November 28, 2023


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SuperCoach 2024: Players To Keep An Eye On (September Edition)

I know, it’s only September 2023, and the AFL finals are still raging on, but don’t pretend that you haven’t already started formulating a list of players that you’re looking at for SuperCoach 2024. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have clicked on this article. Now, this list won’t contain a list of the guys that we all know are likely starters such as Marcus Bontempelli or Tim English. This is a list of the guys that are undervalued, and could go yet another level, or could make you some serious cash in 2024.

This obviously only September so, with Trade Week and Free Agency in October, the National Rookie Draft in November, AFL Fixture Release, the pre-season Supplemental Selection Period in February, and Pre-Season matches in March, could all change this list significantly. As a result, we will be updating this list after all of these important events so, stay tuned. This list is also in order of who I believe is the most important player to keep an eye on.

Matt Rowell

Some would think that 2023 was Rowell’s “break-out” year, but I doubt this will be his best. The former Number 1 National Draft Pick from 2019, went on to average 102.3 SuperCoach points in 2023 and played 23 AFL games. Finally, Rowell has been able to piece together two injury-free seasons after being hampered by constant problems in his first two years in the competition. Rowell was able to show us glimpses of what he can do with scores of 165 against West Coast, 159 over the Western Bulldogs and 135 to finish the year off against North Melbourne. Now, Rowell is entering his 5th AFL season with, hopefully, a third uninterrupted pre-season under his belt. Furthermore, we are about to see him playing under a new system with triple premiership coach, Damien Hardwick, taking the reins at the Suns in 2024. Hardwick loves high-pressure tackling footy, and that could really benefit a player like Rowell.

Nick Coffield

I talked about Coffield as we were entering 2023, but after going down during the pre-season competition, Coffield was unable to play an AFL game. However, the 23-year-old did manage to be part of the last month of VFL action. The former Number 17 National Draft Pick will be eager to make an impact in 2024 after missing the last two seasons of AFL, which resulted in his SuperCoach starting price being only $208,800 in 2023. It’s likely to be even lower in 2024 and we need to consider someone whose last AFL game was a 117 SuperCoach score against Fremantle way back in 2021. However, it was 2020 that was more impressive, when Coffield averaged 79.4 for the season. This is the type of player that can make you $200,000 easily, all while adding some decent numbers to your weekly score. Although, he needs to actually play for any of this to happen, so monitor his pre-season.

Touk Miller

It’s going to be a strange year in 2024 if I have to convince coaches to start Touk Miller in their sides. The dual All-Australian and Suns Best & Fairest winner had a poor 2023, after succumbing to injury and then form upon return. Miller was red-hot in the opening 5 games, averaging 115.4 SuperCoach points and like so many others, I boosted him into my side in the lead-up to his North Melbourne game. Only to boost him out again the following weekend, as Miller spent the next 11 rounds recovering from injury. His form was pretty average after that and as a result, Miller finished the year priced at a low of $490,000 with a season average of 97.6, a five-round average of 91.8 and a three-round average of 90.7! That’s a big drop from Miller’s 120.3 and 124.5 averages in 2022 and 2021. There is a new structure coming in 2024 under Damien Hardwick, and with the emergence of 2023 All Australian and Best & Fairest winner, Noah Anderson, the emerging Matt Rowell and Sam Flanders also getting more midfield time in 2023, can Miller find enough footy of his own footy to get back to his best? Miller will be undervalued for his best but the Suns will need to be a finals contender in order to feed all of those hungry mouths in that midfield.

Brodie Grundy

Brodie Grundy could be number 1 on this list but it’s all determined on an inevitable trade to either Port Adelaide or Sydney. Both sides have fantastic midfielders who will benefit greatly from having a ruckman like Grundy in the side. My personal hope is that he ends up at Port Adelaide. Imagine Grundy tapping it down to Rozee, Butters and Wines next year. I never understood why Melbourne paid so much for a player who played in a position they didn’t need help in. The dual All-Australian and Collingwood Best & Fairest winner will have a massive 2024 if traded. I can see revenge and frustration in Grundy’s eyes next year, which could see the heights of 2018 returning, when the now 29-year-old averaged 130.5 for the year. Grundy will likely have a starting price below $400,000 after averaging 86.2 in 2023, making him grossly undervalued in 2024 at a new club, as their number 1 ruckman.

