PERSISTENCE NOT ALWAYS KEY:
THE DISAPPOINTMENTS WHO SHOULD BE TRADED FROM YOUR PRELIMINARY-FINAL SIDE
The Preliminary-Finals are finally upon us and for those lucky enough to have held onto a spot in your league’s final four, you’ll need to do anything and everything this week to ensure your ticket to the big dance in Round 23.
If you’ve made it this far, chances are you don’t have many passengers dragging your team down, but there’s a staggering percentage of coaches who are still clinging onto players who have continued to produce ordinary performances – though with limited trades remaining, it may not always be by choice.
The players on the chopping block that are listed below are all owned by more than 20% of teams, and at this stage in the season, it would be considered a luxury if you are able to trade them, but equally they may very well be the difference between ultimate bragging rights and season over for you and your team.
That said, don’t sweat if you can’t offload them all; there’s a fair chance your opposition will be running a similar gauntlet, so any common players who grind out mediocre scores will, of course, be negated, so check your opponent’s team before lockout starts and work out which of your players are a trade priority.
The replacement suggestions are the best trades available at a value cheaper than their corresponding trade options, so no matter your remaining salary cap, all are able to be exchanged as a direct swap that will each only require a single trade – but naturally, if you have the cash and four trades still to burn, look at upgrading, rather than the suggested sideways swap.
WBD | FWD – MID
A must-have selection pre-season off the back of three solid years on the rise to elite status, Luke Dahlhaus has struggled to live up to the lofty expectations of us coaches throughout 2017.
His indifferent season is almost a mirror image of 2016, whereby after a strong start to the year (6 consecutive scores of 100+ in 2016, 4 in 2017), he’s undoubtedly tapered off as the years wore on, barring an exceptional finals series last year.
Reaching a score of 100 only 8 times this year simply isn’t good enough to continue warranting selection in your side; not when he’s failed to make it into the 90s on a further 11 occasions.
Dahlhaus is certainly down on consistency, and with scores of 72, 88 and 66 in his last 3 matches, it might be worthwhile trading him, while others continue to persist with his middling form.
It would be a bold decision to move Dahlhaus on, and without proper thought, shunning him from your side could easily be dismissed as a rage trade.
“Dahl” is owned by a staggering 49.3% of teams (higher than Dustin Martin at 47.5%), but if his scores continue to decline, his demise could be your gain.
BRIS | MID
At only $421,300, there are few replacements for Dahlhaus if you don’t have cash in the bank to spare, but there’s one name that stands out despite his own fall from grace.
To many SuperCoach coaches, Brisbane’s Tom Rockliff is about as untouchable as Joel Selwood ducking into a tackle, but at just $405,100, he is a viable replacement option for the ailing Dahlhaus.
Coming off scores of 99 and this week 125, “Rocky” is back after collecting 24 disposals and booting 3 goals in his side’s 58-point demolition of the Gold Coast.
Adding to his points-scoring potential, Rockliff has kicked 5 goals in his past 2 games, and cleaned up his number of clangers per game, which had reached disastrous heights earlier in the year.
Currently ranked as the number 1 player in the competition for stoppage clearances, it’s clear that Rockliff still has plenty more to give his loyal SuperCoach following, and with only 2 games to go before season’s end against Melbourne and North Melbourne, he might be worth the risk.
Also of note; in his last 8 encounters against the Demons, Rockliff has averaged 121.4 and has reached triple figures in each of those games.
RICH | RUC – FWD
Nankervis proved to be a handy starting player early in the season, cranking out 4 hundreds in his first five games of the year.
Since then however, “Nank” has only hit triple figures twice, while low scores of 54, 61, 62 and 66 have seen him fall out of favour with coaches who crave consistency.
Nankervis’ ultimate SuperCoach downfall seems to have come with having to play alongside a secondary ruckman in Ivan Soldo, who has become a regular selection in the side since Round 17, and Nankervis has struggled to rack up the hitouts and accumulate points in other ways since then.
For a while there, you could have gotten away with playing him as your F6 while he was still ranked inside the highest averaging forwards, but that is no longer the case, and he must be a priority for you to upgrade.
PORT | FWD
One of the general unwritten rules of picking your SuperCoach side is to avoid key position players.
Lance Franklin and Josh J. Kennedy may be a couple of exceptions up forward, and while they do have the capacity to produce huge scores (scoring 284 between them last round, and with high scores of 160 and 174 respectively this season), they naturally are prone to having quiet games, which are largely influenced by their team’s overall performance.
But there’s another big forward who should come into your considerations in these final rounds.
Port Adelaide’s Charlie Dixon has hit the ton 7 times this season; that’s one less than Buddy and once more than JJK (bearing in mind Kennedy has missed five games through injury).
Averaging almost 2 goals per game, and ranked 6th overall in contested marks for the season, Dixon is having a breakout year at the Power, and with games to come against the Western Bulldogs and his former side the Gold Coast, Charlie might have the engine to replace “Nank the Tank”.
GWS | DEF
Despite years of being a SuperCoach lock, unfortunately 2017 has seen Heath’s selection as no longer being a sure thing.
Shaw is down on almost every stat since last year, most notably kicks (down from 21.0 in 2016 to 16.0 in 2017), disposals (24.2 down to 20.7) and effective disposals per game (18.0 to 15.9).
With a current SuperCoach average of 83.75 points per game, it’s his lowest since his debut season with the Magpies in 2005, and now sees him ranked as low as the 24th best defender in the competition on average.
Many will begrudgingly be standing by Heath and hoping for a turnaround, but with only 2 hundreds for the season, and a further slump occurring in recent weeks, a suitable substitute would be desirable.
COLL | DEF
Bear in mind, this replacement suggestion certainly isn’t for everyone, and remember you should obviously look to upgrade to a player with a much higher average and a proven track record if you have enough money in your remaining salary.
But if you’re strapped for cash and have limited trades left, and Shaw is your remaining weakest link, Collingwood’s Matthew Scharenberg could be your best option to trade in – if not simply substitute onto your field .
While Scharenberg is yet to hit the ton from his 8 games to date, he has come agonisingly close with a score of 99 in Round 20, and has now strung three consistent and serviceable games together in his last few outings.
Compare his last three scores of 86, 99 and 82 with Shaw’s 55, 79 and 75, and Scharenberg logically takes Shaw’s place hands down.
Ideally however, what you would do this week is bench loophole the two; start the round with Scharenberg off your field and select him as an Emergency.
Monitor his score throughout the match on Saturday against Geelong at 2:10pm, and if his score satisfies your needs, take Heath Shaw off your field for a player who is not selected in a starting line-up and whose team is yet to play, in order to claim Scharenberg’s score.
If you do choose to do so, just make sure you complete the move before the rolling lockout takes effect, as GWS begin their game against West Coast at 4:35pm that day.