CHEAT SHEET AND THE CAPTAINS CORNER
What a week to unveil the AFL season! Community, Post MaSloane and Damo here with our weekly joint post which is the complete Supercoach survival guide. First up, I’ll give us a look at the captaincy options for the week before Damo rips into the long-awaited RETURN OF THE CHEAT SHEET.
There were some monster scores for those who started with Franklin and Mitchell, (seriously, 54 disposals? That’s taking the piss we reckon) but many were not so fortunate. Injuries to key players and underwhelming rookie scores caused stains in many trouser legs, and many coaches will be forced to use corrective trades to clear out the bloodied and wounded so early in the season.
Libba, Kreuzer, Merrett and Ryder are all popular selections that went down during their games, and Libba’s in particular looks pretty ordinary. Damo and I would like to stress though that underperforming premos, such as Fyfe, Zorko and Sloane should not be sideways traded so early on and trades should be reserved only for those who will miss weeks. Supercoach 101, people!
On the back of some average rookie selections my score plummeted below 2000 this week (yes, 2000) for the first time in years, and I found myself sinking more and more cans of average craft beer as the round went on and wondering what in Jock’s name could I have possibly done to anger the Supercoach gods to the extent that I did. Maybe it was my punishment for picking Scott Lycett.
Damo copped less of a beating, with a respectable score of 2199, despite having Liberatore break down like an old Holden in his midfield. Therefore, for the sake of the community, as well as for the sake of my sanity, I’m going to leave the cheat sheet up to him. He knows what he’s doing. You can breathe a sigh of relief, community.
Captain Choices with Post MaSloane
Top 10 Supercoach Scores:
- Lance Franklin – 175 (10 points)
- Tom Mitchell – 167 (9 points)
- Kade Simpson – 150 (8 points)
- Luke Parker – 149 (7 points)
- Blake Acres – 144 (6 points)
- Dyson Heppell – 142 (5 points)
- Justin Westhoff – 140 (4 points)
- Dustin Martin – 139 (3 points)
- Max Gawn – 139 (3 points)
- Rory Laird – 137 (1 point)
- Lance Franklin – 10
- Tom Mitchell – 9
- Kade Simpson – 8
- Luke Parker – 7
- Blake Acres – 6
- Dyson Heppell – 5
- Justin Westhoff – 4
- Dustin Martin – 3
- Max Gawn – 3
- Rory Laird – 1
Lance Franklin leads the charge for the relevancy leaderboard after his 8 goal haul at Optus Stadium. Tom Mitchell will likely be featured here quite regularly, as should Luke Parker, Dustin Martin and Max Gawn. This is only round 1 though, so many of these scores may just be a flash in the pan. I’m looking at you, Blake Acres!
As for my captain options for round 1, the biggest flops among those I recommended were Fyfe (75 points), Beams (69 points), Bontempelli (63 points), and Merrett (17 points). Sorry about that. The rest of my predictions were fairly sound though, with my recommendations including Mitchell, Buddy, Dusty and Stef Martin, Gawn and Parker, and my steer-clears including Zorko, Kreuzer, Hibberd, Heeney, Hurley and Ryder. So while you should never, EVER, trust me with rookie selections, I somewhat make up for it with my captain picks. Oh shoot, I shouldn’t have said that. Murphy’s law is going to come and bite me in the arse now, isn’t it?
Adelaide vs Richmond
Thursday 29 March 7:50PM – Adelaide Oval
Last time they met: Grand Final 2017, Richmond 16.12.108 def. Adelaide 8.12.60
Top 5 Scores: D. Martin 150, M. Crouch 125, S. Jacobs 122, B. Houli 118, D. Prestia 114
Dustin Martin scored 150 points in the grand final last year and is coming off 139 from last week, so it would be very tempting to VC him this week. But his stats show that his 2 scores against Adelaide prior to the grand final were 93 and 81, so the consistency isn’t there against the crows.
The grand final was also a big week for Dusty, winning the Brownlow, so he was always going to show some heart in that game*. Adelaide would have reviewed their loss over the off-season and won’t give Dusty as much leeway this week either. I wouldn’t give him Vice Captains duties this week, but then again it’s Dusty. You never know.
