KFC SuperCoach: Dale Thomas reveals his starting team

Former Carlton and Collingwood star Dale Thomas picked a KFC SuperCoach team for fun, now he’s talking list management strategy. See his starting team here.

I have a lot more respect for AFL list managers after picking my KFC SuperCoach team for 2022.

In fact, it’s something I could get into after this.

I haven’t played KFC SuperCoach for a long while and you really have to think about where you spend the $10 million salary cap.

Sign up for NRL SuperCoach 2022.

Everyone wants to pick the best players but you quickly find yourself weighing up one guy at $450,000 versus another at $350,000, trying to save $100k here or $50k there.

I couldn’t believe how much people are into their SuperCoach and how quickly you get hooked. You hear a player might be in the mix for Round 1 and you’re straight on the app checking his price.

I sent my first team to some of my mates and they just laughed, but it has come a long way since then and I’m pretty happy with where I’ve landed.

DEFENDERS

Jake Lloyd, Christian Salem, Dan Houston, Liam Baker, Isaac Quaynor, Paddy McCartin.

Bench: Will Kelly, Sam De Koning

Lloyd is someone I know SuperCoach fans love. He gets a lot of the ball and the best part is he doesn’t kick it further than 30m so he’s always a chance of getting it back.

Salem is a great ball user off half-back and likes to sneak forward and have a ping at the goals, and Houston and Quaynor are emerging players.

Baker is a sneaky one for you, he’s not in many teams but Dimma loves him and he can score big (149 points in the AAMI Series!).

CHEAT SHEET: HOW TO PICK A TEAM IN 10 MINUTES

Liam Baker is Richmond’s Mr Fix-it. Picture: Jake Nowakowski
Liam Baker is Richmond’s Mr Fix-it. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

MIDFIELD

Clayton Oliver (c), Josh Kelly, Jaeger O’Meara, Patrick Cripps, Matt Rowell, Will Brodie, Jason Horne-Francis, Nick Daicos

Bench: Connor MacDonald, Nathan O’Driscoll, James Tsitas

This is where I can do some serious damage.

Oliver is the most expensive player in my team but he’ll be my captain.

See my thoughts on Cripps in my last article – he’s in for a huge year – and we saw how good Rowell can be when he burst on the scene. Hopefully he can stay injury-free.

I know Jaeger O’Meara pretty well so I had to put him in, hopefully he appreciates it.

I’ve got some good mail on Will Brodie – Leigh Montagna, who I work with at Triple M, was absolutely rapt when Freo got him.

The cheap guys should all play and Horne-Francis and Daicos should score well.

Jaeger O'Meara owes me some KFC SuperCoach points. Picture: AAP Image/Scott Barbour
Jaeger O'Meara owes me some KFC SuperCoach points. Picture: AAP Image/Scott Barbour
Patrick Cripps is fit again. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images
Patrick Cripps is fit again. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images

RUCK

Max Gawn, Reilly O’Brien

Bench: Jack Hayes

I’m taking a bit of a risk here but I think O’Brien will have a good year and he saves $130,000 compared to Brodie Grundy.

If he doesn’t deliver I’ll just trade him. It’s fun having the power to be savage!

FORWARDS

Zac Bailey, Zak Butters, Zac Fisher, Jade Gresham, Stephen Coniglio, Mitch McGovern

Bench: Corey Durdin, Hugh Dixon

Zac Bailey and Zak Butters are fantastic young players and both can hit the scoreboard, and I’m putting my money where my mouth is with Zac Fisher.

Jade Gresham will be back in the Saints’ midfield and I still can’t believe how cheap Stephen Coniglio is. When he’s fit and firing he’s a lock to get 30-plus touches, but I’m happy to lock him in.

McGovern is a forward in KFC SuperCoach but he’ll be playing down back and racking up the points, and he’ll get defender status after Round 6 which will be very handy – picking dual-position players was one tip I definitely picked up during the pre-season.

I hope Durdin is fit for Round 1 because I like him a lot.

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For my bench I just found the cheapest players who are likely to play early in the season. One thing that helped me was checking the ownership percentage of all these players - the most popular guys should be good picks.

The pre-season has been great fun, now let’s get into it.

