SuperCoach Draft, a fun way to play with your friends in your own league.
SuperCoach Draft, a fun way to play with your friends in your own league.

SuperCoach NRL Draft: 10 tips for success

LOOKING to get something more out of SuperCoach in 2019? Then it's time to sign up for the Draft, assemble your mates, pick the best team and win your leagues!

If you love playing fantasy sports, but struggle to get your head around all the science of SuperCoach Classic, then this is the way for you to play. Forget everything you know about cheapies, PODs and cash cows, because in SuperCoach Draft none of that matters.

For those of you who have never played SuperCoach Draft before, it involves you and a group of other players taking turns to draft players to make a starting team, but there is a catch.

Unlike SuperCoach Classic, in a Draft league once you own a player, no one else in your league can take that player.

While there is no salary cap limiting your team, you do have to use your wits to carefully assemble the best possible team.

Rather than getting guns, cheapies and POD's, you'll want to just draft the best possible team, and not worry about a salary cap or making money.

Once you have your league started and you're ready to get drafting, use these tips as a guide to maximise the fun of Draft and (hopefully) help you win your league!

1. Best League settings

In order to have the best league possible, you'll want to have the right settings to ensure everything runs smoothly. Firstly you need a commissioner to help solve any disputes, and this will be whoever creates the league. You'll also need an even number of teams, with around 10 people in my opinion. This is the ideal number, since any less means everyone's teams are stacked, and too much more means there is not enough good talent to go around.

You can play keeper leagues if you want, but this is probably not the best way to play in my opinion as this takes some serious commitment from your league mates. You definitely want Head to Head match-ups, to play finals, and if possible avoid bye rounds (yes you can turn off those nasty bye rounds!). In terms of the actual draft, you should draft live ideally, using a snake order with 90 second draft timer.

For the actual gameplay settings you should all have Captains, Auto Emergency, a Rolling Lockout, one day trade Waivers, a reverse ladder waiver priority, and league approved trading. This is all my opinion, but in my experience, this will all make for the most fun. If you are 100 per cent against exploiting the VC loophole then you'll want to disable captaincy, or enforce a strict no loophole policy.

2. Prepare Early and do your homework

Don't leave finding enough players for your league to the last minute and don't be that person who goes into the draft without any knowledge of who the best players are. Read through the SuperCoach analysis to find out who you should draft, and if you're struggling for league numbers, post in the SuperCoach NRL Facebook group to find some extras.

3. Draft guns in the early rounds

Unlike Classic where you'll want to have cheapies, PODs and cash cows, you'll want to use your first draft picks to get the best possible player you can. These are the Tom Trbojevic's, the James Tedesco's, the Damien Cook's and the Jason Taumalolo's of the league. Once these guns are all drafted, you'll want to fill your other key positions and look for value where you can. Speaking of…

First draft picks should include the best possible players, like Tom Trbojevic. Picture by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
First draft picks should include the best possible players, like Tom Trbojevic. Picture by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

4. Fill your low depth positions early

Remember! Once a player is drafted, no one else is allowed to have them in their teams. Because of this, positions with less depth (Hookers, Halfbacks, Five Eighths and Fullbacks) will run out of SuperCoach relevant players earlier. There are a tonne of 2RF and CTW options, so outside the guns, these positions are less important to fill. If you can or want to, you can use your first few picks to get gun players that fill these key positions (like Damien Cook at HOK or Nathan Cleary at HFB), but there are also players of value that you can wait on them.

Players like Damien Cook who fill in key positions with less depth are good to draft early on. Picture by: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
Players like Damien Cook who fill in key positions with less depth are good to draft early on. Picture by: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

5. Look for value

Every draft year there are players that slip through the cracks and may be drafted later than they deserve to be. They may have fallen down the pre-draft rankings because they had a bad year, struggled with injury, have never played in the NRL or have just returned from overseas. You'll want to identify these players (called sleepers) before the draft and target them late, or have as a backup plan. For example, Victor Radley is a popular option in SuperCoach classic, but can definitely be a sleeper option at HOK in Draft formats if you miss out on a gun hooker early.

Identify the ‘sleepers’ to target later on in Draft, such as Victor Radley. Picture by: Tony Feder/Getty Images
Identify the ‘sleepers’ to target later on in Draft, such as Victor Radley. Picture by: Tony Feder/Getty Images

Also on this, make sure you don't draft a player too early! If there are better players still undrafted, don't take someone before they should go. In one of my leagues last year I panicked after several Hookers were drafted early and picked Jake Friend before I needed to and that did not work out so well for me.

6. Trade, Trade, Trade

There's a saying about this in the Draft sports community that says "If you ain't trading, you're fading", and in SuperCoach Draft it's very, very true. If you want to win your league, you have to be constantly looking to make your team better. Try not to worry if you think a trade helps your opponents as well, if it makes your team better do it! If you're league thinks it's unfair, they'll vote against it, but it's always worth a shot. For example, if you missed out on a good hooker in the draft but have a good spare player someone else wants, try and trade to get a decent starting hooker.

7. Pay attention

Watch as much NRL as possible and keep up to date with all your rugby league news! If you hear about an injury opening a path for a gun rookie, or see potential in a free agent player, you'll want to be able to grab them before any of your opponents.

Also make sure you pay attention to who your opponents pick up and drop in the league, because they may just discard someone you love. I remember last year I had Jai Arrow before he broke out and dropped him, but someone else paid attention and swooped!

Make sure to keep an eye out on as many rounds as possible to not drop a player like Jai Arrow right before he takes off. Picture: Gold Coast Titans
Make sure to keep an eye out on as many rounds as possible to not drop a player like Jai Arrow right before he takes off. Picture: Gold Coast Titans

8. Don't give up

Don't be that guy that stops setting his team after 2 weeks because you think you drafted a bad team. You don't win or lose your league at the draft! There are always players that pop up throughout the season that win people competitions, like Viliame Kikau, Jai Arrow and Jamayne Isaako who would have gone undrafted in many leagues last year. Plus there's nothing worse than having your opponents get easy wins because they're playing a team who doesn't set a proper line-up. So if you can't commit to playing all season, it's probably not fair to join a league.

Don’t give up on your team early as players pop up throughout the season, like Viliame Kikau. Picture by: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images
Don’t give up on your team early as players pop up throughout the season, like Viliame Kikau. Picture by: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

9. Take a chance

If you have a gut feeling about a player you think will break out in 2019, draft them! Even if all the experts are saying they'll be avoiding someone, if you think they're set for big things, jump on them. Last year I was avoiding Damien Cook early as I wasn't sure he'd get big minutes at South Sydney with Robbie Farah on the team. Low and behold, Cook was the best player in SuperCoach and rewarded those who drafted him. Don't be afraid to go against the trend and draft a player you like!

10. Have fun!

This is probably the most important aspect of SuperCoach Draft, and part of what makes it the best way to play SuperCoach (in my opinion). The fact that no one else can have your players really makes you emotionally attached to your players, and will get you way more invested in the NRL.

Have a live draft party with all your league mates, come up with a fun competition to determine the draft order, put some prize money on the line to raise the stakes! Make a Facebook group with everyone in your league for banter and talking smack about your opponent's inferior teams. Have punishments for those who finish last, buy a league trophy, draft players you love, just do whatever makes SuperCoach fun for you! I personally watch one of the greatest sports movies of all time, Draft Day, to get me pumped for my NRL draft every year (seriously, go watch it). However you do it, make sure you have fun when playing SuperCoach Draft in 2019.