SuperCoach 2017: Top 5 Injury Returnees

Published by Lekdog on

LekDog top 5 injured players

This week I take a look at five players returning from injury that I think you should consider for Supercoach 2017.

I would consider Patch’s recent breakdown of midpricers here and Gaveday’s bargain hunt article here as prerequisite reading to this article.

They may just help with your decisions to select one, none or all of the players listed in this article.

#5- Aaron Sandilands (RUC $308,200)

Aaron Sandilands is in a hell of a lot of teams so far and I think it’s for good reason.

The conservative side of me just wants to lock Gawn and Goldstein away for the second year running but the value lover in me is pulling me towards the purple giant in the West.

So why would we pick Sandilands in 2017? Well there are really two key reasons to selecting the Fremantle ruckman.

The first is that he is cheap and has a history of scoring and the second is that picking him may allow you to grab an extra premium in the midfield.

In five of his last seven seasons Sandilands has averaged at least 107.8 points per game. More recently he averaged 108 and 107.8 in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Over the last six seasons Sandilands has registered 53 scores above 100 Supercoach points (including finals) but guess how many games he missed in that same time period?

53 games.

That’s right, big Sandiballs has missed as many games as he has scored 100+ since 2011. Not only is this a beautiful stat that I was able to find but it is also a great visualization of the risk you take when picking the big man.

Personally I want to believe the risk is worth it but in reality if Sandilands goes down again with injury what can you do? His price is too awkward to easily find a replacement for and his recent history says that he will miss games.

This man will be in and out of my team over the next several months but ultimately I think we are better off selecting durable and high scoring ruckmen for 2017.


#4- Robert Murphy (DEF  $392, 300)

Let’s focus on the fantasy footy with this selection, no need to focus on how much of a good bloke Bob is when there are hundreds of articles around doing just that.

Bob was one of the better selections I made in 2015, he was underpriced and I saw potential for a big season. He ended up scoring close to 90 points per game and I was pretty thrilled with that.

2016 I saw Bob as slightly overpriced and was able to avoid selecting him, although I was pretty annoyed at myself after his first two games prior to the great man injuring his ACL.

In 2017 I see Bob as once again being a fantastic value selection. Yes he is long in the tooth and yes he is coming off a major injury but I think he could easily pump out 20 games at an average of 88 Supercoach points, for under $400K that is a bargain.

Bob has been training with the rest of his Bulldogs side since late November (2016) and was in rehab training from April. In what he has called “the longest preseason in history” Bob appears to have overcome his knee injury and should lineup in the preseason competition.

Since 2011 Murphy has averaged at least 84.7 Supercoach points per game and (with the exception of 2016) at least 19 games per season. In this time he has registered 38 scores of 100+ and 56 scores of 90+.

A lot of people will write Murphy off due to his age of 34 but as I always say, age is just a number baby.

#3- David Swallow (MID $280,200)

At $280K Swallow is just $70K more than the number one pick in Andrew McGrath who has never played a game in the AFL. Is the fact that Swallow has a career average of 85.26 combined with his cheap (but still midpriced) price tag enough to warrant a selection in 2017?

I think an apt comparison can be made between David Swallow in 2017 and Daniel Wells in 2016. Wells was priced at $243,900 at the beginning of 2016 after playing just 9 games the two seasons prior. Swallow is priced similarly after playing just 6 games over the last two seasons.

Wells went on to successfully play in 18 games in 2016 at an average of 100.6 with 9 scores of 100+ including a high score of 138.

The question is, can Swallow make a similar return to form as Wells?

With so many players running through GCS’s midfield will there be room for Swallow? I see him running of the halfback line and playing through the midfield on occasions, probably in tandem with Pearce Hanley. Lucky for us Swallow played this role in 2014 and was able to average 103 Supercoach points.

Ideally we’ll be looking to hold Swallow until he has accrued enough value to be traded for a fallen premium. There’s a chance that we could hold onto him as an M8/bench option like many people did with Liberatore in 2016.

Swallow has played 79 games in his career and scored 100+ in 21 of those games meaning that he has tonned up 26.58 % of the time. 12 of his total 21 scores of 100+ came in 2014, Swallow’s most successful season in terms of average (103.2) and games (22). This is the form we need him to hit to justify his selection.

If Swallow scores at a rate of 85.26 (his career average) then he will increase in value to just $460,233 give or take. Frankly $179,594 is probably not enough to justify a selection so what does he need to average to make him a viable midfield selection?

In my opinion, the magic number we are looking for is 92.63 points per game. This would see Swallow peak at the $500K mark (or close to) making him the perfect candidate for a trade to a fallen premium. For reference if Swallow hits his 2014 average of 103 he’ll hit the $560K(ish) mark, which would be a massive win.

