Team Reveal – The Salamander

Written by The Salamander on March 18 2021

Well, ladies and gentlemen, here it is:

Now that you’ve seen the big picture, I’ll talk you through it line by line.


Three of the four premiums are popular picks, though Maynard is in just 3 percent of teams. There were some Round-13 bye players I slightly preferred to Maynard, but I have one R13-bye player too many in the midfield, so I didn’t want to repeat the same thing on another line. But he’ll do well enough.

At this point I prefer Hawthorn’s Changkuoth Jiath as a cow-like object to the similarly-priced and far more popular Jordan Clark, in part because I saw the former and not the latter play during the pre-season, but also because from what I have gathered, Clark’s impressive AAMI score came from him playing on a wing in a team that had no Mitch Duncan, so I have question marks about how sustainable any high scoring he produces will be. Jiath, on the other hand, appears to have got himself an intercepting/running/distributing role in Hawthorn’s backline – a role which any seasoned coach knows equals points. Hawthorn and Geelong play on the same day this week, so on the off-chance that I’m misreading the Hawks’ backline situation completely, and he doesn’t even get named, I can swap him out for Clark very easily.

The two rookies here are pretty standard. Koschitzke impressed for the Hawks over the pre-season, while Highmore looked comfortable at the level when I attended the Blues/Saints AAMI Series match. 

And Aiden Fyfe is cheap, dual-position, unlikely to play, and has a decent loopholing fixture for the first six weeks, so he’s my permanent loophole. I also get to say I’m captaining Fyfe… 😉


No messing about here: three of last year’s best, plus three more who are very likely substantially underpriced, and the good midfield cows.

I have one more Round 13-bye premium than I really ought to, but as long as I’m careful about the rest of my bye planning I’ll probably get away with it. I did consider switching Macrae to Steele to fix that up, but my gut feels better about starting Macrae than Steele, so Macrae it is.


I told myself at the start of the pre-season that I was going to be sensible and start Grawndy this year. Then I saw what having two rookie rucks on the field did for the rest of my team, and I couldn’t unsee it.

Rule #1 of Cowquisition also says to “Start the season with as many good cows as you can get, up to where you have undesired left-over money.”, whilst Rule #4 states “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.”

There happen to be three good ruck cows this year, so here we are. The lack of Gawn and Grundy, when most teams will have at least one, will no doubt leave me a few points short in that line every week. But it also gives me well over a million dollars in extra cash – and you can buy a lot of extra points for a million bucks. I also feel like I have enough good captaincy options throughout the team to not suffer too badly on that front.


The top line of the forwards shouldn’t need too much explaining, while Ziebell and Daniher both strike me as perfectly acceptable risks at their price point. The rookies here are pretty standard, plus Fullerton’s ruck status may come in handy if something goes horribly wrong and I find myself needing a spare warm body in that line.

All of that leaves me with $52,400 left in the bank. If something goes really wrong when the team sheets drop, I have some Plan B players on each line in the back of my mind that I can downgrade to if I need to free up more cash than that, but hopefully that should be enough to get me through to Round 2 unscathed.

Be honest: what do you really think of the above team?

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Fancy taking the above team on? I’ve got the league for you! 953475 (16 spots left at the time of publishing). Now full. Missed out? Try this one instead: 133946. 😉



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15 thoughts on “Team Reveal – The Salamander”

  1. I honestly can’t back in that ruck structure. I’m confident in Flynn for JS but I don’t have a lot of confidence in Meek and Hunter. If they can’t hold their spot you could be in a nightmare position, as you may not have a heap of money and the ruck premo to bring in could be slim pickings, way off the top 2 of Gawndy.

    The other lines I can accept but that ruck line is a whole another question


    1. I know what you mean. It’s something that I’ve given a fair bit of thought to, but I think Hunter at least gets a good 4 to 6 week run until Ryder is fully fit. At his price, that’s all I really need from him. If the nightmare scenario does happen, my plan, if all else fails, is to swap Neale for Gawn, swapping a rookie ruck for another midfield ruck in the process. I can do something similar in a later round, too, at the expense of a trade or two if need be. But I prefer Hunter and Meek to the alternatives in other positions as cash cows.


    1. Thanks! I honestly think, too, that if Meek and Hunter can string four weeks of games together I can upgrade one of them to a proper ruck (ideally Gawn or Grundy, but if someone else good is available cheaply I’ll take a serious look at them) by Round 5 or 6.


      1. Love the ambition and swimming against the stream. Not sure that maths adds up though.

        If they both average 80 for the first four games that’ll earn them about 125K. So you’ll have one player at 250k and and the 125k from offloading the other. Add your remaining 50k and you’ll be looking at buying a 450k ruckman!

        You’ll have to cull another rookie to get yourself up to max 600k.

        So that’s three trades. You’ll potentially miss out on some cash from offloading three rookies early. And all that doesn’t even get you Grundy, let alone Gawn.


  2. My only concern with this approach is that when you go to replace your rucks, who says you’ll have the cash to get Gawn/Grundy or some other super available premo. Good rucks are pretty expensive. Good luck! Someone had to try it.


  3. Seeing your ruck setup! Your plums must be basketball size.

    If it all goes well in the first 5-7 rounds. You will be well ahead of the pack.

    Good luck Salamander.


  4. If you are concerned about the js of the rookie rucks, then I might suggest the following:

    Drop Daniher. Bring in Scott. Swap Campbell and Scott so that Powell is onfield in the mids and Scott on the bench.

    Put the cash saved on the head of Hunter or Meek to become Hickey or Martin.

    Love the cohunas. Going in a similar direction. Good luck for the season


  5. Nice non cookie cutter / GnR approach Sal – or maybe it is an ultimate GnR approach, just without those premo rucks??!

    Either way my friend, some ultra huge brass ones running that way!!

    Good luck for the season!!



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