A FORGIVING SEASON
You may be in celebratory mode, drinking excessively from the Cup of SuperCoach success. Or perhaps you have had a season to forget – a “horrible anus” as Jock would say. Whether you play for League or Rank, the season is not officially over until it has been carefully considered, documented and exploited as a tactical tool going forward.
“As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly”
I would like to present you with an analysis of my team for 2016 – behold Mathemagic FC;
As the title of this post suggests, I considered myself fortunate to rank within the top 1000 this year. As you will see, while a number of poor selections and trades were made across the journey, the game continued to forgive and ultimately gifted me with a somewhat respectable end of season rank.
Initial and Final Squad Comparison
This is an interesting exercise for all to undertake. At the beginning of the season we look over our teams and count season long team “keepers”. How many actual keepers did I start with? Like me, did you bank on 12 or 13 season long set-and-forget selections?
What an underwhelming starting lineup and yes, just 10 “keepers” (Rockliff was traded out and back in).
Adding to my starting squad misery is the fact that of these 10 keepers, I would consider 5 to be fail selections;
Jimmy Bartell – Started as a perceived bargain being the 19th most expensive Defender priced at $470,400. You get what you pay for as he ended as the 19th ranked defender on points, missing 2 games along the way. Semi-Fail
Brodie Smith – Another perceived pre-season bargain. He was a frustration all year ending up as the 35th ranked defender on points with a poultry average of just 75.4. Just two 100+ scores from his 21 games! Fail
Stefan Martin – Why did I pay $597k for Martin, the second most expensive ruck behind Goldstein? An obvious point of difference selection that failed with a staggering 8 sub 80 scores. Like Bartell and Smith, Stefan also missed games. Fail
Christian Petracca – Petracca didn’t play until Rd.6 and while he posted a few nice scores, I didn’t catch them. Obviously he did not generate any cash for my team. When I had to play him to cover Sloane in Rd.23 he delivered a 58. Fail
Darrean Wyatt – The floating doughnut that went stale through lack of use. Collingwood had a lot of early round games in the back half of the season. However, he was just a $102K spend and he did enable me to utilse Rory Lobb as swing cover when Stefan Martin was absent. Minor-Fail
So, with just five moderately successful premium selections how did my team rank in the top 1000?
It will come as no surprise to you to hear that true success in SuperCoach comes via smart trading. Was it my trading that enabled me to end with a reasonable rank? I’m not so sure.
Naked, exposed, vulnerable. My season on a plate. A dish served with many imperfections.
FAIL – Shaun Higgins – Going into Round 6 Higgins had an ownership of just 1.2%. My success with Shaun over the 2015 year and long fantasy scoring history made for the perfect storm. Higgins had a 72 in Round 6 and did his knee in Round 7 where he was traded out for a net loss of $32,100. A disaster so early in the season.
SUCCESS – Tom Rockliff – 31.6% of coaches started with Rockliff. In Round 3 coaches were quick to jump off, like me, as his ownership plummeted to 6.3%. This was the right move as his brief return in Rd.5 – 7 produced an average of just 80ppg. Rockliff returned in Round 11 with a monster 204 against the Blues. At a $50k discount, Round 12 was the perfect time to trade back into Rockliff. I was particularly interested not due to his proven scoring history but more due to the fact that many coaches are, for reasons of pride I presume, extremely hesitant to trade any player back in that they have previously traded out. Suprisingly, from Round 12 Rockliff’s ownership rose from 12.5% to just 15.8%.
FAIL – Gary Ablett – After closely monitoring Ablett in each game I was quick to jump off when he missed a week with concussion in Round 9. His ownership fell from 51% to 40%. A rash decision, and in hindsight the wrong decision to make. I missed Ablett’s 143 in Round 10 and traded him back in for Round 11 at a discount of $600! I had no choice. To trade Ablett out again later in the season only added to my disappointment.
SUCCESS – Sam Kerridge was one of the most selected players this year peaking in ownership at 69.1%. After a 126 in Round 11 I made the bold move of trading him out. While he still appreciated a further $23k, this enabled me to bring Rockliff back in. Interestingly, over half of all coaches held Kerridge through his bye. He averaged just 65 from Round 11 onward. The Kerridge to Rockliff trade was arguably my best move for 2016.
SUCCESS – Daniel Wells & Zac Merrett – Timeing is everything. Wells to Merrett was the perfect trade to make for my team in Round 16. Up until that point in the season, both players made me anxious each time they played. I wanted Merrett in as much as I wanted Wells out. With Wells at peak price and injured, I traded in Merrett at $523,000 at an ownership of 21.7%. Coaches continued to buy into Merrett at a higher price, while others held a poorly performing Wells. Merrett finished with an ownership of 30.6% while 41.2% held onto Wells to seasons end. Their post Rd.15 score outputs – Merrett 978 points, Wells 645. A significant win.
FAIL – Brett Deledio – Wasted trade, wasted cash. Big Fail.
SUCCESS – Laird & Boyd – The unclassified reckless trade. Having watched Laird score heavily in his defensive role across the first six rounds he was high on my post bye upgrade shopping list. I saw $471,900 as a bargain and was thrilled with the first three scores he delivered my team; 91, 96 and 130. When he was a late out in Round 17 I made a rather spontaneous decision which I very much enjoyed at the time. Having already traded Ablett to Selwood and with only three trades left for the season, I forecasted that Boyd would outscore Laird on the run home. The most appealing aspect of this trade was that Boyd’s ownership was less. Boyd ended up missing a game in Round 19, however, he managed to outscore Laird by 68 points.
SUCCESS – Not starting with Nathan Fyfe – Close to 40% of all coaches lost $45k and a trade early in the season.
SUCCESS – Not buying into Aaron Hall – After four big rounds Hall went from 20.4% up to an ownership over 44%. Many coaches bought high and sold low, losing as much as $100K.
Of course, my final rank of 805 could have been better, however, it could have/should have been a lot worse. 30 is a very forgiving number of trades! Considering I started with a poor squad and went on to burn as many as 8 further trades on failed selections, I did not deserve my final rank.
While my starting squad was poor, most coaches this season would find that they have a similar poor keeper count given the attrition rate of the premium selections this year.
Through this analysis it has become apparent that it was my aggressive trading strategy that held me high in the ranks;
- trading out players at peak price (Wells)
- gaining an early mover advantage on players with low ownership percentages (Cripps)
- generating fast cash (Lyons)
- getting to full-premo early (Rd.14)
The above can only be achieved through assertive moves. While trades such as Ablett, Higgins and Deledio failed, they are important strategic plays that need to be made in order to succeed. Point of difference, or “Shark Moves” moves will not always come off, however, with 30 trades we are afforded the luxury to be bold in our game play.
And finally, I will be very careful when selecting any player with a history of injuries; Naitanui, Fyfe, Ablett, Deledio. And of course …. Shaun Bloody Higgins.
Please excuse my profanity.
Peter J Higginbotham