Rejoice, SuperCoach is back and we aren’t skipping a beat here at SCP. Many are grappling with the decision of whether to pick the 2018 Brownlow Medallist as their first mid or to fork out an extra $100,000 for the 2017 winner of the Chaz. Some will have both, other left-field coaches will have neither.
Without further ado, it’s time to have a look at the two powerhouses of the competition.
2016 SuperCoach Average: 131.8 (22 games)
2017 SuperCoach Average: 136.4 (21 games)
Current Ownership (%): 33%
This man needs no introduction. Coming off one of the better SuperCoach year’s of all time, Dangerfield starts season 2018 as the most expensive player, and for damn good reason.
Dangerfield went from strength to strength aside from a month where he played injured. The ball-winning beast averaged a tick under 30 disposals per game (58% of those won contested) along with seven clearances and six tackles. While playing forward, Danger booted 45 goals and averaged the most goals per 100 minutes.. Oh yeah, he also averaged 136.4 SuperCoach points a game. Pretty good for a player who exaggerates injuries, hey?
While he probably isn’t in Kane Cornes’ SuperCoach team, the reasons to pick him are endless. The Geelong star turns 28 in April as well, so you’d think he is still at the peak of his powers. Danger is a captain option you can take to the bank. His consistently high ceiling defies reality, eclipsing the 140-point barrier 13 times in 2017 alone, including Herculean totals of 196, 165 and 163. While some will say this is due to Champion Data’s infatuation with him, there is no denying Danger thrives when the game’s on the line, meaning he receives extra points for scaling.
If we take a look at Dangerfield’s 2017 without his injury affected scores, his stats become really scary. An accidental Roughead knee to the ribs in Round 4 left him spending extended stints forward and looking a shadow below his best. Scores of 90, 120, 65, 110 and 112 followed as the champ played in pain.
In his 16 other matches over the course of 2017, Dangerfield averaged 148 points per game… Yep, you read that right.
If you’ve been hiding under a rock since October, you would be unaware that the little master is back in town. The SuperCoach messiah joins an already elite Geelong midfield, which will have opposition sides quivering in their boots. While it will be a delight to see the centre square trio of Dangerwoodblett in action, its impact on Dangerfield’s scoring could be costly. There are only so many points that can go around.
Duncan (averaged 109.8 in 2017), Selwood (102.2) and Menegola (100.4) all averaged over 100 points last season, and Selwood had a disappointing year by his lofty standards. Is Dangerfield’s 130+ average sustainable with another elite scorer thrown into the mix? In 2016 we saw Parker, Hannebery, Kennedy and Mitchell all surpass an average 105, but none were averaging in the 130s. Champion Data ranked Dangerfield as the #1 forward and #1 midfielder in 2017. Will we see Danger spend more time up forward where he was so dominant at stages last year? Will we see Ablett spend more time forward as journalists have forecasted every pre-season since about 2015? At this stage, the answers to those questions are unclear.
We also cannot forget he starts the season at a monster $749,800 – $33k more than his 2017 start price. That’s a lot of moolah.
2016 SuperCoach Average: 108.1 (22 games)
2017 SuperCoach Average: 119.3 (22 games)
Current Ownership (%): 39%
As we know, Dustin Martin had an unforgettable year, completing what will now be known as a Dusty Trifecta; a Brownlow, a premiership and a North Smith in the same year.
Dusty was a prolific accumulator in 2016, but 2017 saw his damage with ball in hand improve dramatically. Martin won 62% of his possessions in the front half compared to 41% the previous year – one of the biggest reasons why his 35 disposal games were only returning low tons in 2016. That is a thing of the past now, with his propensity to kick (19 kicks per game in 17’) and hit the scoreboard enabling him to reach high totals without reaching the 30 disposal mark.
Hardwick threw him up forward more often to great effect, booting four times as many goals as the previous season. Dusty was rated as the #1 one-on-one player in the competition, winning 54% of these contests. His dominance in this area was on display regularly, with Dimma constantly playing him one-out up forward. Dusty averaged a whopping 119.3 points during the home-and-away season, reaching the ton in 17 of his 22 matches. He became an extremely valuable loophole option, posting seven scores over 140 in 2017.
Another positive about Dusty’s scoring is his tendency to go through purple patches. There was no better example of this than his backend of the season, where the superstar averaged a monster 136 points from Round 18 onwards. This included a 158-point display in the Qualifying Final and a 150 point effort on the last day in September.
These numbers are Dangerfield-esque, which makes one wonder whether he has the capacity to do this over the course of a season.
While his hot streaks are phenomenal, he is also susceptible to form slumps. He only suffered one in 2017, though, failing to score a ton from Round 4-7. In previous years this has been a much more detrimental part of his SuperCoach game – finishing 2016 with 10 sub-ton scores. Last year Dusty halved this number, and it appears opposition sides are more likely to tag captain Trent Cotchin than Dusty, due to the fact he is easier to shut down.
Another is that you can’t absolutely bank on him being a reliable captain option like you can for Dangerfield. Certainly there is risk and reward, but the question remains whether he can reliably bpunch out 130+ totals week in, week out.
Both these men are untaggable, virtually unstoppable at their best and have SuperCoach ceilings higher than the Empire State Building. In essence, you can’t really go wrong with either of these selections, or selecting both of them.
But this is a Versus Series, so I’m going to have to take the splinters out of my backside and make a decision. If you are tossing up between one or the other, it has to be Danger in my eyes. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw his ownership at a lowly 33%, as I don’t think the GAJ factor will have an impact on his overall output. If anything, the move is likely to have an effect on Duncan and Menegola, as Danger should play the exact same role he did last year – he is too valuable in the coalface.
Although there are more unknowns with Dangerfield, he also has two years of 130+ average under his belt. Those that didn’t start with him last year benefited by not spending $716k for him, but only because he was playing at about 80% for over a month.
Moreover, everything fell into place for the Tiges this year. Tougher opposition with a tougher draw may not see season 2018 go as smoothly for Richmond and Dusty. In saying that, I wouldn’t be putting bets on him averaging below 115. While you have nearly $100k extra to spend by picking Dusty, the investment in selecting Dangerfield will have more reward overall for your side.
Overlook Danger at your peril. He will make you pay.