Team Reveal – The Salamander

Written by The Salamander on March 22 2019

Well, this has been a fun preseason! Between the lack of rookies and the uncertainty surrounding many established premiums, it’s a minor miracle that anyone has been able to put together a team at all. Many have dealt with this by leaning heavily on the Brodie Smiths and Brad Crouches of the world. As my in-season game style is rather trade-intensive, I need to be able to start as many keepers as I can, so I have taken a slightly different approach.


There are five decent cows at this end of the ground. The only one that’s missing from my team is Sam Collins, who, at his price, I have deemed surplus to requirements. It’s possible he could find his way in if I need to make any unexpected changes.

The Salamander's starting backline.

Lloyd and Laird should need no introduction, nor should Williams. I originally had Whitfield, but when the news came through about him potentially playing forward this year, I decided to find a new D3. Simpson is a bit expensive, Sicily also has question marks over his role, Milera, Andrews, and Witherden are all promising but still a tad speculative, and Crisp is a slow starter (he’ll be coming into my team sometime around round 7). Eventually, I settled on Luke Ryan. He wasn’t playing a lockdown role in the JLT, which is what likely caused his output to decline in the latter half of last year, and he is somebody who could definitely benefit from the new kick-in rules. And, as Adam has noted in his Elite Numbers, he doesn’t depend on having a high disposal count to score well. Throw in the fact that he’s still only 23, and I don’t see what’s not to love. Surprisingly, he’s only in two percent of teams.


This is where the good cows are this year, so I’ve made sure to leave enough room for them by only starting four premiums + Liberatore.

The Salamander's starting midfield.

Like Lloyd and Laird, Cripps and Oliver need no introduction. Merrett is definitely underpriced relative to his abilities, and has a good early draw on an average-vs-opponent basis. There’s also a good chance that Shiel will draw the opposition taggers, freeing him up to rack up even more points. Finally, Neale is very durable, and has the potential to boost his average further now that he’s no longer in Fyfe’s shadow. If I had a bit more money I probably would have got Macrae instead, but I don’t, so Neale will do fine.


And now, the forward line.

Hang on, forward line? Isn’t the normal convention to talk about the rucks at this point?

It is. But in this case I want people to see the rest of my team before they freak out about that. Also, aren’t you Father Dougal’s rhetorical device?

I’m a different interlocutor!

I see… and who gave you permission to be here?

Umm… err… Mot… err… no… err… Schwozzelbadger!


Yeah, him!

I don’t think he did… anyway, clear off! You’re distracting my readers.

You know, your avatar’s not even a salamander… what is that, a meerkat?

It’s a lemur. And I said clear off!

I’m terribly sorry about this…

The Salamander's starting forward line.

Once again, the first two require no introduction – I can sense a pattern forming! I’ve rounded them out with Tim Kelly at F3, and a very underpriced Toby Greene at F4. Apart from Moore, who is cheap enough to be cow-like, Setterfield is the only rookie I have on the field on this line. And that’s exactly how I like it!


The Salamander's starting rucks. No Gawn or Grundy!

Aaaand cue the downvotes. But before you do, look at the rest of the team: a beefy backline, a powerful top-line midfield complemented by plenty of good cash cows, and a near rookie-less forward line. All of that had to be paid for, and the money had to come from somewhere. That somewhere was here.

The Goldstein pick shouldn’t be too controversial – he’s priced to average 100, and could easily go ten percent better than that – but Lycett will probably raise a few eyebrows. Eventually, I want to play him forward and use him as swinging cover. For now, though, I need him to hold down R2, because with Mumford getting himself suspended, no compelling budget ruck options have presented themselves during the preseason (apart from Andrew Phillips, whose job security is pretty shaky). I’m not optimistic about Lycett’s chances against Gawn this week, but after that, his draw isn’t too bad in terms of direct opponents. He’ll probably only average 80-something for the season, but that’s okay – I have a cunning plan:

1. Play him at R2 for the first four weeks.
2. Bring in Mumford for round five, and move Lycett to the forward line, where he’ll eventually end up on the bench.
3. In terms of direct opponents, Mumford has a good draw up to his bye, so as long as he gets through his first two matches unscathed, he’ll be great value for his $320K price tag.
4. Like Goldstein, Mumford has a round 14 bye. That happens to be a week after Gawn and Grundy. If the form of one or both of them warrants it, I’ll be able to trade them in during round 14. By being able to play two good rucks during every bye round, that’s potentially an extra 200+ points I wouldn’t have otherwise got, which puts a sizeable dent in the spread between whatever Grawndy and my Goldstein/Lycett/Mumford combo score over the first 12 rounds. Throw in the money I’m saving upfront (which is being spent, i.e. converted to extra points), and it’s going to be hard for me to not come out ahead here.

So, that’s my team. I’ll update this post if I make any major changes over the weekend.


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26 thoughts on “Team Reveal – The Salamander”

  1. I worked along the same lines, however, I ran with Goldstein and Witts.
    Nailing the Cats rookies would be a great start.
    Good luck.


  2. Innovative! A good if risky approach, but you know that already.

    Oh dear, an imaginary interlocutor showed up. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny….


  3. Like blue chips stocks on the stock exchange, so the same is for Gawn and Grundy.

    Blue chip and very expensive. So, my question is would you buy these 2 if they were ASX listed stocks knowing that they have a very expensive price, there ceiling room is limited and they will (not if) fall in price, not by a lot but I think they could drop to the 550-600k price range. This would represent a drop of about 20%. Just like in the stock market, this would represent a great buying opportunity.

