Perfect SuperCoach

couchPOTATO

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#21
Thanks to the HS guys for creating this. If anyone has time to hop on twitter maybe ask for them to follow up with another challenge, the CHEAPEST starting team that could have taken out the $50k in 2017.

When this exercise was done on another site a few years ago the solution was found to be around $6 million however the trading strategy ends up being a lot more Guns and Rookies like, and the "cheap" team also stormed home strong from memory around 1000 points off the lead early days as they lose points but build $$$.
 

Pearcey47

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#22
That team had a few rucks rotating through: McEvoy, Kruezer, Witts, Nankervis, Ryder, Smith. At least one of these was on the bench every week!
 
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#23
One thing is interesting is the "starting rookie players that will eventually come into the side". Will give it some thought for my future donuts.
Still remember starting Tom Couch who took forever to get a game, and in another season, I think, starting of all people Sam Docherty for Brisbane and the best he could manage all season was emergency. Ironic given Docherty is now virtually everyone's first pick for Supercoach. Picked the right rookie but in the wrong season. Like to have the squad of 30 all playing first game if possible.
 

freowho

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#24
My current premiums are largely fallen, including Gawn and NicNat (almost everyone seems on board with this) plus Fyfe, Pendles, Selwood, Rocky, Hanners, Gray and Dahl (less popular, except maybe Fyfe, for understandable reasons). I'm picking the latter group not so much because I see them as safe but because I see them as having an attractive expected return (they are discounted, and I am confident they will outscore their price, especially in aggregate, with a strong chance of most of them being good keepers). Personally I would see picking players like Laird and Heeney (for 2018, and ignoring any issues regarding his knee) as being low risk and low expected return. They're a good chance to be premium keepers, with low likelihood of being disasters, but they definitely will not be what the ultimate winner points to as determining his/her success! I currently have both, largely because I think they have a role to play in an SC side (a portfolio?) and because I can't find superior options.
I’ve posted here because I don’t want to derail the midfield thread.

I always enjoy reading your posts Darkie but I think we’re on different pages with this one.

I still can’t see how the names you’ve mentioned and your basic principle of picking reliable investments is going to win you the $50k. I’m specifically talking about the $50k and even though it’s very unlikely I will ever win it that’s my dream each year when I put all my disappointments behind me and hop into the freowho coaches box again.
If the aim is to win some cash off mates or have a consistently high rank then your principles are very good. But if the aim is for No.1 then you need to find a way to separate yourself from the other 200,000 coaches. The scary part of this separation is that you can also go back through the crowd pretty quickly.
If we look at this year the players that separated themselves from the pack on their line were Docherty, Dangerfield and Kreuzer. Other players that would have been hard to cover are Adams, Dusty, Titchell and MaCrae. The winner had all of them but the player that really allowed some in the top 10 to separate themselves from the masses was Kreuzer because he was the most unkown quantity.
When I think of players that have created the most separation amongst the thousands of coaches playing each year they are break out or unexpected players like Robbie Gray, Luke Parker, Sam Jacobs, Travis Cloke, Clayton Oliver, Sam Docherty, Max Gawn, Matthew Kreuzer and Heath Shaw who was a notorious 29 year old burn man that couldn’t play a full year!
Your expected return and confidence is gained by picking known quantities which means that thousands of others will also share your expected return and confidence. This is not allowing you to separate yourself from the masses.
The flipside is that a player could go out of their way to be the safest supercoach player in the competition and hope the other 200,000 have taken some unknown quantities and had no luck. Then they win the $50k! It would appear to be easier to find a couple of hidden gems rather than hoping none of the other 200,000 find any.
 

Darkie

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#25
I’ve posted here because I don’t want to derail the midfield thread.

I always enjoy reading your posts Darkie but I think we’re on different pages with this one.

