Mick the Mad Irishman – The Premium Trap

Published by Jock on

The Premium Trap

We welcome one of our old mates Mick the Mad Irishman to the lineup today. Mad as a cut snake but one of the finest Supercoach and Dreamteam minds in the country. Also recently won the inaugural Jock Reynolds Fantasy Footy Cage Fight at The Crouching One’s gym. You can listen into the coverage of the fight in our recent festive podcast.

The Premium Trap

Premiums, Midpricers and Rookies. Even the most novice of AFL Fantasy footballers would be familiar with these terms. There is a general consensus amongst the AFL Fantasy community that there are only these three categories of players and we tend to bracket all players in one of these three groups. But is it that simple ?

It appears to be an unwritten rule that a player averaging over 100 is a premium, and we as coaches aim to have our teams full with them come Supercoach and Dreamteam finals in August. Last season 51 players finished with so called “premium status”, averaging over 100 a game. But as you would expect the gulf between the top and bottom was quite considerable. Take these two midfields for example, both are filled with “premiums” but I know which one I’d rather have!

Supercoach 2013 midfields

If, for argument sake two coaches filled their midfields from the start of last year as shown above and we assume all players played a full season, the midfield on the top would have outscored the midfield on the bottom by over 1500 points and yet they are both “premium” midfields.

Clearly there are different levels of premiums, in fact there are even different levels of midpricers so I think we can leave the simple three categories of player for the novice coach and step it up here at the Jock Reynolds Fantasy Football Community for our more experienced users. Below is a table outlining seven categories of player that I think better represents what is happening within the game and will better help us coaches when selecting our initial teams without falling into the “premium trap”. For the purpose of this article I will just be looking at the top three categories in detail.

Now instead of looking for a team of premiums, we should really be looking for a team of Elite and Super Elite Premiums. As you can see only 6 players in 2013 will start with super elite status, all midfielders. 17 will start with Elite status and 29 will start with Premium status. Looking a little closer we can see that only 6 players from the Elite and Super Elite levels are something other than midfielders. Of these six, there are two forwards (Pavlich and Franklin), two rucks (Maric and Sandilands) and two ruck/forwards (Cox and Natanui). Of the 52 players above Premium status amazingly only four are defenders (Goddard, Shaw, Waters and Scotland).

There has been a fair bit of early talk on this site already about loading the midfields from the start and going light in the other lines. Looking at the table above I really think this is the best option. Too many coaches look for a well-balanced side from the start with premiums spread across all lines. I say forget about premiums, fill your team with as many elite and super elite players as you can and simply there are just no elite or super elite defenders, and only 4 that have forward eligibility. Obviously the key will be to pick the players with the scope to move up a level.

Now, I just have to decide which ones do I pick ??? Stay tuned …

Mick the Mad Irishman

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Well Mick , Glad you won the cage fight, excellent musings buddy… Now for the first question…
How the hell did you lift my Mid field players for Demo one (From last year)?
Q.2. We now need to concentrate who we think are 2013's break out players. Players like some of the talent in ADL, WCE or dare I mention Freo..All interstate teams with bugger all media coverage outside their own state..
Q3. Are Mid field swing players " a must" either in the back line or up front? I think Yes! And
Q 4. When is the next instalment of the Irish Times coming out

Well thanks for the great article "a cara" …it's a Gealic thing Jock

The Mad Irishman

Dools, conas ata tu mo chara ??
Yes the key will be those breakout players that can jump from a Strong Midpricer or Premium into the Elite and Super Elite levels. Identifying those players will come with time but it's also very important going the other way and picking Super Elite players that won't slide down a level.
On the midfield swing I am one coach that doesn't see this a the be all and end all that alot of other coaches do. Its an interesting topic though and one that may warrant some column space .. Stay turned for the next instalment mate .. looking at doing one a week all going well


Wow Mick, I thought people would be all over this article, must be z Christmas season and all that ? Still shopping myself getting a good deal on Carlton Draught 2 Slabs for $70. I might just make it thru tomorrow..


Should have sung out to you when Tooheys Red was being decommissioned mate… Bought a bloody pallet of the stuff @ $16 a slab. Still reaping the rewards

The Mad Irishman

Can't wait for Hastings Jock .. pallet should see us through the first night, what about the second Jock ??


