A fast start to a SuperCoach season has the potential to catapult a team up the overall rankings and into contention for prize money and glory, whilst picking players who are slow out of the blocks is a sure-fire way to see any chances at a respectable overall finish diminish in front of your very own eyes.
On top of this, who wants to spend $600,000+ on a player who free-falls in price after a slow start? Or even worse; miss out on a player at $500,000 who is sitting on a negative breakeven after a mammoth start?
Over the next few weeks I’ll be assessing and comparing premium options that have the ability to make sure you start the season off right. The first edition will compare the leather-poisoned Jack Macrae, new Blues skipper Pat Cripps, and Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin.
Jack Macrae ($689,700)
The SuperCoach pig that is Jackson Macrae had a breakout season in 2018, and as such is priced at a breathtaking $689,700. This large sum of cash is reserved for only the finest SuperCoach players, and Macrae will be contending with Grundy, Gawn, and Dangerfield as the most expensive handful of players this season (RIP Titch’s leg).
In round one the Bulldogs will be playing the Giants at Spotless. Round one’s have previously been okay for the Doggies midfielder, averaging 102.3 with a 120, 92 and 95 in the last three seasons. Against the Giants, Macrae averages a below par score of 90.8, with an even lower average of 85.5 at Spotless. These numbers look concerning but an important sidenote to remember is that Macrae only rose to relevance last season, with huge scores accompanying him.
Games at Marvel Stadium are in store for the Doggies for rounds 2-4, which is a ground that Macrae loves a football match at.
In the last three seasons, Macrae has featured in 31 games at the ground, with an average of 107.63. More importantly, last seasons he played 10 games at Marvel Stadium, for a huge average of 126.4. The lowest score at the ground was 102, with a 156, 153, 142, and a 141 some of the huge totals. Three games of four to start the season at this ground is a huge yes for me.
West Coast, Essendon and Sydney will feature as the away team in those rounds at Marvel, and only Macrae’s history against Essendon is strong out of the three. An average of 115.5 (131 and 100) is light years ahead of the 98.83 average against West Coast, or the 100.8 average against Sydney.
Once again, Macrae did averaged 108 and 103 against these two sides last season, which is the year he broke out as a SuperCoach star.
Pat Cripps ($648,200)
The new Blue skipper will have to prepare for another season of strapping his team on his back and carrying his side through the uncertainty that is 2019. Last year we saw Crippa take on the captaincy role after a nasty foot injury plagued Marc Murphy for the majority of the season, and Patrick served his side with great courage and distinction. Can the big ball of muscle start the season strong?
Historically he hasn’t been hugely consistent in round ones, with scores of 130, 50 and 106 (averaging 95.3) for the last three seasons. Obviously, all three games have come against Richmond, a team he is yet to see victory against himself (0-6). However, he does a decent history against the Tigers, with 105 the average across four meetings in the last three years.
A top score of 134 in 2017 means twice he’s gone big against the Tiges. At the home of football, however, we see the great man step right up to perform under the bright lights of the MCG.
A three-season average of 119 across 22 games at the ground, with a highest score of 187 (Magpies Round 14, 2018), and a lowest of 50 (if you don’t include the 25 he scored when he was injured in 2017). That average, mind you, includes the injury-plagued 25 as well, meaning it would be much higher without him hurting himself.
Round twos are pretty decent for Cripps, with an average of 108.3 (115, 109 and 101) from 2016-now. A pretty consistent option against Port Adelaide, Carlton’s round two opponents as well: scoring on average 106 per outing.
However, Cripps has only played two games at the Adelaide Oval in the last three years, scoring 94 (2018), and 109 (2017). Interestingly enough, the 109 came in a 90 point thrashing at the hands of (guess who) Port Adelaide.
Round three sees Carlton face Sydney at the newly named Marvel Stadium. Cripps isn’t great in round three, averaging 91.6 (92, 100 and 83) across the last three years. Against Sydney he’s been better than his average of 98.75 suggests, being undervalued due to a 54 last season.
Apart from that, he’s had a 103, 137 and 101. Captain Cripps also is vying for a role as a new Avenger; such is the way he performs at Marvel Stadium. In 19 games since 2016, Cripps has averaged 108.5 at the ground, with big scores such as a 156 in 2018, and a 157 in 2017. Only two scores under the 100-point mark leaves him with a strong ground average.
In round four Cripps will face off against Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium. Against such a sub-par team, you’d think this Supercoach bull would have field days. And whilst he has performed well against the Suns recently (173 in round 19, 2018), his average against them is just a tick over the century, at 100.8.
By no means is this poor, however with Patty we hold ourselves to ridiculously high standards. Round four games is more concerning, however, as his highest score in the last three seasons is 96 back in 2016. A 77 came in 2017, and a 92 in 2018, leaves us begging the question of why he cannot perform in round fours. Maybe it’s just an anomaly, however it is bizarrely consistent.
At Metricon Stadium, however, the man has a strong average of 123.3, thanks to that monster 173 last season, with a low of 83 in 2016.
Dustin Martin ($563,800)
The Fend Off King had a bit of a “down” year by his Brownlow winning standards of 2017, resulting in many SuperCoachers losing money of Dusty’s plummeting price. This season, priced at $563,800, Dusty seems too cheap to pass up. But will he start strong and earn serious cash early?
Traditions will continue in round one as Tigers play Blues, and hopefully his scoring tradition against them will continue as well. Martin has a huge average in round one (128), with 86 being his worst score back in 2016. Aside from that, Dusty belted out a 139 in 2018, and a huge 159 in 2017. His form against Carlton is just as consistent, with one extra match yielding another score of 121.
This brings his Carlton average down to 126.25, which is still incredible. At the MCG, where rounds one and two will be played, Dusty averages a stellar 114 over a huge 40 games in the last three seasons. Martin is super consistent on football’s biggest stage and will have games at the ‘G early in the season.
In round two the Tigers will take on the Magpies, and against them Dusty is solid but not spectacular. A three season, five game average against the Pies of 101.6 is nothing to write home about, but still gets SuperCoach participants excited to see yet another ton in their team list. Dusty’s round two average of 137.33 is much more likely to cause players to salivate. This average is comprised of a 160, 118 and 134; some seriously good scores.
Round three will see the Tigers fly up to face the Giants. Against GWS, Dusty averages a strong 124, including a 150 and 144 from his Brownlow year. His average at the ground is still a respectable 115.33, whilst his round three average is slightly worse but still good at 109.67 (93, 155, 81).
Round four has the Tigers at Adelaide Oval to play Port Adelaide, which is a team that Dusty has done well against in the past. An average of 110.67 against the Power includes a 127 and 121, but is brought down by an 84 back in 2016. Adelaide Oval is welcoming to Martin, with a ground average of 114.5 in the last three seasons, whilst he is pretty sub-par in round four, averaging just 92.67.
Who makes your side community? Will it be the expensive Macrae, or the undervalued Martin? Does Cripps get a spot as he tries to carry his team? Currently I’m sitting with Macrae and Martin, with Cripps in the wings. Let me know what you’re thinking!