Squad Breakdown: Adelaide Crows 2023 SC analysis

We take an in-depth look at Adelaide's SuperCoach credentials heading into the 2023 AFL season.

AFL Pre Season

Geez it’s good to have SuperCoach back!

Kicking us off this year is our analysis of the Adelaide Crows.

They’ve recruited relatively well, landing the big name of Izak Rankine in the trade period, while also securing Tyler Brown and Mark Keane via SSP.

However, I think they underperformed on draft night, mainly because of how above market they valued Rankine.

Their losses are slightly less “front page” news, with Luke Brown (retired), Paul Seedsman (delisted), Billy Frampton (Collingwood), James Rowe (delisted) amongst the names, to go along with the shock retiring of former #6 draft pick, Fisher McAsey; but it’s not like they provided a whole lot last season anyway.

Like last year, the Crom will be relying heavily on Rory Laird’s impact in the middle of the ground. The ball magnet averaged a season high 127.8 last year, bumping up his 2023 price tag to a whopping $703,900.

Adelaide have typically never been full of stud SuperCoach options, but there are always a few that certainly float under the radar *cough* Ben Keays *cough*.

There has been a steady sign of improvement in the last two seasons, going from 18th to 15th to 14th, so the writing is on the wall for another solid year.

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FB: B. Smith, J. Butts, T. Doedee

HB: W. Milera, N. Murray, J. Dawson

C: J. Soligo, R. Laird, C. Jones

HF: N. McHenry, D. Fogarty, J. Rachele

F: I. Rankine, T. Walker, R. Thilthorpe

FOL: R. O’Brien, S. Berry, B. Keays

INT: R. Sloane, M. Hinge H. Schoenberg, J. Hately,

SUB: M. Michalanney

EMG: L. Sholl, B, Dowling, S. McAdam L. Gollant

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List Changes

As mentioned before, the Crows had a relatively quiet draft night as a result of giving away pick 5 to the Suns for Izak Rankine.

They recruited father-son product, Max Michalanney, who made a name for himself as one of the best defensive players in the draft. There’s a potential scenario where Michalanney lines up at half-back, allowing Jordan Dawson to move further up the ground and take up a position on the wing; a mutually beneficial outcome for not only he and Michalanney, but also us SuperCoachers.

Pick 43, Billy Dowling, and pick 50, Hugh Bond, also joined via the draft but I can’t see a future where they are close to getting a game this season.

The Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period (SSP) turned out quite fruitful for the Crows, picking up Collingwood midfielder, Tyler Brown, and former Collingwood defender, Mark Keane to add to their squad depth.

The big question is whether they’ve brought in enough talent to fill the void left by the departure of Paul Seedsman and Luke Brown, players who have become a key part of the squad in the last ten years.

Mediocre players like Ben Davis, Andrew McPherson, James Rowe, and Brett Turner are much easier to replace.

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Lock & Load

From a SuperCoach perspective, Rory Laird really elevated his game to elite status last year, improving his previous best career average from 116 to 127.

Laird played 20 games last season and finished with a lowest score of just 93 (which was his first game back from a broken hand) … That is literally borderline superhuman.

What I found even more crazy was his low ownership. After 12 rounds, Laird was averaging a whopping 120 and was STILL only owned by just 8.2% of the comp.

I don’t think it’s physically possible for him to replicate that again this year, but if you want some uber consistent high scoring, he’s definitely your man. Coming in at $703,900, can you afford to break the bank on him though?

Anyway, enough about Laird. Jordan Dawson had a superb season last year, finishing with a career high SuperCoach average of 109.5. Perhaps his only downside was the uncertainty surrounding his position? Was he at half back, on the wing, full forward?! He played literally every position imaginable last year.

If he can lockdown a spot off half-back or on the wing and actually STAY there, the sky is the limit for him. He’s in my defence at the moment, and he should be in yours too.

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Mid Pricers

In just his second year, Berry increased his average by almost half. Now a permanent member of the Adelaide engine room, he has established himself as one of the best young, contested players in the competition.

We saw Ben Keays make a slow transition into the forward line at the back end of last year, allowing Berry to find a lot more of the footy, finishing with some solid scores including 121, 140, 99, and 87 across his last seven games.

Whether the Crows attempt that gameplan again is up for debate, but if they’re keen on pursuing the development of their younger crop, you’d think that Berry will be one of the first names listed in the on-ball rotation.

In SuperCoach, players are renowned for their “third year breakout” (Alex Witherden, Angus Brayshaw, Jack Macrae, and Tim Taranto to name a few off the top of my head), so there definitely is potential for Berry to improve on his 86.9 average from last year. Finding value is the name of the game after all…

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According to reports, Luke Pedlar is “firing” ahead of his third season.

The former #11 pick has been on the track early this pre-season and looks to have put his injury troubles behind him for the time being.

While he may not get the midfield role us coaches are after, he’s certainly the type of player to make an early impact and force himself in there at some point during the year.

The Crows are full of young players, and in SuperCoach terms, full of “cheapies”, but Pedlar seems the most likely to really make a name for himself this year.

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Tex has had a surprising career resurgence at the tender age of 32, boasting career best numbers in the last two seasons.

In 2021, he increased his average from 55.5 to 86.2, and then again to 90.7… So, he should improve again, right?!


Not with Darcy Fogarty rising through the ranks at rapid pace, not to mention Riley Thilthorpe! I know Tex seems like the type of guy you can just plonk at F4 and expect a safe 80+ from each week, but he just won’t be that guy anymore. It’s time for the forward line rebuild to begin… Out with old and in with the new.

*PSA* I’m definitely not saying he’ll get dropped, I’m just alluding to the fact that the Crows have two young superstars at their disposal, so I think it’s very likely that the forward 50 entries go in their direction instead of Tex’s.

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