And while you begin to tinker with your side hundreds of times to find the right balance, a pre-season must is to take a step back and run your eyes over the KFC SuperCoach BBL fixture.
Navigating the fixture is arguably the biggest challenge and headache that KFC SuperCoachers have to endure throughout the season. But never fear, as Damo and Azza are here to guide you through these rocky waters.
Unique to KFC SuperCoach BBL is the concept of double game rounds, and there are many that occur throughout the season. In these rounds, teams play twice which means that any player, if named in both games, will have the opportunity to boost their scores.
Premiums in these teams are the ones that you want to target. Looking at Round 1, when Adelaide Strikers, Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder all play twice, you definitely want to make sure that you have players like Rashid Khan, Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams.
So, where do these double game rounds occur, and what teams have byes throughout the season? Well, here’s a quick handy guide below.
Still with us? Having taken a look at the teams that play twice in a round or have a bye, let’s take a deeper dive into the first few rounds of the fixture and take a look at when each team plays to take full advantage of loophole opportunities and captaincy selections.
In Round 1, Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Stars open the BBL season, which makes players from these teams the optimal vice-captain option – players like Stoinis and Sams will be popular choices.
But the opening fixture also gives us the opportunity to bench riskier players like Adam Zampa, Matt Gilkes and Rilee Rossouw to see how they perform before committing to their score. With Scorchers having a bye in Round 1 and a double in Round 2, you’d be wise to plan ahead and stash a player on the bench to take full advantage of the opening round vice captain and bench loophole options.
The only downside with Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder playing twice and the opening-round fixture is that if you’re not satisfied with your VC option, and don’t think they’ll back it up in their second match, your best captaincy option would come from Adelaide Strikers or Sixer Dan Christian, who averages 88 against the Strikers – for the 13.6% of you that currently own him, anyway.
Two rounds in and already things are becoming tricky.
One positive is that Sydney Thunder have yet another double game round, which is fortunate for KFC SuperCoachers as a) you wont need to trade any and b) if there was a player that did exceptionally well that you missed out on, now is your chance to jump on board.
On the flip side, both Melbourne Stars and Brisbane Heat have byes, which means that any double game round players from the Stars or a Heat gun, like Michael Neser, that you might have, will need to be traded – or, if you can carry them, stashed on the bench to help as loophole saviours.
Perth Scorchers play in the opening match in Round 2 and make the perfect VC options given they also share a double game round with Sydney Thunder. Be sure to target players like Mitch Marsh, Jason Berendorff, AJ Tye and Phil Salt.
After 4 games in two rounds, Sydney Thunder have succumbed to a bye in Round 3, and this would be round to dump the majority of them for Brisbane Heat players who have a double game round.
You’ll also have to tread carefully, as the Heat, while playing twice, feature in the opening fixture of the round, meaning they are VC options or straight C options only.
You can rest easy this round as no team has either a bye or a double game. Every team plays once, which means you can select a VC from either of the first two games and a C option from the latter two.
Rules for Navigating the Fixture
To help you guide through these fickle waters, there are a few helpful guidelines to live by.
1.Don’t overload your side with double game round players. It’s easy to get sucked in by the lure of double points, but fringe players can often let you down when you should have opted for a safer single game round player.
2.Be mindful of your surroundings. If you place a VC/C/E tag on a double game round player, just note that they are locked in after they play their first game of that round. Bye round players can still be shuffled around until the last match.
3. Plan ahead. With Scorchers having a double game round in Round 2, stash a player like Josh Inglis, Ashton Turner, Phil Salt or if you can swing it, Jhye Richardson. They’ll not only assist with any loopholes, but put you ahead of the game come Round 2. Further down the track, get some double game round players ahead of time, giving you the optimum chance of maximising points come the double round.
Originally published as KFC SuperCoach BBL: Ultimate guide to navigating the fixture and trading in the early rounds