Heading into my 5th season with the last two seasons being my best:
2016 – 1,229 (peaked at 563 round 11)
2017 – 1,492 (peaked at 274 round 12)
My goal is to finish as high as I can which generally results in a strong half of the year climbing up the ranks before my rank blows out by double in the final 3 weeks due to lack of trades. Generally waste several every year premium swapping which is a big no-no, but yet to learn.
Laird and Hibberd know how to find the ball and that translates to points. Both rather safe picks to finish top 6 defenders for the season and make great starting choices. With potential role changes to the other top end premiums (Yeo, Hurley), Laird/Hibbo are the obvious starting 2 for my team.
Savage – One who had a great finish to 2017 and showed he’s still playing the same role this year if the JLT series is anything to go by (attacking rebound role like Laird/Hibberd).
Rookies up back seem to be falling into place, Coffield/Naughton come with a bit of a price tag but both play a half back/interceptor role which has always been great for SuperCoach points.
NB: If Dangerfield plays Rd1, he’s in, no second guesses.
Martin – Over the last 10 years, the Brownlow medallist on average hold their SuperCoach score level. Started 2017 with a bang (144 over the first 3 weeks) before being parked in the forward line for a few weeks with groin complaints before finishing the last 18 games (inc finals) with 17 games 105+ at an average of 127. One who I think will push the 120 average again for the season and one I want in my team.
Mitchell – It’s genuinely a good idea to start players who are consistent, the ability to bank 110 points guaranteed week in week out often isn’t appreciated. They tend to hold their price at a constant for the year allowing you to round out your team with a few fallen premiums (i.e. Sloane averaged 110 last year, but didn’t score between 92 and 119 the entire season) – thus, maximising the points per dollar spent. Mitchell does it better than no other and with his bye, is a lock for mine.
Fyfe – No real explanation required, first full pre-season in a few years and will be back out to reclaim the number 1 footballer title, I imagine watching the rise of Danger/Martin while he’s been injured wouldn’t be a nice feeling. Finished 2017 strong, tore the international series to shred with his aerial prowess (contested marks!) and is clearly underpriced on his potential.
Parker – Have you ever noticed Parker’s trend the last 5 years? 87, 109, 100, 112 and 99, meaning he’s back to 110!! And yes, before you say it, I know that’s not how it works. Started slow last year with the rest of the team, he turned it on after the bye with an average of 107. With Hannebery and JPK having limited pre-seasons, and Parker a full one (for a change), he is primed for a big year.
Cripps – He was locked into my team the moment the news came through that he would miss the rest of the 2017 season. Averaged 107 back in 2016 before having back surgery in the off-season with the Rd1 game against Richmond being pretty much the first exercise he did. Not a great first game back which is to be expected however he went on to average 107 for the remainder of the season up until his injury affected game dropping his season average to 97. First ever full-preseason and now has shown he can hit the scoreboard too, which should see him with increased TOG in 2018 and I can see him jumping to an average of 110. The bye is great too!
Most teams seem to be rocking a premium or at least Coniglio at M6, but I quite like the look of the midfield rookies compared to other lines so have opted for quicker cash generation a handful of early season points. This has allowed me to boost up lines that I don’t feel comfortable with (cough, forwardline, cough).
Goldstein– I’ve had many a folk here over the pre-season but have settled for Goldy for now. Last year was an absolute shocker (self confessed and said he was battling demons) and he still managed a 95 average. Looked good again over JLT – the Preuss factor is a concern, but they weren’t played in tandem, surely Scott would have wanted to see how they work if they were going to play together?
Gawn –You cannot also afford to have as a POD in your opponents favour at that price. Lock.
Remember how beautiful Gawnstein was in 2016? That 172 each in Rd3 against each other brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.
Franklin – Now I know I said I never start with him, but I’ve changed my mind this year! Looks in ripper knick and the Swans will get off to a better start this year, fair few easy games to start the season and even with a couple of harder ones, he scored decently against them last year. Locked to be top 6 and with so much uncertainty on this line, I’m just removing some of the headache.
Billings – I want to start with one young gun and Billings is the lucky chosen one, mainly because he is slightly cheaper than Heeney. He had a strong finish in 2017 and I expect it to continue.
Walters – I’ve been off Walters the last two years despite him popping up for times as possibly relevant but 2018 is finally his time. Been training almost exclusively with the midfield group this pre-season, he also got the 3rd most centre bounce appearances for Fremantle in the JLT series. One worry is if we need him up forward if the likes of Matera/Ballas and Bennell are all not performing, injured or in jail.
McLean – Was rotated through the midfield in the back half of 2017 where his average jumped to 97. Got what I wanted to see in the JLT series (rotating through midfield again) and with his handy Rd12 bye, I’m jumping on board.
Smith – He made the move from GWS for increase midfield time and like Walters, has almost done 100% of the pre-season with the midfield group. Essendon have always had a midfielder SuperCoach friendly game plan which will be enough for Smith to finish 90+ for the season.
Confidence on the forward rookies is pretty low, as you can tell, but quite like the overall structure of the team regardless. I have no doubt one will fail and I will use a correction trade to move them on for Dangerfield with a cash out of a rookie prematurely in Rd4/5, but for Danger, it’s worth it.
Let me know where you think I have gone wrong and what I could do to approve, I have $24,200 in the bank. Byes are heavily towards Rd14 but thankfully that’s the last one with many upgrades and injury trades to make before then.
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