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11 through to 20 :-


Christian Petracca
Melbourne
$850,000 - $950,000
The midfield wrecking ball is one of the league’s biggest superstars after a scintillating Grand Final performance earned him the Norm Smith Medal, rounding out an incredible 2021 season. Signed a blockbuster seven-year deal, locking him away until 2029. The extension means he will ride shotgun alongside Clayton Oliver in red and blue for their entire careers. Will become one of the club’s greatest players.


Bradley Hill
St Kilda
$850,000-$950,000
Hill’s played progressively better since lobbing at the Saints after his career-best 2019 season that helped net him an enormous six-year deal that convinced him to leave Fremantle. But he has struggled at times to live up to the size of the investment. Hill racked up 30-plus disposals in rounds 10 and 11 in two St Kilda wins, but the Saints would love more of that.



Isaac Heeney
Sydney
$850,000-$950,000
Heeney signed a six-year deal in March that ensures he will be the face of the Swans once Franklin eventually retires – and he is already challenging for that status. His show-stopping marks and match-winning ability only add to his appeal as a local product who chose to play in the AFL over the rugby codes. Long-term contracts are his thing, with this year the last of his five-year extension in 2016.



Clayton Oliver
Melbourne
$800,000-$900,000
Brilliant onballer signed a monster seven-year deal to stay at Melbourne until the end of 2030 in a huge coup for the Demons. Oliver wasn’t due to come off contract until next year, but with Luke Jackson weighing up a move home to Western Australia, the Demons moved early to lock him away. Oliver is set to earn about $850,000 this year, almost $900,000 next year and more than $1 million per season for the rest of the life of his new deal. A superstar of the league.


Adam Treloar
Western Bulldogs
$800,000-$900,000
Collingwood is paying up to $300,000 a year of his salary after making the big call to trade him to the kennel in 2020. But Luke Beveridge has had to flip him around through the middle and the back and forward flanks to give everyone in the red, white and blue engine room a lick of the ice cream. Continues to be a solid contributor and remains contracted until the end of 2025. Missed top-10 in the 2021 best-and-fairest after a nasty ankle injury.



Lachie Neale
Brisbane Lions
$800,000-$900,000
One of this year’s Brownlow Medal fancies has recommitted to the Lions after briefly considering a return to Western Australia last season. Neale, who is one of the game’s leading clearance-winners and possession-getters, signed a three-year extension midseason to stay at Brisbane until the end of 2026. Neale has been lauded for his drive and leadership off the field and has deserved his bumper pay packet for his in-and-under work.


Max Gawn
Melbourne
$800,000-$900,000
The premiership captain is still the top ruckman in the game and one of the Demons’ top three highest-paid players. Led cultural change at Melbourne, helping pave the way to last year’s flag, and was recognised as All-Australian captain. On track this year for his sixth AA blazer despite the team’s waning form throughout the second half of the season. Deserves the big coin.


Andrew Gaff
West Coast
$800,000-$900,000
North Melbourne offered Gaff the world in 2018 to sign on but instead he signed a peculiar two-year deal with a clause for four more seasons that he voluntarily triggered in 2020. He has two more seasons left on his contract, which will earn him around $850,000 this year. While many of the lucrative Eagles deals will hamper their efforts to rebuild their list, he’s been one of the club’s most loyal servants.


Josh Kelly
GWS Giants
$800,000-$900,000
Kelly signed a whopping eight-year deal with the Giants in 2019 that included an eight-year trigger through to 2029. North Melbourne was offering $1 million a season and his average yearly wage isn’t too far short of that. It’s about $800,000-$850,000 in 2022 and is considerably back-ended towards later years to hit well over $1 million. Another GWS player who would want to get back into the conversation as one of footy’s top 10 midfielders given the financial investment in him.


Toby Greene
GWS Giants
$800,000-$900,000
Greene was already contracted long-term but in May 2021 he extended his deal through to 2026 with the Giants on around $800,000-$850,000. He might be a lightning rod for controversy but he’s been worth every cent given his exhilarating brand of football and popular appeal for the GWS faithful. Is there a premiership in his future though as he prepares to turn 29 in September?
 
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21 through to 30 :-

Tim Kelly
West Coast
$800,000-$900,000
Kelly’s six year, $5 million deal to play at West Coast after his brilliant cameo at Geelong varies by the year as it runs through to 2025, but this season will see him paid over $800,000. He hasn’t been capable of the same consistent brilliance and it can be argued the game style hasn’t suited him, but West Coast knew what they were signing up for when they gave so many picks away on the 28-year-old.



David Swallow
Gold Coast
$775,000-$875,000
Swallow’s five-year contract signed in November 2018 through to 2024 was value for money given his critical role bringing stability to the club amid an exodus of stars. Only turns 30 in November and while he’s not the out-and-out matchwinner he once was, he will be remembered as a Gold Coast pioneer and true fabric player.


Jack Darling
West Coast
$775,000-$875,000
Darling’s four-year deal running through to 2024 was in jeopardy when the vaccine-hesitant star considered sitting out of football, but a contract worth $775,000-$875,000 a season has two more years to run after he returned to the club after a period away through the pre-season. Darling is keen to be part of the club’s future despite hitting 30 years of age in June.


Patrick Dangerfield
Geelong
$750,000-$850,000
Pack-busting onballer remains the trump card in the Cats’ midfield after taking some time to fix a niggling calf problem mid-season. He has been one of the club’s highest-paid players since crossing as a free agent from Adelaide, but Dangerfield’s wage drops next year to about $600,000, helping make room for the Cats’ next big signing perhaps. Desperate for premiership success. Is this the year?



Elliot Yeo
West Coast
$750,000-$850,000
Yeo’s body has consistently failed him in recent seasons but he went through a purple patch when he was either All-Australian or the club’s best-and-fairest winner (two of each) from 2017-19 as well as securing the 2018 flag. Yeo’s long-term contract has been extended to 2024, but he remains one of the club’s highest-paid players. At 28, can he rediscover his brilliance to drag the Eagles back up the ladder?


Ollie Wines
Port Adelaide
$750,000-$850,000
Wines is on exactly $800,000 this season ahead of a four-year contract through to 2026 that kicks in at the start of 2023. Wines has not been at the top of his game this year as a bullocking midfielder, but the strong-bodied 27-year-old cashed in on his form last year with a brilliant Brownlow Medal victory. He is the club’s highest-paid player, and so he should be given his talent and on-ball performances.



Luke Shuey
West Coast
$750,000-$850,000
The captain and Norm Smith Medallist signed on for life in 2017, adding four more years to an existing contract that expires at the end of this year. Hamstring issues have curtailed his brilliance, but his mighty 2018 grand final performance more than paid for a lucrative deal of around $800,000 per season.


Darcy Moore
Collingwood
$750,000-$850,000
The Magpies’ most important defender relinquished his free agency rights in April when he signed a new six-year deal, which will come into effect next season. His existing contract still has him earning more than $800,000 in 2022 as the Magpies look to play finals again. Moore is now locked into Collingwood until the end of 2028, much to the relief of fans.


Jacob Weitering
Carlton
$750,000-$850,000
There is an argument Weitering is structurally Carlton’s most important player. The Blues had a glimpse of life without the 24-year-old when he was sidelined at stages of this season with an AC joint injury. One of the AFL’s best one-on-one defenders, Weitering has a bumper contract of around $800,000 per season with three more years to run on it.


Zach Merrett
Essendon
$750,000-$850,000
Knocked back strong interest from Port Adelaide last season to sign a six-year deal at the Bombers which expires in 2027. Primed to step up as captain as early as next season and is always the man the opposition tries to stop in the Essendon engine room. Ball magnet with deluxe skills.
 
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31 through to 45 :-


Dylan Shiel
Essendon
$750,000-$850,000
Spotlight intensified on Shiel in a big way when Sydney’s Luke Parker mocked him on field during the Swans’ big win in round 9. To that point, Shiel had struggled to live up to expectations in four years at Tullamarine after signing a big-money deal from Greater Western Sydney in 2018. But he has hit back hard over the past two months and clearly been one of the club’s best players in the middle.


Joe Daniher
Brisbane Lions
$750,000-$850,000
Like his team, Daniher has been up and down a little this season after a hot start trying to spearhead the Lions’ premiership assault. Moved up to Brisbane on big money and has since extended his deal until the end of 2025. Groin issues haven’t been a problem since heading north. Essendon secured a top-10 pick as free agency compensation for Daniher and found a bargain replacement deep in attack in Peter Wright.


Jaeger O'Meara
Hawthorn
$750,000-$850,000
O’Meara is on big money at the Hawks and regarded as one of the most important players at the club, on and off the field, for his experience, output, leadership and composure. The questions about his durability have also largely been answered, given he’s played all but one game this year after 18 last season. O’Meara’s four-year deal expires at the end of 2023.


Tom Mitchell
Hawthorn
$750,000-$850,000
Signed a two-year contract extension in mid-2019 – months after suffering a broken leg that wiped out his entire season – that keeps him in brown and gold until at least next year. Mitchell has reiterated he wants to stay a Hawk despite speculation about his future since last season. He remains one of Hawthorn’s top earners but may not be on quite as much as previous years.


Aaron Naughton
Western Bulldogs
$750,000-$850,000
Courageous key forward knocks over defenders like nine-pins with his full-blooded aerial efforts in attack. Despite the toll it must take on his body, Naughton has been able to back it up from week-to-week this season as the main target in the Dogs' forward half. Out of contract at the end of 2024, Naughton could become one of the game’s highest-paid players on his next deal. Expect both West Australian clubs to come hard.


Dane Rampe
Sydney
$750,000-$850,000
One of three co-captains at Sydney, Rampe has long been the club’s best and most dependable defender. He is cashing in on a back-ended contract this season, helped by superstar clubmate Lance Franklin’s salary dipping from the past two years. Ranpe inked a one-year deal in February but this is the final season of his previous deal, which was extended for three more years in 2018.


Rory Laird
Adelaide
$750,000-$850,000
The dual All-Australian won his second Crows’ club champion award in 2021 and this is the first season of his new five-year deal after turning his back on free agency. Laird was a star as a defender and now also as a midfielder, with his body of work establishing himself as the club’s best and most highly paid footballer.


Zac Williams
Carlton
$725,000-$825,000
It has been a tough first two seasons for the former Giant, who joined the Blues at the end of 2020 on a lucrative, often misunderstood free agency deal. It doesn’t start with a ‘9’ as some have suggested. Williams has struggled for fitness and form reasons. He was starting to silence some doubters before he ruptured his Achilles in round 9. Has four more seasons to run on his deal, so he has time to start working on his value-for-money outcomes.


Jack Steele
St Kilda
$700,000-$800,000
An All-Australian and club champion in each of the past two years, Steele inked a five-year contract extension in December last year that ties him to Moorabbin until 2027. The Saints missed his presence greatly mid-season when he was recovering from AC joint surgery but he returned in vintage form. St Kilda’s best player will be handsomely rewarded for years to come.


