Final Say: Round 22, trade plans + tactics

With the clock running down until the beginning of Round 22, we have the final say on AFL SuperCoach trade plans.


Believe it or not, there is such a thing as trying to get too cute when you play SuperCoach. I know, I know – I’m sure none of you smart coaches there have ever experienced it, but humour for me a second. 

Let’s say you had Elijah Hollands sitting on your bench, with the E on him, and you watched him drop 116 on the Hawks in the early Saturday afternoon game. Would you have been able to resist looping his score? Of course you would’ve, because you’re not a moron.

Yours truly decided it would be a fantastic idea to push Josh Dunkley – on the back of a 130 the week before no less – to the bench in favour of Hollands’ 116. What happened next was inevitable. Dunkley scored 155, while Will Brodie – who I should’ve benched instead – played 62% gametime and managed just 65 points.

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All up my little smartass manoeuvre cost me 39 points (had I simply done nothing) or 89 points (had I been smart enough to bench Brodie). Lesson learned – smart alecs don’t prosper in the game of SuperCoach!

Aside from the Hollands/Dunkley debacle, things went from bad to worse. My uniques – Stewart, Brayshaw, Dale – were awful, while VCing Touk over Oliver looked like another horrible call until Garden Gnome Laird pulled the iron out of the fire with yet another monstrous outing.

If anyone can explain why Tim English has a five-round average of 87 I’d love to hear it. In fact – if anyone could tell me why all my Bulldogs premos have turned to sh!te (except for sweet, sweet Bont) I’m all ears.

Unfortunately, as a direct result of my idiotic loopholing, Eddie’s Eagles put up just 2,437 points in Round 22 and fell 54 spots down to 322.

Chaos, though, is a ladder…

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To say I was pleased to see Patrick Cripps’ suspension upheld at the Tribunal on Tuesday night would be the understatement of the century. You see, I just believe the head is sacrosanct and even if you accidentally bump someone else and your head hits their I still think you should be susp—

Nah, just yanking ya chain. Couldn’t care less about the merits (or lack thereof) of Cripps getting a fortnight on the sidelines. What I do care about is the fact that nearly a third of the top 1,000 teams own him AND don’t have any trades left with which to dispose of him.

As someone who’s been desperate to burn their final trade, but has managed to hold fire juuusssttt long enough, this is music to my ears.

Assuming Carlton’s appeal fails tonight (which it is exceedingly likely to), the next step is choosing who comes in as my Cripps replacement. At the time of writing I’ve narrowed it down to two options:

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Option 1 – Zach Merrett


Merrett is clearly the best available mid outside of the likes of Touk, Laird, Mills etc (all already owned). Despite a stinker last round (71), he’s still averaging 125 in his last five games and appears hellbent on finishing the season with a bang. At just 10% ownership he’s still enough of a POD that good performances will result in rankings rises.


Bringing in a mid-only player leaves me dangerously short of cover in the backline, and if one of my six premo backs goes down it’d more than likely result in a Rd 23 donut. I do worry that Merrett’s stats over the last month have been inflated by no Darcy Parish, who returned to the side last week and managed an effortless 120. Merrett was tagged, so it’s hard to know how much stock to put in to it. 

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Option 2 – Angus Brayshaw


Regular readers of this article (there must be some of you out there haha?) will know I love Brayshaw and am exceptionally bullish on the role-change he’s undergone in recent weeks. After a 113 last week he’s now got a three-round average of 119; 10th best in the comp over that span. At 10% ownership he’s just as much of a POD as Merrett is. Since Round 11 he has just two sub-100 scores. Importantly, bringing him in would (touch wood) take away almost any chance of getting stung by a donut in Round 23.


Has just three 125+ scores all season – Merrett has five in the last six weeks alone. He isn’t SC relevant when playing in the backline, which is a switch that could happen at any time, particularly given Melbourne have lost two of their last three games. It feels dirty not using the $150k I’ve got spare in the bank and finishing with the season in surplus.

Frankly, I’m torn ladies and gents. This is going to be an absolute last-minute decision – if you’ve got any suggestions hit me up on Twitter @EddieDadds 

Remaining Salary: $62,800

Trades Left: 0

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Eddie’s Captains

If you were expecting to get to this segment and see anything but yet another Rory Laird recommendation, unfortunately you are gravely mistaken.

In good faith it’d be just about impossible to put the C on anyone but the Garden Gnome extraordinaire, who’s now averaging 143 in his last three, 142 in his last five and 129 for the season. He’s gone a full month without dipping below 140 in a game and only has two sub-120 scores (a 118 and a 114) in his last ten (TEN!) outings. In fact, he’s only dropped below 110 twice all year (a 93 in his first game and a 105 in Round 10).

Oh, and did I mention he’s playing the Kangaroos, who he dropped a 156 (season-high) on less than two months ago and 149 in Round 23 of 2021? With no hyperbole whatsoever, this could be the biggest SuperCoach captaincy lock of all time.

If you’re desperate for a POD, Max Gawn plays Carlton, who he torched for 184 points back in 2020. The Beard has a three-round average of 132 and the Blues – without a recognised ruckman – gave up 110 to Oscar McInerney last week.

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Andrew Brayshaw doesn’t have a particularly attractive record in Derbys so far in his career, but this is the West Coast outfit that let Laird off the chain last week. Off the back of a 152, and without Cripps to contend with in the midfield, Clayton Oliver is a massive chance to go big and loves playing Carlton, with 2 140+ scores in his last three games against them.

Last, but not least, Zach Merrett plays a leaky Port outfit which gave up 244 combined points to Trent Cotchin and Dion Prestia last week.

As far as VCs go, this is also not going to be breaking any new ground. Lachie Neale plays the Saints on Friday night on the back of a 138 last week against Carlton. While his record isn’t astounding against St. Kilda, it’s hard to pass up the chance at a genuine uber premo score on a Friday night (as we saw last week with Oliver).

Jack Sinclair’s form has stagnated a little bit, but he’s also an option here, but the prime candidate if you’re looking outside of Neale is Jack Steele, who’s gone 167 then 149 in his last two against the Lions. The Saints desperately need a win and their skipper will need to lift if they’re a chance.

I’d be steering clear of the Bulldogs boys with the VC armband in the early Saturday afternoon game; it’s too hard to pick which one is going to go large and which four are going to stink it up. 

Vice Captains

  1. Lachie Neale
  2. Jack Steele
  3. Jack Sinclair


  1. Rory Laird
  2. Max Gawn
  3. Zach Merrett

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