The Death of the “Guns and Rookie” Strategy

Published by Jock on

Guns and Rookies strategy

What a couple of days it has been in the world of Fantasy Football.

If you don’t know by now the Supercoach 2014 team picker has opened up to all those who purchased Supercoach Gold in 2013.

For those of you who have been able to log on and try your hand at picking a team, you’ll have noticed one massive change from the years gone past, the price of our Rookies. Rookies in 2014 come in at a premium, with number 1 draft pick Tom Boyd coming in at a whopping $217,300. Even last year’s Mini draft gun, Jack Martin will set you back even more coin, at $222,300.

This is a stroke of genius by the games creators as it now effectively forces our hand a little to make us select players in the midprice range and thus ensuring there will be a large variety of players selected in our teams. This is what the games creators want and instead of the same top level premiums and the same starting rookies showing up in everybody’s team, 2014 should see teams with a whole host of potential breakout contenders in the $400k to $500k range. The “Guns and Rookie Strategy is dead.

For those of you who are entrenched in Supercaoch like myself, you’ll all know what I mean when I say “Guns and Rookies”.

However for those of you who are a little unsure.. it is exactly what it says it is; a team made up entirely of Premiums (Guns) and rookies. When building your team, you would simply pick one gun then one rookie through all the lines until you run out of money to pick any more premiums, and then fill the remaining spots with rookies. In past seasons the guns and rookie approach was very popular and to a large degree very successful. However with the way the pricing is this year I honestly think this approach is rendered null and void, gone, dead, alive only in memories of yesteryear.

I big call I know but a little drastic, I think not. Below is an example of a “Guns and Rookie” Team from the 2013 season.


Guns and Rookies 1
If you count it out you will find the ratio of Premiums to Rookies at 13:17. Thirteen Premiums to Seventeen Rookies. This means your starting 22 players would be made up of Thirteen Premiums and only Nine Rookies. This in theory would mean you could fill your team full of premiums using only 18 trades. Last year we had 30, so we had room to stuff up a few trades and still get a team full of premiums by the time finals came around. How many games did you play in finals last year when you had more than 10 PODs (Points of Difference)?? Not many, right!

This approach to team building was easy and came with relatively little risk. Yes some premiums do flop and if you even look at the team above, all of Franklin, Maric and Murphy all flopped in 2013. However with the 30 trades it wasn’t such a big deal moving these guys on, and you still had 27 trades left to turn those remaining rookies into Premiums.

Fast forward to this year and the below team is an example of what you will be looking at by going with a “guns and rookies” strategy.

Guns and Rookies 2

If you count it out you will find the ratio of Premiums to Rookies is now at 11:19. Eleven Premiums to Nineteen Rookies. This means your starting 22 players would now be made up of Eleven Premiums and Eleven Rookies. This would mean the best case scenario for you to fill your team full of premiums would cost you 22 trades. That would only leave eight trades for stuff ups, injuries and early season tweaks, and that’s best case scenario. Some upgrades may cost you two downgrades for one upgrade, especially if some of those rookies don’t produce averages in or around the 80 mark, and trust me a lot of them won’t. It also exposes you to more unpredictably as rookies are likely to be dropped, rested or give you inconsistent scoring. You’ll still only have two trades a week and if you are looking at donuts the chances are you will be forced to trade, and panic trading is never a good thing.

So where does this leave us going into the New Year. Well many of us will have differing opinions on this but I personally don’t think we should expose ourselves to any more than 8 starting rookies. Last year I had 6 starting rookies, 7 if you count P. Karnezis at the bottom end of the midpricers at 262k. This year that is very close to a Rookie price. Last season amazingly I picked 6 players priced between 400k and 500k and all in all I think all 6 of them where successful pick-ups. Below is Mad Mick’s Mayhem’s team from round 1 2013.

3Guns and Rookies 2

Last season I didn’t have to select those 6 players but chose to go down that path. In 2014 with the price the rookies have come in at, I don’t think I will have any other choice than to go looking for value in that same price range between 400k and 500k. That sits easy with me as I personally love looking for value in that range anyway, but I am eager to hear what the community is thinking? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

In the meantime here is a list of some of those breakout players who could take their game and their Supercoach average to the next level in 2014. Stay tuned to Jock Reynolds over the next few weeks for an analysis and insight into all these players.

3Guns and Rookies 4


Final Word

Just love this game. Bring on the preseason.

Stay tuned ….

