Good day community.
A little while back I posted an article about an Elephant in the room that nobody wants to address. What are we going to do about the vast majority of elite and super elite midfielders having the round 8 bye?
If you haven’t already had a read then it’s probably wise that you go back and do so before you get any deeper into this article.
I concluded in that article that if you are a serious player who is looking for a high ranking, over league wins, then you really can’t afford to go into this season with more than three or four round 8 bye players. We left that article asking ourselves who are these three or four players we should be selecting or more importantly who are the players we should leave out?
For the purpose of this article and in the fairness of comparison of the below options I’m going to make a couple of rules.
- Each midfield comprises of the ideal 3-3-4 format (three round 8 bye players, three round 9 bye players and four round 10 bye players)
- Each midfield will have an approximate value of 4 million.
Option 1 – Go Elite
Sometimes we might over think problems or look past the most obvious answer, dismissing it as too simplistic to be the right solution. This just might be one of those cases. You can only select three players that share the round 8 bye, so why not just pick the best three players in the competition.
Ablett, Pendlebury and Selwood were the top three averaging players in last year’s competition. It would take a brave man to predict that all three won’t at least feature in the top five averaging players in 2014, and in essence by picking those three players you will save yourself any heartache or stress by trying to bring them in later. Selwood has had an injury concern this preseason so if you are going elite and you’re not sold on Selwood, you also have Dane Swan and Steve Johnson available in that elite bracket.
This strategy is the most expensive approach and means you don’t have the as much cash to spend on the rest of your midfield bunch. I have found enough cash to get in one more elite player (Watson), and have had to look for value elsewhere to bulk out the midfield group (Murphy and Thomas). Finally I rounded off the midfield group with four rookies, three of which have the round 10 bye and will allow you to further maximise your trading strategy through the byes.
- You have the best two (possibly three) players in the competition. Not only will you be availing of their scores every week but when this comes to setting your Captains and Vice Captains it will really make those decisions so much easier too.
- You won’t have to stress or make any elaborate plans to bring these guys in later. Any player worth over $600k is very hard to bring in and tends to take 2 down grades and 1 upgrade to do.
- You have spent a good portion of your budget on just three players which could lead you to taking unnecessary risks on value players that might not otherwise be your first choice picks. You will also have to run with a few more rookies on the field.
- There is an abundance of picks with the round 8 bye that offer so much value for money. The best example is most likely Dayne Beams, but there are so many more. By not picking them at the start, it is most probable that they will be far more expensive as you look to bring them in through the byes as upgrade your rookies to premiums.
Final Word: If you’re looking to keep an already complicated scenario as simple as you can then this is probably the right strategy for you. It will definitely have some strong advantages, the biggest for me being not having to try bring in a Pendlebury or Ablett through the year. However I love getting the most out of my squad from the start and I feel there is just too much value in the group of players that share the round 8 bye, not to pick at least one or two of them. It is for that reason I won’t be adopting the “Go Elite” approach to my team.
Option 2 – Go Value
As stated above there is an abundance of players with the round 8 bye that offer so much value for money. In the example above I choose Cotchin, Beams and Duncan. For me Cotchin and Beams are must have players in 2014. I know everybody will agree with the Beams part of that statement but the Cotchin element might turn a few heads. That’s another debate altogether, one for another day perhaps. I rounded out my value round 8 bye pick with Mitch Duncan but could have picked any of a long list including Cunnington, Ziebell, Prestia, Bennell, Christensen or Adams.
This strategy frees up a little more cash than its predecessor and allows you to fill out your midfield group with a bit more depth. I have picked an elite midfielder with the round 9 bye (Griffen), and another elite with the round 10 bye (Rockliff). Still went for a couple of value picks (Murphy and Savage) and rounded off my midfield with only 3 rookies this time, again with two having the round 10 bye to maximise your trading strategy through the byes.
- You’ll have a lot more cash to spend on the rest of your squad. This in turn will most likely mean you are running with at least one less rookie on your field.
- You’re taking full advantage of value picks that are available to you. When other coaches are looking to bring them in after round 8 they’ll have gone up in price while the elites that you haven’t selected will most likely have gone down in price. This will give you the advantage of getting to full premium before the chasing pack if you can snag those elites at cheaper prices than they started with, while other coaches struggle to get the players in you did start with.
- Where is your Captain? I look at the example above and I see a very strong team with one major exception, who do you make captain in that bunch? Sure we have two bites at the cherry with the vice-captain loophole but not having an Ablett or Pendlebury is likely to see you get burnt at least once on the captain front.
- How do you get those two players into your team? As I said above any player worth over $600k is very hard to bring in and tends to take 2 down grades and 1 upgrade to do. It will take a very good trading strategy to get them in after they have had their bye. Sometimes all the planning in the world can be undone by an injury, or a red vest going the way of one of your rookies and before you know it, its round 12 and you still don’t have Ablett in your team.
Final Word: Sometimes having a POD is a good thing, sometimes it’s not. One thing for certain is that this strategy will ensure your team will be a POD to the rest. I have to be honest this is probably my favourite of all the strategies I will discuss with you today. That’s not saying that I think it’s the best strategy but more the fact that I love being a little different to the rest and I tend to get drawn to an approach or a player that is a little left field. That’s not to say that Mad Mick’s Mayhem will go down this route but it is one I am strongly considering. The captain issue would be my biggest concern but I feel I could pick players in different lines that might be able to cover me over the first 8 rounds. I always say go with your gut feeling, and the “Go Value” approach has an unusual draw for me.
Option 3 – Mix and Match
This strategy aims to take the best from both the previous two strategies by selecting the only two super elite players alongside one value player. In the example above I choose Beams as the value player as he is probably going to be the most selected player in Supercaoch 2014 and it’s so hard not to pick him.
The one value picks frees up a little cash so you’re not too stretched when picking your remainder midfield group, however you will have to revert back to two on field rookies. In this example I’ve got one elite (Boak) and one value (Shiel) with the round 9 bye, and one elite (Barlow) with the round 10 bye. As always I have rounded out the rest of my midfield with three rookies with the round 10 bye and one with the round 9 bye.
- You have the best two players in the competition and setting your Captains and Vice Captains becomes an automatic reflex instead of a complicated and stressful decision each week.
- You won’t have to stress or make any elaborate plans to bring these guys in later.
- You still have the most selected and best value player in the competition and won’t have to pay extra to get him in at a later date.
- You still have spent a good portion of your budget on two players and will need to find at least one more value selection from the other bye rounds to bulk out your midfield. You will also have to run with at least two rookies on the field.
- There is still no room for the abundance of value players with the round 8 bye such as Cotchin, Cunnington, Ziebell, Prestia, Bennell, Duncan, Christensen or Adams.
Final Word: If you are going to run with just three midfielders with the round 8 bye then this strategy will probably be the most popular and for very good reason. It has the least risk with the most reward. It really is a best from both worlds scenario. You’ve got your best two players and you’ve got your best value player. Lock them in and go and concentrate on rounding out your midfield with the best talent from the other two bye rounds. Yes you maybe missing out on some potential value picks but then again you may also be missing out on some horrendous flops too. If you’re a gambling man or woman then the safe bet is on the “Mix and Match” strategy.
Now there is one last variation on the above “Mix and Match” strategy that is worth another discussion. Instead of taking the two super elites in Ablett and Pendlebury, take one of those and two of the value picks. This is something I am likely to do, but the question remains, who do drop from those two?
Mick the Mad Irishman
27th in Supercoach 2013 https://twitter.com/Da_Mad_Irishman