Lachie Whitfield
GWS Giants
$700,000-$800,000
Has battled for impact this year but the Giants did the right thing securing him on a seven-year deal at the end of 2019 as he entered a year when he would have been one of footy’s hottest free agents. His contract is worth only about $700,000 this year but will be over $1 million in its middle years before dropping again before it expires in 2027. At only 28 he now needs to drag along a developing side to fast-track them into premiership contention again.


Andrew Brayshaw
Fremantle
$700,000-$800,000
Brayshaw signed a four-year deal at the end of 2020 through to 2025 and whatever he is paid is worth it given he is pushing hard for the Brownlow ahead of a certain captaincy hand-over at some point in the future. He signed a contract reflective of his massive upside and while the club lost his fellow top-10 draftee in Adam Cerra, he is a keeper.


Rory Lobb
Fremantle
$700,000-$800,000
Lobb has been one of footy’s best-paid players given his output, cashing in on one great year at GWS and then his move to Fremantle when they needed a key forward. He is due $750,000 this year and next under his latest contract, but will find himself at a Melbourne-based club on a longer-term deal on a contract that is likely to be around $500,000 a season.


Jack Macrae
Western Bulldogs
$700,000-$800,000
Never lets the team down with his midfield consistency and work-rate. He is there for every contest and runs as hard as his body will let him from siren to siren. Rewarded in March when the ball magnet signed a five-year extension, keeping Macrae at the kennel until the end of 2027. Worked hard on his game to become more damaging by foot.


Charlie Cameron
Brisbane Lions
$700,000-$800,000
Lightning-fast goalkicker remains one of the most damaging small forwards in the caper with his dazzling goal sense. The electrifying Cameron is a matchwinner with his tackling pressure and cleanness at ground level. Has been an exceptional recruiting move to snaffle him from Adelaide. Former rookie earned a nice bump up on his last deal. Locked in until the end of 2025.


Chad Wingard
Hawthorn
$700,000-$800,000
The Hawks staved off the Western Bulldogs’ interest in Wingard to win his signature on a five-year deal in 2018, after Port Adelaide traded him to Waverley Park. They gave up a first-round pick and Ryan Burton as part of the Wingard package but he’s played no more than 17 games in any of his four seasons since, including a season-ending hamstring setback this year.
 
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46 through to 50 :-


Rory Sloane
Adelaide
$700,000-$800,000
Sloane inked a five-year deal as a free agent in 2018 that is believed to have been front-ended because of Adelaide’s circumstances. At an advanced age and recovering from a shattering ACL setback, his wage may be more modest than the first three seasons of this contract but is still lucrative. Sloane will be a free agent again next year.


Jarrod Witts
Gold Coast
$700,000-$800,000
The co-captain and top-five AFL ruckman has been one of the club’s best-ever recruits in a climate where they are often remembered for their misses and not their hits. The 29-year-old signed a five-year deal until 2024 only months after the departures of Steven May and Tom Lynch. Has provided on-field bang for buck and under-rated leadership.


Jordan De Goey
Collingwood
$700,000-$800,000
How much has De Goey’s ill-timed trip to Bali cost him on his next deal? It’s impossible to know, but he and Collingwood know the odds of the free agent staying in black and white next year are lengthening by the day. The Magpies withdrew an offer believed to be around $3.2m over four seasons (two years and two with a trigger) in the middle of the maelstrom. Geelong and St Kilda are interested in the 26-year-old, who may have run out of off-field chances at Collingwood. We’ll know more once the Pies’ season is done.


James Sicily
Hawthorn
$700,000-$800,000
Sicily’s wage is set to skyrocket next season after signing a fresh five-year arrangement in May that ended any thoughts of him leaving as a free agent. He previously extended his contract until this year, following a breakout 2019 season as a 24-year-old, including placing fourth in the Peter Crimmins Medal. An outstanding defender capable of swinging forward, Sicily could be the Hawks’ next captain.


Harry McKay
Carlton
$700,000-$800,000
The power forward signed a two-year deal last year that will run through until he hits free agency at the end of 2023. The Blues are hoping it won’t get to that and that last year’s Coleman medallist will re-commit to the club sooner rather than later. Carlton is confident he will. He and teammate Charlie Curnow can expect a hefty pay increase on their next deals.
 
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Taylor Adams
Collingwood
$675,000-$775,000
Chose security and tenure over maximum dollars when he locked in a five-year extension midway through 2019. Has had some injury issues to contend with, but still impacts games in a way in which the Magpies need him to. He is one of a handful of Collingwood players in the mix to take over from Scott Pendlebury when he decides to hand over the captaincy.



Nick Haynes
GWS Giants
$650,000-$750,000
The elite interceptor is on a deal of around $700,000 with his five-year deal signed in 2019 and running through to 2024 back-ended and climbing to as much as $800,000 next year, which illustrates the cap crunch at GWS. The inaugural Giant is now 30 but, alongside Sam Taylor and young defenders including Connor Idun and Jack Buckley, can form a dominant defence again after this year’s on-field struggles.


Jordan Dawson
Adelaide
$650,000-$750,000
Arrived from the Swans on a lucrative five-season deal after a bidding war between the South Australian clubs, while Sydney was also very keen to keep him after his breakout year. Dawson has been every bit as good in his new colours since returning to his home state, and promises to be a big part of Adelaide’s resurgence.


Jared Polec
North Melbourne
$650,000-$750,000
This deal has been a financial and football bust for the Kangaroos. North Melbourne had been so desperate to attract talent at the end of 2018 that they offered Polec considerable overs. The five-year deal - at around $700,000 per year - still has one more season to run. He has played only 42 games for the Roos - seven in the past two years. He was delisted at the end of last year before being rookie-listed to help draft strategies, but the pain endures.


Hugh McCluggage
Brisbane Lions
$650,000-$750,000
One of the best young midfielders in the game has flourished in his specialist wing role. Taken with pick 3, McCluggage is a running machine in his outside midfield role and has a happy knack of hitting the scoreboard. The Ballarat product signed a contract extension on decent money to stay at Brisbane until 2024, when he will become a restricted free agent and a certain target for Victorian clubs like West Coast’s Andrew Gaff was throughout his career.


Harris Andrews
Brisbane Lions
$650,000-$750,000
Key back may have been a little down on form this year but is highly rated around the league for his gutsy one-on-one defensive efforts. The two-time All-Australian has been an exceptional discovery for the Lions after being taken with pick 61 in the 2014 draft. Made a big call on his future in 2020 when he signed a bumper four-year extension. Future captain looks loyal to the Brisbane cause.


Steven May
Melbourne
$650,000-$750,000
Been a challenging period for the star defender, who was embarrassed for starting a restaurant fight with teammate Jake Melksham mid-season. The club was adamant there are no lingering issues but his behaviour was rebuked and relationships had to be repaired. One of the game’s best defenders signed a big money deal to come to Melbourne. Outstanding last year and helped win a grand final playing with a torn hamstring.


Jake Lever
Melbourne
$650,000-$750,000
Jet backman is one of the best intercepting defenders in the game and a perfect co-pilot for Steven May. Bounced back from his knee reconstruction to play a key role in the Demons’ premiership last season. The trade to Melbourne has been an excellent move for Lever, who is contracted until the end of 2024. Has broken bread with the Crows, who took a swipe at him for returning home to Victoria, in part, for family reasons.


Sam Taylor
GWS Giants
$650,000-$750,000
GWS defender Taylor is the king of the one-percenter, a no-fuss spoil-first defender who is under-rated given his list of scalps so early in his career. Taylor extended his contract through to 2025 last year with the Perth native loyal to the GWS cause as he takes on and beats many of the biggest key forwards in football.


Trent Cotchin
Richmond
$650,000-$750,000
This year marks the end of the former Richmond skipper’s current deal, which he signed back in 2018. He was only a one-time premiership player then; now he is a three-time flag captain. While some have questioned whether Cotchin will play on again next season, his form suggests he could - and should. His experience and leadership is still invaluable to the group and he is unlikely to come at such a hefty price tag if he goes around again.
 
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61 through to 75

Jack Riewoldt
Richmond
$650,000-$750,000
Like Cotchin, Riewoldt is closing out the final year of his current contract and is believed to be eager to play on again as a 34-year-old next season. His form has been solid and the Tigers’ lack of genuine support for Tom Lynch will likely help his cause. He is on around $700,000 this season with the Tigers likely to get him cheaper next season if he plays on.


Tim English
Western Bulldogs
$650,000-$750,000
There was strong interest in English from the Western Australian teams but he turned his back on a potential homecoming to re-sign with the Bulldogs. Looked like an All-Australian contender until concussion struck mid-season. Primed to become one of the best rucks in the game in a similar mould to West Coast champion Dean Cox. Locked away until the end of 2024.


Dion Prestia
Richmond
$650,000-$750,000
Dusty gets most of the headlines and attention, but Prestia is one of the most important anchors in Richmond’s midfield. His body has proven an issue in the past three seasons, but that has only highlighted his worth to the team when he is missing. Signed a new three-year deal on around $700,000 per season in early 2021 which locked him in until the end of 2024.


Luke Parker
Sydney
$650,000-$750,000
Took his time before re-signing for four years last September, shortly after claiming his third best-and-fairest award at the club. Parker is one of the Swans’ greatest players of the modern era and a co-captain who has served them for 12 seasons, including 250-plus games and counting. His new deal is believed to be on reduced money, solidifying his selfless, team-first approach.


Touk Miller
Gold Coast
$650,000-$750,000
Miller is due between $650,000-$700,000 this season before his five-year contract extension, running through to 2027, begins at the start of 2023. One of footy’s hardest-working elite mids, his leadership also shines through for the Suns. Has a burning ambition to hold up the premiership cup one day and who would doubt him.


Callum Mills
Sydney
$650,000-$750,000
Mills’ biggest payday is still to come, with his five-year contract extension expiring next season, when he will be a free agent. The Swans’ newest co-captain has transformed from a very good defender into a midfield difference-maker in the past two seasons. A NSW product like teammate Isaac Heeney, Mills has been in or around the top 10 in the AFL Coaches’ Association champion player of the year for most of 2022 in a sign of his quality.


Mitch McGovern
Carlton
$650,000-$750,000
Injuries and fitness issues have meant McGovern hasn’t reached the heights the Blues expected him to when they secured him in the 2018 trade period. Hamstring issues this year again interrupted his season as he looks to reinvent himself as an intercepting defender, where he seems better suited. Has returned to the team at the right time. Still has a year to run at around $700,000 per season, but the Blues will get him cheaper in the next deal.


Michael Walters
Fremantle
$625,000-$725,000
At times Walters has played for less money than he was due given his selflessness but is now well rewarded for his brilliant career, even if his output has waned in the past two seasons as he averages less than a goal a game. He had tacked on two more years to an existing contract in 2020, is due $650,000-$700,000 this year, and has now extended that deal until the end of 2023.


