With only one week to go I think I have finally settled on a line-up that covers the basics. I’ve approached each line a little differently, taking into account rookies, value picks, mid-pricers and premiums with different weight.
Trying to pick premium defenders is always one of the things I struggle with most. Rory Laird is super consistent, with just two scores under 80 last season (73 & 77) and has averaged 94+ in five of his seven seasons to date. I also think the ball will be spending a fair amount of time in the Crows defence this season.
James Sicily is my wildcard. While owning him can be a rollercoaster in terms of scores and sometimes suspension (although last year he was very well behaved!), as demonstrated in 2018 his ceiling is enormous and as a result, I feel like he is under-priced.
Sam Docherty has been in and out of my team. But given I’m chasing money to use elsewhere I’ve locked him in to return to his form of 2017.
I have gone with GWS’ Isaac Cumming after having watched a fair bit of him in the NEAFL last year. He oozes class and has had a good Marsh Series. Given some injuries to players at Essendon Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, or Berserk-Thatcher as he is hopefully going to become known, seems to have locked down a spot and has scored well. Brandon Starcevich seems to have a place in Brisbane’s best 22 while I have Will Gould and Tobe Watson currently warming the pine but either could easily change to Damon Greaves, or Jacob Kennerly if named.
So, here is where the majority of my salary cap has gone!
I haven’t had Jackson Macrae in my team either of the last two years (you can imagine how well that went for me!), so he was the first person in my team this year. Nathan Fyfe is a star and, in my opinion, the best midfielder in the competition, while Josh Kelly has completed a full season and looks set to fire GWS back into contention once again. Tom Mitchell seems to have recovered mightily well from a broken leg and doesn’t seem to have lost any of his well vaunted ability rack up the touches, and at just twenty-two I think Clayton Oliver is ready to once again show the league how good the Demons can be.
Most of the rookies pick themselves. Matthew Rowell looks set to dominate from Round 1 like Sam Walsh last year, Tom Green seems to have found a spot in GWS’ best-22 which is no mean feat while Marlion Pickett should be almost in every single team given his performance on Grand Final day last year.
Deven Robertson was one of the draft fallers last year but demonstrated his quality in the Marsh Series and looks good for a Round 1 debut, while Jeremy Sharp could be replaced with Caleb Serong, Dylan Stephens or Noah Anderson if not named, while Connor Budarick has already been confirmed as Round 1 debutant.
I spent many sleepless nights ‘umming and ahhing’ about whether to lock in the Gawndy combination. I was concerned about the lack of rookie options and thought I could save some cash by selecting a cheaper second ruckman such Sam Jacobs, Sam Naismith, or the man I had in my team only two days ago, Zac Smith. But in the end I decided that there are only two ruck spots on field so just go for the best and, barring injury, that line of my team is set. I have also run with a cheaper second ruckman in each of my last two years and they were statistically my worst ranked seasons. They say doing the same thing over and over again is the definition of insanity so to prove I’m not insane, I will just be locking and loading!
Lachie Whitfield and Dustin Martin kind of just pick themselves in my opinion. Essendon’s Devon Smith has been in and out of my lineup, but I am a big fan of the way he plays the game and his ability to lay multiple tackles is what gave him the edge over Jack Steven.
I have then taken a bit of a risk by playing on field three ‘rookies’, despite the concerns over whether we will have enough to fill our team and whether they will actually score well enough. Ex-Pie Ben Crocker has had a solid Marsh Series with Adelaide and looks to have done enough to be in the Crows best 22 come next week. Jarrod Brander performed admirably in what was pretty much a full strength Eagles side in West Coast’s second Marsh game.
I’m not 100% convinced Mitchell Georgiades will get a game Round 1 and could easily be replaced by Max King, Izak Rankine, or even Charlie Comben, but what I am convinced is that Curtis Taylor and hopefully Jack Mahony have performed at a level that should see both debut in Round 1 for North Melbourne and score well to be valuable cash cows.
My 2020 SuperCoach season is all about redemption after my worst ranked season’s in back-to-back years and I strongly believe this team has the perfect mix of premiums, value mid-pricers and rookies. Let me know your thoughts and feedback on what changes you think I should make … if any!!