#2- Dayne Beams/Marc Murphy (Both MID $432,500)

I think that everyone needs to consider having one of these two players in their team. I think running both players will cause you more stress than it’s worth but at the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference when it comes to picking one, none or both of these guys.

If we look at the career stats of both of these guys you’ll see that they are almost identical which is fitting given they averaged the same amount of points as each other in 2016.


As you can see both players average a similar amount of disposals, marks and tackles per game, Beams has the edge when it comes to goals and Murphy has a slight advantage when it comes to frees for. As we can’t really split these guys based on their entire careers then maybe we can split them based on recent Supercoach outputs.

SuperCoach Output

#1- Jarryd Roughead (FWD 367,100)

Roughead is my number one pick as a player returning from injury if not for the value he represents then for the feel good story.

The Hawthorn captain returns from a year out of footy after a successful battle with cancer, there is no one in the AFL community who doesn’t want Roughy to succeed this year.

At $367K Roughead is almost a no-brainer and I expect to see him in a lot of Supercoach teams. He is priced to average 67 and has an average of 99.18 over his last five seasons (thanks to Trigger’s article for that stat), which means that he will make cash even if he doesn’t meet his own lofty standards.

Even an average of 85 would push his value up towards the $500K mark and would see him as a potential F8 lock all year long, however I expect him to average somewhere in the 90’s and hell he could even win the Coleman, wouldn’t that be a great way to cap off his comeback year.

I fully expect Roughy to play every game, he will want to go about things like he was never sick and the added expectations of the Hawthorn captaincy will ensure that he is up and about all year long.

Throw in some other variables like the addition of Vickery or the growth of Breust and Gunston and we have the perfect melting pot to see Roughead succeed on the field and in our Supercoach teams.

Whilst he won’t be a P.O.D you should certainly lock this man into your forward line now.

Let me know what you think community; are you taking any of the players I’ve analysed above and what is your thought process behind the decision?

Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @Lekblog

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I have 5 of them in my current side, not M Murphy. Fingers crossed.

I N Pieman

Nice one Lek. Bob Murph is a pass for me. Love the bloke but nope. I'm not sold on Roughy just yet, hope he plays some preseason games to have a good look. Swallow at 280 is nice. Beams & M Murph in consideration, again need a preseason look. And Sandi, here is the great gamble. What do you do if he your R2 & falls over & he's still 300k? Could cost you 2 trades to fix it & send your structure backwards. Tough call, but aren't we all suckers for value


That's exactly what I'm going back and forth on re: Sandi. Ryder as cover is never far away from injuring himself either. I'm more likely to take a punt on Beams or Murph as there's more options if they fall over early, especially with a lot of the rooks being dpp

Jib JIb

Call me crazy, but I'm covering Sandi with Boyd rather than Ryder. It's a gut call, I can't really rationalise it.

Jib JIb

If he falls over at 300k you'd have to swing in your backup, hold Sandi on the bench for a a couple of weeks and make him your very first upgrade. Anyone picking Sandi without swing set backup this year is probably somewhat insane.


I will be going with Sandi with no cover.

Firstly i haven't read anything that says he is carrying an injury. Last year he got a NicNat knee in the ribs but he should be fully mended from that. If people are thinking he is going to get injured, that is like saying dangerfield will get injured, you just don't know.

Second, the cover options are not that good, especially if Lobbe is named round 1 for Port. ryder is alot of money to spend on Ruck Cover, you want him to be a keeper in his own right, not sure if he will be a top 8 forward this year therefore expensive option.

Third, the reward vs risk is too good. If all goes well, we get a $300k R2 who can score at 95+. He plays Cats, Port, Dogs, Melb, Norf, WCE, Essendon, Tigers, in the first 8 weeks – except for Norf i can't see to many ruck man beating him. He should be $500k+ by week 9, perfect time for an upgrade, especially as Goldy has a very nice second half of the season.

Selecting any Ruckmen, even if it is Goldy/Gawn without any cover is just the same risk. If they get injured without ruck cover, you just need to make a trade.

The only risk with sandi is his price, if he does get injured early, he is awkward to trade out, but even if he gets to round 5, he should already be well over $400k and not that hard to trade.

Just look at his price!!!! He is cheaper than Lobbe was last year!


I agree Derek. For anybody who thinks he'll snap in half before a decent price rise, don't pick him. If you think he'll last long enough to make a decent profit, then you'll be in a position to upgrade him before/when he snaps in half. If you're in two minds and take on Ryder as ruck cover then you're taking a risk to cover a risk. Just look at the bargain Sandi was in 2014.

