SuperCoach Expert Panel: Who are the starting must-haves for the 2022 season?

Need help making calls on your starting line-up in SuperCoach? You’re not alone, so we’ve called up an All-Star Expert Panel to answer the key questions.

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We’ve called in the brains trust who have excellent SuperCoach records to provide their tips on locks, fades, points of differences (PODs), breakouts and value picks, plus we’ve got them to weigh in on this year’s ruck dilemma.

On our panel are 2021 SC fifth-place finisher Josh Hassan, 2020 SC eighth-place finisher Todd Baird, five-time SC top 100 finisher Lachlan Hunter and Honeyball writer and ex-top 300 finisher Ethan Lee.

You can read the full Expert Panel including their answers for fades, PODs, value defenders, value mids, value forwards and how they’re structure their ruck line (Gawndy or not?) in the HB mag for only $9.95 via this link.

HB: Thanks everyone, please let us know two locks for the 2022 SuperCoach season?

Josh Hassan

JH: Touk Miller is the biggest lock since the entry at Fort Knox. He averaged 131 after Round 5, and only two scores under 115 in that run. Touk is everywhere on the football field and does everything. He’s a strong tackler, loves a clearance, and is not afraid of a hard ball, which are all rewarded well in SC. He’s also a sneaky POD at 13% ownership, compared to the other big three mids at around 40%.

Everyone seems to be over-thinking Jordan De Goey. This is one everyone seems to be over thinking. The bloke averaged 27.5 disposals when moving into the mids last year, and is there only damaging mid moving the ball into the forward half of the ground. What coach (especially a new one) is going to just suddenly take a player with that proven ability and impact, out of that position?

Collingwood have come out and said that at least one of De Goey or Elliot will be at every centre stoppage. With De Goey being the much better mid, I’m going to say he will get at least 60-65% of that rotation. Which is more than enough for him to go 105+. Bear in mind only one forward eligible player went 100-plus last year, meaning as a forward the bar is lower. De Goey is priced at an average of 85. With a lower bar, and cheap buy in price. There isn’t much risk to be had here. Don’t over think it. Lock him in.

Todd Baird

TB: Jack Steele – The man who does it all and is probably now the AFL’s most complete player. I think he will only get better in 2022 and with rule changes to reward the tackler this season his average could easily jump to 130-135 points. He’s super durable and will likely be the number one scorer come year’s end. A must-have from Round 1.

Lachie Neale – He went into the 2021 season underdone and struggled all year but still managed to average 100 points per game. If we look back to 2020 he averaged a whopping 134.4 and if fit we should see him back up towards 125-130 again this year. His 46-possession game against Melbourne in the qualifying final last year showed that he hasn’t lost it. Those who don’t start with Neale in 2022 could find themselves burning a trade very quickly to get him in before price rises.

Lachlan Hunter

LH: 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. Last time he missed a game was Round 3 2018. Lock and load.

Jack Macrae – A player who has been in my starting team in the last four seasons and that won’t 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.

Ethan Lee

EL: With locks you want high scoring, but also durability. It’s about which player will score the most points after 22 games, thus my first lock is Jack Crisp. Priced at $571k, Crisp has previously been a half-back but in 2021 he was thrown into the midfield where averaged a career best 104.9. Interestingly, when he was playing less mid minutes (<25% CBAs) he still averaged 108 in comparison to times where he was playing as a prominent mid role (>30% CBAs) averaging 102.7. This tells us regardless of the role, he can still score very well. Adding that he has played 156 consecutive games, shows he’s durable.

My other lock is Brodie Grundy, who is clear of any other ruckman. Niggles have recently brought him down from his 2018-2019 130 average. He was flying with an average of 126.5 in the first nine games last year before slowing to 107 due to a neck injury. Still durable, only missing five games in the past six years.

You can read the full Expert Panel including their answers for fades, PODs, value defenders, value mids, value forwards and how they’re structure their ruck line (Gawndy or not?) in the HB mag for only $9.95 via this link.

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