2017 Team Reveal: Ben

Welcome to the Coaches Panel 2017 Team Reveals, Today Benny let’s you take a peak at his Supercoach side and some of his thought process behind his selections.

Stuff MJ, lets roll this article out a little differently. Everyone loves the team reveals. Team reveals are fun. Team reveals are entertaining. Team reveals cause fantasy alterations. But lets take a step back. The majority have watched their fair share of the preseason. They’ve adapted and evolved to the stories being told out on the park and on the various stats sheets. Today we’ll talk shop across a thirty man squad and the thought processes behind the configuration of a Supercoach side.

Supercoach Concepts

First things first I’ve started out as a DreamTeam player who has slowly adapted his ways to the more data invasive fantasy game. Supercoach is perhaps a more accurate representation of a players output, although like all systems prior to and since its creation, it still has its natural biases year on year. Ascertaining these biases is something that can take years to truly master. Learn them at your own pace. The other element to consider is how certain statistics have been adjudicated over the years. Certain ruckmen appear to be more handsomely rewarded than others in the difficult to distinguish statistics of hit outs and to a more focussed extent, hit outs to advantage. However unbiased a data collection company can be, there are line ball calls that have to go one way or the other. Watch the matches with a live stats feed every so often, it’ll help intertwine your thoughts between the instance and how these decisions are adjudicated.

The Team

This has been the first year since beginning in 2008, that I’ve utilised extensive research to make calculated fantasy selections (you can read more on my thoughts about this here and here). Firstly its more enjoyable to change things up from time to time. Playing the game with the same style year on year can be mundane. The other element is that whilst society becomes increasingly data rich, there is now the potential for clarity to build edge based qualities behind selections (especially in the long term). The simple principle is identify which players are likely to get injured, which are likely to not and what you do with this information. Picking an injury prone type from the start is an idea that must be given consideration. Conceptualising the theory that the risk accumulates every week, perhaps starting with a Rockliff is better than gaining him mid-season. However I’ll be happy with my season if I avoid some of the carnage, and with the limited rookie stocks, this may help avoid a donut or two.

There were a limited number of top tier defenders with high durability and proven scoring records. Heath Shaw is perhaps the most proven in defence, but not that long ago he was considered to be blacklisted, a no go zone. I’ve had difficulty quantifying the top handful within this position. Given that reason alone, this may be the line to attack with a midpricer. Thankfully the defensive rookies have appeared in abundance. Defensive rookies will be a key prong of 2017 and I expect this is where the volume of cash generation will come from.

Predictably the midfielders provided more options in the high stakes bracket. Other than the aforementioned durability concept, another thought process at the top of my mind was avoiding risk. With players priced at a premium, if one of them drops significantly you’re left between a rock and a hard place. Thus rather than focus my mind to predicting who will improve, I’ve attempted to predict the players with the least deviation. This is reemphasised in my thoughts that coexist with price status. I don’t purchase premiums for improvement. That can be the role of the cheaper players. Additionally, we all know how difficult it can be to predict an increase in production. The risk is decreased when the price becomes less and less substantial. Most names on this line are rudimentary and I expect to see them more often than not in league match ups.

Rucks are the most variable line of all. If you feel certain of anyone on this line since the great Dean Cox, I feel you’ve misplaced your trust. I won’t add much more as everyone needs to identify whom they evaluate as a risk and where they place them on the risk spectrum. Good luck to you and I, we’ll both need it.

This has become the most intriguing position on the field for yours truly. Not dissimilarly to the defenders, there is a lack of durable and high scoring options. However, there is an abundance of value options. The beauty with these value options is that plenty of them have been playing football year in, year out, they just haven’t been making their respective sides (and have thus moved on). The lack of rookies has had a flow on effect to the point where you can’t structure your side as an unabridged premiums & cows. So people will invariably have to throw darts at the board. Where do you land is anyones guess. Understand that this is no more than a calculated guess and be ready to adapt as the seasons story continues to evolve.

Final Thoughts:

Supercoach is a game for all. You can attempt to quantify each and every position but luck will invariably play a role. Diminishing the role of luck is a fanciful idea, but perhaps we can achieve this ever so slight in an information rich age. Play the game dart board style, glued to a TV or under a mountain of spreadsheets. Just make sure you enjoy the ride, good or bad.

Do you consider injury history of extreme importance when selecting a side?

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