KFC SuperCoach AFL jury: Experts, podcasters answer the toughest questions of season 2023

The KFC SuperCoach jury is in session for another year.

And no, we’re not talking about Blake Drury.

We’ve assembled some of the sharpest minds in KFC SuperCoach and some of the top content creators to give their take on 10 of the toughest decisions coaches will face this year.

From breakout contenders to premium face-offs and rookie dilemmas, our KFC SuperCoach jury covers it off in a must-read article for all serious SuperCoaches.

Check out their thoughts on the key questions below and give their content – sprinkled throughout the article – some love too.

— Compiled by Tim Michell

1. Hopper, Sheed or Worpel?

Ben, @scinsider100: Hopper because Richmond needs him as a pure inside mid. He has a better role, better history and higher scoring ability.

MJ Want, @coachespanel: Jacob Hopper. Three reasons, all starting with p!

Proven: From 2019-2021, he averaged between 90.9 and 96.9.

Purpose: He’s been recruited to play as an inside midfielder.

Price: Has a minimum of 30 points per game of upside based on price vs scoring history.

The SCodfather, @magicmoments000: Hopper. He has guaranteed midfield minutes with a history of a high scoring and we only need an average of 90+ for him to viable at his price and I believe he will exceed that.

Eno, @fantasytakeTV: Fairly obvious, but Hopper the choice here. Has done 90+ for three seasons in the past and given a full mid role at Richmond should get back to those numbers. Still feel that the other two can be viable once we see their roles in pre-season.

@jock_reynolds: Hopper — He has the scoring history hitting 90 averages in three previous seasons and should have a defined role at his new club.

Charlie, @scplaybookafl: Neil Balme has confirmed that Hopper will be a full-time midfielder this season, so him without a doubt. I don’t trust average midfielders playing for below-average midfields, so Sheed and Worpel are no-goes for me.

@Supercoach_DR: There is a lot of mid-price traffic to navigate in the midfield. Hopper = green light. Sheed = yellow light. Worpel = red light.

@HoneyballAFL: There’s upside in all three, but the question is which one has the most upside? Hopper has the best track record, averaging 90s three years in a row from 2019 to 2021.

Marcus, @supercoachcoach: None. Mid-priced breakout midfielders historically carry high risk and a limited success rate. Hopper if structure and/or limited rookies force you down the path.

Steve, @thedraftdoctors: Hopper should be in a team that wins more games and has a solid inside game. Proven SC scorer.

Tom, Jonas and Nathan, @SCMates: Hopper out of this trio, as he is the only one out of the three who is a proven scorer (averaged above 90 from 2019 – 2021). He’ll also be in the top two midfielders alongside Taranto in a Tigers side known for their recent success, as well as entering the prime of his career.

Liam and Damon, @SuperCoach_Edge: Hopper’s our choice here. Has been playing full time mid so opportunity is there for him. Worpel is also interesting but a watch for the preseason.

@JB_DRSC, @Doctor_SC: Jacob Hopper undoubtedly – he has the role and the premier scoring history of the trio. Lock him in!


2. Oscar Allen or Ben King?

Ben, @scinsider100: Ben King because of price and Allen likely gets the No. 1 defender with Darling hurt. I do worry about Ben King vs Geelong in round 3 though.

MJ Want, @coachespanel: Key position players often take more time to hit their previous output levels when coming off the back of an ACL injury. Throw in the additional element that Oscar Allen could get some handy hitouts inside forward 50 for the Eagles, and he gets my vote.

The SCodfather, @magicmoments000: King. Only because he is cheaper, both are only starting options to generate cash and move out of the team as soon as possible. I’m not a big fan of having key forwards playing in my forward line.

Eno, @fantasytakeTV: Oscar Allen. Both have nailed job security and are key forwards in a bottom half side, however Allen has had the better scoring history. Recent concerns over Jack Darling’s health were a concern but he seems to have escaped ankle surgery, which will help Allen avoid attention.

@jock_reynolds: Both — Ben King will generate money faster due to the lower investment, but both have good job security when fit and will make money at their price.

