Final Say: Round 14, trade plans + tactics

With the clock running down until the beginning of Round 14, we have the final say on AFL SuperCoach trade plans.

AFL

Well, well, well. Charlie has finally been turfed from the Final Say in favour of his older, balder, fatter brother. About time, I say – should’ve got me in a while ago coach!!

Spruiking my team via this article couldn’t possibly come at a better time; round 13 was one of those rare SuperCoach weeks where everything you touch turns to gold. Believe me, they don’t come around often – I hope you’ll indulge me basking in it! 

The simple upgrade/downgrade move on Thursday morning was SDK down to Wehr, Greg Clark up to Jack Sinclair. Nothing groundbreaking there. Unfortunately, Thursday/Friday team selection was as chaotic as one of Essendon’s inside 50 entries, although fortunately not quite as soul-destroying. 

Rioli and Preuss out meant I was left with 18 lukewarm bodies, three of whom were Paul Curtis, Mitch Owens and Jacob Wehr. That meant – without daring to run the risk of all three of those scores counting – my hand was effectively forced in to a Preuss trade, but with no cash in the bank (meaning Gawn / Darcy were out of reach), Darcy Cameron firmed as the only option.

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Cripps VC on Friday night against a dismal, despondent, dispirited Dons outfit was a no-brainer, and I was more than happy to take his 126 in a week where the Eagles had the bye and no other premo mid was playing North (sorry Cogs – we’ll get to you later).

Suddenly, the pieces began to fall in to place. Darcy stunk it up against the Hawks, Sinclair did the job against the Lions and even Mitchito’s concussion-affected 26 didn’t feel too debilitating given I’d manoeuvred my way out of relying on him. Then Cogs went Super Saiyan on the poor sweet Roos (much to the dismay of the non-owners in the SCPlaybook contributor bunch); Wehr did a magnificent job at D6 and Gawn (who I’ve been fading all season) looked hobbled for much of the second half on Monday just to top off what was almost a perfect week given the team I was fielding.

1,954 was my final score, resulting in a weekly rank of 6,229 and an overall jump of 325 spots up to 503rd for the season.

With 12 trades to spend, this week feels like another opportunity. The Bulldogs boys are back in play, along with the Swans and Crows, meaning I’ve got 18 lads ready to hit the field pre-trades. With Crisp at D6, bolstering my mid/forward lines is the top priority.

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GAMEPLAN

Trades:

Maurice Rioli -> Judson Clarke

Paul Curtis -> Bryn Teakle

Nick Daicos -> Marcus Bontempelli (via Jack Sinclair DPP)

Remaining Salary: $16,200

Trades Left: 9 (1 boost)

20 green dots this week with 15 of them premos, projected score 2,075. Feeling pretty good about my prospects, but as we all know that phrase tends to be famous last words in the SuperCoach game! 

The team is now full premo but carrying Cameron/Butters/Moore/Brodie at F3-6, which is definitely sub-optimal. Plan is to swing Bont forward for Moore next week, downgrade McCartin to whoever is on offer and bring in a Brayshaw / JKelly type in the mids, leaving 7 trades and some cash to tinker (primarily with the forward line) over the last two months of the season.

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SUPER PODs

Probably the most relevant point of the season to be looking at the Super POD players – guys who I’m defining as having less than 3% ownership. 

Personally I’m 300 points back of the top-100, which is definitely the goal from hereon out. More generally, as teams hit full-premo status across the board, the only real way to make real ground and get to where you want to be is to take some midprice/premo risks in the hope of striking gold.

Put it this way – if your POD outscores a 30+% owned player by 200 points over the next 8 weeks you’re going to be flying up the rankings. It’s as simple as that.

Top 3 Super PODs

  1. Toby Nankervis ($571k, 116.6 last 5 avg, 2.9% of teams). 

If you’re a Gawn owner, you have two options this week. The first is to go with the pack and bring in Jarrod Witts, who’s nearly $620k and already in 31% of teams (it’s probably going to be more like 50+% after this week). The other is to take a flyer on a POD ruck and try and make up ground. Nank is flying at the moment and it’s no coincidence that the Tigers are on fire as well – he’s an essential ingredient in their mix. There’s no reason he can’t go 115+ on the run home, and if Witts gets injured (as he is want to do) or loses form (as he is want to do) then you’ve picked a winner.

