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  1. #1
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    I'm always interested in looking back at a season and asking the question: what would a team made from the best starting combination, followed by excellent trades look like?

    I'm not talking about a 100% optimised trading strategy, but one that would be plausible (just) when looked at week to week. eg. Trade out a high priced player who is cooked for the right fallen premium (chosen with hindsight). How close was your starting team to the one below? And what is there to learn from this analysis for future SC seasons?

    Note that the starting side below is not optimal in the strictest sense (no algorithmic processing was done!) but is merely illustrative of what was possible.

    "Optimal" starting side:

    DEF: Docherty, Adams, Laird, Marchbank, McGrath, Otten, Hampton, Stewart
    MID: Rockliff, Zorko, Sloane, T Mitchell, Josh Kelly, Ebert, Murphy, Oliver, SPP, Barret, JDC
    RUC: Sandi, Witts, Preuss
    FWD: Dahl, Macrae, Yeo, Nank, WHE, Butler, Houston, Hannan

    Budget: $9,968,900

    This team looks remarkably cookie-cutter in all lines except the mids, where it very shrewdly invests for maximum return. If only I'd set my team up like this!

    As to scoring, I've taken the 3rd best MID score as captain each week as a "fair" estimate (first 5 rounds turned out to be 124, 130, 110, 123 and 122) and haven't done any shuffling of bench players. Team plays as named every week.

    Here are the round-by-round scores for those first 5 rounds and the overall ranking. For such a "normal" looking team the results are somewhat astonishing!

    Round Score Total Rank Lead to 2nd
    1 2426 2426 18 -
    2 2471 4897 1 145
    3 2395 7292 1 181
    4 2438 9730 1 489
    5 2300 12030 1 507

    500 points clear in 1st after 5 rounds, with all trades in the bank . Buy yourself a beer fantasy coach!

    The trades to take this super team all the way to the end will follow in the next post.
    SuperCoach:  12877 (2016)  8481 (2015) 


  2. #2
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    Trading analysis

    Nobody wins Supercoach by picking a team and sticking with it the entire year (even the wonder team above would run out of gas pretty quickly).

    With many a nod to the sharemarket theory of trading (credit to Jay and Rowsus and others for being the pioneering thinkers here), here are the trades we make to reach a near fully upgraded team heading into the bye rounds.

    Round In Out Cash Notes
    5 Preuss ($262,700)
    Marchbank ($301,100)
    Strnadica ($102,400)
    Hibberd ($402,200)
    $90,300 Standard 1-up 1-down into a cheap premo
    6 Murphy ($570,500)
    Butler ($269,600)
    Hurley ($446,000)
    Heeney ($433,400)
    $51,000 Murphy maxed out facing huge BE allowing side trade and upgrade.
    McGrath to MID.
    7 Sloane ($675,000)
    Dahlaus ($585,800)
    Blakely ($351,200)
    Billings ($386,300)
    $574,300 Dahl and Sloane maxed facing huge BE.
    Billings and Blakely underpriced and poised for breakout (after a 90 and 100 respectively).

    By far the most contentious trade ins and perhaps not plausible at all - happy for comments.
    We're going for optimal remember
    8 Otten ($376,400)
    Houston ($288,900
    )
    Houli ($456,500)
    Walters ($348,200)
    $434,900 Double upgrade. We back Walters after scoring a ton playing full MID to be serviceable as a FWD.
    9 Ebert ($536,700)
    Hampton ($279,300)
    Dangerfield ($560,300)
    Dusty ($510,000)
    $180,600 Oh yeah! Big guns in at a huge discount.
    McGrath back to DEF.
    10 Rockliff ($591,500)
    Sandilands ($464,700)
    Matt Crouch ($491,700)
    Kreuzer ($487,800)
    $257,300 Two forced injury trades, but we get the right replacements.
    11 WHE ($374,700)
    Barret ($297,800)
    Hannan ($248,200)
    )
    Ryder ($508,000)
    Lyons ($457,300)
    Greenwood ($117,300)
    $95,400 Two-up, one-down to get some bye coverage.

    In total that's half our trades burned leaving 15 in the bank. We will definitely need some of those to cover things like injuries and suspensions but they will be more than enough for the run home and will allow some luxury trading as well. More on that below.

