Rookies may be some of the most important selections you can make to start your Supercoach year. Picking good ones can be the difference between quick upgrades to premium performing players and languishing with under-performing players because you don’t have enough cash to afford to buy the best of the best.
There’s a lot of different strategies that go into picking rookies, some like to buy the most expensive ones possible, the idea being the higher the draft pick, the better the player and thusly the better their point scoring and/or cash generation potential.
Rookies are always difficult because you have to play the limited hands you’re given, we’ve got a small crop of guys who play every year, even smaller is the crop of rookie priced players who will play from Round 1!
The #1 purpose for rookies is generating cash. The longer you have a rookie in your side, the longer you’re going with under-performing scores compared to what a premium player can provide.
What we’re looking for is the old “more bang for your buck” options, we want to pick players who can generate the most cash possible, but how do we do that?
The obvious answer is find a rookie who can score the most points, price be damned, and they’ll be the best choice for making money. But is that the case? For example, let’s take a look at two backline options for us last year in the #1 pick Andrew McGrath and the #40 pick in Tom Stewart and see how they performed, both in points scored and cash generated over their first 10 games of AFL football.
So we can see despite McGrath performing better on field, Stewart has actually generated a higher profit based on his lower starting price, with Stewarts return on his investment more than twice as high as McGraths.
The advantage McGrath has given us on field is on average an extra 15 points on field, but this becomes irrelevant if the player is left on the bench. The “Downgrade $” is if we then sold them for a regular rookie priced player priced at $123,900, which McGrath comes ahead in, but only because of the higher initial investment.
The above is also a “best case” scenario of picking an ultra premium rookie because McGrath scored very well in Supercoach for a first year player. But what happens if someone like McGrath scored along similar lines as Tom Stewart, or even worse than he did? Well, we have an example of that from last year with Hugh McCluggage.
So with McCluggage, we’ve been provided with neither usable scores thanks to his average of 50 SCPoints, nor have we been given much of a return on our initially high investment, with a profit of just $57K to show after 10 games of football. He’s essentially been a waste of a pick. We can also then go look at what happens if we still picked a poor scoring rookie, but one at the lower end of the price scale, like Will Hayward for example?
As you can see, we’ve still almost doubled the profit we would have made from McCluggage, while over tripling our ROI, with Haywards ROI on an average of 50 SCPoints still higher than McGrath’s on an average of 75 SCPoints.
So as we can see, the safety is in picking cheaper rookies, even if they fail to set the world on fire, an average of 50 SCPoints over 10 weeks will still generate you a higher return on your investment than the more expensive options.
If you had of bought both McGrath and McCluggage last year, your initial outlay would have been $414,600, while a Stewart/Hayward combo would cost you $239,100, a difference of $175,500. Your profit from Stewart/Hayward would net you $289,500, while McGrath and McCluggage gains you $213,500.
In the “best case” scenario on premium rookies last year, you would have grabbed the #1 and #2 picks for your starting squad in Andrew McGrath and Tim Taranto, where pairing them together against the Stewart/Hayward combo gets you.
Again, even with two top performing ultra premium rookies, their ROI is still woefully short of the cheaper pair, while you’re pulling an extra $180,000 out of your starting squad to grab the more expensive options for just an extra $27,700 profit and an average of 35 points per game (if you started them).
And in another “what if”, if you replace an underperforming Hayward with a cheaper rookie who scored very well in Sam Powell-Pepper? The results tip even further ahead for the cheaper options.
We’ve now actually eclipsed the more expensive option in profits by $53,700, while spending $166,500 less to start with, and we’ve almost doubling the ROI with the cheaper option.
Now, even with all this it doesn’t mean you should automatically exclude all the expensive options because as we said before, you have to play the rookies you’re given, but we need to understand the risks that come with selecting higher priced options, ones that are less prevalent with cheaper selections, who will still generate money for you, even if the scores aren’t there.
This isn’t to say you should completely ignore the Paddy Dow’s of the world, someone like Andrew McGrath was a good selection last year, but it’s good to think of the overall picture and know that downgrading from an ultra premium rookie selection in order to boost your cash reserves to improve to premium players elsewhere won’t mean you need to necessarily risk your sides ability to both generate cash and score points.
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