Final say: Round 18 tactics, trades, skippers

With the clock running down until the beginning of Round 18, 2022 323rd Eddie Dadds has the final say on AFL SuperCoach trade plans.


After way too many pies in Scotland, way too much Guinness in Ireland, and nowhere near enough time spent SuperCoaching, I’m back on deck and ready to rumble!

Somehow since we last checked in my rank has been plummeting (in a good way), down to 4,300th for the season thanks to some decent bye planning and a big chunk of good luck (Briggsy you star!).

2,566 in Round 17 was good enough for 5,400th overall and a nice little rankings boost, a positive result given I was forced to field Ryan Maric and am still dealing with the aftermath of predicting that Mason Redman would be a top-3 defender for the last 3 months of the season (spoiler: that ain’t happening).

SuperCoach has a way of bringing you back down to earth, even when you’ve just come back from a 3-week European holiday… What a disastrous week on the team-selection front!

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Angus Sheldrick -> Cooper Harvey

Mason Redman -> James Sicily

1 trade left, $65k in the bank.

Serious panic stations this week. With Josh Dunkley, Angus Sheldrick and now Darcy Cameron all out with injuries, the cupboard is extremely bare.

Dunkley I’m already pot-committed with by holding last week. He has to stay in my side now until he comes back, and by all accounts that won’t be any longer than Brisbane’s game next week against Geelong. 

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Sheldrick and Cameron are bigger problems. With Ryan Maric and Sam Sturt as my only coverage options on the forward bench, trading Sheldrick was my only way to avoid a donut. 

Do I have high expectations for Cooper Harvey? Absolutely not. I would be stoked with 100 points combined from him and Maric at F5 and 6. I do think Harvey showed enough last week to suggest that he might get a few games on the trot to prove himself at AFL level. North are also in dire need of a good news story, and what better news than the son of a gun playing consistent senior footy?

I would be much more inclined to pull the trigger on a Cameron trade (and avoid a Maric / Harvey score) if there were any attractive forward line options. The likes of Ben Keays, Dustin Martin and even Zak Butters really aren’t doing it for me at this point. Dunkley sitting on the midfield bench also limits my DPP flexibility.

To use a golf analogy – this feels like I’ve sprayed one in to the trees off the tee and just need to chip it back on to the fairway and take my medicine. 

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Whether to do a Redman -> Sicily trade is a decision that will probably come right down to the wire on Saturday night. 

On the one hand – it’ll be interesting to see Essendon’s structure without Jordan Ridley. Redman scored 135 in the game Ridley missed earlier this season. It’s also potentially a wasteful way to use one of your last two remaining trades.

On the other hand – it’s James Sicily. He went 134, 134, 172, 136 in the month before getting suspended. It’s a game against North Melbourne that Hawthorn need to win, under the lid at Marvel. If Redman averages 95 for the rest of the season and Sicily averages 125, that’s a 210 point boost with one trade – probably worth it.

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A few guys taking my eye this week! With every trade essential on the run home, the importance of nailing your last upgrade/sideways trades is only getting higher.

Nic Martin ($577k Mid/Fwd)

As mentioned above, I’m not thrilled with the forward line options at this stage of the season… Aside from Nic Martin. 

The concern with second-year players is a) consistency and b) a tendency to drop off as the season goes by. Martin now has 5 tons in his last 6 games since Round 11, which does kind of put paid to both of those ideas. 

The Bombers have found a perfect role for one of their young stars and he is thriving. I’m tempted.

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Mitch Duncan (481k Def)

Duncan has built in to his season after a slow start with injury, averaging 101 in his last 5 and 109 in his last three after a huge 144 against North on the weekend.

Obviously a proven scorer over a storied career and when his body is right it’s hard to keep him away from the ball. At just $481k and with a breakeven of 42 now is the time to pounce.

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Josh Kelly ($585k Mid)

One score does not make a season, which is great news for Josh Kelly after his 23 (!!!) last week against the Hawks.

Believe it or not, Jelly had a 5-round average of 122 going in to last week, which makes his stink bomb even more surprising. On the plus side, with a 219 breakeven, he’s projected to get down to $506k in a couple of weeks. I’m interested.

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Eddie’s Captains

I expect most people had the VC on either Bont, English or Gulden last night. If you had Bont or English – well done! Your captaincy is sorted. If you had Gulden, or decided to wait for another option later in the weekend, please read on…

Lachie Neale delivered last week against West Coast, just like we expected. After a slow-ish start to the season he’s climbing up the rankings and becoming a must-have player every week. With Dunkley’s calf injury, Neale may have to carry the side once again against the Demons.

Christian Petracca – Simon Goodwin mentioned that Trac might spend more time up front with Fritsch out, and that’s a bit concerning. Playing forward might not do wonders for his scores. But hey, he still managed to rack up 20 touches and kick four goals last week, so there’s that.

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Nick Daicos has been on fire lately with a low score in his last six weeks of 118. Insane. He’s a safe bet every week.

Is the old Jack Steele back? The Saints star had a massive game against Melbourne, showing that his injury troubles might be a thing of the past. He’s got a great record against the Suns and will need to perform if the Saints are to overcome the old “sacked coach bounce”.

Zach Merrett has seven tons in a row! Geelong like to tag, so that’s something to consider, but overall, he’s a pretty safe option.

How about Tom Stewart? He’s got an average of 120 in the last five rounds, and has a great record against the Dons.

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The two Crows boys – Jordan Dawson and Rory Laird – love playing at Adelaide Oval and should get a pretty easy kill against the Giants this week, who struggled past Hawthorn last week. I like both of them as captaincy options.

Vice Captains

  1. Lachie Neale
  2. Christian Petracca
  3. Nick Daicos


  1. Zach Merrett
  2. Jordan Dawson
  3. Rory Laird

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