    As the players take the field for R11 our team looks like this:

    DEF: Docherty, Adams, Laird, Hibberd, Hurley, Houli, McGrath, Stewart
    MID: Danger, Dusty, T Mitchell, Kelly, Zorko, Oliver, M Crouch, Blakely, Lyons, SPP, JDC
    RUC: Kreuzer, Witts, Strnadica
    FWD: Macrae, Yeo, Heeney, Billings, Ryder, Walters, Nank, Greenwood

    We're well set for on-field players in R11 and R12 but those that are very astute may calculate that we are running the bare 18 for R13. We could trade Kelly or Mitchell out and in for some extra coverage if we wanted.

    I'm not going to try and "optimise" the rest of the season as the possibilities start to explode once you near the end with trades in hand, but I will list some of the trades we expect to make in the remaining rounds:
    • Trade Blakely to a "true" premo at some stage (probably Fyfe)
    • Upgrade Witts to someone like Buddy (Ryder to RUC)
    • Downgrade Stewart to Witherden and McGrath to Luke Ryan for cash
    • Use some cash to turn JDC into Sicily or Toby McLean for the final few rounds to shark some points.
    • Deal with Houli and Zorko getting suspended and Walters/Hurley getting injured.
    • 1-up, 1-down with SPP and Greenwood if it's justified (for an M10 or F8!)


    Gather, discuss
    Last edited by Leroy; 04-09-2017 at 2:06pm.
    SuperCoach:  12877 (2016)  8481 (2015) 


  3. #3
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    Interesting post season thread - thanks.

    Doesn't look wildly unplausible at all, pretty much stock rookies with the popular (and cheap) WHE, Otten, Hampton and the Nank thrown in.
    Stock standard defence that a lot of people would've had, mids a bit more left field but it's not hard to imagine a side with Rocky, Zorko, Sloane and Titch in it preseason, just maybe the entire set with Ebert, Kelly and Murphy would've looked way too risky. Rucks would've looked high risk but cheap as and the forward line is not just cookie cutter but looks low risk even from a preseason point of view (with the possible exception of Yeo).

    Leads me to the question, why didn't I think of this??
    Go Crows!

  4. #4
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    3 Not allowed!

    I don't want to hijack the thread but this might make for an interesting offseason competition in its own right. Who can come up with the highest score for 2017 with perfect hindsight.
    SuperCoach:  4131 (2017)  8942 (2016)  8786 (2015)  1137 (2014)  10000 (2013)  2000 (2012) 


  5. #5
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    Lost me at No Dangerfield
    Starting the higher priced rookies was the way to go this year going by that table. Nice work
    SuperCoach:  1232 (2016)  6140 (2015)  236 (2014)  1966 (2013) 

    COACH OF: Tommy No Trade |
    Highest Ranking: 53rd | Best Round Score: 2765 Round 15 2014

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beg2Differ View Post
    I don't want to hijack the thread but this might make for an interesting offseason competition in its own right. Who can come up with the highest score for 2017 with perfect hindsight.
    Rowsus would win that competition hands down.

  7. #7
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    Amazing work Leroy, so good in fact that when i first saw it posted and the avatar it was posted by, i actually thought KLo wrote the article!

    You're right it looks remarkably cookie cutter and if Danger and Beams were in there instead of 2 of Rocky/Zorko/Kelly/Ebert i don't think it would've looked out of place in the preseason RMT thread.

    What i'm assuming will happen with this thread, is you will be trading players in as they run hot, and players out once they've fully matured or run cold. This is something i strive to do every year (with mixed results) so i'll be very interested to see how it all plays out. Personally, i have no issue with this type of trading strategy and if it can be as beneficial as i'm expecting to be, it'll be something i run with again next year!
    SuperCoach:  1,895 (2017)  4,853 (2016)  5,202 (2015)  479 (2014)  7,684 (2013) 

    Highest overall ranking: 18th (Rd 18, 2014)

  8. #8
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    Thanks IDIG. That storming kangaroo avatar is awesome for us NMFC guys.