Hayden Young

There will be some that may have taken a shot with Hayden Young last year or in 2023. Young finished the season averaging 94 SuperCoach points, which doesn’t scream “pick me!” However, the 22-year-old former number 7 National Draft Pick, has shown us his scoring ceiling, especially in the last four games of the 2023 AFL season. Young finished the year with scores of 123, 118, 113 and 111, after being moved into Fremantle’s midfield. We expect Young to retain that position in 2024, and really build on his consistency. Expect a big year from Hayden Young coming up and he will be a defender in SuperCoach.

Alex Witherden

It’s time to shine for Alex Witherden, as West Coast Eagles veteran Shannon Hurn, hangs up the boost for the final time in 2023. The 25-year-old has played 103 AFL games and looks to be the Eagle’s main distributor in defence, a position that’s likely to receive a lot of footy next year. The former number 23 National Draft pick from 2016, finished 2023 averaging 84.5 SuperCoach points, which doesn’t sound too impressive but that’s with Hurn in the side as well. Witherden’s second half of the year, without Hurn, resulted in some impressive scores. Between rounds 16 and 23, Witherden averaged 103.25 points, which included scores of 133 against Essendon and 123 over Carlton. Witherden is a solid kick, will have the majority of the kick-outs and is playing in defence for West Coast, who may be looking at a back-to-back bottom finish. Priced at only an 84.5 average, Witherden could be a SuperCoach steal at the start of 2024 and a keeper as D6.

Jayden Short

The Richmond defender didn’t enjoy his best season in 2023, as he was moved around the ground and suffered injury setbacks. Now, leading into 2024, Jayden Short is a player who could find himself benefiting a great deal from a new coach. Short is one of Richmond’s best-running defenders and when Short has that role, we know how damaging his SuperCoach scoring can be. Short’s new coach may notice Short’s potential in that position, a position he won a Richmond Best & Fairest and two AFL Premierships playing in. Short has always tempted us, averaging close to the 100-point mark from 2020 to 2023. If you remove his injury-affected 48 score against Brisbane, Short actually averaged 102 points, which isn’t too bad and that included a 130 over Melbourne. Keep an eye out for Short’s role this pre-season under a new coach, as many other coaches may avoid him but he could be a decent POD.

Jack Steele

Jack Steele has 38 disposals in a Qualifying Final, do I really need to say more? He will have a SuperCoach starting price based on a 95 average. Steele averaged 122.5 and 126 points in 2020 and 2021, as well as 109.8 in 2022. A stomach-churning shoulder injury this year impacted Steele heavily, but expect him to have a bigger output in 2024 if he stays healthy. Steele is one to watch this preseason.

Lachie Schultz

I know, this one is a bit of a weird selection and yes, Schultz does play in a position that’s typically inconsistent for SuperCoach. However, I believe that he’s ready to take a big step in 2024 and could be a massive POD or at a minimum, someone you can pick up very late in your Draft/Keeper League. The Fremantle FWD finished his 5th AFL season averaging 79.1 SuperCoach points in 2023, but it was his finish to the year that caught my eye, and should catch yours too. Schultz’s last 6 games resulted in scores of 100, 115, 53, 135, 99 & 80. Outside of the massive score against West Coast, the rest were against quality defensive opponents such as Sydney, Geelong, Port Adelaide and Brisbane. Schultz will have an awkward starting price, but the 25-year-old is primed to be one of Fremantle’s main goal-kickers yet again, alongside teammate Jye Amiss, in what’s likely to be an improved season for the club.

