Who wants to win the $50,000??
I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time in this off-season to date, analysing 2019 and looking at different strategies for 2020 in an effort to try and win this bloody thing. It’s fair to say and largely we agree, there is a certain element of ‘luck’ in winning the $50k. So what say we try and minimise risks as far as is possible to give us every chance of doing that? They do say you make your own luck after all!
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we had the @SCT suffix splattered all over the individual and League leader-boards come Rd23? The last two years have been really exciting from that perspective. From FD’s bolting from the traps and Nateo’s brilliant year in 2018, through Zac’s excellent two runs over the last two years, to being asked to offer up advice to a top-tenner over the last few weeks in this season gone. I said nothing! The point is, the more thoughts on strategy (approaches) we put out there to discuss, the better we should all be for it. What seems right? What seems wrong? How could it be improved?
I’ve recently thought about this a bit. And to put some thoughts together I started by looking at my last season (down 67 places overall on 2018). Consistent but not good enough. So…
2019 – a topline Review
This’ll be quick.
Personally, I finished with 10 of the original Premos I picked. ALL were excellent (but particularly Grawndy, Dunkley and Neale). Whitfield was looking like the best pick of the lot until he got injured (twice) and I traded him the second time, whereas Steele was a pretty poor pick (and then he too got injured).
Nailed the starting rookie picks, only really missing out on Wilkie and Miers of the uber Rd1 ‘cash cows’
Served me very well. Zac Williams became a Premo, Brodie Smith and Liberatore were both excellent. Darcy Moore looked like he was on the cusp of breaking out (two tons in a row) before injury ruined his SC season. Jordan Ridley was my only spud (or maybe Woosha was). He became Lincoln McCarthy after Rd2 who served a purpose if a little underwhelming. He actually made $170k over the course of the year if you held him long enough.
Again, did pretty well early picking up Fyfe, Macrae, Marshall, Lloyd and Lycett (thanks Sal) with my first five upgrades. Then Toby Greene, when everyone told me I was crazy 😉
Rockliff (yes TDA) was a horrible IN trade. As was bringing in Zac CLARKE to cover Gawn’s week off injured.
Did still manage to have three trades left for Prelims & the GF though, so that was a vast improvement on 2018!
One very poor week cost me dearly.
Can’t be disappointed. Finished #2070th and won 7 of 9 GFs. Grade: B- (good, but still made some basic errors).
Reckon if you haven’t already, it is worth doing your own Review. It makes making the same mistake(s) far less likely going forward.
Let’s face it, the conundrum seems pretty simple on the face of it. The person who scores the MOST ON-FIELD POINTS over 23 Rounds of SuperCoach will win the $50k!
So how do we maximise on-field points AND do it from the start?
- Minimise off-field spend (your bench players)
- Maximise on-field PTS/$ (VALUE)
- Spend EVERY cent of your budget (at the start)
This all sounds pretty obvious but there are subtleties in the detail to consider that can have huge implications for your season-long OVERALL return. To take each of these in turn:
MINIMISING OFF-FIELD SPEND
Minimising off-field spend means exactly that. Pick a base-priced loophole at $102 400 (ideally with DPP). I’ll also be picking another cheap DPP (MID/FWD) at M11 who doesn’t necessarily start in Rd1, but may get a game down the track. There are three KEY reasons for this:
- He will allow me to maximise my M8 points every week (loopholing) which is particularly valuable early when we can’t be sure who our best MID-rookies are (at least points-wise),
- Provides flexibility into the FWD line in case of early injuries or for trade options, and
- Gives you a little more money (however minimal) to spend on on-field players.
I’ve noticed in AFLSuperCoach’s end of season Review for the last two years that their optimal side has played this tactic of taking an extra base-priced DPP loophole player. The negative is of course ‘no cash generation’ should he never get a game, but I figure the positives outweigh the negative, since I am also only forgoing the crappiest (pre-judged) rookie I would have picked in his place. After all that, if you then ensure that ALL your off-field (bench) players are priced at $123 900 or less (there are always enough), you will have spent a maximum $948k on your bench. This leaves you a minimum $9 052 000 to spend on points-scorers. A little more than DEADTeam League budgets!
