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KFC SuperCoach 2020: Our predictions for the top six players on every line

Can any one catch Sam Docherty in defence? Will Andrew Gaff’s likely run of games in Perth keep Marcus Bontempelli at bay? Is Michael Walters the forward to catch? We predict the top KFC SuperCoach scorers in every position

The Phantom, Tim Michell, Al Paton, Dan Batten, The Advertiser

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June 30, 2020 5:37pm

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Sure, this is the year to go after the value in KFC SuperCoach but the aim is still to finish with the top-scoring players in every position.

But who are they?

After the weekend’s carnage, The Phantom decided it was time to have a closer look in the Round 4 review.

But with 15 defenders averaging more than 95 points per game, predicting the top-six in defence from is here is hard enough, let alone across each of the four lines.

So Tim Michell, Al Paton and Dan Batten have put their reputations on the line to have a go, too.

Here is who we think the top six players in every position from Round 5 onwards will be.

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Sam Docherty went big against the Bombers on Saturday night, recording 29 effective disposals. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty ImagesDEFENDERS

THE PHANTOM

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1. Sam Docherty (Carl) $541,200

Average: 129

Round 4 score: 185

Only 59 per cent of KFC SuperCoaches own the Carlton co-captain. That means more than 68,000 teams don’t have Docherty, who scored a round-high 185 points in Round 4, on the back of 29 effective disposals and eight marks, in his fourth AFL game since 2017.

2. Jake Lloyd (Syd) $589,000

Average: 106

Round 4 score: 102

Many were quick to write-off the expensive Swan after his 77-point performance in Round 1 but, with scores of 145, 101 and 102 in the past three matches, Lloyd has proven he’s still the main man in the Sydney defence.

3. James Sicily (Haw) $523,400

Average: 105

Round 4 score: 114

There’s no better way to describe the frustration of KFC SuperCoach than to talk about James Sicily. But his past two weeks - 114 and 128 – and his 68-point third-quarter against North Melbourne shows, again, there aren’t many better defenders when it comes to scoring.

Caleb Daniel is a likely top-six SuperCoach defender in 2020. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

4. Caleb Daniel (WB)

Average: 106

Round 4 score: 114

The 168cm defender has recorded no clanger in the past two weeks so it’s little surprise he’s posted scores of 134 and 114. Daniel’s ability to impact the game on limited possession should ensure consistent three-figure performances this year.

5. Nick Haynes (GWS)

Average: 105

Round 4 score: 101

If you include last year’s final series, the Giants defender has scored 109, 105, 116, 68, 66, 118, 118, 114, 97, 110 and 101 in his past 11 matches. Haynes ranks second in the competition for intercept marks and fifth for total intercept possessions. His recent consistency puts him ahead of Magpie Brayden Maynard.

6. Brayden Maynard (Coll)

Average: 113

Round 4 score: 118

But he’s not far behind. Maynard may have been inconsistent in a SuperCoach sense in the past but he’s been anything but this year, scoring 100 points or more in every match. Of the top 20 players in the competition for kicks, Maynard is No. 1 for efficiency and Collingwood share the ball around in the back-half more than any other team. But will be allowed to deliver with precision, so often, for much longer?

TIM MICHELL

1. Jake Lloyd

2. James Sicily

3. Shannon Hurn

4. Sam Docherty

5. Caleb Daniel

6. Nick Haynes

Like most, I had doubts about whether Jake Lloyd could sustain his scoring power in shorter quarters, especially sharing kick out duties with Jordan Dawson. That seemed a justified opinion when he scored 77 in Round 1 but he’s gone 145, 101 and 102 since. Sicily has a huge ceiling and Hurn will benefit from a return to WA in coming rounds.

AL PATON

1. Sam Docherty

2. Jake Lloyd

3. Caleb Daniel

4. James Sicily

5. Nick Haynes

6. Shannon Hurn

This is the line I’m most confident on. Docherty hasn’ missed a beat in his return and Hurn should boost his scores on the Perth hub.

Swans star Jake Lloyd, middle, has bounced back after a quiet opening round in KFC SuperCoach. Picture. Phil HillyardDAN BATTEN

1. Sam Docherty

2. Jake Lloyd

3. James Sicily

4. Caleb Daniel

5. Shannon Hurn

6. Nick Haynes

Just like his last season in 2017, Sam Docherty will be the top scoring defender in 2020, with Jake Lloyd close behind. Expect Shannon Hurn to come with a bullet in the Perth hub and Giant Nick Haynes to maintain his consistent scoring.
 
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MIDFIELDERSTHE PHANTOM

1. Lachie Neale (Bris) $763,800

Average: 160

Round 4 score: 147

The bloke is averaging 160 points per game and would’ve scored 200 in Round 6 if he didn’t kick 0.6. Next.

Tom Mitchell was back to his best against North Melbourne. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

2. Tom Mitchell (Haw) $594,500

Average: 143

Round 4 score: 143

After tallying 13 contested possessions, eight clearances, eight tackles and 143 points against North Melbourne, the shoulder which troubled Mitchell for the previous month, must be feeling better. Given the form of teammate Chad Wingard, there’s a chance he escapes the Matt de Boer tag this weekend, too.

3. Patrick Dangerfield (Geel) $559,400

Average: 100

Round 4 score: 140

Speaking of slow starts, Dangerfield averaged 86 points in the opening three rounds of the year. But he was huge – and efficient – against the Demons on his way to 140 points in Round 5. And he’s started slow before.

4. Andrew Gaff (WC) $618,400

Average: 121

Round 4 score: 112

Gaff’s 112-point performance against the Power made it four scores of 110 on-the-trot to start the season. And with the Eagles likely to play plenty of games at Optus Stadium to finish the year, there will be a lot more to come.

5. Marcus Bontempelli (WB) $575,900

Average: 108

Round 4 score: 166

De Boer is out the way and, as his 166 points – 100 in the first half - against the Swans proved, Bontempelli has scoring power better than most.

6. Jack Macrae (WB) $606,600

Average: 105

Round 4 score: 92

I almost went with Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury but it’s just too hard to look past the Western Bulldogs gun who is back in the midfield full-time.

Can Andrew Gaff improve on his 120-point average with a run of home games on Optus Stadium? Picture: Darren England/AAPTIM MICHELL

1. Lachie Neale

2. Tom Mitchell

3. Josh Kelly

4. Andrew Gaff

5. Jack Macrae

6. Travis Boak

No one is catching Neale. He spends as much time on the ground as key defenders and most of his time fetching the footy. Mitchell is only warming up yet still hasn’t scored less than 95, while a return to WA bodes well for Gaff. Matt Rowell is No.7.

AL PATON

1. Lachie Neale

2. Tom Mitchell

3. Andrew Gaff

4. Patrick Cripps

5. Patrick Dangerfield

6. Jack Macrae

After “locky” Neale, this is an absolute raffle. Based on total points, Matt Rowell is currently the second-highest ranked midfielder and proven guns like Cripps, Macrae and Dangerfield are outside the top 20. A smokie is Mitch Duncan who is in 1 per cent of teams and averaging 119.

DAN BATTEN

1. Lachie Neale

2. Jack Macrae

3. Tom Mitchell

4. Patrick Cripps

5. Patrick Dangerfield

6. Josh Kelly

It’s difficult to see any player scoring more points than Lachie Neale from this point on, with his main challenger Nat Fyfe set for a stint on the sidelines. Jack Macrae and Tom Mitchell will improve on their slow start and the efficient Josh Kelly rounds out the top six.

