KFC SuperCoach AFL jury gives its verdict on how to survive the byes

The most important three weeks of the KFC SuperCoach season are here.

You’ll have three trades to deploy during the bye rounds to get your team primed for the run home.

Best 18 scoring will make it easier to field a side, but you still need to get your trade strategy right to succeed.

Our KFC SuperCoach jury of top finishers have provided their advice on how to prosper during the bye rounds.


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Lachie Whitfield will be a popular target coming off the Round 12 bye.Source:Getty Images

How many trades do you have left and what is your trade strategy for the byes?

@the_SC_bull: I have 13 trades remaining. My strategy across the bye period is to cash in on rookies who are peaking in price like Rowe, McNeil and Flynn to bring in players coming off their byes at bottomed-out prices. Coaches should be looking closely at players like Whitfield, Travis Boak and Tom Mitchell.

@damosc: Injuries have hit hard, so I have less than I’d like with 12. I plan on only using five or six trades during the byes to have six or seven left afterwards. In Round 12 I’ll be trying to get a bit of money to go bang in Round 13. Then I’ll be using whatever is left over to make sure I have 18 for Round 14.

Ned Reeves has made an impressive start to his senior career at Hawthorn.Source:Getty Images

@azzajewell: Injuries got the better of my side early, which means I’ve now only got 12 trades. I’m the type of player that trades aggressively and tries to complete my side as soon as possible. This is most apparent through these bye rounds, where I’ll definitely capitalise on the three trades available and looking to grab the best remaining rookies for bench cover.

@hunterpunter_1: 15 trades. I like to trade aggressively and target players coming off their bye. Normally I don’t trade in the week of the first bye and then use three trades in the following weeks. This season I need to do a couple this week to restructure a little to ensure I am fielding at least 18.

@Empr_x: 13. Given that Round 12 is fairly strong, a couple of downgrades to free up cash for upgrades during Round 13 and 14 is my likely plan. Targeting cheap premos who have already had their bye to get rookies off field will be my priority.

@HoneyballAFL: 15 trades left. The bye period is a great time to make up rank so my strategy has been to plan well in advance and get aggressive from Round 13. The first week is a bit awkward as everyone playing still has a bye to come, but I may downgrade/correct a rookie or two initially to create a war chest, then attack the next two rounds.

Callum Coleman-Jones will jump in price after Richmond’s Round 13 bye.Source:News Corp Australia

@damoj88: I was hit hard with injuries in the early rounds, which stalled my season early on, leaving me with a less than ideal 12 trades. I plan on only using five or six trades during the byes, which leaves me with 6-7 trades for long-term injuries, and potential luxury trades.

@nacheers: I’m in serious trouble with trades. I, along with lots of others, have been smacked with injuries. I have 12 trades left. I have 22 players for Round 12 and with a couple of trades next week I will have 18. For me I’m just targeting low break evens and also taking into account job security.

Patrick Dangerfield is due to return not long after Geelong’s Round 12 bye.Source:News Corp Australia

Who is your top premium target and why?

@the_SC_bull: Lachie Whitfield. He will come off his bye in Round 13 and will be around $500k. I’ll most likely use McNeil, Rowe or Flynn as trade outs via DPP swing to get Whitfield in. Unless Leon Cameron does something crazy with team selection, he is the top target for me.

@BolchDylan: Patrick Dangerfield is a player I will keep a close eye on and I’ve been monitoring Jordan Ridley closely since his return from injury. Dangerfield is just a genuine superstar while Ridley is available for cheap given an injury-affected score in Round 5.

@damosc: Premium is a kind word, but he’s as consistent as they’re coming in the forward line. I love a value option and Nick Hind will be targeted to complete my forward line, while Patrick Dangerfield will be closely monitored.

Touk Miller is a POD target for many of our KFC SuperCoaches.Source:Getty Images

@azzajewell: Touk Miller, Lachie Whitfield, Nick Hind and Jarryd Lyons. They are all in stellar form in their respective lines and all under 10 per cent ownership, making them great PODs to finish the season with. Miller if I had to choose one.

@hunterpunter_1: I’m looking to pick up Touk Miller coming off his bye. Relatively unique and in some great scoring form.