Dougal Howard
St Kilda
$625,000-$725,000
The ex-Power defender met with St Kilda, North Melbourne and Essendon before requesting a trade to the Saints at the end of 2019. Howard inked a lucrative five-year deal at around $650,000 per season, instantly making him one of his new club’s best-paid players. That may have looked generous at the time but he has been a rock down back for Brett Ratten’s side.


Jade Gresham
St Kilda
$625,000-$725,000
Gresham has bounced back to his best this year after a back stress fracture then Achilles tendon rupture ruined his past two seasons. Spends most of his time in the midfield these days after originally making his name as an exciting goalsneak, who kicked 30-plus goals in 2017 and 2018. Gresham, whose four-year deal expires in 2023, is often the Saints’ fire-starter in the middle. A knee injury ended his 2022 season prematurely.


Max King
St Kilda
$600,000-$700,000
Arguably the most promising key forward in the game, St Kilda’s King twin already has a career-high goal tally and projects to be a Coleman Medal contender in the future. Ripped the match away from Richmond in round 3 with a four-goal final term and booted six in a road win over the Crows. Signed a four-year contract extension in May last year that keeps him at the Saints until at least 2026.


Tim Taranto
GWS Giants
$600,000-$700,000
Taranto signed a two-year deal worth about $650,000-$700,000 that expires this season, a contract brokered when he was in the middle of a best-and-fairest season. A versatile mid who was brilliant in the 2019 grand final, he is likely on the move given salary commitments elsewhere but he would prove his worth playing as a bone fide midfielder in coming years? Absolutely.


Adam Saad
Carlton
$600,000-$700,000
Saad has become the player the Blues hoped for when they landed him on a deal of around $650,000-per-season at the end of 2020. He has provided value for money across half-back, working perfectly in tandem with Sam Docherty. His current deal runs through to the end of 2025, and he will be a huge asset if the Blues make the finals. In the running for an All-Australian berth.


Steele Sidebottom
Collingwood
$600,000-$700,000
The Magpie veteran has played a key role in helping to reshape the club’s swift turnaround under first-year coach Craig McRae. Collingwood quietly added an extra year to Sidebottom’s tenure, which means his deal runs through to the end of next season. He is keen to play a role in the club’s push for another flag and will end up being a Magpie for life.


Scott Lycett
Port Adelaide
$600,000-$700,000
Lycett signed a five-year deal worth $650,000 per season after the Eagles’ premiership heroics, with the deal having one more season to run. He has only been able to get out on the park sporadically this year but after 53 games in the previous three seasons he has still been a worthy acquisition as the Power consider their long-term draft needs.
 
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76 through to 90 :-


Darcy Parish
Essendon
$600,000-$700,000
Big-time ball-winner has continued to rack up massive possession numbers on the back of a career-best 2021 campaign. Last year, Parish was phenomenal in the middle, winning All-Australian honours, finishing runner-up in the best-and-fairest and polling 26 Brownlow Medal votes, but there has been debate about whether he has been as impactful this season. Will look for an even better deal next year as a restricted free agent.


Jake Stringer
Essendon
$600,000-$700,000
Stringer was at his game-breaking best last year when he signed a bumper contract extension, wreaking havoc around the centre clearances and closer to goal. But also he had to return to pre-season training this year in good shape and meet specific requirements as part of the deal, which underlined his standing as one of the club’s most important players. While he was set back by a groin problem late in the pre-season, he still has the power to win games off his own boot like in round 16 when he torched Sydney with a brilliant last term.


Michael Hurley
Essendon
$600,000-$700,000
Veteran Bomber signed a blockbuster five-year deal at the height of the supplements saga, turning down enormous interest from the Bulldogs. Was rewarded for his loyalty when the club was under huge pressure to re-sign its senior core players. Hurley, who was one of the game’s best defenders in his prime, returned to the field recently after a debilitating hip issue and blood infection which presented a serious threat to his health.


Dyson Heppell
Essendon
$600,000-$700,000
Essendon’s captain has been there on the front line in the club’s darkest hours. For that, the Bombers should always remain grateful, and there is a deal waiting for him to sign to play on for 2023. But is he in the Bombers’ best 22 next season? Heppell probably is, but perhaps it is a 12-15 game situation. If the Bombers play finals next year Heppell would deserve to be part of the action.


Mitch Duncan
Geelong
$600,000-$700,000
Duncan has shown his loyalty over the years, turning down offers to return home to Western Australia. Still one of the best kicks in the competition, he has become a weapon in his stints off half-back. The key forwards love it when Duncan is drilling balls down their throat. Had an outstanding first half in the 2020 grand final loss to Richmond and has since overcome a string of injuries. Contracted until the end of 2024.


Tom Stewart
Geelong
$600,000-$700,000
Could mount an argument that Stewart is one of the most underpaid players in the competition. The mature-age pickup from South Barwon in the Geelong Football League is considered the best rebounding defender in the game, and has continued to dominate on a back flank amid stints on the wing this season. Has become a leader of the club and is one of the Cats most important players. Contracted until the end of 2024. What a recruiting success story.


Jack Viney
Melbourne
$600,000-$700,000
Hard-as-nails ballwinner knocked back interest from Geelong to sign a contract keeping him at Melbourne until the end of 2025. No longer co-captain, but still a key leader for the club with his physical aggression and team-lifting defensive acts. Always puts his head in the oven for the team’s benefit. On a healthy wicket after staying loyal.


Angus Brayshaw
Melbourne
$600,000-$700,000
Signed a whopping six-year deal to stay at Melbourne, knocking back interest from Essendon and Fremantle. Perhaps he was never really leaving anyway, as the Demons continued their string of long-term midfield re-signings. Brayshaw finished third in the 2018 Brownlow Medal and has since become one of the most versatile and selfless playmakers in the game. Had an exceptional Grand Final. Underrated cog.


Nick Vlastuin
Richmond
$600,000-$700,000
This bloke has been almost worth his weight in gold for the Tigers and he is now being suitably rewarded for his importance. He signed a bumper five-year deal in early 2021, turning his back on free agency and the interest of a handful of AFL clubs. He is now locked in to the end of the 2026 season and is certain to play a big role in the Tigers’ future plans.


Charlie Curnow
Carlton
$600,000-$700,000
This time last year Curnow’s career was at the crossroads due to injury; now he is closing in what could be a remarkable Coleman Medal. Some suggested the Blues paid overs by handing a lucrative long-term deal in 2018 and his ongoing knee injuries fuelled that belief. But that has all changed now. He has been outstanding in 2022 and he and Harry McKay loom as the club’s most important signings in the next 12 to 15 months - on deals that could top $900,000.


Ben King
Gold Coast
$600,000-$700,000
King has been loyal at every turn for the Suns despite so much speculation that he was intent on reuniting with brother Max at St Kilda, signing on for the current two-year deal on extraordinary money for a third and fourth-year player ($650,000 this year), with a new two-year deal at around $750,000 a season kicking in next year.


Brad Crouch
St Kilda
$600,000-$700,000
Left the Crows as a restricted free agent after the 2020 season on a four-year deal. His old club reluctantly accepted pick 23 as compensation from the AFL after initially wanting St Kilda’s selection 15 in a trade. Crouch’s recruitment has been a tick for the Saints, averaging about 27 disposals and five clearances in his two seasons to date while barely missing a game.


Nic Naitanui
West Coast
$600,000-$700,000
Naitanui was once one of footy’s prime earners but for some time now has taken less to help the club retain talent as he cashes in on his remarkable off-field brand. Signed a three-year deal at 29 years of age and comes out of contract this year after being paid $650,000 in 2022. He is set to sign a new one-year deal to extend his career with the club as he battles regular injuries, but still shows his talent in brilliant cameos between time on the sidelines.


Jack Gunston
Hawthorn
$600,000-$700,000
The 2018 All-Australian is an unrestricted free agent this year and, like many of his veteran teammates, has been consistently raised as a recruiting target for opposition clubs. At age 30, Gunston isn’t as durable as he once was, missing all but one match last year after back surgery, then several this season with separate ankle injuries. But he remains a quality player when he’s on the field and has plenty of football left, wherever he plays.


Ben Cunnington
North Melbourne
$575,000-$675,000
The heart and soul of Arden St, the Kangaroos have sorely missed Cunnington’s hard edge and on-field passion this season. Cunnington, 31, is on the comeback trail from testicular cancer. His deal runs out at the end of this season, but he won’t be going anywhere. He has been selected to make his return to senior action this weekend and has an eye on playing a big role next season and beyond.
 
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91 through to 100 :-


Reilly O'Brien
Adelaide
$575,000-$675,000
It’s often all about timing with contracts. O’Brien won the Crows’ best-and-fairest award in 2020 before signing a four-year deal last season through to 2025. He was surprisingly dropped in round 9 this year but was back in the senior side a fortnight later. O’Brien is still considered to be head and shoulders above any other ruck option at the club.


Luke Breust
Hawthorn
$575,000-$675,000
The Giants went significantly down the road of trying to lure Breust back to NSW last year but the triple premiership star couldn’t do it. He is already one of the most prolific small forwards of all-time and still averages multiple goals per game as a 31-year-old. Could a rival club tempt him to finish his career elsewhere, given Hawthorn is still in a rebuilding phase?


Zak Jones
St Kilda
$575,000-$675,000
The brother of ex-Demon Nathan provides a rare mix of toughness and speed to the Saints’ on-ball brigade after being part of the club’s incredible 2019 trade haul. St Kilda parted with a second-round pick to snare Jones from Sydney and he has been a solid contributor, although injuries have limited his impact. His four-year deal expires at the end of next season.


Luke McDonald
North Melbourne
$550,000-$650,000
The Kangaroos co-vice-captain holds the longest current contract at Arden St, running through to the end of 2026. He signed the bumper deal early last year - off the back of a 2020 best-and-fairest - even if Fox Footy’s Jordan Lewis questioned whether he was the right sort of player to command such a long deal. After an injury-hit 2021, he has played every game in a difficult season this year and has again been an important mainstay this season.


Jy Simpkin
North Melbourne
$550,000-$650,000
Simpkin has all the ingredients to be the next Kangaroos captain, evidenced by his huge impact (34 disposals and a goal) in the emotional win over Richmond in round 18. Fresh from his best-and-fairest win last year, he signed a new deal that stretches through until the end of 2024. By then, he could - and probably should be - the club’s highest paid player.


Tom Hawkins
Geelong
$550,000-$650,000
The premiership full-forward is playing as well as ever at the tip of the Cats’ spear, bagging his 700th career goal this season. One of the most selfless players in the game, Hawkins specialises in creating goalscoring opportunities for teammates with his underrated ruck work and vision around goals. Certain to extend his contract beyond this season. Will go down as one of the greatest key forwards of the modern era.


Andrew McGrath
Essendon
$550,000-$650,000
There was interest in McGrath from Richmond and St Kilda before the No.1 pick re-signed this year, following a challenging start to the season. He’s a team-first defender-midfielder who is yet to reach his full potential, but the Bombers are pleased with his development. His speed and leadership are important. But will he be a superstar?