Charlie, @scplaybookafl: Going back and forth between the two but I would rather pay up for Oscar Allen. He’s safe for a 60 average (if not higher), whereas King has only ever averaged as high as 56.

@Supercoach_DR: I prefer Allen due to his higher scoring potential and superior scoring history. King presents value, but hasn’t averaged above 56 KFC SuperCoach points in his career.

@HoneyballAFL: Neither. Pick key forwards with caution. But if you pick one, you’d want a big early score to stimulate cash gen, so with West Coast playing North first, I’ll back in Oscar Allen.

Marcus, @supercoachcoach: Allen. Both could work, depending on structural needs. Priced like expensive rookies. Allen ahead of King, despite the price tag. Has a better scoring history and is not returning from an ACL.

Steve, @thedraftdoctors: Neither but if I had to pick, Allen. He’s an OK tackler for a tall forward and can get some ruck time.

Tom, Jonas and Nathan, @SCMates: Both are injury risks given their history, but the upside in King is enormous given what we’ve already seen from twin tower Max. Ben is also 50k cheaper than Allen and is at least in a better side on paper.

Liam and Damon, @SuperCoach_Edge: We’d take Oscar Allen just due to his better career averages. But King’s lower price means he doesn’t need big scores to increase in price.

@JB_DRSC, @Doctor_SC: Ben King – when in doubt, go for the lower price point. Ben King has big scores in him this season and should make the cash slowly but surely.


3. Clayton Oliver or Rory Laird?

Ben, @scinsider100: When in doubt, always bet on red. In the last 3 years, Clarry has gone 120+ in 51%, and 135+ in 33% of games played and is an easy captain.

MJ Want, @coachespanel: Clayton Oliver. In the past 60 matches, he’s averaging 124.38. Additionally, he is the only player in the top five for total points scored over the past three seasons.

The SCodfather, @magicmoments000: Laird: He is generally very consistant so his price doesnt fluctuate much, where as Oliver has a possible 4 tags coming in the first 5 rds which may cause his price to drop.

Eno, @fantasytakeTV: Clarry (Oliver). He’s the more established of the two in regard to scoring history especially in the midfield, however respect still needs to be shown to Rory Laird. What he has done in the last two years — notably 2022 — is incredible and it’s hard to find a reason he can’t do it again.

@jock_reynolds: Both — Oliver and Laird will be top 5 midfielders easily and are consistent scorers all season long.

Charlie, @scplaybookafl: Very tough one – possibly the toughest decision to make at this point of the year – but I think Laird just wins it for me given Clarry’s on-going thumb injury concern.

@Supercoach_DR: Oliver has scoring history on his side, but…Laird rarely cops a tag, only dropped $9,100 last year and plays at the Adelaide Oval four out of the first five weeks.

@HoneyballAFL: Neither. It’s hard to see either scoring higher than last year’s 127 average which is where they’re priced at. Get them later and look for upside in your starting mids like Jack Steele or Jack Macrae.

Marcus, @supercoachcoach: Both, depending on structure. Pick who you like to barrack for.

Steve, @thedraftdoctors: Both jets. I prefer Oliver though. Consider Laird’s tackle numbers a little unsustainable.

Tom, Jonas and Nathan, @SCMates: Laird takes the win here given Melbourne’s rough start to the season with potential tags galore. Laird rarely goes below 120, and something tells us that we’ll be able to pick up Oliver at a discounted price early on.

Liam and Damon, @SuperCoach_Edge: Genuine 50/50 as both are consistent and quality mids. But Clarry’s slightly lower price tag gets him over the line.

@JB_DRSC, @Doctor_SC: Rory Laird – controversial I know! His consistency is scary, if I don’t start him now I’ll likely never own him.


4. Tom Green, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Noah Anderson, Tom Mitchell or Chad Warner?

Ben, @scinsider100: Tom Green because he is the only one likely to push 115 average. It’s his midfield, plus his big body and contested style just scream Supercoach jet.

MJ Want, @coachespanel: Tom Green. He’s built for KFC SuperCoach scoring. Between rounds 1-8 last year, he was averaging 116. The Giants midfield core is being built around him. Additionally, he’s zero tag risk, which LDU and Chad Warner are.

