Final say: Round 5 tactics, trades, skippers

With the clock running down until the beginning of Round 5, 2022 323rd Eddie Dadds the final say on AFL SuperCoach trade plans.


The great game of SuperCoach giveth, but my word does it taketh away. 

Leaving aside the merits of the suspension – hard to do given how absurdly nonsensical it is – Will Day’s two-weeks off for a “dangerous” tackle (quotations very intentional) throws my well-ordered team in to disarray.

The Hawks’ young phenom has a 3-round average of 115, the 6th best defender in the league over that span. To call it disappointing that I’ll have to spend the next two weeks carrying him on my bench is the understatement of the century. Ah well, onwards and upwards!

The Sam Docherty injury may turn out to be a blessing in disguise given it gave me the impetus to bring in Mr 150 Jordan Dawson for a Thursday night masterclass at the Oval.

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It’s also enormously comforting to see Rory Laird back to his piggish best, although no prizes for guessing which side of the VC coin-flip I inevitably ended up on (still, can never complain with a 135).

Day, Doch, Ridley and a distinct lack of Oliver aside, I remain happy with where my team is at heading in to Round 5!

A score of 2,123 last week was good enough for a 38,997 round rank, and a slight bump up to 16,827th overall.

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The Round 4 Positives

Will Day

Did I just spend 100 words ragging on Day? Yes. Do I still love him? A million times Yes. 

The guy is a gun, it really is as simple as that. It was obvious from the opening bounce on Easter Monday that he was primed for a huge outing, and so it played out with 107 points and his third straight 98+ score. 

Not to overstate it, but it really is a joy to watch him play, of course from a SuperCoach perspective but also just as a fan of watching good players play footy.

A pox on the AFL Tribunal!! 

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Fading Cogs

Wow… maybe this actually was the right preseason decision?

A 71 backing up his 58 the week prior was just the tonic I needed, with the nuggety mid set to nudge the $400ks with a breakeven above 160 and a current price of $516k.

That being said… Not exactly counting my chickens given the Giants set to take on the Day-less Hawks this Sunday at a tiny Norwood Oval. 150 is certainly not out of the question.

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Conor McKenna

As a (long-suffering) Essendon fan, one of the only joys over the last 5-6 seasons was watching the emergence of McKenna as one of the league’s most underrated rebounding threats off half-back. Of course, that just made it all the more painful when he was driven out of town by a rabid Melbourne media pack, only to return via the comparatively-serene Brisbane lifestyle.

Whatever the outside context – McKenna was one of the few players not to leave my side throughout the preseason. He was a budding star at the time of his departure, and continues to get better every time he touches a Sherrin. 

It’s rewarding to see him back enjoying football, both because he’s one of the more creative players we’ve seen in recent times, and because it’s comforting to have a reliable D4-5 option each week.

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The Round 4 Negatives

Obvious Isn’t Always Best

The Big 5 in the forward line always felt too good to be true over the preseason, and so it has proved to be.

Out of Dunkley, Taranto, Rozee, Coniglio and Gulden, just one (Taranto) is in the top five forwards in terms of season averages, with Jeremy Cameron, Liam Baker and Jack Ziebell leading the pack in terms of alternatives.

There is of course every chance that the Big 5 end the season at the top of the table, but it does just speak to the beauty of SuperCoach that often groupthink isn’t the right way to approach things.

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Rookie Cash Gen

This may seem harsh, given we’re objectively blessed by the likes of Sheezel, Ashcroft and McKenna this season, but it’s telling that at this point of the season there are no rookies who are at harvestable prices.

They’re either stagnating (or out of favour) like Davey, Jones, Chesser and Constable, or untradeable like those mentioned above. 

To get cash we need players to downgrade, and currently it’s proving difficult. Not to mention the distinct lack of players to downgrade to – JVR is on the table, but when Max Michellaney is the other most traded in cash cow this week, that says it all.

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Jacob Hopper

This is harsh but he just isn’t doing it for me. Either do your business or get off the throne, Jacob. I need to know whether you’re a last upgrade, a keeper, or a trade out and I need to know it ASAP.

67, 119 and 75 are not scores that give any indication what the answer is.

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Docherty -> Dawson

Jones -> JVR (via DPP)

Ridley -> Redman

Doch to Dawson was as obvious as it gets for me, borne out by Dawson’s monstrous night against the Blues to start Gather Round.

Jones to JVR is a necessary evil to grab some cash to unlock the above trade. I don’t love JVR in any respect (scoring potential, job security) and I don’t love culling Jones (who is as secure as they come from a JS perspective) this early, but it has to be done.

Ridley to Redman is a gut-based call. Redman clearly has the role we all wanted Ridley to have, and would be averaging 119 if it wasn’t for a rage-induced 49 against the Saints in Round 3. With a breakeven of 111 and priced at just $500k, this is as cheap as you’re going to get him.

Ridley’s scoring has been okay, but he doesn’t pass the eye test at all. With an average of 90 and slipping down in price, now is the time to admit I was wrong about him and cut the cord.

I’m holding Will Day. Between Cowan and Wilmot (+ hopefully Constable at some point) I should be able to cobble together something at D6. It’s not ideal, but trading Day doesn’t sit right and I won’t do it.

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Eddie’s Captains

Again, very easy to say in retrospect… but I loved either of Laird or Dawson on Thursday night in front of a rabid Adelaide crowd.

Sean Darcy is on fire at the moment, and gets to go up against the powerhouse of Ned Moyle with Jarrod Witts confirmed out for (at least) another week. Nothing against Moyle, but he is not going to be able to compete with one of the AFL’s genuine monster rucks. Darcy scored 140 against the Suns in 2022 and I expect him to give that a nudge again on a tiny Norwood Oval which is conducive to bulk stoppages.

Brodie Grundy averages 104 against the Bombers (I’m shocked it’s not higher) and is an obvious candidate to go large without Max Gawn in the mix. That being said, Sam Draper has proved to be a tough SuperCoach matchup so far this season, which has been a pleasant surprise as a Dons fan.

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Grundy’s midfield mate at the Demons, Clayton Oliver, is a different story. He LOVES Adelaide Oval; has two double tons there and averages 134.7. Sheesh.

To continue the ruck theme – the Pies don’t have a ruck, which is good news for Rowan Marshall, who was on his way to a monster score last week before being tactically subbed out. 

Peter Ladhams tore up the Power last week, which also makes Tim English (the hottest man in SuperCoach) a huge option. Wow – rucks galore!!

Marcus Bontempelli, Nick Daicos, and Touk Miller are also great week-in-week out options.

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Vice Captains

  1. Sean Darcy
  2. Brodie Grundy
  3. Tim Taranto
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  1. Clayton Oliver
  2. Rowan Marshall
  3. Tim English

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