KFC SuperCoach 2022: Experts rate the best rookie selections in every position

Which cheapies can you pick with confidence in your KFC SuperCoach team? We asked the top fantasy minds to rank their best rookies in every position.

Nick Daicos is the (almost) unanimous selection as the best KFC SuperCoach rookie pick of 2022.

He polled 69 of a possible 70 votes in a survey of the sharpest fantasy minds when asked to rank their top 10 midfield cheapies.

The one holdout was The Phantom, who had the Collingwood father-son gun in second spot behind No.1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis.

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Josh Rachele was a clear No.1 in the forward line and a surprise Sydney recruit who wasn’t even on an AFL list a few weeks ago came out on top in the backline.

We asked seven KFC SuperCoach experts to rank their best rookies in each position – Al Paton, The Phantom, Dan Batten, Tim Michell, 2021 champion Em Challis, Pistol from Doctor SuperCoach and Jackson Davey from Fantasy Take TV.

Here are the consensus picks and full rankings.

DEFENDERS

Paddy McCartin was the top choice of four of our seven experts, with the other three opting for Crow Mitch Hinge.

Cat Sam De Koning was in every expert’s top five but perhaps not without a high degree of confidence – he ranked as high as second and as low as fifth.

Em Challis and Pistol weren’t deterred by Josh Gibcus’s starting price, both listing the Tiger teenager third in their rankings.

Darcy Wilmot and Jordan Boyd were two players who received a vote each but missed out on the consensus top five.

Josh Sinn is a chance to break into Port Adelaide’s Round 1 team. Picture: Sarah Reed
Josh Sinn is a chance to break into Port Adelaide’s Round 1 team. Picture: Sarah Reed

MIDFIELD

There wasn’t a lot of disagreement on the top five here, notwithstanding The Phantom’s faith in Horne-Francis.

We asked the experts to name a top 10 in the crowded midfield, and Hawk Josh Ward was ranked third by five of the seven experts and most had Dylan Stephens next in line.

Ward’s Hawthorn teammate Connor McDonald was the top rookie priced under $150k for every coach, and all but two had Eagle Brady Hough in their top five.

After that it’s much more wide open field, with another nine players appearing in the different expert lists.

Alex Davies polled enough votes to rank sixth on the consensus table, but not many coaches will start with all the top-priced draftees plus Davies at $202,500.

Names to watch to fill out your bench when teams are named include Jake Soligo at Adelaide, Mitch Owens at St Kilda and Cat Cooper Stephens.

Don’t start the season without Nick Daicos. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images
Don’t start the season without Nick Daicos. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images

RUCKS

West Coast’s Hugh Dixon was the top choice of six of seven experts, with Braydon Preuss a clear No.2 – if he wasn’t suspended for Round 1 it might have been a closer-run thing.

Third in line was almost a toss of the coin between namesakes Sam and Jack Hayes.

FORWARDS

Adelaide’s top draft pick Josh Rachele was first or second in nearly every coach’s rankings but the player who really divided opinion was Kangaroo Tristan Xerri.

He could be one of the best cash cows of the season if he plays as North Melbourne’s No.1 ruckman as he did in the AAMI Series. Starting at just $208,200, Em Challis and Jackson Davey were confident enough to list him as their top forward rookie, while Pistol had him at No.2.

At the other end of the spectrum Al Paton, Dan Batten and The Phantom left him out of their top five altogether.

In an open forward pool other players to receive votes included Carlton small forward Corey Durdin, Richmond’s Hugo Ralphsmith, Bomber Kaine Baldwin and Port Adelaide’s Jed McEntee.

Originally published as KFC SuperCoach 2022: Experts rate the best rookie selections in every position