    Bumping this thread now that the trading analysis is in, in case anybody is interested
    SuperCoach:  12877 (2016)  8481 (2015) 


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC View Post
    Lost me at No Dangerfield
    Starting the higher priced rookies was the way to go this year going by that table. Nice work
    I think it's the right higher priced rookies as this year showed some were uber-important (eg, Witts - I wasn't surprised to see the winning team started him). In fact I think this has been true for a number of years now. Based priced rookies are proving not reliable to start on field and often (particularly up forward) proving troublesome to upgrade even if they keep playing.

    I think the re-pricing of expensive rookies has been a fundamental shift in the game and we can no longer look to all $600K/$100K GnR sides like we used to back in the day.

    Another important piece of the puzzle and again I think most winners have these players is the Nank mid-pricer types.

    This year WHE, Marchbank, Witts and Nank presented reasonably in the pre-season and with a bit of a leap with say Witts weren't difficult selections. It's just that if you are trying to squeeze in as many $600K players as you can then you run out of room. Recent history says to me you just have to make the room.

    One year soon maybe the startable $100K players will return and we can GnR right up again.

    I saw a lot of trades burned getting these types in early (not just on here BTW) and if you are caught up in 2-4 trades normalising your side to fit these guys in then it's like you've started with 2-4 less trades and it usually catches up with you late in the season.

    Jay's GnR run to the top aside, I reckon most winners' teams have these value picks in their sides. Noting here that some winners seem to come from 20,000 rank in earlier years and then revert back there afterwards. So maybe the purer GnR is still the answer to a consistently high ranking but may not ever be enough to counter the value-orientated coach who happens to jag all of the key value picks in their winning year.
    Last edited by Hondo; 04-09-2017 at 5:33pm.
    SuperCoach:  2252 (2017)  1238 (2016)  3623 (2015)  737 (2014)  2166 (2013)  15055 (2012)  3207 (2011)  3009 (2010)  356 (2009) 

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    I think it's the right higher priced rookies as this year showed some were uber-important (eg, Witts - I wasn't surprised to see the winning team started him). In fact I think this has been true for a number of years now. Based priced rookies are proving not reliable to start on field and often (particularly up forward) proving troublesome to upgrade even if they keep playing.

    I think the re-pricing of expensive rookies has been a fundamental shift in the game and we can no longer look to all $600K/$100K GnR sides like we used to back in the day.
    I think this perfectly sums up my season this year. I took what seemed to be a very low-risk approach: full GnR plus Beams (with lots of cheap rookies). In the end this was a disaster - I was forced to play low priced rookies on field scoring 40s and 50s while my top players performed below expectations (my fault for picking the wrong players but there you go).

    Based party on my research here and partly on not wanting to play out another frustrating season I'm going to rewrite the "rulebook" somewhat next year and see what happens.

    Main thoughts are:
    - Trading down into rookies for the most part seems a poor use of trades. Apart from the ones to start the season, there were only a few (Greenwood, Witherden, Hardwick, Ryan etc.) that made enough cash to be worth a downgrade.
    - Trading out high-priced premiums to underpriced ones is gold (if you get it right lol). In almost all the trades used above, those premiums traded out (Sloane, Murphy, Dahlaus) never made it back near to what they were priced at following a hot streak. Be ruthless (I tell myself).
    SuperCoach:  12877 (2016)  8481 (2015) 


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy View Post
    I think this perfectly sums up my season this year. I took what seemed to be a very low-risk approach: full GnR plus Beams (with lots of cheap rookies). In the end this was a disaster - I was forced to play low priced rookies on field scoring 40s and 50s while my top players performed below expectations (my fault for picking the wrong players but there you go).

    Based party on my research here and partly on not wanting to play out another frustrating season I'm going to rewrite the "rulebook" somewhat next year and see what happens.

