LOOKING BACK TO LOOK FORWARD
Good day community!
The Mad Irishman is back. Now before you go thinking I’ve been away holidaying, putting my feet up and thinking nothing of Supercoach 2015, please think again.
You might have noticed the little square advertisement on the top right of your screen for the inaugural Jock Reynolds Fantasy Footy Magazine. That – community – has been the result of months of hard work. We first started working on this magazine back in August and after getting a look at the first printed draft over the weekend I can tell you first hand that all the hard work we have put into this project has been worth it.
This magazine my friends, is going to be a game changer. Massive thank you to all of you who have ordered your magazine and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed when they get delivered in February.
Over the next few weeks I will be giving you firsthand guidance on how to build a successful 2015 Supercoach team.
Today we will start by analysing our starting teams from last year.
“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
― Edmund Burke
I love my history and I love the above quote by Edmund Burke. It runs true with almost every problem we face in society today. Unfortunately these problems stem from not learning from the mistakes we have made in the past. The very same thing can be said of our Supercoach teams. If we don’t learn from the errors of our Supercaoch past then we are doomed to repeat them.
For the purpose of all these feature articles I will be using my past teams as an example but you just need to follow the same procedure for your own teams.
2014 was a horrible year for Mad Mick’s Mayhem. I finished with a rank of 2890, still in the top 1% of players but a long way short of the 27th rank from the year before. I set myself a minimum target of inside the top 1000 every year so 2014 will go down as a failure.
The first 6 weeks were pure torture resulting in a slip in the rankings all the way back to 40,110 at the end of round 6. I did manage to bring it back down by the end of the byes but was never able to recover from the bad start to make any big impact on the competition.
The weekly rankings tell the tale in greater detail. The cluster of really high weekly rankings is concentrated at the start of the year. Sure – there was a few bad rounds in the second half of the year – but these were the exception. In the first third of the year they seemed to be the rule.
I’ve always said you can’t win Supercaoch with your starting squad selections. But you can certainly lose it. That’s what seems to have happened to the Mayhem in 2014.
Analyzing my Starting Team:
When I revealed my team to the community in 2014 a lot of people thought I was joking around. I wasn’t. This was the team I went into the 2014 season with;
As you can see I went into the season with the “Midprice” strategy. My overall squad consisted of 7 Premiums (>$500k), 11 Midprice players ($200k – $500k) and 12 Rookies (<$200k).
The below table gives a breakdown of my squad along with my personal rating of how successful my starting selections were.
I advise you all to do the same thing with your 2014 squad.
Mitchell – was picked as I saw him as the safest Premium of the top end guys in 2014. He was averaging 105 before he did his hammy and needed to be traded out. You can’t predict who gets injured so this one got a par rating. PAR
Swallow – picked on the back of a strong finish to 2013 and just kept on delivering. Great pick. MAJOR SUCCESS
Grimes – picked with the scope to improve under a new coach and new era. Started well but after only scoring 23 in round 8 he had to go. FAIL
Bugg – picked on the back of a superb preseason and a massive game in the NAB. Thought he had a chance to cement a spot on the wing. EPIC FAIL
Laidler – picked to make money – made me $107,800 before he got moved on. Not a massive amount but he did contribute decent scores in the first few rounds so he squeezes past a par. SUCCESS
Langdon – he was named round 1 so I picked him. Can’t take the credit for smart coaching, this one was luck. Traded out in round 16 and made me $250k. He also contributed some big scores to my team during the year. MAJOR SUCCESS
Georgiou – picked as a rookie cash cow off a good preseason and NAB cup. Got games early but didn’t play after round 7 and didn’t score well enough to make money. Kept all year as couldn’t afford to waste a trade. Used as a loophole but wasn’t his intended use. EPIC FAIL
Clurey – picked as a rookie cash cow but only played the first game. Used a corrective trade in round three to bring in Langford. Wasted trade. EPIC FAIL
Rockliff – POD selection who I thought had the capability to be my teams Ablett, without the starting price. I was almost right. Needed a safer Captain in the early rounds, as Rockliff only had one Captain worthy score over the 1st 6 rounds. Ablett didn’t come down in price either so should have picked both. Still what everybody deemed a risky pick proved to be a must have come the end of the year. SUCCESS
