All SuperCoaches like to reference their previous rankings to make it seem and make it sound like they know what they are doing. It helps them overcome the immense stress this fickle game puts us under.
I cling to my 746 finish in 2016 like it is my first born child. My overall position of 4,587 is my slightly uglier, slightly less loved second child.
To you, the outsider, these numbers do appear that I have some sort of SuperCoach knowledge. Don’t let that fool you. These statistics are a mere a charade, because with the SuperCoach season just hours from starting, I have no idea what I am doing for season 2018.
The forward line – how are we expected to stack up there to account for the lack of half-decent rookies, when there are stuff all reliable premiums?
The midfield – do we pick Danger under an injury cloud? Is Coniglio going to average 110 and make me look foolish for not picking him?
I could go on, but you guys are really just here to see the 22 players I have picked, which I generally create with the help of Aunty Kaths Cookie Dough. There are perhaps some more surprises this year than in my previous teams, though.
Without further ado, here ‘tis.
Team: Bowler is Batten
Coach: Dan Batten
Salary Remaining: $1,200
Many brave SuperCoaches have flagged playing four rookies on field, but with cash cows Cam O’Shea (emergency) and Nick Coffield not playing on the weekend, this structure probably can’t work. I have gone with the two set and forget premiums in Rory Laird and Michael Hibberd, who both enjoyed outstanding seasons taking the piss along the back 50. These guys rack up the Sherrin in their sleep, and I expect them to do the same in 2018. My ‘dicey’ selection in defence is Shane Savage, who won himself a lot of SuperCoach fans over the JLT Community Series. An average nearing the hundred mark in the back-end of 2017 has me confident he can go close to that this season, especially with Leigh Montagna out of that backline.
Aaron Naughton, Tom Doedee and Jeremy Finlayson round out my field, with all three being reliable on-field options with great job security. Naughton is the only Bulldogs player without a long-term injury at the minute (touch wood), Doedee is Lever 2.0 and Finlayson looks to have a spot with Zach Williams sidelined for the majority of the season. Sam Murray should be another who will sneak on my field, and Lachie Keeffe will likely remain on my bench unless he has another run in with Clenbuterol.
This has probably been my most settled line, bar who will take the spot of my M3. I have Patrick Dangerfield at the minute and if he isn’t named tonight, well, I might just break down and cry. His ownership of 21% is pretty darn low at the minute, and another seasonal average nearing 130 points looks to be on the cards.
Tom Mitchell will roll around in his own filth again in 2018 – being the stats pig he is – and no one will stop him. Could rack up 60 touches on Saturday night against Collingwood, such is his lack of respect. My M3 has been filled by Dayne Zorko, Rory Sloane, Clayton Oliver and Josh Kelly over the pre-season. I have finally settled on Matt Crouch. The ball-magnet averaged 121 points from Round 9 onwards last year and should be a good selection at just 11% ownershi-hang on… Just realised I have enough cash to afford Dustin Martin. At 54% ownership, the cookie cutter within me has me leaning towards him. This could change another three times before tonight.
Nathaniel Fyfe and Patty Cripps are absolute locks in my eyes, and because I have decided to get every expensive premium under the sun, I have opted to go three on-field rookies in Andrew Brayshaw, Will Brodie and Tim Kelly. Brayshaw is the only rookie that could eclipse the 80 point average this year and should perform week in, week out. Brodie has a definite place in that non-existent Gold Coast midfield and I am surprised he is owned by just 11% of teams, while Luke Davies-Uniacke (23%) and Paddy Dow (27%) are owned by more. Kelly is ready to go and should be a scorer we can trust. I feel there is definite scope to field three midfield rookies with the likes of Dom Barry, Nick Holman and Bailey Banfield in the wings.
Now here is a risk. Paddy Ryder at R1. Yes, I do realise Port have the bye in Round 10 and yes, I know that even my R3 Darcy Cameron is unlikely to be playing at that point. This is a real ‘get to that bridge when we come to it’ operation. I am confident Ryder is going to be the best ruckman (besides Gawn) in 2018 with no Jackson Trengove stealing his ruck time. Should get close to that 110 mark. His back half of the year was simply outstanding, and I am willing to risk the Round 10 bye.
Max Gawn at R2. You have rocks in your head if he is not present in your side.
I have decided to go heavy here to account for the lack of genuine rookie options in this line. This set-up still up in the air, as it has been for the entire pre-season. Three players who have been present in my side for this entire treacherous journey have been Isaac Heeney, Jack Billings and Toby McLean. Absolutely loved what McLean produced in the back-half of last season, averaging 99 points from his last 10 games playing in the guts. If his JLT centre-bounce attendances are anything to go by, he should be playing the same role in 2018. Billings should improve on his average if he doesn’t kick 18.85 this year, and I expect Heeney to produce a similar return to last year playing through the midfield with stints up forward.
Let’s get to my number one forward – Lance Franklin. This really was a spur of the moment decision from me, as I hate key positions in SuperCoach more than the game itself. He has been in my side for less than a week, but he is there because he is a known quantity in SuperCoach when the majority of forward options are shaky at best. I have been hyping up Rory Lobb all pre-season so if he somehow performs better than the Budwah, I will be a broken man. Same for Devon Smith if he comes out with a 120 on Friday night.
It isn’t wise to field two forward rookies this year, so I’ve decided to do just that. In previous years we have seen forward rookies have poor JLT campaigns and somehow average 60, so I am hoping this happens again in 2018. Bailey Fritsch will be my trusted forward rookie, and any one of Jarrod Garlett, Liam Ryan and Zac Giles-Langdon will take up the other spot. Will most likely pick these names out of a hat each week.
So there it is. Rate it, hate it? Have at me in the comments section or via Twitter @battenball96
Want to join a league and play against our writers’ collaborative SuperCoach team, SCPFC? Here’s a league code to do so: 451470
But you better get in quick, first in best dressed!