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WAFL statistics for 2008 AFL draftees

One of the hidden tasks that hardcore fantasy coaches perform as an offseason ritual is to pore over statistics from prior seasons by newly drafted AFL players from back when they were playing in feeder competitions. Given the preponderance of players drafted from the Western Australian Football League to the AFL in recent drafts, it could be highly fruitful to sift through the numbers to look for next year’s bolters.

The WAFL site has all of the numbers from 2008 back to 2006, while it lists games from 2005 but not statistics. That means that stats for Taylor’s 10 games in 2005, Armfield’s one game in 2005 and Ballantyne’s five games in 2005 were not available. The only hole in their numbers is tackles, but I think it’s safe to use the tackle-less Dream Team scores as a rough guide to the sort of fantasy player they’ll end up becoming. As a guide, let’s look at the WAFL histories of the 2007 draftees, sorted by draft pick order with previous years included.

Player Year WAFL club Gm K H M Gl B HO FF FA DT
Chris Masten 2007 East Fremantle 15 122 89 38 9 8 0 11 16 45.5
Cale Morton 2007 Claremont 1 7 4 5 3 0 0 2 1 61.0
David Myers 2007 Perth 6 87 51 27 4 1 1 4 6 76.0
Rhys Palmer 2007 East Fremantle 14 139 112 47 14 8 1 16 10 61.5
Harry Taylor 2007 East Fremantle 20 343 89 135 11 9 35 18 12 85.2
Harry Taylor 2006 East Fremantle 19 203 70 94 19 10 91 18 8 65.3
Alex Rance 2007 Swan Districts 1 11 11 8 0 0 0 2 4 69.0
Steven Browne 2007 West Perth 6 66 39 27 0 1 0 6 6 57.7
Chris Mayne 2007 Perth 8 67 48 56 7 2 1 11 2 64.4
Dennis Armfield 2007 Swan Districts 20 255 111 72 12 8 1 14 19 62.1
Dennis Armfield 2006 Swan Districts 12 109 62 37 8 9 0 5 15 48.3
Bradd Dalziell 2007 East Fremantle 4 59 49 33 2 3 0 6 2 97.3
Bradd Dalziell 2006 East Fremantle 7 48 45 21 2 0 0 10 5 43.4

There’s one set of numbers that really jumps out at you, of course, and that’s Dalziell. An average that high, even on a small number of games, has to get the tongue wagging in every fantasy coach, and it certainly played out that way when he finally made it to the big time. Taylor’s numbers look great for a backman, with the clue that he did kick half a goal per game suggesting that his role was a little different to the strictly defensive one he ended up playing at the Cats this year. Similarly, Armfield’s numbers looked fabulous based on a solid couple of years of WAFL play, but his year tells us that it’s not always a guarantee to transfer straight from full WAFL seasons to locked-in AFL first 22.

Okay, so what about the class of 2008? Let’s see.

Player Year WAFL club Gm K H M Gl B HO FF FA DT
Nick Naitanui 2008 Swan Districts 17 83 120 36 11 3 279 20 32 51.1
Stephen Hill 2008 West Perth 8 52 44 18 1 1 1 7 6 36.9
Chris Yarran 2008 Swan Districts 13 131 48 39 39 21 0 11 19 62.7
Daniel Rich 2008 Subiaco 16 149 89 49 19 14 2 12 16 54.1
Daniel Rich 2007 Subiaco 5 46 21 19 8 2 0 4 5 55.2
Hayden Ballantyne 2008 Peel Thunder 20 244 73 103 75 41 0 39 25 82.1
Hayden Ballantyne 2007 Peel Thunder 18 203 77 59 28 28 1 28 23 60.9
Hayden Ballantyne 2006 Peel Thunder 16 150 97 63 18 18 0 25 13 59.1
Todd Banfield 2008 Swan Districts 7 50 35 20 4 4 0 6 2 44.0
Liam Anthony 2008 East Fremantle 19 301 188 123 23 13 2 21 9 94.5
Liam Anthony 2007 East Fremantle 8 68 41 23 1 2 0 4 9 42.5
Liam Anthony 2006 East Fremantle 15 160 72 74 10 12 3 8 11 59.7
Neville Jetta 2008 Swan Districts 2 10 7 4 0 3 0 2 2 27.5
Michael Walters 2008 Swan Districts 2 10 3 2 2 3 0 1 0 29.0
Warren Benjamin 2008 Claremont 2 2 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 7.0

Hey, we’ve got another potential East Fremantle breakout kid! Anthony has the same 90+ average this year, coming off two previous years of apprenticeship. The only problem is that he’s playing for the Kangaroos… or not playing, as the case may be. Then again, the Lions were looking like a pretty sickly midfield unit, especially for fantasy, before Dalziell came along this year. This is the strongest evidence yet that Liam Anthony should merit serious consideration, especially if the buzz around a round 1 guernsey starts to build.