Liberatore – another value premium who I felt had scope to improve. Priced to average 106 at the start of the year and finished with an average of 110. SUCCESS
Cotchin – yet another value premium who I felt had scope to improve his average on an injury affected 2013. Priced to average 106 at the start of the year but only finished with an average of 101. I kept him all year so got all the good with the bad. FAIL
Murphy – Fallen premium who was only priced to average 90 and had proved he was capable of delivering 110+ average. Not quite but finished with 106. Season long keeper. SUCCESS
Beams – Fallen premium who was only priced to average 90 and had proved he was capable of delivering 115+ average. Delivered and then some . Season long keeper. MAJOR SUCCESS
Thomas – Fallen premium who was only priced to average 64 and had proved he was capable of delivering 100+ average. Got off to a slow start and wasn’t delivering scores or making money. Traded out in round 5. FAIL
Polac – new club, rookie priced, good preseason – first picked rookie. Traded out round 9 for Ablett after making me $275k. He also contributed some big scores to my team during the year. MAJOR SUCCESS
Dunstan – picked for his JS in a rebuilding team and likely to get plenty of opportunities to become a good cash cow. Played, scored well and made money. Traded out in round 8 after making me $180k. SUCCESS
Ellis – new club, rookie priced, good preseason. Was scoring well but got injured in round 5 and traded out round 7 without reaching his potential. Unlucky to get injuried but still did enough to sneak past a par. SUCCESS
Taylor – opportunities in Brisbane to get games and had a forward swing. Had all his big scores in the second half of the year after I traded him out in round 10. Still made $153k. SUCCESS
Ryder – Undervalued , priced to average 90 and capable of 100+. He did manage to average 102 for the year but with no cover when he went down in round 2 I traded him to Mumford. Unlucky to get injuried but only a par for my team. PAR
Sandilands – Fallen premium who was only priced to average 57 and had proved he was capable of delivering 110+ average. Not quite but finshed with 108. Season long keeper. MAJOR SUCCESS
Thurlow – Cheap, forward swing I could use latter down the track. Chance of a game. When Ryder went down in round 2 I was exposed with no cover and too early to get a forward swing in my team. This made this selection an EPIC FAIL
King – Cheapest player available – picked to use as a Captain loophole as Melbourne had a lot of games on a Sunday. I knew he’d never play but when I used 5 trades all up in my Ruck in 2015 I somehow wish I had one of Currie or Derickx in my bench spots. FAIL
Dangerfield – Did not deliver what I thought he would. The fact that he was in the forward line and everybody had him softened the blow so he just avoids a fail mark. PAR
Martin – Picked in the hope he could go another level with more time in the midfield. Never happened and I think Martin will always be a 100pt player. Season long keeper. PAR
Roughead – never pick KPF. Broke my own rule here and can’t give any other reason only that I didn’t like any forward options in 2014. Did what he was always going to do. Kept him for the season and got the good with the bad. PAR
Wright – got sucked in bad here. Had a super preseason and two massive NAB cup games. Form didn’t carry into the season proper. I got super scared when Wright played a run with role in round 2 and traded him out round 3. EPIC FAIL
Caddy – was the talk of the preseason and had genuine claims for more time in the middle. Got injured in round 3 and had to go but wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire in rounds 1 and 2. FAIL
Higgins – say what you want about Higgins but he did what he was picked to do in 2014. I traded him out in round 11 for $430k when he was averaging 85. Scored points and made money, what more do you want. SUCCESS.
Rohan – limited forward rookies pushed me towards Rohan but just one game is all he had in my team. I had seen enough. Flicked Taylor into the forward line and brought in Dom Tyson in the midfield. Good trade but a wasted one. Selection FAIL
Kennedy-Harris – was a slow burner but did his job beautifully. Traded out in round 10 for $300k making a handy profit of $180k. SUCCESS
Breaking Down the Analysis
Many will assume that this will prove once and for all that the Midprice strategy is not the way to go. Interestingly I haven’t drawn that conclusion from my starting team last year.
Yes for the 5 successful picks I made in the midprice section, I had 5 failures. However I’d go into the season knowing that not all the midprice selections I make will be a success. I would aim to get at least a 75% success rate and in hindsight I think it is clear I went into 2014 with too many midpricers.
I still think you need to be able to pick up the likes of Swallow, Murphy, Beams and Sandilands but I feel I chased too many and still missed out on some of the better options like Gray and Parker. If I choose to go into 2015 with a midprice strategy again I will reduce the number of midpricers down to a more manageable 7 or 8.
