Risk V’s Reward: A mathematical look at Ruck Structures
With the emergence of Giles, the option of taking 4 ROOKIE RUCKS into season 2012 needs to be explored and possibly even entertained.
Before going any further, the mathematical concept of RISK v REWARD needs to be explored.
In chance events, increased risks require a relative increased reward being offered before taking on the gamble. For example, if Crouching tosses a coin twice and offers me a night with Mrs. Tiger if two heads turn up, do I take on this bet when losing means he gets to keep my beloved laptop?
Risk = 3 in 4 chance I lose my beloved Laptop
Reward = 1 in 4 chance I get to experience the elusive act of love making.
I can always back up my data and buy another Laptop – I’ll take him on. I have weighed up the RISK verses the REWARD and made a decision.
While most teams this year already have Giles locked in & either ONE or TWO of Redden, Stephenson & Longer, I predict that VERY FEW would have 4 Rookie Rucks.
It is interesting to explore the expected game outcomes of different Ruck combinations playing together. With each set of players, expected outcomes differ. This form of expected outcome analysis is referred to as COMBINATORICS (While it is yet to work for me, dropping this word in a social setting is known to increases you crumpet strike rate).
So let’s look at some Giles Ruck combinations and expected outcomes;
Before you post a scathing comment, I assigned all Rookie Rucks who are likely to play in Round 1 with a 70 pt. average and all those unlikely to play with a 50 pt. average. I consider these conservative estimates – Redden has a scaled pre-season average of 102.67 (see here),
I deliberately included players’ 2011 Supercoach Standard deviation as this gives us an important measure of predictability that I would like to compare to this next table;
Top 20 2011 Supercoach players in terms of Standard Deviation.
So here lies the main argument for entertaining a 4 Rookie Ruck Strategy. Money saved on Rookie Rucks will enable you to upgrade to a more reliable(lower standard deviation) player from another line.
So let’s now consider the RISK v’s REWARD for this interesting 2012 Supercoach Strategy. Next to each I have place a numerical value between -10 and 10 indicating my calculated risk or reward value.
Risk 1,-3 Your starting Rucks cannot output reasonable and consistent scores.
Given that Giles has already locked away 88 points against Mumford and Redden’s pre-season form has been solid, Stephenson is guaranteed a game and Longer is looking solid …… the probability that you will field at least two starters long enough to upgrade to an inform Premium Ruck is high.
Reward 1, +5 The obvious money saved in the Ruck allows another Premium elsewhere.
I have already discussed the standard deviation but With Nic Nat and HMac spending more time in the middle, Cox and Goldstein may not meet their break-evens. Sandilands may play but injury concerns are a risk. Luenberger still has question marks over his consistency. McEvoy still seems like a solid pick.
Are the risks associated with picking one of these Premiums, at a cost, less than the risks of picking a Priddis, Murphy or Mitchell on another line? Same price range, less risk. And will Priddis, Murphy or Mitchell outscore the Premium Ruck that you could have picked? Important questions you need to determine.
Risk 2, -6 The cash cowing potential of the Rucks are not as positive as that of rookies on other lines.
This is a serious risk that must be weighed up in terms of reward. Given the nature of this position and the man-on-man battle, it is difficult for young emerging Ruckmen to maintain a high scoring output. As a result of this, other positions are more likely to produce better cash cow options.
If going for a 4 Rookie Ruck set up, I would suggest still choosing the key rookies on other lines, leaving some money in the bank to ensure you can upgrade to premium in Week 3.
Reward 2, +6 Upgrading to a Premium Ruck in Week 3 will ensure that you get on an inform player.
Selecting a Premium before the round 1 lockout and finding out that his output is ordinary puts you in an awkward position. Do you burn a trade and go sideways for another inform Ruck? These trades are team killers. By leaving some money in the bank, Week 3 will allow you to cash in one cow from another line and then upgrade one of your rookies to the best Premium Ruck in form – it could be Kruezer, it could be Natinui. Those without the 4 Rookies will be less inclined to jump on them early.
Risk 3, -5 Given the lack of viable Dual Position Rucks, trading in Rucks is limited.
You would only expect to trade in the Ruck position twice over the whole season. Each time upgrading to a Premium inform Ruck. This means potentially missing out on any value gained by two of your starting Rookie Rucks. Given this, is it worth making your R4 position anything other than a $94,000? Does it matter if he plays and changes in value? This factor is a serious consideration and makes getting your starting 2 Rookies right and perhaps saving cash by selecting Campbell and Pattison as your R3 and R4.
It is for this reason that I included a few of the possible RUCK/FORWARD swing men in the table. Deliberatley taking Rowe in the R4 position and having say, Hale in your forward line allows you an extra degree of trading freedom – another consideration for those taking on this strategy.
Reward 4, +6 YOU MAY BE DOING SOMETHING UNIQUE WHICH PUTS YOUR TEAM AT A STATISTICAL ADVANTAGE TO OTHER TEAMS.
This factor almost seals the deal for me – a very risky option but think of it this way;
If you go for a 2 Premium 2 Rookie or a 1 Premium 3 Rookie, regardless of who you pick, your team will be matched by thousands of others with the same players. This makes it very difficult for you to win the $50,000. If you start with 4 Rookie Rucks and it works, you put yourself in a better winning position than the other structures ….. unless this article inspires 1000’s to try this move!!
This factor is important and while luck plays a part, your team selection goes into making your own luck to some degree.
But what a risk – Are you prepared to take a risk that may have your team out of top 10,000 contention if this strategy fails?
Think about this;
“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo F. Buscaglia (1924-1998)
Let’s not forget ImpromptuSC won last year as he took the risk of NOT having Goddard.
And finally, am I going with the Rookie 4 Ruck Strategy? Not telling ….. but my plus, minus risk factors did add up to +3 ….. hhmmmm.