The SCodfather, @magicmoments000: Tom Mitchell. He played out of position last year which has caused his price to drop, he has the runs on the board and will get his role in the midfield back, I’m expecting a huge year from him.

Eno, @fantasytakeTV: Tom Green and Tom Mitchell stick out the most of this group as starting options. Both look to be the clear number one inside mid at their respective clubs. Have the potential to go 110 priced at high 90s.

@jock_reynolds: Tom Green & Tom Mitchell — Tom Green should benefit from the exits of Taranto and Hopper, while Tom Mitchell has done it all before and has a history of finding the pill with ease.

Charlie, @scplaybookafl: Based purely off pre-season hype, Tom Green is very hard to ignore. Tom Mitchell is a proven pig though …

@Supercoach_DR: All should be considered, but I’m jumping on the Green bull. Huge opportunity in the GWS midfield and his contested style of play is built for SuperCoach scoring. Locked.

@HoneyballAFL: Titch. He’s done it before, with six straight 100+ seasons before not being utilised to his strengths last year at Hawthorn. Collingwood got him for a reason.

Marcus, @supercoachcoach: Tom Mitchell depending on how Collingwood uses him. LDU of the breakout candidates – in his sixth season.

Steve, @thedraftdoctors: Tom Green. Departures generally equal points on offer and we all saw what his first half was like with less competition from his own team.

Tom, Jonas and Nathan, @SCMates: There is only one true Supercoach pig in this bunch and that is Tom Mitchell. Proven scorer who was moved out of the midfield last year at the Hawks, but he’s now in a better side who can take full advantage of his grunt work and distribution from in and under the packs.

Liam and Damon, @SuperCoach_Edge: Tom Green. The hype is real. Looks set to breakout with another preseason under his belt. LDU and Anderson next best options.

@JB_DRSC, @Doctor_SC: Tom Green with ease! I have unwavering belief in The Phantom’s boy this season, hasn’t left my side.


5. Which one of Stewart, Sicily, Dawson and Docherty?

Ben, @scinsider100: Stewart because he has a 114.1 average in 2022 if you take out his KO. This makes him 25k underpriced and has a ceiling like no other.

MJ Want, @coachespanel: Use every dollar wisely in your starting squad. I don’t believe there will be any significant scoring differential between the four. Therefore, I’ll be saving my pennies and starting the cheaper of this quad; I’ll take Sam Docherty.

The SCodfather, @magicmoments000: Docherty. I believe he offers the most value of the 3, as he may also have a midfield role early in the year which he has shown last year that he can generate huge points from.

Eno, @fantasytakeTV: Dawson for me. Showed last year he has the ability to score in any position, and after being appointed captain he can garner a larger role down back with the kick-ins. Will still be periods in games where he moves up the ground or possibly the midfield, but he’s still the general down back.

@jock_reynolds: Sam Docherty & Tom Stewart – You could get away with starting none of them because of the sheer number of value options in defence, but Tom Stewart is reliable and can pump out some massive scores, while Sam Docherty will again be a top 6 defender no matter if he plays midfield or in defence.

Charlie, @scplaybookafl: Sicily rolled his ankle in Hawthorn’s recent intraclub but has since been cleared of any damage thankfully. As Hawthorn’s most likely 2023 captain, I think his ego and SuperCoach scoring will only increase from last season.

@Supercoach_DR: Due to his massive ceiling, friendly bye and multiple scoring avenues, Stewart gets the nod for me. Beware of the occasional tag though.

@HoneyballAFL: Can’t go wrong with any, but Docherty’s potential midtime with Sam Walsh out is alluring, averaging 127.6 when he played there in the final three games of 2022.

Marcus, @supercoachcoach: Stewart and Dawson have great roles. Stewart has the edge in reliability and can still improve from his 2022 average.

Steve, @thedraftdoctors: Docherty. Proven ceiling and can see the other three potentially having a less fantasy friendly role at stages.

Tom, Jonas and Nathan, @SCMates: We’ll go out on a limb here and go with Docherty. The Blues will be looking for revenge after cruelly missing out on a finals berth, and Docherty will have a big say in their success in 2023, regardless of whether he’s playing loose in defence or being the outlet kick in the midfield.

