Cue the grandiose music; it’s time for the big reveal of my 2016 Supercoach squad!
Countless hours, a carton of Carlton Drought, and several arguments with the cat went into the creation of this team, but it has finally been completed and ready to bare witness to the world.
So without further ado, I present to you, the 2016 version of The Red Barrons!
Power in the middle
Like many, I’ve invested pretty heavily in my midfield this season, mostly because I’m not as gung-ho about the rookies here as I usually am. I’ve gone with 3 “super-premo” players right out of the gate, with Fyfe, Dangerfield and Ablett and I’m going to believe Rockliff will turn back into one like he was in 2014. I think Callan Ward has a chance to turn into a guy who averages 115 and I’m considering him as the “Matt Priddis” of my team, but for 40K less initially. He averaged 113 in 2014, and with Treloar gone off to Collingwood I can see him having to take up more inside work (his 9 tackle, 10 clearance game in the NAB Cup against Sydney is an example of this), which will lead to a bump in his Supercoach output.
I wanted Brad Crouch in my side, but I can’t select him without having seen him in any NAB action, nor knowing if he’ll be available in Round 1 (though a Parker downgrade may be on the cards if he performs well against the Gold Coast). Libba should immediately bounce back into being a 100+ point scorer and Mills looks to have the best potential of all the rookie midfielders, though you have to pay a slightly inflated price to get him. I’ll just have to bite the bullet on that one.
Putting the D in Defensive!
And that’s just because outside of Laird, Kolo and Bartel, I’m relying on a bunch of D graders and rookie priced players to get the job done down back. Normally I’d go with a few midpricers in defence, but this is probably another case of letting the players dictate my strategy, rather than strategy dictating the players.
I was tossing up between Rory Laird and Brodie Smith, and while I think Laird and Smith will potentially be around the same level by the end of the year, I’m banking on Laird being the more consistent of the two, which is what I’m looking for with so many inexperienced players down back. I’m expecting Kolo to continue the form he put up in the latter half of 2015 and Bartel just needs to bring me a consistent scoring effort and I’ll be happy. The rest of the rookies are just whatever is cheap and who will likely play, though Brown, Hartley and Collins seem pretty locked in at this stage.
Ruck + Risks = Rewards?
The Triple R! Taking risks in the ruck will lead to rewards later in the year. That’s the theory anyways, and it’s about the best one a man of average intellect like myself could come up with that didn’t involve me spending $1.3 million on a set and forget setup.
The first and most obvious reward is the immediate cash savings I get from doing this. Maxy Gawn is the cheapest guy available who’ll likely finish the year as a top 5 ruck, so he gets my R1 spot. But I almost feel that if you aren’t going with a Goldy/$550,000+ player combo here, then you’re better off skipping Goldstein completely and making him a potential upgrade target and hope he’s cheaper down the line.
There are two players who are critical to my theory working and they are Kurt Tippett and Daniel Wells. Obviously the first part is they both need to perform, but as Patch wisely pointed out (and he may have convinced me to try this just by showing the courage to pick him first), the 2nd half of Tippetts 2015 season was fantastic and Wells has been a gun in the past, so we know he can score at a good clip. But the honest truth is I cannot trust Wells to be a season long keeper, even if he does perform to start the year. He’s played like 10 games over the past 2 years, so all I need from him is 8-10 really good games in a row. I just need him to boost his value to the point where I can swing Tippett out of the rucks and into forward line and then upgrade Wells to whoever is the #1 ruck is (hopefully Goldstein at a cheaper price). Then, as long as Tippett plays to his maximum potential, he’ll also be a keeper for me in my forward line. This will hopefully ensure I get the two best ruckman possible, without having to make a large number of trades or invest heavily in the ruck to begin with and then Tippett will also serve as a forward line keeper addition later in the year.
I thought about trying this with Sinclair and saving an extra 80K, but I just don’t think he has as near a high ceiling as Tippett does. It all makes sense in my head, but whether I actually manage to pull it off is another thing entirely.
Upwards, not forwards
Dusty and Barlow pretty much pick themselves; they’re probably the top two picked guys in Supercoach forward lines I imagine. I’ve taken a risk on Tex Walker as my F3. This may be a case of the heart overruling the head, but I believe he can get back to or better his best form of 2012 where he averaged between 101-108 for the 2nd half of the year. Much like with Nick Riewoldt, I’m hoping the decreased interchange cap is a bonus for him. Aaron Hall does look tempting in this spot though. Daniel Wells selection has been explained above and then the rest is filled out with the best forward rookies. Kerridge is an obvious standout, hopefully Petracca gets a run, Grimley may just be there for FWD/RUC swing purposes and McCarthy will just hopefully get a game.
“And here’s why your team sucks…”
And there are plenty of risks I can see, but if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s impossible to construct a side without some sort of risk involved somewhere. First, my rookies could all crap the bed, and with running 3 each in my DEF and FWD lines, that will severely restrict my point output and cash generation if they fail to fire. Then my RRR plan could completely backfire with one or both players involved not living up to expectations. And all it takes is for Walker to have a few quiet games to completely blow my chances early too. About the only part of the ground I’m not worried about is the midfield, which you’d bloody hope so considering I invested so much money in there.
So Community, I now turn my team over to you. Are there any areas where you can see massive failings in my squad? Or does it look pretty darn decent to you?