MAXIMISING ON-FIELD POINTS PER $$s SPENT
Minimising on-field $/pts is a little more complicated than it sounds. Mainly because we want a minimum 10 Uber Premos. Ideally 12-13. And of those, we will need an absolute minimum of three C/VC options from different clubs to ensure we can maximise that double-POINTS opportunity each and every week. So, pick your three uber Premos. Let’s just say Grundy, Gawn and Macrae for argument’s sake. It is now that things start to become interesting.
2019’s magic number is 5430.19154994533 (give or take). That means if ALL your on-field Premo players do what they did last year (ie deliver the same average), you will have to spend an average $5430.19 for every point your Premos score. In basic terms, $9 052 000 would net you 1667pts (+ ~125+pts for VC/C option). Not good. Of course, your Team is not filled with Premos in Rd1 and your on-field rookies will help you to lower that $/pt ave. and thus improve your score. Shrewd mid-price value picks will also assist but likely to a lesser extent. The key is therefore to find the ‘sweet spot’. The Holy Grail. The perfect Premo/MidPrice/Rookie ratio to start your season. If we can answer that, then we can maximise the opportunity while minimising the risk. As I said, they say you make your own luck for a reason!!
Let’s look at some hard numbers/facts from 2019 (2018 stats for this stuff were v similar and are in last year’s pre-season rants).
Fact 1. On PREMOs.
Arguably, there will only ever be 27 players that are worth picking in Rd1 that we might classify as PREMOs: 7 DEFs, 10 MIDs, 3 RUCs and 7 FWDs. Start missing the top players in each position by more than the above suggested volumes and you’ve got yourself a spud.
Fact 2. On MID-PRICERs.
There were 27 players priced above $230k and under $455k who made a min. $107 000 in 2019. 14 of them reached the promised land (+$150k) and 10 of those made $170k or more.
Fact 3. On ROOKIEs.
There were 17 rookies who started in Rd1 who made more than $150k. 11 of those made more than $200k.
Given that these trends/numbers are pretty standard (certainly over the two years that I’ve been analysing), our relative pool sizes from which to select our starting 30s are restricted to: 27, 27 and 17 respectively. But again, it is not that straightforward. Get a PREMO pick wrong and you have a REAL problem. Don’t pick the best ROOKIEs and you might struggle for cash generation. The more you pick of each of these two categories, the more likely your chances to miss the good ones (basic maths). Further, both these categories have one specific role. Premos = Points (+ double-points Capt. options). Rookies = Cash and while on-field points are a bonus early, this should be secondary in those initial thoughts on selection.
Mid-Pricers on the other hand CRUCIALLY fulfil two roles; BOTH on-field points AND cash generation. They are also more abundant in terms of relative ‘pool size’ than the other two categories. Hold on you say! But aren’t there 27 Premos and 27 MidPricers that I could pick? That’s the same right?! Nope! In actual fact, five of those Mid-Pricers in 2019 became Premos! This means that your choices for starting Premos was actually limited to just 22 (ie only 22 premo-priced players at seaon’s start in 2019 were premos at season’s end. Again, this is common. The MidPricer availability remains at 27, with the added bonus that they may become a keeper! Who else started Dunkley and ZWIlliams? Those who made it to full premo in 2019 were Dunkley, Marshall, Lycett(kind of?), Z Williams and Houli (based on ave’s by position and NOT total points). Not only that, but if we look at the top 20 cash generators who played in Rd1, five of them were also MidPricers and only 15 were rookies (and of those 15, seven were premium-priced, >$130k). So let’s revisit how big those potential pools are again?
Premo Pool: 22
Mid-Pricer pool: 27
Rookie (base-priced): 8
Rookie (premium-priced): 7
So how should we approach it? If like me you’re picking two loophole options, then you have to pick 28 players. The total available pool from the above is 64 players. I want 28 players. 28/64 = 0.4375. To minimise risk then, this suggests I should pick:
3.5 base-priced rookies, and
3.1 premium-priced rookies
There are a couple of problems with this. First, it is simply not affordable. And two, there is no way I am starting less than 10 premos. We’d be mad to. Let’s leave this for a minute and have a more detailed look at the last two years.
