Debut game fantasy averages: smalls beat talls

I’ve been assuming for the purposes of the Fanplanner feature on FanFooty that draftees and rookies playing their first game of senior AFL football are going to score 50 fantasy points… let’s look at some historical data to see if that’s true.

I’ve had a look through the historical data on FanFooty for statistics from the first home & away game of all currently listed AFL players. I’ve grouped these numbers based on the Champion Data player types – those who bought the AFL Prospectus this year will know what I’m talking about, as Champion classifies each player according to their position (Defender, Midfielder, Forward, Ruck, Utility), size (Small, Medium, Tall) and role (In or Out for midfielders, General or Key for forwards and backs). Here’s the list, sorted by average:

Champion Player Type DT Score # of Players Average
Fwd-Med-Key 214 4 53.5
Utility-Med 788 15 52.5
Fwd-Small-Gen 1207 24 50.3
Def-Med-Key 194 4 48.5
Def-Small-Gen 282 6 47.0
Mid-Med-In 4131 89 46.4
Mid-Tall-Out 228 5 45.6
Mid-Small-In 957 21 45.6
Mid-Small-Out 661 15 44.1
Def-Med-Gen 2214 54 41.0
Mid-Med-Out 1847 48 38.5
Def-Tall-Gen 727 19 38.3
Utility-Tall 1292 34 38.0
Fwd-Med-Gen 1360 36 37.8
Fwd-Tall-Key 1862 50 37.2
Mid-Tall-In 322 9 35.8
Ruckman-Tall 1528 46 33.2
Utility-Small 65 2 32.5
Fwd-Tall-Gen 128 4 32.0
Def-Tall-Key 1413 49 28.8

Now you know why Chris Yarran is most popular bench forward and Steele Sidebottom is at the top of midfield benches in the Fanplanner. Small players fare up to 20 points better than talls at the same position in their first game.

Okay, so those beanpoles might get a little more wobbly in their debut among the big boys, but is that just opening night nerves? Let’s extend the numbers out to the first three games of all listed players.

Champion Player Type DT Score # of Players Average
Fwd-Med-Key 669 12 55.8
Fwd-Small-Gen 3634 70 51.9
Mid-Small-In 3028 60 50.5
Utility-Med 2137 44 48.6
Def-Small-Gen 854 18 47.4
Mid-Tall-Out 704 15 46.9
Mid-Small-Out 2091 45 46.5
Mid-Med-In 11971 261 45.9
Def-Med-Gen 7065 162 43.6
Fwd-Med-Gen 4347 104 41.8
Mid-Med-Out 5593 136 41.1
Fwd-Tall-Key 5961 146 40.8
Mid-Tall-In 1052 26 40.5
Def-Tall-Gen 2275 57 39.9
Utility-Tall 3848 98 39.3
Fwd-Tall-Gen 468 12 39.0
Ruckman-Tall 4870 133 36.6
Def-Med-Key 438 12 36.5
Def-Tall-Key 5001 146 34.3
Utility-Small 199 6 33.2

The numbers bunch up as you’d expect, particularly at the bottom end of the scale where tall players start to find their feet.

For you Super Coach freaks out there, here’s the same table with SC numbers. I only have figures back from 2004 onwards, but there’s still a sizeable set of numbers to crunch. There’s a significantly different mix:

Champion Player Type SC Score # of Players Average
Mid-Small-Out 70 1 70.0
Utility-Tall 1106 18 61.4
Utility-Med 591 10 59.1
Mid-Small-In 761 13 58.5
Mid-Tall-Out 219 4 54.8
Def-Med-Key 51 1 51.0
Def-Med-Gen 1258 25 50.3
Fwd-Med-Key 151 3 50.3
Mid-Med-In 2351 47 50.0
Def-Tall-Gen 593 12 49.4
Def-Small-Gen 142 3 47.3
Fwd-Med-Gen 878 19 46.2
Mid-Med-Out 991 22 45.0
Fwd-Small-Gen 660 16 41.3
Fwd-Tall-Key 1189 29 41.0
Fwd-Tall-Gen 81 2 40.5
Def-Tall-Key 972 26 37.4
Ruckman-Tall 838 25 33.5
Mid-Tall-In 79 3 26.3

Forwards of all sizes and roles are almost all in the bottom half, which is big difference with the DT list. Tall defenders are still down towards the bottom but they’re startable in a pinch, as Nathan J. Brown and Harry Taylor were this year during the troubles. Small outside midfielders in particular are highly startable – this list includes Brent Harvey, Chance Bateman, Luke Power and Tarkyn Lockyer. The four medium key defenders in that list are Joel Bowden, Antoni Grover, Leo Barry and Josh Head.

For the sake of completion, here’s the three-game table for Super Coach:

Champion Player Type SC Score # of Players Average
Def-Med-Key 181 3 60.3
Fwd-Med-Key 532 9 59.1
Mid-Small-In 2120 36 58.9
Fwd-Tall-Gen 349 6 58.2
Utility-Med 1628 29 56.1
Def-Tall-Gen 1980 36 55.0
Mid-Tall-Out 641 12 53.4
Fwd-Med-Gen 2831 53 53.4
Mid-Small-Out 160 3 53.3
Utility-Tall 2610 51 51.2
Mid-Med-In 7104 139 51.1
Fwd-Small-Gen 2344 46 51.0
Def-Med-Gen 4169 82 50.8
Mid-Med-Out 2749 58 47.4
Fwd-Tall-Key 3722 84 44.3
Def-Tall-Key 3482 79 44.1
Def-Small-Gen 389 9 43.2
Mid-Tall-In 313 8 39.1
Ruckman-Tall 2502 70 35.7

We won’t know the official Champion Data designations until the AFL Prospectus comes out, which should be late January based on this year’s release schedule. They will prove to be an interesting read, especially for how utilities such as Sidebottom are classified. Another ream of data to throw in the pile for your pre-season reading!

5 Comments

Facebook