A Game of Two Halves

Written by on March 14 2020

Hey all

Not sure what is going to happen to our SuperCoach season thanks to the very real and present threat of COVID-19, but there’s nothing to stop us talking about it and to continue planning over this last weekend before the season commences.  Yes, we can count the number of days until first bounce on just one hand now, so let’s not lose the enthusiasm.  In fact, it’s time to get excited!

When it comes to Premos, there are two things we need to consider.  First, who are the 10-12 we are going to rely on from season’s start for the entire season and then, who are we going to target during the season in striving to complete our ‘full premo’ line-ups?

Both questions have very different ramifications for your success over the course of the SC season.  Whether you’re fighting for League or overall success doesn’t really matter.  Picking the right ‘starter’ picks is crucial for success whatever your goals.  Aiming for overall, will likely deliver Leagues anyway (or so I have found over the last two years).

Your starting picks need to be very durable (ideally playing 22 games), have had a full pre-season (so they score well from the get-go) and measure up well against the key metrics (scoring history, age, role, draft pick etc.) so that they represent value and offer security.  Your upgrade targets don’t necessarily need to be any of these things.

It’s a bit like soccer, in that it’s a game of two halves.  First half is getting your starting 30 right and the second being turning those 30 into something freakin’ awesome as soon as is possible!

Let’s look at things back to front for a second.  Below is a chart ranking most of the top players by position (excluding GG.com) by their second half 2019 SC output relative to their front-half.

This allows us to assess who improved markedly in the BH of last season and try and understand why.  It helps us to identify both value picks and likely traps.  But also, helps us to identify whether they are potential upgrade targets or legitimate starter picks.

Ed CURNOW went back to playing almost exclusively in the guts from playing forward once Teague took the reins.  Is underpriced if he retains that MID role, but will he with youngsters developing and putting their hands up for MID minutes themselves.  You’d think risky.

Toby GREENE spent a lot more time in the midfield once Ward and then Kelly were injured.  He was my best upgrade target bar none last year.  You’d think if injuries hit the Giants again in 2020 then he will again represent great value as an upgrade target.  Watch and act!

Tom LYNCH had no real pre-season and showed in the BH and finals last year that he is more than capable of averaging over 90 this year.  Severely underpriced due to his poor FH last year and is almost a safe starting pick for a key FWD.  You could wait for him to have a quiet patch, but if he doesn’t have a quiet run, he will almost certainly never be cheaper than he is now.  I’m very tempted to start him.

LYCETT loves sole ruck responsibility but he hasn’t had a full pre-season.  Risky but could be a great value pick, if he picks up where he left off and Hinkley doesn’t drop him again!

DUNKLEY’s role change has him underpriced.  He averages 150 as a midfielder at Marvel Stadium.  Start him!

BRAYSHAW is tipped for a breakout.  Won’t lose money, but the question is how much will he make, or could he even become a keeper on the weakest line in 2020?  No real risk in starting him and the rewards could be huge.

PRESTIA has had a full pre-season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him break into the top8 MIDs in 2020.  Underpriced, but will RIC start sluggishly again?!  If you don’t start him with so many safer picks, keep an eye on him as an upgrade target.  Two years running he has finished the season very strongly.  Jarryd LYONS also fits in this bracket; had a huge BH in 2019 (ave’d 113.5 from Rd10).

DANGERFIELD tends to have a stronger back half than front half.  If you don’t start him wait for his inevitable price drop and pick him up then.

LIPINSKI could be on the cusp of a breakout, so could BYRNE-JONES and PETRACCA.  I’ll be watching them all.

Zac WILLIAMS is the perfect upgrade target in 2020 thanks to his achilles tendonitis and the inevitable injuries at the Giants leading to more SC points.  Wait and make sure he’s right first.

WORPEL and NEWMAN will likely struggle thanks to the return of two SC greats, but if either of the great returners falls over, these are likely to be the beneficiaries and will then be excellent and immediate upgrade targets!

What all the above does tell us, is to look for specific circumstances that will guide you to the great upgrade targets.  If a good SC scorer gets injured, look to see and identify the key beneficiary.  If they’re out for a while, don’t wait and get the beneficiary in.  Picking up Marshall (role change), Greene (injuries) and Lycett (Ryder FWD or out, thanks to Salamander) as early as I did saved me a huge amount of money and scored me huge points.  The opposite is true of my DEF upgrades (Crisp and Sicily in particular).

Now let’s look at each line individually to assess who the best starter picks might be.


LLOYD might be a tad overpriced following Dawson’s switch to HB and stealing some possies from the seagull, but he is SO FAR AHEAD of the rest that he has to be a safe pick. STEWART has not had a full pre-season, RICH is playing frogger, while LAIRD and SICILY for different reasons appear underpriced and the best value picks of last year’s top 6.  HURN and RYAN tend to have fast starts, but the former is dodging beer trucks and may end up needing to be replaced, while RYAN is the opposite after late season injuries and a drop in SC output has him underpriced.

