You asked for it, and I caved! With the SuperCoach team picker now open, I decided to share my current SuperCoach team and tell you why I’ve picked every player. Enjoy!
People will pass over Jack Sinclair in starting squads this year despite him being the top-priced option. He ranked seventh last year for total points in the competition and scored thirteen tons from the final fourteen games of the season. The Saints love the ball in his hands, and the move of Brad Hill up to the wing will make him the man off half-back. People will be apprehensive about starting him because he’s under a new coach. But Ross Lyon has always been a defence-first style of coach. So he should be given more support and structure around him even if the tag comes. I’ll pay up for him, but I’ll move there if the pre-season reveals a comparable scoring option that’s cheaper.
There aren’t many certainties in SuperCoach, but Tom Stewart’s game being perfectly suited to SC’s scoring model is one of them. He spoils, intercepts, marks and uses the ball by hand and foot extremely well. Any defender that can score 161, 174 & 187 within an eight-game stretch like he did last year is a damaging prospect.
My only ‘breakout’ premium in the team. Hayden Young. He’s coming off the back of averaging 92 last season, but he started to showcase his excellent ceiling (142 & 139) and an improved scoring basement. He had just four scores last year under 80. If Fremantle gets some stability back in their key position defenders, it should allow Young to be freed up even further to intercept mark and use his beautiful kicking to set up the play. I’m backing him to average triple digits this season.
One of the keys to success in SuperCoach last year (and every year) is taking advantage of the obvious value that comes through player discounts. In the case of Elliot Yeo, he is one of the best bargains of the year IF he can level up to his proven capacity. For years Yeo was a safe 100+ performer and a reliable premium. But the past three seasons have been cursed with injury. Nevertheless, I won’t hesitate to select him if he gets through the pre-season without concerns. After all, he’s priced 40 points per game under what he’s capable of.
When the team picker opened, I was pleasantly surprised to see how cheap Connor McKenna was. At under $170,000, he does have a history of scoring in the mid-’70s, which is exceptional for a cash cow price tag. Some might be concerned that he’s not in the Lions best 22, and there’s some merit to that. He wouldn’t have returned to Australia to play in the minor leagues. At the very least, the Lions have told him the spot is his to lose.
Campbell Chesser will be popular after not playing in 2022. The Eagles will be desperate to get games into him. Darcy Wilmont might not be the lock he was with the arrival of McKenna, but at worst, he’s a placeholder. While I couldn’t leave out Will Gould from a team reveal.
Straight out of the gate, I’m selecting four of the best premium midfielders I can buy. Clayton Oliver, Touk Miller, Jack Steele and Jackson Macrae. All are VC/C options weekly, and barring an injury, I can’t forecast how they don’t see how they miss out on being a top-tier midfielder.
Macrae and Steele are arguably underpriced, but I’d still pick them even if they weren’t. History says they are some of the most reliable and durable options available. Miller should become invaluable, given his Suns, alongside the Cats, have the round 13 bye. Finally, Clayton Oliver is coming off three consecutive seasons averaging 122 or higher. Recent history will tell you if you don’t start him, it’s very challenging to get him into your team during the year. So I’ll remove the incoming migraine and start him.
Just the one stepping-stone midfielder for me this year. From 2019-2021 Jacob Hopper averaged 96, 91, & 97. He’s priced at an average of 60, so for $332,000, that could be north of thirty points per game of value. I don’t expect to own him for the season, but the Tigers round 15 bye means I could run him for 2/3 of the year if I require it.
Every man and his dog will have Will Ashcroft, and with good reason. It should be similar ownership numbers for Will Phillips. After missing the 2022 season with injury and sickness, the former early draft pick should be used as a critical part of the North Melbourne rebuild.
The final four cash cows are all placeholders who will come and go as required. But all four should get games at their clubs next season.
What happens in the rucks might decide the destiny of teams in 2023. Tim English improved his scoring by 22 points per game last year to average 105. While his final 5-6 weeks of the season were under, he started the season on fire. He averaged 121 over the first five weeks and had just one score under 96 in his first nine games. We shouldn’t see the experiments late last year with Rory Lobb in the side to play relief ruck. Instead, English will play as a pure and primary ruck. There’s an upside, and he’s one of the few premium rucks I trust investing cash into.
I’m not in love with the Sam Draper pick. I considered not even doing the team reveal just because of it, but allow me to explain why he’s there.
I don’t trust going ‘set & forget’ rucks this year. Many are bullish on Rowan Marshall, and I agree he’ll have a strong year. But even if he goes 110, is that sufficient? Nobody knows the scoring impact of ruck sharing for Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn. Does Luke Jackson help or hurt Sean Darcy? All of Gawn, Grundy & Darcy are capable of 115-120 seasons, and I’d hate to lock myself out of getting into one of these three.
I thought of investing more in R2 and getting up to Darcy Cameron, but at this stage, I’ll resist. The theory with Draper is to get a guy that should hold and make some cash while not costing me a significant salary cap. It’ll give me a look at the impacts of the great ruck share and then give me the information to make an in-season upgrade. I hope a better option becomes apparent as the pre-season roles on.
Lastly, I’m running a RUC/FWD option in Jacob Edwards as my bench cow. He’s there more for VC loopholes and DPP flexibility. But if he plays, that’s not a bad thing.
Nobody should be surprised to see Josh Dunkley on this side. The former Bulldog enters the year as the most expensive forward, and his average of 108 feels like value, given the forecast of more midfield time at the Lions. He genuinely could be the top-scoring player in SuperCoach this year.
Plenty of options could be landed at F2, but I settled on Tim Taranto. Tim has a history of going 100+ before, and now at Richmond, the permanent midfield role he’s craved should come into effect. Again, no downside with this pick, as I can’t see him averaging under 95.
I hit the value in the forward lines pretty quickly, but when you have Nat Fyfe as a forward-eligible selection and barely $100,000 more than Will Ashcroft, you cannot ignore that. Remember that between 2013-2021 he averaged between 100-122. So even with the injury ‘risk’, it’s mitigated by his price tag and likely sky-high ownership.
If Tarryn Thomas has a full pre-season and can roam through the midfield, he’ll be a handy stepping stone. Remember back in 2021, from round ten onwards he averaged 96.7. You must pay attention to that for under $300,000.
Then it’s into the cash cows. Toby McLean is a proven performer, and if he’s named for round one will be on every good team’s side. Mattaes Phillipou should create a new dynamic in the Saints midfield and forward lines and get games early. The bench cows are placeholders, but Luke Pedlar and Jacob Van Rooyen have been standouts for their team on the track.Become a Patron!