I still can’t see how the names you’ve mentioned and your basic principle of picking reliable investments is going to win you the $50k. I’m specifically talking about the $50k and even though it’s very unlikely I will ever win it that’s my dream each year when I put all my disappointments behind me and hop into the freowho coaches box again.
If the aim is to win some cash off mates or have a consistently high rank then your principles are very good. But if the aim is for No.1 then you need to find a way to separate yourself from the other 200,000 coaches. The scary part of this separation is that you can also go back through the crowd pretty quickly.
If we look at this year the players that separated themselves from the pack on their line were Docherty, Dangerfield and Kreuzer. Other players that would have been hard to cover are Adams, Dusty, Titchell and MaCrae. The winner had all of them but the player that really allowed some in the top 10 to separate themselves from the masses was Kreuzer because he was the most unkown quantity.
When I think of players that have created the most separation amongst the thousands of coaches playing each year they are break out or unexpected players like Robbie Gray, Luke Parker, Sam Jacobs, Travis Cloke, Clayton Oliver, Sam Docherty, Max Gawn, Matthew Kreuzer and Heath Shaw who was a notorious 29 year old burn man that couldn’t play a full year!
Your expected return and confidence is gained by picking known quantities which means that thousands of others will also share your expected return and confidence. This is not allowing you to separate yourself from the masses.
The flipside is that a player could go out of their way to be the safest supercoach player in the competition and hope the other 200,000 have taken some unknown quantities and had no luck. Then they win the $50k! It would appear to be easier to find a couple of hidden gems rather than hoping none of the other 200,000 find any.
Happy New Year freo - I have largely been offline in recent weeks, so I'm just coming to this.

I think in general I agree with a lot of what you have written above, although where I think we differ is that (from my perspective) you seem to be drawing a strong link between my expected return and confidence and a player's popularity. I expect that some of the players I select will be popular, but that others will not be - some people will disagree with my assessment, and others will simply see more appeal elsewhere.

There are always names that I consider to be no brainers that the majority still don't pick (Pendles would have been in this position more than once). I'm also quite open to picking a proven player as a POD over someone who I consider to be a risky popular selection.

A good example from last year would be Ryder vs Nank. I just couldn't get my head around why Nank was so popular, and I thought that most people were significantly underestimating the risk that he would be a poor pick. For me Ryder was a choice that was much more appealing, in part because he was much more proven ... but Nank was much more popular nonetheless. Over the early part of the season this looked like a very costly call, with the majority winning out. Through good luck or good decision making, Ryder ended up being the superior choice by a decent margin if you kept them both (trading Nank out, or maybe starting them both, potentially being viable options), albeit that both were probably good picks in absolute terms. The key point for me is that Ryder was much more my style, and clearly more proven, but he wasn't more popular as a result. That's the best example I can think of from last year - not all will work out, obviously, but I am constantly surprised at how unpopular some of my picks are. I remember starting Boomer a couple of years ago and he too came good late, but was a massive POD (just not a particularly positive or negative one!).

In terms of whether I count myself out of the $50,000 - I would like to think not, especially as I barely look at league results early on, and largely just try to maximise my SC points early in the season, thinking about PODs and the like if I find myself right at the pointy end later in the year (which has only happened once, in DT last year - although this will be inherently rare except for a genuine standout coach). In reality I think I will probably never get close enough for us to know definitively, simply because of how many teams and good coaches there are, although I hope I am proven wrong on that :)

Out of interest, who are the players that you would be looking at to separate yourself from the masses at this stage?
 

freowho

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#26
Hi Darkie

At the moment on my shortlist is Hogan, Curnow, Mathieson, Hopper and someone else I can't quite remember at the moment. :rolleyes:
 
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Darkie

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#28
Hi Darkie

At the moment on my shortlist is Hogan, Curnow, Mathieson, Hopper and someone else I can't quite remember at the moment. :rolleyes:
Thanks freo, that's an interesting list. I'll keep an eye on each of them, with Curnow and your mystery man looking most appealing on my review just now. I'd be more confident picking Curnow if I knew what happened from round 14 last year (?!) and the mystery man looks better with some injury scores taken out in 2016 and knowing that he's in the leadership group. I had thought he was a bit flaky, but that may be unfair.
 
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#29
From the boffin who worked out the optimal team, thanks for the interest :). Only just came across this thread.

I think there is something extremely satisfying about seeing "the answers" at the end of the season, even if the answers are truly ridiculous. Will probably do it again at the end of the season if there's any interest so let me know if there is anything you would like me to add.

