“Stuff” Father Dougal Says

Written by Father Dougal on March 8 2022

Hi Everybody!

I realized when trying to write a different post that what I was writing used concepts that I have talked about in the past, and might be a bit confusing for anyone who wasn’t familiar with them. So, I’m gonna do some quick, I hope, summaries of some ideas and terms from past posts. 

First, not so useful to coaches but getting mentioned anyhow is the CTAP, or Cow Talk Advisory Panel. That would be me, my Imaginary Interlocutor

Hi! He only thinks I’m imaginary, don’t tell him otherwise!

And my hamster, To Mini-Therion the little beast .666

Hi! I like pumpkin seeds! Squeak! 

Sometimes I let them “help” with posts. Sometimes they just chime in, and sometimes I provide beer and I write while they are sleeping it off.  

This is not one of those times.

Yes, clearly. Anyways, in no particular order some stuff, summarized:


Breakouts and Frogs



How old a play is matters a lot.  Young players tend to score poorly; note the lack of 6 year olds in the AFL. Old players also tend to score poorly; note the lack of 60 year olds in the AFL.  The solid safe productive range for players tends to be 23-28.  Lots of stuff on players breaking out exists, but not a lot on aging, so here stuff on that.  Aging in Supercoach scoring is like playing the old video game Frogger. They try to make it through the season without a big age-related drop off just as the frog tries to make it across the road without getting hit by a beer truck.  When a play hits 29 they play on the tutorial level and hardly anyone loses the tutorial, although it can happen. At 30 they play level 0, at 31 they play level 1, at 32 they play level 3, and so on. At some point, if they keep playing, they are going to get hit by a beer truck and their scoring will drop off dramatically.  The older they are the more likely it is. 

Anything you want to add to that, with hindsight and more data? 

Injuries should probably factor in somehow too. Maybe a career full of injuries is like a sticky  joystick? 

Squeak !!!!

Not like that! Argh, ok….like, getting old with a history of injuries increases the risk of a negative beer truck interaction. 

True Level of Ability



Every player has an actual ability level. How well a player scores is based on that True Level of Ability (TLA) but affected by luck and the circumstance in which they played. 

Luck can easily account for a 5% variation on a player’s average each season, which means a 100 TLA player averaging  95-105 would be pretty normal. Bigger swings are certainly possible, although over 10% 

Circumstances, so many circumstances…..other than age: Position, club fortune, where they play, injury, weather, opposition, bizarre coaching decisions, etc. Trying to understand these is a big part of SC strategy. More midfield time? Solo Ruck? Over that injury. Full pre-season? We talk about these at length and good guesses pay off, bad guesses hurt.   

Age, well there seem to be some common age brackets: 

0 -20 = Youth

21-23 = Early Career

24-26 = Middle Career

27-29 = Late Career

30-32 = Hanging On

33+ = Victory Laps

Middle and Late Career players are pretty reliable as for scoring, Early mostly reliable with best hope of increasing, and 30+, well they are playing Frogger and tend to drop even when they avoid the beer truck. 

I made some other ok but not newsworthy either way projections. 

Also, for some reason, I looked at how Nat Fyfe has been affected by his broken leg and projected that onto Tom Mitchell. 


Year Tom’s  Games Projected averages Tom’s age Toms real averages
2018 22 NA 24 129.1
2019 0 0 25
2020 17 113.6 26 113.5
2021 22 118.7 27 117.2
2022 ??? 122.8 28 ???

Oh my god!

Oh my Pumpkin seeds!

Well…..that’s a pleasant surprise…..far better than I had expected looking at what  I wrote at the time….for some reason Titch is in my team this season….  

(Until the pre-season groin thing)

Swords, Shields, and the Iron Law of Pods



So, the swords and shields thing I think isn’t super useful, looking back. The idea was swords are players who help you pull ahead of your competition.  Shields are players who you have because they are highly owned and have the potential to  put you behind the competition if they do well.  But, really, that goes against the more basic idea of “Just pick who you think are the best players, and do not worry about who else owns them.”   So, not useless but not that important either. 

The Iron Law of Pods, however that’s a thing. It is:  

“The earlier and better a POD, the less time they remain a POD.” 

If a player with low ownership starts doing really well, people are going to bring him in. The longer he does well and the better he does the more people will bring him in, until he is no longer low owned and thus no longer a POD. 

The Inverse Law of Pods:  

“The worse a POD performs, the longer he stays a POD.”

You pick someone with low ownership and they do badly, their ownership will end up dropping. So, they are a point of difference, but a bad one. Not so good. 

The Rusty Curse of Pods:  

“After you trade out an under-performing POD, he will most likely start doing well.”

Not a rule, but just the Supercoach gods rubbing it in. 

Anyways, taking a player because they have a low ownership is a bad idea, because if they are a good pick, soon others will have them, and if not you have a bad pick.  Take players because they are good players or good picks, regardless of their ownership.

Oh and stuff Freo Tragic says: “Basically there’s no use going a POD unless you truly think they are going to be good at SC period.” Yes, that, exactly that is what I was trying to say! 


Floors & Ceilings, Basements & Roofs



Terms to simply and quickly describe how a player is priced v their range of likely averages. 

Basement priced:  A player who is going to average far over what they are priced to average.  Or putting it another way, someone who’s worst case average is better than what they are priced to average.

