Last year wasn’t a great one for me in SuperCoach. I shot into top 3k by round 4 but by round 6 I had lost my way, dropping consecutive 1,800 clunkers and I never recovered. My rank ballooning out to 35,000 when the byes hit. I salvaged a small amount of pride by clawing my way back to finish to year around the 22k mark. Not great. Ultimately I lost a head-to-head league game against Patch and that still keeps me awake at night.
Reading back my team reveal from last year, I was too safe. I was fiercely opposed to those who predicted a Heath Shaw drop-off. I picked Jack Gunston at F2 for crying out loud and got sucked into the deep, dark void that was Josh Caddy. The great thing about SuperCoach though is that no two years are ever the same. This year I decided to free myself up a bit, put a bit more weight into the JLT when it came to making decisions on those mid tier players.
So without further ado this is where Clench and Pray FC sits this Sunday evening, 4 days out from the opening of round 1.
Cast your mind back to a time when paying over 500k for a defender was considered the absolute worst thing you could do in SuperCoach ever! I’m seeing a similar pattern this year so I’ve taken just one. Hibberd over Laird purely because Laird shares his bye with 40 million other premiums. Before you jump down my throat in the comments this doesn’t mean I won’t get Laird at some point, just I don’t think he can hurt me by not having him in the same way not having Docherty did.
Luke Ryan is my first JLT pick. He had 33 kicks and only 3 handballs in his two JLT games, even more promising is that came at a disposal efficiency of 90%. Sicily is a deadset flog but also priced way unders. With Birchall now out longer than expected and Hodgey gone to catch some rays up north, he’s become the general of that backline.
Nothing exciting about D4-6. Mihocek should get his chance with The Sack busting his knee. There were big wraps on Stoddart from Longmuir, I’ve got the cash to turn him into Naughton if he’s not in the team round 1.
I wrote about the big 3 last month. Despite Dusty being the object of my dreams I just couldn’t fit him in. Danger, Mitchell, and Fyfe have been locked in my side since day dot. Danger missing round 1 doesn’t concern me at all. He outscored the next best SuperCoach player last year (Dusty) by 240 points despite playing one less game. He has no history of hamstring injuries, so the “needing confidence in his body” argument doesn’t hold much weight either. He plays Hawthorn in round 2 and has four scores above 140 in his past 6 against them. Hello POD captain!
I thought the absence of Mumford would have seen Josh Kelly hit the wall. Oh boy was I wrong! The kid is a jet and will win the Brownlow when Dusty retires. Clayton Oliver is at the feet of the best ruck in the competition and I feel Melbourne are on the up this year. I liked what I saw from Libba over the preseason. Averaging 12 contested possessions, 6.5 clearances and 4.5 tackles a game the signs are there for him to return to his best. He also benefits from not being affected by Beveridge rotating half his squad between midfield and forward due to being 5 foot nothing in heels.
I’m pretty set on my 5 mid rookies, especially Brayshaw. The way he’s slotted into Fremantle’s midfield rotation reminds Richmond life member and premiership player, Jack Graham.
If you’re one of 40% of teams without Max Gawn please, please, please get him in. Nank impressed the pants off me last weekend against North. Granted a vast majority of Richmond games end with me having my pants off, but his around the ground work, willingness to provide a target and how he drifted forward gave me special tingles. A possible ruck tandem with Soldo doesn’t put me off for the above reasons as Nank doesn’t rely on hitouts to advantage for points. I’ve decided to go a playing ruck in Darcy Cameron at R3 (assuming that he plays). My forward line set up sheds a bit more light on this.
I’ll start with my F6-8. You don’t need me to tell you forward rookies are very thin this year. Fritsch was the only one that put up his hand in the JLT, however, he’s still a small forward. They are notorious in SuperCoach for being unreliable scorers. I’ll emergency loophole him with Ryan. After watching him in the preseason he’s a confidence player. A few early goals under his belt and he could end up with a decent score. With only one on-field rookie, Narrier becomes the emergency and captains loophole. North play a lot on Sunday so I’ll be able to get away with this most weeks. The only other forward rookies I see are Langdon, Rioli, Venables, and Garlett. Head-to-head with Cameron I see Cameron as the better rookie pick here, hence my decision not to go with the traditional R3 captain loophole.
Back to F1, Billings has a few credits with me as I picked him late last year and he was awesome. Walters only had to prove to me he’d keep his midfield role that he excelled in late last year and he’s done that. There were some concerns on Twitter about Devon’s JLT2, 5 frees against kept his score to 83. Find the “why”, Community. Don’t just look at the SC score.
Petracca looks like a breakout, walks like out a breakout and quacks like a breakout. Could be a massive JLT burn man and I’ll guess we’ll find out if I rage trade him by round 5. He’s a risk and I own that. Was at the coalface more during the JLT and like with Oliver, the Dees look to be in a good spot this year.
Damo got fairly chewed out the other day by introducing Taberner at F5. He’s a devout Freo man and was pretty much on the money when he did a writeup on Hayden Crozier earlier in the preseason. Although I have those key position nerves, I’m inclined to agree he’s a bargain. He’s similar in a lot of ways to Tom Lynch at GC. He has a very good set of hands and is the focal point in attack. The difference being Freo midfielders are far more capable than the motley crew up north in finding the big man. 19 marks (8 contested) and 5 goals straight across his two JLT games. He’s running hot right now and hopefully he can take that form into the season.
So that’s it, Community. Reckon this team will be one I run with. What you think?