RUCKSTHE PHANTOM

1. Brodie Grundy

2. Max Gawn

3. Todd Goldstein

4. Jarrod Witts

5. Scott Lycett

6. Tim English

I still think Collingwood big man Brodie Grundy will just have Max Gawn covered. But Todd Goldstein won’t be far behind. Back-to-back scores of 140 or more suggests Gold Coast skipper Jarrod Witts is hitting his straps after a very limited pre-season, while Tim English has looked a different player in the past two weeks.

Todd Goldstein won’t be far behind Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn this year. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty ImagesTIM MICHELL

1. Max Gawn

2. Brodie Grundy

3. Todd Goldstein

4. Rowan Marshall

5. Tim English

6. Scott Lycett

Forget his Round 1 93. Gawn has scored 184 and 141 in his other two games. Considering Collingwood has flagged Brodie Grundy could be managed, Gawn is my tip to finish as No.1. Rowan Marshall could finish in the top two if Brett Ratten lets him loose enough.

AL PATON

1. Brodie Grundy

2. Max Gawn

3. Todd Goldstein

4. Scott Lycett

5. Reilly O’Brien

6. Rowan Marshall

I think we were right to pick Grundy and Gawn as the big two but Goldstein isn’t as far behind as I thought. Lycett and O’Brien are thriving as solo rucks and Marshall could do the same if Paddy Ryder stays out of the team.


DAN BATTEN

1. Max Gawn

2. Brodie Grundy

3. Todd Goldstein

4. Scott Lycett

5. Rowan Marshall

6. Reilly O’Brien

Max Gawn has fallen just shy of Brodie Grundy the past two seasons but 2020 will be the year he claims victory. Todd Goldstein will be there and abouts with shortened quarters, while Rowan Marshall’s should assert his dominance on games more than he has thus far.

Michael Walters is a KFC SuperCoach must-have. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images
 
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FORWARDSTHE PHANTOM

1. Michael Walters (Freo) $602,300

Average: 120

Round 4 score: 113

After passing the 100-point mark 12 times last season, Walters has posted four consecutive SuperCoach tons to start the year. The midfield-forward split, which has seen the 29-year-old average 22 disposals, six score involvements and five clearances, while also boot six goals, works perfectly for SuperCoach scoring in shortened matches. The star Docker won’t trail North Melbourne young gun Jy Simpkin for long.

2. Lachie Whitfield (GWS) $483,800

Average: 75

Round 4 score: 85

On the back of the injury-affected eight-point score in Round 3, Whitfield’s average and price have taken a huge hit. But he’s still got the talent, class and game-breaking traits which saw him average 111 points per game last year.

3. Christian Petracca (Melb) $491,900

Average: 107

Round 4 score: 89

The midfield dream is finally a reality and, despite dropping below the 100-point mark for the first time this year on Sunday, I think the 87-game Petracca has Simpkin covered from here. And his ability to take a strong contested mark as a forward, when not at the centre bounce, is one of the reasons why.

4. Jy Simpkin (NM) $520,900

Average: 123

Round 4 score: 119

The midfield role, which produced three SuperCoach tons in the final nine rounds of 2019, now officially a full-time thing. No forward has scored more SuperCoach points in 2020 and Simpkin ranks sixth in the AFL for clearances and eighth for score involvements. And don’t worry about Ben Cunnington’s impending return.

5. Chad Wingard (Haw) $482,600

Average: 112

Round 4 score: 136

As he did late last year, Wingard, who has posted three scores of 120 or more to start the season, is pushing further up the ground to have an impact as the Hawks break away from the contest. But it hasn’t stifled his influence inside-50. Only Charlie Dixon and Tom Papley have booted more goals than Wingard, who ranks equal-12th in the competition for score involvements, this year.

6. Hugh Greenwood (GC) $494,800

Average: 97

Round 4 score: 61

The former Crow was quiet against the Dockers, tallying just seven touches, but Greenwood’s first three games of the season showed he’ll be a consistent force at the contest this year. And his contested-possession and tackle numbers will ensure consistent SuperCoach scoring. He’ll need a big score or two to stay ahead of Dustin Martin and Brad Ebert, though.

Jy Simpkin is already the breakout star of 2020. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty ImagesTIM MICHELL

1. Michael Walters

2. Jy Simpkin

3. Isaac Heeney

4. Bailey Smith

5. Dustin Martin

6. Christian Petracca

The most difficult line to predict with so many breakout stars. Lachie Whitfield and Dustin Martin were supposed to be certainties to finish as the top-two forwards of 2020 yet I’m not even sure they’ll make the top six now.

AL PATON

1. Michael Walters

2. Dustin Martin

3. Christian Petracca

4. Lachie Whitfield

5. Jy Simpkin

6. Chad Wingard

I’m backing Dusty and Whitfield to reassert their expected positions and I did have Walters (along with many others) in my team at one stage of the pre-season. Petracca and Simpkin could be mid-only next year.

Can Bulldogs young gun Bailey Smith maintain his form? Picture: Michael KleinDAN BATTEN

1. Lachie Whitfield

2. Michael Walters

3. Christian Petracca

4. Jy Simpkin

5. Dustin Martin

6. Bailey Smith

I’m sticking with my pre-season prediction of Lachie Whitfield here, but Michael Walters’ strong start has shown he could be the top-ranked forward at season’s end. The other four all have defined midfield roles and will also be in the reckoning.
 
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Players have been shifted out of Melbourne’s COVID-19 “hot spots” as the league eyes a drastic plan to evacuate all 10 Victorian clubs out of the state.

The AFL exit strategy involves the creation of multiple interstate hubs before the walls close in on footy’s heartland.

Players at Victorian clubs have been told they could be on the road en masse by the middle of next week.

League chiefs will unveil a new Round 6 fixture in the coming days, potentially without a single match in Melbourne.

All players living in the city’s COVID-stricken suburbs were ordered to relocate to another suburb before midnight on Wednesday.

They were given just hours to pack their bags and find alternative accommodation.

It came as NSW authorities warned any Victorian crossing the border from a coronavirus hot spot that they will face an $11,000 fine and six months’ jail.

Perth, Sydney and Gold Coast will be used as major hubs for the staging of games in the coming weeks.

The league has the option of keeping some clubs in Victoria for the use of the MCG, Marvel Stadium and GMHBA Stadium but is concerned it could be caught out by the emergence of even harsher interstate border restrictions.

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Geelong and Collingwood were expected to travel to Perth after their scheduled Round 6 games for a three-week stint.

They could now be asked to depart sooner and will almost certainly spend longer on the road.

Western Bulldogs are also a chance to play a run of games in Perth.

St Kilda and North Melbourne appear likely to relocate to New South Wales even though they have already played each other and the Roos have played both Sydney teams.

Clubs can only play teams once this season and so the AFL must group them in a way to keep the season flowing as options become more limited by the week.

The Olympic Park precinct looms as Sydney’s best hub location, given its proximity to training facilities and hotel rooms.

AFL Players’ Association boss Paul Marsh said the game’s 850 players would continue to “go above and beyond” in a bid to keep the season rolling.

“Our players have been incredible this year in their commitment to the game and the 2020 season despite the significant challenges thrown at them,” Marsh said.

“Today’s developments create even bigger challenges for many of the players and their families, who continue to go above and beyond for our game.

“We’ll continue to provide the players our full support as these challenges are navigated.”

Swans chairman Andrew Pridham told the Herald Sun earlier this year Sydney could house up to nine AFL clubs.

Carlton and St Kilda could finish Thursday night’s game unaware who their next match will be against, when it will be played or what state it will be in.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said yesterday players would be “punted” from his state if they breached COVID-19 laws.