Boltons Blues

Strong consideration for the Sandi Giles combo, crazy, but Sandi is a potential keeper if he gets to his best (no third up now means he is 1 v 1 and will be very hard to beat if he can knock it down Neale and Fyfes throat)

Giles, who else is going to ruck WCE? Petrie? spare me please


And….. he's injured already.

Meanie of Me

34 years old and is getting calf injuries – big old ‘NOPE!’ for me.


To me, the sound more attached to Luke Wood than Inopsrctee as a whole. I could see them going off to a smaller label or something of the likes. Kind of sad to see the interview series over, but now the gears are changing and we'll all be getting into Blaqk Audio mode! c:

Big fact hunt

Sandy has just broken down out for 5weeks you may need cover

General Soreness

Great write up Lek. Who and how many of these guys and your plans for them will make or break many a SC season, there is good reason for all of them and plenty of good reasons for none. I am yet to wholly decide which way I will go, they are tempting, tempting like a flame dancing at night in a cold winter, which may provide warmth or burn you. A HOW BIG ARE YOUR PLUMS TEST from any perspective.


They all could be very valid or invalid selections.

We wont know until we see them play in the preseason and how many minutes, games, to get a good look at how they are travelling.
Throw all the banned bombers in this basket as well.

Only once we see how they are performing, pulling up the next week, how many miles they have in their legs and how they adjust to the pace of the game, skill level etc can we make a call if we roll the dice round 1.

Agree Lek if Rough passes the test above he is in.


Got all except Swallow and Murphy.


Thanks Lek I'm not convinced on Murphy or Beams but Bob is probably the safer bet if you want 12+ games. If Bob feels a bit sore he'll push through because it's his last roll. If Beamer breaks a fingernail the lions will send him back to hospital for precautionary scans on his tissue paper joints and give him a week off.


Great stuff Lek. Think Roughy and M.Murphy are safe options. Swallow has risk, should make cash and can always trade him to a bubble rookie if he goes down. Won't touch Beams or bob. Currently have Sandiballs, although think you need Ryder as a swingset contingency if you go this option, so covered if he goes down in the first month. Will need 2 trades although, so i may still go for Gawn/Grundy combo. Cash generation vs burning trades. This for me is the biggest decision of SC this year.

Jib JIb

Only Roughy and Sandi for me.

Billy balwyn

All except for Sandi, he's just too risky. set and forget for me.


Been looking into Beams' fantasy relevant seasons (2012 – ), when he manages to start the season he can string together games.

2012: Missed round 1 (can't find out why, any Pies fans recall?). Played every game after
Fantasy viewpoint: Perhaps would have started him, like with Zorko last year when he was rubbed out for round 1

2013: Played preseason but not round 1. Didn't appear until round 16
Fantasy viewpoint: Would have taken him out before round 1

2014: Played 1-7, missed round 8, returned in round 9.
Fantasy viewpoint: Had tonned up in every game prior to him missing one (was averaging 122.5). Would have kept him anyway if it was a one week out

2015: Started the year. Missed round 17, 19-22
Fantasy viewpoint: Not the first to go down at the end of year.

2016: Didn't appear until round 7
Fantasy viewpoint: Wouldn't have started him

If he's 100% round 1, at 432k makes him hard to overlook


Great work kev, I agree if he is fit he is a lock

Jib JIb

Great work Kev, I just go past all those missed games though. I want to minimise my exposure to known injury this year, especially with uber premo mids (which if you pick Beams that's what you're hoping for). I've gone with Fyfe as my fallen uber premo this year and I think that'll do for me.

Jib JIb

*I just can't go past


Totally understand, Jib. History says that if he plays early he'll hang around for a couple months at least before breaking down. Picking him and you're getting 600k mid output for 170k less.

Jib JIb

Assuming he's capable of getting back to that elite level, otherwise you'll make $70k and still have to upgrade him at some point anyway.

Geez I can be a downer sometimes


I think you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. I can see him averaging around the 105 mark which is pretty good output wise. He said that he is hoping to play the last 2 JLT cup games. If he does that and lines up round 1, Kev's stats say that he will be significant.


I like him more than Murphy, Jib. He hasn't had a 110+ season since 2012, Beams has done it in 2014 and 2015. Only 27, best has not passed him if he stays on the park

Jib JIb

All good points. As Jock would say, 'he's been to the mountain'.


i don't think Beams will ever be 100% again. he said that in a recent injury.

Can't compare those scores when he was fit to the beams of the future


Murphy a lock for me. At that price and what hes capable of; he should atleast become a solid M8 option.