    So I am going on the theory that I could select, say a Goldstein and Jacobs for nearly 400k less than Grundy and Gawn. Whilst their SC output would be less (they are priced to ave 85-95), I believe they are fair value and will not drop much going forward. Of the two, I think Goldstein is worth keeping and he should do well but If Jacobs turns out to be a failure, then by all means upgrade to either Gawn or Grundy and treat it as a failed experiment.

    By doing this, and I understand it is risky, it has enabled me to have spare coin to pick up 13 premos on other lines. For example:

    Def Laird Whitfield, Williams and Smith plus the usual rookies (I think Smith could be a premo and a keeper if he scores well)
    Mids Cripps Oliver, Martin, Gyfe M Crouch and Walsh + rookies
    Fwd Dangerfield Heeney dunkley and T Kelly + rookies

    This makes 13 premos plus Goldstein and Jacobs = 15 premos

    So what do you think of this fellas, a good move? Risky but could pay off and would require less trades to upgrade other lines to premos

    Let me know what you think


    1. I think that if they were actually stocks you might be correct, but you don’t win supercoach by saving money


    2. Good in theory but the $$$$ u saved in the ruck u have spent in the midfield. Even if Grundy and gawn drop in price u won’t have the $$$$ to pick them up when u want to.


      1. thanks Father I read this article and certainly an interesting viewpoint. One that I had not considered. Based on what you say, I will get Gawn in I think


    3. The Salamander, You are not going to win supercoach doing what everyone else is doing. So good luck . Hope it works for you. Your ruck theory seems radical for me for two reasons. Even if Lycett scores well, you’ll need 2 trades to upgrade him to Grundy or Gawn because you have already spent the cash. Second Because the drop in price would not equate with the drop in points and you’ll have to play catch up when most will end up upgrading to 15 rookies anyway.
      Murray, you are a gambler not an investor. An investor does his homework on a company and invests hoping that the compounded growth will bear fruits in 10 to 15 years and it is greater than inflation + best bank return rates. Generally it is around 15%. Lets hope Lycett is a bitcoin and 22 rounds are long enough to make you money. 🙂


      1. Thanks.

        On the trades I’ll need to make in the ruck department, I’m hoping that the extra keeper or two I’ve been able to start (plus having ruck cover from the beginning) will balance that out in net-trades-used terms.


  4. Like the unorthodox structure and POD selections particularly T Goldtsein, L Ryan and Z Merrett.

    Lycett’s the only worry due to his historically poor hitout work over the past 4 seasons:
    49 matches for
    Hitouts Avg: 19.37
    Hitout to Advantage Avg: 4.84
    HTA%: 24.97
    but as mentioned you’ve got a plan to potentially mitigate the impact.

    Good luck for SC2019.


    1. Thanks. I’m not optimistic about Lycett’s chances against Gawn this week, but after that he doesn’t face any super-dominant tap ruckmen for a little while, so fingers crossed he should work out.


  5. Good on you Sal for breaking with convention.
    Not for me, but very best of luck to you.
    Hope it pays off 🙂


  6. I admire someone who thinks outside the box, so well done there. But its not for me, I see it as high risk low reward.

    So many things could go wrong. If Lycett averages 80 (as you projected) he’s in no man’s land. What if Mumford doesn’t play straight away?


    1. If Lycett performs as projected, he ends up on the bench before the byes. A big part of why I want him longer term is ruck cover: do people really want to spend up to fourteen percent of their starting cap on Grawndy, only to have to either cop a doughnut or trade one out if they miss a game? I wouldn’t.

      If Mumford doesn’t play straight away, and Lycett isn’t doing enough to hold down the spot, I’ll bring in a proper premium ruck sooner than planned.


      1. I like your approach. Something different. If people saw by back line your rucks strategy would be considered amazing. But I like to build outside the box as well and appreciate what your trying to accomplish.


  7. Nice team Jack.

    I too have a little plan to get in some Ruck cover pre Byes.

    I’m hoping Westhoff drops to $450K/$500K.

    I will then snatch him up. He is at least capable of providing good cover, and average more in the 90/95ppg range.

    Making him a solid F6 at years end.

    I like your guts to try it…

    But its Grundy and Gawn The Hoff to the rescue for me.


  8. All this talk about what you are going to do…….but……
    Can you please suggest who it is you will be trading out for all this to happen and why them???


    1. Alf Art.

      I currently have Moore at F4 and B Smith at D3 with Moore’s ability to swing back, either or both ( if the cows aren’t ready) could become an early upgrade for The Hoff pre byes.

      If Grundy and Gawn can stay fit I won’t have to worry.

      Ideally the Hoff would come in R13 (post Bye) to help cover G&G Round 13 Bye . By then I should at least have a few fat cows to cash in.

      I would then have Ruck cover late in the season when some players tend to miss a game here or there, or you get the dreaded rested along side their name.

      Best laid plans eh!


      1. Hi FT,

        My request was actually aimed at Sal.
        ……but you have answered with pretty much the reply I was hoping for……because l have a similar plan/hope.

        Cheers Thanks


  9. Good to see some balls with the ruck. Although I probably would go Witts over Lycett. I was too chicken to go different to Gawndy but feel that one of them might be matched by someone else this year, the question is who



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