Preseason 2017

Team Reveal – Batten My Bonner

Every day until lockout the experts at SCP will reveal their SuperCoach team. That’s one team per day from now until Thursday night’s clash between Carlton and Richmond! While our teams will inevitably change with the announcement of the Round 1 AFL teams, we want to share our insight with you and hear what you think of our teams. Not only are we revealing our teams but we’re revealing a league code every day as well, so check back daily and join one of our leagues where you can play against our experts as well as our collaborative team, SCPFC.


My time has finally come to step up to the plate as the last individual reveal (excluding the SCPFC team). Sarah dubbed me SCP’s ‘expert’ in her own reveal, and I have cheekily and shamelessly chucked my 2016 ranking at the bottom of every article I wrote in the pre-season. I finished 746th last year for those that missed it.

Was it a fluke? Perhaps. Am I well and truly addicted to SuperCoach? Yes. Should I find another pastime other than SuperCoach? Yeah, probably.

That just isn’t going to happen, though, so without further ado, here it is!

Sidenote: Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster will be a big fan of this one.



A real “stock standard” defensive lineup here. Of all my lines, my defence has been the one I have changed the least over the pre-season. Seen a few a couple of the more daring coaches go 2 premos and four rookies, and some even chucking in a midpricer or two. I want to be able to sleep at night.

Sam Docherty was one I wasn’t so sure of at the beginning of the year, thinking he will surely get tagged at some point. The thing is, Carlton aren’t exactly the greatest side – meaning the ball will be at his end of the ground more often than not – and if last year is anything to go by, opposition sides don’t give a stuff about this guy getting 28 possies with 18 kicks. Heath Shaw is likely to get tagged at times, so Docherty is my preferred D1, and I will hope to pick off the Giant at a discounted price in a perfect world. Now that I say that, watch Shaw score two 150s to start the season.

In my opinion you cannot go past a quality defender option who will play pure midfield, so Taylor Adams is an absolute lock (not even sure why he is dual position? Perhaps it’s the SC Gods apologising for the shocking forward line they have dished up). Can see Rory Laird entering the centre square brigade at times for the Crows and his first JLT score of 140 all but secured his spot in my side. Can’t believe he is only 22, the kid oozes class and should better his 96.8 point average of last season.

As for the rookies, any side without Curtly Hampton is kidding themselves. The lad is just $160k and even racked up game-high centre bounce attendances for Adelaide in their last JLT match. Bargain. Andy Otten is my D5 at this stage and I’m confident he can remain ahead of Jake Kelly and the injured Kyle Cheney until he accumulates enough cash to be sent to the abattoir. Tom Stewart, Ed Vickers-Willis and Zach Guthrie (pending elevation/debut) will be my rolling D6’s and should be able to churn out 60s each week.

I have opted to leave Caleb Marchbank out at this stage. Would prefer to spend the cash elsewhere and although I rate the former #5 draft pick, I can’t see him being as prolific as Jacob Weitering was at stages last year at the same starting price.



Let’s start with the obvious ones – Patrick Dangerfield and Nat Fyfe. I wrote a piece earlier in the year about why you should pick Dangerfield, and I keep coming back to the FOMO (fear of missing out) on him dropping a double ton. He is a lock for either VC loophole or C each week. The thing is, the returning Nat Fyfe is much the same, and there is no surprise that he is the number one picked in the land at just a tick under 60% ownership.

I nearly fell off my chair seeing Scott Pendlebury’s ownership at just 16%! How so many can look past the Rolls Royce of the competition is beyond me. Admittedly, his late out in his final JLT did have me trading in his teammate Adam Treloar, but he was straight back in after he said he will be fine for Round 1. Just three sub-100 scores and an average of 116+ in the past six seasons – four of those years going 120+ – make him too good to ignore for mine. Oxford just got back to me, and apparently Scott Pendlebury actually is a synonym for consistency. True story.

Josh P. Kennedy was a stalwart I was without for the entire season last year, and I have got to have him from the very beginning. You couldn’t pay this guy to drop under 90, and he did just once in the regular season in 2016. Tom Mitchell out should also see him claim some more valuable contested possessions.

I really wanted to fit Marcus Bontempelli in my side and I managed to. It meant downgrading Jack Macrae and Tim Taranto in the forward line, but hopefully it pays off in the long run. The Bont averaged 109 points from Round 6 in 2016, and he has the potential to hit that 115 range this season.

I have gone for two mid-pricers in the midfield, but I’m not even considering Dayne Beams as one of these. As far as I’m concerned, he is a bona fide uber-premium. That is if he remains on the park however, but his announcement as captain has me a little more confident. Jaeger O’Meara averaged 94 points across his first 44 games for the Suns behind the likes of GAJ, Prestia and Swallow. Now the second man in the Hawthorn midfield, 100+ is not out of the question.