Mark Blicavs
Geelong
$550,000-$650,000
The most versatile position in the league has been an ace up Chris Scott’s sleeve for years. Whether it is in a key defensive position, in the ruck, on the wing, or now as a tagger, Blicavs provides the Cats ultimate flexibility with his running power and aerial work. Signed a five-year deal until the end of 2023 and another extension seems a formality considering his excellent form and importance. Amazing career after switching from middle-distance running.


Shai Bolton
Richmond
$550,000-$650,000
He’s been dubbed by some as the next Dusty, such has been the influence of Bolton in recent times. He signed a two-year extension last August - locking him in to the end of 2023 - and earns around $600,000 per season. His next deal will be a more significant one that could push him into the $800,000-$900,000 bracket, given his impact on games.


Charlie Dixon
Port Adelaide
$550,000-$650,000
Dixon’s three-year contract extension through to 2023 sees him paid close to $600,000 after a career that has seen him put together an exceptional body of work including 48 goals in 2021. He turns 32 in September but after early struggles at the Suns he would believe he has got the most out of his talent.
 
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The top 10 in order :-


Dustin Martin
Richmond
$1.2-$1.3 million
Will he or won’t he? It’s the question not even Richmond knows yet as the game’s highest paid player sorts through what happens next in his extraordinary career. He still has two seasons to run on his seven-year $9 million contract signed a month before the Tigers’ 2017 premiership triumph. Richmond desperately wants him to stay, but interstate rivals are selling the benefits of being out of the Melbourne AFL fishbowl. Wherever it is, if he plays on, he is set to earn between $1.2m and $1.3m for seasons 2023 and 2024.


Nat Fyfe
Fremantle
$1.05-$1.15 million
Fyfe’s deal running through to 2023 averages out at about $1.1 million across his career, with the dual Brownlow Medallist happy to have it shuffled forward and back to suit the club’s needs in any given season. Despite his injury-prone recent years it’s been worth every cent given rivals were prepared to offer up to $1.5 million for his services.


Jeremy McGovern
West Coast
$1-$1.1 million
McGovern’s monster five-year deal through to the end of 2023 averaged out at around $1.2 million but he has taken a significant cut this year of up to $200,000 to help out the club’s list. The four-time All-Australian and 2018 premiership player is one of footy’s highest-paid players but has earned every dime given his elite contributions. Keen to stay to help the rebuild.


Lance Franklin
Sydney
$950,000-$1.05 million
The Swans’ kingpin is in the final season of a nine-year, $10.2 million megadeal that many critics doubted he would complete when soft-tissue injuries besieged him. But Franklin kicked the 1000th goal of his sensational career in round 2 this season, after putting 51 through the uprights a year ago. He is still going strong and will play on in 2023 but Sydney’s initial offer of roughly $500,000 is yet to satisfy his camp.


Brodie Grundy
Collingwood
$925,000-$1.025 million
Grundy signed one of the most talked-about long-term deals in AFL football when the Magpies blinked and offered him seven years after he won the 2019 Copeland Trophy. The deal averages out at about $950,000 per season and runs through until the end of 2027. The past two-and-a-half years haven’t been quite as productive, with a knee injury costing him half a season this year. Trade options looms, with GWS more than interested and making contact with his management group. The Pies - and Grundy - may have some big decisions to make in the coming months.


Tom Lynch
Richmond
$925,000-$1.025 million
Lynch’s free agency deal with the Tigers was heavily back-ended as the club worked to keep its flag-winning group together. His first three seasons in yellow and black had him earning as little as $500,000 per season, but the real financial reward comes now. This season sees a pay increase to around $1 million, with the contract running through until the end of 2025.


Jeremy Cameron
Geelong
$900,000 - $1 million
After an injury-riddled first season in the hoops, Cameron has rediscovered his best form this year as one of the competition’s most destructive forwards. His partnership with Tom Hawkins and Tyson Stengle has helped put the Cats in the box seat for another premiership. They gave up three first-round picks to GWS Giants for Cameron and two second-round picks back. Good business for both clubs.



Marcus Bontempelli
Western Bulldogs
$900,000 - $1 million
Suffered an early-season ankle injury which restricted him more than everyone let on at the time. Bontempelli also went forward for a period this season to help support Aaron Naughton when the team was struggling to hit the scoreboard. Back in an onball role, he looks like the No.1 player in the game again. Tied to the kennel until the end of 2025. Worth every cent.


Stephen Coniglio
GWS Giants
$900,000 - $1 million
Coniglio signed a seven-year, seven-million dollar deal at the end of 2019 worth close to $1 million a season that runs through to 2027, with the Giants fiercely defending the decision given Carlton was offering the same terms. He has got back into rampaging form in recent months, but on pure value the deal hasn’t yet reaped what the Giants believed the commitment would sew.


Patrick Cripps
Carlton
$875,000 - $975,000
Never doubt a champion! Cripps has given us a reminder of that in 2022, turning in a blistering start to the season. He accepted a little less than market value to stay with the Blues in the middle of last year, despite big incentives to return home to WA. But he is still very well compensated on around $900,000 this year in a deal that descends throughout the lifetime of the contract which runs until the end of 2027. His premiership dream edges closer.
I have started my research for this year's Fantasy SCS NFL League and came across their top 10 NFL players earnings. o_O

1. Russell Wilson ($79 Million)
2. Ben Roethlisberger ($46 Million)
3. Drew Brees ($39 Million)
4. Tom Brady ($35 Million)
5. Nick Foles ($32.8 Million)
6. DeMarcus Lawrence ($31.3 Million)
7. Kirk Cousins ($29.8 Million)
8. Trey Flowers ($29.1 Million)
9. Brandin Cooks ($28 Million)
10. Matt Ryan ($26.5 Million)
 
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KFC SuperCoach trade guide: Top trades and grand final strategies for round 23

The biggest week on the KFC SuperCoach calendar has arrived! We examine the trades and strategies that can earn you league glory and bragging rights among your mates.

Tim Michell, Dan Batten and Al Paton

If you have made it to the last round of the KFC SuperCoach season with trades, firstly, well done.
It’s no mean feat in a season in which injuries have hit a string of popular KFC SuperCoach players at inopportune times.

Thousands of KFC SuperCoaches will be dreaming of league glory and bragging rights this weekend, and having a trade or two up your sleeve could make all the difference.

Of course, many coaches have already burned their 35 trades in a desperate attempt to either progress deep into league finals or improve their overall ranking.

Those KFC SuperCoaches will have their teams in the lap of the selection and fantasy gods this week: a position no coach likes to be in.

But even with zero trades, there are ways to give yourself the best opportunity of a grand final triumph or a last-round rankings surge.

Scroll down for the best one-off trades to set your team apart and the somewhat sneaky tactics that can give you an all-important edge.

Good luck!

TRADE TIPS

Andrew Brayshaw to Darcy Parish, Callum Mills or Sam Walsh

Taggers have played a huge role in the KFC SuperCoach finals (just ask Tom Stewart owners) and there’s an almost certain tag coming Brayshaw’s way this round from either Harry Perryman or Lachie Ash. Zach Merrett’s KFC SuperCoach owners will know just how effective Perryman can be after he restricted Merrett to 71 points in round 21. Brownlow Medal contender Brayshaw is the Dockers’ obvious trade target and has been susceptible to extra attention in the past. If you want to avoid the stress of a likely tag this round, Parish, Mills and Walsh are almost sideways trades from Brayshaw. Parish has scored 128 and 166 in his last two against round 23 opponent Richmond, Mills is one of the leading KFC SuperCoach midfielders of 2022 and Walsh has gone 123, 193 and 105 in his last three against Collingwood. Parish over Walsh, just, if you want to jump off Brayshaw.

Jack Sinclair or Bailey Dale to Harry Himmelberg, Tom Stewart or Jordan Dawson

When Sinclair last met Swans super stopper Ryan Clarke, he was restricted to a season-low 79 points, with the speedy Saint spending time forward to beat the tag. Sinclair is in 41 per cent of sides, so a move from him to one of the top defenders in Himmelberg, Stewart or Dawson could pay off handsomely against your grand final opponent. Stewart may be the best option of the lot with a grand final match-up against the Eagles at the Cattery – surely he couldn’t be tagged again! The other defender who could face a close tag this round is Bailey Dale. One of the Bulldogs is certain to get Finn Maginness for company – he followed Shai Bolton on Sunday but Sam Mitchell likes using him on attacking half-backs. The other players who could be in the gun for a Maginness tag include Marcus Bontempelli and Jack Macrae.

GRAND FINAL TOP TRADE TARGETS

Clayton Oliver past 3 vs Brisbane: 140, 94, 177

Oliver was the leading disposal winner on the ground when Melbourne hammered Brisbane by 64 points in round 15. He finished with 35 disposals and 12 clearances, amassing 140 KFC SuperCoach points. After a couple of quieter weeks Oliver has responded with 152 and 126 points in his past two games and a player with his ceiling could be the deciding factor in a grand final. He is the perfect vice-captaincy option for those who use the captaincy loophole – if you’re all the way through to a decider, it’s likely you do!

Max Gawn past 2 v Brisbane: 138, 157

The Demons skipper has returned to form in a big way in the past month (average 131.5 in his past four matches) and looks primed for KFC SuperCoach grand final week. Gawn’s score of 198 in round 12 against Sydney shows just how dominant he can be and he shapes as a possible matchwinner for your team. Gawn didn’t play in Melbourne’s round 12 triumph over the lions, but in round 12 last season he had 31 disposals to 18 against this week’s likely opponent Oscar McInerney. Another top vice-captaincy option in the opening game of round 23.

Touk Miller past 3 v North Melbourne: 167, 123, 131

Anyone who was waiting for Miller’s price to bottom out before jumping on will remember his last outing against North Melbourne well. In a game played in greasy conditions Miller was a class above, finishing with 32 disposals, eight tackles, five marks and 167 KFC SuperCoach points. His price did drop, but only by about $2k despite a sky-high Break Even. If he goes close to replicating that performance in grand final week, you can’t afford to miss out.

Marcus Bontempelli past 3 v Hawthorn: 136, 114, 161

‘The Bont’ still managed to get to triple figures in round 22 despite battling illness in an ominous sign for grand final week and the Hawks. He’s been a tag target before and there has to be some chance Finn Maginness goes to him – at least initially. The issue might be for the Hawks if Bontempelli goes forward whether Maginness could handle him in the air. The last time Bont scored less than 96 was in round 6. He’s having one hell of a season and is primed for a big finish.

Rowan Marshall past 2 v Sydney: 156, 123

Marshall got a rare opportunity as the No.1 ruck against Sydney earlier this season and took it with both hands, scoring 156 points from 42 hitouts, 23 disposals and seven marks. Not bad going in a team which lost by more than eight goals. Marshall got the better of Tom Hickey that day and his form since taking the No.1 mantle after Paddy Ryder was injured has been encouraging. He has a huge ceiling and the scoring history to suggest another big score could be in the offing.