I stopped on the Toohey's Red when Lion Nathan (NZ Company) bought them out around 96/ 97 and laid off all the boys up in NSW…. I found Coopers Red (SA Ale) the old ring top with the sediment in it (you rolled the bottle or invertrd before opening / drinking but then they changed to a bloody twist top and took out all the sediment ie flavour) now I drink a beer you can get anywhere in Aus..So here I'm in NE VIC enjoying the banter and Carlton Draughts (Stubbies)..Tinnies strickly for the footy old boy
I reckon a case of Guinness will see Jock thru the 2nd day of drinking..( Jock ;Its like a stew but with no solids in it mate) and then top off the weekend with a Tullamore 12YO or a Jamie 18.
Thanks for the Crissy cheer lads …
Yours with discolored testicles


Fantastic article MJ, that graph really helps with making the MID selections. Also shows that the people who decide to be cheap in the guts and skip out on picking one or two of the Super Elite Premiums have gotta have bloody rocks in their heads since they're obviously in a class of their own.

Using your graph and premium system, I'm looking at doing a 2-3-2 or a 2-2-3 approach to picking my MIDS, and then using the idea you mentioned of guys who'll "leap" into the next category. For example, we'll pick Cotchin and Dangerfield from the Elite Premiums bracket, with the belief/hope they'll leap into the Super Elite bracket. And with that in mind, we can eliminate guys like Thompson, Priddis, Mitchell and Tuck, because we're fairly certain they won't make the leap, and may even have a chance to fall down a bracket. Likewise, we could pick Shuey, Redden, Zorko and Ward from the Premium category and hope they leap into Elite Premium and rule out guys like McLean, Stanton, O'Keefe, Chapman, Hayes, Dal Santo, Sewell and Goddard who we know probably won't leap.

So for example, following that idea I could pick something like
Gary Ablett Jr, Scott Pendlebury, Patrick Dangerfield, Trent Cotchin, Luke Shuey, Jack Redden, Dayne Zorko and round out the last playing spot with one of the cheap rookies we're fairly certain will get games and make us some money like Crouch, Viney or Toumpas, who will then be upgraded later in the year to whoever is firing from the Super Elite Premium list. So if that all works out the way it's planned, you're entire midfield would be coming from the Super Elite and Elite categories and even if you're really good with trading and have $ left over, you could even upgrade some Elites into Super Elites towards the end in time to kick some serious butt in the finals. The only downside to this is it takes up about half your cash, so it does mean you'll have to go cheap elsewhere, but as the graph shows, the points come from the mids mostly.

Looking back on last years team, I managed this OK since I finished with Ablett, Watson, Kennedy, Dangerfield, Pendlebury and Priddis as my mids and Beams in my forward line (scored 5 out of 6 on the Super Elites!). We'll see how I go with that when it comes time to actually selecting my team however. I've got my eyes on a few mid-pricers who I think could do well, and my concern isn't necessarily getting my mids set at the start of the year, but towards the end of it, so I can trade in guys who are completely tearing it up.

The Mad Irishman

MRB37 .. spot on mate .. the key is lock in a couple of Super Elite players, and then try find value for money in the Elite level that can step up that level into the Super Elite level, and likewise from the premium level that can jump up into the Elite or dare I say the Super Elite. Josh Kennedy from Sydney was an example from last season. I have some ideas on who I thick those players will be and will be outlining some of these guys once we get to see some pre season action.


Thanks Mick, made me think the whole thing differently.

So everyone that I have on a line I believe can move up a category from last year.

Super Elite – Pendlebury
Elite – Cotchin, Murphy, Franklin, Dangerfield (all could be super Elite this year)
Premium – Shaw, Waters (best defenders available) Roughead, Zorko
strong midprice – gibbs, rockliff, martin
average midprice – bock, ball, leuenberger, LeCras, Pederson, Varcoe
Rookie – B Goodes, Staker, Docherty, Terlich, Whitfield, Crouch, O'Meara, Viney, Grundy, Currie, Daniher, Lee, M Jones

The Mad Irishman

James, your onto an early winner there, the key picking the guys that you believe can go up a level. Pick the right one's and you may very well be in line for the cash. Little early to say, "yes lock those in" but I don't think you will be too far away. Lets see how the pre-season pans out …


Nice James..you are on the right path throw in a few Mature Aged rookies (They will play ie Cash Cows) and youur in Upgrade city…. GAJ should also be in your opening squad… 700K….Money to spend elsewhere if he crash's & burns…


Sitting here in Christmas eve a very bloody proud man. It is a great pleasure to be involved in such a positive and constructive community and I think each and very one of you. This is a place to come without fear of gettin bagged… For ideas and for good times. Bloody chuffed.