Can see BT getting a bit excited about Sam Powell-Pepper’s BARREL CHEST. SPP is a SuperCoach beast of the future. Anyone see his fend off on Shaun Burgoyne? An absolute animal and I can see him going 75+ quite comfortably. If he can’t cut the mustard, NEAFL ball-magnet Jake Barrett will be my M8. DPP’s Mitch Hibberd and Brandon Parfitt round out my midfield and both will remain if selected for Round 1.

I have cooled on David Swallow, but even an 80-point average will see him appreciate $100k by Round 12 and for me, that is WORST CASE scenario (besides another ACL of course, touch wood). He posted eight tons in his first ten games of his last full season in 2014 also… In saying all this, I can’t resist the temptation of having The Bont in my side all season.



My rucks have hardly changed since the Himalayan-esque Aaron Sandilands played in first JLT match. His 133-point effort up against Brodie Grundy had me drooling at the mouth thinking of the prospect of picking him at $308k.  Six of his first nine games are at Domain Stadium, making me less anxious about him getting turf toe from his lack of legroom on domestic flights.

Instead, my fears have been poured into the third-best scorer of last year, Max Gawn. It sounds odd to say this, but Jake Spencer has suddenly become fantasy relevant. Relevant by having the potential to bugger up Gawn’s scoring. Ultimately, I have decided that Spencer playing alongside Gawn is nothing more than a passing trend. When he registers four disposals, 11 hitouts and 0.1 in Round 1 he will be out of the equation (hopefully). Gawn has dropped from 50% to 33% ownership over the past few weeks, which just puts him in the ‘POD’ category in my cookie cutter team.

If Luke Strnadica wasn’t 102k, most people probably wouldn’t know him from a bar of soap. I still don’t, but he has the honour of being my rolling donut.



My ‘POD’ for 2017 (10% ownership) Nick Riewoldt headlines my forward line. Two months ago I was saying he was one of the biggest busts in SuperCoach but the prospect of him playing on the wing all year has won me over. To top it off, nine of his first 11 games are at Etihad, a venue where he has averaged 116 points per game at across his career… Lovely.

Not sure what the 55% of SuperCoachers are thinking not picking Luke Dahlhaus. His injury affected 95-point average of 2016 is well below what he is capable of.

I’ve had Jack Macrae set as my F3 but a last minute move sees Jarryd Roughead enter my side. Backing the big Rough to be my F6 at the end of the year and he is hard to pass up, considering he will pinch hit in the ruck and play on the ball during the year.

Now onto Jack Steele: he’s the man, whose name you’d love to touch. Akin to Max Power, who couldn’t be somewhat tantalised by that name? This guy was starved for opportunities at the Giants and had an injury interrupted pre-season last year. Despite similar fortunes this pre-season, he made the most of his opportunities during the JLT, and then some. Although it is foolish to read into the pre-season competition a great deal, Steele averaged 106 points per game from 61% game-time. Obviously this sort of average is unrealistic, but I can see him potentially going to that 90-95 level in 2017. His tackling prowess and willingness to hunt contested footy makes him perfect for SuperCoach. Bit cut seeing he is in one in four teams, but I guess if he falls, 25% will fall with me.

Dan Butler and Jarrod Pickett fill out my two forward spots, with the scope to sub with Pickett and Parfitt. If a magic genie could grant me an extra $60k (have 20k in the kitty at the minute) I would trade Butler to Tim Taranto in a heartbeat. Darcy Cameron is on my bench as some pretty average ruck cover for Sandi after being likely to play early on, along with Port mature ager Brett Eddy. There has been some news Cameron won’t play. If so, I will probably chuck in Dan Houston.

Ultimately, I couldn’t risk having my 4 main forwards (Riewoldt, Dahlhaus, Macrae and Steele) being out for the Round 11 bye, with this and putting Bont in my midfield convincing me to drop Macrae for Roughead.

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So there you go, SuperCoachers! Will I make it to the top 1,000 again and be able to publish my ranking (again) in all my future articles, or will I crash and burn? Most likely, the latter.

Don’t be afraid to give your two cents in the comments – I won’t bite!

Feel free join my league and play against me and SCPFC using this league code: 104859 

Best of luck and may the SuperCoach Gods be with you!

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Carleton

    March 22, 2017 at 10:42 am

    In the backline, INCLUDING BENCH, I only have ONE…… ONE!….. Difference – which is Docherty to Shaw.
    In the Midfield, the structure is LITERALLY identical… LITERALLY IDENTICAL. Well, structure, yes… Not players… I have a few differences… Like Bontempelli to Cripps and Kennedy to Hannebery, but they’re almost IDENTICAL players. The bench is the same too!
    In the ruck, WHAT THE HELL!?!?!?!??!?! NO DIFFERENCE!!! YOU STOLE MY TEAM.
    In the forward, O.K… Small differences… BUT THE STRUCTURE IS THE SAME. Instead of Riewoldt, I opted with Macrae sort of player, and I have Taranto instead of Steele.


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