Luke Davies-Uniacke past 2 v Gold Coast: 109, 116
LDU was a POD option when we thought we had to trade Patrick Cripps and sticking with the move even after the Blues’ appeal succeeded would have been a winning move. He was incredible against the Crows with 37 disposals, a goal and 141 KFC SuperCoach points, his second 140-plus score in a hot past six weeks. He has scored over 100 in his past two encounters with Gold Coast and he is a much better player now.

Jack Steele past 3 v Sydney: 155, 115, 140
Forget the disappointing effort against Brisbane in round 22. Steele loves coming up against the Swans. His career average against Sydney is 110, a record which speaks for itself – and look at those numbers above. Missing rounds 10-14 could mean he’s a POD option to set you apart in your decider as well. Steele had 10 tackles and 29 disposals in round 15 against the Swans.
 
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TACTICS THAT CAN WIN A GRAND FINAL

1. Use bench loopholes
Using a bench loophole can help you avoid a premium injury or tag that comes early in a round. For example, this round you could bench Lachie Neale or Christian Petracca in the opening game (making sure they are nominated as an emergency). If they were to score less than 50, you could take a punt on a bench rookie to outscore them and gain what could be a decisive 10-20 point advantage. It doesn’t sound like much, but if your league match comes down to a few unique players, those points can make a huge difference. Expect many coaches to use the bench loop for Will Brodie in the second game of round 23. Another option would be to put the E on Massimo D’Ambrosio (pending selection) and if he scores 80-plus benching Jack Crisp. Of course, it all depends on who your NPP (non-playing player) is to execute the loophole.

2. Trade late
As much as we all love KFC SuperCoach, sometimes on Saturdays and Sundays life gets in the way. If you are still in the fortunate position to have a trade or two, don’t use them until close to the start of the match the player you want features in. That way, if you opponent is feeling comfortable about the way the match-up is progressing, you can catch them off guard and change the complexion of the final with a trade. The one obstacle to this can be if you get distracted, so set an alarm to make sure you can make that planned trade in time.

3. Match vice-captain and/or captains
KFC SuperCoach Plus subscribers can see which players are unique to their grand final match up and which and ‘common’ – or feature in both teams. Add up the projected points total of the unqiues in your match and if you’re projected to win comfortably, one way to counter a challenge from your opponent is to match their captain and vice-captain. Say your opponent throws the VC on a riskier option at the start of the round with big upside. If you match them and that player does go big, there’s no damage done. The risk would be if your opponent makes a late captain or vice-captain change and you’re stuck with a captain you would rather not have. That’s the fun and games of KFC SuperCoach finals!

4. Up the banter
Top KFC SuperCoaches know how important the old group chat psych-out can be. There’s nothing like convincing your opponent you’re going with a point-of-difference captain, only to make a late switch and catch them off guard. Or dropping a bit of selection or injury news to sow the seeds of doubt. It might cost you a few mates, but KFC SuperCoach isn’t about making friends. It’s about glory, and that’s what’s on the line this week. If you get an ‘inside word’ from your opponent this week, it’s wise to check whether they’re messing with you before making any changes to your KFC SuperCoach plans.

5. Save your captain until later in the round
We mentioned the way to play defensively with your captain, but of course there’s a flip side where an aggressive captaincy move can be what wins a grand final. If your final isn’t going to plan and KFC SuperCoach Plus projections suggest you’re in trouble, swinging the captaincy to a player later in the round might help chew into your opponent’s advantage. Say your rival nails their vice-captaincy in the Friday night game between Brisbane Lions and Melbourne (for example, Clayton Oliver scores 140). They’ll no doubt loop that score, so you need to at least match 140 to be at a disadvantage. If your vice-captain scored under that mark, you’d need a captain late in the round who can go massive – Marcus Bontempelli on Sunday, Rory Laird on Saturday night and Darcy Parish against Richmond are standouts. Don’t despair if you’re behind in your match after a few round 23 games. Captaincy can make a decisive difference.

6. Be wary of taggers (see above!)
The tag is back in vogue in a big way, as Perryman showed in round 21 and Marcus Windhager emphasised on Friday night when he blanketed Lachie Neale. As mentioned above, GWS is likely to put the clamp on Andrew Brayshaw on Saturday afternoon. Willem Drew went to Jordan Dawson in the second half of the Showdown earlier in the season, restricting him to three disposals in the third term before he was the after-the-siren hero. Finn Maginness has been superb in a shutdown role for Hawthorn and will have one of Western Bulldogs’ stars in his sights, while Marcus Windhager likely saddles up to Chad Warner or Luke Parker. Mitch Owens is the other Saint who has played a defensive role in recent weeks and probably goes to Nick Blakey or Jake Lloyd. If one of your players seems a likely tag target, consider a trade or at least looping them off your bench.
 
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31 through to 45 :-


Dylan Shiel
Essendon
$750,000-$850,000
Spotlight intensified on Shiel in a big way when Sydney’s Luke Parker mocked him on field during the Swans’ big win in round 9. To that point, Shiel had struggled to live up to expectations in four years at Tullamarine after signing a big-money deal from Greater Western Sydney in 2018. But he has hit back hard over the past two months and clearly been one of the club’s best players in the middle.


Joe Daniher
Brisbane Lions
$750,000-$850,000
Like his team, Daniher has been up and down a little this season after a hot start trying to spearhead the Lions’ premiership assault. Moved up to Brisbane on big money and has since extended his deal until the end of 2025. Groin issues haven’t been a problem since heading north. Essendon secured a top-10 pick as free agency compensation for Daniher and found a bargain replacement deep in attack in Peter Wright.


Jaeger O'Meara
Hawthorn
$750,000-$850,000
O’Meara is on big money at the Hawks and regarded as one of the most important players at the club, on and off the field, for his experience, output, leadership and composure. The questions about his durability have also largely been answered, given he’s played all but one game this year after 18 last season. O’Meara’s four-year deal expires at the end of 2023.


Tom Mitchell
Hawthorn
$750,000-$850,000
Signed a two-year contract extension in mid-2019 – months after suffering a broken leg that wiped out his entire season – that keeps him in brown and gold until at least next year. Mitchell has reiterated he wants to stay a Hawk despite speculation about his future since last season. He remains one of Hawthorn’s top earners but may not be on quite as much as previous years.


Aaron Naughton
Western Bulldogs
$750,000-$850,000
Courageous key forward knocks over defenders like nine-pins with his full-blooded aerial efforts in attack. Despite the toll it must take on his body, Naughton has been able to back it up from week-to-week this season as the main target in the Dogs' forward half. Out of contract at the end of 2024, Naughton could become one of the game’s highest-paid players on his next deal. Expect both West Australian clubs to come hard.


Dane Rampe
Sydney
$750,000-$850,000
One of three co-captains at Sydney, Rampe has long been the club’s best and most dependable defender. He is cashing in on a back-ended contract this season, helped by superstar clubmate Lance Franklin’s salary dipping from the past two years. Ranpe inked a one-year deal in February but this is the final season of his previous deal, which was extended for three more years in 2018.


Rory Laird
Adelaide
$750,000-$850,000
The dual All-Australian won his second Crows’ club champion award in 2021 and this is the first season of his new five-year deal after turning his back on free agency. Laird was a star as a defender and now also as a midfielder, with his body of work establishing himself as the club’s best and most highly paid footballer.


Zac Williams
Carlton
$725,000-$825,000
It has been a tough first two seasons for the former Giant, who joined the Blues at the end of 2020 on a lucrative, often misunderstood free agency deal. It doesn’t start with a ‘9’ as some have suggested. Williams has struggled for fitness and form reasons. He was starting to silence some doubters before he ruptured his Achilles in round 9. Has four more seasons to run on his deal, so he has time to start working on his value-for-money outcomes.


Jack Steele
St Kilda
$700,000-$800,000
An All-Australian and club champion in each of the past two years, Steele inked a five-year contract extension in December last year that ties him to Moorabbin until 2027. The Saints missed his presence greatly mid-season when he was recovering from AC joint surgery but he returned in vintage form. St Kilda’s best player will be handsomely rewarded for years to come.


Lachie Whitfield
GWS Giants
$700,000-$800,000
Has battled for impact this year but the Giants did the right thing securing him on a seven-year deal at the end of 2019 as he entered a year when he would have been one of footy’s hottest free agents. His contract is worth only about $700,000 this year but will be over $1 million in its middle years before dropping again before it expires in 2027. At only 28 he now needs to drag along a developing side to fast-track them into premiership contention again.


Andrew Brayshaw
Fremantle
$700,000-$800,000
Brayshaw signed a four-year deal at the end of 2020 through to 2025 and whatever he is paid is worth it given he is pushing hard for the Brownlow ahead of a certain captaincy hand-over at some point in the future. He signed a contract reflective of his massive upside and while the club lost his fellow top-10 draftee in Adam Cerra, he is a keeper.


Rory Lobb
Fremantle
$700,000-$800,000
Lobb has been one of footy’s best-paid players given his output, cashing in on one great year at GWS and then his move to Fremantle when they needed a key forward. He is due $750,000 this year and next under his latest contract, but will find himself at a Melbourne-based club on a longer-term deal on a contract that is likely to be around $500,000 a season.


Jack Macrae
Western Bulldogs
$700,000-$800,000
Never lets the team down with his midfield consistency and work-rate. He is there for every contest and runs as hard as his body will let him from siren to siren. Rewarded in March when the ball magnet signed a five-year extension, keeping Macrae at the kennel until the end of 2027. Worked hard on his game to become more damaging by foot.


Charlie Cameron
Brisbane Lions
$700,000-$800,000
Lightning-fast goalkicker remains one of the most damaging small forwards in the caper with his dazzling goal sense. The electrifying Cameron is a matchwinner with his tackling pressure and cleanness at ground level. Has been an exceptional recruiting move to snaffle him from Adelaide. Former rookie earned a nice bump up on his last deal. Locked in until the end of 2025.


Chad Wingard
Hawthorn
$700,000-$800,000
The Hawks staved off the Western Bulldogs’ interest in Wingard to win his signature on a five-year deal in 2018, after Port Adelaide traded him to Waverley Park. They gave up a first-round pick and Ryan Burton as part of the Wingard package but he’s played no more than 17 games in any of his four seasons since, including a season-ending hamstring setback this year.
Nice photo of Charlie Cameron, makes it look like he is on fire. :ROFLMAO:
 
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SuperCoach Plus: 11 stats to help your team in round 23, 2022

From exclusive opposition research to tagging analysis and captain choices, get the numbers from SuperCoach Plus to make the best moves this week.

SC Plus Article

It all comes down to this.

After 22 rounds, three days this weekend will decide KFC SuperCoach glory and bragging rights in leagues across the nation.

Thousands of coaches will be riding every kick and clanger, and pulling any lever they can to get the edge.

And SuperCoach Plus is here to help.

A treasure trove of stats and tools including Break Evens, score and price projections, the new Trade Assist button and lots more comes into its own in grand final week.