“Football players are not immune, they’re not exempt, they shouldn’t think they’re above the law,” McGowan said.

Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury yesterday said “pressure was rising” on players across the competition.

“I’ve noticed the stress at our football club rise in the last seven to 10 days having to deal with the unknowns,” Pendlebury told the Jock & Journo podcast.
 
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Eagles coach Adam Simpson mulls forward options with Nic Reid, Jarrod Cameron, Jack Petruccelle in the mix

Mitchell WoodcockThe West Australian

Monday, 6 July 2020 8:40PM

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The Game review - Round 5

2:29 | The West Australian

Mark Readings and Mark Duffield wrap up a big weekend of footy that saw Fremantle and West Coast winning in the same round for the first time in almost 12 months.

Another chapter in the remarkable rise of West Coast recruit Nic Reid could be written this week, with coach Adam Simpson saying the small forward is in the mix to make his debut against Adelaide on Saturday.

Reid was added to the Eagles’ rookie list earlier this year and is in a three-way battle with Jarrod Cameron and Jack Petruccelle to fill the void left by Jamaine Jones, who sustained a hamstring injury in just his second game for the club.

If the 24-year-old is picked it would add to an already incredible story, which has seen the former Claremont colt go from representing North Beach in the Perth Football League to starring for the Eagles’ WAFL team, to the AFL stage in the space of two years.

Swans star’s brother signs with West PerthWA clubs set to benefit from passing hub torchAnd the Oscar for best young talent goes to...

Reid collected 23 goals from his 15 WAFL appearances last year.

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Reid (hamstring) and Cameron (groin) are coming back from injury, while Petruccelle was dropped after West Coast’s round three loss to Brisbane, having kicked just two goals in three games.

Speaking on 7NEWS, Simpson said Reid, Cameron and Petruccelle had all put their hands up for selection after good performances against Gold Coast in a scrimmage at the weekend.

“I think Jack and Cammo are available. Nic Reid’s put his hand up, he’s building his fitness back from injury,” Simpson said.

“Some small forwards there with a little bit of form, albeit its scrimmage type of play against Gold Coast. I think it was 15 on 15.

“A little bit of form there for all those guys and match committee will be interesting this week.”

Simpson also said the Eagles could be without skipper Luke Shuey for the round seven blockbuster Western Derby.

West Coast skipper Luke Shuey is in doubt for the Western Derby due to a hamstring injury. Credit: Chris Hyde/AFL Photos/via Getty Images

However he remains hopeful the Norm Smith medallist will return sooner rather than later, with a scan yesterday showing his hamstring injury was “on the minor side”.

“It will be a one to two weeker, so he might be in doubt for the derby,” he said.

“Definitely unavailable this week and hopefully it’s under three weeks.”

Premiership defenders Lewis Jetta and Will Schofield are unlikely to regain their places in the side, with Simpson praising his backline which held strong against an under-manned Swans’ forward line.

“I thought our backline in general were pretty well connected to the rest of the game,” he said.

“They put a lot of pressure on and worked really well as a unit.”
 
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The end of financial year sales have arrived in KFC SuperCoach.

As a result of the 17-round AFL season and two-week price cycle in KFC SuperCoach, some of the game’s top premiums are available for less than $500,000 after five rounds.

Who could have predicted Lachie Whitfield, slated as a certainty to be a top-two forward this year, would be available for $441,200?

Or that Elliot Yeo, who has averaged 107 in the past two seasons, would drop by more than $100,000 to $478,900?

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Whitfield, Yeo and Stephen Coniglio headline the premiums available for significantly less than their starting price as KFC SuperCoaches look to offload underperforming rookies.

If you loaded your war chest last round after injuries to Jeremy Howe, Nat Fyfe, Tom Stewart and Sam Naismith, there’s potential to turn players such as Connor Budarick, Tyler Brown and Brandon Starcevich into two of this trio.

The low rookie scoring in Round 5 indicated the importance of upgrading quickly and the number of fallen premiums ahead of next round provides that opportunity.

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KFC SuperCoaches can buy Lachie Whitfield for less than $450,000 this round.

TOP TARGETS

Dustin Martin $505,800 FWD-MID Avg: 94.8 BE: 120

Martin’s disposal numbers have dropped by six a game from 26 to 20 this year, although he appears to have been playing through some discomfort since returning from a rib injury. The Tigers are going to have no choice but to unleash him after being beset by injuries in Round 5 — including losing midfielders Dion Prestia and Trent Cotchin. Martin is the 36th-ranked forward for points after five rounds, but don’t let that deter you. If you think he’ll be a top-six forward from this point, that should be enough to jump on this week or ahead of Round 7.

When will he bottom out? He’ll drop about $10,000 if he scores 85 this round and likely reach his lowest price ahead of Round 7.

Elliot Yeo $478,900 MID Avg: 83.6 BE: 98

Yeo stepped up in the absence of injured West Coast skipper Luke Shuey, scoring a season-high 121 from 21 disposals and five tackles against Sydney. The Eagles’ looming return to Western Australia only serves to add to Yeo’s appeal. He’s averaged 105 from 28 games at Optus Stadium since the start of 2018. The tackle machine represents an easy sideways swap from Jack Viney or Matthew Rowell.

When will he bottom out? This could be as cheap as he comes. He takes on Adelaide this week and the likelihood is Ben Keays will try to blanket either Tim Kelly or Andrew Gaff. If you have to hold off a week, he won’t be more than $500,000 ahead of Round 7.

Elliot Yeo returned to form with a score of 121 in KFC SuperCoach against Sydney.

Hugh Greenwood $504,300 FWD-MID Avg: 104 BE: 100

Greenwood’s importance to the Gold Coast midfield is only going to become more pronounced with Matthew Rowell sidelined by a shoulder injury. In Rowell’s absence against Geelong, the former Crow had a season-high 21 possessions, 11 tackles and six clearances, scoring 132 KFC SuperCoach points. That was the third time this season he’s posted 116 or better and Greenwood has only scored less than 95 once. He’s also only in 10.5 per cent of teams.

When will he bottom out? Greenwood has had a pretty steady price in the past three weeks, ranging from $494,800 to his current quote. Unless he scores big again this round you’ll be able to grab him around this price in a few weeks.

Rory Laird $495,100 DEF Avg: 92 BE: 95

Laird’s ceiling isn’t as high as some of this year’s leading defenders but he’s traditionally been one of the most consistent KFC SuperCoach performers in his role. His scores this year indicate he is heavily reliant on possessions to score points. His two hundreds this season have come when he had 25 disposals against Gold Coast and Fremantle and you would want to have confidence he can maintain those numbers before picking him.

When will he bottom out? Next week. His average suggests he’ll be about $490,000 ahead of Round 7.

Stephen Coniglio has dropped to less than $500,000 in KFC SuperCoach.

Stephen Coniglio $493,000 MID Avg: 92.8 BE: 135

His scoring so far doesn’t demand much attention, but Coniglio won’t play as a defensive forward again as he did against Collingwood. His style actually suits shortened quarters as he’s able to have an impact in the middle or attack. He’s got three tons in five matches which is on par with some premium midfielders worth considerably more. Pounce next week when that score against the Magpies is out of his cycle. He’s still averaging 19.4 disposals and five clearances.

When will he bottom out? In another week or two. The 49 from when he was used as a small forward against Collingwood is still in his price cycle and Coniglio has not scored more than 114 this year. He’ll almost certainly get to about $475,000.