Mick the Mad Irishman

  • 27th overall in Supercoach 2014
  • Runner Up: Jock Reynolds Premier League 2014
  • Once swallowed a whole packet of salada biscuits without water in 21 seconds.
  • Follow the great man on Twitter:@Da_Mad_Irishman
  • Click here for all of Mick’s 2014 Supercoach Analysis to date




Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Yes seems to make a whole lotta sense to me> I'll be scratching my namesake and my head as to what to do this year. I've just gone through and picked my 2014 final round team.

As always best to start with players who are going to be in that final round team. And your example 2014 team is close so shhhhhhh about a few of those players will ya Irish?

From today, players who I think will be in most finals team are GAJ, Pendles, Swan, Jelwood, Watson, McVeigh, Bartell, Mitchell, Sandi 211, Danger, Wingard, D Martin, Tippett, Buddy ( because Sydney Swans team spirit won't allow Buddy to be a sook and have the poor sportsmen attitude he had at Hawks ) with Rocky, Swan, Minson, risky SJ, Birchall, Hodge, Barlow, Mumford and Roughy trying to penetrate their way in.

But of course like you said we've all gotta start with some bargains like Thomas, Beams, Murphy, TMitch, Ibbots, AND then OTHER possibilities like Grimes, Watts, Cross, Trengrove, Gray, Zorko and Parker.

Ohh yeah then there's the rookies and I wont bother mentioning them because from now til round 1 selection- there is absolutely NO point trying to complete a final team and even waste a time hazarding guess a who might play round 1 or be the best……

Yep, I think my head is about to explode….. so eager to start 2014- but at the same time from now til March my involvement in team selection and even trying to make 2386 different team changes before then will be minimal. I will read all the posts ongoing- but gees- the last 2 years I used so much time selecting a team from January that this season I will wait til the week of Round 1 before I put 168 hours a week into my team!!

What do you reckon Mad Irish?

PS and keep a few of those players to yaself can ya?


NutSack (i can't write that without shaking my head),
I think your spot on – i'm going to take a similar approach with my team. I've locked away version 1 and every 2 weeks or so after I've put together some research and analysis i'll do another version. Don't plan on going to it every day, thats for sure.

You know I think ere are son many potentials this year that no matter who I do an article on you will still end up with a few PODs in your side. Just make sure you pick the best ones


With you about all points, Nutsack. Especially the head exploding. My wife is already dumping a hectare of shit on me for hogging the computer.


Do you think having Pendles, Selwood, Danger, Walker and Bartel is too much? Clip a couple of them and bulk up with mid pricers like Grimes, Murph and Zorko?

Think I need to heed your advice about coming up with a V1 then setting it aside for a couple weeks before doing another draft. Very practical for such a madman.


Great stuff mick!!!

Another is Jack Ziebell!


Jack Ziebell (513k) and Ben Cunnington (516k) could very well be in that group too – both flying in training from what I hear. Worried if North have the type of game plan that would see one of their midfield group dominate. They are very team orientated and it might just be too crowed in there for any of them to be a 110+ player. Swallow (when he returns) Nick Dal Santo, Wells, Cunnington and Ziebell could all end up in that 100 to 105 pt bracket. Would give you an increase of 10pts from last season but I might be looking for a little bit more value elsewhere myself.


Appreciate you putting in the hard yards over the preseason Mick. Top work!
I am happy to see D Beams in your breakout list for 2014. I think he is a special.

Will take the sage advice you passed on to NutSack and will revisit my squad every fortnight or so over the next couple of months once the Christmas pud has got nice and settled.



No problem Marty, a labor of love for me


Agree Mick. The thinking has to go deeper this year. After about 10 versions I came to the same conclusion. In fact premiums are easier to lock now with the others being more price "zones" you want to play in (e.g. Hogan, Nahas, Fasolo at $200k). The combo of NAB performance and making R1 list will make a lot of this wait and see.

Here's where I'm at:
DEF: J. Bartel, A. Walker, R. Henderson, M. Suckling, K. Kolodjashnij, M. Scharenberg (J. Battersby, D. Gardiner)
MID: S. Pendlebury, J. Selwood, A. Treloar, D. Beams, B. Ellis, J. Martin, C. Beams, X. Ellis (D. Garlett, J. Hunt)
RUC: M. Lobbe, A. Sandilands (B. Longer, S. Naismith)
FWD: P. Dangerfield, C. Wingard, T. Mitchell, P. Chapman, R. Nahas, J. Billings (C. McCarthy, B. Brown)


Loving some of those adventurous picks,

Henderson, Treloar, Ellis, Lobbe, Nahas – keep a close eye on them over the preseason for sure. My favorite out of that bunch would be Treloar. Expect big things from Toby Green, Adam Treloar and Dylan Sheil this year. Mark my words, one of them will average 110 in 2014. Just need to pick the right one.


