I have had a few messages from followers on both Twitter and Facebook, as well as numerous podcasters, asking about both Sam Walsh and Zach Merrett. Both have incredible scoring history and are viable options to bring into your SuperCoach sides this week but for those who have neither, which of the two should you pick now, and who should you wait for?
I already have Walsh, as my season has not gone exactly as planned yet and I needed to focus on POD’s (point of differences) to catch up. Walsh, with only 1% ownership when he returned from injury was a great option for me and I haven’t regretted it for a second. The 2021 All-Australian has played five AFL games this year and has scored over 100 SuperCoach points in all of them thus far. Currently, the 22-year-old is priced at $610,400, is averaging 114.8 and has a break-even of 125.
Don’t be put off by that high break-even, as Walsh’s record against Collingwood and Sydney, his next two opponents, is impressive. Walsh averages 120.8 points against the Pies and 119.8 against the Swans over the course of his career. It’s also important to take into account that he will face North Melbourne, Hawthorn, Richmond and Fremantle in the second half of the season, who are three teams that concede points to midfielders.
Furthermore, Walsh has spent a decent amount of his time up forward this year, which hasn’t hurt his scoring output, and is likely to gain DDP (duel position player) status next week as a FWD/MID. This has made Walsh more appealing to SuperCoach players as of late, and that’s resulted in a rise in ownership. Walsh is currently in 6.6% of sides and that’s POD territory but you shouldn’t pick him because he “might get DDP status” next week. There’s still a good chance that he misses out on that so, don’t make a decision based on this alone.
Meanwhile, Essendon MID Zach Merrett is the other player coaches are thinking about this week. The Essendon captain hasn’t set the world on fire yet this season, averaging only 103.9 SuperCoach points for the year. The 27-year-old is priced at $564,100, has a break-even of 120 and is currently in only 5.5% of teams, but I expect that to soon increase just as Walsh’s has been. Teammates in Will Setterfield and Darcy Parish will be missing for the next 4-6 weeks with injuries. Merrett has had to share his scoring with these two in 2023 and that’s about to end for at least a month.
The triple Dons Best & Fairest winner has an incredible record against his next three opponents as well. Scoring 150, 111 and 140 against Richmond, West Coast and North Melbourne. These are three teams that don’t tag and they conceded large points to midfielders. Furthermore, Merrett plays both West Coast and North Melbourne again later at the pointy end of the season. The duel All-Australian averages over 120 points per game while Parish is out of the side, a statistic I did find through the SuperCoach Co-Captains podcast.
Both Walsh and Merrett are good options this week and if you already have one, I highly recommend bringing in the other. However, if you’re tossing up between the two, I’d pick Merrett. Why? For starters, he’s cheaper, Merrett’s draw is kinder, the midfielder’s in-house team circumstances play in his favour, and he has the better bye-round. Though, the latter point should be determined by you, as you know your side best. Walsh is still an incredible option and as I mentioned before, if I already had Merrett then Walsh would be my pick this week. Walsh is easily the safer pick between the two. He’s been more consistent this season and he has a chance to gain DDP. However, Merrett’s circumstances mean that his potential scoring could be greater and that’s what I am going for. By picking Merrett you’re taking a greater risk and hoping for greater reward.