NEW to SuperCoach or looking for the edge over your mates?
Follow these golden rules and you can’t go wrong.
1. NAIL YOUR STARTING ROOKIES
Fyfe or Dangerfield? Pendlebury or Selwood? It’s so easy to spend all your time selecting star players and agonising over getting the right starting premiums that filling the spots on your bench is left to the final minutes before the Round 1 lockout.
Some just pick the cheapest players available — this is the quickest way to SuperCoach misery.
With some very rare exceptions, you want every member of your starting squad playing in Round 1, even those warming the pine for your team.
Even those not in your best 22 have a vital role — earning you money to use in future trades. The best rookies appreciate in value the fastest, and will beef up your team with premiums the quickest.
You need to consider both scoring potential and job security when picking your starting rookies. Articles like this will help you pick the best money-makers — we’ll be posting a lot more during the pre-season.
2. WATCH THE NAB CHALLENGE — BUT DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE
Pre-season matches can provide some of the most valuable insights into how players are tracking ahead of Round 1.
They are especially helpful seeing how the first-year players fare in their first taste of AFL and give us a glimpse of what to expect if they are selected in the home-and-away season.
But treat the NAB series with caution.
Be wary of removing your big ticket stars from your squad just because they haven’t dominated the pre-season competition — most of them don’t get out of third gear until Round 1 comes around.
Coaches also use this time to experiment with players in unusual positions and giving young players responsibility they might not get in Round 1.
3. INJURY-PRONE PLAYERS CAN PROVIDE SEASON-LONG FRUSTRATION
Steer clear of players who consistently fail to play all 22 games in any given season. The name Shane ‘Sausages’ Mumford immediately springs to mind. A handful of trades (and points) can be saved by finding guns who will stay on the track.
4. DON’T LET YOUR TEAM COLOURS BIAS YOUR SELECTIONS
There will always be someone in your league who picks way too many Carlton players because they’re looking through Navy Blue spectacles [Ed: I wonder who he was referring to here?]. We know you love picking players from your own team, but it will come at a cost to success when your boys get flogged — adding to your pain from the weekend.
5. AVOID THE MID-PRICE TRAP
Try and pack your team with guys you will want when it’s all said and done at the end of the season. It will save you a ton of trades trying to upgrade all your mid-pricers that don’t go on to become scoring machines. It’s that simple.
6. PICK DUAL-POSITION PLAYERS
Dual-position players (or DPPs as you’ll often hear them referred to) are those that can be selected in two different positions. Take Luke Dahlhaus, for example. You can get him in the forward line or the midfield. It will give you more flexibility later in the season when it comes to injuries if your team is scattered with DPPs.
Picking a strong starting squad is important — and fun. But to keep ahead of the pack during the season you need to make smart trades, maximising the value of all those genius rookies you select before Round 1.
Remember, you get only 30 trades for the season. This always appears a large number in the early stages of the season, but when push comes to shove, the best coaches use their trades more efficiently than the rest, knowing that trades are scarce. Clever trading is one of the keys to success. SCT’s Trade Talk posts are what keeps many office workers sane on a Monday.
8. AVOID TRADING YOUR STARS
One of the biggest mistakes new SuperCoaches (and some experienced ones!) make is that many are too quick to hit ‘TRADE’ on their highest quality SuperCoach stocks just because the have an off game, in exchange someone who has just had a blinder.
Remember why you picked your stars in the first place and trust your initial selections. You shell out a lot of coin for a reason — these guys have shown that they are consistent, high-performing SuperCoach jets. Don’t trade out Gary Ablett if he doesn’t score 100 in Round 1 — you will regret it, and you just don’t have enough trades to be swapping big names in and out every week.
9. DON’T CHASE LAST WEEK’S POINTS
This point goes hand-in-hand with the last. Try to resist getting sucked into the hype of an in-form player.
I will never forget the 2010 season when Jared Brennan scored 125, 97 and 121 in the first three rounds. Coaches were trading him into their sides in droves, only to receive an average of 71 for the remaining matches (sorry to pick on you, Jared, if you’re reading this!).
Remember last week’s points are not added to your score, only future points. Form can give a good indication on short-term performance, but always be aware that you could be buying yesterday’s hero, but tomorrow’s zero.
Captaincy is an underrated aspect of the SuperCoach competition.
It can net you hundreds of points over the course of the season if you are smart (or lucky!) with your selections. You won’t get it right all of the time, but you’ll need to be getting it right most of the time.
Look for players who have proven form against their upcoming opponent, be wary of taggers and keep an eye on superfooty.com.au, the @supercoach Twitter handle and sites like SuperCoach Talk who will provide tips on the best captain options.
A simple tip to avoid huge grief is to do a final check of your team before lockout each week to ensure you have the right captain and emergencies selected in each position.
11. TRADING 101
We have 30 trades to cover players with long-term injuries and players who get stuck in a horrible form slump (bearing in mind points eight and nine).
But smart SuperCoaches use most of their trades to improve the value and quality of their team by swapping cashed-up rookies for undervalued blue chip premiums and fresh blooded rookies on the bubble.
This trading technique is most commonly used among those who have some experience in the art form of SuperCoach.
Your rookies start cheap then grow in value based on their on-field performances — good scores mean quick cash.
When they reach maximum value (usually starting about Round 8) it’s time to cull them for some new cheap rookies, bank the cash to upgrade another fattened rookie to a premium that you can pick up under their true value.
It all sounds a bit complicated if you’re new to the game, but it won’t take long for you to get the hang of it.
12. DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP FOR YOUR MISTAKES
It’s never a good time to throw in the towel.
Even the most seasoned SuperCoach veterans make costly mistakes in hindsight. Last year’s winner started the season with Nick Malceski (the most expensive defender in 2015), holding him until Round 18! He only scored above 70 three times in that period, hitting 100 in the last two rounds after giving him the axe.
Mistakes, we all make them. The most important thing you can do, is learn from them.
And enjoy the ride — SuperCoach is about having fun, after all!
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