Another potential VC pick is Matt Crouch, he scored 111 and 125 in his two encounters against the tigers, and has been super consistent since the bye rounds last year. My guess is he tops 100, but won’t score the 130+ we would want to keep his score. If I was going to VC anyone this game, it would be Sam Jacobs if you have him. 4-game average of 122.3 against the tigers, and recorded 99 hitouts in 2 matches against them last year. With a home ground advantage for Jacobs, lock him in if you’ve got him.
*By the way Houli not winning the Norm Smith is a bigger outrage in my opinion than the Australian Cricket cheating scandal. Did they not see Houli’s game?
North Melbourne vs St Kilda
Friday 30 March 4:20PM – Etihad Stadium
Last time they met: St Kilda 18.19.127 def. North Melbourne 12.6.78
Top 5 Scores: J. Steven 153, B. Cunnington 136, L. Dunstan 119, S. Ross 114, B. Higgins 112
Todd Goldstein will destroy Longer in the ruck this week, so he’s a possibility if you have him to go 130+. What we saw last week though was Goldy going bananas in the first half, and then slowing down in the second when Ben Brown took a lot of the ruck work, which could be warning signs for Goldy.
Jack Steven is the other one I’d say, had 40 disposals, 15 contested possessions and 5 tackles for 153 points against North Melbourne in round 22 last year. North’s midfield is among the worst in the competition, and coming off 135 last week, Steven is every chance to rip the Roos to shreds this week.
Carlton vs Gold Coast
Saturday 31 March 1:45PM – Etihad Stadium
Last time they met: Carlton 12.11.83 def. Gold Coast 11.7.73
Top 5 Scores: B. Gibbs 208, S. Docherty 153, M. Kreuzer 144, K. Simpson 142, J. Lyons 117
Patty Cripps lived up to the hype last week. In typical Patty Cripps fashion, 25 of his 36 disposals were contested, and he had a game high 9 clearances for 130 Supercoach points. Gold Coast have Lyons and Swallow leading the midfield, and with the absence of Aaron Hall, Cripps should be the contested beast we have come to love again this weekend. He scored 114 last time he played Gold Coast, and 77 earlier last season, but he wasn’t as fit as he is this year.
Cripps is the standout VC option from this game. I wouldn’t pick Kade Simpson, despite his 150 on the weekend, because if you have a look at his stats from last year, of the three times he went 115+, he responded with scores of 86, 82 and 91 the following week. Thanks but no thanks.
Collingwood vs Greater Western Sydney
Saturday 31 March 4:35PM – MCG
Last time they met: Greater Western Sydney 15.12.102 def. Collingwood 15.9.99
Top 5 Scores: J Kelly 147, J Cameron 119, T Adams 113, B Grundy 107, S Johnson 105
Josh Kelly is the man from this game I’d put my chips on. Averaged 114.3 last year and scored 147 last time he played the pies, so he’s the only one I’d really consider for this game. Lobb looks good enough that Brodie Grundy won’t jump all over the top of him, so that rules Grundy out, and Stephen Coniglio has scored consistently in the 70s in his last three matches against Collingwood. If you’re gonna loophole a captain this game, pick Kelly.
Brisbane vs Melbourne
Saturday 31 March 7:25PM – Gabba
Last time they met: Melbourne 16.8.104 def. Brisbane 14.7.91
Top 5 Scores: D Beams 148, N Jones 133, M Hibberd 126, J Melksham 122, C Pederson 116
Melbourne missed out last week with a sprayed kick in the dying seconds by Max Gawn. Expect him to be hungry for redemption this week, but I don’t think he’s a great captain option this week. Stef Martin is in terrific form, and Gawn has a 3 round average of 82 against the lions, so there are better options.
Dayne Zorko would be my pick for this match over Gawn or Clayton Oliver. Zorko has a 3 round average of 126.7 against Melbourne, whereas Oliver hasn’t cracked the ton in his two outings against Brisbane. Not only should Zorko not be traded out of your team, he should be given a chance at redemption by scoring a 280 point captains score. Then you wouldn’t sideways trade him, would you?