Cheers,
Steven Edwards
 
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#30
Thanks to the HS guys for creating this. If anyone has time to hop on twitter maybe ask for them to follow up with another challenge, the CHEAPEST starting team that could have taken out the $50k in 2017.
:) I really like that idea!!! This is totally something that could be done. The other thing I want to try and is to determine the best "ghost team", i.e. a starting team that you set up and then leave for the entire season. Get's a little tricky with the subs but think it'll solve. If the HS knows there is enough interest for this stuff, I think they'd be keen to print it so please tweet asking for it.

Cheers,
Steven
 

freowho

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#31
From the boffin who worked out the optimal team, thanks for the interest :). Only just came across this thread.

I think there is something extremely satisfying about seeing "the answers" at the end of the season, even if the answers are truly ridiculous. Will probably do it again at the end of the season if there's any interest so let me know if there is anything you would like me to add.

Cheers,
Steven Edwards
Thanks for the work Steve, I really enjoyed it. Was there anything in particular that surprised you?
I could never have guessed the value of using a trade on one high captain's score and the fact that Rory Laird was never required.
Cheers
 
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#32
Thanks for the work Steve, I really enjoyed it. Was there anything in particular that surprised you?
I could never have guessed the value of using a trade on one high captain's score and the fact that Rory Laird was never required.
Cheers
A lot of things surprised me at first glance but then made sense when I thought about it a bit. The optimal team seemed to increase it's budget purely as a coincidence of all 30 players performing really well every week (oh what a dream that'd be) as opposed to explicitly trying to mature cash cows. This seemed to allow it to "waste" a stack of trades on ridiculous things that I discussed in the article and that people have mentioned in this thread, e.g. bringing players in for a round as captain and then trading them immediately back off (Ablett and JJK). This is also highlighted by the ~$700,000 that is unused in the budget at the end of the season. I didn't expect this because half the fun in SC for me is getting $$$ so you can bring in the best players but I guess when everyone in the team is playing well you'll inevitably make bank. I think couchPOTATO's idea of finding the cheapest starting team that would still obtain a better score than mere mortals would rectify this as it would force a better balance between obtaining high scores while also trying to increase budget. So we might see some much more realistic trading there.

The main thing the approach validated for me was the idea of trading hard early in the season and then crossing your fingers and coasting for the last 5-6 rounds with only a trade or two up the sleeve. I saw a number of the previous winner's use this tactic so was interested if the optimal team would do the same, which it did. It's not particularly fair though because the optimal team's final 30 was absolutely ridiculously good so it could just pick the best 22 out them for the remaining weeks and easily had enough depth to absorb any injuries (if there were any, can't remember).

I'd be keen to do a few different articles at the end of this season so if people are interested (please) let Al Paton know on twitter, he makes the call on these things. I don't work for the HS just a mere maths PhD student trying to use my skills for the most important things ;-).
 
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IDIG

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#33
Welcome Steve! Great to have you here to share your insights.

Now, I must ask, do you play SC and how is your team going, and more importantly did you incorporate any of the optimal team methodology into it?
 
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#34
Hi IDIG,

Thanks for the welcome. I played SC religiously back in around 2013/14 winning leagues with friends but don't think finishing anywhere super high, maybe top 5-10 thousand. Then took a few years off and made a horrifically bad return last year, so bad that half way through the season I started wondering if it was even theoretically possible for me to win from that position, which lead to the whole optimal team thing haha. I actually took this season off so I can concentrate on finishing my PhD (but still somehow find myself on these forums).

In saying that though my brothers team was coming 227th after round 3 and so we are looking at elaborate ways to get him over the line :).
 

couchPOTATO

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#35
Hi IDIG,

Thanks for the welcome. I played SC religiously back in around 2013/14 winning leagues with friends but don't think finishing anywhere super high, maybe top 5-10 thousand. Then took a few years off and made a horrifically bad return last year, so bad that half way through the season I started wondering if it was even theoretically possible for me to win from that position, which lead to the whole optimal team thing haha. I actually took this season off so I can concentrate on finishing my PhD (but still somehow find myself on these forums).

