Final say: Round 22 tactics, trades, skippers

With the clock running down until the beginning of Round 22, 2022 323rd Eddie Dadds has the final say on AFL SuperCoach trade plans.


You know how dogs often look like their owners? I’m working on a similar theory about how SuperCoach teams take on the traits of their coaches.

For example, my team is braggadocious (btw has everyone heard that I kicked 5 in the C4s on the weekend?); fickle; easily distracted and – most importantly – has an inconsistent workrate. 

When we’re on, though, boy oh boy are we on… A 2,560 last week was good enough for 389th overall for the round and it has catapulted me back up the season rankings to 3,300th. With Nick Daicos now out for the remainder of the SuperCoach season, suddenly there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the top 1,000 tunnel…

Given I went through my three worst moves of the season last week, it’s probably only fair to take a look at the other side of the coin. What were my three best moves of this year?

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3. Round 22 – Out: Nick Daicos. In: Clayton Oliver [PENDING]

I will talk more about this trade below, but safe to say I’m confident it’s going to work out…

While everyone is Zigging with Daicos towards a safer Tom Liberatore or Luke Ryan type, or a high-upside smokey like Nic Newman, I’m going to Zag hardcore towards the 3rd-highest-averaging player in the game.

Nuts on the line type play, but I’m all in.

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2. Round 10 – Out: Jacob Hopper. In: Zach Merrett

At the time of his injury, Hopper had made $109k and had been a handy – if not worldbeating – midprice option to start the year with.

Merrett, meanwhile, was averaging 104 and looked all at sea in Brad Scott’s new Essendon system. He’d dropped $50k on his 2023 starting price and, frankly, had done nothing to suggest he was worth bringing in.

Can I put this trade down to anything but an extreme Essendon bias? Not really… although it has to be said that I’d taken note of the way opposing mids were chopping up the Tigers and had a measure of confidence that Round 10 was as good a time as any for Merrett to break out, which he duly did with a monstrous 162.

Since I acquired Zerrett his average for the season has jumped 13 points per game to 117 and his price has gone back up $60k, above where it was to start the year. He’s a perma captain option (particularly this week against North) and has just three sub-125 scores since Round 10. Huge tick for this move.

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1. Round 12 – Out: Sean Darcy. In: Kieren Briggs

Not only is this the best move I’ve made this season, it’s up there with the best trades in my SuperCoach career. 

Because my side isn’t really going to achieve anything of note this season, this trade might get lost to the sands of time. However, the reality is pulling the trigger on Darcy to Briggs when I did has probably helped my overall rank by 3-4000 spots.

Briggsy was $254k at the time, coming off back-to-back tons, but with serious question marks about his long-term viability. Darcy was $567k and needed trading after an injury. The options were down to Briggs or going up to Jarrod Witts ($604k).

Ranked outside the top 10k at the time, I needed to make a big move and this felt like the time to do it.

While Witts has put up some monsters scores since the byes, his average has dipped from 115 down to 111 in that time and his price has dropped $40k. Briggsy has gone from 105 to 106 and made $253k in the process. 

A huge, enormous, raging, fantastic success.

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Nick Daicos -> Clayton Oliver.

0 trades left, $108k in the bank.

It really comes down to Libba or Clarry for this final trade. Libba has been immense this season and is probably the smart option, particularly given his form at the moment.

I just can’t take my eyes off Clarry. SuperCoach is meant to be fun, and picking up the best player in the game as a massive POD – even coming off a monster injury layoff – is as fun as it gets.

It’s hard to think of a more “high ceiling, low floor” move than this. There’s a realistic world where Clarry gets injured 5 minutes in to this week’s game and doesn’t play for the rest of the year. There’s also a realistic world where he averages 140+ over the last three weeks of the season.

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Just the possibility of that second scenario is why this is such an addictive game. I’m leaning all the way in to it. Send me all the “Oliver training the house down” track-watcher Tweets you can find. 

To address the elephant in the room – yes it’s extremely annoying and arguably malpractice to finish the year with $100k in the bank. My thinking behind keeping that bankroll was that it insulated the potential damage of a 1-2 week injury to a premo (I could upgrade a bench guy and keep the premo). It also gave me the flexibility to not have to cut corners on whatever my final injury trade ended up being. Ultimately history will show that I wasted $100k – I’m okay with it!

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