I’ll be sitting in the outer at the MCG tonight cheering on every touch Oliver gets.

Dale Thomas’s KFC SuperCoach team for 2022.
Dale Thomas’s KFC SuperCoach team for 2022.

The six Blues you need in KFC SuperCoach

Can you smell what they’re cooking?

Carlton will enter Round 1 off the back of an unbeaten pre-season, fresh off a big win against the reigning premier, with a new coach and a ton of expectation.

We’ve heard that before, but I think this is the year – keep your September free, Blues fans.

One trick when picking a KFC SuperCoach team is to find teams on the rise and dig deeper into which players will be behind that.

Here are my top picks at the Blues in 2022.

Patrick Cripps $454,800 MID

The big dog is back.

We all saw what sort of form he’s in, and I had a sneaky look at his Brownlow odds after his mammoth performance against the Dees.

We mark him harshly because we know how good his scoring was before a couple of years where he’s battled some injuries. But he looks fit, tough, hard – and the game plan under Michael Voss will suit him down the ground.

And if he’s going forward and kicking goals as he did last week, that’s the cherry on top.

I think he’s in for a huge year.

George Hewett arrived from Sydney as a free agent. Picture: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images
George Hewett arrived from Sydney as a free agent. Picture: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images

George Hewett $399,000 DEF/MID

You can pick the former Swan in defence but he’ll be a staple in the Blues midfield.

He attended 24 centre bounces against Melbourne (Cripps was at 26), so he’ll get plenty of opportunities at the coal face to rack up clearances and hardball gets, and he loves to tackle which is great for his KFC SuperCoach score.

He could be used in different roles but he has gone from a full-time blanket to a player who can hurt the opposition.

Next week I expect him to sit on Dustin Martin inside the stoppages then go and find the cherry himself the other way.

There will be some weeks he can do his own thing and go and find 30 possessions, others he might get a run-with role, but I still expect him to score well.

Mitch McGovern $256,000 FWD

He’s cheap as a forward but he’s playing in the backline, and we have seen how that can be a catalyst for a spike in KFC SuperCoach scores.

He reads the game really well and he’s able to manufacture space to be that third man up. And he has really good wheels to impact the contest with a spoil or often backs himself in to mark it, and that seems to be a clear directive that he can go for his marks.

I hope he has a really good year, I know it isn’t always easy crossing over from another club and trying to prove yourself.

He could be one who makes us some quick cash then you can flick him at Round 6 or Round 7.

Zac Fisher is in for a big year. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images
Zac Fisher is in for a big year. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images
Mitch McGovern has thrived in a new role in defence. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images
Mitch McGovern has thrived in a new role in defence. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Zac Fisher $353,300 FWD

I reckon this is going to be a breakout year for Zac.

We’ve seen bits and pieces from him but he now seems to have a settled role starting at half-forward and coming up to the stoppages, then using those wheels to get forward.

He has so much talent and one of the best sidesteps in the game. He actually has the ability to go lateral while he’s still going forward – he almost disappears at times. He’s definitely going to make some defenders look silly this year.

He uses the ball really well and can hit the scoreboard or set up teammates with score assists.

If he can go from 15 possessions to sitting around the 20 mark and take his opportunities inside 50 he could be a bargain.

Jack Martin $371,000 FWD

He has settled in after a couple of years at the club and has a stack of talent, and he’s a player I think will really benefit from how the Blues will play.

Eddie Betts was Carlton’s second-highest goalscorer with 27 goals, so they need to find someone who can pick up 20-odd goals this year.

He doesn’t get a heap of the ball but he can have an impact from every possession. I think he can average 1-2 goals a game and there will be some games where he kicks three or four, or even five.

Sam Walsh $637,100 MID

We all know how good he is. He’ll be one of my first trade targets when he comes back.

DAISY’S SEVEN KFC SUPERCOACH SPECIALS

You don’t need an expert to tell you to pick Brodie Grundy or Clayton Oliver in KFC SuperCoach.

But it’s the outside the box players who can set your team apart from the cookie cutter squads out there.

Here are seven players I’m tipping for a huge year in KFC SuperCoach.

All pre-season games are live on Kayo.

