Adelaide Crows midfielder Rory Laird (Picture: AFL, Design by Will Cuckson)

The first of the bye rounds have come and gone, with three still to go. The Inner Sanctum’s SuperCoach PODcast team takes a look at the strategies heading into bye round number two, the possible rookie options available, and gives out their mid-season awards for the forwards and defenders.

Rookie Roulette – Who are our options this week?

There are not too many options available to downgrade heading into Round 13. Swan Lewis Melican is an interesting defender to consider.

He has played just one game this season, with a score of 87 in Round 11 against the Blues. Given the long-term injury to Paddy McCartin and Dane Rampe being still a few weeks away, his job security looks strong in a depleted Swans backline.

Cat Oisin Mullin has shown flashes of brilliance in his two games. With scores of 54 and 37, he hasn’t set the world on fire, but as he grows accustomed to the pace of AFL, expect those scores to improve.

Two slight issues for Mullin are his bye-round and his job security. With the Cats having the bye this week, it may be worth seeing if he is named in Round 14, however, if you need the cash for a premium player this week, you could certainly take the punt.

Given also the Cats expect to welcome back Mitch Duncan next game, it may be Mullin who loses his spot. Oh, the fun of SuperCoach Rookie Roulette!

Bye Round strategy – Round 13

With only two sides having the bye this week in Geelong and Gold Coast, it is likely your side will have the 18 players required.

If you are desperate, you could trade out any underperforming Cats/Suns for players from St Kilda, Sydney, Fremantle or Brisbane, as they have all had their bye.

Given the uniqueness, however, of just the two teams not playing, you can probably treat this round just like any normal week.

Round 14 and 15, on the other hand, will be a whole different ballgame!

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Mid-Season Awards – Forwards and Defenders

At this halfway point in the season, we take a look at the players getting it done in each position. This week the focus is on defenders and forwards.


In the forward line, there have been two standouts in Josh Dunkley and Tim Taranto – both are suspected of having leather poisoning and both are locks.

The next two, Zak Butters and Jack Macrae are roughly four points on average from F5 (Connor Rozee) and F6 (Errol Gulden) at this stage.

So who is out there that might challenge for F5 and F6?

The logical answer here is Caleb Daniel, currently ranked sixth for total points scored and with an ownership of just 3.7 per cent, AND has the added benefit of that FWD/DEF option.

If you are somewhat of a risk taker, or perhaps you have Daniel already… maybe roll the dice on Shai Bolton?

With 6.3 per cent ownership and a five-round average of 116 points, Bolton might be one to give you a POD in the forward line at the pointy end of the year.

Position#1 🔒#2 🔒#3 #4 #5#6
FWDJosh DunkleyTim TarantoZak ButtersJack MacraeConnor RozeeErrol Gulden
% ownership69.463.517.817.949.950.8


In the backline, there have been two standouts in Nick Daicos and Jordan Dawson, who have been head and shoulders above the others in the chasing pack.

Given the next three, James Sicily, Luke Ryan and Tom Stewart, all average around eight points more than the number six defender (currently Caleb Daniel with 102.7), the question really becomes who to target for D6?

You could take it conservatively and select Jake Lloyd, a proven top-six defender of seasons past, currently sitting seventh for season average points and with a low ownership of 6.6 per cent.

Also at 6.6 per cent ownership, another fallen top-six defender, Sam Docherty, is ripe for the picking, given he is fourth-ranked for the five-round average.

Other options might include Mason Redman (Ninth for five-round average and 4.4 per cent ownership), or Dan Houston (fourth for total points scored and one per cent ownership).

Position#1 🔒#2 🔒#3#4#5#6
DEFNick DaicosJordan DawsonJames SicilyLuke RyanTom StewartCaleb Daniel
% ownership73.844.


With all sides bar Geelong and Gold Coast to pick from, and players from those sides to use as loopholes at any point in the round, captain and vice-captain choices can be really anyone in your side.

Friday night’s Western Bulldogs vs Port Adelaide clash offers common VC options in Tim English, Marcus Bontempelli and Zac Butters. After a couple of weeks that he would consider as ‘down’ weeks, and with the loss last week, expect the Bont to make a statement.

Midfielders have been scoring well against the Eagles, so expect Jordan Dawson and/or Rory Laird to go big at home on Saturday afternoon.

If your VC fails, there are always the safe options of either Christian Petracca (159 last week) or Nick Daicos (123 last week). The big stage brings out the best in both players, and a big captain’s score on Monday may be just the finish to the round you need.

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