Liam and Damon, @SuperCoach_Edge: Stewart and Dawson are consistent scorers despite the high price tag – lock one (or both in). Doch next best if he has time in the middle.

@JB_DRSC, @Doctor_SC: I’ll be controversial again and pick Docherty. The potential midfield time in a full pre-season is super enticing, remember he had the worst possible pre-season last year, there is plenty of room to grow in 2023 for Doch.


6. McKenna or Wilmot?

Ben, @scinsider100: McKenna seemed to play half-back and wing better than Wilmot during the intra-club. One to watch.

MJ Want, @coachespanel: We’ll likely need both if they’re named round one. Things might change once the practice matches start, but there are minimal cash cow options beyond the Lions pair and West Coast Eagle Reuben Ginbey down back.

The SCodfather, @magicmoments000: McKenna: If he is named as he has shown in the past that he can average 80 which will make him in excess of $200k, thats all we need from our rookies

Eno, @fantasytakeTV: Tough to say without knowing who’s selected for Round 1, but seems McKenna is in front at this stage. If both are named they should both be heavily considered, however with Brisbane’s deep squad they might be susceptible to the sub.

@jock_reynolds: Wilmot – Both are cheap options that will make good cash, but if you’re in a team’s 22 for the finals there’s usually a plan for you moving forward.

Charlie, @scplaybookafl: If McKenna is named at half-back in Round 1, he is probably the biggest lock in the game this year.

@Supercoach_DR: Highly consider both. I have the Pepsi Max King slightly ahead, but McKenna could easily take his spot and presents terrific value if selected in round 1.

@HoneyballAFL: There’s heaps of value down back but of these two, I’d go whichever one is picked in Brisbane’s Round 1 side as I’m not convinced there’s room for both.

Marcus, @supercoachcoach: Whoever is named.

Steve, @thedraftdoctors: Neither. A lot of competition for spots in the backline at Brisbane. Can see changes happening.

Tom, Jonas and Nathan, @SCMates: At the start of preseason, we would have gone with the Irishman. However, from what we’ve heard, Wilmot has been one of the standouts so far and is favoured in the starting 22 on a wing compared to McKenna who’s fighting for a position in the back six, so we’ll have to go with the youngster for this one.

Liam and Damon, @SuperCoach_Edge: Both (if both are named). Wilmot seems to have some trust in him as he debuted across the finals, while McKenna’s price tag shouldn’t be overlooked if he can get back to his 79.9 AVG of 2019.

@JB_DRSC, @Doctor_SC: Both if named – but if I HAD to choose, McKenna should have superior job security so pay up.


7. Rozee or Butters?

Ben, @scinsider100: Rozee because Port needs him MID more than Butters. When Rozee had over 53% CBA, he averaged 112 SC, with 9x100s from 14 games.

MJ Want, @coachespanel: Connor Rozee had a better 2022 season in the eyes of many, and yet Zak Butters still delivered a high seasonal average in KFC SuperCoach. I believe Zak provides more impact per possession than Connor based on how he plays. He’s also considerably more unique. So I pick Butters!

The SCodfather, @magicmoments000: Rozee. I think both players will average similar, so it’s a matter of if I need a “POD” or a “Blocker” and I prefer the Blocker in the early rds as I have faith in my team’s structure

Eno, @fantasytakeTV: Rozee. Showed in the 2nd half of last year what impact he can have in the midfield for both himself and the team. Butters makes me nervous with the way he plays and type of injuries he’s had in the past.

@jock_reynolds: Connor Rozee – Averaged 112.5 in 2022 when attending 56% of CBAs or more. Good chance he does that this year consistently.

Charlie, @scplaybookafl: I’m cautious of both with JHF moving into the midfield, but with a B&F and All Australian under his belt, I think Rozee will be the most likely to take another step up this season.

@Supercoach_DR: Butter’s kamikaze style of play makes me cover my eyes whenever he propels himself into a contest. I don’t want that stress, so it’s Rozee for me!

@HoneyballAFL: Rozee averaged 109.9 in the final 10 games of 2022 and is cheaper and arguably less injury prone than Butters.

