SuperCoach Midpricers – a conclusive look at why they suck

Published by Patch on

Supercoach MidPricers 2017Trigger Warning:

This article revisits many mid-priced selections from previous years and may invoke memories of severe burns, betrayed trust and incoherently screaming at the moon. You may need to get up, walk around and take deep breaths while reading this article. It’s also a long one. You have been warned.

Mid pricers suck. They just do. They are fool’s gold, lying in the shallows, screaming ‘Pick me! Pick me!” promising averages far beyond they can ever deliver. Yet, we pick them. every. single. year. Around the byes we realise we’ve been made a fool of, spend precious trades and money to get rid of them, and swear ‘never again’.

Then in pre-season, we’re tempted by trades, by retirement, by the promise of role changes, we start with five of them aaaaaand we get dragged back in like the schmucks we are. The cycle repeats.

But not this year. I decided to go back through the annals of time (well, as far as I could before I stopped remembering who the popular mid-priced picks were, which happened to be three years) to assemble the ultimate, statistical proof that mid pricers are dumb and should never, ever be considered.

The cycle ends here, I thought to myself.

Does It End Though?

In terms of searching for keepers, it does. It’s conclusive. Over the past 3 years, only 5 mid-priced selections have averaged over 100 over 18 games or more. Five. Less than two players a year.

And what’s more, four of those players were returning from injuries the year before. Dane Swan, Aaron Sandilands, David Swallow and Daniel Wells were all known as premiums, and all went into their seasons as mid-priced players well undervalued. The only asterisk on that list is besides Swan’s name, who played injured during season 2013.

The fifth was Zachary Merrett, who stepped up to be the only Essendon midfielder of 2016 who wasn’t absolutely terrible (but not only that, he was very, very good.)

The wisdom of the ancients backs this up – John Bruyn, the winner of SuperCoach in 2013, started with two midpricers, and those two were David Mundy (at 477k) and Dustin Martin (473k). c-money, the 2015 champion, has said “you don’t want more than 2-3 mid pricers.”

And when you look at the data, they don’t come off. The next three tables are basically a who’s who of Burn Men. And here I was thinking I’d never have to see the name Greg Broughton ever again.

2014 Supercoach MidPriced Statistics

The N/As on these lists reflect players who were popular, selected, but had their seasons ended within four or five rounds, so their stats aren’t enough to draw comparisons from. They’re still on the list because they’re still mid pricers, they were still picked, and they still ruined a lot of sides over the short period of time they’d been selected.

2015 Supercoach MidPriced results

2016 Supercoach MidPriced

Okay, I know it’s a lot of numbers, but if we look at these tables, and think of the mid pricers lying in front of us for 2017. Where will the likes of Paddy Ryder, ($418,100) Isaac Heeney, ($433,300), Callum Mills, ($420,000) Bob Murphy, ($392,300) David Swallow, ($280,200) and Jobe Watson (353,300) all fit into this table next year? Will they also fail?


Statistically, the answer is yes. Yes, they will. One of them will have a season ending injury, most of them will average between 80 and 95 and ONLY ONE of them will likely average more than 100. Which one? It’s probably too early to say I’m keeping a close eye on Aaron Sandilands, but this isn’t an Aaron Sandilands writeup (if you want one, look here) and the point here is the case is closed on mid pricers, done, gone, see ya later.

But the basics are there. Players don’t break out of that mid-priced brackets. They break out of $550,000 brackets into ultra-premium status. Everyone else is just making up numbers. The only players that do well are those returning from injury, and they’re easy enough to spot. Case. Closed.

Thats The End of the Chapter


But, most of us know this. Most of us have learnt not to rely on mid pricers to be there at the end of the year, aside from the one or two Daniel Wells’ that appear each year. Many of us keep mid pricers in the rack to generate cash while still scoring, especially in years where there are few rookies.

Using mid pricers as cash cows is a tactic that has taken off in the past few years, with a look to upgrade them at or just after the byes. But I’d never actually looked into if it works. So I decided to, and what I found probably won’t shock you.

