The “Fallen Premium” is an elusive beast in Supercoach, a player who has hit a quiet patch of games and seen their price tumble, but one who we hope will recapture that form and go back to pumping out terrific Supercoach scores. We all crave to find Fallen Premiums when we start looking to upgrade our teams, but the question also becomes can we avoid starting these players which have cost us significant initial investments, but then have both lost value in terms of money and points generated for us? If we can get them at a cheaper rate in the middle of the year, then why would we want to buy them at their highest price? There’s really no crystal ball when it comes to these things, but one thing we can do is look for trends, to see if players have a history of become falling premiums (or on the flipside, have no history, or even the opposite), which can helps us strategize both where we initially invest our money and where we look to for upgrades later in the year.
To show an early example of what we’re talking about, we’ll start with Rory Laird from the Adelaide Crows. A terrific player who is always super popular (current ownership is 19.3% and the 4th highest owned defender over $500K). The first thing we’ll do is divide the season up into 3 periods, Rounds 1 to 8, Rounds 9 to 16 and Rounds 17 to 23. Then we’ll chart his scoring over that period from the last 3 seasons. Doing so to Laird gives us the following
A clear trend emerges from this data, Lairds hottest period over the last 3 years has been at the start of the year. In all 3 years he has then seen a dip in his scores, followed twice by a slight uptick (except for 2019) in the final period. This means points wise you have been losing out on his highest scoring period if you didn’t start with him, but the question will then be what if you didn’t start with him? Were you then able to get Laird as a fallen premium once he hit that down 2nd period?
Using the same structure on his price, reveals
We can see an obvious trend here with his price that follows his scores (as you’d expect). Over the last 3 years Laird has been a significant initial outlay but has then been available at a cheaper price later in the year as his scores have dropped. Last year for example his starting price was $587,600, by Round 12 he was available for $498,900. I’m sure if we could have bought Laird for that price at the start of the year most would have jumped on board.
One way we can see if he still has great value through the year as a “Fallen Premium” is looking at him from a “Point per $” value angle. That is, how much did it cost us for every point that player scored? A general rule is that if the player can get a PP$ under $5000 then they are providing very good value for money, while anything above $5500 may mean you’re starting to get into the overpriced category. So for Laird his PP$ breakdown looks like
We can see his PP$ trend has generally followed his price trend, but what it does show is that despite the lower scores and falling price, Laird has actually provided a consistent return for what you invested in him if you brought him in as a fallen premium. The scores may be slightly lower, but you at least got some bang for your buck, which is what you’re looking for if you are shopping for some cheaper bargains. The slow start to 2019 shows he provided a poor return on your investment to start with, ticking just over $6000 per point at the start of the year, whereas he was terrific value to start 2017.
Now on the opposite end, can we also identify players who have very little chance of becoming “fallen premiums”? A great example of this is Brody Grundy.
First, looking at his 3 year scoring breakdown
His scoring breakdown has been super consistent over the last two years, with his Round 9-16 and 17-23 averages eclipsing his 1-8 averages in both years. That doesn’t bode well if you want to get Grundy at a cheaper price.
Which shows in his 3 year price breakdown where there is no period where he has suffered a significant drop in price during the year which would allow you to buy him at a big discount. This has been helped by the fact that Grundy hasn’t missed a game over the past two years, so hasn’t had to worry about an injury caused below average score sitting in his rolling average and pushing his price down. Good if you started with him, maybe not so if you wanted to get him cheaper later!
That then follows through to his Points per $ breakdown, which shows a similar trend, with Grundy providing consistent value for his price. His price may be higher to start with, but he produced the scores to make it worth it, and the fact you can then double them as Captain scores means they are even more valuable. Grundy ended the year with a PP$ rate of $4740, which was 2nd best in the league for players costing $500K+ (Lachie Neale was 1st at a PP$ rate of $4672.2)
Now for one final example, we’ll look at the other end of this tag team duo, Max Gawn. He is the 2nd half of the super popular ruck combo, to select both you will have to invest 14.03% of your starting salary cap just into two players. That is a huge amount of money, and if we do invest that much we want to be sure that we’ll get what we paid for.
A solid scoring breakdown for Gawn last year, he started slow which would have pushed him into the overpriced territory to start the year, but improved for the final two periods, hitting averages of 133+ SCPoints. Then looking at his price breakdown
So even with the slower (by Gawns standards anyway) start to 2019, it didn’t really put a big dent in his price, with Gawn having a starting price of $692,000 at the start of the year and a price of $655,100 by Round 10, with his price actually eclipsing his starting price by Round 12. We can see a dip in his price late in the year, but this was caused by an injury score of 46 in Round 15, which dropped his price to a season low of $604,300 by Round 18. That’s the cheapest you could have picked him up if you didn’t start with him, but $600K is still a significant investment in a player and by Round 18 you would have missed a years worth of quality scores.
His value for money in the form of Points per $ has also been consistent. He started 2019 slightly overpriced for his production, which is not to say he did poorly, but scores of 87, 116, 126, 113, 126, 145, 127 and 109 were slightly below what we’d hope for given his huge starting price. He improved that as the year progressed however, ending the year with a PP$ rate of $4,973, which was 16th best in the league for players costing $500K+ and 3rd best among ruckman (behind Grundy and Rowan Marshall)
Now what does this all mean? It means between Grundy and Gawn Grundy is the MUST HAVE of the pair, however if you do not start with one (or either) history suggests if they both stay healthy you will not be able to purchase them at a significantly cheaper price later in the year, meaning you will need to be saving up big $, or hoping your other ruck selection makes a lot of money, to be able to afford them. As for Rory Laird? History suggest he may be available under $500K later in the year, however he still provides a strong starting option if you decide to go in that direction and will generally provide value for money no matter when you have him.
We’ll continue to look at some more heavily owned players next week, covering off Lachie Whitfield, Dusty Martin and Patrick Cripps, followed the week after that with Patrick Dangerfield, Jake Lloyd and Lachie Neale. We hope to see you then!