Expert Panel: Who are the 2022 SuperCoach bargains to start with or monitor in pre-season?

Charlie Curnow

It’s that time of the year when we’re starting to draft our SuperCoach AFL sides for the new season, but without much commitment nor deep thought, but figuring out the bargain guys to monitor in pre-season always helps planning.

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Honeyball has assembled a team of SuperCoach experts to nominate a bunch of bargains (we’re going with sub $400k players). The expert panel includes former top 10 SuperCoach and AFL Fantasy finisher Lachlan Hunter, HB writer and ex-SC rank 273 Ethan Lee, SC scribe and regular top 1000 finisher Dylan Bolch and former SC round winner and 2020 top 200 finisher Casey McDonald.

Lachlan Hunter @HunterPunter_1

Lachlan Hunter

Stephen Coniglio ($261k M/F): Last year was one to forget for Coniglio having played only five matches due to injury. 2020 was also a difficult year for Coniglio where he was infamously dropped as captain but still averaged 98.4 from 16 matches. $261k for a player who has previously averaged 108.4 in a season makes him one of the best bargains this season. Better still he has DPP and can be picked in the forward line.

Braydon Preuss ($204k RUCK): All signs pointed to Preuss taking on the number one ruck role at the Giants last year after moving across from the Dees before succumbing to injury just prior to the season. He was shown to be a good scorer when given game time at the Dees. If he’s fit and finds a place in the team he could be a cheap on field option in the ruck line which could free cash up for you to use elsewhere on the field.

Matt Rowell ($342k MID): Rowell averaged 126.5 in the first four matches of his career in 2020 before succumbing to injury in game number five. Sadly he was injured again in Round 1 last year. He played the last 11 games of the season but only averaged 63 SC points. Hopefully ongoing injury recovery and needing to build confidence in his body are explanations for this. On the back of a full preseason, he could be a bargain if he can get back to the form he showed in his debut season.

Jade Gresham ($299k M/F): A player who has always shown potential. All reports suggest that he is having a good preseason and like many players at this time of year has been touted to have some more midfield time this season.

Jarrod Berry ($268k MID): Started last year at $521k after averaging 97 in 2020. He was however plagued by a groin injury throughout 2021 resulting in a price tag of $268k for 2022.

Ethan Lee @HappyLab400

Ethan Lee

Charlie Curnow ($224k FWD): It’s been a horror past two years for the younger Curnow who looked set to break out after averaging 77.5 in just his third year of football. Consistent knee injuries have kept the high flying blue grounded and he only got to return late last year showcasing a small glimpse of his talent. Now with the potential of a full pre-season behind him and priced just above the most expensive rookies, he could replicate what Joe Daniher did last year for many coaches and become a consistent cash cow.

Willie Rioli ($225k FWD): After serving a two-year suspension, Rioli returns to a West Coast side in desperate need of some pace and X-factor, these two qualities are exactly what Rioli has in his locker and showcased them on display in 2018 and 2019. While he was playing mostly as a small forward early on, he would find himself playing more midfield minutes towards the end of 2019 before he got hit with the ban hammer. As a result in his last seven games, he scored 82, 100, 75, 113, 81, 104 and 93 after starting the year off averaging 48.8. Given he is priced at $225k it is worth a look into.

Will Day ($345k DEF): In 2021 we saw a small glimpse of Day taking his next step into his development as he scored a season-high of 122 in Round 1. Unfortunately the next week he seriously injured his ankle and did the same just as he returned from injury after playing another blinder against the Giants. While he is quite awkwardly priced he has shown he has a high ceiling in his limited games played. Hawthorn is going to be a rebuilding team for the meantime meaning that the ball should live in their backline which could mean easy touches for Day next year leading to a breakout year that we should have got last year.

Jarrod Witts ($380k RUCK): While I will always condone a set and forget set-up for the ruck stocks, we must not ignore the value that Jarrod Witts presents. After injuring his ACL in Round 3 last year, Witts comes back to a talented Gold Coast midfield who were searching for a tap ruckman all year and while he has never averaged over 100 in SC, he has had multiple years of 90+ so he can provide a nice stepping stone towards the ruckman of your choice after he has made some cash.

