KFC SuperCoach: How to survive, and get ahead, after the first seven rounds

You’ve survived the first seven rounds of the KFC SuperCoach season — congratulations!

Take it from a player with more than a decade’s experience, that is no mean feat in one of the trickiest seasons in memory thanks to injuries and late team changes.

So … what now?

This is your quick guide to clicking your team into the next gear and getting ahead of your mates on the long road ahead.

ROOKIE ROULETTE

At the start of the season the bench of your KFC SuperCoach team doesn’t seem all that important — these guys aren’t part of your score for the round, so it doesn’t really matter who you select there, right?

Um, not quite — as many players will be finding out right about now.

Swans youngsters Braeden Campbell (left) and Errol Gulden have both increased in value.Source:Getty Images

The bench is crucial for depth to cover for players who are a late out, are not selected (which you can easily get caught out by with new 24-hour team announcements) or miss through minor injuries.

As long as you have nominated emergencies before the round, that player’s score will replace any non-playing members of your team. We have already faced this situation more than once this season, especially in the backline.

Picking the right rookies to start on field each week is tricky for even the top KFC SuperCoach players, but recent form and a look at an upcoming opponent can help make the best guess.

We love it when James Rowe puts out a 104 in Round 1 but for most cheapies any score over 50 is a good return.

THE MONEY TRAIN

Rookies play an even more important role in KFC SuperCoach than scoring 30-70 points each week.

After a player has played two games their price will start to change based on a three-game rolling average — score well and their price goes up, score badly and it goes down.

This is all relative to their starting value, so a 50-point return can lead to a price jump for a bottom-priced rookie, but it’s terrible news for a player who started at $600,000.

For example, Rowe scored 40 in Round 3 and 67 in Round 4 and went up in price more than $55,000 in those two weeks. That’s because all rookies who start at under $130,000 are effectively assumed to have a starting average of 20-30 points, so anything above that is a win.

James Rowe has played every game for the Crows so far after making his debut in Round 1.Source:Getty Images

In contrast, Lachie Neale lost $80,000 in one week after scoring 77, 75 and 89 in the first three rounds, way under his 2020 average of 134.

If you have a bunch of good rookies, you can make a lot of cash over a few weeks which will help you make some big trade moves — more on that below.

I MISSED THE GOOD ROOKIES. WHAT DO I DO NOW?

The best rookie of the season, Sydney’s Errol Gulden, is the second-most popular player in KFC SuperCoach. He is in more than 59 per cent of teams, so hopefully you didn’t miss the boat!

But if you have a few cheapies filling up your bench who aren’t getting games or scoring points, you’re not alone.

It’s too late now to be spending $200,000 or more to get the cheapies you missed — much better to look out for players who are still bottom-priced but are getting games.

It’s also better in the long run to fix your bench now by using a few trades to replace non-playing rookies with bottom-priced players who are getting games — make that a higher priority than trading out a player like Taylor Walker after one bad game.

One big tip when trading in rookies is to wait until they have been named for their third match, that way you know they are relatively safe in their team’s line-up and will gain value in KFC SuperCoach. Lots of coaches have jumped on a promising kid after one good game only to see them injured or dropped in game two.

Some examples this round are Martin Frederick (Port Adelaide), Nathan Murphy (Collingwood) and Riley Thilthorpe (Adelaide), although Riley costs a bit more.

If you have a bit of money in the bank you could also trade in a player after their first price rise — for example, Carlton’s Luke Parks increased $31,200 in value after his third game last weekend but is still affordable and expected to make more cash.

Another tip — watch team selection closely to make sure your cheapies are named before locking in your trades.

TRADE TACTICS: BUY LOW, SELL HIGH

Trades are required to replace injured or missing players, but there is a lot more to them than that.

If you trade the right players at the right time, you can improve the overall quality of your team by replacing on-field cheapies with star players as the season goes on.

Swapping out players for others of a similar value can solve a short-term problem, but you can find yourself trading from one player to another in an endless cycle that just replaces one problem with another and doesn’t solve other problems in your team — like having too many low-scoring cheapies.

The trick is to use the stock market axiom in the heading above and trade out player who have raised in value for higher-scoring players available for a value price.

Cheapies are reaching close to their maximum value after 6-8 rounds — right about now — so you can look to cash in a player like Errol Gulden or Rowe and use their profits to snare another gun for your side.

The classic KFC SuperCoach move is using both trades to go “one up, one down” — trading one rookie “down” to another bottom-priced cheapie about to rise in value and the other “up” to a premium player.

So, a classic trade combo this week would be to trade a backline cheapie like Heath Chapman ($250,500) down to Martin Frederick ($123,900), generating a $126,600 profit. Then you can trade Gulden up to any player worth up to $424,400. If you have some cash in the bank already, you’ll have some very good players to choose from.

Finlay Macrae will be a very popular recruit this week in KFC SuperCoach.Source:Getty Images

If you can get to one of the top-scorers in the game that will be hard to pass up but to get the best value out of your trades look for a “fallen premium” who is available for well under their actual scoring value.

Tom Mitchell has dropped $101,000 since Round 1, Steven May is just $408,600 after starting the season at more than $500,000 and Dustin Martin’s price is also way down after an injury-affected score. All good average over 100 points a game from here.

WHEN TO TRADE A PREMIUM

Experienced KFC SuperCoach players resist the urge to trade out a star player for a short-term absence through injury or suspension.

The rule of thumb is hold for 1-2 weeks — you will be better off keeping the premium in your team even if you have to cover them with a low-scoring player in that time. If they are missing four weeks or more, hit the trade button.

Three weeks is always a tough call — some will hold and some will trade, depending on how their team is placed.

Coaches who held onto Dustin Martin during his one-week absence will reap the benefits when he returns this week — and you saved a trade.

If you didn’t trade Dustin Martin, well done!Source:Getty Images

HOW MANY TRADES SHOULD I BE USING?

We have 30 trades for the season, which seems like a lot but they can vanish quicker than you think — many coaches will be down to 20 trades or even fewer already.

Using some of your trades to get your team on track is smart, but if you can it pays to resist the trade urge some weeks to make sure you have a few in your back pocket for the business end of the season.

Teams who have trades have a big advantage when KFC SuperCoach finals come around.

Originally published asTrade tactics 101: How to reboot your SuperCoach season

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