@Empr_x: Clayton Oliver. Due to his elevated price, he will be my last upgrade, so I need as much cash as I can muster. Getting rookies out is a bigger issue.

@HoneyballAFL: There’s a lot of good value premium targets (Steele, Petracca and Duncan) so I won’t be prescriptive as it’s circumstantial for your needs. My backline is weak as I’ve been waiting for a few defensive rooks to fatten up such as Highmore, Jones and Murphy. I’m also way back so unique value is key. I like Lachie Whitfield in Round 13 coming off the first bye at $500k.

Clayton Oliver has put his hand up as one of the top scorers of 2021.Source:Getty Images

@damoj88: I’m targeting Dangerfield once he drops in price given his current high break even. My top midfield target in Lyons finally had a score below 100 for the first time this season, so will jump on him shortly now that his price is going south — ever so slightly.

@nacheers: I need to find some value as I’m in a pickle with lack of trades. Round 12 bye teams are not that enticing for premos. One that has jumped out to me is Ollie Wines.

How close is your team to ‘full premium’ status? Which rookies are you still fielding, if any?

@the_SC_bull: It’s getting quite close. I need another five premiums and I have marked them out on my notes. The rookies I am still fielding are Lachie Jones, Caleb Poulter, Riley Collier-Dawkins and Cody Weightman.

@BolchDylan: I’ve still got five rookies fielded. Lachie Jones, James Jordon, Chad Warner, Caleb Poulter and Tom Highmore.

@damosc: I’m pretty close to full. Fielding one rookie on each line except for the ruck department.

Caleb Poulter is a rookie who features in most of our KFC SuperCoach jury teams.Source:Getty Images

@azzajewell: I’ve got 4 rookies still left on field. They are: Lachie Jones, Caleb Poulter, Cory Weightman and Alec Waterman. But with an aggressive trade strategy in place, I’m hoping to come out of the byes with either a “full-premium” side or very close to it.

@hunterpunter_1: I’m currently a bit behind where I would like to be at. Last round I had three midfield rookies and one forward rookie on field (Warner, Poulter, Jordan and Collier-Dawkins). I also have the option of playing Jones in defence by swinging Laird into the midfield.

@Empr_x: I still need four premos, one forward, two mids and either a midfielder or defender depending on what I do with Rory Laird.

@HoneyballAFL: I feel like “full premium” status is an ever-elusive myth! Sadly, further off than I’d hoped/planned. I’ve got five players in my current 22 who I definitely don’t see in my final 22, a few more “maybes”. Those ones on field are Jiath, Jones/Koschitzke, Highmore/Murphy, Tom Phillips and Warner.

Chad Warner has been one of the most consistent rookies of the season.Source:News Corp Australia

@damoj88: Tracking well at the moment. Fielding two in the midfield and two up forward, with all of my rookies appreciating nicely in terms of cash generation.

@nacheers: Well, as I keep failing my defence rookie roulette … Jones in defence, Riley Collier-Dawkins and Byrnes/Poulter in mids, Warner and Madden/Waterman in my forward line. I’m holding on an upgrade this week so I can grab Wines after his bye.

How many players do you expect to have available in each bye round?

@the_SC_bull: 18 minimum, but if I can get 20-21 that would be ideal. It gives me a buffer and essentially a free hit with the 2-3 lowest scores not counting in my best 18. I try to focus on getting 18 rather than spreading my premiums out, but in the last 3-4 weeks I’ve brought in premiums that suit my byes.

@BolchDylan: That’s a tough question to answer, because my trades will influence this as we move through the byes. Injuries can occur at any time and there’s always selection issues with rookies. As it stands, prior to trades I will have 20, 19, 17 playing across Round 12, 13 and 14.

@damosc: Through various trading mechanisms I should have 20, 18, 18 for Rounds 12, 13, 14.

@azzajewell: I should be able to navigate the byes with a full 18 each round. I should have 20 players for R12 bye, 18 for the R13 bye and 18 for the R14 bye.

@hunterpunter_1: Unfortunately, I’m only looking at 18-19 players in rounds 13 and 14 (and that’s if some of my questionable rookies continue getting games). This week I’ll have 21-22.

Travis Boak will be a key target coming off the Round 12 bye.Source:News Corp Australia

@Empr_x: I haven’t even looked at how many I’ll have playing. But Rounds 13 and 14 are looking grim.