Toby Greene $465,000 FWD Avg: 89.3 BE: 68

The ultimate risk-reward pick in KFC SuperCoach. Greene has three scores of 96-108 in four matches this year, although his other total was 47. His scoring has suffered from frees against, conceding six in the first four rounds including two against Geelong when he recorded 108 points from four goals and 16 disposals. There’s a fair bit of risk attached with this selection, but 2020 might just be the year it comes off. From rounds 17-22 last year he had three scores of 115+.

When will he bottom out? Greene shouldn’t have any problem reaching his break even this week. It’s probably now or never if you want to take the punt.

Essendon defender Jordan Ridley has been one of KFC SuperCoach’s surprise packets this year.

Jordan Ridley $460,000 DEF Avg: 112.5 BE: 11

Did anyone else spend the weekend cursing themselves for overlooking him? I certainly did. All logic suggested his scoring might suffer at a rain-soaked MCG as Ridley had relied heavily on disposal efficiency. Yet the young Bomber scored 59 points in the second quarter alone and went at 83.3 per cent from 18 disposals. He’s still a good buy at $460,000 but boy it would have been nice to jump on before his $49,900 price rise after posting 122 against Collingwood.

When will he bottom out? He’s going up, not down. He’ll likely reach about $550,000 before his break even and average meet.

Lachie Whitfield $441,200 DEF Avg: 78.4 BE: 78

If you jumped off Whitfield a few weeks ago after he was concussed and scored eight points, this is the week to get him back in. He’s dropped by $152,500 in the past three weeks and the smart call was to trade him after Round 3 and redeploy those funds elsewhere. Whitfield only has one hundred for the year, in Round 1 against Geelong (109), but he’s too cheap to ignore at this price. Remember, this is a player most thought was a certainty to finish as a top-two forward this year.

When will he bottom out? This is it. Unless Whitfield has a shocker against Port Adelaide, his price will start heading north after Round 6.

Andrew Brayshaw relished greater midfield time in the absence of Nat Fyfe.

Andrew Brayshaw $434,100 FWD-MID Avg: 91.6 BE: 30

The Brayshaw breakout might be happening after all. The No. 2 draft pick was the beneficiary of Nat Fyfe’s absence, leading Fremantle to its first win under Justin Longmuir on Sunday. Brayshaw played a season-high 86 per cent game time (average 71 per cent to Round 4) and had 23 disposals and eight marks. His price rose by more than $30,000 as a result but he’s still an attractive option — especially if Fyfe is ruled out again.

When will he bottom out? Like Ridley, his price is heading toward $500,000 after a starring role in the Dockers’ win over the Crows.
 
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Darcy Fort $330,000 FWD Avg: 87.3 BE: 24

Did anyone else pick Fort for Round 1 and then trade him out when he was dropped for Rhys Stanley? Those who jumped on Geelong’s back-up ruckman after he replaced an injured Stanley in Round 4 have benefited from scores of 61 and 107 in the past two weeks. Fort has risen by $65,200 but is still at a price where he could be acquired via a rookie upgrade without burning significant bank. If you’re stuck with Jarrod Brander or Connor Budarick in attack, consider him — unless Stanley is due back soon.

When will he bottom out? On his current trajectory, Fort is projected to reach $400,000 after Round 8. He should make money until about Round 9-10 if he retains his spot as Geelong ruckman. That’ll be a big question mark once Stanley returns.

Jack Steven scored 95 KFC SuperCoach points in restricted game time against Gold Coast.

Jack Steven $306,700 FWD-MID Avg: 50.3 BE: 47

Yep, Jack Steven. How can you completely rule a line through a four-time best and fairest who scored 95 in 63 per cent game time against Gold Coast? His first two games for the Cats — scores of 20 and 36 — have caused Steven to fall by $55,000 from his starting price. The safe play would be to have another look this round and see whether the ex-Saint can back up his best game yet for Geelong. Steven had 17 possessions and kicked a goal against the Suns.

When will he bottom out? This is almost certainly as cheap as Steven comes. But a price rise of $10,000-$15,000 shouldn’t put you off if he backs up his 95 against Brisbane Lions.

Jake Aarts $123,900 FWD Avg: 76 BE: -27

The best rookie option of Round 6. Mature-age debutant Aarts suddenly has solid job security after a spate of injuries hit Richmond on Sunday. Trent Cotchin, Dion Prestia, Tom Lynch and Toby Nankervis were hurt in the Tigers’ win over Melbourne, while Bachar Houli and Shane Edwards have opted not to travel to a hub. Aarts impressed with 15 disposals and three marks against the Demons and is projected to be about $170,000 after his next match.

Richmond forward Jake Aarts is the top rookie buy ahead of Round 6.

PLAYERS TO MONITOR

Bailey Smith $459,600 FWD-MID Avg: 85.8 BE: 171

Smith was concussed in the opening term of Western Bulldogs’ win over North Melbourne, scoring three points and losing $42,400. He’s projected to drop another $38,900 if he scores 84 in Round 6. The young Bulldog scored 93-126 in the opening four rounds and with MID-FWD swing will be a bargain if he gets close to $400,000.

Tom Stewart’s price will plummet once he returns from a broken collarbone.

Tom Stewart $498,000 DEF Avg: 80.3 BE: 187

Stewart suffered a broken collarbone against Melbourne in Round 4, scoring 18 and dropping $40,000. That came after he opened the campaign with scores of 100, 119 and 84 to put himself on the radar of many KFC SuperCoaches. The Cats have been coy about a timeline for Stewart’s return, but once he’s back playing he’s projected to lose about $80,000 in two weeks. Tom Stewart for close to $400,000? Yes please.

Jade Gresham $414,800 FWD-MID Avg: 72.4 BE: 107

One for the point of difference hunters. Gresham has become a regular in St Kilda’s midfield mix and has only lost value due to scores of 27 (Round 1, knee injury) and 43 (Round 4, eye) due to being hurt in two matches. His other scores of 120, 81 and 91 indicate he has scoring potential and could be a bargain option for F5 or F6.

Being injured in two games has resulted in Jade Gresham’s price dropping.

CHOPPING BLOCK

Jack Viney $493,500 MID Avg: 105.8 BE: 136

Matthew Rowell $470,700 MID Avg: 102.5 BE: 154

Bachar Houli $528,400 DEF Avg: 94.3 BE: 151

Connor Budarick $233,500 FWD-MID Avg: 52.2 BE: 61

Tyler Brown $232,300 MID Avg: 52.2 BE: 61

John Noble $266,000 DEF Avg: 62.8 BE: 19

Isaac Heeney $495,100 FWD-MID Avg: 95.6 BE: 145

Shannon Hurn $499,900 DEF Avg: 93.6 BE: 137

Connor Rozee $402,800 FWD Avg: 81.2 BE: 128

Brodie Smith $440,300 DEF Avg: 76.6 BE: 78

Jack Viney lost about $30,000 after a KFC SuperCoach score of 60 against Richmond.

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GOING DOWN?

