O Captain! My Captain!- Part 1
Now, I know Walt Whitman wasn’t talking about Supercoach when he wrote that poem (or that bloody annoying movie), but he certainly did pick a very good title for it.
Picking the correct Captain in Supercoach can make or break your side, both on a week to week basis and over an entire season as those extra points really begin to add up. Pick the correct one and you’ll be screaming the title in joy. Pick the wrong one and you may be using some R rated language as you lose out on valuable points and see your team drop down the rankings, or lose your League match to that one person you really wanted to beat.
One of the questions often asked is “Who is the best Captain for me to pick?” and it’s one of those fun Supercoach questions where there is no 100% right answer. There are however various methods you can use to try and pick the best Captain each week. Some like the “Set and Forget” method, whereby you take your highest scoring player and set him as your Captain each and every week, no matter who he’s playing. Others like to take it week by week and use previous form as an indicator. X player scored really well last time he played Y team, so I’ll pick him this week type thinking.
No matter which way you like to play there is one thing we can do now during our research heavy pre-season period and that is look back at some of the most popular and highest scoring Supercoach players and see just what their Captain prospects have been in the past and what they may be in the future.
First we have to consider our “baseline” score, that is, the minimum amount of points we’d like our Captain to score. This will be different for each and every person, I have my baseline at 120 Supercoach, but others may have it even higher at 125-130+, while others might have it set lower. For the purposes of this preview, we’ve set out Supercoach baseline at 120 Points.
So, first up we’ll take a look at the Top 6 players in terms of their 2014 Supercoach average.
#1 – Gary Ablett
Gary Ablett only fell below our “Baseline” score of 120 Supercoach Points in 3 of his 15 games last year, with his below baseline score in Rd 16 being due to injury. So in 14 of his full games, he only scored below the baseline twice, meaning in just over 85% of his games last year he would have provided you with a score above 120, and in 78% of his 14 full matches he scored way above the baseline, with scores of 130+ and even better, he scored above 140 in 64% of his full games last year.
Verdict: #1 in all things Supercoach including leading your squad as your Captain. The best “Set and Forget” option you can buy.
The only problem is as we saw at the end of last year is if you don’t have Gary Ablett, either through injury or because his starting price is too high and you didn’t pick him, then who the heck do you pick as your Captain? Well let’s go take a look at the next 5 highest averaging players in 2014.
#2 – Tom Rockliff
Tom Rockliff missed 5 games in 2014, but scored above 120 in 11 of 17 games and after Rd 6 scored above the baseline in 10 of his last 13 games. You probably couldn’t have picked anyone better after Ablett went down, with Rockliff producing consistently high scores, with him smashing the baseline score and scoring 130+ in just over 55% of his games last year. He only had 3 games below 100 Supercoach Points, which is a big tick for him as well.
Verdict: The problem this year becomes that Rockliff scored just over 45% of his Captain worthy scores once Jack Redden went down with an injury. Add Beams, Christensen and a healthy pair in Rich and Redden back to the Lions squad and his Captain prospects are suddenly looking more like we saw in the first half of the year. Likely goes from a “Set and Forget” option from late 2014 to a week by week pick in 2015.
#3 – Scott Pendlebury
Not quite as good as Ablett, with 8 of his 21 games, or just over 38%, being below our baseline of 120 Supercoach, though 4 of those 8 games were with scores between 110-119 points, meaning with a few more things going his way he would have been looked upon much more favourably in 2014. We can also see that compared to Ablett he was less likely to go HUGE with a big score above 130 points as well, with only 28% of his games being way above the baseline mark. With only 2 games below 100 Supercoach Points, it meant you weren’t likely to have a week where you cursed yourself for putting the C on Pendles. Disappointed maybe, but not downright ropeable.
Verdict: Call him your safety valve if you don’t have Gary Ablett. He’s good enough to rely upon most weeks, which is a bonus for those who like the “Set and Forget” approach, but he doesn’t usually go massive, so he doesn’t have as much upside as some other choices, but you’re paying for his consistency, not for his outrageous scoring potential.
#4 – Nat Fyfe
Fyfe played in 18 games last year and had an above baseline score in 9 of those last year. He had another 3 games between 110-119 and only 1 game below 100, meaning while he has a few below baseline games, he didn’t really completely bomb out at all. He gets a tick, like Pendlebury, for that part of his game. Like Pendles, he also didn’t hit above the baseline as much, only scoring 130+ in just under 28% of his games.
Verdict: The good news is that Fyfe is still improving and I think he has the potential to turn into a “Set and Forget” Captain in 2015. If he gets a clear run of games he could be a really good pick.
#5 – Joel Selwood
Selwood scored above the baseline in 12 of his 22 games, which is just under 55%. In terms of scoring potential, Selwood could be considered a step above Pendlebury, with 9 of his 12 games being scores of 130+, compared to 6 from Pendles, which means that in 75% of the games where he scored above the baseline, he absolutely blitzed it. Where Selwood falls over is in his consistency, with 6 games where he scored below 100, compared to just the 2 from Pendlebury.
Verdict: He has the potential to be a “Set and Forget” option, but always seems to have patches where he scores poorly, which means he becomes a week by week pick, though his scoring potential means that when he hits it, he’s likely to knock it out of the park.
#6 – Dayne Beams
Beams could probably be considered the diet version of Scott Pendlebury. He hit above the baseline in 10 of his 19 games, but 5 of those were scores between 120-129, so he was consistent, but didn’t knock it out of the park as often as we’d like to see. Also like Pendles, he also didn’t really fall into a scoring hole, scoring below 100 Supercoach Points in only 3 of his 19 games.
Verdict: He’s moved to Brisbane, but he played in a very good Pies midfield in 2014, so I don’t think the drop-off in his scores will be significant.
The problem is that while he scored above the baseline in over half his games, he only went above 130 in 4 of those, meaning that while he’s a week to week pick, you’d only of had a 21% chance of nailing a really good score from him last year, compared to a 41% chance from Joel Selwood in the same period. He might be a “safer” choice, but sometimes it’s all about taking risks in Supercoach.
That’s it for Part 1, so look out for Part 2 where we’ll take a look at some more “POD” picks for Captain and see how they scored in 2014 and how they might fare in 2015.
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