    Main thoughts are:
    - Trading down into rookies for the most part seems a poor use of trades. Apart from the ones to start the season, there were only a few (Greenwood, Witherden, Hardwick, Ryan etc.) that made enough cash to be worth a downgrade.
    - Trading out high-priced premiums to underpriced ones is gold (if you get it right lol). In almost all the trades used above, those premiums traded out (Sloane, Murphy, Dahlaus) never made it back near to what they were priced at following a hot streak. Be ruthless (I tell myself).
    I agree with this principle but Sloane was the only 1 of the 3 that had a really elevated price. A lot of the top teams ended the season with Murphy and Dahlhaus.
    SuperCoach:  8293 (2017)  10922 (2016)  9214 (2015)  653 (2014) 

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  12. #12
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    Further to the above, it is so hard to be sure that you're doing the right thing when you trade out a player performing well at peak price (unless you pull a god like Bruyn Manoeuvre), and the value of a trade then comes into play as well because i'm pretty confident that those who did pull a few fancy trades probably ran out of trades at the end of the year.

    With the beauty of hindsight, trading out Dahlhaus and Nank would've been massive POD's to create if you got the timing right. Both sat in probably 80+% of the top 1k for the year at a guess, with Dahl still in 90% in rd 21.
    SuperCoach:  1,895 (2017)  4,853 (2016)  5,202 (2015)  479 (2014)  7,684 (2013) 

    Highest overall ranking: 18th (Rd 18, 2014)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by IDIG View Post
    With the beauty of hindsight, trading out Dahlhaus and Nank would've been massive POD's to create if you got the timing right. Both sat in probably 80+% of the top 1k for the year at a guess, with Dahl still in 90% in rd 21.
    A fair few people on this site raised questions about Nank after his initial burst but I think most held him (partly to cover Witts in R9 or any other ruck injury). Was certainly discussed though - I think a key to pulling the trigger is not being in "recovery" mode with your team but having space at that point of the season to make such trades.

    Dahlaus was priced at 117 in R7. In hindsight, even if he went 95-100 for the rest of the season he was $100k over-priced, which is more money than 5, maybe 6, of my rookies ever made. I don't recall many calling for his head though
    SuperCoach:  12877 (2016)  8481 (2015) 


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy View Post
    Dahlaus was priced at 117 in R7. In hindsight, even if he went 95-100 for the rest of the season he was $100k over-priced, which is more money than 5, maybe 6, of my rookies ever made. I don't recall many calling for his head though
    He was seen as a good VC option at that stage

    The Doggies really fell away after the byes and Bont and Dahl seemed to suffer as a result. Macrae on the other hand just got better and better.

    As said, very tough to make those kind of calls at the time and they really are hindsight woulda/coulda trades rather than a trade you actually commit to. In the prime upgrade time do you delay an upgrade one week to cash out on your potentially overpriced premium who's fit and playing? What's the % odds you get that call right if you make it?
    SuperCoach:  2252 (2017)  1238 (2016)  3623 (2015)  737 (2014)  2166 (2013)  15055 (2012)  3207 (2011)  3009 (2010)  356 (2009) 

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  15. #15
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    The Herald Sun has done it for us. Very interesting and impossible to pull off.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/af...4f0170eeb3f8e3
    SuperCoach:  937 (2017)  5036 (2016)  AFL Dream Team:  989 (2017) 

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLo30 View Post
    The Herald Sun has done it for us. Very interesting and impossible to pull off.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/af...4f0170eeb3f8e3
    Was just going to post this, they used an AI to do it



    Not even Albert Einstein could have picked this incredible SuperCoach team to win $50,000
    Steven Edwards, Herald Sun
    September 6, 2017 3:00pm
    Subscriber only
    HINDSIGHT is a beautiful thing.

    In SuperCoach, picking a strong Round 1 team and getting your trades spot on is crucial for season-long success.

    Our mathematically gifted friends have broken out the calculators to produce the perfect SuperCoach season with some crazy trade ideas and a staggering overall score that dwarfs that of this year’s $50,000 major prize winner.

    BEST OF ‘17: THE PHANTOM’S ALL-AUSTRALIAN SUPERCOACH TEAM

    MAJOR PRIZE: SUPERCOACH WINNER REVEALS HIS $50K SECRETS

    YOUNG GUNS: WHO REALLY WON THE 2016 AFL DRAFT

    THE OPTIMAL SUPERCOACH TEAM

    Improvements in both computational power and algorithm design have meant that today we can solve what was once the unsolvable.

    Algorithms determine how to schedule sporting competitions in the best possible way. Last year, the world’s best player of the Chinese board game “Go” was defeated by Google developed A.I. — a feat that was thought to be at least another decade away.