Bailey Smith $459,600 FWD-MID Avg: 85.8 BE: 171 Price change: -$42,400

Lachie Neale $763,300 MID Avg: 154.2 BE: 167 Price change -$500

Jack Macrae $589,800 MID Avg: 102.2 BE: 161 Price change: -$16,800

Nat Fyfe $670,500 MID Avg: 122.5 BE: 153 Price change: N/A

Andrew Gaff $597,200 MID Avg: 113.6 BE: 152 Price change: -$21,200

Patrick Cripps $593,600 MID Avg: 109.6 BE: 148 Price change: -$15,100

Isaac Heeney $495,100 FWD-MID Avg: 95.6 BE: 145 Price change: -$13,200

James Sicily $515,300 DEF Avg: 90.4 BE: 142 Price change: -$8100

Shannon Hurn $499,900 DEF Avg: 93.6 BE: 137 Price change: -$28,700

Jack Viney $493,500 MID Avg: 105.8 BE: 136 Price change: -$30,100

Stephen Coniglio $493,000 MID Avg: 92.8 BE: 135 Price change: -$28,600

KEY BREAK EVENS

Premiums ($500,000 or more)

Tim English $522,300 RUC Avg: 104.2 BE: 34 Projected price rise: +$34,500

Jarrod Berry $539,700 MID Avg: 105.8 BE: 43 Projected price rise: +$26,900

Rowan Marshall $526,900 RUC Avg: 97.6 BE: 61 Projected price rise: +$11,500

Sam Docherty $577,600 DEF Avg: 121.2 BE: 62 Projected price rise: +$25,500

Nick Haynes $541,100 DEF Avg: 114 BE: 66 Projected price rise: +$25,700

Patrick Dangerfield $556,600 MID Avg: 100.6 BE: 80 Projected price rise: +$13,200

Mid-pricers ($250,000-$500,000)

Hayden Young $262,700 DEF Avg: 64.8 BE: -24 Projected price rise: +$39,800

Curtis Taylor $269,400 FWD Avg: 71.6 BE: 0 Projected price rise: +$27,400

Jordan Ridley $460,000 DEF Avg: 112.5 BE: 11 Projected price rise: +$38,200

John Noble $266,000 DEF Avg: 62.8 BE: 19 Projected price rise: +$19,900

Darcy Fort $330,000 FWD Avg: 87.3 BE: 24 Projected price rise: +$22,000

Ben Long $342,800 FWD Avg: 77.4 BE: 28 Projected price rise: +$29,300

Andrew Brayshaw $434,100 FWD-MID Avg: 91.6 BE: 30 Projected price rise: +$28,900

Tom Doedee $351,700 DEF Avg: 79 BE: 40 Projected price rise: +$18,100

Jack Steven $306,700 FWD-MID Avg: 50.3 Projected price rise: +$3800

Brett Bewley $354,700 FWD Avg: 77.8 BE: 57 Projected price rise: +$9200

Marc Pittonet $435,200 RUC Avg: 112 BE: 76 Projected price rise: +$12,600

Lachie Whitfield $441,200 DEF Avg: 78.4 BE: 78 Projected price fall: -$1500

Laitham Vandermeer’s price is projected to jump by more than $40,000 after Round 6.

Rookies (Under $250,000)

Laitham Vandermeer $225,000 FWD-MID Avg: 63.3 BE: -27 Projected price rise: +$40,300

Jake Aarts $123,900 FWD Avg: 76 BE: -27 Projected price rise: +$45,900

Tom Green $238,500 MID Avg: 68.7 BE: -26 Projected price rise: +$42,600

Kyron Hayden $197,900 MID Avg: 49.8 BE: -24 Projected price rise: +$31,200

Harley Bennell $123,900 MID Avg: 59 BE: -10 Projected price rise: +$34,300

Tom Williamson $215,100 MID Avg: 62 BE: -8 Projected price rise: +$27,200

Caleb Serong $200,000 MID Avg: 62 BE: -8 Projected price rise: +$31,200

Thomas Berry $177,500 FWD Avg: 56.3 BE: -8 Projected price rise: +$28,500

Harrison Jones $123,900 MID Avg: 54 BE: -5 Projected price rise: +$26,200

Stephen Hill $214,000 DEF-FWD Avg: 64 BE: -4 Projected price rise: +$23,500

Mitchell Hibberd $114,400 MID Avg: 39 BE: 7 Projected price rise: +$14,500

Max King $242,800 FWD Avg: 59.8 BE: 12 Projected price rise: +$21,400

Trent Rivers $166,000 DEF-MID Avg: 47 BE: 17 Projected price rise: +$13,200

Brayden Ham $229,400 FWD-MID Avg: 56.5 BE: 20 Projected price rise: +$12,800

Sam Sturt $195,300 FWD Avg: 61.7 BE: 29 Projected price rise: +$15,000

BIGGEST OWNERSHIP CHANGES*

Jake Aarts +2.3 per cent

Jordan Ridley +1.1 per cent

Elliot Yeo +1.0 per cent

Lachie Whitfield +0.9 per cent

Dylan Shiel +0.8 per cent

Nick Haynes +0.8 per cent

Jack Steele +0.7 per cent

Travis Boak +0.6 per cent

Harrison Jones +0.5 per cent

Matthew Rowell -7.4 per cent

Connor Budarick -1.3 per cent

Jarrod Brander -1.2 per cent

Tyler Brown -1.0 per cent

John Noble -0.9 per cent

Brandon Starcevich -0.7 per cent

Jack Viney -0.6 per cent

Sam Jacobs -0.4 per cent

*Ownership changes current as of 1pm Monday

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Misfiring Dees leave nine players on the ground

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Experts Dan Batten, Al Paton, The Phantom and Tim Michell rate KFC SuperCoach’s top rookie picks ahead of Round 6

Need to make some cash in KFC SuperCoach this week? Here are the top five rookies to consider. Plus our experts give their verdict on which cheapies to hold and sell ahead of Round 6

Dan Batten, Herald Sun

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July 9, 2020 10:18am

HERALDSUN.COM.AU4:44

Hot and cold players for Round 6 | KFC SuperCoach AFL

Tim Michell looks at the hottest and coldest players in KFC SuperCoach AFL ahead of the sixth round.

KFC SuperCoaches face enough difficulty upgrading to a full premium team in a shortened season and the rookie situation is making it even tougher.

Rookies who we hoped would continue to make us cash have stalled, with the likes of Magpie Tyler Brown (61 BE) and Gold Coast’s Connor Budarick (61 BE) having ominous break evens to overcome to just maintain their price — and they are only sitting at the $230,000 mark.

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Then there’s the group of rookies yet to bear fruit who have been axed or dropped in recent weeks and are occupying bench spots, headlined by Grand Final hero Marlion Pickett and Harley Bennell.

Fortunately, both of those players could earn a recall this week, Pickett as a result of injury and Bennell due to a lack of spark for the Demons.

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Connor Budarick’s break even of 61 is higher than his KFC SuperCoach average.

These issues have been compounded by many of the bubble boys being at an inflated price of over $150,000 — like Dockers duo Stephen Hill and Caleb Serong.

It means we are struggling to make even $100,000 off rookie downgrades.

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This week at least there is a standout rookie at base price, mature age Tiger Jake Aarts, and there are several options on the horizon.

The most notable of those is 2018’s No.3 selection Izak Rankine ($123,900, FWD) who is set to make his long awaited debut this weekend.

Young Swans duo Dylan Stephens, the fifth pick in the 2019 draft, and noted tackler and contested ball winner Chad Warner will also get their first crack at AFL level this weekend.

Mature-age debutant Jake Aarts impressed in his first game as a Tiger.

DAN BATTENS ROOKIE RATINGS

1. Jake Aarts

Aarts looked extremely comfortable at AFL level. The 25-year-old gathered 15 disposals, booted a goal and finished with 76 KFC SuperCoach points against Melbourne. Mature-age cash cows are generally more consistent than young, raw types and he looks capable of winning enough of the footy for a small forward. Richmond’s injury crisis bodes well for his job security and should see his spot locked in even if his form wanes.

