The Fantastic (MidPrice) Four

Written by Schwarzwalder on March 7 2019

**You remember ‘Anonymous’? The contributor that wrote about Potentially UnderPriced DEFs & FWDs?  That was MattyW…….and he’s back with some more great advice for us.  Take it away, MattyW……….- Schwarzwalder**


(Written & Created By MattyW)


…it’s Thursday night and the first match of the JLT is nearly at an end. A mate who I consistently consult with regarding SuperCoach is blowing up my phone,Newman.”


“Told you.”

We’d spent the summer going back and forth..

Me: “you’re stupid not to start with Williams”

Mate: “Newman will score better”

Me: “I don’t even know why I bother with you”

Fast forward to Saturday; now I’ve just recently had my first child so I’ve conveniently swapped a Saturday faced with chasing a red leather ball for a Saturday on the couch watching the JLT with the occasional nappy change. Dylan Roberton who I’ve flirted with at D4 is getting plenty of the ball and just refusing to handball it. Lock him in.

Now as the showdown begins to start I’ve got my eyes locked on the three Power rookies currently sitting in my side.  By the end of the 1st quarter, my eyes are firmly fixed on my phone looking at Brodie Smith’s scoring history.

The Sydney Derby holds no real interest to me but I watch the first quarter anyway to see my current D3 who’s been sitting there since SuperCoach opened.  He has the ball on a string early……..I still don’t know how anyone could start without Zac Williams.

But you can’t start with them all……….



JLT 1: 82 (60mins)

Past season averages: 0, 94, 88, 70

After missing the entirety of the 2018 home and away season, Williams did exactly what you want an injured potential premium to do, showed his scoring prowess in the finals without rising up his price for the following year (117, 77).

Prior to his injury Williams was making his way towards a steady incline of SuperCoach relevancy an 88 point average in 2016 saw an 18 point rise from the previous year as he established himself in the Giants best 22, he then improved that to an average of 94 in 2017. One of the big draw cards to Williams is his ability to turn 100’s into big 100’s. With all 6 from his ‘17 season going 109+, with a high of 145.

Williams looks pretty safe to average 85 at a minimum while natural improvement would see him push his average towards 100.


NIC NEWMAN $394,100

JLT 1: 97 (108mins)

Past season averages: 73, 83

I should probably begin here with a little bit of honesty, I don’t like him. Not because I know him or have ever met him (I’m sure he’s lovely). But because on a cold Sunday in 2017, I was struggling for league wins in SuperCoach but had found myself in the drivers seat to take home the four points. A late change in an earlier game had left my opponent with just Newman to play and I was 147 points in front. I missed out on finals by two points that year.

A bit of a mini-SC pig, his rebounding game is perfect for SC when played off the half back flank.  At Carlton he’ll be playing off the half back flank. His record consists of 12 games at 85+ from 28 career games. Personally, I can’t get over his betrayal in 2017.



JLT 1: 103 (80mins)

Past season averages: 88, 82, 75, 77, 94

Brodie is a bit of a SuperCoach enigma to me.  Yes, he plays that much lauded half-back role.  Yes, he’s a metres-gained beast……..but he doesn’t really have the scoring history you want.

He is underpriced though, and what he is, is someone who can go very very large.  His 2014 season (94 average) saw 7 games over 118, but also 5 games under 70. A quick start with some big 100’s could see Smith’s price rocket up in the early rounds. But one year with premium defensive status doesn’t fill you with confidence.  He’s a roller coaster ride, don’t be afraid to jump off early (low scores since 2014; 59, 32, 54, 45, 16, 50, 43, 22, 47, 42, 48, 35, 46*)

*first game back from long term injury



JLT 1: 103 (98mins)

Past season averages: 69, 93, 77, 91

Looking at all four players they all share similar qualities…….an ability to go large, but also to pull out a stinker.  Roberton is no different but his seems more to do with the role he’s playing.

Unfortunately for us, Roberton is actually one of those pesky defenders who is actually quite good at defending, meaning he can sometimes be asked to play as a stopper.  When freed up he’s a premium as shown by five big 100’s in 2015 and 8 tons in 2017.

His heart scare is of course a worry but I don’t think it’s enough to disregard him. No Carlisle for Saints certainly dampens his selection but hopefully after round 1 we see the Saints line up with Austin & Brown which should free Roberton up.



…I’ve probably gone on too long so I do apologise for those that are still reading as I’ve written this in the hope of creating a discussion, so firstly let me tell you my current situation.

I still believe Williams is a lock and even if I go with a full guns & rookies side, I’ll still start with him. I’d rather have $100k sitting in my bank than starting a premium I’m not entirely sure on.

I can’t fit Newman in at this stage but going through the numbers, he’s probably the most consistent and certainly underpriced.

Currently I have 2 versions of my team……Smith & Roberton together only cost $630,000.  If that’s what you’ve got to spend, a $117-$124k rookie leaves you with enough for a Howe, Shaw, Hurley or Ryan at D4 OR a Steele or Taranto at M5/6  OR a Tim Kelly, Wingard, Walters at F3/4

Those D4 options don’t leave me with confidence, and if the rookies aren’t there come round 1, I’ll be planning to play Williams, Smith & Roberton with the hope that Williams is a keeper and Smith & Roberton are very quick sideways trades to premiums.

If we have plenty of good rookies in defence however, I don’t think I’ll have the stomach to start with all three. 😉

So who do you feel is best option?