1. OPPOSITION RESEARCH

A crucial element of KFC SuperCoach planning is knowing which teams concede or restrict points in each position – and the intel is more valuable than ever in grand final week. When it comes to midfielders, West Coast, Collingwood, Adelaide, Hawthorn and North Melbourne have been the easiest teams to score against in 2022, while Carlton concedes the fewest points to opposition midfielders, followed by Melbourne and St Kilda. That could be good news for the likes of Patty Cripps and Touk Miller this round, but a red flag for Lachie Neale. General defenders score the most points against the Saints and Kangaroos and struggle against Port Adelaide and the Lions. The Kangaroos and Eagles are clearly the worst offenders at conceding points to general forwards and key forwards, while Melbourne and Richmond are much harder to score against in that position. And in the ruck you want to be playing against Hawthorn (Tim English!), West Coast or Collingwood – and not against the Bulldogs, Brisbane or Essendon (Toby Nankervis).

2. TAGGER WATCH (1)

Taggers have wreaked havoc in KFC SuperCoach finals and they are set to play a big role in grand final week. So who is in the crosshairs this week? Jack Sinclair can expect another appointment with Ryan Clarke on Sunday – in round 15 they were matched up for 54 minutes and Sinclair had just 11 disposals and one mark in that time. In the same game Marcus Windhager could try to add the scalp of Chad Warner to his impressive resume this year. Last week he held Lachie Neale to 15 disposals in the 105 minutes they were matched up.

3. TAGGER WATCH (2)

Finn Maginness has been one of the best stoppers in the game this season and has played on a variety of player types, keeping Sinclair, Jy Simpkin, Touk Miller and Shai Bolton quiet. He has plenty of options against the Bulldogs on Saturday but Tom Liberatore could be the in the gun – he has been the No.1 tag target at the Dogs this year ahead of Marcus Bontempelli, Bailey Smith, Jack Macrae and Josh Dunkley.

4. TAGGER WATCH (3)

Andy Brayshaw can probably already feel the blowtorch coming his way from the Giants. Lachie Ash kept Brayshaw to 17 disposals in the 58 minutes they were matched up in round 4 this year, finishing with 95 points. Harry Perryman has become Mark McVeigh’s No.1 stopper, keeping Lachie Neale to 15 disposals in round 21 and Liberatore to 18 last weekend, so expect him to get the Brayshaw match-up this weekend.

5. TAGGER WATCH (4)

Willem Drew shared his time between Rory Laird and Jordan Dawson in round 3 and that pair is likely to be on his radar again in round 23. He played on Zach Merrett on Sunday and restricted the prolific Bomber to 18 disposals in the 96 minutes they went head-to-head.

6. GF CAPTAINS CORNER

This is the most important captaincy call of the season, so let’s take a closer look at every game in round 23 with the help of SuperCoach Plus.

Brisbane Lions v Melbourne (Gabba, Friday 7.50pm)

Clayton Oliver averages 137 in his past three against Brisbane and would be a safe vice-captaincy choice. You would back him ahead of Lachie Neale, who scored 111 against the Dees in round 15. Christian Petracca scored 97 in that game but his previous two scores against Brisbane are 130 and 141, so he could be a left-field option with a huge ceiling.

GWS Giants v Fremantle (Manuka Oval, Saturday 1.45pm)

Andrew Brayshaw is the standout midfielder from these two teams in KFC SuperCoach this year, and he averages 114 in his past three against the Giants. But the high likelihood of a tag is enough to scare us off. Sean Darcy averages 72 in his past three v GWS but he’s coming off a 155, we know how high his ceiling is and his likely opponent at the first centre bounce is Kieren Briggs.

North Melbourne v Gold Coast (Marvel Stadium, Saturday 2.10pm)

Touk Miller is the obvious candidate here and one of the top captain picks this round. The third-highest scoring player in KFC SuperCoach this year averages 140 in his past three against North Melbourne and has a five-round average of 128.6.

Geelong v West Coast (GMHBA Stadium, Saturday 4.35pm)

Amazingly, there are only two Cats in the 100 most-selected players in KFC SuperCoach, and no Eagles. Sam De Koning probably isn’t going to get the job done and Tom Stewart doesn’t inspire confidence with a three-round average of 86 since returning from suspension, and a 95 against the Eagles in round 14.

Essendon v Richmond (MCG, Saturday 7.25pm)

This game could be a different story. The Bombers have been awful in recent weeks but Zach Merrett should be allowed to run free again with no tagger in the Tiger team. He averages 127.3 in his past three against Richmond, while Darcy Parish could do even better for his 8000 owners. He averages 131 in his past three against the Tigers including 166 last year.

Port Adelaide v Adelaide (Adelaide Oval, Saturday, 7.30pm)

Can Jordan Dawson repeat his round 3 Showdown heroics? A matchwinning goal after the siren boosted his score to 123 that night and he also posted tons against the Power as a Swan in 2021 and 2020. Rory Laird was returning from a hand injury in round 3 and scored 93 points, but his previous two against Port were 125 and 119. The most consistent player in KFC SuperCoach should be in your top few options for the C or VC.

Hawthorn v Bulldogs (UTAS, Sunday 1.10pm)

Where will Finn Maginness go? If they can avoid a tag Marcus Bontempelli (average 137 in past three v Hawks) and Jack Macrae (120.3) are both captaincy candidates, although using the VC would be preferable and that will be tricky unless you have a zero player from any of the Blues, pies, Saints or Swans. The Bont has played in Launceston twice for scores of 114 and 59. In four games there Macrae averages 101.

Carlton v Collingwood (MCG, Sunday 3.20pm)

Patrick Cripps scored 114 against the Pies in round 11. His previous two scores against Collingwood are in the 80s but the skipper could strap the Blues on his back in a bid to lift them into the finals. Sam Walsh hasn’t been at his best in recent weeks but he did score 193 against the Pies last year.

St Kilda v Sydney (Marvel Stadium, Sunday 4.40pm)

Jack Steele’s 58 points against Brisbane was his lowest score in four years but he loves playing the Swans, scoring 155, 115 and 140 in his past three against them. Callum Mills scored 86 against the Saints in round 15 and Jack Sinclair scored 79 in that game (with some close Ryan Clarke attention). If you want a final Hail Mary captain in the final game of the season, KFC SuperCoach grand final specialist Lance Franklin is your man. He is in form with 13 goals in his past four games and always finds something extra for the final home-and-away round. Since 2009 he has scored under 108 in the final round only twice with scores in that time of 141 (2009), 183 (2017), 161 (2018) and 127 (last year). Go Buddy.

7. PREMIERSHIP POD?

Another player who could end the year with a bang is Tom Hawkins, who plays at home in the final round against the Eagles – who give up more points to opposition key forwards than 16 other teams this year (only the Kangaroos are easier to score against). Hawkins has been a smart pick for the run home with just one score below 93 in the past seven rounds and will spearhead the Cats’ attack without partner Jeremy Cameron, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury. When Cameron missed from rounds 17-23 last year Tomahawk averaged 95 points per game, and he has eight tons at GMHBA Stadium since the start of 2021. He has gone big in the KFC SuperCoach grand final before, posting 144 in the final round in 2018, 128 in 2016 and 156 in 2014. If Hawkins needs any more incentive, he needs eight goals to edge in front of Coleman Medal leader Charlie Curnow.

8. TRADE TRACKER

With trades at a premium – and some astute coaches keeping their powder dry to make a possible move during the round – trade numbers are way down this week. The most traded out player so far is Jack Crisp, who has been booted by 379 coaches. Nick Daicos (212) and Todd Goldstein (153) are also on the outer, while Jordan Dawson is the most popular trade in after being added to 289 teams this week. Sam Docherty and Max Gawn are also popular additions while 154 coaches are banking on another huge return from Tom Lynch against the Bombers (it could be a good bet, he already has scores of 167, 177 and 184 to his name this year). Coaches are also trying some left-field moves to gain a last-minute advantage. Among the big names traded out are Zach Merrett (87), Sam Walsh (28), Christian Petracca (15), Stephen Coniglio (4) and Tom Stewart (1). Some left-field players being added to teams for the final round include Tyson Stengle (26 teams), Liam Duggan (12), Taylor Walker (7), John Noble (6), Marlion Pickett (4), Oscar McInerney (2) and Dougal Howard (1).
 
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9. WHO IS NO.1?
He might be on the nose slightly after his lowest score for the season in round 22 but Lachie Neale is on track to be the king of KFC SuperCoach in 2022. The Lions star has scored 2598 points, 48 more than second-placed Clayton Oliver. The Lions and Demons face each other this week and Neale is projected to score 118 by SuperCoach Plus, while Oliver has a projected score of 115. The battle for the No.1 average of the season will go down to the wire, with Oliver’s 127.5 a fingernail behind Rory Laird’s 127.6. When it comes to the top eight midfielders of the year, the next six best averages are Neale (123.7), Touk Miller (121.1), Callum Mills (117.8), Jack Macrae (116) and Andrew Brayshaw and Christian Petracca (both 112.1).

10. TOP SIX STARS
Marcus Bontempelli (116.2 average) would rank No.6 if he was a pure midfielder, making him a clear standout in the forward line. Remarkably, the Bulldogs occupy the top four spots on average with the Bont followed by Josh Dunkley (107.4), Tom Liberatore (106.2) and Tim English (105.8). Luke Parker (104.4) and Stephen Coniglio (102.8) make up the top six. Judging on total points, Will Brodie and Isaac Heeney come into the top six at the expense of Coniglio (seventh) and English (53rd).

In defence, Jack Sinclair has had some sort of breakout season, ranking No.1 by total points and average (113.5). Four defenders average 111-plus: Sinclair, James Sicily (112.5), George Hewett (111.4) and Jordan Dawson (111.2). Tom Stewart (109.9) and Sam Docherty (108.3) round out the top six. Hewett falls out of the top six on total points along with Stewart, replaced by Bailey Dale and late bolter Angus Brayshaw (three-round average 116.3).

The rucks have caused more chaos than anyone could have predicted in 2022 but if you expected Max Gawn to have the best average of all ruckmen this year, give yourself a tick. A late-season surge has pushed his average to 115.1, clear of Jarrod Witts (110.9) and English. Sean Darcy (103.2) is the only other ruckman to average over 100, discounting Brodie Grundy who played only six matches. The total points rankings, however, paint a very different picture with Witts ranked first and Gawn second followed by Toby Nankervis and Todd Goldstein – both are well down on averages but have the rare attribute this year of playing every match.

11. POPULARITY CONTEST

Neale also comes in at No.1 in the coaches’ choice rankings at the end of the season, now featuring in more than 120,000 – or 70.9 per cent – of KFC SuperCoach teams. Josh Dunkley (64.7 per cent), Stephen Coniglio (58.4 per cent), Jack Macrae (58.2 per cent) and Will Brodie (54.5 per cent) make up the top five. Adam Saad (7 per cent), Darcy Cameron (6.7 per cent), Connor Rozee (5.3 per cent), Dylan Moore (3.6 per cent) and Chad Warner (2.4 per cent) have been some of the best PODs of the year, while Shannon Hurn has averaged 104 points per game for 0.9 per cent of teams.
 