2. Izak Rankine

It is certainly a risk to jump on a week early given his well documented injury history but Izak Rankine is a rare talent. He will be itching to get out there after countless setbacks and you’d suggest almost all KFC SuperCoaches will be flocking to get him in next week. Why not get him a week early and potentially capitalise on a strong rookie score?

3. Stephen Hill

This goes against what I was saying earlier about bringing in expensive rookies, but hear me out. In a season where full premium is close to impossible, finding cheap alternatives who can score well is integral. Hill hasn’t shown his full potential just yet but has shown glimpses of his form from previous years with two fast starts. As he eases into it, he looms as a player who can reach that 75-80 average from here on and be a promising F6-D6 option for our sides.

4. Harrison Jones

Jones played plenty of midfield minutes in his debut attending 46 per cent of centre bounces. However, his job security is somewhat questionable despite a solid first game, finishing with 11 touches (at 100 per cent efficiency), four tackles and 54 points. Aarts is the better bubble boy this week.

5. Harley Bennell

One for the risk takers. We know 2020 is a crazy year and that has translated to KFC SuperCoach, and as crazy as it sounds bringing in Harley Bennell (if picked) it could pay off. The Demons lacked firepower forward of centre and Bennell brings that in spades, so he is certainly a chance of being recalled. Coach Simon Goodwin flagged he will be in and out of the Melbourne side due to his injury history but if he gets enough game time, he will score well. Represents extreme value but is certainly down the pecking order.

Izak Rankine’s long-awaited debut is expected to happen in Round 6.

FULL EXPERT ROOKIE RATINGS

Jake Aarts $123,900 FWD Avg: 76 BE: -27

DB: BUY. Looked comfortable at the level and his job security is rock solid with Richmond’s spate of injuries.

TM: BUY — but only if you need to downgrade this week. His job security looks strong with so many injuries at Richmond and Bachar Houli and Shane Edwards staying in Victoria. But it seems certain we’re going to have a few rookies on the bubble each week so I’m not desperate.

AP: BUY. Really liked his game against the Dees, getting up the ground to get involved and not getting stuck in a forward pocket.

Phantom: BUY. The mature-age rookie was impressive on debut against the Demons and his role won’t be decreasing anytime soon given the Tigers’ injuries. The top downgrade option this week.

Harrison Jones $123,900 MID Avg: 54 BE: -5

DB: PASS. His midfield time was encouraging but he could be out of that Hawks’ side any week now.

TM: PASS. Has been on the outer in past years at Hawthorn despite big numbers in the VFL. Don’t trust his job security enough to take the plunge.

AP: BUY. Couldn’t reproduce his elite VFL numbers in his AFL debut but probably the best option if you need a cheap midfielder.

Phantom: BUY. He’s been recording big VFL numbers for a while now and should only improve on his 11 disposals and 54 points from here. An option if you need it.

Brisbane defender Brandon Starcevich’s rollercoaster scoring continued in Round 5.

Laitham Vandermeer $225,000 FWD-MID Avg: 63.3 BE: -27

DB: PASS. If you kept the faith with him after buying him at rookie price, kudos. But it’s difficult to see him rising enough to justify nabbing him at this inflated price.

TM: PASS. Assuming it’s an obvious hold if you already have him. I’m not sure why you’d pay $102,000 more than you could for Jake Aarts.

AP: PASS. If you’re one of the 8000 coaches who already have the young Bulldog, well done. The rest of us shouldn’t be reacting to one score of 99 after three under 60. Aarts is $100k cheaper.

Phantom: PASS. The young Bulldog has the equal-lowest breakeven in the competition after his 99-point score in Round 5 but there’s far more value in Aarts and Jones.
 
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Stephen Hill $214,000 DEF-FWD Avg: 64 BE: -4

DB: BUY. In a year where we will struggle to get to full premium, Hill shapes as an option who can provide on-field scoring and cash flow, despite underwhelming returns to date.

TM: PASS.I passed last round and would do so again. I hope he gets a good run at it this year but find it hard to trust a player with his injury history in KFC SuperCoach.

AP: BUY. I was big on Hill last week and he’s only $23k more this week. Hopefully his scores improve but all the positives still apply, assuming his body stays in one piece.

Phantom: BUY. You’ve only missed one price rise – a small one of $23k – and if his body stays sound, the classy left-footer should start to increase his output. Especially after quarter-time.

Former North Melbourne player Mitch Hibberd debuted for Essendon in Round 5.

Mitch Hibberd $114,400 Avg: 39 BE: 7

DB: PASS. Went at 90 per cent efficiency and still only managed 39 points and the returning Zach Merrett could pinch his spot.

TM: PASS. I thought he did a few nice things against Collingwood but his ceiling and job security are both question marks.

AP: PASS. Price is appealing and Jake Stringer’s injury might save his spot in the team, but in conditions that should have suited him on Friday night he really battled to get into it.

Phantom: PASS. As we know, a player’s first price rise in KFC SuperCoach this year — after one game — isn’t a big one. So I’d wait and have another look at the former North Melbourne defender-turned-midfielder.

Caleb Serong $200,000 MID Avg: 62 BE: -8

DB: PASS. I jumped on last week and I’ll really regret it should Nat Fyfe takes his place this week. Has gotten solid midfield minutes but spent under 60 per cent time on ground in Round 5.

TM: PASS. It had to be last week if you were going to take a chance on Serong, especially with Fremantle flagging Nat Fyfe could return after only a week on the sidelines with a hamstring issue.

AP: PASS. If you didn’t get him last week you shouldn’t be doing it now when he’s over $200k and Fyfe could be back.

Phantom: PASS. Again, you haven’t missed out on too much money here but I’m concerned about what Nat Fyfe’s return will do to his role.

HOLD OR SELL?

Connor Budarick $233,500 FWD-MID Avg: 52.2 BE: 61

DB: SELL. Looked to be a slow burn until his 80-point outing in Round 3 which earned him a Rising Star nomination. In his past two games he has won just 13 touches, finishing with five disposals and 28 points down at the Cattery. The Suns youngster has a break even of 61 entering Round 5 which he has passed twice in his first five games.

TM: HOLD. Playing rookies are gold at the moment, especially those with DPP status. Thankfully Budarick’s score of 28 at Geelong was his first score below 44. It came on a bad week for many coaches forced to field him, but I’m inclined to stick with him as long as he’s in the team.

AP: SELL. Has served his purpose and appreciated from $106k to $233. Will become Jake Aarts for me, freeing up $110k.

Phantom: SELL. With a breakeven of 61, which is nine points higher than his average, Budarick’s time is up. Jake Aarts appeals this week but so does Izak Rankine, who is tipped to debut in Round 6, next week.

Jarrod Brander missed last week’s game against Sydney with a hip injury.

Jarrod Brander $235,200 DEF-FWD Avg: 60.3 BE: 13

A minor hip injury kept Jarrod Brander out of the Eagles’ win over Sydney with the club saying he is a chance to return this week. The tall wingman has a low break even of 13 and still has cash to make, but it is unclear when he’ll be back or whether he is an automatic selection when fit.

DB: HOLD. His DPP gives you great flexibility with trades and if he doesn’t return this week, he should soon. Even if he misses, he won’t be leaking cash like many of his rookie friends.

TM: HOLD.Brander missed Round 5 with a hip injury which the Eagles have been coy on the severity of. If there’s an indication he’s going to miss an extended period then trade, but otherwise leave him on your bench and use his DPP to help with trade flexibility.

AP: TRADE. I’m getting more ruthless on these cheap guys. If he’s named you might reconsider but the Eagles winning doesn’t help his cause.