In saying that though my brothers team was coming 227th after round 3 and so we are looking at elaborate ways to get him over the line :).
Hey Steve, I hope your bro did well.

I dug out this thread as I hope you will be doing the maths again for the Sun (or for your own interest) in 2018

As I suggested last year I reckon it would be cool to see the cheapest team that could have won the $50k, for various reasons it would also be interesting to run a number of combinations of Salary Cap figures and trade combinations as follows

$10m and 30 trades (ie Perfect Supercoach) as well as $10m and 20 trades, $10m and 10 trades, $10m and zero trades (ie Ghost Team)
$9m and 30 trades, $9m and 20 trades, $9m and 10 trades, $9m and zero trades
$8m and 30 trades, $8m and 20 trades, $8m and 10 trades, $8m and zero trades
$7m and 30 trades, $7m and 20 trades, $7m and 10 trades, $7m and zero trades
$6m and 30 trades, $6m and 20 trades, $6m and 10 trades, $6m and zero trades
Lowest Salary Cap Figure with 30 trades that would win the $50K (ie 53,853 points or better)

Cheers CP
 
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Presto

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#36
The Optimal SuperCoach 2018 team would have scored 11,000 more points than the overall winner

Steven Edwards, Herald Sun

September 4, 2018 10:00am

Subscriber only



ANOTHER season over, another empty stare off into the distance.

Congratulations to those SuperCoaches who won their leagues. Most of all though, congratulations to Cole of the winning team CharCole Chicken, who took home the $50k with an impressive score of 51,102.
For those of us who were raised in a generation of looking up the answers in the back of the textbook, saying “congratulations” and walking away doesn’t quite scratch the itch. I blame the information age for my absolute need for closure.
So please sit back and allow yourself to be indulged in some SuperCoach over-analysis one last time for the year.
With a whopping 62,208 points, we present the Optimal SuperCoach Team for the 2018 season. All the correct trades, captain selections and position hoices required to obtain the theoretically highest score possible.

STARTING TEAM

DEFENCE
Kade Simpson ($516,300), Rory Laird ($550,800), James Sicily ($402,800), Luke Ryan ($422,300), Jeremy Finlayson ($123,900), Tom Doedee ($123,900)
Bench: Sam Murray ($123,900), David Mirra ($102,400)

MIDFIELD
Tom Mitchell ($653,500), Stephen Coniglio ($452,400), Jack Macrae ($587,800), Tim Kelly ($117,300), Nick Holman ($102,400), Ed Curnow ($473,200), Jaeger O’Meara ($315,800), Cam Ellis-Yolmen ($263,900)
Bench: Paul Seedsman ($300,200), Nat Fyfe ($597,900), Jake Brown ($102,400)

RUCKS
Max Gawn ($503,700), Brodie Grundy ($534,700)
Bench: Tom Jeffries ($102,400)

FORWARDS
Justin Westhoff ($479,600), Brandon Parfitt ($295,500), Zac Fisher ($263,600), Toby McLean ($470,200), Jack Darling ($397,900), Jesse Hogan ($383,200)
Bench: Bayley Fritsch ($117,300), Liam Ryan ($117,300)
Tom Mitchell was a must-have in SuperCoach this year.