It doesn’t work. Aside from one or two each year, mid pricers suck for fantasy teams. They just do. There’s no sugar coating it.

I had a look at the mid-pricers listed above, and put down their peak price during the year, when that peak was reached and what they’d averaged up to that peak, as well as their price at the byes to try and determine how many players are worth selecting on pure cash generation alone.

(Players that have an N/A for their peak indicate their starting price was their “peak”. In other words, they didn’t have a peak and as such should be thrown right in the bin as the suckiest sucks that ever sucked.)

2017 Supercoach MidPriced history

Just as a note – Dom Tyson in 2014 could be argued as more of a rookie than a mid-pricer, but worms his way onto the list because it was his third season and he was starting at a new club.

It’s pretty damn conclusive. Only two players in the past two years have generated more than $80,000 by the byes. The rest of the popular mid pricers have all stunk it up big time, floating like a tepid turd in our teams, not making cash, not scoring points, just kicking up a mess.

That’s because they’re just really expensive rookies. And as the rookie insight article in the Jock Reynolds Magazine states, expensive rookies have to work so, so much harder to make cash.

Here’s a quick table of how much cash mid pricers would make by the bye (all standardised to round 13 here) comparing their value and their potential average:


Compare that to the historical lists above and it’s a sobering counter to the argument that mid pricers can make half-decent cash cows. Especially when you mention Sam Powell-Pepper averaging 70 at 135,300 would make $231,609 by the end of round 13.

So.  You can look at mid pricers individually and you can make all sorts of excuses as to why you select them, but take a step back. Look at the big picture. No matter how tasty they look, the likelihood is that they’re going to suck and cause you a lot of grief.

Do. Not. Pick. Them.

So, midpricers, I’m not going to fall for it. No matter how tasty you look, with so much gorgeous potential oozing from you, we know you won’t work out for us. Even with all the signs you’re training the house down, I’m not even gonna look at you. Well, maybe a bit. But I don’t care how good you are, I’m only going to… you know what? I’m just gonna go like this, and if you get picked, it’s your own fault.

Homer Supercoachson


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David Zaharakis.
Never again.


Patch, great write up. I agree, HOWEVER, some do look very tasty, don't they. Come on, I know you agree.


Don't do it, Kev. Don't do it! #EndTheCycle


Massive effort gone into this…..geez the content just keeps getting better. Blown away by the detail. Well done Patch you ripper!!!


Cheers Krups! I never want to look at an Excel spreadsheet ever again!


Patch, you majestic comic genius!
Quality stuff.
That's it. I'm not touching any mid-pricers this year.
Except Sandi.

And Bob
and maybe Beams
and Heen…


They're so bloody tempting!


Trigger warning that was gruesome and sobering patch. Well done. Bad memories there. Throw lonegran into that lot. A pre season flyer.

Yep no mid pricers but we can't afford every premo have to look for value picks. But after that article they have to be fallen premos or guys that you know who can deliver and have done in past.

Hoping 2017 is going to mirror 2014.
Sandi at same price hard to ignore swallow half the 2014 price.

Beams. In and out of team.
If go with beams at m6 allows $ to strengthen other lines. Jelwood at M6 reliant on a couple of cheap rooks on each line. It's a juggling game.

Just gotta decide which way to jump.


Let me try to talk you out of Beams. If you are selecting him as a keeper, do you really believe he can be top 10 midfielder by season end? Managing a knee? With durability issues. Can't, right? So can only be a point scoring stepping stone. Good early draw- yes. To be worthwhile as a stepping stone, what sort of value do you expect? IMO $150k is a minimum. Are you confident he can get back to a 106-108 average to get to that price range? Just to get the minimum value.
I know these can be famous last words, but of all my decisions leading into the new season, NOT picking Beams I think is my best.


We also need to consider our whole teams. If Beams saves you enough for one more premo elsewhere I'd take the punt.


Thanks guys both very relevant points.

Hence the reason beams has been in and out of the old higginator on a regular basis.


i hear you Steeve. In my side ATM I have 12 premos plus Sandi, Ryder and Swallow. It's all a question for me on Ryder. If he is a keeper by being top 10 fwd with the ruck swing, then I roll the dice on Swallow because 13 is perfect. If I lose confidence in Ryder, then I can lose Ryder and Swallow for the 13th premo.