HOUSTON has a definite and positive role change.  Sam DOCHERTY is looking better each week and is massively underpriced.

Now let’s look at the same group ranked by BH averages.

Make of the above what you will.


Start five of the top10.  End of!  Below, they are ranked by their BH performances (average).


Horrible.  I’ll be looking for value after starting WHITFIELD (with my fingers crossed) and may begrudgingly have to start MARTIN now, because he’s a serious ‘shield’ at 60.4% ownership.

Looking at all the Polls that Huttabito has been posting over the course of this week, should help you to reaffirm your picks.

Good luck all!


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13 thoughts on “A Game of Two Halves”

  1. Looking at the good performers of the back half of the season last year of Greene and Lynch.
    I find I will stay away from them due to Greene’s short temper and loving to get himself suspended.
    Lynch as a KPP doesn’t really go well as a SC player. Franklin was an exception to that but then look at JJK. He could score real well but then go missing in games.


  2. Thanks AS. great article

    Do we think McCluggage could be on the cusp of a break out and going 105 and be a late upgrade? I am seriously considering starting him instead of cogs at M5.
    Also flirted with not starting Whitfield but the thought of coming up against mates in H2H leagues and having whit destroy me every week will do my head in… so unfortunately I might have to just start him


    1. He needs to go more than 105 for me to want him in my team towards the end of the season.
      Needs 110+ to be a target.


  3. For me Whitfield and Martin are easy choices. Just start them, because their head and shoulders above the next best.

    Sure, Whitfield might be 30k too much (interrupted pre season) and Martin might start ‘slow’ and become 500k, but I’m not that fussed about saving small change on sure things. Same with Gawn.

    I’ll look to make my coin on others. The premiums are there to score points.

    Not having a go at anyone who decides on a different strategy, but for me it’s pick 10 players that I won’t trade out under any circumstances (except injury)

    7 of these 10 from MIDS & RUCKS, which leaves 3 from FWD & BCK.
    Docherty is a bonus 11th player, so it makes sense to get 2 FWDs and those two are no brainers for me


  4. Have had this sudden urge all of a sudden start Naismith or Jacobs at R2…
    It makes my overrall side look a hell of a lot better and I’d only need naismith to avg 80-85 to justify the selection and jacobs probably 90-95 only worry is both there durability but I would probably start ceglar at F3/4 for cover. Last year I did not start Grundy I ran ROB from Rnd 5 onward at R2 and it was a fantastic ride and got Grundy in the week of SC finals and won most of my leagues including my big cash league..

    anyone else considering running naismith/jacobs?


    1. Thinking Jacobs R2, Naismith R3 then turning them into Gawn RD14.
      All depends on what rookies are named RD1. Not starting Gawn frees up lots of $
      Big decision as I always been G&R


  5. As much as I hate to say it and the countless hours I wasted preparing for scoach 2020 the season will be called off. And you can all thumbs down it but epl nba golf it’s only a matter of time before the afl follows suit.


    1. With nothing else on, the afl will do all it possibly can to keep going and get all those TV ratings. I think the government will jump in and shut it down though.


      1. I think the season will be delayed but it won’t be cancelled….
        The coronavirus is only a mild flu that is basically harmless unless your above the age of 70. If your 15-70 years old and reasonably healthy with no other medical issues your mortality rate is about 0.5%. Its the media scaring the nation and sending everybody into a frenzy… If your above 70 just be smart about it all and where you go who you make contact with and keep all infants/babies safe and we will be fine… Its alot harder too catch than you think (i work in the medical field)


        1. Please quit your job “in the medical field” because comparing this to a “mild flu” is a gross mischaracterization that is being repeated too often. The big concern is NOT the mortality rate – correct, you probably won’t die if you’re young and do not have pre-existing conditions. The problem is you have a good chance (between 1 in 5 and 1 in 6) of contracting it and increasing the spread (you can infect a lot of people before you are symptomatic because of the long latency period). This poses the biggest threat, which is to elderly and immuno-compromised people as they do not have the luxury of catching this without requiring hospitalization (or causing death). That brings us to the potential danger with the healthcare systems as most countries do not have the capacity to treat serious cases if the virus spreads beyond a certain point.


    2. Maybe Sean, but note the AFL has already got rid of close crowd contact……and there is no regular overseas contact and influence.

      Also, IMO, for what it might be worth, toilet paper has a multi purpose use and can be disposed of by flushing….not like a lot of other wipe products.

      Think this people, would you rather put it in the rubbish or flush it down the toilet to get rid of it if you thought it had germs.???


  6. As of today, 100th of 1% (0.001%) of Melbournians have been identified as having the virus… even less a % for the whole of Aust. With the precautions in place the spread shouldn’t get out of hand and things should get back to normal before we are at the byes… Roll on SC..


    1. Yes, however, teams are flying interstate. NSW reported cases have jumped from 77 Thursday to 134 as at Sunday 11:00am. The last daily increase being 20%. 134 @20% increments is a big multiplier.



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