Talking Strategy and First Picked Players
Good day community!
Welcome back to the second edition of this series on building an Elite Superocach Team. Today I will be doing what the title suggests – selecting a strategy that best fits me for 2015, and taking you through the process of first picked players.
Before we go any further I want to stress that everything I am doing in this series in from my own view point and ties in with my own experiences, preferences and future trading plans. These will all vary for each and every one of you but what shall remain the same is the process of selecting your Elite Supercoach Team. In the first edition of this series we looked back at our past teams to learn from the mistakes of yesteryear. As I’ll be constantly referring back to each article in the series, if you haven’t read the first article then I’ll stop you right here and get you to click on the link below to have a read before you continue on with this article.
The conclusion of that article has left me with 8 lessons I must implement in 2015. Again your own review of your own team might leave you to a different set of lessons but the process shall remain the same when you go about implementing them. Every selection I make this year will have to meet these criteria. So let’s get into it shall we.
Now a few of you have been hitting me up on Twitter about when part 2 in this series was going to drop and I want you to know it was by design that we’ve pushed this out a few weeks. I was waiting for the below article on Superfooty to be released so I could refer you back to it when talking strategy.
In that article I have gone through 5 potential starting squad selections.
- Guns and Rookies
- The Midpricer Team
- Locked and Loaded Midfield
- The Rookie Midfield Madness
- The Forward Line Frenzey
It’s very important that you have a clear strategy going into the season. Right now Supercoaches shouldn’t be too concerned with what players they are going to pick. This will come with time over the course of the preseason. What we should be looking for now is a starting team strategy, and once that has been established we should be looking for the correct players to fit that set strategy. Mark my word if you are still chopping and changing your team structures two to three weeks out from the season opener you will inevitably leave holes in your side that you will be unable to fill.
So how do we go about picking one for 2015?
Well straight up if you’re a league player or more of a casual player that can’t put in the hours of the more serious Supercoach then you really can’t go past the Guns and Rookies strategy. Of course it doesn’t have to be a pure GnR team as there are always a few obvious under-priced fallen premiums that can make their way into your team. Keep an eye out for Jock’s Rookie Cheat Sheet and fill the rest of your team with the premium players you like – Simply really. For the rest of us it comes down to experimenting with all these strategies, mixing and matching until you find one or a combination of strategies that you are confident in. The word “feel” gets thrown out there a lot and I think us Supercoaches must be careful when we use this word. You may like “the feel” of your side but you must remember your starting team must perform certain functions.
- It must score you the maximum amount of points possible
- It must have a minimum of 12 season long keepers
- It must have sufficient cash generation potential to allow for future upgrades
If your team doesn’t meet any of these criteria regardless of “feel” then it should be back to the drawing board. Over the last three weeks I’ve been building team after team, with strategy after strategy trying to find the right strategy for me. One that meets these simple rules and complies with the lessons I learned from 2014. There isn’t enough space on the internet to show you every combination I have made but I can promise you there were a lot. For those of you that haven’t been looking at strategy but instead just chopping and changing players because you read a new article on them or the coach talked them up, I challenge you to forget about players until you have nailed down a strategy. Once that is completed then you can analysis what player is best suited for that spot in your side. For example, when building a midprice team with 2 Midpricers on each line it doesn’t matter which ones you pick for now. If that’s the strategy you finally go for then you can start analysing if you need to pick Henderson over Ibboston, Rich over Wells, Luenburger over Bellchambers or Mitchell over Walker. If you don’t like the midpricer team then move on and build another using players prices as guides and not focusing solely on the actually players themselves. That all comes later. Use the article in the Herald Sun I linked above as a starting point and build, miss match, clear and start all over until you are happy and comfortable with a strategy that will suit you. This article in the Hearld Sun is of course only a sample of an article that features in the inaugural Jock Reynolds Supercoach magazine. I trust that the vast majority of you reading this article will have already got your copy because sales have been amazing and the feedback has been even better. We are truly humbled by the uptake and the positive feedback and a massive thank you to you the community for that. There are still a few left if your one of the minority out there without one but they’re selling fast so don’t be disappointed when there all gone and snap your copy up today.
Mad Mick Mayhem’s Strategy for 2015
Once again community I am going with a Midprice strategy in 2015. The reason for this is simple and comes down to Supercaoch Behavioural Science. In order to be a Supercoach winner you must distance yourself from the group think and shoal behaviour. As you all know my good friend Peter Higginbotham has wrote a wonderful article in our magazine outlining the shoal and shark behaviour. This is my favourite article in the magazine and really reinforces my belief that I can distance myself from the group within the scope of a Midprice strategy. If you look at all the winning teams from over the last 5 years, all of them have taken risks with their starting squads and found season long keepers in midprice players. Last year’s winner started with both Parker and Swallow and was quick to jump on Gray early. Having all three of these players separated Patrick Warman’s C-Money from the shoal and propelled him to Supercoach supremacy. Last season I started with 11 midprice players but as lesson 1 states I’ll limit my exposure to 8 in 2015. This leads me into where is best to select these midprice players? Normally I would like a solid spread of players across all the positions but this year it has become clear to me that the majority of my Midpricers will be selected in the defensive line. This is in part to the lack of top end premiums along this line and an understanding of the “Top 10 Affect”. I will go into this in far greater detail in my next article in this series but for today I will finish off with my first picked players.