Last year’s draft was considered one of the best in years. In contrast, in 2018 there were only 3 MID rookies who made more than $125k! There were just 4 DEFs and actually 14 FWDs (6 of these were MID/FWD DPP) so this would have helped massively with flexibility but, options were very limited. 2020 is likely to be more similar to 2018 than last year. What else concerns me is that a lot of people bang on about how important your MID rookies are. BUT, the facts show that they are NOT always more abundant, and they don’t always make more money than other lines (as detailed above for 2018), but also:
2019 Rookie money-makers who played in Rd1 (ie were starting options)
So even in a decent rookie year, our numbers were limited for Rd1 and especially in the MIDs for the second year running! Further, if you went the traditional ‘guns and rookies’ approach, you had to pick 5 from a pool of just 7 decent DEF rookies, 5 from 8 FWDs and 6/6 MIDs, leaving very little or 0 margin for error. This is extremely high risk, given that picking the wrong ones meant making early corrective trades or hanging on to spuds. We must SPREAD THE RISK.
We actually had the choice of 20 mid-pricers (in Rd1), 19 of whom made more than $125k and 8 of those made more than $170k. These are simply gift-horses that you can’t ignore. It was a similar story in 2018 (which I wrote about last year and you can find somewhere in the annals of SCT history). The point is, they are there. Always.
They allow you to spread your risk AND
They will give you more points afield, AND
They will make you cash AND
Upgrades will cost you less trades!!
I BELIEVE THE MIDPRICER PICKS ARE UNDERVALUED by SuperCoaches and I will be picking more than last year in 2020!
And this brings me on nicely to the last point.
SPEND YOUR ENTIRE BUDGET ON YOUR STARTING 30
Spend every single cent of your $10mn. budget for your starting 30. Don’t compromise on your picks just to spend it all though. If you have some left over, so be it. There are two reasons for this. First, the magic number is at the highest point it will ever be for the forthcoming season. Every $ spent (wisely) will contribute to maximising your on-field points. It is also prudent given that the market is static until after Rd2 (no price changes). That’s nearly 10% of the season gone, so MAXIMISE those POINTS from the start!
And this is what cements the Mid-Pricer picks for me. Getting one wrong is an error that is affordable. Even two errors are ok, which minimises the risk even more. Let me explain. At the end of Rd2 you can assess the following:
What MidPricer picks (if any) did I get wrong?
What Rookie picks (if any) did I get wrong?
Like last year, I will likely trade my worst MidPrice pick (Ridley) for either a better-looking one, or a lovely-looking Rookie I’ve missed. It is likely that there will be options available because I have minimised my starting numbers (relative to each pool size) so I should have decent numbers to choose from (basic maths). Critically, those two DPP loophole rookies will provide the added flexibility to do this, if it’s not straightforward (ie IN/OUT in the same position). If I have to make two trades then that’s ok too. Because what I will also be doing is building a bank that I can then hold through the next two/three rounds (when it’s real value will increase >6% as the magic number drops). This is the BEST TIME to build your bank bar none. Over the next few weeks, Premo prices drop by more than 6% as the magic number drops at its most significant rate for the entire season. Underperforming premos will fall even more sharply.
I should then be certain of maximising cash generation, have a minimal ave. $/pt on-field (= high weekly score), a bit of cash in the bank earning interest and a team I’ll be happy with for a while, barring injuries. The other positive I noticed in 2019 from starting five Mid-Pricers was not just the points, but also that it would never take more than two trades (1up, 1down) to get Premos in, as their base price was significant to start with. My only regret is that I didn’t start more and wasn’t more aggressive with trades early. I won’t be making the same mistakes in 2020!
Happy to hear everyone’s thoughts on this and discuss it at length in the comments. Good luck to all in 2020.
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