KFC SuperCoach 2022: The Phantom’s burning questions and Round 22 trade advice

With Patrick Cripps’ suspension upheld, KFC SuperCoaches now officially need to make a big decision. The Phantom has his say on 14 popular trade options.

With just two rounds to go, and trade counts very low among the KFC SuperCoach community, the burning questions are contained to one worrying blaze.

And that’s Patrick Cripps and his two-game suspension, which was upheld on Tuesday night.

So, for those with trades, what is your best move?

Highest-averaging player you don’t have? The one with the best fixture? DPP swing?

Fire away.

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Rory Laird is in remarkable KFC SuperCoach form. Picture: Will Russell/AFL Photos
Rory Laird is in remarkable KFC SuperCoach form. Picture: Will Russell/AFL Photos

Rory Laird ($711,300)?

If you can afford it, absolutely. The Adelaide midfielder is putting numbers that we haven’t seen since – don’t say it, don’t say it – Gary Ablett. OK, well maybe Laird doesn’t boast an 11-game average of 151, like the little master in the opening 11 rounds of 2009. But 141 since Round 14 isn’t far off. It hurts not having him, trust me. Would you burn two trades to get him? If the second one is your last, I wouldn’t. Who knows what will happen this weekend. And, anyway, there are a number of other options who could still go close to Laird’s scoring in the final two rounds.

Zach Merrett ($638,400)?

Maybe not him, though. After Giant Harry Perryman restricted his influence last week, Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley could send defensive midfielder Willem Drew to the in-form Bomber on Sunday. Sure, he might not, and Essendon take on a non-tagging Richmond side in the final round. But it’s enough to put me off with only two games left.

Clayton Oliver ($637,500)?

Now we’re talking. This could be the play for those who jumped off Oliver when he missed a week with an injured thumb. He scored 80 points in the first half on return from injury before Marcus Bontempelli and co took the game – and KFC SuperCoach points – away from the Demons in Round 19. Sure, he was quiet a week later against the Dockers, but he was back to his best with 24 contested possessions, 14 clearances and 152 points against the Magpies. A Cripps and George Hewett-less Carlton midfield aren’t probably going to get in his way, either. The Lions might be more of a challenge in the final round but Oliver dropped 140 on Chris Fagan’s side in Round 15.

Jack Steele ($600,500)?

Not sure. And that’s probably enough to look elsewhere. Scores of 107 and 93 in the past two matches, without a tag, is a concern. As was his 20 disposal against the Cats and, well, just the Saints in general.

Christian Petracca ($593,000)?

See Oliver. And, of course, his back-to-back 130s, as well as the 141 against Port in Round 18 and 189 against the Crows two weeks before that.

Max Gawn could be a great dual-position trade for Patrick Cripps. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
Max Gawn could be a great dual-position trade for Patrick Cripps. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Max Gawn ($574,300)?

The Demons skipper looks to have hit his straps, posting scores of 147, 114 and 136 in the past three matches. We know he can go as big as anyone on his day, and Gawn could be a great point-of-difference in your head-to-head match-up, if you can make the position swing work. Can’t really think of a reason to say no – and it’s definitely not an underdone Marc Pittonet.

Callum Mills ($572,400)?

He’s the fourth-ranked KFC SuperCoach scorer in the game, but his price has fluctuated more than my feelings for his coach – or any in Sydney for that matter. The Swans host Collingwood this week and, despite winning, the Magpies gave up plenty of ball – and KFC SuperCoach points – to the Demons midfield last week. Expect Mills to pass three figures again. A trip to Marvel Stadium to face the Saints in the final round is an interesting one, but Chad Warner would have to be the number one midfield target for Marcus Windhager.

Tom Stewart ($572,000)?

Speaking of St Kilda tags, Stewart got the full treatment from Windhager’s teammate Mitch Owens on Saturday night. And, like we saw against Brisbane in Round 15 last year, Stewart is prone to a mare. Like, not your average tag-affected 75, but a four-free-kicks-against-in-the-first-forty-minutes mare. Gold Coast and West Coast are unlikely to put as much specific attention into the Geelong star – on what we’ve seen recently anyway – but Stewart has failed to reach three figures in his past three against the Suns. It’s something, I guess.

Luke Ryan ($564,500)?

The Fremantle defender’s past four weeks is something, too. After averaging 90 to Round 17, Ryan has posted scores of 128, 128, 110, and 146. He could be a big point-of-difference with the Derby and a clash with an up-and-down – mainly down – Giants outfit to finish the year.

Darcy Parish, left, scored 120 points on return. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images
Darcy Parish, left, scored 120 points on return. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Darcy Parish ($560,400)?

After starting Parish, and then trading him to Tom Green for the brand’s sake, this would be a fitting move for me. And, after the young star posted 120 points in his first game since Round 16 on the weekend, it could fit you, too. As mentioned above, Drew probably goes to Merrett first, and the Tigers don’t tend to tag. Last season, Parish scored 142 against the Power and 166 against Richmond.

Brad Crouch ($555,900)?

His best has been great, and I probably got it wrong telling those looking for a Steele replacement in Round 10 to ignore Crouch because of his kicking. But, then again, despite some big scores, his haphazard ball-use has been the primary reason for scores of 85, 72 and 80 since Round 15, too. And you don’t want one of those in either of the next two weeks.

Andy Brayshaw ($554,900)?

Big Western Derby? Tick. Potential final round tag from Perryman or Lachie Ash? Nah.

Jordan Dawson ($556,800)?

Kangaroos at Adelaide Oval? Big tick. Potential Drew tag like in the second half of the Round 3 Showdown? Bit of a concern. But surely it’s Laird’s turn now. I’d take the punt Dawson gets space in both games.

Rowan Marshall could be the one for The Phantom. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
Rowan Marshall could be the one for The Phantom. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Rowan Marshall ($515,100)?

With Brisbane and Sydney at Marvel to come, Marshall is a standout option for those with no cash and the DPP swing option. It’s even a move I am considering, and I have money. The 176 in Round 20 was huge and the 96 against the Cats OK, too, given Rhys Stanley’s ability to negate his opposing ruckman at times this year.

So what are you doing, Phantom?

I wish it was Laird but it’s probably Marshall or Parish, in what would be a very fitting final trade for the year.

Originally published as KFC SuperCoach 2022: The Phantom’s burning questions and Round 22 trade advice