by Lekdog & Patch
Not all of us can spend weeks trawling through excel tables, listening to hours of podcasts or digging through the darker reaches of the dark web for obscure hitout to advantage statistics. If you’re fair dinkum about this game, you would, but some of us just can’t.
This is for you. These are the ten simple commandments – the tldr of the Supercoach bible (which you absolutely should order and keep on your bedside table at all times) that will help propel you towards Supercoach respect.
Some of these rules are less hard and fast than others, but you won’t be lead astray by following them. But behold, the Lord has send down ten commandments, which we shall now list in no particular order.
Players that don’t complete full preseasons won’t cut much chop when the season starts. If a bloke’s coming off an injury, or coming off surgery, put a line straight through them. They’re likely to be rested, have a very slow start to the year or worse, re-injure themselves.
Gary Ablett is a prime example of this – despite being the Supercoach GOAT, has come off interrupted pre-seasons the past two years, and played a total 20 games in those years. He’s also averaged 114 in those games, well below The GOAT’s loft 130+ average from previous years.
Dayne Beams, Shane Mumford and Aaron Sandilands are others to cross off your lists due to interrupted preseasons – unless they discover the Charlie Dixon fountain of youth reanimation.
Note that a full preseason is different to players like Bob Murphy, David Swallow and Nathaniel Fyfe, who suffered season ending injuries last year, but returned to full training over summer.
Though the temptation to select this year’s breakout contender burns deep within the soul of every coach out there, the simple fact is you won’t.
In the last three years, only 32 mid-priced players have gone on to average over 100 Supercoach points and most of those were players were premiums returning from injury. The only massive, huge breakout years since 2013 were Robbie Gray in 2015 and Patch’s man Zach Merrett last year.
Whilst many people will say something along the lines of “this is the year blokes like Mills and Heeney breakout and make us some cash or become keepers” the actual maths of the matter disagrees. Only 6% of players priced between 200k and 500k average over 100 by the end of the year.
Even selecting them as cash cows doesn’t tend to work. To actually make enough cash to justify their selections both Mills and Heeney would have to average at least 100 points and if we refer to my first point, they won’t.
Don’t break your team by selecting “breakout contenders”. Read this if you’re still not convinced.
With the preseason injury to Todd Goldstein and the inflated price of Max Gawn this commandment becomes a little bit more difficult to follow. I will simplify this commandment by saying that we must select premium rucks who will play at least 21 games in 2017.
Goldy and Gawn are what I would consider uber-premiums who will produce no matter what, but in my humble opinion there are other ruckmen that we can set and forget. Grundy and Martin will still provide us with premium output and probably won’t require any attention throughout the year, we would be able to set and forget those two players. To a lesser extent I think that Sam Jacobs could also be considered a set and forget R2 option but he is far more risky.
This commandment encourages young coaches to steer well and truly clear of players like Aaron Sandilands, Jonathan Giles or Matthew Kreuzer. It’s simply not worth the hassle when they go down with injury or stop producing decent scores; the trade process becomes too messy. Avoid.
As an aside if you are in fact considering Ryder, Nankervis or Boyd there is no circumstance in which they should be in your ruck line, if a ruckman is available as a forward that is where you select him.
Pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? Make sure that you select a decent spread of premiums with different bye rounds in your initial starting squad.
A great tool to use is the Higginator, it will basically tell you if you have enough bye coverage and will make identifying mid-season upgrades a far less stressful experience. If you have a look at your current team and all of your midfielders are sharing the same bye round hit that “clear my team” button and start again.
Whilst the byes are a long way off, we still need to be aware of them because nothing will ruin your year like scoring 600 points in round 13.
This is a follow up rule to the previous commandment, a rule that I am testing out for the first time in 2017.
I believe that a major key to 2017 Supercoach success will lie in selecting three captain-worthy options in you initial starting team, all with different bye rounds.
In my case I will be selecting JPK (round 11 bye), Patrick Dangerfield (round 12 bye) and Scott Pendlebury (round 13 bye) which will ensure that unless a major injury strikes, I will have a captaincy option in each of the bye rounds without having to rely on trading anyone in.
It is also important to note that of the above three examples I have provided, all three average over 100 Supercoach points against at least one of their opponents during the bye rounds.
Spending five minutes looking at the fixture has meant that I will enter the season with three high scoring captaincy options through the bye rounds that actually enjoy playing against their opponents during that time.
A rule of thumb that has lead me to a moderately successful Supercoach career is to have duel position players in every line.
Ensuring that I can swing players into different lines has helped save me trades on countless occasions, in fact Dusty Martin spent a fair whack of time in my midfield throughout the 2016 season.
In 2017 we have some decent defensive swing options, as well as some really tempting ruck/fwd players to help cover us through injuries, byes and the inevitable Ross Lyon effect. I encourage coaches to get a few of these DPP’s into their side to avoid as much carnage as possible.
The other benefit of have multiple DPP’s in your side is that when you are looking to upgrade you can actually do it across multiple lines. For example if your fwd/def rookie has peaked at $400K you can hit the trade button, swing an existing mid/fwd you selected into the forward line and bingo bango you have the option to pick up a premium midfielder over a forward or defender.
The Art Of War is one of the most significant pieces in the 2017 Jock Reynolds Magazine (must buy here), which is the Bible to these Ten Commandments. The vibe of the thing (your honour) was you need to decide if you want to go for all-out league demoralisation and rip the $10 from all the sods in the office personally, or you’re done with the small fry of your mates and want the fifty thousand big ones. If you don’t plan, it’ll fall apart.
If you’re going to crush your mates, you need to hit the trades hard early to get a good squad, you need to plan meticulously around the byes – a valid tactic here is deciding to stack your team chock full players who’ll miss the same week, and tanking there to take two wins either side of it.
If you’re going for overall, know the popular players, look at the pack and see what the majority of players are doing. Plan your moves as lone wolf. Plan your PODs. Plan your upgrades. Plan everything you can physically plan, then plan some more.
Just don’t do it. I don’t care. JR HQ is going to huge in 2017, as such Higgins will be lucky to average 30.
In previous years, this commandment would not have the word “rookies” after it, but as has been discussed – the forward line is not a kind place this year, as the gents unpacked in the Forward Line Podcast.
However, not all conventions have been cast aside: we don’t select key position forward rookies, unless we are absolutely desperate. KPF rookies usually struggle to average more than 60, which is a huge dint on their ability to make cash for our sides. As a general rule, steer clear of them at all costs. Some years, such as with Jesse Hogan, there was no ignoring certain players. This year, however, no key position players stand out to be selected.
NOTE: this blanket rule doesn’t apply to key position defenders, some of whom (Marcus Adams, Sam Collins last year) scored highly while others (Michael Hartley, Mitch Brown) didn’t.
SuperCoach season 2017 presents us with a situation like which we haven’t seen in a long time – more than a dozen players, some bona fide superstars – retuning to the game after being forced to sit out for twelve months.
Dyson Heppell, Paddy Ryder, Michael Hibberd, Cale Hooker, Michael Hurley and co. are an interesting pickle to ponder for selection in 2017, as all have a 10% discount applied to their starting price due to 12 months out of the game. It’s unclear what impact their time out of the game will have on them, and as such they present an unknown risk to our sides.
But – some value here simply cannot be ignored. So, for your sanity, for your byes and for your side’s stability, start no more than one or two of these blokes across your whole team for the year – David Myers (at $133,000) is an exception to the rule due to his price as a rookie).
And that’s the ten commandments. We hope. Neither of us can count overly well, so if it’s eleven or nine or something, please don’t tell us #ignoranceisbliss
Lek and Patch