Who is the best DEF mid-price option? (two choices)

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For the serious Coaches out there, how many could you possibly start with? (maximum)

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16 thoughts on “The Fantastic (MidPrice) Four”

  1. Of all the lines, the back line simply seems to have the most convincing selection of midpricers this year – even in that premium/midpricer bracket (Ryan, Witherden, Mills). Could easily take Williams, Roberton and say Witherden for less than Laird and Lloyd – lots of value here…


  2. I think that Zac Williams COULD actually outscore Whitfield this season. So a defident lock for me

    I’m not sold on Smith as you said there is no history to suggest he can average 90+, not to mention his injuries. Trap there for me.

    Newman, I can see merit in starting him he will see the ball heaps in the Carlton defence but can he go big in a loosing team. I’m not sure & would love a stat on his average in loosing games.

    Roberton for me is a great selection when the key backs are in he will roam & pick up touches everywhere. Personally I think he will average 90+ & am happy to start him.

    Hope that helps


  3. from afl site
    What is more clearcut is who will be taking the majority of the kick-outs for the Crows – superboot Brodie Smith demanding the role, according to Laird.
    “Brodie’s sort of said, ‘Don’t go near the ball’,” Laird said.
    “If he gets a bit of a run-up, he can probably kick it near the centre circle.
    “If you can do that out of a kick out and get it out of your defensive 50, then I don’t see why you don’t do that the majority of the time, but if you’ve players who are clearly on, you can chain the ball on and we’ve got that option too.

    “Just be a matter of what he wants to do, but I dare say he’ll want to let a few go down the middle.”


  4. | But you can’t start with them all……….

    Watch me!

    Great write up Matty.

    On a serious note, I think Williams and Roberton are safe picks. I’ve been keen on Williams for years so at 400k it’s an absolute steal and Robbo is cheap and good enough to at least be a stepping stone. I’ll likely pass on Newman, I can’t quite see him jumping to the premo status and at 400k, you want to be sure. It’s either a boom or bust pick that will be stuck in your team for the year.


  5. Brilliant write-up anonymous. You should definitely do more of this … please!!

    Williams is a LOCK at D3 for me.

    I have FOMO on BSmith, but will probably go Roberton instead. As you say, I think picking two of the four is the maximum any head can take!

    My concern with Robbo is that Carlisle is OUT (LTI) and Logan Austin played for Sandringham last week after an interrupted pre-season (groin and left shoulder). I hear he was disappointing to say the least. Not sure if and when he’ll make it into the side. With Brown suspended, does that leave Robbo playing a defensive role? The problem is if you’re gonna go Robbo, you really need to start him.

    For these reasons, I’m almost tempted to start BSmith and make a corrective trade to Robbo after Rd2 if necessary / appropriate. If Smith smashes it (I have a feeling he might) then I’ve backed the right horse. Would love to hear thoughts on this risky strategy.

    Thanks again MattyW, brilliant stuff!

    PS no way Newman


    1. Agree with the Smith Robbo points will likely start with Smith and if he spuds it and Robbo guns it i’ll use corrective trade after round 2


      1. I feel reassured. Thanks Nateo. Sample size 1, but sometimes it’s quality over quantity that counts 🙂


  6. Really great piece! Williams is a lock but the other 3 are traps imo.

    Roberton will have inconsistent role game to game, smith has showed he is to up and down and Newman isnt getting that many points with Simpson taking it serious.

    I think all 3 will ave 75 to 85 and be stuck in no man’s land. Even if they ave 90, I think they will be 10 points off the top 6 defenders and I dont think they present enough value to be a stepping stone. Think I’m in the minority here though.


    1. Don’t think you are mate. I think it’s people’s lack of trust in the premos that makes them relatively attractive.
      After Laird, Lloyd and Whitfield it is unclear who the top6 will be now that Sicily’s role is in serious question and Simmo’s an octogenarian!
      Underpriced mids* therefore seem relatively attractive while it all plays out.
      Further, if you’re starting Grawndy and add to that, that money has to be spent FWD as # of decent rookies with decent JS appears scant at best, taking a punt down back frees you up a little to ‘cover’ the FWD problem.

      * mids = MIDPRICERS in this instance, and not MIDs.


      1. hmmm . I don’t think Whitfield is now all that certain – his role is going to be a Mr fixit and playing all over the field … I think there is large risk in him this year … based on the first JLT and comments made …


    2. I genuinely think Newman (he has the Docherty role, and has posted a near-premium average before even without that level of responsibility) and Roberton (who averaged 90+ in 2017) will both average 90+.

      People focused on leagues understandably want to get as close as possible to the best 6 defenders towards the business end of the season. But my focus is on overall rank, so if I can get a player who can average 90+ right the way through the season for very little money, I’m sold.


  7. Great write up … When I saw the ‘Fantastic mid-priced Four’ title I was expecting to see Williams, Libba, Taranto and Greene. Need a ‘DEF’ in there.
    Nonetheless, most know my view on Smith (nup), and Williams is a keeper at great value. .. Roberton and Newman will see a lot of footy come their way because of the teams they play with… but, price wise Roberton is the only stepping stone. He could make between $130 and $150K … Newman, depending on timing (sell on the way up or on the way down) could make you between $30k and $100k. I think it will be closer to the $30k than the $100k. Better value in a rookie like Jordan Clarke @ $144K, or if you want to speculate have a look at Tom Cole who is a breakout candidate at $340k.


    1. I was expecting prime choices from def, mid, ruck and fwd.
      Are we going to get Fantastic Four from each position?
      I had the FF + Mills and Hurn listed (strange ring to it that) awaiting JLT2 culling, but now I’m prematurely wanting to get rid of Newman and Roberton.


  8. Barring a massive glut of backline rookies come round 1, I’ll be starting 3: Williams, Newman, and Roberton.



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