Ahhhh, midpricers – SuperCoach’s double edged sword. Mid-pricers are the source of most of our misery early on. If someone around that $250-450k fails to fire, we can be left high and dry with wasted cash that we could have spent on a rookie. But if it comes off, we are covered in glory. It is also the best feeling backing in a mid-pricer and seeing him excel – especially if he is a major point of difference. Imagine starting the year with Clayton Oliver, Jarrod Witts and Elliot Yeo in your side. It was impossible to excel this season without at least a few mid-pricers in your side, considering many premiums (I’m looking at you, forwards) absolutely stunk it up. Ultimately, 2017 was the year of the mid-pricer. Here is the verdict on the main 2017 mid-pricers (PS, we are classifying the mid-pricer range as $250-450k for this one)
Jarrod Witts | RUCK | Avg: 94.3 (18 games) | Starting price: $217,600 | End Price: $474,900
If you went into 2017 with a SandiWitts combo, then you were absolutely laughing. A $217k player finishing with an average of 94 points is the definition of a fantastic investment. Hit-outs to advantage were his bread and butter all year, and he managed to hold onto the #1 ruck mantle for the entire season. The fact that he didn’t make it into the top 10 in the Suns best and fairest is a joke, as he was arguably one of their five most important players for the season.
Clayton Oliver | MID | Avg: 111.5 (22 games) | Starting price: $382,500 | End Price: $565,100
It is hard to remember any player who has had such an emphatic second SuperCoach season. Clarry tore the old ‘second year blues’ adage to shreds, proving to be one of the most consistent scorers for the season. Fell below the ton on just five occasions, and scored above 80 in all 22 of his matches. Not the worst year for a player who began at $382k, I would have thought.
Marc Murphy | MID | Avg: 108.2 ($543,700) | Starting price: $432,500 | End Price: $543,700
I was one who doubted this man from the very start. Like may of us, I didn’t even consider Murphy in pre-season, especially with Dayne Beams at a very start. Didn’t he prove us wrong. His 138 in Round 1 was a sign of things to come, averaging a whopping 117 points in the first nine rounds of 2017. Faded somewhat but still ended with a healthy average of 108 – a result that all us would have taken in the pre-season.
Elliot Yeo | RUCK | Avg: 102.1 (21 games) | Starting price: $409,200 | End Price: $478,100
If you’d told me at the beginning of the year that Yeo would be the third ranked forward in the competition, I wouldn’t have taken you seriously. Elliot dispelled the popular belief that his scoring replicated his surname (a Yeo-Yeo if you didn’t get that one), finishing the season with a formidable 102 point average. Managed 108 points per game until I finally decided to get him in Round 14, scoring just the one ton from thereon. You win some, and you do in fact lose some.
Dayne Beams | MID | Avg: 101.4 (19 games) | Starting price: $432,500 | End Price: $562,100
Beamer was an obvious choice at the beginning of the year, but wasn’t able to reach his best early on. Injury struck in Round 7, and the 26% of SuperCoaches who cut their losses with the Brisbane captain at this point missed out. Beams posted seven 120+ totals after his return in Round 9, including scores of 138 and 148 in the Semi and Prelim respectively. If you take out his injury affected score of 12 against the Giants, his seasonal average sits at a solid 106 points per game.
Michael Hibberd | DEF | Avg: 99.2 (18 games) | Starting price: $402,200 | End Price: $515,600
It is rare that a player misses the first month of a season and ends up in the All-Australian side. That is how good piggy’s season was for the Dees. In previous seasons we saw Hibberd prone to a high possession 75, but his increase in intercepts allowed his scoring to flourish. Fell just shy of a 100 average for the season after starting a tick over $400k.
Paddy Ryder | RUCK/FWD (21 games) | Avg: 103.1 | Starting price: $418,100 | End Price: $556,500
Patrick Ryder responded emphatically after his 2016 was ended by his ASADA drug ban. The big man finished as the #2 forward in SuperCoach, averaging 103 points per game to go with his All-Australian nod. Was massive at the back-end of the season, exceeding the 120 point barrier five times – including SuperCoach Prelim and Grand Final day. He didn’t have the best start to the year, but he was definitely worth his $418k starting price. DPP was a bonus
Isaac Heeney | FWD | Avg: 97.6 (18 games) | Starting price: $433,400 | End Price: $481,500 In a year where consistent forward options were dire, the Heen-machine came along at the perfect time. After an interrupted pre-season with the kissing disease, Heeney presented himself as an option after an impressive 107 in his second game. It didn’t take long for his price to shoot from $433k to over $500k, as the blond-bombshell continued to receive consistent midfield time. Just got to pray to the SuperCoach Gods that he retains forward status next year. Embed from Getty Images
What kind of worked
Jack Steele | FWD | Avg: 91.1 (20 games) | Starting price: $347,100 | End Price: $475,600
I had a bit of a mancrush on Jack Steele in the pre-season, and it was a love-hate relationship throughout the year. His dismal time-on-ground stats nearly led me to begin a #sackAlanRichardson trend on Twitter, as it appeared the Saints coach had something personal against my man. Was a bit unreliable at times, and watching him score 30 in the first quarter then ending on 70-80 frequently was rather frustrating. Loves a tackle this bloke, which was a big reason for him averaging 90+ in 2017. Will almost certainly be ‘MID’ only next year, though.