Do you think having Pendles, Selwood, Danger, Walker and Bartel is too much elite? Clip a couple of them and bulk up with mid pricers like Grimes, Murph and Zorko (although I still have blisters from his burns last year)?

Think I need to heed your advice about coming up with a V1 then setting it aside for a couple weeks before doing another draft. Very practical for such a madman.


Probably Treloar or Green. Dylan Sheil was a big let down for me last year as he seemed a passenger like player. He will need to lift his game and have a better mentality towards playing if he's going to do much next year. Loving your work lads, keep it up!


Great article Mick and the feed back so far is intresting,
I do not have SC Gold, But this far out before March is a trying time.
So I'm ploding away a my own research and when required I will make team then


do you try for mid priced keepers 400-500k or try for ones to

gain cash 300-400?if you know

what i mean


Womp, I know extactly what you mean.

Idealy wou would hope that say you find 2 keepers in the 400-500k and if your are super smart (or lucky) you could get a couple more on top of that again. Obvious keepers at this stage are Beams and Murphy. Both I am expecting to average close to 110.

Its not soley about the cash gain with the 300-400k player but more about producing the goods in the early part of the year. So say you pick up a player priced to average 70 and he can bang out an average of 90 over the first 10 rounds or so, he'll have performed for you team as you upgrade the rookies around him. Then you would look to upgrade him last. The chances are he will at made cash but not all that much. I wouldn't use them as cash cows, more a roll filler … if that makes sense.


Yep,I see.very good.thanks heaps for that.


what do you think of Motlop?


DEF: J. Bartel, J. McVeigh, L. Hodge, P. Hanley, M. Suckling, M. Scharenberg (D. Van Unen, J. Battersby)
MID: G. Ablett jnr, S. Pendlebury, S. Mitchell, M. Murphy, D. Beams, D. Thomas, J. Martin, J. Aish (D. Garlett, M. Crouch)
RUC: A. Sandilands, B. Grundy (B. Longer, M. Apeness)
FWD: P. Dangerfield, D. Martin, S. Higgins, T. Boyd, N. Bock, P. Karnezis (T. Membrey, J. Impey)….

Would any wonderful community member be able to plug this in and see if I am anywhere near budget…..Thanks……

Any comments on my team (apart from the obvious horror at seeing Missy Higgins…lol)…


Van unen only midfielder but without that position you have 104,600 left so still need 1 defender


wow…cheers for that…..thought I might have blown the budget by half a mill…..quite happy with this side for now…..will wait to see how pre-season goes and rd1 lineups.


No problem


as a one eyed north supporter, leigh adams is not a dominate player who i believe will take there game to the next level, with his continous shoulder injuries and niggles his just not capable of pullling those big numbers.


I knot him personally through mates, He'll never be brilliant, hell of a guy though.


At the moment two mid priced players i'm considering: (outside of Beams, Murphy & Thomas)

Steven Motlop:

To continue that 'upward spiral' and hit 95+ this season. I believe if he can increase his disposal efficiency, then this shouldn't be too tough. I thought last year at the times when he almost took games by the scruff of the neck, he'd turn the ball over with a sloppy kick or miss an easy goal. Eliminates those errors, then he becomes a much more potent AFL player and SC scoring player.

Clancee Pearce:

Even though he played 19 games in 2013, he never seemed to be himself. Appeared to be carrying niggling injuries throughout the entire season. Was given the dreaded red vest four times because of this. Hoping he's a DEF or DEF/MID and is injury free, to return to his 2012 season (ave 91.0)


G'day Jock, dropping in is my pleasure.

Just finished listening to the latest Podcast, once again superb work!

I agree with you re Ross the Boss & Clancee. I'll be monitoring his preseason form very closely.


Don't touch motlop until after round 8 bye, out for 6 weeks. done the old knee. I expect a downward trend until after round 6 before he gets fully match fit.

But yes agree he does run like a headless chook and spray the ball at the best of times.


Any thoughts on the mid priced Hawthorn defenders
Suckling $312K
Stratton $355K
Whitecross $332K


Suckling looks to be a lock for me.