Vice-Captain Loophole: A Quick Guide

With just one sleep until the Dees and Dogs kick of season 2022, I thought it would be helpful to make an article about the all-important Vice-Captaincy loophole. A definite buzzword/phrase that you would have heard around the traps throughout the preseason. But just what is it and how can we use it to our advantage?

With the rolling lockout format to continue in season 2022, we get two shots at picking a skipper with the vice-captaincy loophole.

It’s really not as complex as it sounds but boy have we seen a few absolute mares from coaches over the years! I thought I’d make a quick guide to ease any of your concerns. I’ll explain the method and elaborate on where it could (one the very rare occasion) go wrong…

Vice-Captain Loophole: Explained

The basic premise of the loophole is to put your vice-captain on someone who is playing early in the round. Depending on the round this may be Wednesday night (round 1 only), Thursday night, Friday night or even Saturday afternoon depending on your plans. If you like your VC’s score, you can take it by fielding a non-playing bench player and whacking the C on them. You just need to make sure you have a playing emergency as cover, so you aren’t left with a needless donut! 

Vice-Captain Loophole: Step by Step

Let’s work through a hypothetical example using my ruck line-up. I currently have the two big dogs, Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy in my side with Port’s Sam Hayes sitting at R3.

In round 1, Max will be playing first up on Wednesday night and I like his match-up vs the Bulldogs. As such, I’ll chuck him the vice-captain (VC).

We’ll then sit back and watch big Max do his best work. Hopefully this will translate in to a massive fantasy score! Usually my line for VC score is 110 points. Anything >110 you are generally taking to the bank (some exceptions may apply)! Now this may sound a little conservative but remember if your actual captain then goes out and scores 130 points, a little quick maths will tell us you only miss out on 20 points overall.

Scenario 1: Max scores <110 points

Let’s say for some reason Max has a mare by his standards and drops an 80. In this scenario, you are not taking his score and your captain selection remains as is – no changes required. Hopefully Grundy (or whoever else you pick as captain) will bring home the bacon!

Scenario 2: Max goes >110 points

Max has gone out and dominated for a lazy 120 points – time to implement our loophole baby! To make it happen, we are going to switch our non-playing ruck (Hayes) on to the field for Grundy who will ride the pine as an emergency. This is what it should look like.

The rules of the game state that if your captain does not take the field (i.e., Hayes and his 0 points), you will receive double points for your vice captain (in this case, Max’s 120×2 = 240). You would still get Grundy’s normal score as he is covering as emergency for Hayes.

Common Errors

While it may seem relatively straightforward, time and time again you see blooper posts on Facebook of coaches spudding it up!

Some common mistakes include:

  1. Your ‘non-playing’ player that you whacked the C on somehow ends up playing. In our example, that would be if Hayes ended up playing – we’d be getting his score doubled and not Max’s as well as not getting Grundy’s normal score!

2. Forgetting to whack the emergency on your playing bench player. In our scenario, forgetting to put the emergency on Grundy, thereby forfeiting his points and leaving us with a brainless donut!

Another common error is when a coach has intentions to use the loophole on an early game in the round, but then accidentally whacks the C on another player in that early game. This mistake is not as costly, as you will still get double points from a good player, but it takes away your double shot.

Loophole Conundrum

As my astute followers would know, it is vitally important to have as many players in your squad of 30 playing in round 1 as possible. In a perfect world, you would see 30 green dots representing every player in your squad getting a game (this is not always possible, however!). We all know how important cash generation is at the start of the season, laying the foundations for a successful campaign.

As you now know, for the loophole to take effect, we need someone in our squad not playing who we can sub onto the field and whack the C on. This leaves us in a precarious position. Do we forgo 30 green dots to potentially reap the maximum benefit from our VC loophole? We already know the squads for the Dees vs Dogs game tomorrow night – and fair to say there are some tasty VC options – think Macrae, Gawn, etc. Unfortunately, by the time they are locked out tomorrow night, we are none the wiser on most other teams selected sides for round 1. Therefore, it is difficult to know if 30 green dots is a feasible scenario to begin our 2022 campaign.

There will be coaches out there who will straight whack the C on someone like Macrae/Gawn. I’m in the boat of running with a VC option and then wait and see. If they can produce something out of this world (say 160+) then I may consider including a non-playing player to make the loophole happen. In any case, make sure you have select a number of players who are captaincy material!

I know what you may be thinking – why are we considering the loophole when we want 30 green dots to start the season? In reality, unfortunately it will probably only take 1-3 rounds before one of your rookies is injured/dropped. This is where you may be able to cash in with the loophole if you choose not to trade.

So there you have it folks! Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Any great success stories (or total bloopers!) with the VC loophole?

Cheers legends,

Fantasy Fanatic #70


One thought on “Vice-Captain Loophole: A Quick Guide

  1. Pingback: AFL Fantasy Round 1 Ready: Captains, Rookie Radar and Final Thoughts | Fantasy Fanatic

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