Toby Nankervis | RUCK/FWD | Avg: 88.8 (21 games) | Starting price: $366,400 | End Price: $401,600
Some would argue that this man was a ‘Win’, whereas others would put him into the ‘Loss’ column. Overall, I think he comes into the ‘maybe’ bracket, considering his scintillating start to the season and his DPP status. As a Tiges fan, there was nothing I loved more than seeing the gangly man up and about. The Nank Engine burst out of the blocks in 2017, going at 112 points per game until Round 6. From here Nank faded, especially when Ivan Soldo was brought into the side later in the season. He proved to be very handy as a DPP, though, which gave him plenty of SuperCoach value.
Aaron Sandilands | RUCK | Avg: 87.3 (10 games)| Starting price: $307,000 | End Price: $438,800
Similar story to The Nank here, considering we saw Sandi on just one occasion after Round 9. Those who repaid the faith were left high and dry after he went off the ground with just 12 points in Round 15. Overall, the monolithic Docker did his job with a very serviceable average of 95 points in the first nine rounds, accumulating $156k of SC dollars.
Zak Jones | DEF | Avg: 83.1 (21 games) | Starting price: $217,600 | End Price: $384,000
If you started with Zakariah Jones, you would have been pretty happy with yourself. Jonesy peaked at Round 7 with an average of 96.6 after a fantastic 143 point-effort against the Lions. By Round 8 he had reached a lofty $474, $167k more than his starting price. Offloading him from this point would have been masterstroke, as he faded from this point onwards. Still half a tick if you started with him, but didn’t do the full job.
Zach Tuohy | RUCK | Avg: 88.1 | Starting price: $443,200 | End Price: $454,400
Tuohy burst onto the scene in the JLT with a massive first game against the Hawks in a Cotton On t-shirt. This saw 17% of the SuperCoach populous go into the season him in their defence, and he did a fine job, averaging 92.4 points up to Round 10. It was difficult to see his high uncontested possession numbers continuing for an entire season and he faded from this point on, having a seven week period without hitting a ton. Lifted his average with three tons in the last month of the year, which makes him a more than worthy member of the ‘maybe’ pile.
What Didn’t Work
Jaeger O’Meara | MID | Avg: 63.8 (6 games) | Starting price: $318,900 | End Price: $292,700
Remember when this man was in almost 60% of teams? Many of us would like to forget plonking him into our Round 1 sides. It was impossible to ignore his three goal display midfield during the JLT Community Series, with the upside at $318k being unthinkable. Unfortunately, it was déjà vu for Jaeger in 2017 with ongoing knee issues restricting him to just six games. Ended up at a lower value than his starting price, but I wouldn’t be taking the risk on him next year. In saying that, if he gets continuity in his footy, he will be star.
David Swallow | MID | Avg: 85.2 (18 games) | Starting price: $280,200 | End Price: $458,100
A round 1 late-withdrawal should have been enough to turn us off the injury prone Sun, but unfortunately he remained in 40% of teams. The former #1 draft pick had a promising first two games, with his 34 disposals and 117 points in Round 3 tempting many (including myself) to bring him in. He didn’t exactly repay us with his 46 points this following week, nor with his 55 points the week after. Ended up finishing second in the Suns best and fairest, but I think that is more of a reflection of the struggling Gold Coast Football Club than Swallow’s season. Didn’t have a bad year overall, but failed to fire when it counted.
Jarryd Roughead | FWD | Avg: 86.6 (22 games) | Starting price: $367,100 | End Price: $473,100
Similar to Swallow in the respect that he carved out a promising season for himself. Roughead making it through 22 home and away games was a feat in itself after his battle with cancer, and it was perhaps remiss of us to think he would recapture his best form in 2017. Averaged under 80 points in the first seven rounds, which didn’t cut the mustard for a mid-pricer. We still love you though, Roughy.
Nathan Hrovat| FWD/MID | Avg: 67 (22 games) | Starting price: $301,400 | End Price: $281,100
I was surprised by the amount of teams this guy was in at the start of the season. After a somewhat impressive JLT, he failed to live up to expectations. Hrovat averaged 67 points in 2017, scoring one ton for the year and surpassing 80 on just four occasions. No dice.
Josh Caddy | FWD/MID | Avg: 76.3 (19 games) | Starting price: $488,600 | End Price: $404,900
While he has burst onto the scene of late, it was the same old story with Josh Caddy in SuperCoach. For years we have fantasised about what Caddy could ‘potentially’ produce, a dangerous buzzword in this game. Taking out his injury affected 14 in Round 23, Caddy finished with an average of 80, scoring just the one ton for the season playing predominately forward.