Merry Christmas everyone and congratulations Mick on an outstanding debut


Excellent work MIck. Looking forward to some more intellectual conversation than usual down at Hastings this year; I grow weary of Jock's inevitable "puppetry of the penis" performance… And subsequent encores.


Great article Mick. Will be interesting to see which ones of those premiums/elite premiums can jump up a level.


i think one of the big challenge will be what to do at the bottom end…….guys returning from injury (bock, ball) VS mature-age rookies (B Goodes, currie, towers) VS kids (whitfield, daniher, viney).

which is the best cash cow? (probably a bit from each column?)


G'day Community (yet again)
Thanks Jock, Crouching, Higgo and now M.J. You are proud Jock ol' son? We are thankful for being a bit of a bigger thing then obstinate opinion…do it this way… No that's wrong…why did you do that?
Have a great one lads and thanks for letting me have a say
yours with slightly swollen aggets LOL
PS Crouching …The ox is slow but the earth is paitient …Round house his ass in the carpark at St Patricks Cathederal hahahah See you boys there..for the service I mean


Danm spell check…rearranging me speak


Great article MJ. Christmas eve reading at its best.
Unfortunately with the loading up on mid elite/super premiums is that this year its going to be very difficult to get fwd and def rookies that will be any good as cash cows. All the good cows will be in the mids. So unless all of your team choices are spot on and you don’t have a need to generate heaps of spare cash……. Its going to be difficult to end up with a team full of super premiums. Even with 30 trades.
IMO anyway 🙂


Wrong young man ,wrong
Cash cows as follows ; Luke Ball (God even mentioning his name makes me cry) Travis Varcoe DPP Mid FWD cheap as chips for the talent, Embers from WCE in my little opinion some of the boys from other inerstate also rate a big mention Slone ADL &Thompson always liked some young 'uns from Freo.
Def Cash ciws Brett Goodes WBD or even a Brodie Grundy (COL) Ruc
There are plenty out there if you need help well this is tha place mate

Paul S

Loving this site and the PREMIUM feedback!
I'm thinking ONE Super Elite, ONE Elite and the rest of MIDS are those that we think can step up ….. thinking ZORKO, GODDARD, SLONE and ROUGHY in particular.

p.s My mate who plays at Port who shall remain nameless doesn't think B.Goodes will B Good at AFL level …. but you never know ….. I imagine if he does get a run, he will be the long kicker out of defence type = big points.

Thanks Community! I have a feeling that this is going to be a fun ride with you lot this year.


Is it wrong?

I am spending most on miss, then forwards, and ignore backs except Gibbs duffman and Bock. Backline light on the way others are going???

The Mad Irishman

Jim my current team has 5 million tied up in the middle .. might be a gamble but thats how I am looking at the moment


So far on my paper baised team 4.593K on mids but that has tio change for my stratagy to work..I need to makr it cheaper based on what I req in Def, Fwd & Ruc seriously looking at Clancee P. of the overflow and Mundy with Slone ADL now for my Mids saving $ s giving me the oppertunity to buy the DDPs I want in Fwd and Back line I think will be the differance this SC year ( I;m no guru)

Have a great New year JR Fantasy Community

Keep your pants where you want Jock (waist or ankles..the girls wil love it )


G'day Lads,

Some interesting reading on this site…well done better than some other crap getting around.
With me headache out of the way came up with this for me mids Ablett, Pendelbury, Gotchin, Dangerfield, Shuey, Rockliff, S Gibson, Crouch, Viney, Wines, see what happens and still got good coin for elsewhere, cheers


great food for thought love the breakdown…saw this at the time and reckoned it was gold but on re read its better than gold its platinum.


Obvioulsy we all want the Super Elites by the ned of the year but the interesting point is the best way to get there. I havent done the figures, would be good if someone could, but I reckon on average the really good midfield rookies can average nearly 20 points more than rookies in other positions. By loading up early with mids Premiums of different varieties you may miss out on a mid rookie that averages 90 and have to pick a rookie back that averages 65, which long term strategy is better Im still not sure


Real good read Mick, made me restructure my whole team. Mids are looking as follows at the moment.
GAJ – Pendles – Cotchin – Dangerfield – Shuey – Hoping cotchin and danger can become super elites and shuey can become elite.