Jye Caldwell ($266k MID): There was a lot of hype surrounding Caldwell when he made his move to the Bombers last year as he sought midfield minutes which looked promising after being a part of that midfield rotation in the pre-season but a serious hamstring injury completely derailed his season. However, it is worth noting that during the first quarter of his first match back in 5 months he had 9 disposals, 5 of which were contested so his ability to find the pill has not been lost. Priced slightly more expensive than rookies he could fulfill his true potential we should have seen last year.

Dylan Bolch @BolchDylan

Dylan Bolch with Kouta

Stephen Coniglio ($261k M/F): The Giants skipper should be one of the most picked players come Round 1. Last year was a year to forget for Cogs, playing just five games for an average of 60 SC points as he was plagued by persistent injuries. However, the Giants veteran’s scoring history is tantalisingly juicy and if he can return to the form he produced in previous seasons, coaches will be licking their lips. He averaged 91+ every year between 2015 and 2020, including a 108.4 in 2018. It’s no secret he has struggled a bit with captaincy, but the Giants have three co-captains now to share the load. One of the best mid-price punts for 2022, let’s hope Cogs is set for a return to form.

Jade Gresham ($299k M/F): The diminutive Saints star must be considered given his injury discounted price and potential midfield role in 2022. Gresham looked ready to launch in 2021 amassing 28 and 29 disposals in Rounds 1 and 2, before a significant Achilles injury halted last year’s campaign. Keep a close eye on his pre-season form.

Jarrod Berry ($268k MID): If the rumours are true about Dayne Zorko moving to half back, Berry becomes an interesting prospect. His 2021 season was hampered by shoulder injuries, groin issues and a calf niggle so as a result, he’s been priced at an average of 49. That’s not representative of what Berry can do however, a better guide would be his average of 97 in 2020 or 84 in 2019. If Berry gets back around that 80+ mark, he could be a great steppingstone early in the year.

Charlie Constable ($213k MID): Starved of opportunities at Geelong, Constable made the switch to the Sunshine state in the off-season. He averaged 80 from seven matches in his debut season, not dropping below 60 in that year. The Sandringham Dragons product could be set to fill the void left by Hugh Greenwood and if selected Round 1, must be considered.

Mitch McGovern ($256k FWD): This one’s totally rogue, and I think there are safer options, but I still want to flag him. Mitch McGovern hasn’t really lived up to expectations following his move from Adelaide ahead of the 2019 season but could 2022 be the year he goes to another level? Liam Jones’ retirement following the COVID-19 vaccine mandate has opened the door for a defensive interceptor to enter the fray and McGovern could just be that guy. Huge question marks remain over his fitness given injury history, but if he can beat former Dog Lewis Young to the Jones role, McGovern could be value at just $256k.

Casey McDonald @NaCheers

Casey McDonald

Stephen Coniglio ($261k M/F): Seems an obvious pick for me. He is DPP, $261k, got a point to prove after last season, from 2015-2020 has averaged 99.5pts with an average of 108 in 2018. Hopefully he gets back to 90+ and the decision can be made later in the season on where he is a keeper or you flick him.

Cam Rayner ($276k FWD): Interrupted year last year but rumours are he is fit and having a run through the middle. The back end of 2020 he had scores of 80, 125 and 114. I’d assume he will be a little inconsistent but if he gets mid minutes and sneaks a few goals forward, I can see him potentially making some coin.

Jade Gresham ($299k M/F): Started 2021 in fine fashion starting the first 2 rounds on the ball and accumulating 57 disposals and a goal before being hit with injury. He is one to watch what role and fitness his has in the preseason and might be a nice place holder while we wait for DPP changes.

Preseason watch:

Watch Nakia Cockatoo’s ($265k FWD), fitness and role apparently had a few goes on the ball the other day. Keep an eye on Charlie Curnow’s ($224k FWD) fitness through preseason. Will Day ($345k DEF) started great last year but injury got the better of him. The Hawks backline is one I’m very curious to see unfold!

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