First Picked Players
One must analysis each and every player that is selected in their side and no player should get special treatment at the selection table. Below are my first 3 selected players. These were easy to select but I expect it will get tougher as I go.
Now I’ve got a slight problem here, as a couple of my lessons from last year clash on this selection. Lesson 4 states all my players must have completed a full preseason and lesson 8 states I must select Gary Ablett. As you may or may not know Gary has still yet to participate in full contact training which means he technically doesn’t meet lesson 4 criteria. However this injury has not affected Gary’s aerobic training and he is arguably fitter than ever. He has smashed his personal best in the 2km time trial and hasn’t missed a beat since he started running back in November. If the injury was foot related and affected his fitness base I’d be more concerned as this would lead to him struggling to run games out and the likelihood of more rest time forward. Rodney Eade has come out this week and said Ablett will once again play the majority of his time through the midfield. Nat Fyfe had a very similar preseason in 2014 only doing aerobic work due to his shoulder recovery and still managed to have a career best year. We have coved all the above points in the article “The Ablett Ultimatum” in our magazine and nothing has changed from my conclusion in there to not select Gary Ablett as my first picked player in 2015. The main reason for lesson 8 on my list was to give me a strong captain choice at the start of the season and there is no better option than Gary Ablett.
As I’m writing this Tom Rockliff is only in 14% of teams. This both surprises and excites me. I’m assuming the 86% of coaches who haven’t seclected him are wary of picking Tom because they think that his average of 132 last year was a flash in the pan and/or they are worried how Beams is going to impact on his scoring. I’m not concerned about either. Rockliff averaged 128 over the last 9 rounds of 2013 and managed to better that to 132 for the entire 2014 season. The only way I can see his average fall below 125 in 2015 is if he is asked to perform a different role in the side and that just isn’t going to happen. Rockliff is easily amongst the best centre clearance player in the game. He averaged 9.1 tackles 13.61 contested possessions and 6.39 clearances per game. There is no way he doesn’t start 90% of the centre bounces inside the square. As for the 33 disposals he accumulated per game, the 5th highest season average recorded. I don’t see Beams affecting this at all. Rockliff collected 18.2 uncontested possessions per game last season because he ran around tag free for the majority of the year. This is in part to Brisbane having so many dangerous outside players like Hanley and Zorko who are easier to take out of a game and also because tagging Rockliff is pointless for the opposition. I say pointless for two reasons.
- Rockliff is incredibly hard to tag. He received 4 hard tags in 2014 and averaged 129 in those games. This was the highest average under a hard tag in 2014. Ablett averaged 125.
- Rockliff’s disposals just aren’t damaging enough to justify putting you best shut down player on him. Opposition coaches aren’t too concerned about volume despite what the commentators are saying. Meters gained is the far more dangerous stat. Rockliff only gained 13m per disposal in 2014. In contrast Dayne Beams ranks elite for meters gained and I’m betting the tag goes to him before it goes to Rockliff.
As almost an extra incentive to pick Rockliff this year, he’s been named club captain and if I ever seen a player made to lead by example it is Rockliff. This will give him that extra 1% to make that extra tackle, win that extra contested possession and make that clearance. As a selection purpose for me he also offers me an extra insurance should Ablett start poorly due to his shoulder, I’ll have the next best captain to replace him. With just 53% of coaches having Ablett and 14% having Rockliff, the probability of facing a team with both is only 7.4%. I like those odds already.
Expect Naitanui to average a minimum of 115 in 2015. I know this might sound like a big call but I really think I’m under selling him at that and here’s the reasons why.
- Naitanui has been dogged with a groin injury for the best part of 2 years. He was heavily managed in 2014 and only had 73% time on ground across the entire year. Expect this to get back up to 85% in 2015. This is the first time in two years he has completed a full preseason and the last time that happened he averaged 114 points per game. What’s more significant is that he did when he was playing second fiddle to one Dean Cox.
- Naitanui is the clear number one Ruck at the eagles now that Cox has retired. At 24 years he is only now coming in his prime as a Ruckman and I expect him to dominate in 2015. Yes the eagles will still play with two Rucks with Scot Lycett taking on the understudy role. However with Darling struggling to be right for the early rounds I expect Lycett will play predominately forward and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Naitanui take 70% plus of the ruckwork in the early part of the year.
- Naitanui isn’t just a tap Ruckman. He is a beast. Who has the highest contested possession percentage rate in the league. Ablett, Rockliff, Selwood? No, Naitanui. He is also a tackle and clearance machine. With more time in the middle this year expect these numbers to score.
The fact that Naitanui is only in 28% of teams surprises me considering he is priced at under 500k and is mostly going to be in the top 10 averaging players in the league. I won’t be surpised if he makes it into the top 5. For the 72% of coaches out there who don’t have him in their side I want to know who to you rate as a better option? I can’t find any.
I hope you all enjoyed my process for team strategy and an insight into how to go about picking your first players. I hope you all go away and think long and hard about your strategy for 2015. Next week I will be looking at the selection process for my midprice players and discussing the “Top Ten Affect” in great detail. Stay tuned…..
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