Luskin Star

I disagree. The risk with Beams is not that he will not produce premuim scores, its that he wont play much. In the last 5 years he has only played more than 15 games 3 times. In those years he averaged 123, 115, 113. If he plays he will be top 10. Big if though.


thats what I meant by durability issues. But you said it much better! Same page


Could have been a lot more blokes thrown in that list, Trigger, but couldn't bring myself to trawl through Excel any longer! We've no doubt got to look for value, but as of this research, I don't want that value if it's between $250,000 and $450,00!

Sandi's done it before so I'm tempted to back him in, but Swallow's not in my calculations at the moment. Don't like the way his injury looks. I'm also undecided on Beams, but leaning towards no

Luskin Star

Great write up. Was just about to revamp my fwd line to mid pricers and rookies but you know i much i hang on your every word so im scrapping that idea. Got to challenge you on Beams though. For me he doesnt come under the category of 'do i pick this mid pricer' because he is, when fit a gilt edged premo. Beams belongs in an article 'should you pick injury prone players'. That, my friend, is your next article by popular demand.


Cheers Luskin!

Plenty of time for me to flip-flop on Beams, I'm more a no because of the rest of the talent in the midfield competition wide, but we'll see!

It's now on the list of things to look at! Cheers for asking, I'll see if I can get to it over the next few weeks!


Having a good year all depends on starting the season well. And the best way to start the season well is to avoid injuries to your front line players because the bench depth early on is usually pretty thin. Having to play rookies like menapoo on field is not good.

my season was stuffed by round 8 last year. Injuries, Injuries, Injuries.

Rocky (Rd 3 & 4), BCrouch (Rd 3,4,5,6), Wingard (Rd 3 & 6), Rich (Rd 3), Barlow (Rd 7 & 8), Gray (Rd 6, 7, 8), JPK (Rd 8), Fyfe (rd 6 on), Wells (Rd 8 & 9).

Where in 2015 finished top 100, it was all about dodging the injuries, had a dream run.

Warning to any injury suspect player, not just a mid-pricer.


Agree with you Trigger. Plus we must consider than if we are truly going to avoid mid pricers, then we must identify more rookies and pick them from the outset. Rookie selection is often a roll of the dice and just as much can go wrong with a rookie selection as a mid pricer.

But then again, those stats don't lie. Great stuff Patch

I N Pieman

Awesome patch. Unless a mid pricer has an exposed history of scoring like a premium it's best to leave them alone. No matter how good they look. The odds of picking a break out player are stacked against you


Agree. Unless a true fallen premium (as opposed to a "might be a premium someday") best to pass. Got burned to a crisp by DeGoey, Steele and Lonergan last season.


So by this logic that means the following:
Consider: Ryder, Marc Murphy, Dayne Beams, Kieran Jack, Jordan Roughead, Hamish Hartlett, Chad Wingard, David Swallow, Jaeger OMeara, Stef Martin, Aaron Sandilands, Bob Murphy.
Firm no: Heeney, Mills, Touk Miller, Zac Williams, Sinclair, Naismith, Jonathon Giles, Shuey, Gaff, McCarthy.

Would be tons I've missed but food for thought.


Loving that list, Steve. Does put it in perspective. I'd consider Jaeger and Swallow no-goes simply because I don't think they're ready to go, but the others seem right to go… maybe.

But as I alluded to at the end, they're so bloody tempting. Heeney and Mills just…. no, Patch. The stats say no. Don't… maybe just one of them. Maybe….


If you don't pick Heeney you're flat out insane in the membrane…. Once in a generation player about to tear the competition to shreds… The question by the end of the year will be who is the best player in the league – Bont or Heeney.


Wowsers big call I love Heeney too but if he's even a top five player in HIS OWN TEAM by the end of the year that would be the best case scenario. JP Kennedy, D Hannebery, L Parker (runner-up Brownlow) and Buddy will all be in front of him unless one of them is injured.


