I’ve already launched this on the latest edition of the Coaches Box podcast yesterday, but I should let readers of the FanFooty blog know about it as well.
Each AFL player is classified by Champion Data (official stat providers to the AFL) in the 2008 AFL Prospectus according to their position, their size and their role. For instance, Brett Burton is a medium-sized general forward, which means his classification is Fwd-Med-Gen. Similarly, Sam Mitchell is a small inside midfielder, giving him the designation of Mid-Small-In, and Sam Fisher is a tall key-position defender, meaning he has the code of Def-Tall-Key.
The Breakdown – there is a Dream Team Breakdown and a Super Coach Breakdown – is a table that lists the averages of each Champion Data player type against each AFL team in 2008, along with how many players have played against that team of that designation, with links to drill down on each score from each player against each opponent. The cells in the table are colour-coded according to their ranking: the lowest team average is coloured red, the second- to fourth-lowest are light red, the second- to fourth-highest are light green and the highest is solid green.
Those who are long-time listeners of the Coaches Box know that this kind of table made its public debut on the Round 22 episode last year, when we had Statsman74 on the show. Among the numerous spreadsheet screenshots he shared with us were two labeled DT scores by player positions and types – Part 1 and DT scores by player positions and types – Part 2, which are pretty much what you see in the Breakdown. Unlike those spreadsheets, however, the Breakdown includes links to the full list of players of each position who have already played against that opponent in 2008, as well as a list of this week’s relevant players.
The Breakdown is a powerful tool for helping to pick captains and figuring out which players are worth selling due to their rollercoaster coming to an end… or not. For instance, Dean Cox traditionally has a day out against the Swans, but even he struggled in the reverse fixture earlier in the year, and no ruckman has scored over 86 against Sydney all year so it might be time to take the captain’s armband off him this week. As we said in the podcast, it’s also an indicator that this week is not the time to sell Cyril Rioli because small forwards tend to carve up the Dons. It should also prove useful for those participating in the Lethal League or Premium DT competitions who are looking to pick up new players for a week or two of service: Michael Gardiner against the Bulldogs has a great matchup, as do small Kangaroo defenders like Gavin Urquhart and Ed Lower.