@HoneyballAFL: My numbers are sound for R12 and R13 but R14 looms as the issue, especially with the quality of those out.

@damoj88: As it stands before my planned trades across the byes I have 20, 16, and 17 for Rounds 12, 13, 14 respectively. Provided all goes to plan in terms of my trade strategy, I should be able to field 18 across my troublesome last two bye weeks.

@nacheers: I will have 22 in Round 12, 18 in Round 13 and 18 in Round 14.

What’s your current rank?

@the_SC_bull: I am sitting around the 9k mark. It’s been a roller coaster of a year with all the injuries (Dangerfield, Dunkley, Bolton and even Guthrie), but I’m starting to peg back my overall rank thanks to good trading. My focus is league, so as long as I can take that out I will be happy!

@BolchDylan: 1383 — hopefully I can handle the byes well enough to continue to rise up the rankings. Byes can often make or break a KFC SuperCoach season, so fingers crossed they don’t bring too much carnage this year.

@damosc: 6072nd — not having my best year, but my plans are coming to hand and I’ve been moving upwards so hopefully I continue to improve my position.

Trent Bianco’s DPP status will make him a top downgrade target.Source:Getty Images

@azzajewell: 5784 and climbing. I had a rough start to the season with injuries and bad luck, at one point dropping as low as 17,384th. But with some shrewd trades and better luck, I’ve rebounded and have an eye on finishing in the top 1 per cent overall.

@hunterpunter_1: I’m currently 1782nd and slowly moving up the ranks.

@Empr_x: 3698. I feel this season will be the one that got away given I failed to start Macrae and Oliver despite having them all pre-season.

@HoneyballAFL: I’ll save readers the sob story as, no doubt, we’ve all copped injuries, but not much has gone to plan (I started Lachie Neale, gross!) so I’m way back at 10,605th. But there’s still time. And this is why on Honeyball we interview the experts, not give out advice (there’s irony in that comment given I’m in this jury)!

@damoj88: 6173rd. I started slow as I had to make up ground having suffered a spate of injuries to premos early on, but have already risen 12k spots over the space of five weeks and am gaining momentum.

@nacheers: Easily the worst situation I have been in but I’d say lots are in a similar position. I have just started to have a couple of positive rounds but I’d almost rule out my fourth top-1000 finish in a row. I’ve moved from 12k to 6k in the past three weeks.

What advice would you give other coaches on how to handle the byes?

@the_SC_bull: Look ahead. I always like to map out who I want to bring in coming off their byes and keep some cash aside to bring those players in. Remember across the byes we get to use three trades each round, so use them to your advantage to try and complete your team.

@BolchDylan: Now we are here, there’s not a lot you can do in terms of structure if you hadn’t had the byes in the back of your mind. Having said that, they present a fantastic opportunity to rise up the rankings if you handle them correctly. Looking to trade in premium players after they have had their bye.

@damosc: No matter how vague your plan is, having some sort of plan is better than no plan.

@azzajewell: Aim to have a plan to navigate the byes, after all, it’s better to have some semblance of a plan than no plan at all.

Ollie Wines is a leading POD target for one of our jury members.Source:News Corp Australia

@hunterpunter_1: Use this time to continue the upgrade process and try to get to a full premium team. Try to avoid side-swapping premiums.

@Empr_x: Say YOLO (you only live once) because now’s the time to be aggressive and set yourself apart from the pack. Grab PODs with a good fixture to fill out your team, and pray to the gods of KFC SuperCoach that it works out.

@HoneyballAFL: Take the time to plan out all three rounds this week in advance. Your trade plans may change slightly during but it’ll be a crucial guide. I’ll offer you a money-back guarantee doing that will definitely earn you points.

@damoj88: Byes can be a daunting prospect to handle. But if you can try and use them to your advantage by upgrading players who have a bye coming up to someone who has already had their bye, that will get you one step ahead of the pack. Good luck!

@nacheers: Avoid sideways trading. Take your time to think and plan ahead as you can tend to get sucked into players that don’t suit your bye structure so sometimes sacrifices have to be made. Hence me getting Ollie Wines.

Originally published asHow top KFC SuperCoach players are surviving the byes

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