Marcus, @supercoachcoach: None, for now. Assess post preseason. Both have injury risk. Rozee has the edge with his finish to 2022.

Steve, @thedraftdoctors: Rozee. Butters misses games more frequently with his style of play.

Tom, Jonas and Nathan, @SCMates: Both are very good playing in Port’s engine room. However Butters’ body is not built to play full time midfield for the whole year. Rozee takes this one.

Liam and Damon, @SuperCoach_Edge: Rozee – his scoring in the backend of last season shows what he’s capable of when playing as a mid. We’d expect that to continue in 2023.

@JB_DRSC, @Doctor_SC: Connor Rozee – this one is easy, all of the upside with fewer injury concerns (comparatively), sign me up!


8. Yeo or Fyfe?

Ben, @scinsider100: Yeo because he’ll get decent MID time. Yeo also got kick-outs during their intra-club, while sharing a DEF with Hurn + Witherden.

He’s finished walking the dog and the YeoYeo is on the rise!

MJ Want, @coachespanel: Nat Fyfe’s KFC SuperCoach scoring history is higher, but structurally Elliot Yeo will be more important to us. The forwards have plenty of options, from the premium tier to the cows; the backline currently has fewer options. So we’ll need Yeo more than we will Fyfe.

The SCodfather, @magicmoments000: Yeo. His role in the midfield and off half back is far more appealing to me than Fyfe’s Role which may involve a lot of forward time

Eno, @fantasytakeTV: Yeo here quite easily. Has shown in the past he can go 100+ in both defense and the midfield, the two roles he is said to be splitting between this year. Injury history the worry, however same can be said with Fyfe, who looks like he’s playing majority forward.

@jock_reynolds: Both — Yeo and Fyfe both have upside at their price points, and both are having an uninterrupted pre-season so far which gives hope they will both at least last long enough as a stepping stone.

Charlie, @scplaybookafl: Yeo by the length of the Flemington straight.

@Supercoach_DR: Both high on my pre season watch list and capable of averaging 90+. Yeo is my preferred option due to his friendly role for SuperCoach scoring, rotating between defence and the midfield.

@HoneyballAFL: Yeo. There’s risks with both, particularly on the injury front but Yeo has done everything right in pre-season, while Fyfe’s forward role is a major turn-off.

Marcus, @supercoachcoach: Yeo. Young enough to recapture midfield form. Hard to pick Fyfe despite his pedigree. Injury history plus concerns about scoring reliability playing as a forward. I want to see Fyfe still getting midfield rotations to consider him.

Steve, @thedraftdoctors:Yeo. I’d rather my player spend time back than forward, generally a greener pasture for fantasy scoring.

Tom, Jonas and Nathan, @SCMates: Yeo has been a lock in our sides since hearing that he is back with a clean bill of health. Whilst Fyfe looked dominant in Freo’s recent intra club playing forward, Yeo has the more Supercoach friendly role, playing on the half back flank with stints in the middle and has the bonus of kick ins. Supercoach gold!

Liam and Damon, @SuperCoach_Edge: Yeo the choice for us here. By all reports is looking like he’s recovered from injury and is set to play a mid/def role. While Fyfe is juicy at his price and fwd eligibility, his injury history and forward role is a big concern for this scoring potential.

@JB_DRSC, @Doctor_SC: Yeo for me. He has the role and fitness to show us the pseudo premium we knew and loved a few seasons back.


9. Sean Darcy or Tim English?

Ben, @scinsider100: Tim English because with Lobb at the Dogs, English will share the ruck less. English is the most likely Ruck to average 115+ this season.

MJ Want, @coachespanel: Tim English has the #1 ruck mantle locked and a nice foil to relieve him in Rory Lobb. The split is going to be heavily in his favour. What that split looks like at Fremantle is still to violate and still needs to be determined before selecting Sean Darcy with any confidence. I’ll take Tim.

The SCodfather, @magicmoments000: English — Only because he has a chance of being the solo ruck, compared to Darcy who will share ruck duties with Jackson.