Having 5 failures in this department was criminal. It resulted in far too many trades been burned. I didn’t have time to put in enough research to the rookies who would potential play and score well last year for personal reasons outside of my fantasy life. In the end I just ended up picking a lot of them because they were named round 1. Even the smallest amount of my own research would have concluded that the likes of Clurey and Georgiou were unlikely to score well. Tom McDonald was more expensive but played a role that was always going to score more points. Not having Derkicx or Curie in the Ruck baffles me to this day and having one of them would have saved me 3 trades in the Ruck in 2014.
This really has reinforced that preseason research is key. Needless to say this year I have already addressed this and I know every potentially high scoring rookie player and the ones to avoid. Don’t worry I won’t be keeping all this to myself either. Your Jock Reynolds Magazine has information on every listed player so you’ll be able to decipher the good rookies from the bad. I’ll have a key eye on all the NAB cup games to see who’s likely to get games early and snapping them all up for 2015. There should be no failures in this department in 2015.
There are two distinct types of Midprice players – Fallen premiums and break out contenders. I went into 2014 with 5 in the fallen premium and 6 in the breakout contenders.
4. Fallen Premiums
From this category I only had one fail. This was Dale Thomas. Interestingly Dale was the only one of these players who didn’t complete a full preseason. I got sucked into thinking he was obvious value at his price but didn’t take into account the fact he was coming off a limited preseason and a serious injury. I won’t be picking any player in 2015 that isn’t in full training by the 1st of February.
5. Breakout Contenders
From this category I only had one success. This was David Swallow. Of the failures, 3 of them sucked me in with really good preseason campaigns. What is obvious now is that all of Wright, Grimes and Bugg all played roles in the preseason that were different than their roles within the team’s best 22. In hindsight I should have paid more attention to who was missing from the teams instead on just focusing on who is in really good form. Swallow was the only one who showed form in 2013. He had averaged 103 over the last third of the year in 2013, where as the rest of these players had no form line other than what they were showing in the preseason.
Having a fail in this section is disappointing but I can’t assign any fault to this selection. Even in hindsight all the processes and thought patterns I put into selecting Cotchin still apply. Sometimes you just have to accept that some of your picks just won’t work. I won’t pick Cotchin in 2015 because he burnt me last year but I won’t be surprised if he gets back up to a 110 average by seasons end.
If anything I started too many value selections at the start of the year and not enough Premiums who were going to be top 6 in their positions. No Gary Ablett was a massive mistake but that falls into my next section.\
7. Captain Selection
Honestly, as bad as my starting team was in 2014 the biggest reason for my really poor start to the year was the fact I didn’t have a reliable captain. This was the biggest lesson I learned from 2014. All the other mistakes I made were fixable with time and patience. The first 6 rounds without a reliable captain accounted for my rank blowing out to 40,110. I had 4 non captain wordy scores of 118×2, 82×2, 115×2 and 94×2 in the first 6 rounds.
Summarising Key Lessons learned from 2014
Lesson 1. Reduce my exposure to midprice players – more than 8 is too many.
Lesson 2. Rookie research is key – put in the time to assess who the best options are.
Lesson 3. Ruck cover is important – maybe even more so in 2015. Have a playing rookie on the bench.
Lesson 4. All my selections must have completed a full preseason workload.
Lesson 5. Look at the bigger picture when analysing preseason form. Who isn’t playing is just as important as who is playing and scoring well.
Lesson 6. Breakout contenders will most likely show potential during the previous year, with their final third of the year been better than their first third. I will only select breakout contenders that meet this criterion.
Lesson 7. Pick more premiums who are going to be in the top 6 in their positions come the end of the year.
Lesson 8. Pick Gary Ablett. (This one is so obvious – I must have been drunk last year)
Of course the lessons I learned may be completely different to the lessons you might gather from your own analysis of your teams from 2014. However I strongly recommend you all follow the same procedure and draw your own conclusions from where you succeeded and where you went wrong in 2014. Don’t just go straight into picking a starting squad, because chances are you will end up repeating history and making all the same mistakes again.
Have a go at looking back before we move forward and join me again next week for “implementing lessons, talking strategy and first picked players.
Mick the Mad Irishman
Mick is one of the production crew members and a key writer for the inaugural Jock Reynolds Fantasy football magazine. He is a risk taker, pint drinker, deep thinker and just that little bit mad, but time and time again he has proved to be one of the best fantasy minds in the country. He has finished in the top 1% of game players for the last 5 years, with a season high finish of 27 in 2013.
Follow the great man on twitter @Da_Mad_Irishman