Heeney's going to be in so many teams it's probbaly not going to hurt to pick him even if he does fail, majority will be in the same boat


Was seriously looking at Zac Williams, after my own research and this article I've cooled somewhat


Suggest you check out K Jacks history his score trajectory is down down down,,,


Awesome insight, Patch. That final table on starting price/ave/earnings is saved for future reference and I'll be revisiting my forward line after reading this.

I'm ~ gasp ~ liking Ryder just a little bit more now. Averaged at least 84 since 2009. #1 ruck at Port a 90 average isn't out of the question


As I've just been discussing on Twitter, with the dearth of forwards this year a 95 average might be the 6th or 8th forward this year, which certainly shakes things up a bit


My thoughts exactly. I think it's inevitable we'll end up with a few midprice forwards this year. Gold like this helps eliminate as much of the risk as possible. Once again, awesome stuff, Patch!


I hate this article because it kills my romance with mid pricers although that still may survive. I'm just a nice guy. Cmon. If you were mid priced they would pick you, patch.


I'm sure your love can survive in secret, Gave! They may pick me, but I'd go for a solid Guns and Rookies of Jock, Higgo and superb rookies from the community series (like your fine self – have loved your work mate!) than the mid priced kerfuffle of Lek, Barron and myself!


Old Ock just might throw a couple of mid-priced at you too just for the fun of it Patch.
C'mon even past winners have had no more than 3.

The Stiv

Brilliant Patch. Simply brilliant.


Cheers Stiv! <3


I had to have a walk to cool down after this landing in the old internet box last night. What a stunning arrangement of words and mathematical data this is Patch. Cannot to begin to describe the pride this old fool has in you this day.


Brilliant article Patch,
You have without doubt reinforced the argument for not taking mid-priced players.
However as past winners have said no more than three which does not mean you should ban them completely and I am sure a case can be made for the odd one depending on your team structure.

Super-coach seems to throw a curve-ball at us every year somehow and one that they never throw our way is a larger "Salary Cap"

With the increase in Rookie prices over the last couple of years it has made it very hard to select a Guns & Rookies team only.

Team structure is always of the utmost importance because we Must have players increasing in price to upgrade rookies. Therefore the rookies Must be playing to field 22 players every week and have bench cover at the same time, this makes it imperative to select the right rookies.

"The Jock Reynolds Fantasy Footy Magazine" seems to be an absolute must this year after reading this brilliant insight Patch.


The Magazine is absolutely integral this year, Old Ocker, as are your stats each and every year!

That's the trick, isn't it? We can't do without them, but we consistently see they hinder more than help! There's always one or two must-haves (Daniel Wells and Tom Liberatore from last year spring to mind) but hopefully this cuts down the number of teams we see with five or six mid pricers in them.

But as a few people have asked in other comments and on Twitter, does the absence of forward line premos this year mean we have to pick some more left field picks? If 95 is the average of the #6 or #7 forward at the end of the year, maybe Heeney does come more into calculations… a lot of unknowns at this stage.


Spot on mate, I am only just starting to look at my Guns & Rookie strategy and there are always last minute adjustments to be made on team announcement.
I will no doubt have 2 mid priced in my team depending on rookie availability.
FWD line is very interesting as is the BACK.
The Magazine will be of huge help and guidance this year.


no more than 2 or 3. i like the sound of that.

Sandi, Heeney and Ryder are in my team at the moment


Excellent article, Patch!

I think in defence or up forward, we can get away with a couple of mid-pricers. A small percentage of both are likely to average over 100. Midfield is a different story. Guns & Rookies Midfield all day long. With the possible exception of Dayne Beams.


Gibbs started 450k ave 107 I think for the year not bad


He did indeed, Andrew, good pick up! Knew I'd miss some while trawling through Excel and Rate My Team threads (I really wish SC's stats were more open source!). For every Bryce Gibbs I missed, there's a David Zaharakis or Jordan De Goey or Matt Crouch – reckon there's enough misses to make up for the extra 'success'

But thanks for picking it up!


