SuperCoach AFL stars no one is picking
Much like life, SuperCoach would be pretty boring if we were all the same.
More than 67 per cent of coaches have locked in Patrick Dangerfield for 2019, while No.1 draft pick Sam Walsh (67.2 per cent), his Carlton teammate Will Setterfield (63.7 per cent) and Patrick Cripps (53.3 per cent) are understandably popular picks.
But for every coach who prefers to play it safe and lock in the obvious choices, there are others who know you won't finish at the top of the rankings without taking a risk or two.
The JLT Series has only diminished the likelihood players such as Brad Crouch (26.5 per cent), Darcy Moore (24.4 per cent) and Brodie Smith (36.7 per cent) would offer a point of difference.
But if you're intent on standing out from the crowd, there's still a list of high-quality talent that feature in one per cent of teams or less who can truly set you apart.
Here are the standout choices:
DANIEL RICH (Bris) $428,200 - 1.0% of teams
Rich averaged below 80 for the first time since 2010 last year, but as a skilful half-back flanker he often finds a way to seduce coaches into picking him. He cranked out three hundreds in four weeks midway through last season but doesn't hit the heights often enough.
SHANE SAVAGE (StK) $481,300 - 0.6% of teams
The new kick-in rules have drawn focus to players such as Brodie Smith and Shannon Hurn but Savage could be the beneficiary at St Kilda. He's averaged 87 and 88 in the past two seasons and appears capable of jumping above 90 points per game this year. He scored 93 and 102 in the JLT Series.
NATHAN WILSON (Frem) $435,300 - 0.6% of teams
Last season was the first time in pacy half-back flanker Wilson's career he has averaged more than 80 points per game (80.2). He represents a fair bit of risk at his price but is worth consideration. You're more likely to find the extra money for his Dockers teammate Luke Ryan if you want to look west.
HAYDEN CROZIER (WB) $428,900 - 0.2% of teams
Crozier made a sterling finish to 2018 after finding his niche in the defensive half for the Bulldogs. He tallied 95 points or more in five of his last six matches and hit triple figures in three of those. We saw his ceiling in Round 14 last year when he amassed 137 points against North Melbourne from 30 disposals. A left-field option but one that could pay handsome dividends.
BAILEY WILLIAMS (WB) $441,600 - 0.3% of teams
Williams scored consistently last year without exploding, bar one game against Essendon when he chalked up 139 points. He's expected to play a more advanced role for the Bulldogs this year and could even spend time in the midfield rotation.
GARY ABLETT (Geel) $580,600 - 0.9% of teams
The greatest SuperCoach player of all time, Ablett has averaged at least 106.9 in every season since 2007. The likelihood he will spend more time forward this year for Geelong will have scared most away, but don't rule out the little master continuing to produce premium numbers in attack.
JOSH KENNEDY (Syd) $525,600 - 0.7% of teams
Kennedy might be in the latter stages of his decorated career, but there's a Dan Hannebery-sized hole to be filled in the Swans midfield this year. The expectation is Callum Mills and Isaac Heeney will step up to fill the void, but there's also the chance it leads to more of the ball for the likes of Kennedy. He only averaged 96.8 last year but is a proven scorer who managed 106 in JLT2 against Gold Coast.
DYSON HEPPELL (Ess) $551,500 - 0.9% of teams
The Essendon skipper is your man if you value consistent scoring. Heppell had only three scores under 80 last season and reached 100 in 13 games. He had a career-best average of 106 points but there's something to be said for knowing what score is coming each week, rather than relying on a boom-or-bust prospect who could cost you league fixtures.
SEB ROSS (StK) $558,400 - 0.7 per cent of teams
Ross has threatened to become one of the top SuperCoach scorers in recent years and it was only three games under 70 that pulled his 2018 season average back to 102.3. His ceiling is one of the highest in the game. Three of his last four scores in 2018 were above 129 and two were in excess of 150. The pick of the POD midfield options.
LACHIE HUNTER (WB) $555,500 - 0.6% of teams
The Bulldogs ball magnet, who recently signed a new long-term deal to stay at Whitten Oval, played second fiddle in SuperCoach scoring to teammate Jack Macrae last year. Last season was the first Hunter hit a triple-figure season average, rounding out the campaign with four consecutive hundreds.
ED CURNOW (Carl) $552,200 - 0.4% of teams
Another player you can rely on, Curnow dropped below 80 only once last season - in Round 23 against Adelaide. The Carlton onballer's scores were otherwise between 85 and 148. His impact in the Blues' midfield is undersold and his ownership will stay low due to Patrick Cripps' popularity.
DAWSON SIMPSON (GWS) $473,500 - 0.2% of teams
Hard to make a case for many of the point of difference ruckmen, but Simpson will at least get first crack at GWS until Shane Mumford returns from suspension. Successive scores above 120 late last year were encouraging but he hasn't shown that form enough to be in your starting side.
TOM HICKEY (WC) $485,600 - 0.4% of teams
Ex-Saint Hickey travels West to likely assume the mantle as the No.1 ruckman at the reigning premier. He was a surprisingly consistent scorer in his last campaign for St Kilda, posting 12 scores of 79 or higher in 13 matches.
KANE LAMBERT (Rich) $481,800 - 0.8% of teams
The gut-running Tiger rode a rollercoaster of scores last year on his way to an average of 89. Be prepared for him to throw in the odd low score, but he delivers totals in excess of 90 often enough to at least be looked at.
BRANDAN PARFITT (Geel) $434,300 - 0.8% of teams
A player expected to enjoy a breakout 2019, Parfitt is still only in 0.8 per cent of sides despite the hype surrounding a likely switch to the midfield. His indifferent scoring last year largely reflected a second-year player, but you'll be rewarded if you take a punt and this is the year he takes the next step.
KYLE LANGFORD (Ess) $436,700 - 0.3% of teams
Who would have thought Langford would be a genuine option after he started 2018 with scores of 54 and 44? Playing a more advanced role in the second half of the season, he finished with five scores of 95 or better from Round 14 onwards and looked ready to add consistency to his obvious talent.