Elsewhere, it’s perhaps a little worrying that Ballantyne can only average 82 in Dream Team while kicking 75 goals for Peel, but if he can get anywhere near that in 2009 then he’s a lock anyway. Hill’s numbers only confirm in my mind that he’s a project player who won’t burst onto the scene like Rhys Palmer did, and requires further weights work and WAFL time. Yarran and Naitanui are about where you’d expect from solid fantasy rookies, while Rich’s are slightly under where you would ideally want a 22-ready midfielder to be. Then again, Palmer himself only averaged 5 more in the WAFL in 2007, so maybe it’s not a huge worry.

It’s interesting to look at the free kick counts for certain players, particularly with a view to Super Coach. Taylor’s free ratio was very healthy in the WAFL, something which pointed to a nice SC type of game that proved to be lucrative in the big league. Ballantyne’s numbers in that area are also very pleasing. Naitanui’s ratio suggests a high clanger count with a Buddy-style big body causing all sorts of mayhem, meaning a poor SC scoring base, while Yarran’s propensity for giving away frees may very well limit his SC potential. Naitanui’s fondness for handball may also dent his long-term fantasy attractiveness.

Is a mid-50s average in DT for Rich high enough for you not to have a little doubt creep into your mind about his startability? Can Anthony shake off the Laidley Effect and break out like Dalziell did… perhaps a little earlier than Triple-D managed? Can you risk paying top dollar for Naitanui only to find he’s clumsier than Mr Magoo? Tell me in the comments.

12 Comments

  1. Chad

    December 10, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    awesome posting monty, glad the blog is rolling along. Gees Liam Anthony certainly looks tempting and possibly one to keep in the back of your mind mid year. But i really hate laidley with a passion.

  2. Chad

    December 10, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Interesting writeup and inspired me to do a little reasearch from the SANFL website (not sure how this will format, but out of the 5 games he played in the SANFL he averaged 69 DT points with a low of 45 and a peak of 96.

    Does anyone know why he only played 5 games?

    K M H FF FA G P HO T
    http://sanfl.com.au/files/_system/File/PDFs/stats/2008/round5/Round5_stats_WestvEagles.pdf
    HARTLETT 12 6 4 1 2 0 3 0 1
    DT = 64

    http://sanfl.com.au/files/_system/File/PDFs/stats/2008/round6/round_6_port_vs_west.pdf
    HARTLETT
    12 10 3 0 0 3 3 1 2
    DT = 96

    http://sanfl.com.au/files/_system/File/PDFs/stats/2008/round13/norwood_west_rd13.pdf
    HARTLETT
    12 6 1 0 0 2 0 0 1
    DT = 72

    http://sanfl.com.au/files/_system/File/PDFs/stats/2008/round15_west_glenelg.pdf
    HARTLETT 6 3 2 0 0 1 0 0 2
    DT = 45

    http://sanfl.com.au/files/_system/File/PDFs/stats/2008/round16_west_sturt.pdf
    HARTLETT 9 5 7 0 0 1 0 0 2
    DT = 70

  3. Pingback: FanFooty blog » Blog Archive » SANFL statistics for 2008 AFL draftees

  4. m0nty

    December 10, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Hey Chad, I was doing the same thing. ;D

  5. XztatiK

    December 10, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    I thought, Dalziell was playing for the EF reserves in 07, I guess not. Bad call, Commetti.

    Anthony looks interesting, still not put-off Rich.

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  7. Jono Hartley

    December 18, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Naitanui kicked 11 goals 3 behinds. That’s fairly accurate for a man of his size. Heaps better than Buddy anyway… :)

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  10. pnut

    February 26, 2009 at 11:50 am

    thanks for the great stats from the players from the national draft Monty.
    Is it possible to also release the stats of the players from the rookie draft, those in the WAFL, de boer, broughton, jeffrey garlett, wade thompson etc.

  11. Jackson

    March 9, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Yeah mate do u have the DT averages of Broughton, Deboer, Cockie…?

  12. Chunky

    March 11, 2009 at 12:28 am

    I went through the WAFL site myself and made the following calculations. Please note that these calculations DO NOT include tackles.

    Matthew De Boer (Claremont)
    2008 – DT Points 57.71 ave. (14 games)

    Greg Broughton (Subiaco)
    2006 – DT Points 67.27 ave. (22 games)
    2007 – DT Points 74.91 ave. (23 games)
    2008 – DT Points 68.09 ave. (22 games)

    Jefferey Garlett (Swan Districts)
    2008 – DT Points 51.8 ave. (20 games)

    Adam Cockie (Subiaco)
    2008 – DT Points 40.95 ave. (22 games)

    * Broughton stats appear consistent and I am considering him for my bench if (and it is a big if) he gets elevated from the rookie list. I’ve also heard good reports about De Boer.

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