Only remembered him due to being lucky enough to have him all year
You are correct most mid pricers are rubbish but we cannot help ourselves but try and find that "diamond in the rough"


Patch thoughts on Jake Lloyd?


Was about to say pass before I noticed the DEF dpp… that makes it tougher. I haven't had a close look at him to be honest with you, Mac.

The Bont

Got an article I'm sending to jock on him today lads


Mid pricers are the biggest trap going. This season will seperate the men from the boys very early. Lots of teams jumping at Swallow, Beamer an Sandi. I believe you can only really start with 1 of them. Guns and rookies is the best way to go, alws will be. Pick a team with mid pricers an u will spend ur season fixing those mistakes an finish midfield.


Jobe or not Jobe, that is the question.

I N Pieman

Talk he's going to play forward this season


$353 k, soft early draw, lots to prove, fresh, and priced to average 65-70. Def one of my 2-3 mids. Swallow will be first upgrade or correction trade if he fires.


Sam Gray last year done my head in, did about as good as your Potatoes in bbl Patch….(sry couldn't resist).
Loved the article, am currently set up with just 1 of Swallow /Scooter in the mids and 14 premos (3, 6, 2, 3) ,looks a lot safer than what ifs on each line.
Great work cheers mate.

I N Pieman

Sam Gray. Geez did he leave some ugly stains for owners. I had lonegran & DeGoey who weren't much better


So many more names could have gone into that table… so many more burn men


Haaaa Hedski, was away for the first 3 rounds of the BBL and have only made two trades – and one of those was Chris Lynn in the day before he was called up the Australian team! Reckon a bunch of potatoes would have run a better BBL side!

Extremely tasty structure there mate!


That makes sense looking at a few players you still have in there.
Yeah available rookies round one will be the key to structures. Cheers


Shocking time of year for me to look after a Supercoach side! Work is no-days-off crazy, then I go away, then I go away again, then work picks straight back up for more no-days-off craziness! Ain't no time (or internet connection) for a Supercoach side!

Only a month away from pre-season games and we can start making those calls!


After reading this article I've gone the chainsaw to a few mid prices and my team looks a whole lot better! Nice work Patch!!




Great article Patch.
This makes me rethink some of my selections for my team.
I currently have 4 mid-pricers of Ryder, Beams, Heeney and Sandi.

I am not considering trading
Beams, Heeney, Ryder to
Selwood, Macrae, Bowes.

Let me know your thoughts.
Cheers Liam.


Beams, Heeney and Ryder look better on paper than Selwood, Macrae and Bowes. Two of them are returning at reduced price, so don't feel there's a huge issue with Ryder and Beams (assuming Beams' preseason goes off without a hitch). Hard to make the call a month out from preseason matches


I feel like those three will be just off the mark in being top 8/10 in their position and that Selwood and Macrae can improve on their average from last year as well as Bowes being a good cash cow.


Fantastic stuff Patch. My only comment is the community needs to be clear on what the difference is between a true mid-pricer and a fallen (injury affected) fair dinkum Premo. Wells and Libba were definitely fallen premos and that's why they worked last year (they still had increased risk though too)


incredible read. well done.


Sandi and Roughy are the only mid pricers currently in my team, but I am still tossing up whether to catch them both in for a premium R2 and rookie fwd. The Community series will shed some light for me.


Cash them both in*


No, History has shown you must pick the right mid pricers
Nothing wrong with them.


Outstanding article Patch. One of the best i've ever seen on this website.

Thank you for all the data and analysis.


Digging deeper your theory is slightly flawed. Based on total points the top 8 fwds from last year who are still forwards this year averaged 98, 101, 95, 93, 92, 88, 90, 86. Sort of suggests that If wingard plays 4 more games than last year and Heeney 2 more they'll both be top 8 fwds.

Butcher of the ball

What about the years Robbie Gray became injury free and the top fwd, same for Luke Parker and Dangerfield when the broke out as Fwds?.

Mid pricer is a extremely loose term. Players priced in the mid-pricer bracket (250k-500k) can and in fact do become keepers sometimes. Elite players have to emerge from mediocrity at same point.