    Today we are happy to announce that technology is now at a point that we can answer another of mankind’s most important questions: what decisions should I have made in SuperCoach 2017 to obtain the absolute best score possible.

    When it comes down to it SuperCoach is a game of decisions. Which player should be in what position? How should you use your trades? Who should be captain?


    Rory Sloane started the season on fire. Picture: Sarah Reed
    Think about it for a second, there are literally trillions of possible paths that coaches could take throughout the season.

    Even the fastest super computers in the world could not check all of them but fortunately, researchers have developed a lot of tricks to tackle these sorts of problems, and in 24 hours of solving on a high power computer, the optimal team was found.

    For some context, this year Stuart Bailey’s “the Big Kabosh” won the competition with a total score of 52,596. Although Stuart’s team is impressive, earning him $50k cash, it does not come close to what was possible.

    CHECK OUT THE TEAM AND A ROUND-BY-ROUND REVIEW BELOW

    With a total score of 61,071, let’s take a look at the Optimal SuperCoach Team of 2017.

    The word ‘arrogant’ comes to mind.

    In Round 8 Nic Newman is chosen as captain, in what was his fifth game of AFL ever.

    After Josh J. Kennedy was captain in Round 1 and scored a monster 176 — kicking a bag of seven goals — he was unceremoniously dumped from the team.


    The perfect way SuperCoaches could have started 2017.

    Gary Ablett was traded in for a single round, scored 206, and then immediately traded out.

    Clearly this team would be near impossible to have chosen during the year. However, once you pick yourself off the floor and take a closer look, some very interesting points begin to appear.

    Despite only being in 1.7 per cent of starting teams, it turns out Ben McEvoy was a set and forget ruckman this season, providing a source of consistency compared with the carnage that the rest of us were forced to deal with in the rucks.

    Patrick Dangerfield is only traded into the team in Round 9, after having dropped $156,600, primarily due to his one bad game of 65 against Collingwood in Round 6. Despite his starting price of $716,900, most of us (58.7 per cent) still had him in our initial sides.

    Interestingly, Hugh Greenwood and Luke Ryan are both in the starting squad despite not playing until Round 9 and 11 respectively. This highlights the importance of getting the best rookies in the starting squad, even if they are not named to play immediately in Round 1.

    The high number of mid-price players in the starting squad reveals their high risk, high reward nature.


    Patrick Dangerfield had lost $156,600 by Round 9.
    The optimal team also validates the increasingly popular theory of trading aggressively earlier in the season.

    Not a single trade is used in the final four rounds. Trading promptly in the earlier rounds allows you to increase the value of your team and create a squad with more depth.

    Amazingly, the team finishes with a staggering $666,700 unused in the budget, an amount the rest of us would have killed for that late in the season.

    Toby Nankervis champions the theory of trading out well performing rookies and mid-price players early. He was traded out in Round 6, where 42.1 per cent of teams still had him in their final teams. A good reminder to cash in quickly on your decisions before you miss the boat.

    And with that, computers have successfully taken the fun out of retrospective SuperCoach arguments, but at least we know who was right, who was wrong and exactly how to explain why you played it better.

    ** Steven Edwards is a PhD Candidate in the School of Mathematics at Monash University and works on large scale optimisation problems.
    ROUND BY ROUND
    PERFECT TEAM ROUND-BY-ROUND

