Cow Talk R3 → R4

Written by Father Dougal on June 24 2020

Small or Far Away – Father Dougal on Cows


As a Dunkley owner, I have been forced to think about who to bring in for him and why. My first thought was to just get Lachie Neale, which is certainly not a bad option. But why? Can just getting the best available player be the wrong thing to do? Well….if the answer was no, I wouldn’t be writing this!

We often talk about getting to Full Premium. That is a perfectly good goal. But, does that mean we are really able to get there? Is it a realistic goal? How about, what’s the failure case for Full Premo as a goal? If you try and fail, then you are short of premiums and have some cows you didn’t upgrade. Rookies still on field, probably ones scoring like rookies. But, I jumped ahead. Before we can talk about Full Premium, what is it?

So, it is time for The Defining Of The Terms. Sort of like The Airing of the Grievances but without the pole.  As I understand it, Full Premo means all of the players on all lines are in the top ranks of scorers in their positions. Call it top 8 for Defenders and forwards, top 10 for mids and top 3 for Rucks. Maybe one or two a bit worse, but not much. 

Is that bad? Of course not? Does it happen? Well….maybe not so much. Is there a better goal? Agai, my asking is a clue to the answer, I think there is.

How about Max Value?  We want to get the most points for however much money we have. That’s not even a bit controversial. Most points is really quite good.  And the more money you have to spend, the more points you can buy with it. So, really that means we want the maximum use of the maximum money. 

Make as much money as possible and get the most points for it; I have re-invented the wheel. Go me. But, something was left out of that, in that we get our money slowly over the course of the season. And we want to get players bringing in the points as fast as possible. Fast money and points are good. Getting a guy who scores 93 a round in R4 is the same points wise as a guy who scores 100 a round in R5. Although there is the points you would have gotten for whoever else is on the field. 

I have written about this in the past, but: 

Cow who scores 60 in R4 plus 115/round for R5-R17 = 1555

If we get someone in round 4 to keep he has to score 1555/14 = 111.07 a round. 

Not a huge deal. But, what about costs? That’s where it gets more interesting. If the 115 guy is a premium who was priced at 115, then he might cost $586,000 like Josh P Kennedy.  If you are short of the cash you could get Bailey Smith at $483,600 this round. Same total points at the end of the year, and costs way less.  That is $102,400 you can use either this or next round to buy more points. If you buy someone else at the same Points/dollar rate as Smith that is 23.5 points a round added. 

So, 115.7 a round starting R5 for Parker plus the 60 from a cow = 1564.1 

B Smith from R4 on is 1554 with an extra from your next rounds purchase of 13*23.5 = 305.5. Totals up as 1859.5.  That’s 295.4 points more at the end of the season. 

Of course once again we all know that cheaper players are good, and that fallen premiums are good, as well as breakouts. Duh. I said the obvious again. But, I was thinking of getting in the currently way high priced Lachie Neale, which is exactly the opposite of what I just talked about doing! 

Therefore, I have proven I’m an idiot. I knew in theory all about value for money and yet I was ignoring it in practice because I wanted the best guy now. But he is not likely to keep up his current scoring rate for long, even though I expect he will still be good the rest of the season. He went mad the first weeks of last season and everyone who bought him after his early price rises paid way too much. And I knew that and I still was thinking of getting him in. 

Let’s assume he ends up going at 140 for the rest of the season. High, but this season is nuts, so let’s assume that. 

R4-17 at 140 = 1960. Cost is $737,600. Makes his price/point = $5,268.6.  If you assume he really goes at 160 / round he is 4,610 / point. I think 160 average for the rest of the year won’t happen, but I’m giving it as a reference. 

What’s the price / point of some other options? Being a bit low on my assumed averages:

Jack Macrae:  120/round at $625,888 = $5,215 / point. 

Bailey Smith. 105/round at $483,600 = 4605.7 / point

Devon Smith: 95/round at $373,100 = $3927.4 / point ($3,665.5 / point with the extra game included.)

Dan Butler: 93/round at $344,500 = $3,704.3 / point

Starcevich: 68/round at $230,500 =  $3,389.7 / point

Bennell: 50/round at $123,900 = $2,478 / point


For the cost of Neake and a 117,300 cow, which is $854,900, you could get Bailey and Devon Smith!  

Also, some of those guys are going to make cash, so if you choose or have to sell,m you are ahead. I have reinvented buy low sell high. 

If late in the season you only have a few spots left to fill on the field and have the cash to overpay, well, go for it! But, why over pay now, at the worst possible time? 

I have other captain options. I wanna use my cash wisely. So, I’m not getting in Neale. Instead I’m announcing that I am an Idiot in recovery. I will not be an idiot today, well, I will not trade like an idiot this round. Taking it one round at a time……


Thanks for reading!


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8 thoughts on “Cow Talk R3 → R4”

  1. Well said, Father.

    I agree, the only exception to the above rules is if you were considering bringing Neale in for the purposes of Captaincy. Assume, say, that he scores 10 points higher than your alternate captain option each week, then you’re getting an extra 170 points from him across the season.

    However, you would expect that many coaches would have already done this before the season even started, spending overs on a few key players to have as Captain options. Paying nearly $700k for players like Neale, Grundy or Gawn at the start of the year would definitely be considered an overspend, but Grundy is currently in 67% of teams, so obviously people were willing to pay overs for 1-2 key C/VC options.

    As long as you already had some combination of Gawn, Grundy, Fyfe, Rowell (he he) in your team, then it probably would seem unnecessary to overspend on Neale.



    1. I took their average, divided it by 14 and then multiplied by 15 to account for the extra round. So if Devon Smith is expecting 95 a round and he has an extra round, then 95/14*15= 101.79 for his average for purposes of my calculation.

      You could just use total points which is rounds left * average but that’s a pain.


      1. It’s a bit tough to tell, because (a) he hasn’t played a lot of games, and (b) the draw hasn’t been set so we don’t know who he’s playing against.

        But based on the SC projections, which have him scoring 97 and 96 in the new two games (a bit conservative if you ask me!), he would rise to $446K after those two games, with a break-even of around 100.


  2. Great write up FD !
    I’m all for trying new things especially this year when everything is anything but “Normal”


  3. Great write-up FD.
    My biggest deterrent is always – have I missed the boat? Once player has jumped in price, I’m reluctant – even if their BE is low. Getting in late perhaps on the back of an unusally good patch or short-term benficial role change & face disappointment. But then it’s a bigger sample than endeavouring to jump in before the increase. Ahh the thrill of SC…



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