Expert Panel: Who are the two must-have premium midfielders in SuperCoach?

Rookies and bargains are often the focus at this time of the year, but it’s important to remember which premiums you’re targeting and locking into your starting SuperCoach side.

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Honeyball has turned to its team of SuperCoach experts to nominate two must-have premium midfielders, yielding a curious trend.

The expert panel includes 2020 top 150 finisher Janath Fernando, former top 10 SuperCoach and AFL Fantasy finisher Lachlan Hunter, former SC round winner and 2020 top 200 finisher Casey McDonald and SC scribe and regular top 1000 finisher Dylan Bolch.

Janath Fernando @JanathFernando4

The Jacks of all trades – Jackson Macrae ($699k MID) and Jack Steele ($685k MID)

Both Macrae and Steele are locked into my side and their ability to provide a consistent floor as well as a captaincy score worthy ceiling should be reason enough for you to lock them into your side too. Whilst they are the two most expensive players in the game, Macrae and Steele scored 125+ – the general VC loophole threshold score – 13 and 12 times respectively in 2021, providing peace of mind for many coaches as they are able to lock in their captain’s score early in the round.

In terms of their respective floors, Steele did not go below 90 all season, with only 3 scores below 100 whilst Macrae only failed to hit the SC ton once. In terms of scoring floor, Steele elevates his through his elite tackling and Macrae likewise with his elite disposal efficiency, with both having shown an ability to overcome tags in the past. Oh, and Macrae and Steele are as durable as they come, having missed only 3 and 2 games respectively due to injury in the past five years.

I’ll also throw in Tom Mitchell ($638k MID) who is a great choice which coaches can opt towards, either on top of both Jacks, or as an alternate. Mitchell is back to his best form, having said so himself and finished 2021 with 11 straight scores at or above 110, including six over 125. With your premium mids you want stability and a captaincy choice week-in and week-out, with Titch being a perfect candidate for your M2-4.

Lachlan Hunter @HunterPunter_1

Jack Steele: I value durability and consistency in scoring for my top priced premiums and that is exactly what Steele delivers. He averaged 126 in 2021 and 122.5 in 2020. The last time he missed a game was Round 3 2018. Lock and load.

Jackson Macrae: A player who has been in my starting team in the last four seasons and this isn’t going to change this year. Last year he averaged 128.6 without missing a game. That was despite the pre-season concerns around the midfield squeeze at the Dogs caused by the acquisition of Adam Treloar. Moreover, in 2021 his lowest score was 97. Macrae is so valuable to have in your team as he is the ultimate back-up captaincy option if your VC fails.

Casey McDonald @NaCheers

The two players that I am mentioning in my must-haves are very obvious but I think their past seasons speak for themselves. Macrae is just an absolute lock. His fixtures are very VC friendly, he constantly gets 30+ disposals and rarely cops a tag as opposition don’t seem to see his disposal as damaging. Lock him in!

Jack Steele was my favourite player to own last year. He is a contested beast, loves a clearance, is a tackling machine and even added scoring goals to his credentials last season. these two were my first picked without even giving it one thought.

As we’ve all said Macrae and Steele, I’d also look at Clayton Oliver ($672k MID) with second most disposals and most contested possessions of any player last year. What I did like about his game in 2021 was he snuck forward. He kicked 11.18, if he can improve his accuracy in 2022 we might see his average creep even higher!

From all reports Lachie Neale ($543k MID) is back to his best. At his price he is one of the biggest locks in my opinion. Carried some injuries last year but I think he will have a point to prove after dropping off after his Brownlow year.

Dylan Bolch @BolchDylan

Jack Steele: St Kilda’s captain broke out in 2020 as he turned a 2019 average of 95 into an average of 122.5. He backed up that breakout campaign with an average of 126 last year, announcing himself as one of the competition’s premier talents. Often coaches will take any VC score over 120, Steele had 13/22 matches over that mark last year making him an extremely viable captaincy option. He often went really large as well, posting 140+ eight times in 2022.

The AFL announced in January that they will be tightening up the holding the ball rule as well and although I don’t expect this to have a major impact on SuperCoach scoring, a guy like Steele who averaged 8.41 tackles a match last year (second in the AFL) can only benefit from this.

Mr Consistent, Macrae played every match last season and dropped below 106 SuperCoach points just once – a score of 97 against Geelong. Doesn’t seem to pump out the massive 150+ scores as often as some of the other premium midfield selections but his consistency week-to-week is what makes him a lock for my starting side. It’s not just consistency last year either, he has averaged 121+ every year since 2018. Lock him in.

Like Casey, given we’ve all said the Jacks, I’ll add Touk Miller ($677k MID) who rose to uber premium status in 2021 and I expect him to continue to live up to his newfound lofty standards this year. Post Round 5, the Suns superstar averaged an astonishing 131.1 SuperCoach points per match. Unlike other premium midfielders who cop tags, Miller’s work rate and hunger to get to every single contest means a tag should not affect him as much as it might others. Has multiple avenues for scoring and will continue to be a key cog in the Suns young midfield.

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