Fremantle vs Essendon
Saturday 31 March 8:10PM – Optus Stadium
Last time they met: Essendon 16.11.107 def. Fremantle 14.8.92
Top 5 Scores: T Bellchambers 150, Z Merrett 135, N Fyfe 121, M Baguley 117, L Ryan 105
Last week, Matt Crouch and Bryce Gibbs were completely left alone to run around and do whatever the hell they wanted against Essendon. Essendon don’t really have any taggers, so Nat Fyfe and Lachie Neale could be given the same liberty. Fyfe and Neale have career averages against Essendon of 111.8 and 109.0 respectively, so you shouldn’t go too wrong with picking either of them.
If I had to choose one, I’d probably pick Fyfe, purely because #fyfeislife. They’re both good captain choices, with Neale being more of a POD. Stay away from Zach Merrett as captain, as he may not be 100% after his concussion last week, but Tom Bellchambers could be a sneaky POD, as he had 38 hitouts, a goal and 16 disposals at 100% efficiency last time he played Fremantle. I wouldn’t pick him though, as Jonathon Griffin was his opponent last time.
Western Bulldogs vs West Coast
Sunday 1 April 3:20PM – Etihad Stadium
Last time they met: West Coast 12.15.87 def. Western Bulldogs 11.14.80
Top 5 Scores: J Darling 138, A Gaff 128, D Petrie 123, J McGovern 115, S Biggs 102
I don’t really like anyone for captain this game. Luke Shuey has a pretty ordinary record against the bulldogs, and Jack Macrae has an average of 81.1 against the eagles. Marcus Bontempelli could be at risk of getting tagged by Tom Barrass, but I think it’s more likely he’ll go to Jason Jonannisen, leaving Bont to run around and possibly kick a couple of goals. Bont didn’t look good in his first game, though, so I wouldn’t be risking captaincy on him until we get another look.
Sydney vs Port Adelaide
Sunday 1 April 4:40PM – SCG
Last time they met: Port Adelaide 17.8.110 def. Sydney 12.10.82
Top 5 Scores: J Kennedy 134, O Wines 125, L Franklin 125, B Ebert 124, L Parker 105
Where the ‘ruck’ have all the big boys gone? There are no quality ruckman left standing for either team, and it will be a battle of Sinclair versus who? Dixon? I wouldn’t be too confident that the midfielders will receive many advantageous hitouts, and the ball will mostly spend a fair chunk of time on the ground and around the packs. Enter Josh P Kennedy. The contested beast has scored 130+ in two of his last 3 outings against the power, and will thrive in the absence of Naismith’s and Ryder’s HOA’s. Luke Parker is in terrific form, and could be another captain option, but out of the 2, I’d choose Kennedy.
Geelong vs Hawthorn
Monday 2 April 3:20PM – MCG
Last time they met: Geelong 13.10.88 def. Hawthorn 12.13.85
Top 5 Scores: P Dangerfield 141, T Mitchell 136, L Shiels 121, L Henderson 114, M Duncan 108
Patrick Dangerfield if you have him will most likely belt out a 130+. Tom Mitchell probably will as well. It’s what they do. If you have either of them, I’d say they’d be pretty good captain picks. Flip a coin if you have both. If you have neither, my next pick would be Gary Ablett. Averages 134.6 against the hawks, and has a 3-round average against them of 139. Friggin’ massive numbers. The GOAT will come out and score 280 as your captain and make you very, very happy. Lock him away if you’re one of the 9355 coaches that has him.
Post MaSloane’s Top 8 (Non-Dangerfield) Captain Picks
- Josh Kelly
- Tom Mitchell
- Lachie Neale
- Jack Steven
- Nat Fyfe
- Gary Ablett
- Sam Jacobs
- Josh P Kennedy
The Cheat Sheet with Damo
Back by overwhelmingly popular demand is the cheat sheet. People were crying out for it over the pre-season, so I’ve thrown my hat into the ring to do it for the season so *excited drumroll* here it is!