only takes a small run of good form for his price to rise to a selling point. Up and down scoring is not bad for players you are looking to sell or buy.


  9. Nice team Father.

    Looks like you have very little wiggle room when the teams are named.

    I’m going with a similar team swapping Williams with Tuohy.

    I’m also going JOM at M7.

    Then my Forwards are Doll, T.Lynch(GC) Rough, Nankervis, Mc Carthy. Bowes.

    This leaves me $62K to play with come selection time.

    I will say a prayer for you when the teams are named.



  10. If you are worried about a lack of cash, then swapping Howe + Williams for Docherty + Marchbank would free up some cash, without compromising your structure or scoring. Okay, you could just swap Williams to Marchbank, and have even more cash, but I’m not sold on Howe.


    1. Actually, since Marchbank is a rookie and would require a trade for sure, while Williams is hopefully a keeper, that would actually be a big change to the team design. I don’t need cash as much as the right players. I’d suggest the reverse; someone with Docherty and Marchbank should turn them into Howe and Williams.


  11. Group think is a hell of a drug
    Nanscrevice, Witts, McKernan and Ryder (not to mention Goldie and Hickey) will all run out as solo rucks this year! and people still seriously think that the BEST ruckman from last year needs help??!!. Does Max Gawn suddenly need back up???!!! lol



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