Final say: Round 1 tactics, trades, skippers

With the clock running down until the beginning of Round 1, 2022 323rd Eddie Dadds the final say on AFL SuperCoach trade plans.


Andddddd we’re back!!

To say I need Round 1 lockout to be firmly in place would be the understatement of the century. After a preseason of relative stability, the last 48 hours has thrown my safe, well-thought-out side in to chaos. 

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Will Phillips = Out

Elliot Yeo (who I was thrilled to be Anti-PODing) = Out

Toby McLean = Out

Hayden Crozier = Out

The Yeo news hurt particularly badly. I couldn’t WAIT to laugh loudly and obnoxiously at the 45% of coaches who apparently thought it was a good idea to start with a guy who’s played 27 games in three years and looked out of sorts even while on the field. Why couldn’t he have waited another week to injure himself!?

The Phillips news was more unfortunate. As a bluechip, former top-3 pick, he was one I was pencilling in for a 65+ average and potentially an early pre-bye upgrade. Instead I’m left sifting through the dregs of Campbell Chesser, Bodhi Uwland and whichever other spuds the Eagles and Suns are planning to trot out this week.

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Couple of guys haven’t left my side all preseason:

  • Jordan Ridley
  • Jack Steele

Both “former” premo options with high upside with new coaches keen on instilling defensive mindsets, when both of them have high defensive upside, feels like a recipe for success to me. 

After promising signs throughout the preseason it’s become a bit of a sh*t-show from a rookie perspective. You know it’s bad when guys named Bodhi are in contention for a M8 spot. 

Only one solution to that problem – midprice madness!! It’s been a real thrill seeing Will Day sitting at D3, and I highly recommend it to all. Jacob Hopper was close to an unmitigated disaster last night, but he’s got another week to make a case to remain in the side. Errol and Tommy Green are both magnificent and it’s hurting badly to miss Tanner Bruhn, but he’s first in pre-Round 3 if Hopper proves to be a flop.

Still got a couple of big decisions left to make between now and Sunday morning, which brings me to my next segment…

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Big Decisions

Liam Jones vs. Liam Stocker vs. Josh Goater

Job security and a high floor have me leaning very slightly towards Jones here. Stocker passes the eye test and will have a decent crack at securing his spot in the Saints’ side given their injuries, but there’s a reason he wasn’t able to make it work at Carlton. Goater is as speculative as they come, but by all accounts is already a Clarkson favourite.

Feels a bit risk-averse, but I’m going Jones here as it stands.

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Finn Callaghan vs. James Worpel

The Worpedo is proving a popular pick this preseason, and for good reason. He’s drastically underpriced after a couple of poor campaigns, but clearly has the star capability given a BnF win as a 21-year-old. I just can’t shake the image of him spraying kicks everywhere seemingly every time I watch him. Callaghan is as highly-touted as they come, with the #2 overall pick a silky accumulator of the football. The $65k difference in price is ultimately the main clincher for me here. Callaghan is in.

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Sean Darcy vs. Matt Flynn vs. Tristan Xerri

RowMar is locked in at R1, but I’ve got a conundrum at R2. Darcy feels like a decent pick, but is he worth $100k more than Flynn, who has a clear run as primary ruck at GWS with Brayden Preuss out indefinitely? Could that $100k be better used elsewhere? Xerri is an interesting one too, with Goldstein (at least temporarily) out of the side he’s now left as the Roos’ starting ruck for the foreseeable future. I think Darcy is the percentage play here, but am keeping a very close eye on Flynn and Xerri over the next fortnight.

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Eddie’s Captains

Always tricky to know where to go with captaincy in Round 1, which is why it’s so nice to have a guy like Rory Laird sitting right there. The little Garden Gnome had just 2 sub-100 scores last season and has a high score of 147 vs. the Giants. He loves playing at Adelaide Oval and is the highest priced player in SuperCoach for a reason.

Lachie Neale’s last three against Port Adelaide are 140, 130 and 177. He’s a beast. His new midfield mate, Josh Dunkley, is probably an avoid unless you’re feeling adventurous – it’s always a risk putting the armband on a guy who’s playing their first game at a new club.

Clayton Oliver, Marcus Bontempelli and Jack Macrae are all worth a look on Saturday night at the G. Given the new midfield structures at both clubs, I’m probably staying away just for the moment.

Jack Steele has looked great in the preseason, but you’d be a bold coach to go in to Sunday and pick him over Laird as skipper.

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Vice Captains

  1. Lachie Neale
  2. Clayton Oliver
  3. Marcus Bontempelli
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  1. Rory Laird
  2. Jack Steele
  3. Andrew Brayshaw

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