Phantom: HOLD. If he’s named, or even if he’s not, given a breakeven of 13 and handy DEF-FWD status. At least until we know more about the hip injury.

John Noble $266,000 DEF Avg: 62.8 BE: 19

Just when Noble was starting to come into his own he was dropped by Nathan Buckley, sending KFC SuperCoaches for the trade button. But his replacement Travis Varcoe, who Buckley said pre-game would play off halfback, had little impact in the role and was moved into attack in the second half. Could it see Noble return to the side for their clash against Hawthorn on Friday night?

DB: HOLD. Think he is every chance of earning a recall if Buckley swings the axe and his recent form suggests he’s a solid on-field scorer.

TM: HOLD. Collingwood struggled against Essendon and it won’t shock me if he’s back in the team for Round 6. If he’s not, then you can reassess, especially if you don’t have defensive cover.

AP: TRADE. Borderline call and if he’s named this week he might survive, but I have enough cash to turn him into a premium defender.

Phantom: SELL. Upgrade him to Jordan Ridley, if you didn’t do it last week.

Tyler Brown is no certainty to hold his spot after a quiet game against Essendon.

Tyler Brown $232,300 MID Avg: 52.2 BE: 61

Brown’s job security looked to be boosted by the suspension to Steele Sidebottom — then his quiet night against the Bombers happened. The slick youngster finished with nine disposals and 29 points, spending a concerning 59 per cent time on ground. If the Magpies wish to make a statement at selection after their disappointing loss, Brown is likely to make way.

DB: TRADE. Set to leak cash — that if he isn’t dumped after being stuck on the bench for most of the second half last week.

TM: HOLD — pending selection. As long as he’s not dropped, I don’t see the sense in tradingBrown. He hasn’t made much money and bench cover could be crucial when teams head into hubs.

AP: HOLD. Right on the edge and wouldn’t blame anyone for trading but as long as he’s getting a game I can’t afford to get rid of him.

Phantom: SELL — Ideally. A break even nine points higher than his average, like Budarick, suggests there’s a chance he loses money this week. But given other issues, we might have to give him another week on the bench.
 
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Brandon Starcevich $295,400 DEF-MID Avg: 63.6 BE: 70

Starcevich looked to be the best of the lot (besides Rowell) but failed to deliver over the weekend — like many of our popular rookies. The young Lion has produced some promising totals this season so his 71 break even isn’t completely out of reach.

DB: HOLD. If Starcevich is in your top-two KFC SuperCoach worries, you are the luckiest team in Australia.

TM: HOLD. Hopefully three scores between 64-99 from rounds 2-4 were a better indication of his scoring potential than Saturday’s 38. Given, the Lions dominated Port Adelaide and opportunities are going to be limited when your opposition only has 35 inside-50s. Fremantle recorded 44 when he scored 99 in Round 2.

AP: HOLD. Had a stinker at the weekend (38) and is suddenly looking at a 70 break-even but although he probably won’t make much more money I can’t see him losing much which means moving him on is low priority.

Phantom: HOLD. There was no coming back from a stat-less first-quarter for Starcevich in Round 5 but he’s one who respond and get to his breakeven of 70 this week.

Marlion Pickett $201,500 MID Avg: 60.3 BE: 30

If you’ve held onto him, you could be in luck with Dion Prestia and Trent Cotchin suffering injury blows in Round 5. Pickett was named as an emergency on Sunday and looms as a likely inclusion ahead of their clash with Sydney.

DB: HOLD. Hasn’t made enough cash to discard and appears set to take the place of either Dion Prestia or Trent Cotchin this weekend.

TM: HOLD.Has to play this week doesn’t he with so many Tigers out? It’ll be a really bad sign if he doesn’t. I’m still more confident fielding Pickett than Brown or Budarick.

AP: HOLD. Could just about be Richmond’s second midfielder this weekend with all the Tigers’ injuries. Pray for another 90 score.

Phantom: HOLD. If you’ve still got him, Richmond’s injury crisis would’ve been music to your ears in a KFC SuperCoach sense. Pickett is a very good chance to come back in this week and play a big role. You might even consider buying in the next few weeks if he finds form.

Curtis Taylor was the Round 5 Rising Star nominee after a KFC SuperCoach score of 100.

Curtis Taylor $269,400 FWD Avg: 71.6 BE: 0

A positive rookie surprise is always nice and Taylor provided us with just that with a 100-point effort out of nowhere as his price was looking like dipping. Taylor does enough without hitting scoreboard to produce solid totals, providing tackle pressure and working up the ground to great effect.

DB: HOLD. Break even of 0 this week and he will be shooting over $300,000 soon after raising the bat for a SuperCoach ton on Saturday.

TM: HOLD. What a result at the weekend for Taylor’s owners. Just when it seemed he was reaching his peak price, he pulled out a ton on a weekend where so many other rookies battled. He’ll get to at least $300,000 now.

AP: HOLD! A great lesson in how rookie price changes work. Last week his break-even was creeping up to his average but now it’s back to 0 after a fantastic game. That will give him a few more weeks of money making before we have to move him on.

Phantom: HOLD. The second-year forward’s price will sky rocket over the next two weeks after his 100-point performance against the Hawks. But there’s no guarantee he scores like that again so don’t bother with the trade.

Max King $242,800 FWD Avg: 59.8 BE: 12

King was thought to be the slow-burn key forward rookie but has pipped many of the other popular cash cow options to date. This is due to scores of 77 and 86, which he is capable of posting from time-to-time but don’t expect this every week.

DB: HOLD. Six of the best (disposals, all won contested) got him to 86 points last week which will keep his price ticking over for at least the next fortnight.

TM: HOLD. Well done if you used the loophole to take King’s 86 against Carlton. He’s got Fremantle and Adelaide in the next two weeks and projections have him getting close to $300,000 by Round 8.

AP: HOLD. See above. King looked great against Carlton and he has the Dockers and Crows in the next two weeks. Start him on the field!

Phantom: Like, Taylor, continue to hold after an impressive Round 5 score but don’t go chasing now.

Harley Bennell $123,900 MID Avg: 59 BE: -10

Harley Bennell has had owners in a bind the past fortnight, named when Melbourne’s Round 3 match was postponed and then out the next week when Simon Goodwin dropped a selection bombshell. There is no doubting his scoring potential, but his time-on-ground and injury history is a concern.

DB: HOLD/PASS. Bennell could return to the Melbourne side to add some excitement that they sorely need, but they have flagged he is not a walk up start every week, so he is too risky to bring in.

TM: HOLD/BUY — The Demons have been hammered for their delivery inside-50 this week and Bennell provides silk they so badly need. It’ll be a shock if he doesn’t play this round.

AP: OH, MAN. Surely the Dees bring him in now. They need a spark and they didn’t recruit Bennell for his defensive pressure. If you already have him (like me and 44,000 other coaches) we just have to hold him and hope. I wouldn’t be buying him though given the Dees’ selection strategy.

Phantom: WAIT. Consider pulling the trigger if he’s named, which is a possibility given Melbourne’s skill issues. But it might be better to wait a week after what happened after his last game.

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KFC SuperCoaches will be given an extra four trades in coming rounds to help navigate a period of 33 AFL matches in 20 days.
The SuperCoach trade limit of 30 will be increased to 34, with an extra trade (three per round) available for coaches to use from rounds 9-12.
This decision has been made after AFL coaches flagged the likelihood players will be rested during a period were some clubs will face four-day turnarounds between matches.
As previously announced when the Round 3 game between Essendon and Melbourne was postponed, any round which features less than nine fixtures will revert to best 18 scoring.
This will impact rounds 10 (Fremantle, West Coast, Carlton and Hawthorn bye) and 11 (Sydney and GWS Giants bye).
KFC SuperCoaches will also have three trades to use in rounds 9 and 12 to ensure they have the best chance of fielding a full line-up.
The best 18 scoring system will not be used in these two rounds.
Rounds 8 will proceed as normal in KFC SuperCoach with scoring based on 22 on-field players and emergencies when required.

