It would be a KFC SuperCoach triumph even Steven Bradbury would be proud of.
Your dreams of SuperCoach stardom aren’t over if you didn’t sign up before Round 1.
To catch Round 1 leader Stuart’s Squad — who scored 2538 — you’ll need to make up an average of 159 points in each of the remaining 16 rounds.
That sounds like a mighty task — and it is. But impossible? Hardly.
Of course, Round 1 leaders rarely maintain their standing over the course of a full season, especially one as unpredictable as this.
If you want to stand a shot at claiming the $50,000 grand prize, reeling in Stuart’s Squad should be your first priority.
Then you can set your sights on the top of the rankings and a come-from-behind victory to rival Essendon’s record revival against North Melbourne in 2001.
Here are the reasons you should sign up now and our advice to help you pick the perfect Round 2 team.
— The right rookies: While other coaches are burning their trades to move on popular starting selections Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (45.8 per cent of teams) and Tom Green (57.6 per cent of teams), you start with a clean slate. You can choose Curtis Taylor (79 points in Round 1) and Sam Sturt (100) to guarantee a huge cash injection after Round 2. You’ll also have the benefit of choosing rookies named in Round 2 teams.
— 30 trades left for 15 trade periods: That’s right. You would have two trades available every week for the remainder of the season. Given thousands of other coaches will be down to 25 after Round 2, it will give you greater flexibility to manoeuvre your squad and freedom to trade underperforming premiums.
— Starting with Jeremy Howe and Jack Viney: Thousands of coaches have jumped on the mid-price pair after their Round 1 heroics. Howe was the No. 1 ranked defender with 156 points, while Viney was the top player of the round with 186 points. While others are burning trades to jump on ahead of price changes, you can slot Howe into your defence and Viney into your midfield with little hassle.
— Choose premiums based on fixture: While those who based their starting team on the initial fixture scramble to make changes, you can pick yours with an eye on the next four rounds. Patrick Dangerfield averaged 122 at GMHBA Stadium last year and three of his next four matches are in Geelong. Lachie Neale (117.3-point average) dominated at the Gabba in 2019, where Brisbane Lions play their next four games, while POD defender Tom Stewart averaged 108.1 points at Geelong.
– One round of evidence: Admittedly it isn’t a perfect sample size. But at least it’s something to work off. Who could have predicted 10 ruckmen would score hundreds in Round 1, headlined by Brodie Grundy’s 179? Or just how dominant winning teams would be? The successful teams in Round 1 scored an average of 285 points more than the losing teams. The greatest differential was 550 points in Collingwood’s resounding win over Western Bulldogs. These are factors it would have been good to know before Round 1.
– Load your team with rucks: You can choose Darcy Fort and Jon Ceglar up forward to complement your two starting rucks. Fort was Geelong’s No. 1 big man in Round 1 and delivered with 94 points, while Ceglar posted 101. It’s a bonus both can be chosen as forwards and if the trend of ruckmen dominating continues, other coaches will need to use trades on the pair. You have the benefit of being able to start with them.
– Target cash generation and launch to full premium status: While scoring points from the outset is important, most teams surge up the rankings by reaching full-premium status faster than others. That’s going to be difficult to achieve in 16 rounds, although you can help yourself by choosing players with low or negative break evens. Essendon’s Jordan Ridley ($322K) is a prime example. He’s unlikely to be a season keeper but you can hold onto him until his price maxes out then use the extra cash to snare a premium.
– Sam Naismith: The 10 per cent of coaches who started with Naismith were doing cartwheels when he scored a career-best 121 in Round 1. He’d only hit triple figures once previously in 22 games. At $251,500 he’s hard to ignore as a second-ruck option and will surge above $300,000 quickly. He’s never been worth more than $379,400 in KFC SuperCoach but that looks certain to change this year. Choose either Brodie Grundy or Max Gawn to partner Naismith and you’ll have a perfect ruck combination for less than $1 million of your salary cap.
OUR PERFECT ROUND 2 TEAM