Eno, @fantasytakeTV: It would’ve been Tim English by a bigger gap a few weeks ago, but his preseason niggles give you some concern. In saying that, Darcy isn’t free from injuries himself. I’ll still say English for now.

@jock_reynolds: English — There are still question marks over the Darcy/Jackson split that not even Justin Longmuir can answer. If English can stay fit, he’s not sharing that many ruck minutes with anyone.

Charlie, @scplaybookafl: If he’s fit, Tim English by a country mile. Sean Darcy and Luke Jackson does not excite me one bit.

@Supercoach_DR: I’m avoiding both for now and locking in a ‘place holder’ at R2. English is too injury prone and I want to see the ruck split between Shrek and Jackson before committing.

@HoneyballAFL: Pending his fitness, English but he is a major durability worry, playing only 15 of 23 games last year. Not sure Darcy bosses the ruck like he has previously with Luke Jackson’s arrival either.

Marcus, @supercoachcoach: English. Concerned about Jackson’s impact on Darcy. Both injury prone so potentially neither, though most rucks struggle to stay on park.

Steve, @thedraftdoctors: English. I don’t want a part of Darcy with Luke Jackson in that team. Tough to know what the ruck splits look like.

Tom, Jonas and Nathan, @SCMates: Both are likely to get injured at some point throughout the season, but at least English has a monopoly on the ruck line and isn’t sharing duties with a certain L. Jackson. However, not overly confident on either.

Liam and Damon, @SuperCoach_Edge: Both have injury histories but Tim English looks set to be a top two ruck in a 2023. Darcy also has the Luke Jackson impact which could take away some of his scoring.

@JB_DRSC, @Doctor_SC: Timothy English for me – they have similar injury risk but Tim has shown us the ceiling in more recent memory. He was scary to not own in his hot streak last season.


10. Windhager, Flanders, Culley or Callaghan?

Ben, @scinsider100: Callaghan or Culley depending on the role. Both appear to be getting a good portion of MID time but Callaghan is cheaper and more talented.

MJ Want, @coachespanel: For classic, I don’t advocate starting any of them. But Finn Callaghan is the guy who, based on his price point, would be the best of the bunch for cash generation.

The SCodfather, @magicmoments000: Culley. This is the toughest question of the lot, but im picking Culley only because he may have more midfield minutes than the others mentioned.

Eno, @fantasytakeTV: Flanders or Culley. Culley may end up with a larger CBA role, whereas Flanders is quite clearly behind the three main Gold Coast mids. Flanders for now until the preseason games.

@jock_reynolds: Callaghan – The midfield losses at the Giants creates a clear path for Callaghan to make an impact. Jai Culley is a close second choice with all the noise coming out of West Coast’s pre-season intraclubs.

Charlie, @scplaybookafl: It all depends on roles, and with Taranto and Hopper leaving the Giants, there’s an opportunity for Finn Callaghan to come in and dominate. Pre-season reports suggest he is doing just that.

@Supercoach_DR: All have potential, but Flanders is the hype man of the Gold Coast Suns this pre-season. He tore the VFL apart in 2022, has handy DPP status and looks set to be the fourth cog in the Suns midfield rotation this year.

@HoneyballAFL: Go the high draft pick. Callaghan went pick 3 in the 2021 Draft but had an injury-impacted debut year and has since shown good signs this pre-season. There’s midfield opportunity with Taranto and Hopper gone too.

Marcus, @supercoachcoach: None. This price range is better suited to returners from injury than breakouts.

Steve, @thedraftdoctors: Callaghan for mine with the departures from GWS. Has scored well in the twos when available.

Tom, Jonas and Nathan, @SCMates: This could be a certain Saints bias from one of the SCMates crew, but the word going around is Windhager has taken his game to the next level. Fingers crossed that Ross the Boss will unleash him as a ball winning midfield = lock.

Liam and Damon, @SuperCoach_Edge: None at this stage – need to see some form and roles during the practice matches. But eyes on Culley and Callaghan.

@JB_DRSC, @Doctor_SC: Ask me again after the pre-season matches but right now I’m siding with Callaghan for the potential role and pedigree.


Originally published as KFC SuperCoach AFL jury: Experts, podcasters answer the toughest questions of season 2023

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