SuperCoach Price Watch: Laird, Keays & Petracca among premo mid picks, Dusty dilemma & Buku or Thompson?

Coaches have a bit to weigh up this round with plenty in search of a premium midfield as they offload Jack Steele, while there’s the constant dilemma of which rookie to downgrade to and if one is enough, given the presence of the trade boost.

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On The Bubble

Greg Clark (SC $117k MID, BE -97)

The Eagles midfielder will likely be the most traded-in player this round, following scores of 104 and 62 across his first two games, creating a guaranteed bumper cash rise upon his third game. His debut suggested he offers an on-field option too, while he had 18 of 25 CBAs in West Coast’s Round 9 loss to Melbourne too. Already owned by 20%, would be tough to miss him.

Buku Khamis (SC $127k DEF, BE -32)

Some coaches are scrambling for defensive rookies to cash out the likes of Josh Gibcus, Nathan O’Driscoll or Sam De Koning and Khamis provides that. Khamis is playing forward, kicking three goals in the Dogs’ win over Collingwood, having been heralded as a defender. That performance, resulting in 66 SC points, seems to have firmed up his job security in the absence of Josh Bruce, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and Cody Weightman. Not sure his ceiling is high but beggars can’t be choosers.

Rory Thompson (SC $123k DEF, BE -16)

Another defensive downgrade option is Thompson, who has finally returned after years out due to injuries. The rookie-priced 31-year-old key defender has only managed scores of 38 and 51, meaning he doesn’t have a high ceiling, but he arguably has better job security than Khamis long-term. The problem is he’ll be a slow burn in terms of price growth.

Mitch Knevitt (SC $117k MID, BE -4)

The Cats midfielder has gone under the radar after debuting as medi sub, before slipping into the Geelong 22. His scores of 49 and 24 don’t scream pick me, nor do they suggest he has much job security, especially given Geelong’s aversion to sticking with youth, excluding De Koning it seems. Clark is clearly the better option in midfield.

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Burst Bubbles

Coaches were scratching their heads last week wondering which player was best to downgrade to among Cooper Hamilton (SC $156k M/F, BE -22), Jack Carroll (SC $172k MID, BE 15) and Maurice Rioli (SC $167k M/F, BE 20).

Hindsight always dictates which one was best, but Rioli’s woeful score of 7, after starting with 92 and 72, means his cash generation will stall and he’s no longer an on-field option for his 40% owners. Plus his job security starts getting shaky, although he should hold for Dreamtime at the ‘G this round.

Carroll didn’t fare much better with a 28, following first-up scores of 95 and 59. The Carlton mid may face pressure for his spot now too. Hamilton is owned by 21% and they’ll be delighted after he delivered a score of 59 to follow his 68 and 55 ticking a few boxes in terms of scoring consistency and likely job security, although you never know with a change of coach.

There’s also Eagles ruckman Callum Jamieson (SC $150k RUCK, BE -17) who has totally gone under the radar due to the stop-start nature of his run of games and the wealth of ruck options available.

Sliding Into Value

Callum Mills (SC $669k MID, BE 167)

It’s hard to fathom that Mills scored 167 in Round 9 yet still dropped $17k in value, but that was the case due to his Round 8 score of 60, which means his break-even remains high heading into Round 10. Despite the probability of a further price fall, Mills must be strongly considered for coaches looking to replace Jack Steele or even simply making a midfield upgrade. His ceiling is massive, having posted 214 in Round 6, meaning he could hit that high break-even.

Zach Merrett (SC $559k MID, BE 164)

More than $100k cheaper than Mills is Essendon onballer Merrett, who has been below his best lately. Merrett averaged 115 in both 2020 and 2021 but has dipped down to 102.8 this year, fresh from a Round 9 score of 57 against Sydney. On the flipside, Merrett has four 100+ scores in his six games this season, having been injured for three games after Round 2. Given his high break-even, it would be premature to grab him, but Steele owners needing a quick fix may be interested as he is very cheap for his pedigree.

Ben Keays (SC $568k MID, BE 129)

Keays is a similarly-priced alternative to Merrett with a far stronger form line, if you’re looking for a Steele solution. The under-rated Crows mid hasn’t dipped below 100 once this season, although he has five scores between 100-110. If anything he’s consistent, but his ceiling is there, with scores of 149, 129 and 128 this year. Unlikely to get much cheaper. Strongly consider.

Andy Brayshaw (SC $557k MID, BE 100)

We discussed Brayshaw last week and following another $14k drop in price, he’s hard to ignore, with the urgency of the Steele dilemma, especially given the Docker is unlikely to get cheaper. Brayshaw’s season average is 116.4, but his three-game average is down at 101.7, including scores of 77 and 94 which will dull the enthusiasm. Ultimately you need to decide if he can return to his top form. Four scores out of nine below 100 may be enough to scare you off.

Finding Form

Rory Laird (SC $634k MID, BE 108)

Another Crows mid looms as another under-the-radar pick. Laird missed the opening two rounds due to injury meaning his ownership is low (2% at the time of writing) but he’s currently the fourth highest averaging player in SuperCoach, making him a serious POD. Laird returned in Round 3 with a 93, but has since not scored below 116. He’s scored 120 or more on five occasions. He’s reliable and unique. Seriously consider.

Christian Petracca (SC $578k MID, BE 99)

The Norm Smith medalist will be a popular pick this week. Petracca has a season average of 116.8 but his three-game average is up at 124.3. But buyer beware, among that is scores of 131 and 136 against Hawthorn and West Coast respectively, who are among the top four easiest sides to score against. Petracca has six 100+ scores this season, including 163 in Round 1 and has not dipped below 85.

Dustin Martin (SC $509k M/F, BE 98)

It’s worth flagging another Norm Smith medalist in Dusty, who has scored 83 and 119 upon his return to the Richmond side. Plenty of coaches had reservations about the fitness and readiness of Martin, meaning his ownership remains low but he’s ticked a few boxes. Albeit with only three games, Martin is the fourth highest averaging forward in SC. If you’re done with Stephen Coniglio or Zak Butters, he’s an option, but note who he’s played against and consider his Round 12 bye.

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