Which Rookie Do I Trade?

It’s a pretty easy game in theory. Start with gun rookies. Ride them until they reach their breakeven and then trade them out to the next rookie ready to go up in price. On a weekly basis Rids provides us with his excellent Cash Cow series http://coachespanel.com.au/cash-cows-round-9/, which points us to the best cash making rookies on the market. What we really need to consider however is are we trading the right rookies out?

This may seem like an obvious question. It is normally pretty straight forward with the most commonly used method to get rid of them when they reach their maximum cash price. This optimises the premiums that we are able to get in or the cash that we make from a downgrade. With the later byes this year I am not so sure that this is the correct method. Any rookie that we trade in now will be with us until at least the byes and potentially to the end of the year, depending on the number of trades left. As we have seen over the last few weeks rookies with excellent job security provide great cover when we need to cover an injured or suspended premium. How many of us were caught short last week trying to cover premiums and looked at our benches to find non-playing rookies?

This is a crucial piece of strategy over the next block of 6 weeks in particular, as the bye rounds will come into play and we are forced to play these rookies. In the backlines Darcy Byrne-Jones had an injury affected score across the formats on the weekend. As a result his BE has reached the point that most of us would be looking to trade him out in previous seasons. This is the type of player that I would look at a little differently in this season. Byrne-Jones plays a style of game that has him in favour with the coaching staff at Port Adelaide and in my opinion he will play out the season, unless he is injured. He could be the perfect type of player to stash away at D8. In contrast, Tom Ruggles still has some cash to make, but appears to have very limited job security. He was dropped last week and earnt a reprieve as a late in. At best he is borderline best 22. In RDT Byrne-Jones has a BE of 79 and Ruggles is 24. If both play this week their prices will be approximately the same, but if you are trading this week you will forgo $35000 by keeping Byrne-Jones. I believe this is worth it for the extra job security he brings and it will bring reward as the season progresses.

The breakeven is sometimes used as the only thing that we consider when trading out a rookie, but there need to be so many other things that are in the equation. A few weeks ago, Matt Dea was one of the most traded out players in all of the formats, when it appeared that his price had maxed out. To the shock of many Dea has averaged 94/98 (RDT/SC) over the last 3 games. It might be good luck or good management, depending on which way you look at it, but it just goes to show that the breakeven is not a magical line that stunts any further cash making ability or point scoring.

Owners of Lincoln McCarthy will find themselves in a similar situation this week if he is named. McCarthy will lose value, as a result of an early injury in his last game. There is no doubt. But considering the fact that he has the Rd 15 bye and plenty of time to regenerate the cash that he has lost he is the perfect type of player to back in, despite a daunting breakeven. The Geelong coaching staff and players rave about him and he will slot straight back into the line up. Ride the small drop in value and reap the benefits later.

As always,there is never an obvious right or wrong way to go about this game. Use your gut and don’t just look at the numbers. Have a feel for the player and their role within the club. Are there any not so obvious players that you want to keep? Let us know on Twitter @brettfish15 or @coachespanel or join in the conversation at our Facebook group here.

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