It’s good to be back! We have 17 (-1) rounds of SC footy to look forward to, have been graced with FIVE trades before Rd2 commences and two weeks to think about it. That sounds like a win-win-win in my book.
Rather than going into details of what we should or should not do (I don’t know myself yet!) I have spent some time considering the implications of this surreal season and what has been proffered by the SC gods. Over the next couple of weeks, I am sure we will gain more critical, specific knowledge from clubs (especially re: injuries/roles) and we may get a better steer from the AFL on proposed fixturing beyond Rd5. With that, interest in the SC season recommencing will necessarily increase. For now, it’s worth our while looking at what we do know, to better understand the ‘what’; what it means and so, how best to approach it. For me, there are three key factors at play; pricing & price changes, 17Rds rather than 23 and finally, the option of five trades to consider before Rd2. At the same time and crucially, we have time on our hands. So DO NOT STRESS 😉
For most of us, our lives have had to adapt more than ever before these past few months. So, I’m looking at SC as a welcome reprieve. A positive distraction from the chaos of this new day-to-day life …
As usual, I am putting these thoughts out to the SCT community to discuss. I believe that there are fundamental things to get right and that they are a significant contrast to the norm. I’m getting more excited just writing about it again. Your feedback is critical for us and the community alike.
1. Pricing & Price Changes
As we all know initial price changes will come sooner, after two games rather than the usual three. This has two implications, one of which is bad for us analysts. We essentially get half the data, from one game rather than two on which to base those initial trade decisions. The other effect is that price changes will be dampened initially, before reverting to the norm over the next few rounds. The second price changes will be at least as big as the first, given that a player’s PTA (priced to average) will be factored into that initial price change, but will drop out of their rolling 3RdAve. after Rd3.
The key implication I am taking from this is the lack of data. We can look at individual players closer to Rd2, but the warning for now is to approach rage or cash-grab trading with extreme caution. As FD has pointed out many times over the years, players tend to defer to their mean over time. Outlying scores, good or bad, are a fact of life. Do not be fooled! Especially given that we are having to base these initial trade decisions on one game’s stats not two. Lack of data inherently means, lack of certainty.
To revisit last season’s first round scoring provides the evidence of some classic cases of what I’m referring to. The table below highlights both the great starters who went south, and the slow starters who delivered in spades.
*injury-effected scores are NOT included
This is a stark warning. Up to you how you use it!
2. A shortened season – 17Rds rather than 23
While the shortened season may have tainted the value of the AFL footy season in 2020 for the purists, there is no doubt that this has a significant bearing on SuperCoach strategy, given there are three key elements to this:
- we still have thirty trades at our disposal
- there are also no byes to concern ourselves with 😉
- can we still get to full premo?
All are hugely significant, but also interrelated. To take each in turn:
Having thirty trades over just 17 weeks is significant. You could use every trade available to you, every single week and still have three trades left for finals. Use just 4 for Rd2 and you will have four left. Be careful, this does not lessen the value of trades insofar as how you use them.
Basically we can pick whoever we want from whatever team we like and whenever we want. It doesn’t matter. But, we don’t currently know the fixture after Rd5. Be wary. Players you’re bringing in now should at least have a favourable fixture for the games that we do know. To me, it also means that a non-playing base-priced rookie (or one you already own with late fixtures) could now be worth a lot more than nothing. You should always be able to field 22 now and that added flexibility for your total pts each week will be key!
Is ‘Full Premo’ achievable?
Yes it is in short. If you use your trades wisely of course it is achievable. Usually, a lot of SCTers will get there not long after the byes, but the question we should be asking ourselves is how important it is this year? The answer to that will not become clear until we get a better steer on team line-ups for Rd2.
My take is that to have any sort of success in overall this year, early cash generation is gonna be key regardless of everything else. Counter to this, a lot of people on social media are expressing concern about the possible lack of rookies come Rd2. The long break has given injured players time to get ready (shorter injury lists). That, shorter game times and the shortened season itself have some SuperCoaches thinking a significant number of decent Rd1 rookies won’t play again, unless injury forces their club’s hand.
If this does eventuate, then we need to be looking at cash generators who represent ‘value’. Those sub-$350k players who will score points and generate cash. Start at the bottom price-bracket and work your way up until you’re happy.
The counter-argument is that some clubs may see these extraordinary circumstances as an opportunity to get experience into their kids. If so, then we should be ‘shipping out’ our dud mid-pricers for guns and rookies. We can only speculate at the moment, but the shrewd move would be to plan for both.
3. Five trades before Rd2
As I’ve alluded to in 1., don’t trade your premos out off the back of one bad score. You likely spent weeks/months analysing before settling on those chosen few. They could just as easily have had THAT game in Rd7 as Rd1. Similarly, of those top 10 scorers in Rd1, it’s highly unlikely any of them apart from maybe Grundy and Neale get close to that output again.
As suggested in 2., whichever way you look at it, with only 17Rds this year, cash generation early is gonna be critical to success. If you can spot cash-generators who also will provide decent onfield points, all the better.
Finally, just want to reiterate the point that this year comes as a welcome reprieve to me. I will not be taking it (too) seriously with my main aim to get a lot of enjoyment out of it. I hope that you will too.
There will be more specific articles coming up before Rd2 starts, but for now I hope you’re all well. #StaySafe and happy Friday everybody 😉
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