Nicey’s Ideal Grand Final Team

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It’s been one hell of a roller-coaster this year in the world of AFL SuperCoach, but for those who managed to stay on track, any low points were met with considerable highs.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and no doubt every single coach would have done something differently at some point throughout the season if they had their time over.

But, in the true spirit of Fantasy Football, I’ve put together my dream team heading into SuperCoach Grand Final week for 2017.  No bench, no budget.  Simply the best 22 money can’t buy.  You’ll want as many players as possible shown below in your own team going into the final round.

Note that this is NOT my team of the year; instead, the best Round 23 Grand Final selection that I think you could ask for.  Because of this, players including Lachie Neale (Avg. 109.8), Michael Hurley (102.5) and Jarrod Witts (94.3) – who are all either ruled out of or likely to miss this week’s game – don’t make the cut.

Check it out, along with some further information about the players of notable or surprise inclusion.

 

 

Bachar Houli

RIC | DEF

$470,700

In Hurley’s likely absence this week, it makes sense to look to the next best possible option to replace him. Houli is just that, currently ranked as the 7th best defender in the competition.

He earns his spot in the side slightly ahead of Collingwood’s Jeremy Howe and rising GWS talent  Zac Williams, who are both coming off poor scores of 68 last week.

Carlton’s Kade Simpson has been down on previous years, only reaching triple-figures in 6 matches, but is probably unlucky to miss selection in my team.  With his side coming up against the surging Sydney Swans this week, the ball is likely to spend plenty of time down his end of the ground.  Last time the two sides met in Round 6 earlier this year, Simpson scored 148.

Houli though comes up against the Saints, in a game where the Tigers will be giving it their all to attempt to secure a top four spot on the ladder.  Though his total number of disposals is down slightly from last season, importantly Houli has also greatly improved his disposal efficiency, from going at 75.1% last year to 80.3% in 2017.

With a score of 132 against Fremantle last week, back him in for back-to-back tons.

 

Dayne Beams

BRL | MID

$547,000

It may surprise a few that Beams has made selection in my team, beating out other potential midfield options including fellow Lion Dayne Zorko, in-form Crow Rory Sloane and Geelong’s Mitch Duncan.

Beams appears a better option than Zorko, who has struggled slightly with recent form, while Sloane’s unpredictability has proven frustrating for coaches for most of the year.  Although Duncan has been the most consistent of the lot, Beams wins out this week with a higher-ceiling for potential scores.

In reality, it’s impossible to determine who the strongest scoring options will be from week-to-week (just look at how difficult SuperCoach Perfect 9 has proven to be again this year), but chances are all of the above mentioned players who haven’t made my final team could be interchangeable with most of the other midfielders in the side on any given day.

Beams however gets the nod here, after a strong season that was unfortunately interrupted once again by injury, but since his return to form in Round 17, he hasn’t looked back.  He scored an impressive 143 against Melbourne last week, racking up 33 disposals, 7 marks, 4 tackles and 3 goals.  In his last five matches, Beams has averaged 126.4.

The Lions face North this week in a battle for the wooden spoon.  Brad Scott’s men rarely play any sort of tagging role against the opposition and if let loose, Beams will likely score big once again.

 

Ben McEvoy

HAW | RUC

$469,700

The Big Boy might only be owned in just over 4% of teams, but Ben McEvoy has been far from the worst pick of the ruckmen for 2017.

Despite a couple of quiet games early and a distinct mid-season slump, McEvoy has been in reasonably consistent form, and importantly has not missed a game all season, and the same can’t be said for many of the other big men this year.

With 10 hundreds for the year, alongside a couple of 90s, McEvoy this week meets the Bulldogs on Friday night under the roof at Etihad.  Perfect conditions combined with a match-up against young ruckman Jordan Roughead should do well for Big Boy’s big-scoring potential.

While he’s ranked 6th in the competition for total hit outs this season, it comes as some surprise McEvoy is also ranked 12th in total contested marks – which are SuperCoach points-scoring gold.

 

Lance Franklin

SYD | FWD

$457,900

While Buddy’s never a player you would bank on for long-term consistency, he has been in excellent touch over the last couple of weeks, and that form looks to continue as his side takes on Carlton this weekend.

In the Swans’ demolition of Fremantle two weeks ago, Buddy was outstanding with 24 disposals, 8 marks and 4 goals, and will be looking for more of the same come Saturday.

Franklin currently sits third in the race for the Coleman Medal with 59 goals for the season to date, behind Essendon’s Joe Daniher (60) and Eagles spearhead Josh J. Kennedy (64).  If Buddy boots a bag against the Blues, he could very well take the competition – and your SuperCoach opponent – out.

-James Nice

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