AFL SuperCoach’s cut-price superstars
In SuperCoach, as in life, we are always looking for a bargain.
SuperCoach is a simple game - you have $10 million to score as many points as you can.
That means finding players who will score above their starting value. They might be youngsters about to take the next step and break out as superstars, but historically those players are very hard to nominate in advance.
A safer bet is to find players who have been to the top of the mountain before and have received a discounted price due to a poor 2018 season.
In short, we're looking for this year's Stephen Coniglio. After an injury-affected 2017 season he started last year priced at $452,400. Astute SuperCoaches knew he was likely to far outscore that after averaging over 100 in 2016.
He outperformed all expectations, scoring at least 116 in the first five rounds and by Round 7 he was worth almost $550,000. So in effect, thousands of players got a head start by picking a $550k player for $450k.
Who could fit the same mould this season? See our top picks below, but beware all come with some element of risk. Who is in your squad?
Dustin Martin $563,800 MID
Dusty isn't exactly cheap but that could be a bargain price if he can get back to his form of two years ago. Last year his average dropped from 119 to 104 as he battled some injury niggles and waning motivation. By all reports he is tearing up the track this pre-season and ready to brain the Blues in Round 1. Get on.
Zach Merrett $554,800 MID
The young Bomber's 2018 campaign got off to the worst possible start when he suffered concussion before quarter-time in Round 1. He scored just 17 SuperCoach points that night and it took him a few weeks to recover, but by mid-year he was back to his best. He averaged 115 from Round 12 and if he can match that this year, his price will rise fast.
Rory Sloane $524,300 MID
Forget everything that happened in Adelaide last year. Sloane's season was symptomatic of his team, starting the year valued at more than $600,000 in SuperCoach then copping a foot injury in Round 4 that ruled him out for the next 10 weeks. By the time he returned the Crows' season was shot and he battled to a 97 average. That's the first time he has averaged under three figures since 2011 so you can bank on a rise this season. We're hoping for a big bump to his 115 average of 2014.
Jack Steven $513,600 MID
Steven is a bit of a puzzle. Last year he started the season with a 154 and finished with 135, but in between he managed only eight other SuperCoach tons and three scores under 65. The guy can definitely play, we just need him to get back to the consistency he showed in 2015-16 when he averaged 104 and 103.
Dylan Shiel $487,000 MID
Hopefully Dylan has had a good chat with former Giants teammate Devon Smith about how to boost his SuperCoach output at the Bombers. Smith was a great pick last year and Shiel could be in 2018 after his average dropped by almost 10 points last season. After some suggestions he was the Giants' fourth or fifth midfielder, he'll be top of the heap at Essendon alongside Merrett and Dyson Heppell, with a licence to burst out of stoppages and steam towards goal.
Tom Rockliff $405,900 MID
On raw numbers Rockliff is a hugely enticing prospect. He has posted 110-plus averages three times in his career including one season at a brilliant 132. Moving to a new club last season nothing worked as he struggled to find a role in the Port Adelaide side. He also admitted post-season he had played with shoulder problems all year. Can he bounce back from last year's 75 average? Yes. Can he get back his past lofty heights? The jury's still out on that, but if he does he'll be a massive bargain.
Dan Hannebery $326,100 MID
A lot has been written about Hannebery's move to St Kilda but we'll just add his SuperCoach averages from 2014: 101, 115, 113, 97, 60. Spot the odd one out? If whatever happened to Hannebery last year was temporary, he has to seriously considered. One more reminder - he's only 27.
Tom Liberatore $300,400 MID
Libba was discounted last year, and he's even cheaper this year after missing almost all the 2018 season with a knee injury. At 26 he should have no issues finding the footy again, the only question is how he fits into Luke Beveridge's plans.
Alex Rance $448,100 DEF
Rance lost some of his shine last season but remains one of the competition's premier defenders, and capable of SuperCoach hundreds when he has licence to take intercept marks, one of the highest-scoring stats in this game. His role week to week is hard to predict but it would surprise if his value doesn't rise this year.
Harley Bennell $167,700 MID
The former Sun has fallen further than any other premium. And he was a premo, averaging 90-plus three years in a row from 2013-15. Unfortunately, he's only played two games since then and his career hangs by a thread. If he kicks four goals in the Dockers' last JLT game he'll be on everyone's bench.
Zac Williams $407,800 DEF
The Giants defender had only just qualified for premium status before injuring his Achilles tendon in January last year, averaging 94 points a game in 2017. But expect him to surpass those numbers this year after returning with scores of 77 and 117 in last year's finals series. Fortunately for us, those scores don't affect his SuperCoach price. He'll enter this year fully fit and should be helped by the new kick-in rules.
Dylan Roberton $297,500 DEF
The Saints backman was a SuperCoach surprise in 2017 when he went on a run that included six SuperCoach tons in his first nine games. He finished the year with a 93-point average - very respectable for a backman. Last year that plummeted to just 68 largely due to his shocking collapse mid-game against Geelong. He's back in training and could help us save a lot of cash down back if he's selected for Round 1.
Toby Greene $354,600 FWD
Greene has had an interesting career evolution, going from ball-winning midfielder to crafty medium-sized forward. But he's been a SuperCoach star the whole time, at least until injuries wrecked his 2018 season. His 73-point average was the lowest of his career so expect him to beat that by about 20 points if he can get his body right.
Daniel Wells $302,900 FWD
One for old time's sake. In 2016 Wells started the season priced at just $243,900 after two years of serious injury problems and went on to average 101 for the season. That was followed by two more years of injury problems, but reports are very positive about his pre-season fitness. One big difference from three years ago is that he'll be 34 by Round 1. I'm not brave enough, are you?
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