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Doctor SuperCoach: Grand final hero recruits who can help deliver your team to glory

They’re here: AFL SuperCoach grand finals. DOCTOR SUPERCOACH names four players who could single-handedly turn the tide and power your team to glory.

Doctor SuperCoach

One more round to go. For those that have made the grand final, the pressure is on to perform and win bragging rights among your friends and family.
While most of us have similar top-end players in our team, with high ownership, it is important to think smart and bring in someone who can take over a game.


This week on Doctor’s Orders, the expert team at Doctor SuperCoach are looking at match-winners. Players who could single-handedly turn the tide for you in your grand final with their scoring prowess.

FORM DOESN’T LIE: Tom Barrass (DEF)
Price $560,500, five-game average 124, three-game average 113

It has been a terrible season for West Coast but Eagles defender Tom Barrass has become a genuine superstar. He can defend, intercept and even finds himself getting in the chain out of defensive 50.

The key defender has scored 126, 104, 109, 132 and 149 in his last five outings and continues to blossom in the absence of Jeremy McGovern. Barrass averages an astonishing 107 without McGovern in the team and continues to churn out big scores to end the season, as he builds towards All-Australian contention.

A date with Tom Hawkins is on the menu, and you can bet yourself that he will be doing all he can to stop him. The play here is hoping that the volume of ball going down Geelong’s end will allow Barrass significantly more scoring opportunities; and without Jeremy Cameron, this opens more team defence, allowing Barrass to peel off and intercept.

Based on his form and ceiling, he is one worth considering this week as a huge point of difference.

ULTIMATE LOOPHOLE: Patrick Dangerfield (MID)
Price $392,200 five-game average 80, three-game average 72

You must be thinking to yourself, why would I even entertain bringing in Patrick Dangerfield given how he has performed this year? Well, sometimes you need to become tactical in a grand final and this could be a very interesting deployment.

The Cats play the Eagles this week and West Coast have been the best match-up for midfielders this season. Danger requires a tune-up game before finals, so why not let him off the chain when there’s a break the week after?

Clearly, he has had a ceiling in the past, and at the tantalising price of $392,200, you can bring him into your team as an emergency and opt to take his score if he explodes, via a non-playing loophole player.

This is one of the audacious high-risk moves which could provide massive dividends if Dangerfield winds back the clock against a struggling Eagles side. We recommend other proven premiums in form, but the loophole route seems like a smart option this week.

THE KING HIMSELF: Max Gawn (RUC)
Price $593,600 five-game average 115, three-game average 126

Undoubtedly the best ruckman in SuperCoach is big Maxy Gawn, yet he sits in just 25% of teams, which is very low for his standards. Typically, around this time he has well above 50% ownership, but many of us opted to trade him when got injured around the byes.

The resume and history speak for itself: he consistently scores well every season and don’t expect him to take things lightly on Friday night. This is a huge game for Melbourne, as they face Brisbane in a match-up that will shape the top four. Oscar McInerny isn’t a completely easy opposition, but Gawn continues to evolve his game as he impacts as both a ruckman and forward.

If Max can kick a goal or two and continue his ruck dominance, then you can put him down for a mammoth grand final score. If you don’t have him, then you may as well bring the big man in with one of your final trades.

Total game-changer.

NOW OR NEVER: Tom Liberatore (FWD/MID)
Price $554,200, five-game average 105, three-game average 100

Just about everyone has Tim English, Marcus Bontempelli and Josh Dunkley in their team, so why not consider adding another inside bull?

There is no doubt that this is a finals game for the Bulldogs; they need to smash Hawthorn to increase their percentage and potentially overtake Carlton.

While his form has cooled off in recent times, Liberatore has had nine scores of 110+ this season, with six of them being 123+. While a Finn Maginness tag is a cause for concern, Libba has shown an ability to score well despite heavy attention due to his contested game style. His form against Hawthorn in the past has also been sublime, with previous scores of 118, 132, 132 and 128.

The ceiling is there and it is a massive occasion. This could be a match-winning trade.
 
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KFC SuperCoach: Jean-Paul Haigh claims Holy Grail as 2022 champion
A left-field last trade and a well-aimed curse helped the 2022 champion claim an emotional victory. Here’s how he did it.

5 min read
August 24, 2022 - 1:56PM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom

Winning KFC SuperCoach is a dream come true for Jean-Paul Haigh.

JP’s team Raymagoo (based on a childhood nickname) scored 54,886 points in 2022 in Australia’s biggest fantasy sports game to claim the $50,000 grand prize and the first ever KFC SuperCoach Holy Grail.

“This is amazing. I’ve been striving to do this for about 25 years, so I’m pretty stoked,” he said on Wednesday.

“I used to do it when it was cut out of the newspaper back in the day and I’ve had cash leagues with mates for 15 years. I just love it.”

As if the nerves of hanging onto No.1 spot of more than 170,000 KFC SuperCoach players on the final day of the season weren’t enough, JP – who works in the building department at Frankston City Council – had to watch his beloved Blues play for a finals spot against Collingwood.

“I kind of knew SuperCoach was safe after Max Gawn’s average Friday, so I was just there for Carlton. (I was) a little bit crushed, but this makes it a little bit easier to deal with,” he said.

And he revealed an unusual secret weapon in the battle for ultimate footy bragging rights.

“I have to change my password at work monthly, and I changed it to four Carlton players in a row, and they all got injured. So I thought, ‘I’m going to use this to my advantage’,” he said.

He started using players he didn’t have in his SuperCoach team for his password, and the curse continued.

“I went with Jordan De Goey, and he went to Bali, then I went with Josh Kelly, and he got a concussion for a couple of weeks.”

JP’s next password was Zach Merrett, who had been running hot but promptly copped a hard tag, and last Friday afternoon he updated the password again. Going into the final round his biggest worry was if Max Gawn, who featured in the second-placed team, produced a massive score. With the password curse applied, he was no chance. Gawn scored 74 points against the Lions, his lowest score in six weeks.

“He had a stinker. It was fantastic.”

His surprise final round hero was Swan Lewis Taylor, who was traded into Raymagoo for the last game of the season.

“I had Lachie Neale sitting on the bench and just wanted to get his 106 on the field. I could have played Isaac Heeney, and even though he ended up outscoring Neale it just wasn’t a risk I wanted to take on the final day.”

Trading in Taylor – who played just one game this season, as the unused medical sub in round 15 – guaranteed Neale’s score would be part of JP’s total for the round.

“He’s a bit of a funny fella so I just thought it was a bit of fun. I’ll send him a message (to say thanks).”

HOW HE DID IT

JP started picking his 2022 KFC SuperCoach team about a week before pre-season matches started, then kept a close eye on the games to refine his squad for round 1.

“I’m pretty open to all sorts of players. I went for some mid-pricers this year, I took (Jarrod) Witts, (Braydon) Preuss, George Hewett, (Patrick) Cripps, (Will) Brodie, (Tristan) Xerri – all those guys, and it just worked out really well.”

His starting team featured 10 “uber premos” but his most crucial selections were in the ruck, a position that caused chaos for many KFC SuperCoach teams this year.

“I started Max Gawn and Witts on the field and Preuss on the bench because he was suspended in round 1. He banged out a couple of hundreds, so I traded out Max Gawn at the end of round 2 for Isaac Heeney. It worked out pretty well.

“I could see Preuss was going to make a ton of money, so I just wanted to keep him until he missed his usual three games. (As soon as he missed a game) he was gone straight away.”

JP wasn’t afraid make ruthless calls early, with Jack Crisp and Caleb Daniel both traded out along with Gawn in the early rounds.

He used the new Trade Boosts to help upgrade his team, with the last Boost activated during the bye rounds.

Unsurprisingly, his team featured the topscoring players of 2022 including Rory Laird, Clayton Oliver, Touk Miller, Jack Sinclair, James Sicily, Callum Mills, Marcus Bontempelli and Luke Parker. His most unique selection was Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines.

“I was going to do a different upgrade that week and someone ended up pulling out at the last minute,” he said, adding Wines fit his preferred KFC SuperCoach mould of a robust, reliable player unlikely to be the target of an opposition tag.

He was available for the right price ($508,000) at the right time (round 7) and was a solid contributor for most of the year before catching fire in the final month with scores of 125, 118, 140 and 137.

“I actually sent him a message on Instagram, but he probably never opened it,” JP said.

Wines wasn’t the only player who repaid JP’s faith, although the choice of whether to trade out a player or hang tough isn’t always easy.

“Sometimes it depends if I’ve got a bit of a man crush on them and if they’re a good player. Crippa managed to stay in the team all year. I probably would have moved him on, and Jayden Short and Ollie Wines probably, but I was short on trades, so they stayed in the team and they came good.”

But not every move worked out.

“Darcy Parish lasted about 20 minutes in my team before he got injured.

“I started Mitch McGovern, just like I started Paddy Dow last year. It’s very easy to get sucked in or to make a bad trade. I think he (McGovern) will be good long-term, just not in my SuperCoach team.”

GRAND PLANS

Looking ahead to next year, players on JP’s watch list include Luke Davies-Uniacke, Chad Warner and Docker Hayden Young.

And his new status will give him added ammunition in group chats and on social media.

“It’s just a really good community,” he said. “I only use Twitter for Carlton and SuperCoach basically and it’s a bit of fun and a bit of banter. It’s a great way to meet new people and I’ve met some amazing people this year.”

JP plans find pride of place for his new trophy, and will also be rewarded with prizes including a personalised KFC SuperCoach tracksuit.

“I’ll probably put (the Holy Grail) next to the bed for a while, I imagine, and see how many beers I can fit in there.

“My boss has already told me I need to wear the tracksuit to work, so I’ll be wearing it around town. I was going to put (the cash prize) towards the mortgage, but I think I’ll go on a holiday and get a car or something instead.”

And what of his all-important private leagues?

“I won nine out of 10 – I lost one cash league because I was playing conservative, so someone’s got bragging rights over me, but that’s OK.”
 
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KFC SuperCoach: Jean-Paul Haigh claims Holy Grail as 2022 champion
A left-field last trade and a well-aimed curse helped the 2022 champion claim an emotional victory. Here’s how he did it.

5 min read
August 24, 2022 - 1:56PM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom

Winning KFC SuperCoach is a dream come true for Jean-Paul Haigh.

JP’s team Raymagoo (based on a childhood nickname) scored 54,886 points in 2022 in Australia’s biggest fantasy sports game to claim the $50,000 grand prize and the first ever KFC SuperCoach Holy Grail.

“This is amazing. I’ve been striving to do this for about 25 years, so I’m pretty stoked,” he said on Wednesday.

“I used to do it when it was cut out of the newspaper back in the day and I’ve had cash leagues with mates for 15 years. I just love it.”

As if the nerves of hanging onto No.1 spot of more than 170,000 KFC SuperCoach players on the final day of the season weren’t enough, JP – who works in the building department at Frankston City Council – had to watch his beloved Blues play for a finals spot against Collingwood.