Mid Price distinctions imho..

Returning player from injury who has scored premium numbers before.
Young superstars inevitably going to break out one year, but which year?.
All the rest, including all your A,B & C grade AFL players who will never be A+/A++ players.

I think the last category contains nearly all of our failed 250k-500k selections each year.
Don't try and pick a ''good'' young player we hope can go to the next level, guys like Dangerfield and Bontempelli are rare but they stand out, i think Heeney has shown enough to say he is going to be something special, now its dependent on how the Swans structure up and just how much mid time they can afford to give him in an already stacked midfield with a number of young talents earning a share. Also with Papley inured perhaps they value his goal kicking/marking ability over others up fwd like Parker/Jack/Hewwett.

Bonafide young stars and returning injured premos.


Roughie (Hawks capt) is a midpricer!


Hartlett and kreuzer now out……Goldie and another rookie in. Heeney a luxury f6 by year end .


An extra and very important thing to consider imo is the extreme difficulty of being able to trade in expensive players during the season. Unless you are starting with about $12m salary cap so that you can have Shaw, Doc, 8 premo mids, Gawn and Goldy, you're going to need to be burning 3 trades every time you try to upgrade to those premo scorers. Of course, we only have 2 trades per round. Having a few strategic midpricers *specifically* for those expensive upgrades you know you're going to have to make, I think is a smart idea. They're not keepers, they're not rookies, they are there to smooth out the troubled waters of the Supercoach Sea.


Hartlett, Beams, Swallow, Sandi, Heeney & Ryder….that's 6 for me and I'm not worried.
Ocker made a good point earlier about the rookie prices increasing but the salary cap not. Could it be the last 4 years hasn't been a true reflection of rookies success due to Gold Coast & GWS starting off and then Essendons situation last year? Try making a Guns/Rookie team last year WITHOUT any Essendon rookies.
Great article though.

Benjamin Noble

Was Docherty not mid-priced last year?


Yes he was. I crunched some numbers on Old Ockers spreadsheet yesterday and in 2016 there were 7 players with a starting price under $500k who played 18+ games and averaged 100+

Daniel WELLS

For 2014, 2015 & 2016 combined, there are actually 36 players who fit this category. Robbie Gray in 2014 for example had a monumental breakout year starting at under $400k and going on to average 111 without missing a game.


Every years will be different
There are no hard and fast rules
Pick the right Rookies, Breakouts and Guns and trade smart and your in with a chance


Interesting thing about that list for me is how hard it would be to find the breakouts Docherty and Merrett fair enough, but no one was talking up Coniglio much and Curnow at all, where'as, Hall, S Gray, Bird, Sheridan, Lonergan, Steele.

I might be reading the spreadsheet wrong but looks like Curnow & Gibbs started around 440k and Docherty, Merrett, Riewoldt, Coniglio between that 500k, off a very small sample size it says to me if you are looking for a keeper at less han 440K better be a special case like a Wells.

I'd love to know who the 29 (-Gray) are from previous season and see if there is a pattern


Gentlemen, this is huge. I wish I'd had access to Ocker's sheets when writing this – would have changed a lot. I knew I'd miss a few but didn't think I'd be missing this many, which is a glaring omission. Very salient point on the ~440k floor though, Leeds.


I would also make a distinction between breakout players and Roo, Gibbs and Wells who were all returning from down years due to injury


I'm contemplating Roughead, Hrovat, Swallow and lesser extent O'Meara so opened up Old Ockers spreadsheet…

Now I'll be first to admit spreadsheets aren't my thing so could be wrong but it appears as if since 2011 there's only been 3-4 guys who have managed to come from the 300K-400K to average 90+ and a couple of them where midfielder who just popped over the 90 in Shiels and Greenwood.

The burning question and the one that is really hard to find answer too for me at least is what guys in that 300-400K bracket with a proven history have failed over the years, could be the case that there just haven't been many and Wells (though started 240Kish) last season & potentially, Roughead, Swallow & OMeara are particularly special cases.


Last years winner started with 4 Mid pricers!!!
Just saying..