AFL SuperCoach 2021 Heat Check

Published by Fozdaddy on

We are back, baby!

The AFL have released their fixture for 2021, the SuperCoach team picker is released for SuperCoach Gold accounts tomorrow (Azza is in the process of developing his own excel spreadsheet for you lovely people), and we’re starting to see players emerge on the track either kilos heavier or lighter.

All of this should have the arousal levels peaking, however I’m going to go one step further. Thanks to Azza’s advanced statistical brainpower, I have assessed the fixture, the locations of games, and potential matchups to determine who you NEED to start in 2021 (don’t hold me to that, it’s still December).

Patrick Cripps

First 6 games:

Richmond (112, 126, 134, 130, 134)

Collingwood (81, 120, 187, 92, 101)

Fremantle (119, 112, 109, 94, 117)

Gold Coast (123, 73, 169, 115, 114)

Port Adelaide (85, 116, 108, 109, 115)

Brisbane (26, 194, 93, 118, 95)

Cripps had a 2020 he’d personally rather forget, in a SuperCoach sense at least. His average of 97.5 was the lowest he’s had since 2015, which was his second season in the league, and the first where he played more than 3 games. He loves playing the Tigers, with a five game average of 127.2. He backs that round one opener with a game against the new, younger, and worse Magpies, where he has gone massive before. Collingwood typically don’t love the idea of tagging players, which would allow Cripps to explode. Games against Fremantle (home), Gold Coast (away), Port (home) and Brisbane (home) follow, where he’s dropped below 100 once, once, once, and twice against those respective opponents. Even then, only two of those games were below 93 (I’m not counting the 26 against Brisbane when he hurt his shoulder). He’s finally got help in the midfield with Sam Walsh coming along and Zac Williams arriving at Ikon. Cripps should start with a fantastic first set of six.

Jake Lloyd

First 6 games:

Brisbane (119, 101, 118, 106, 71)

Adelaide (77, 124, 94, 81, 81)

Richmond (102, 111, 136, 100, 95)

Essendon (145, 122, 83, 118, 99)

GWS (137, 85, 107, 124, 85)

Gold Coast (111, 62, 103, 81, 74)

Whilst Lloyd’s history against his first six opponents isn’t completely filled with tons, it is still littered with plenty of good scores. Top scores against opponents in recent times of 119, 124, 136, 145, 137 and 111 isn’t something to sneeze at, and if Jake came out with those six scores on the trot you’d be wrapt. But with great price tag comes great expectations, and at almost 100k more than any other defender, you’d hope he’s worth it.  But with Sydney being in a rebuilding phase, the ball is going to be in the Swans defence a lot more than in their attack, which we saw resulted in a huge season last year for Lloyd. Expect more of the same from our favourite rebounder.

Lachie Neale

First 6 games:

Sydney (55, 108, 110, 44, 112)

Geelong (158, 134, 103, 132, 94)

Collingwood (113, 91, 140, 104, 106)

Western Bulldogs (167, 101, 114, 100, 84)

Essendon (157, 140, 119, 96, 147)

Carlton (142, 106, 134, 159, 134)

Reigning Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale has been a SuperCoach relevant player for years now, but 2020 was huge by anyone’s standards. Apart from Sydney, who he’s scored a 55 and a 44 against, Neale’s lowest score against his other opponents is an 84. In the last 30 games against his first six opponenets, Lachie Neale has scored more 140+ scores (7) than he has scored sub-100 (6). Just start with him, and K-I-S-S.

Patrick Dangerfield

First 6 games:

Adelaide (114, 83, 128, 158, 142)

Brisbane (146, 146, 117, 165, 131)

Hawthorn (101, 106, 127, 160, 130)

Melbourne (140, 154, 126, 138, 155)

North Melbourne (89, 137, 99, 103, 140)

West Coast (121, 94, 100, 141, 129)

Whilst I don’t believe Dangerfield is exactly the great SuperCoach player he used to be, you can’t look past the statistics sometimes. With 5 game averages of 125, 141, 124.8, 142.6 113.6, and 117 against his first six opponents, Dangerfield is a MUST HAVE in your forward line. Adelaide is his old team and is trash, Brisbane is good but Danger goes massive against them, Hawks are also trash, as is Melbourne, as is North Melbourne. West Coast is good, but he’ll be warmed up and ready to kick 12 goals after his start to the season. Just pick him.

Max Gawn

First 6 games:

Fremantle (132, 151, 151, 141, 106)

St Kilda (135, 133, 145, 127, 56)

GWS (150, 149, 156, 160, 95, 101)

Geelong (141, 116, 107, 93, 107)

Hawthorn (185, 127, 127, 112, 168)

Richmond (163, 134, 145, 151, 160)

So, The Bearded One averaged 139.9 last season. Are you looking for any other reason to select him? The first six teams he comes up against, he’ll be battling these opponents: Sean Darcy, Paddy Ryder/Rowan Marshall, Braydon Preuss, Rhys Stanley, Jon Ceglar, Mabior Chol/Toby Nankervis. Not only will he wipe the floor with any of them, he’ll continue to dominate around the ground and grab plenty of contested marks. Don’t question it, he’s a genuine superstar, and a viable captaincy option every week.

And there it is! My list of obvious names, along with some stats to validate my existence, with a click-baity type headline that’ll sucker you all in. Just to appease you, below are a few different fixture breakdowns for you lovely people to feast your eyeballs on. See you in the team picker!

Fixture Difficulty Chart
Games at Grounds, 2021
Fixture Double Ups
Categories: Supercoach

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Thanks for this. I few more readers and comments and we could develop a a great resource of varying opinions on specific players. I’m not as positive about Cripps as you though. I saw his reduction in scores during 2020 as a consequence of growth amongst other players like, Setterfield, Walsh, Gibbons and I don’t think that the addition of Williams to the mid mix will increase Cripps’ numbers.
Lloyd, Max and Neale are must haves and should be the first 3 picked in all teams.
Some players have ‘slow’ starts to the season regardless of the opposition Can you compare the first 6 rounds scores against their averages for that opponent?
eg. Danger ave v Crows + Danger Rnd1 average – Danger ave V Lions + Danger rnd 2 ave etc.


I actually think Cripps drop in scoring came from less gametime, normally he runs over his opponents later in quarters. He wasn’t able to do that in 2020. I suspect we’ll see him bounce back


i think he TOG was lower because he was carrying a few injuries. he was trying to lead from the front, and was playing sore most of the season.

if he is fit, i can see his TOG going back to around 90% and 10-15% increase in his SC score as a result.

I’m fairly keen on him as my M5 to start the season.


At this stage is anyone considering the below?
A.Witherden – WCE – D – 456k
M.Rowell – GC – M – 495k
J.Hately – Adel – M – 310k
B.Preuss – GWS – R – 303k
S.Draper – Ess – R – 378k
J.Zeibell – North – F – 258k
J.Daniher – Bris – F – 233k


i have Preuss and Ziebell in my team

Rowell is a maybe, but i’m not seeing him as a keeper


Lloyd, Neale, Gawn and Dangerfield are all the most expensive players in each of their positions.

Usually i would be saying pay the price and lock them in your team because you get what you pay for.

however this year, there are a few (many) players who have an inflated price based on last season’s 16 min quarters.

Gawn and Neale are two who increased their 2020 TOG purely because of the shorter quarters.

At this stage i’m looking at starting without Gawn and Neale and upgrade them later.