ROUND BY ROUND
R1 score: 2558. Captain: Tom Mitchell 167. Trades: Nil.
R2 score: 2747. Captain: Tom Mitchell 148. Trades: Nil.
R3 score: 2539. Captain: Nat Fyfe 160. Trades: Nil.
R4 score: 2627. Captain: Brandan Parfitt 168. Trades: Tom Mitchell, Liam Ryan OUT. Mitch Robinson, Ben Brown IN.
R5 score: 2626. Captain: Max Gawn 151. Trades: Stephen Coniglio, Jaeger O’Meara OUT, Harris, Andrews Patrick Cripps IN.
R6 score: 2633. Captain: Max Gawn 168. Trades: Brandan Parfitt, Ben Brown OUT, Lachie Neale, Jack Redden IN.
R7 score: 2813. Captain: Jack Macrae 189. Trades: Sam Murray, Jeremy Finlayson OUT, Dayne Zorko, Angus Brayshaw IN
R8 score: 2738. Captain: Jack Macrae 156. Trades: Paul Seedsman, Zac Fisher OUT, Tom McDonald, Jake Lloyd IN.
It would have taken some bold moves to score the maximum possible SuperCoach score this season — including making Jack Darling captain in Round 9 then trading him out the next week.
R9 score: 2834. Captain: Jack Darling 181. Trades: Ed Curnow, Cam Ellis-Yolmen OUT, Tom Hawkins, Tom Mitchell IN.
R10 score: 2754. Captain: Mitch Robinson 172. Trades: Jack Macrae, Jack Darling OUT, Patrick Dangerfield, Callan Ward IN.
R11 score: 2632. Captain: Tom McDonald 164. Trades: David Mirra, Toby McLean OUT, Clayton Oliver, Lance Franklin IN.
R12 score: 2245. Captain: Callan Ward 156. Trades: Mitch Robinson, Dayne Zorko, Nick Holman OUT. Josh Kelly, Ollie Wines, Chad Wingard IN.
R13 score: 2302. Captain: Lachie Neale 159. Trades: Harris Andrews, Tim Kelly, Bayley Fritsch OUT. Luke Breust, Seb Ross, Elliot Yeo IN.
R14 score: 2283. Captain: Patrick Cripps 187. Trades: Nat Fyfe, Ollie Wines OUT. Dayne Beams, Scott Pendlebury IN.
R15 score: 2839. Captain: Tom Mitchell 181. Trades: James Sicily, Jake BrownOUT. Jack Riewoldt, Jason Johannisen IN.
Jack Riewoldt was available for just $324,100 in Round 15 before going on a late-season scoring spree.
R16 score: 2927. Captain: Luke Breust 165. Trades: Nil.
R17 score: 2772. Captain: Tom Mitchell 159. Trades: Nil.
R18 score: 2783. Captain: Tom Mitchell 192. Trades: Luke Ryan, Jack Redden OUT. Sam Menegola, Josh Dunkley IN.
R19 score: 2862. Captain: Patrick Cripps 173. Trades: Nil.
R20 score: 3196. Captain: Josh Kelly 205. Trades: Luke Breust OUT. Jack Gunston IN.
R21 score: 2805. Captain: Jack Riewoldt 219. Trades: Jesse Hogan OUT. Lachie Hunter IN.
R 22 score: 2972. Captain: Brodie Grundy 162. Trades: Nil.
R23 score: 2721. Captain: Brodie Grundy 148. Trade: Nil.

