Taking a look back at the 2019 AFL Fantasy season for the overall Top 10 can provide important information for those seeking an elite finish in 2020, aside from injuries there are certain decisions along the way in any season that will no doubt define where you finish.
Jeppa & Pete discuss these topics plus more on Episode 1 of the @PlusSixPodcast
Here is a breakdown for the 2019 overall winner (Craig) followed up by some key numbers from the Top 10 (below):
2019 Overall Winner
A fair few things need to go right in order to win the overall AFL Fantasy competition, being efficient at selecting captain is quite important.
Captain: Craig last season averaged 129.6pts at the captain position between Rounds 1-17, that average fell to 106.2pts between Rounds 18-23.
Season average: 123.5pts.
A score of 120pts or more was achieved in 52.2% of games.
Craig used the captain loophole option in 8 of 9 opportunities, it was declined in Round 1 for Richmond v Carlton with no genuine options to select (R1 Captain: Stephen Coniglio 161pts).
Only 1 of 8 opportunities was the loophole captain score locked in (R3 Captain: Patrick Dangerfield 132pts), in 7 other opportunities it was declined with an average score of 100.6pts. A high score of 122pts in Round 4 (Jake Lloyd) was declined to select Brodie Grundy (153pts) as captain.
A net result average of +26.7pts over 7 weeks of declined loophole captain opportunities was achieved (Total: 187pts).
Bench Cover: Initially the starting bench is required to generate revenue in order to upgrade to premium players over the course of the season, job security does wear thin once the season starts for quite a few rookies which can lead into a lack of bench cover.
As the end of the season approaches the requirement for cash generating players is not as important, quite often those rookies that are not playing at AFL level will sit idly on a bench not providing bench cover or generating revenue.
Having no cover when chasing an overall title would be absolutely scary, unfortunately the runner-up in 2019 ran into this issue in Round 21 when Dustin Martin was a late withdrawal not having midfield bench cover.
While it is important to have bench cover at all times decisions to prioritise a completed team with premium players & put as many points on-field as possible is required, post Bye period Craig was thin with bench cover.
Twice bench cover was required by Craig, Round 16 Travis Boak (FWD Oliver Hanrahan 74pts) & Round 21 Dustin Martin (FWD Oliver Hanrahan 51pts).
Bye Structure: Team depth over the 3 week Bye period is critical in order to drop off the lower scoring players, Craig averaged 20.0 players across the 2019 Bye period.
|POSITION||ROUND 12||ROUND 13||ROUND 14|
Key Decisions: Craig decided to start with the Brodie Grundy/ Todd Goldstein combo at Ruck, this created $130K in salary savings fading Max Gawn. Likely one of the most important decisions was to move to Reilly O’Brien (due to Sam Jacobs long term injury) from Goldstein at Round 3 instead of moving to Max Gawn, this created a further $400K (approx) savings in salary which was spent elsewhere.
Eventually Craig traded Gawn in at Round 14 (post Melbourne Bye), O’Brien averaged 91.9pts between Rounds 3-13 while Gawn averaged 118.4pts.
While not having Gawn between Rounds 3-13 was costing an average of 27pts per game, the equivalent of $530K in salary savings did equate to an average of 73pts per game (based of 2019 starting salary cap).
More importantly O’Brien scored 146pts in Round 13 with Gawn & Grundy both on a Bye, timing is everything as O’Brien was matched up against Mabior Chol in only his 2nd career game at the Ruck position in Round 13 (Ivan Soldo Illness DNP, Toby Nankervis Injured DNP).
By Round 8 Craig completed filling his midfield with premium players, Sam Walsh was traded out as the last on-field rookie in the midfield at this time. Walsh averaged 88.2pts between Rounds 8-13 (pre-Carlton Bye).
Over the 3 week Bye period (Rounds 12-14) there was a reduction to 7 premium MID’s.
At Round 13 the FWD position was full of premium players, the team was completed with 6 premium DEF’s at Round 19.
Tom Rockliff was part of the team for the majority of the season, importantly Craig traded Rocky back in at Round 16 & selected him as captain for a score of 150pts.
The final Round decision to trade in Jeremy Cameron for Round 23 was the ultimate decider, Cameron was chasing a Coleman Medal in an optimal match-up against Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium.
Cameron kicked 9 Goals for a score of 154pts.
Craig’s 2019 Round 1 Team
2019 Overall Top 10
Defenders: An average of 1.5 Premium players were selected at Round 1, all teams started with Jake Lloyd ($738K) & 5 teams started with Lachie Whitfield ($726K).
Whitfield averaged 126.4pts Rounds 1-6 before being injured in Round 7.
An average of 2.8 Mid-price players were selected at Round 1, all teams started with Brodie Smith ($439K) & Zac Williams ($421K).
An average of 3.7 Rookies were selected at Round 1.
Midfielders: An average of 4.0 Premium players were selected at Round 1.
An average of 2.3 Mid-price players were selected at Round 1, Brad Crouch ($524K) was selected in all teams.
An average of 4.0 Rookies were selected at Round 1, all teams started with Sam Walsh ($270K).
Rucks: An average of 1.9 Premium players were selected at Round 1, 3 of 10 teams started with the Grundy ($871K)/Gawn ($808K) combo. The most popular Ruck combo was Grundy/Goldstein ($678K), 5 teams opted for $130K in salary saving starting that combo.
Brodie Grundy was selected at Round 1 by all teams.
At Round 4 a total of 7 teams were holding the Grundy/Gawn combo, 3 of the Top 6 teams did not trade Gawn in until Round 14 (post Melbourne R13 Bye).
Forwards: An average of 2.7 Premium players were selected at Round 1, all teams started with Patrick Dangerfield ($771K). Only 2 teams selected Travis Boak ($633K).
An average of 1.0 Mid-price players were selected at Round 1, 8 teams started with James Worpel ($480K).
An average of 4.3 Rookie players were selected at Round 1, all teams started Will Setterfield ($251K).
*Starting Salary Classification: Premium $600K+, Mid-price $300-$599K, Rookie $170-$299K
Spare Salary: The Top 10 left an average of $20.5K on the table at Round 1, the lowest was $1K & the highest was $73K. Craig had $13K spare at Round 1.
Byes: The Top 10 averaged 2007.5pts over the bye period, the Top 2 teams averaged 2050.8pts.
Article by @aflratingsPete
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