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  1. Jeremy Cameron ($490k, 105 last 5, 2.8% of teams). 

To say the Cats have a soft run home is an understatement. They play the Eagles twice, North once and somehow have landed 7 games at GMHBA Stadium. Cameron is already flying, will be well-rested after the bye and this team can only improve when Patrick Dangerfield returns. Cameron is going to chuck in a sub-70 score at some stage, but you’re bringing him in for the 8-goal, 25 possession, 175+ point outburst we all know is coming at some point, as well as the ability to consistently beat up on a series of lesser teams down the stretch as he chases a Coleman Medal. Without many forward-line options crying out for definitive top-6 status, I like this play a lot.

  1. Harry Himmelberg ($435k, 98.8 last 5, 0.7% of teams). 

Disregard that last 5 average, it’s irrelevant. What matters is Himmelberg’s ridiculous last three weeks, in which he’s averaging 131. Yeah, 131 SuperCoach points. Interim GWS coach Mark McVeigh clearly has his favourites and Himmelberg is one of them, with the key-forward-cum-loose-defender unleashed in the back half over the last two weeks, culminating in a scarcely-believable 187 against the North Whyalla Reserv— ah, sorry, North Melbourne – last weekend. In an absolute worst case scenario Himmelberg gets to $540k over the next three weeks and gets you up to a Bont/Liberatore type. Best case he’s an enormous POD who carries you up the ranks with a series of 120+ clinics. Give it a look.

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EDDIE’S CAPTAINS

Not quite as catchy a segment title as “Charlie’s Angels”, but hey when you’re the oldest sibling you get used to being stuck with the worse end of every deal on every table.

As I touched on earlier, Cripps was a great VC option last Friday night, with the unquantifiable ability to sit back and relax over the weekend without worrying about what my captain was going to score being worth its weight in gold. It’s not very analytical of me but I like rewarding guys who help me out in prior weeks, so whacking the VC on Crippa again for his Thursday night bout against the Tigers is alluring for that reason, as well as the fact that the Carlton skipper is arguably the most alpha bloke in the comp at the moment. Adam Cerra’s injury also opens up even more midfield time for George Hewett, who appears to relish the big occasions, while Sam Walsh is due a big bounce-back game after a sub-par outing last week.

The Bombers are so diabolically horrific this year that it’s becoming enjoyable for me (as a long-suffering fan) to have something to root for in their games, even if it’s the other team, so I do like the idea of Jack Sinclair or Brad Crouch on Friday night. Zach Merrett, as really the only half-decent Essendon mid on the park with Parish out, is also a solid option.

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Tim English against the Giants has some attraction, while the Suns v Crows game has all the makings of a SuperCoach shootout, with two high-possession, poor defensive midfield units going at it. Rory Laird, Jordan Dawson, Reilly O’Brien, Touk Miller or Jarrod Witts are all options here.

Port seem to be making a habit of dragging teams down in to unattractive, turnover-heavy slugfests, so I’m not all that keen on Callum Mills or Ollie Wines this week. Tom Stewart, on the other hand, comes up against a West Coast outfit apparently intent on handing out as many SuperCoach tons as humanly possible. My only concern here is that his usual amount of D50 intercept marks may not be on offer, given – hmm, how to put this nicely – the Eagles don’t seem to be capable of moving the ball past the centre circle. That being said, with 6 premiership players to come in to the side, and up against a Geelong team who detests any form of travel, there’s a chance this is a competitive enough game to make Stewart relevant.

Top-3 Vice Captains

  1. Patrick Cripps
  2. Jack Sinclair
  3. George Hewett

Top-3 Captains

  1. Touk Miller
  2. Tom Stewart
  3. Rory Laird

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Carlton – 1-39 @ $2.69

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St Kilda -23.5 @$1.95

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