SOME OBSERVATIONS
1. Some big names were not required this year
Popular choices such as Dustin Martin, Gary Ablett, Robbie Gray and Joel Selwood never appear in the optimal side.
2. Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy take a bow
For those who had Gawn, Grundy and a loophole rookie in the rucks such as Tom Jeffries here — or more commonly Tony Olango — you will not need to be told that this was the optimal strategy this year. What a delight to see an entire position that does not require a single trade or rotation for the season. The All-Australian team truly did deserve a second on-field ruck spot this year.
3. Pre-season analysis got a lot right
Many teams included players such as Sicily, McLean, Fisher, Holman, Doedee and Tim Kelly for Round 1. It is validating to seem them here in the Optimal Team. Doedee deserves a special mention as it turns out that in his first season in the AFL he was a lock in defence for the entire season. Some high scores both early and late in the year ensured that the Optimal Team never traded him out.
4. The All-Australian selectors don’t play SuperCoach
Despite the clear choice of Gawn and Grundy in the All-Australian Team, two of the optimal team’s locks for the season Justin Westhoff and Kade Simpson did not even make the 40-man squad.
On the other hand, it is no surprise that Tom Mitchell is such short favourite for the Brownlow. He was chosen as captain an impressive five times, three more than any other player.
Interestingly, perhaps to ensure that Mitchell did not get overly confident, the Optimal Team trades him out in Round 4 only to trade him back in five weeks later.
5. The trading around the byes is very interesting
Rory Laird was another lock for the season, which is somewhat surprising given the poor timing of his injury during the bye rounds (Rounds 12, 13 and 14). To get around this the Optimal Team uses some savvy trading around the byes.
Notice how two Port Adelaide players — Wines and Wingard — are recruited in Round 12 given their earlier bye in Round 10. This concept of using many trades to skip players over the byes was a popular trading strategy among many coaches this year and it’s validating to see it being replicated by the Optimal Team here.
6. Hindsight can be quite arrogant at times
You would have to be a brave individual to spend almost $600k to pick Nat Fyfe in your starting team only to leave him on the pine for Round 1 behind rookies Tim Kelly and Nick Holman.
Yet it turns out with Fyfe’s 75 to start the season that is exactly where he belonged.
Who needs cash cows when you can cash in in-form premiums? Jack Macrae started the season with some serious heat, increasing in price almost $140,000 in the first 10 rounds. The Optimal team then cashes in and downgrades Macrae to Patrick Dangerfield before Macrae’s hamstring injury saw most of that price increase vanish a few rounds later.
It also shows how nice it would be to know when the key forwards are going to make big scores. Ben Brown, the only Kangaroo who appears in the team, is brought into the team in Round 4 and traded out two rounds later. Likewise, having Jack Riewoldt as captain in for his 219-point demolition of Gold Coast would have been pretty handy.
7. Who is Jake Brown?
Perhaps my favourite outcome of this year’s Optimal Team is the surprise inclusion of young Jake Brown from Sydney, who was included in the team for the first 14 rounds of the season. Brown would probably be surprised by this himself given he has never actually played an AFL game.
What might help explain this inclusion is that Brown held MID/FWD dual-position eligibility and was also the cheapest possible price, $102,400, at the start of the season.
Although you can’t see it in the summary presented here, Brown was swung between midfield and forward benches five times throughout the season to ensure the best possible players were on the ground. I am sure his AFL career will flourish after this quality experience in the optimal team.
Sydney youngster Jake Brown was a key member of the Optimal Team.
For those who are interested, in order to a do this analysis I use a branch of mathematics called Mixed Integer Programming, or Mathematical Programming. The aim of this field is to develop ways of solving problems where you have to make a number of decisions while trying to maximise or minimise some objective.
I think we would all agree that solving fantasy football competitions retrospectively is a very important problem for society to answer. It just so happens that there are many other almost equally important applications such as routing cars, planes and trucks more efficiently, making better use of resources in hospitals and creating fairer working rosters.
As a side experiment, this year my brother and I were plugging in the projections provided by SuperCoach into the optimiser to make our decisions. At the end of Round 15 we were ranked in the top 250 teams before trailing off and finishing outside the top 5000. It really goes to show that with injuries and suspension SuperCoach will always be a game of luck.
Hopefully we will be developing a better forecaster over the off-season, so if everything goes to plan keep an eye out for team Marcus Bontempelli next year.

Steven is a PhD Candidate in the School of Mathematical Sciences at Monash University and works on large-scale optimisation problems
 
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couchPOTATO

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#37
I can't read this year's Perfect SC article due to the paywall - can someone please post it if possible ??
 

IDIG

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#40
Hi everyone (@IDIG, @couchPOTATO, @Deeman1, @Presto)

I am still getting used to the site so apologies if I am posting this in the wrong spot - I feel like my dad trying to work an ipad on here hahaha.

You are very quick! So I wrote another article for the HS doing the optimal team, which you can find here. I will also attach the full results on this post, which was too much for me to fit in an article but super interesting as you can see who was on the bench and where everyone was every week as well as the more specific info around budget, etc.

I have another article that should come out later this week that looks at if a ghost team (a team made at the start of the season and then completely forgotten about) could have won the entire season, i.e., no trades, same positions, same captains, same emergencies etc. The results of that are pretty bloody amazing. So keep an eye out for that and I'll post the full team on this site too after the article is published.

@couchPOTATO Love your suggestions. My brother was also interested in the $10m, zero trades as well so I have that already and can share that after the ghost article is published. I am also particularly interested in your suggestion of the lower salary cap with 30 trades. The HS were also interested in that one so we are loosely planning to write another article based on that but probably not until next's years preseason as we are concerned three obscure retrospective articles in quick succession would feel repetitive haha.

The algorithm takes a long time to solve so it is a bit hard to run all of your suggestions sorry!
 

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