Final Say: Round 16, trade plans + tactics

With the clock running down until the beginning of Round 16, we have the final say on AFL SuperCoach trade plans.


We play a cruel game ladies and gentlemen, ruled by the harshest of mistresses; Lady Luck herself. Why is it that the SuperCoach gods choose to take inspiration from the most vicious of the ancient deities, raining fire and brimstone down on hapless coaches all across the land. I implore you, oh omnipotent ones, let our innocent teams exist in peace!!

Am I being dramatic because I missed out on a few points last week? Quite possibly. Will I ever stop whinging about it? No.

Thursday night I was left with a genuine coin-toss decision: Ben Hobbs to Luke Jackson (playing Jackson as F6 to cover Tim English) or Dylan Moore to Luke Parker (playing Hobbs as F6). Absolutely no prizes for guessing which side the coin landed on.

With Moore and Jackson combining for 232 points, vs. Hobbs and Jackson barely scraping together 109, that little manoeuvre cost me 123 points, 200 ranking spots, and a sleepless Saturday night wondering what I’d done to offend the all-powerful beings upstairs. Sigh.

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Then my shiny new toy Andrew Brayshaw squeezed out an 87, four of my defensive stalwarts (Sicily, Sinclair, Crisp and Short) couldn’t crack 90 and Callum Mills’ rollercoaster season continued with a scratchy 86 in a strange game in which the Swans were never really faced with serious opposition.

Fortunately, things weren’t all doom and gloom. I finally managed a successful captaincy pick, with Clayton Oliver’s 140 coming despite him barely seeing the footy in the first quarter. Jordan Dawson and Rory Laird continue to excel as semi-PODs (carrying the 4th and 2nd highest 5-round averages in the league respectively); Bont remains a forward-line delight and Jarrod Witts / Darcy Cameron might be the weirdest-yet-most-successful R1/R2 pairing we’ve ever had. Will Brodie is not only coping with the return of Nat Fyfe to the Dockers’ lineup, he’s excelling, while Stephen Coniglio has reinvented himself as a must-own forward premo.

Overall, Eddie’s Eagles scored 2,467 for the week, slipping 26 ranking spots down to 432nd overall. I’m left with 6 trades and $80k left in the chamber to play around with.

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Ben Hobbs -> Luke Jackson

Remaining Salary: $18,500

Trades Left: 5 (0 boosts)

I invited the wrath of the gods by writing last week that this is the trade I planned on doing if Hobbs was a disaster, and of course things unfolded perfectly to script.

Tim English is out for another week, which means I desperately need F6 coverage and aren’t particularly concerned whether it’s for one week only. With Max Gawn on the road to recovery (and perhaps due to return for round 17) that means one decent week from Jackson as a lone ruck is all I really care about. After that he can slot in to F7/R3 for the run home and perhaps play a part via some creative looping, particularly with Darcy Cameron likely to lose relevance upon Brodie Grundy’s return from injury.

Do I dare pull the trigger on a Cripps to Steele trade?… 

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If, like me, you’re stuck carrying the likes of English, or perhaps Tom Stewart, or even Zac Butters (whose status for this week is still unclear at the time of writing) this is the perfect chance to take a punt on a fun POD. There are some seriously interesting names populating the top of the 3/5 round average charts and I’m here to provide you with a few that I find particularly intriguing.

Top 3 Super PODs

  1. Liam Baker (Def/Fwd, $494k, 110 last 5 avg., 2.2% of teams)

Baker is one of those guys you watch and think immediately “this guy knows how to play football”. He’s constantly in the right spots, uses the ball brilliantly and is tough as a cat’s head. After being thrown around all over the shop by Damian Hardwick in past seasons, Baker appears to have found a home roaming around the wing/half back area, playing a Jack Sinclair-esque creator role in the back half. Great news for his SuperCoach scoring, terrible news for those holding Jayden Short, who’s been shunted to the forward line. Richmond are playing good football so you’d have to think this experiment will be persisted with – I see no reason why Baker can’t average 110+ on the run home.

  1. Adam Saad (Def, $539k, 112 last 5 avg., 5% of teams).

Haha remember when Bombers fans (me included) were claiming Nick Hind was better than Saad? Lol. Saad’s consistency this year has been a big part of Carlton’s push for a top-4 position. In prior seasons he’s been liable to go missing for big chunks of play, but with Sam Docherty playing at an All-Australian level there’s simply just more space in the Blues’ backline and that’s a green light for Saad’s elite run and carry to shine through. Again, Carlton are playing great footy and it’s no coincidence that it’s come on the back of massive contributions from Saad and Docherty – there’s 0 reason why Saad can’t be a top-6 defender over the last 7 weeks of the season.

  1. Jack Steele (Mid, $554k, 105 last 5 avg., 6.2% of teams)

Don’t take any notice of that 6.2% number above. Given the circumstances of his injury, and the point of the season at which he’s returning, I would be stunned if more than 3% of the top 10,000 teams own Jack Steele. Do you smell the opportunity that I do? We all started with Steele for a reason; he’s a bona-fide super premo midfielder, and those don’t grow on trees. If you have trades in hand and are carrying the likes of Patrick Cripps, Zach Merrett, Ollie Wines, Ben Keays, Tom Green etc. at M8 then this is the kind of move that could easily bring you 50-100+ invaluable extra points on the run home. Thank me later.

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A nice little bounce-back week for this segment after a pretty atrocious effort the prior week. My number 1 VC option Oliver went 140+, while both Neale and Macrae did enough to at least lock in decent VC scores.

Rory Laird’s 156 ended up being the pick of the bunch – congratulations if you managed to hop on there!

This week we are blessed with VC options aplenty thanks to a Thursday night Gabba Showdown between the Lions and Dogs. Lachie Neale and Jack Macrae going head-to-head is an enticing prospect to say the least. Macrae averages 151 in his last 3 against the Lions, while Neale averages 136 in his last three at the Gabba, including a 164. Josh Dunkley or Marcus Bontempelli are also options here.

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On Friday night we then get the Saints and the Blues under the lid at Marvel. You’d be a brave coach to have any faith in Patrick Cripps at this point, but Jack Steele and Sam Walsh both look like spicy alternatives. Walsh had 141 on the Saints last time they played.

Callum Mills and Luke Parker (in his 250th game) get a look at the hapless Dons on the wide open expanses of the MCG on Saturday afternoon, before Rory Laird / Clayton Oliver go head-to-head at Adelaide Oval in the evening. Mills is worth a strong look given he put up 167 on the Dons earlier this season, while Oliver averages 167 in his last 3 against the Crows including back to back double tons. Unfortunately, Tom Stewart’s suspension means he’s out of action against the Kangaroos, which would’ve been a no-brainer, but Jarrod Witts against Darcy Cameron could be worth a look in the other Saturday night game.

Sunday is a bit of a wasteland for captains. Is anyone brave enough to whack the C on Coniglio against the Hawks? I’ve heard worse ideas – don’t tell Niko though. Fremantle host Port Adelaide at Optus Stadium to round out round 16, but unless you’re an enormous Will Brodie fan there are definitely better options on the board.

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Top-3 Vice Captains

  1. Jack Macrae
  2. Lachie Neale
  3. Sam Walsh

Top-3 Captains

  1. Clayton Oliver
  2. Callum Mills
  3. Luke Parker / Stephen Coniglio

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Handy little $6.50 multi winner last week, let’s go again this week!

Jack Macrae 35+ Disposals @$2.45

Swans -16.5 @$1.90

Demons v Crows – Total Points Under 161.5 @$1.90

Multi @$8.84

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