Beams to risky, especially with Murphy already in the side for me. Will most likely miss games and probably quite a few

Can't see Murphy becoming a keeper and wont generate that much cash so I'm staying away

Sandilands will make good money and allow me to strengthen other lines, but is ageing and probably past his best so unsure how good he will be. In my team at the moment, but up for the flick if he doesnt look any good

Swallow a LOCK if fit come round 1


Bob at his best was only a mid 80 scorer. you can't expect him to do any better than that, surely!


Marc Murphy and David Swallow are in my team at the moment, but their spots aren't locked. I need some convincing.


Great work again LEKDOG……

3 for me Sandi with Ryder for cover if it all goes wrong early, but he looks good atm and leaner then in past years so im backing him in.
Swallow looks the major cash maker of the lot coming back, expected to get loads of mid time looks good to go at 280k to good to go past IMO… if it turns sour early its just drop back to a rookie…
And the 3rd one im taking in atm is Roughy he is the main one of the 3 i want to get a look at, if he plays ok in JLT games ill take him in as well.


Sandi – Lock

Bob – Nope. At his best he could only score mid 80's. best is behind him, not a keeper and won't make much cash, starting price almost $400k (KK is $375k)

Swallow – Considering. Will take a rookie's place in my starting team at M7, so will depend on the rookie crop if he makes the final cut.

Beams – Leg is stuffed. Will do well to average 100 in a team that won't win alot of games.

Smurf – Isn't a keeper and won't make enough to be a Cash Cow.

Roughie – Very Likely if can fit him in at F4, will need to find some cash. He is a Key Position player who can throw in a 50, however the Hawks do have a good draw, he is the captain this year and could be a keeper.


Sandi is injured mate- not really sure he is a lock????


Minor strain in the left calf. We'll have to monitor this but if he's not fit for Round 1 then it's a 100% no from me.


have gone to plan B. Grundy at R2 and 2-1-5 defense structure


KK the midpricer ?


I'm looking at Mills or Hibberd as defence mid pricer


Bar last year Bob has only averaged over 90 three times in his career, love him and i know you say age is just a number but add coming off an acl to that i just cant see it happening


I think one thing that has been overlooked with Roughy is that he also had a PCL operation last year. It probably went under the radar a bit because of his bigger health issues. Just how much impact this has, who knows. A lot of discussion on the injuries affecting Beams, Swallow,Sandi etc to get back to their previous points scoring level. Further, the one year out of the game factor has been expressed as a reason not to pick banned bombers. I think all these factors make Roughy at least as risky as any of the others. Given his best season makes him borderline F6 at best, I don't see him as anything like a lock.
I also note that Hodge said today that he wasn't sure if Roughy would be ready for Round 1.


Great point about the PCL, completely slipped my mind


Great article Lek! Currently have Sandi, Beams, and Swallow from that list into my team. Considering Roughie, but not the Murphy's. Poor old Bob is coming of an ACL and is getting older, not enough cash to be made and I doubt he can become one of the top defenders once again. And I can't see Marc becoming top 10 relevant again this season and is too awkwardly priced


Great read Lek but as it stands I Don't have any of these boys in my team

I N Pieman

Well you are missing out on a ton of value if you don't go with any. So don't be surprised if a lot of your league opponents get to full premo before you do.

The Stiv

I disagree Pieman. Each of the players have significant cases against them.

Sandiballs is injured – forget him.

Bob Murphy never really averaged more than 85 most years let alone back from an acl with long teeth.

Beams has said he'll have to manage the tendinitis for the remainder of his career. Big durability issues.

M Murphy will not score enough to be a keeper or appreciate enough to be a cash cow IMO.

Rodney Eade stated yesterday that Swallow will be managed. Not a great sign. He has only had 1 season where he averaged anywhere near 100.

Roughead is the only one I'm seriously considering. Still there are worries. Coming back from a year off with a cancer battle. Also had PCL surgery. He's far from a round 1 guarantee and far from a lock.


i didn't like what Eade said about Swallow


Nope, nope, nope, nope/nope, aaaand nope.

Midpricers have killed my season before it even got off the ground the last 3 years running. I know i could miss out on this years daniel wells but I'll take the extra premo and rookie cash generation this year thanks.

Great write up but Lekdog. Well thought out and researched as always


Jock says Sandi is injured.

Big fact hunt

I have taken none of them at the moment after last years debarkle with injuries I am going all players that played 20 or more games for premos. Only player with injury history is rocky who still played 17 games last year. Might consider bob but that would be it


For every Wells there is a BCrouch


Lekdog no mention of Harley Bennell is he worth looking at ?


How did Fyfe not make this list???