Further KFC SuperCoach changes will be announced, if required, once fixtures for rounds 13-18 are available.
While we are aware the AFL has mooted an 18th round will required to complete this year’s fixture, no decision has been made on an increase in overall trades to accommodate this.
However, this could change should the AFL confirm an 18th round will take place.
We have pledged to be agile and adapt should changes be required due to the AFL fixture and will make relevant announcements as needed.
KFC SuperCoach star Lachie Neale will be a key target for coaches in rounds 9-12 who will be armed with extra trades.
Melbourne and Essendon’s Round 3 match is now expected to be played in a future round and will be scored accordingly in KFC SuperCoach.
The fast turnaround between rounds will result in changes to KFC SuperCoach’s draft format.
Players will be released from the waiver wire at 4am the next morning after the last match of each round, giving coaches a chance to make changes before the next round starts.
This will apply for all leagues, regardless of whether the one or two-day waiver option was selected, and will start after Round 8.
Lockout for each round is expected to be lifted 60-90 minutes after the final siren of the last game.
Prize money for KFC SuperCoach will remain unchanged.
KEY CHANGES
Total trades: 34 (increased from 30)
Round 8 trades: Maximum of two
Round 9-12 trades: Maximum of three
Waiver wire cleared at 4am in KFC SuperCoach draft on the morning after a round ends.
 
Joined
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Collingwood
Wonder if I can swap the extra 4 trades for a 1 million cash injection ?

Kept 30 trades for a already shortened season and now a additional 4 trades , being spoilted.

Thankfully they made a decision in advance so people know , I am sure some still won't be happy.
 
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Hawthorn
I didn't really want extra trades, but they are probably handy for me after a few too many sideways trades early on. It would have been handy to know we got these earlier though, and I would have been more aggressive rather than trying (and largely failing) to generate cash with my trades.
 
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Supercoach
Richmond’s Derek Eggmolesse-Smith and Port Adelaide’s Sam Mayes among KFC SuperCoach rookies to consider for Round 8
It may be upgrade season in KFC SuperCoach but with four-day breaks and bye rounds on the horizon, this week’s cheapie call is crucial. Rookie guru Dan Batten looks at who you should be holding and who’s ready for trade.
Dan Batten, Herald Sun

Welcome to upgrade season, KFC SuperCoaches.

After an influx of cash cows last week, headlined by excitement machine Izak Rankine, it is time to turn our focus to trading out cheapies who have hit the rookie wall.

Players such as Brisbane’s Brandon Starcevich are leaking cash at an alarming rate, but this is still preferable to having deadwood sitting on your bench with team carnage imminent.

A footy frenzy with four-day breaks will almost certainly result in a host of restings and SuperCoach’s worst enemy — general soreness.

This makes holding playing rookies even more crucial — especially those with dual-position status like Starcevich or Gold Coast’s Connor Budarick.

Even a non-playing DPP such as Jarrod Brander (DEF/FWD) can give your side extra flexibility with trades and a potential on-field scorer, particularly when paired with fellow DEF/FWD cheapie Stephen Hill.

But if the extra cash from playing rookies like Curtis Taylor ($287,900, FWD) or Max King ($284,200, FWD) helps you bring in a top-line star a week early, make the move.

Fortunately, rotation policies will give opportunities for more rookies to debut, but they may struggle to remain long-term.

Here are the rookies you should be looking to move on, but be sure to keep a close eye on team announcements on Thursday night.

ROOKIES TO TRADE OUT
1. Marc Pittonet ($403,900, RUCK) BE: 133 Ave: 92.5

2. Tyler Brown ($232,300, MID) BE: 64 Ave: 52.2

3. Jarrod Brander ($235,200, DEF/FWD) BE: 16 Ave: 60.3

4. Brandon Starcevich ($257,700, DEF/MID) BE: 71 Ave: 57.1

5. Curtis Taylor ($287,900, FWD) BE: 80 Ave: 64.1

*Rookies with over 20 per cent ownership

— Carlton ruckman Marc Pittonet has been a fantastic KFC SuperCoach servant but it’s time for owners to give him the boot before he hurtles back towards his starting price. Pittonet lost $30,000 after a paltry 32-point effort against inexperienced Power ruckman Peter Ladhams and has a daunting match-up of Todd Goldstein this week. Look to turn him into Max Gawn if you can afford it or even in-form Bulldog Tim English. If you have him on your ruck bench a sideways trade to Bailey Smith via a Charlie Comben/Darcy Cameron RUCK/FWD swing is a no-brainer.

— Pies midfielder Tyler Brown hasn’t featured in Collingwood’s emergencies in the past fortnight and looks to be out of favour, while Eagle Jarrod Brander is fit and ready to go but is no certainty to return this week. He has missed three games now and while his DEF/FWD is handy, we need playing rookies for this next stretch of games.

— Starcevich is losing cash at a rate of knots but if you are stretched for numbers in defence he is worth holding onto.

— Roo Curtis Taylor has an ominous break even of 80 this week and looks to have reached his price peak, having made $164,000 to date.

TOP 5 ROOKIE TRADE TARGETS

1. Izak Rankine ($195,900, MID) BE: -97 Ave: 107

2. Derek Eggmolesse Smith ($246,900, DEF) BE: -37 Ave: 92

3. Sam Mayes ($213,500, MID) BE: -27 Ave: 115

4. Will Day ($193,700, DEF) BE: -39 Ave: 77

5. Cody Weightman ($144,300, FWD) BE: -4 Ave: 63

If Izak Rankine isn’t in your side, grab him now.

The Suns eye-catcher has tonned up in his first two games at AFL level and his high-impact game could see him finish the season as a keeper.

Tiger Derek Eggmolesse-Smith topped the coaches votes in just his fourth game at AFL level and appears to have filled the vacancy left by Bachar Houli at halfback.

His formidable 119-point effort makes him a valuable option even at his expensive rookie price and should continue scoring better than the average rookie defender.

After countless games as emergency, former Lion Sam Mayes impressed with 17 disposals and 115 KFC SuperCoach points in his first game of 2020, but his long-term job security is a slight concern.

Ryan Burton suffering a quad injury will help his chances and he’ll be tough to drop if he maintains the kind of form he displayed against Carlton.

Hawk Will Day took several kick-ins in his second game, as he did in his debut, and his side looked to get the ball in his hands to take the game on.

This bodes well for his KFC SuperCoach prospects and with Hawthorn set to play their kids, his spot looks to be locked in.

Rounding out the top-five is the solitary Round 8 ‘bubble boy’ Cody Weightman.

He is the pick of the bunch who played their first game in Round 7 as his contested marking ability and knack for scoring goals will see him produce some promising scores.

However, expect inconsistency with the young small forward.

North Melbourne defender Ben McKay posted 86 points playing on Tom Lynch but be warned, he won just five disposals and most of his points were from spoils and one-percenters.

It’s unlikely this kind of scoring will be sustainable as a lockdown defender.

The likes of forgotten forward Darren Minchington ($117,300, FWD) and exciting Dockers youngster Minairo Frederick ($117,300, FWD) probably aren’t worth considering.
 
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