Clayton Oliver

Usually, I don’t need to talk about Oliver, EVER! But just like Touk Miller above, Oliver was hurt with a long-term “1-week” injury that has reduced his price tag. However, unlike Miller, that discount will be within the $600-620,000 range so, less value. Still, I don’t think I can stomach another season without starting Oliver and scrambling every cent that I have to get him. Oliver still finished the year with a 120.6 average, which sounds pretty good but it’s also low compared to his 127.1, 123.5 and 122.2 last three years. In fact, Oliver has only averaged below 100 in a season once, which was his debut year all the way back in 2016. JUST PAY THE PRICE AND PICK HIM!

Josh Ward

The Hawthorn midfielder will be entering his third AFL season after being taken with pick 7 in the 2021 National Draft. The 20-year-old had an improved 2022, averaging 72.9 SuperCoach points across the season. Ward was able to string together some impressive games, averaging 85 points between rounds 1-4 and 92.67 between rounds 16-18. With another preseason under Ward’s belt, likely improved performances from the Hawks and a potential increase in CBA activity, it’s possible Ward could significantly increase his SuperCoach average. I’m keeping a close eye on Ward for the latter stages of my SuperCoach Draft Day, but I also think we should see how he plays this preseason and consider him for our classic teams as well.

Max Holmes

It wasn’t too long ago that teammate Patrick Dangerfield stated that he could see Max Holmes developing into Geelong’s best midfielder. Holmes will be entering his fourth AFL season after being taken with pick 20 overall in the 2020 National Draft. Holmes is a serious contender for a breakout season, after finishing 2023 averaging 79.8 SuperCoach points. This was a decent jump after averaging 65.5 the season prior, where he sadly missed out on premiership success due to injury. The Cats have had a few midfield retirements over the past couple of years. While Cameron Guthrie and Dangerfield’s bodies are slowly starting to fail them in the latter stages of their careers. It will be up to players like Holmes to take the Cats into their next finals campaign. Holmes started the 2023 season in beautiful fashion, averaging 94.9 SuperCoach points in the first 8 rounds. Sadly, Holmes dropped off after that but the signs of a future premium player were there. Four 100+ scores and two in the late 90’s is enough to spark some interest. Keep an eye out on his preseason and his role leading into round 1.

Luke Davies-Uniacke

I can see LDU’s ownership being high in 2024. LDU struggled with injuries in 2023 but that didn’t stop him from averaging 113.6 points from his 14 AFL games. However, it was the former number 4 National Draft Pick”s last five games that impressed us the most, as he averaged 124 points in that time. As a result, LDU won’t be cheap but can start the season on fire. North Melbourne is expected to receive a fairly light first few games when fixtures are released and that could result in a similar start to LDU. The 24-year-old opened the season with scores of 143 and 155 in 2023. This could be the season LDU takes his football to another level and I’d rather be part of the ride than wishing I was.

Tristan Xerri

Tristan Xerri will enter 2024 as North Melbourne’s number 1 ruckman, and potentially their sole ruckman as well. The Kangaroos will be without club legendary ruckman Todd Goldstein, as he announced earlier this month, that he wishes to explore his options elsewhere. This means that we could see a break-out 2024 from the 24-year-old Xerri. The ruckman had a disappointing 2023 season, playing only 9 AFL games and averaging 72.9 SuperCoach points. However, in 2022, when Goldstein was out of the side, Xerri managed an 85.8 average across the opening 5 rounds, which included scores of 103 and 120. Yes, Callum Coleman-Jones is still at the club, but he isn’t guaranteed to play every week. Xerri will be a mid-pricer in 2024 and he could make you some cash, as well as have some decent scoring on-field. This is all determined on Xerri’s fitness, pre-season form and of course, if North Melbourne pick up another ruckman in the trade period.

Finlay Macrae

That last name should sound very familiar to SuperCoach players and that’s because this young Pie is the brother of a popular SuperCoach player. Finlay Macrae has been starved of opportunities since arriving at Collingwood due to their side’s strong midfield. However, the 21-year-old has enjoyed a dominant VFL season. Macrae is a natural at gathering contestant possessions and tackles hard. Expect the former number 19 National Draft Pick should add to his 12 AFL games in 2024, and hopefully make a big impact. Priced at only $123,000 this year with DDP MID/FWD status, his value could be huge if given the opportunity and he will likely be cheaper.