    Round Score Captain Trade out Trade in
    1 2559 Josh J Kennedy (174) Josh J Kennedy Rory Sloane
    2 2601 Rory Sloane (146) - -
    3 2626 Rory Sloane (168) Dustin Martin & Sam Reid Lachie Neale & Michael Johnson
    4 2477 Tom Rockliff (176) Alex Neal-Bullen & Marc Murphy Paddy Ryder & Michael Hurley
    5 2403 Rory Sloane (139) Andy Otten & Toby Nankervis Jack Billings & Gary Ablett
    6 2790 Gary Ablett (210) Gary Ablett & Will Hoskin-Elliott Tom Mitchell & Michael Walters
    7 2753 Tom Rockliff (148) Dylan Roberton & Zak Jones Bryce Gibbs & Michael Hibberd
    8 2816 Nic Newman (151) Tom Rockliff & Sam Petrevski-Seton Dustin Martin & Patrick Dangerfield
    9 2606 Tom Mitchell (158) Michael Johnson & Ryan Burton Justin Westhoff & Bachar Houli
    10 2632 Rory Sloane (177) Jeremy Cameron Matt Crouch
    11 2231 Josh Kelly (176) Rory Sloane, Charlie Dixon & Jarrod Witts Jack Macrae, Dayne Zorko & Jack Gunston
    12 2157 Sam Docherty (144) Andrew McGrath Kade Simpson
    13 2375 Bryce Gibbs (208) Sam Powell-Pepper & Mitch Hannan Jack Martin & Jon Patton
    14 2647 Jon Patton (156) Bachar Houli &Hugh Greenwood Lance Franklin & Shane Savage
    15 2808 Patrick Dangerfield (196) Bryce Gibbs & Nic Newman Nat Fyfe and Zac Smith
    16 2891 Dayne Zorko (196) Michael Walters Shannon Hurn
    17 2814 Shannon Hurn (165) Brad Ebert & Justin Westhoff Rory Sloane & Dayne Beams
    18 2874 Rory Sloane (169) Jon Patton Tom Hawkins
    19 2841 Tom Hawkins (192) - -
    20 2815 Jack Macrae (162) - -
    21 2733 Lance Franklin (164) - -
    22 2832 Tom Mitchell (161) - -
    23 2790 Lance Franklin (183) - -
    Supercoach: 3775 (2017) 530 (2016) 1858 (2014) 805 (2013) 4220 (2011) 574 (2010) Real Dreamteam: 74 (2017) 1225 (2016) 335 (2015) 518 (2014)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLo30 View Post
    The Herald Sun has done it for us. Very interesting and impossible to pull off.
    I was waiting for something like this to appear Well done to the boffins.

    The whole "trade a player in and make him captain for a week" is mathematically optimal and truly ridiculous but entertaining to see nonetheless.
    As is making making Newman captain when he was a late Sunday arvo in scoring 150 odd. This computer could predict the future!

    I wonder if it's possible to build a simulation that only plays moves a human "might" consider, based on available information to date in the season. Would be interesting for sure.
    SuperCoach:  12877 (2016)  8481 (2015) 


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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy View Post

    The whole "trade a player in and make him captain for a week" is mathematically optimal and truly ridiculous but entertaining to see nonetheless.
    Lol Yep! Imagine trading in Ablett, he scores 210 and then immediately trading him out, not even leaving him for two more weeks to take advantage and profit further from the 210 in his price cycle!

    Further as someone who started JJK after he scored 174 in the first round I was certainly not entertaining immediately trading him out for not even a single price rise!!
    SuperCoach:  6722 (2016)  2918 (2015)  9183 (2014)  10450 (2013)  1371 (2012)  96 (2011)  74 (2010)  3366 (2009)  329 (2008)  11 (2007)  334 (2006) 


  19. #19
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    Wow. Pretty cool.
    Rory Laird never entered that team yet 9 of the top 10 had Laird.
    There is always so much talk about getting players who are reliable and consistent yet the way to really manipulate the game is through players who are extremely inconsistent. Buying players cheap after a shocker and trading out players after a rare hot run. KPF's are perfect for this. Although the perfect team didn't have to deal with injuries and suspensions so reliability has to play a part in the game that humans play.
    The suggestion from the author that Ryan and Greenwood were good starting picks is a bit hard to swallow. I had Darcy Cameron all year.
    It does show to me how important the Capatin's score is and having flonuts to maximise this, and how inportant it is to keep bad rookies off the ground.
    SuperCoach:  8293 (2017)  10922 (2016)  9214 (2015)  653 (2014) 

    I miss the old colours.

  20. #20
    Vice Captain
    Join Date: 23-05-2013
    AFL Club: Sydney
    Posts: 4,261
    Likes: 3,447
    Rep Power: 6201


    0 Not allowed!

    One thing is interesting is the "starting rookie players that will eventually come into the side". Will give it some thought for my future donuts.
    SuperCoach:  1400 (2016)  1017 (2015)  7654 (2014) 


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