“I kind of knew SuperCoach was safe after Max Gawn’s average Friday, so I was just there for Carlton. (I was) a little bit crushed, but this makes it a little bit easier to deal with,” he said.

And he revealed an unusual secret weapon in the battle for ultimate footy bragging rights.

“I have to change my password at work monthly, and I changed it to four Carlton players in a row, and they all got injured. So I thought, ‘I’m going to use this to my advantage’,” he said.

He started using players he didn’t have in his SuperCoach team for his password, and the curse continued.

“I went with Jordan De Goey, and he went to Bali, then I went with Josh Kelly, and he got a concussion for a couple of weeks.”

JP’s next password was Zach Merrett, who had been running hot but promptly copped a hard tag, and last Friday afternoon he updated the password again. Going into the final round his biggest worry was if Max Gawn, who featured in the second-placed team, produced a massive score. With the password curse applied, he was no chance. Gawn scored 74 points against the Lions, his lowest score in six weeks.

“He had a stinker. It was fantastic.”

His surprise final round hero was Swan Lewis Taylor, who was traded into Raymagoo for the last game of the season.

“I had Lachie Neale sitting on the bench and just wanted to get his 106 on the field. I could have played Isaac Heeney, and even though he ended up outscoring Neale it just wasn’t a risk I wanted to take on the final day.”

Trading in Taylor – who played just one game this season, as the unused medical sub in round 15 – guaranteed Neale’s score would be part of JP’s total for the round.

“He’s a bit of a funny fella so I just thought it was a bit of fun. I’ll send him a message (to say thanks).”

HOW HE DID IT

JP started picking his 2022 KFC SuperCoach team about a week before pre-season matches started, then kept a close eye on the games to refine his squad for round 1.

“I’m pretty open to all sorts of players. I went for some mid-pricers this year, I took (Jarrod) Witts, (Braydon) Preuss, George Hewett, (Patrick) Cripps, (Will) Brodie, (Tristan) Xerri – all those guys, and it just worked out really well.”

His starting team featured 10 “uber premos” but his most crucial selections were in the ruck, a position that caused chaos for many KFC SuperCoach teams this year.

“I started Max Gawn and Witts on the field and Preuss on the bench because he was suspended in round 1. He banged out a couple of hundreds, so I traded out Max Gawn at the end of round 2 for Isaac Heeney. It worked out pretty well.

“I could see Preuss was going to make a ton of money, so I just wanted to keep him until he missed his usual three games. (As soon as he missed a game) he was gone straight away.”

JP wasn’t afraid make ruthless calls early, with Jack Crisp and Caleb Daniel both traded out along with Gawn in the early rounds.

He used the new Trade Boosts to help upgrade his team, with the last Boost activated during the bye rounds.

Unsurprisingly, his team featured the topscoring players of 2022 including Rory Laird, Clayton Oliver, Touk Miller, Jack Sinclair, James Sicily, Callum Mills, Marcus Bontempelli and Luke Parker. His most unique selection was Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines.

“I was going to do a different upgrade that week and someone ended up pulling out at the last minute,” he said, adding Wines fit his preferred KFC SuperCoach mould of a robust, reliable player unlikely to be the target of an opposition tag.

He was available for the right price ($508,000) at the right time (round 7) and was a solid contributor for most of the year before catching fire in the final month with scores of 125, 118, 140 and 137.

“I actually sent him a message on Instagram, but he probably never opened it,” JP said.

Wines wasn’t the only player who repaid JP’s faith, although the choice of whether to trade out a player or hang tough isn’t always easy.

“Sometimes it depends if I’ve got a bit of a man crush on them and if they’re a good player. Crippa managed to stay in the team all year. I probably would have moved him on, and Jayden Short and Ollie Wines probably, but I was short on trades, so they stayed in the team and they came good.”

But not every move worked out.

“Darcy Parish lasted about 20 minutes in my team before he got injured.

“I started Mitch McGovern, just like I started Paddy Dow last year. It’s very easy to get sucked in or to make a bad trade. I think he (McGovern) will be good long-term, just not in my SuperCoach team.”

GRAND PLANS

Looking ahead to next year, players on JP’s watch list include Luke Davies-Uniacke, Chad Warner and Docker Hayden Young.

And his new status will give him added ammunition in group chats and on social media.

“It’s just a really good community,” he said. “I only use Twitter for Carlton and SuperCoach basically and it’s a bit of fun and a bit of banter. It’s a great way to meet new people and I’ve met some amazing people this year.”

JP plans find pride of place for his new trophy, and will also be rewarded with prizes including a personalised KFC SuperCoach tracksuit.

“I’ll probably put (the Holy Grail) next to the bed for a while, I imagine, and see how many beers I can fit in there.

“My boss has already told me I need to wear the tracksuit to work, so I’ll be wearing it around town. I was going to put (the cash prize) towards the mortgage, but I think I’ll go on a holiday and get a car or something instead.”

And what of his all-important private leagues?

“I won nine out of 10 – I lost one cash league because I was playing conservative, so someone’s got bragging rights over me, but that’s OK.”
I bet his boss is happy he just revealed his work password to everyone. I'd be in a lot of trouble for that. :)

Good on him, sounds like he avoided a lot of the bad luck a lot of others copped, that definitely helps. Still hard to win this, definitely takes a level of skill I don't possess too.
 
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Any chance of someone posting this series? Cheers :)
Bargain or trap? SuperCoach steals to watch for 2023
KFC SuperCoach AFL: Bargain buys for 2023 season assessed

Haven’t started thinking about your KFC SuperCoach plans for 2023? Now’s the time. In the first of a four-part series, we look at the potential bargains to monitor this off-season.

Tim Michell, Al Paton and The Phantom

t’s never too early to start KFC SuperCoach planning for next year.
In the first of a four-part series, three of our KFC SuperCoach experts have identified 11 potential bargains to monitor during the off-season.


From injury-cursed former KFC SuperCoach studs to potential breakout stars, this list has something for everyone.

And it tells us new coaches Alastair Clarkson and Adam Kingsley could have a huge say in the final make-up of our teams, depending on how they use some potentially underpriced stars.

Scroll down to see which players should be on your watch list for 2023.

Tarryn Thomas (North Melbourne). Estimated price: $292,000 MID/FWD

Can Alastair Clarkson unlock the true potential of North Melbourne’s No.8 draft pick from 2018? We certainly hope so. Thomas looked certain to make the jump to KFC SuperCoach premium status after finishing the 2021 campaign with three tons in five matches and an average of 103 in his last seven games. His finish was so eye-catching, some coaches were willing to pay $459,300 at the start of this season to make sure they didn’t miss out on his breakout campaign. Yet, for a variety of reasons including form and role, Thomas’ average regressed from 84.4 to 53.7. He’s expected to be about $170k cheaper to start next season than he was in round 1 this year and will surely be one of the biggest pre-season focuses for KFC SuperCoaches. He’ll likely be about $65k more expensive than Will Brodie started this year, but the potential for a similar breakout season is clearly there. Thomas averaged 25 disposals, 131 KFC SuperCoach points and 7.4 score involvements in five VFL matches, including scores of 164 and 148. Over to you, Clarko.

Dustin Martin (Richmond). Estimated price: $474,000 MID/FWD

Richmond superstar Martin’s KFC SuperCoach average of 87.2 was his lowest since his debut campaign of 2010 and only the third time in his illustrious career he has averaged less than 90 points a game. Does that present a bargain or cause for concern? Martin had a lot go against him this year, returning from serious injury, taking time off for personal reasons and then being sidelined again. After scoring his annual round 1 ton against Carlton, Martin’s season-high 119 in round 9 was the only other time he hit triple figures. However, it’s worth noting he played more time forward than in previous years and still only scored less than 70 once. Of course, five scores of 69-83 in eight matches are a long way from premium numbers. But if Martin returns to anywhere near his damaging best, he could be a huge bargain. If priced at his average of 87, Martin will likely be available for about $450-470k. If a discount is applied for playing eight matches, Martin for less than $450k would be hard to resist – should he get through most of pre-season. With 35 trades, KFC SuperCoaches have enough to take a risk or two on a player and renowned fast starter Martin could well be worth the punt. The landscape changes significantly if he’s playing elsewhere next year, but that talk seems to have died down.

Nat Fyfe (Fremantle). Estimated price: $309,000 MID/FWD

Nat Fyfe for less than $350k? Surely not? It sounds crazy – even writing it felt wrong – but it might be a reality next year after the Freo skipper averaged 63.3 from seven games during an injury-hit 2022 season. If an injury discount is applied, Fyfe might even come in at closer to $300k. And, that’s before we even consider the fact he’s likely to be listed as a FWD/MID. Fyfe hasn’t started a season that cheap since 2011, his second year in the AFL. The obvious concern is his recent injury history. Fyfe has played only 36 games in the past three years, including seven in 2022. Picking injury-prone players is asking for trouble in KFC SuperCoach, but for hypothetical reasons let’s say he gets through pre-season. Even as a potential stepping stone to a more durable premium, could you really overlook a massively discounted Fyfe? Not if he has DPP, surely.

Will Phillips (North Melbourne). Estimated price: $207,000 MID-FWD

Let’s say the No.3 draft pick from a few years back gets a 20 per cent discount after not playing a game this year? That would price Phillips about $207k to start the 2023 season, only $9k more than many coaches were prepared to pay to have him in their teams before his debut was pushed back to round 3 last year. Hoping for a 30 per cent discount might seem a bit rich, but we can only dream. Phillips managed only three VFL games this year (averaging 15 disposals and 54 KFC SuperCoach points) as he struggled with bouts of glandular fever and Covid. It’s been a rough start to AFL life for a player who posted huge numbers as a junior. North Melbourne’s most recent injury/health update said Phillips would have to build his loads during pre-season, having missed so much football this year. Depending on the rookie situation next year – and Phillips’ health – paying $190k or thereabouts might become a necessity. He was listed as a FWD/MID this year and should Phillips retain DPP status and work his way into Clarko’s plans, he might be the cheap F6 many coaches crave. Then again, that’s a lot of ifs and buts. Keep him in mind, but a lot would need to go right between now and round 1 of 2023 for him to feature in your KFC SuperCoach side.

Oscar Allen (West Coast). Estimated price: $242,000 FWD

Key forwards are usually a no-go area in KFC SuperCoach but we’ve seen in the past two years if they are cheap enough, they can make some serious cash. In 2021, Joe Daniher jumped in value by almost $200k in 10 rounds and this year SuperCoaches brave enough to start Charlie Curnow reaped a $250k profit after both started at a price similar to what Allen is likely to be next year. Allen didn’t play a game in 2022 due to a nagging foot injury but he will become even more crucial to the Eagles in 2023 after Josh Kennedy’s retirement. Back in 2020, he scored 152 against Collingwood en route to a season average of 78.6, right around the mark Daniher and Curnow hit in the past two years. Speaking of key forwards, Gold Coast’s Ben King is likely to be even cheaper coming back from knee surgery, but with just two tons from 53 games and a career-high average of 55, he’s probably a pass.
 
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