Rules of Cow-quisition: 2021

Written by Father Dougal on March 2 2021

Hi Everybody!

This looks like the year of rule nine. With only one pre-season match and teams not announced far in advance, we’re going to have to be ready to make changes from what we plan pre-season. Add that uncertainty to Rule four and it looks like flexibility is going to be really important. Well, more important than usual. 

I again have not changed any of the rules. I think about it every year, but I have never come up with a new one or a change I like. Open to ideas though!

Without further delay:

Father Dougal’s Rules of Cow-quisition

Rule Number One: “Start the season with as many good cows as you can get, up to where you have undesired left-over money.”

Rule Number Two: “Good cows have good job security. A cow without job security is just an unreliable loophole.”

Rule Number Three: “The cheaper the better. Lower cost and higher profit.”

Rule Number Four: “Cow availability determines your structure; not the reverse. Select all the good cows, none of the dodgy cows, and build the rest of your team around them.”

Rule Number Five: “Money is gold, trades are oxygen, and downgrade targets are platinum. Never waste a downgrade target by starting with him on your bench.”

Rule Number Six: “There is NO rule Six!”

Rules Number Six-A: “A cow and a premium are better than two mid-pricers with the same total cost.”

Rule Number Seven: “When a cow is best 22, you pick that cow”

Rule Number Eight: “DPP is nice, but no more than nice. Definitely not enough.”

Rule Number Nine: “No matter how much you like your herd, when the teams are announced, you will have to make changes. Be ready”

Rule Number Ten: “The cows you have to pick from are the cows everyone has to pick from. Stop complaining and start planning.”

Rule Number Eleven: “Better an unknown cow than a known bum steer”

Rule Number Twelve: “A cheap cow that loses his job is a loophole. A high priced cow that loses his job is a source of funds. A mid-priced cow that loses his job is a problem.”

Rule Number Thirteen: “It’s going to go wrong. Pick the cows who will go wrong in the ways you can best cope with”

Rule Number Fourteen: “A cow that has both job security and ruck as a position is a rare gift, for he allows you another cow on field.”

Rule Number Fifteen: “A fallen mid-pricer is a lot like a cow, but they have to have fallen really, really, far”

Rule Number Sixteen: “A fallen premium is not like a cow, no matter how far they have fallen, because you aren’t going to sell them to turn them into a premium.”

Rule Number Seventeen: “Cows on better teams tend to score better.”

Rule Number Eighteen: “Cows playing better teams tend to score worse.”

Rule Number Nineteen: “Know your coaches. It doesn’t matter if a cow should play, it only matters if the coach thinks he should play.”

Rule Number Twenty: “Know your teams. A cow filling in for two weeks before a gun comes back from injury is really a loophole waiting to happen.”

Rule Number Twenty One: “Sometimes you have to suck it up and downgrade to a loophole. When you do, find as cheap of one as you can.”

Rule Number Twenty Two: “Downgrading to someone who might be a loophole beats downgrading to someone you know will be a loophole.”

Rule Number Twenty Three: “Some cows aren’t worth a trade to deal with. Keep them, be patient, and hope. It’s a long season, sometimes things go right in the end.”


Thanks for reading!



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20 thoughts on “Rules of Cow-quisition: 2021”

  1. Rule Number Nineteen: “Know your coaches. It doesn’t matter if a cow should play, it only matters if the coach thinks he should play.”
    AKA the Leon Cameron rule.


    1. Chamomile tea? I don’t have a clue yet either. Maybe just know your options and try to to think too hard to soon?


    2. There may be few cows in the backline, and even few cows in the forward line…

      But there are lots of cow like objects in the forward line.


  2. Absolute GOLD Father Dougal.
    Thank you and I look forward to reading more of your quality work!


  3. Insightful as ever FD!

    In regards to rule number three: “The cheaper the better. Lower cost and higher profit.”

    Is the idea that cheaper (even on-field) cows are better than more expensive ones that will score proportionally higher because they allow you to invest more cash into not just point scorers, but keepers? So you make sure you have all the uber premos in your final side?


    1. Well, they cost less, which right away is good since more for elsewhere. They also have more potential to make money. $A 123k cow can make a lot more with the same average as a $200K cow. Take a look at the Cow Growth Reference Tables to compare how that works.

      So really, as long as the cheaper cow is playing they are generally better. We have to make exceptions for freaks like Rowell though!


      1. Yep that makes perfect sense!

        I guess – while my question was a tad convoluted – I was more trying to get at the reasoning behind rule number 6-A: “A cow and a premium are better than two mid-pricers with the same total cost.”

        All things being equal (ie. IF the mid pricers are able to do their job and combined make the same money as the cow), is there still truth to this rule due to something behind always having an uber premo and therefore finishing with a more potent final side? Or it is simply the greater risk you take on board with selecting 2 mid pricers versus the premo and the rookie?


        1. Well, it does depend some on the mid pricers. Odds are you get more money from the cow and use one less trade. Or you make as much money as use one less trade. Or you might even make less money with the cow but still use one less trade. Now, if you can get two mid pricers that turn out to be season keepers you use one more trade . For normal cases of all four players, you are better off with using one less trade. Also, you want every good cow you can get.


          1. Right. So so would you say that mid pricers within certain price ranges are more favourable?

            Either those that are priced just slightly sub premo (eg. your Williams / Simpkin types) which are decent odds of becoming keepers, or those just above rookie price that you can be reasonbly confident will make similar cash to your typical rookie cows (eg. your Ziebell / Daniher / Impey types) and require less of an initial investment.

            And therefore those in between in that awkward 300-400K price range are the most likely to result in less money made and an additional trade being used than the premo & rookie combination (eg. your Green / Caldwell types). And they also have the biggest bust potential.


  4. Always enjoy reading this again each year, FD.

    Rule Number 4 is why I still have no team. Are you doing the last-minute team-picker again this year? If you do I’ll use it. 😉


  5. Rule 4 should be written in bold font and/or underlined or something similar. It’s the golden rule.



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