As has become standard practice, we started the season in a wave of pessimism about the state of rookies. The ever-decreasing volume of pre-season information means we’re now often taking moderately educated guesses about which newcomers are going to score well and make us that all-important cash for upgrades. Of course, then a global pandemic took hold of the game and after a three month hiatus, we were faced with a heavily condensed fixture the likes of which we have never seen before (and hopefully will never see again!).
The flow-on effect from this was coaches increasingly managing their players through the shorter recovery times between games, and that meant that we were actually blessed with a far greater number of rookie prospects than we might otherwise have seen. Not all of them were worthy – in fact, I would guess that quite a few are still clogging up our benches. However, combined with the extra trades generously provided by those at SCHQ, there was more than enough cash generation on offer to see a significant number of teams defy the shorter season and still reach the Shangri-la of full premium status.
Before we move on to looking at the cream of the rookie crop from 2020, I thought it might be fun and informative to nominate an All-Rookie Team from this season, based on the best budget scorers and cash cows. The criteria is a bit loose because it’s difficult to define what makes a good rookie – do you want a cheap, fast cash generator who gets dropped after a few games, or a more expensive slow-burner who scores consistently well for an extended period? Here’s the 22 that I thought were most impressive (and Supercoach-friendly) from this strange and challenging season:
SCT All-Rookie Team of 2020
The top 5 defenders were extremely easy to choose, as all have scored well enough to make their owners over $100K profit regardless of starting price. Starcevich has been a roller coaster but gets bonus points for playing every game right up until he suffered a severe concussion against the Suns last week. Day boasts the highest average of all rookie defenders at a tick over 70 ppg, while Williamson, Ash and McKay have all been very solid in varying roles for their respective teams. The last spot went to McPherson who performed well in his first five games before suffering injury, but still generated over $150K in that time. Special mention to Rivers who has returned late in the season and done extremely well for those who resisted the urge to cash him out for low profit, and Hill who just snuck on to the bench on the back of his useful DPP status and erratic but occasionally handy scoring.
Rookie midfielders lacked in numbers this year, but made up for it in sheer quality. Pick 2 Anderson is by far the highest scoring rookie of the year in terms of aggregate (1214 in 16 games), playing every game and improving rapidly as the season has progressed. Pickett and Serong have contrasting stories to tell but have been equally terrific for their teams and owners alike, while Simpson had a short stay in the Cats side but generated enough dough in that time to be a good choice. McInerney earns a spot on the bench – despite being left out of the Swans side for the middle portion of the season – after tonning up against the Dees a couple of weeks ago. Finally it would be remiss of me to exclude the incredible Rowell. In only four games, the Suns’ number 1 draft pick bumped his price tag by an astonishing $271 000, and only a dislocated shoulder could stop him from becoming a permanent member of all our teams! Look forward to seeing what he can do in 2021.
Probably the easiest spot to pick in the whole team – Draper has been simply outstanding since being given a run in the Bombers’ lineup, even taking a spot as the lone ruckman on a couple of occasions. Averaging 76 across his seven games, he’s been a highly valuable late-season source of cash for all his owners. Honourable mentions go to Cameron, De Koning and Jackson.
The forward line has been much tougher this year than those previous, with a couple of despised outsiders finding their way into this lineup. McAdam and Aarts were largely ignored by most coaches, but each man has capably filled the small forward role in their team and they’ve quickly become permanent fixtures. King was a popular choice at the start of the year, albeit with low expectations from many of us in terms of Supercoach, but he exceeded even the most optimistic predictions by reaching the $300K barrier. Rankine‘s belated debut has been a season highlight, as was consecutive tons in his first two games, and he has been a must-have since he first appeared in the Suns’ forward line. Georgiades and Taylor earn their spots on the back of solid cash generation while they were active. Stengle receives the last bench spot for outstanding recent form in a resurgent Crows side.
The 2020 SupercoachTalk Rookie of the Year
Here at SCT we champion democracy above all else – every one of our valued readers has a voice and we encourage you to have your say. So you decide: who has been the Rookie of the Year this season? The contenders are….
Will DAY (HAW), def, 705 pts at 70.5, initial price $153K, max $332K
Caleb SERONG (FRE), mid, 1013 pts at 77.9, initial price $176K, max $398K
Noah ANDERSON (GCS), mid, 1214 pts at 75.9, initial price $202K, max $428K
Marlion PICKETT (RIC), mid, 1016 pts at 72.6, initial price $124K, max $365K
Matthew ROWELL (GCS), mid, 512 pts at 102.4, initial price $207K, max $478K
Izak RANKINE (GCS), fwd, 779 pts at 70.8, initial price $124K, max $348K
Thanks for following the Rookie Reviews all year, I hope you’ve had as much fun reading them as I have writing them. All the best for your league finals this week and I’ll see you again for the 2021 pre-season. Cheers!
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