Floor Priced:  A player who is unlikely to average significantly lower than what they are priced to average and who has a significant chance of averaging much higher than where they are priced.

Accurately priced:  A player who is likely to perform at about the same level as what they are priced to average.

Ceiling Priced:  A player who is unlikely to average significantly higher than what they are priced to average and who has a significant chance of averaging much lower than where they are priced.

Roof Priced:  A player who is so far over what he could reasonably do that his best case is below what he is priced to average.

I gave some examples, interesting with hindsight. 


Basement priced: Jack Ziebel – Oh yeah

Floor Priced:  Dunkley, Cripps, and Tom Phillips – Dunks, even with his injury issues was under 2 points off.  Cripps, well, wrongety wrong, wow.  Tom Phillips. Sigh, what was I thinking?  Silly me….thinking how to describe players like him in the future….

Accurately priced: Dustin Martin, well, did fall off a lot but I feel he could have done better so not terrible as a guess at his level.  Luke Parker was two over, so yes.  Tom Stewart went up 7 so the average group on average was average? 

Ceiling Priced: Jake Lloyd was exactly this. His 2020 average of 122.2 was crazy high and he was a terrible pick.  Tomahawk dropped by 11.9 back to a very respectable 93.9, but the idea he would keep up, let alone beat a career high average he set at 32, was crazy town. 

Roof Priced: Max Gawn lost 19.1 from his average, which given his 2020 139.9 was super high and 11.5 over his previous high score made regression to the mean a near certainty.  Given he still went for 120.8 I wont say he was a bad pick, but, those were very expensive points and paying a 1538% premium for points is not a Good Thing. But, Roof priced just meant he was very likely to go down a lot and he did that. 

So, apparently I can pick ceiling and roof priced player ok, and Basement ok, but Floor and average not so much.  Or I should have thought harder for my examples….well….I think the accurate guys really were around what we might expect, I mean they were not clearly anything else….the floor guys, well….Phillps was silly optimism based on more midfield time…..

I guess guys like him are really average priced but with a chance of circumstance change. Which is not floor priced. So, good to know when I look at some of this year’s players. 

Oh, I also did math-stuff to show the benefits of picking floor priced players. Not really a surprise that more points for the same cost is good though. 

Ok, there are probably more things that I should have covered but I did not think of, so please let me know in the comments if you are think of any. 


Thanks for reading!



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7 thoughts on ““Stuff” Father Dougal Says”

  1. Great stuff FD.

    So much to think about in all this. You don’t want to pick Ceiling Priced players like Macrae and Steele but their ability to go x2 as Captains surely needs to be factored in ? Also someone like Gawn that was so overpriced, but was still the highest scoring ruckman for total points. He played all 22 and was (overall) 120+ points better than the next guy.

    For me there has to be some very good reasons to “Overpay ” All Ceiling priced players need to be ultra durable and Captains options. They also need to be almost locks to finish 1-2 in their positions . This justifies their cost in my mind.

    Everyone else is fair game..EG: They need to be value keepers, or making money.

    So many great things to think about here . Thanks again FD.


    1. Some of the things that floor, ceiling and roof price doesn’t take into accounts are:

      The need to pay a premium price for captaincy options.

      The opportunity cost and limited availability of trades.

      Job security.

      The benefit in parking surplus money (yes it sometimes exists) on the field where it’s still likely to score points.

      Availability of floor and ceiling priced players, and the gap between their scoring and the roof priced player.

      Then of course there is the price depreciation factors FD talks about, because there is an economy within SC with deflation built in.

      It seems obvious while we have free infinite trades before round 1 starts that you want as many basement priced players, and rejig to get the most keepers and the most cash generators.

      Yet all of these issues become more relevant as the season continues, so you can’t just build for most long term gain.

      If you do you might come home in a gallop but have given too much of a lead.


      1. I think Macrae and Steele are priced about at their average and not ceiling priced! Jack is about a 125 player who goes a bit over or under. Ceiling means a strong chance of scoring a lot lower, and small chance of even scoring the same, like Lloyd was last season. Neither Macrae nor Steele are expected to score 10-15 lower than last season. That would be a big shock. And either one could go up by five or so. So pretty much priced to average I’d say.

        I know I wrote something last season or the one before where I noted that while cost per points was king, an expensive captain was still the lowest cost per point player on the team because of the doubled points. So, getting the highest scoring player in a season is worth overpaying for, because as long as he is a regular captain you are not overpaying.

        Later this week there will be a post about my thoughts on midfielders, and time permitting I will do forwards and defenders as well. At least the ones I have something to say about.


  2. FD !
    Ive no idea what you do for a quid but if its not writing in some capacity, then you are Truly wasting your talent !
    Real food for thought.
    Happy SC ’22


    1. Thank you!

      I’m a Senior Business Analyst / Scrum Master. Ideally I figure out how complicated systems work and then what changes are needed to the software involved in those systems in order to make them more useful. Sometimes I end up figuring out simple systems and helping a development team get things done. So I do write some but nothing nearly as fun or interesting. Sadly it would be hard to make as much doing creative writing as I do currently.

      I got my start in software making computer games though, back in the 90s, and I did more creative things there sometimes. As it is I enjoy writing here a lot, which I why I do it.



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