Brayden Fiorini (GC) $551,600 MID

He only came into the Suns’ team in the middle of last year but in the last nine games he averaged 27 disposals a game and just under six marks, six tackles and five clearances.

In one game against the Lions he had 41 touches, so he can clearly find the footy and is on the way up. I can see him improving again this year with plenty of opportunities in the Gold Coast midfield.

If you’re looking outside the bubble of superstars and trying to find value, he can certainly find the seed and all the other stats that deliver good KFC SuperCoach points.

Zak Butters is set for a massive season at Port. Picture: Brenton Edwards
Zak Butters is set for a massive season at Port. Picture: Brenton Edwards

Zak Butters (Port) $443,600 FWD

I have loved this kid ever since I saw him play up on the Gold Coast against North Melbourne early in his career. Butters and Jack Ziebell were both dead set on a 50-50 contest and they both went helter skelter – after the hit they showed a close-up on the TV and Butters was laughing. He’s just so tough.

He’s had some injury issues but at some stage the Port Adelaide kids are going to have to step up and take the mantle from veterans like Travis Boak.

He has a great role playing a bit in the midfield and forward floating up around the stoppages – it’s always nice to get to a stoppage with no opponent.

He wins the prune, lays tackles and he’s definitely in my team.

Tyson Stengle (Geelong) $247,500 FWD

He’s the hype player at the Cats and talking to some people down there they are just rapt in how hard he’s working.

Talent has never been a question and hopefully the penny has dropped in terms of work rate and what it takes to make it at the top level.

My old mate Eddie Betts has been mentoring him and watching him on the weekend it was almost like they recruited a young Eddie.

With Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron down there it will be like a loose dinner with so many crumbs, and he can be another steal for your forward line.

Tyson Stengle has impressed at the Cats. Picture: Alison Wynd
Tyson Stengle has impressed at the Cats. Picture: Alison Wynd

Nic Newman (Carlton) $477,100 DEF

The thing I love about Newman is he loves to kick the footy and hardly ever handballs, which is great for his KFC SuperCoach scores.

He has been a great pick-up for the Blues although he’s had some injury issues which have him flying under the radar this year.

He has learnt from the Heath Shaw school of defenders and loves to put his head down and race to the ball bag after a behind – he took six kick-ins for the Blues in their practice match and plays on nearly every time.

With a Blues backline that needs to tighten up, he might be the one who gives a bit of leg rope and goes and finds the footy.

Daniel Rich (Brisbane) $582,700 DEF

He’s another defender like Newman who doesn’t get as much love as he should in KFC SuperCoach.

He ranks so highly in disposal efficiency and metres gained stats and hardly ever handballs – unless it’s to get the old one-two before delivering an absolute bullet down a teammate’s throat.

He takes most of the kick-ins for the Lions and he’s a lock in my team.

Reilly O’Brien (Adelaide) $520,600 RUC

When you look at the rucks names like Brodie Grundy, Max Gawn and Nic Naitanui are the elite tier, but I wouldn’t be surprised if O’Brien is right up there with them by the end of the season.

What I like about him is he puts high expectations on himself, I saw him interviewed and he said he wants to be the No.1 ruckman in the league.

His follow-up work has improved out of sight so he’s not just a slap it out, get 40 hit-outs and move on kind of guy. He gets behind the ball and takes a lot of intercept marks which score really well.

If you can get him cheap and flog him off later in the season it’s happy days.

A change of scenery will be good for new Pie Patrick Lipinski. Picture: Getty Images
A change of scenery will be good for new Pie Patrick Lipinski. Picture: Getty Images

Patrick Lipinski (Coll) $359,900 MID

I’ve been big on him for a while and I’m not sure why he couldn’t get a regular game at the Bulldogs, he always seemed to be the last bloke into the team and the first one out.

It will be a different story at Collingwood, a younger side looking at different midfield combinations.

He dominated in their practice game down in Morwell and has always had the ability to find the footy and use it well, which is important in KFC SuperCoach, and he can also hit the scoreboard.

You can’t have all the big scorers and he’s a nice set of steak knives off to the side, I think he can be a steal for KFC SuperCoach players.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Lipinski was injured in Collingwood’s last practice match but keep an eye out for him later in the year.

Originally published as KFC SuperCoach: Dale Thomas reveals his starting team