Hello again community. I think for the most of us our teams outputs were down on the first three rounds. For me personally I had my worst week of season to date with my first sub 2200 score and – well – I only have myself to blame.
In last week’s article I talked about the “Strategic Doughnut” and after thinking long and hard about it I reversed my trades before lockout and chose not to bring in a “Strategic Doughnut” in my midfield. Of course we all know what happened next, O’Meara goes and gets 100 points and is stuck on my bench, while I look on in horror as Viney SPUDS it up on Sunday afternoon to come out with a terrifyingly low score of 9. Another 91 points I have missed out on. If I could offer you one piece of advice from all this: ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELING. Even if your gut feeling turns out to be wrong, it’s a better feeling having gone for it and failed than by letting it go and watching it succeed.
So what is my gut feeling for this week? Well after being up and about on the forums I have noticed a lot of trade talk regarding two of the best performing players of round four. And – well – I thought I’d ask the question: Are we getting “Sucked In”? One of the biggest mistakes we make as coaches (and I have touched on this in previous articles) is chasing last week’s points. We get drawn to the big scores of the players we don’t have in our teams. We feel we are missing out and we get sucked into thinking we must jump on before we miss out on any more scores like the ones we have missed. However – there is the big question we don’t ask ourselves in this decision process; will there be any more scores like this? I’ll go through that thought process now, starting with the player of the round, Travis Cloke.
Round 4 Score 195
Current Price $515,900
Priced to Average 96
Travis had a field day against Richmond on the weekend; helped in a small part to Alex Rance having arguably his worst day in the yellow and black. Easy to say this now but I think if Hardwick could go back he would have moved Chaplin onto him at halftime.
However credit where credit is due. Cloke was awesome, booting his highest ever goal tally of 7 along with 20 possessions of which 12 were contested, 14 marks of which 7 were contested and had two score assists for a whopping 195 Supercoach points.
When you read those stats out it is easy to see how he scored so high but the question begs: is this something we can expect to see again? We all know Cloke was clearly affected by the ongoing contract distraction of last year so for that purpose I am going to ignore his stats from last season and only focus on the stats from the previous two years to draw comparison:
Stats for Season
Round 4 2013
|Kicks Per Game||11.1||12.6||17|
|Handballs Per Game||4.2||3.0||3|
|Disposals Per Game||15.2||15.6||20|
|Marks Per Game||7.1||7.7||14|
|Contested Marks Per Game||2.8||3.8||7|
|Goals Per Game||1.6||2.8||7|
|Behinds Per Game||1.7||1.9||2|
|Tackles Per Game||2.3||2.8||2|
|Contested Possessions Per Game||7.5||8.2||14|
|Uncontested Possessions Per Game||8.0||7.5||8|
|Effective Disposals % Per Game||64.5%||63.5%||85%|
|Clangers Per Game||1.9||2.8||3|
So as you can see every key Supercoach scoring parameter was well up on his average from his best two Supercoach years of 2010 and 2011. What this tells me is that round 4 is more of an exception rather than a rule. With this massive score pushing up Cloke’s average to 124.8 it could be very easy to get sucked into thinking that Cloke is great value for money at present and could continue to average those numbers for the rest of the year.
I think this is extremely unlikely and from this point the absolute best I can see Cloke averaging from rounds 5 through to 23 is 105 points per game. So for those that are thinking of bringing him in this week you must be aware that you have missed his biggest score of the year and that his current average is very much inflated.
However in saying all that, Cloke is currently priced at $515,900, which based on the start of the year value system is priced to average 96 points per game. If you do think that he will average more than this from now on then there is a strong argument to get him in now.
Mick’s Gut Feeling
His top average is 97.7 points in 2011 which included a 6 goals 4 behinds and 154 supercaoch game, which tells me he has scored big in the past and still averaged modestly. Even if he improves his average this year to something like 105 points per game by seasons end, this will mean that he will only average 100.6 per game from here on out. I even think this might be pushing it and I won’t be jumping on.
Round 4 Score 152
Current Price $563,400
Priced to Average 105
Birchall is a different prospect to Travis Cloke because even though round four provided his biggest score for the year he has also consistently scored big every round so far with 122, 126, 110 and 152. For this reason I have compared Birchall’s stats for this year so far with his averages over the last three seasons.
Stats for Season
2013 so far
|Kicks Per Game||11.0||14.3||13.7||21|
|Handballs Per Game||8.6||9.4||9.4||10.2|
|Disposals Per Game||19.6||23.8||23.1||31.2|
|Marks Per Game||5.4||7.2||5.9||7.2|
|Contested Marks Per Game||0.2||0.4||0.4||0.8|
|Goals Per Game||0.2||0.1||0.4||1|
|Behinds Per Game||0.2||0.3||0.2||0.4|
|Tackles Per Game||2.8||1.6||1.6||2.2|
|Contested Possessions Per Game||4.9||5.8||6.4||6|
|Uncontested Possessions Per Game||14.4||17.5||16.4||23.5|
|Effective Disposals % Per Game||80.1%||81.1%||84.4%||83.3%|
|Clangers Per Game||1.9||1.7||1.4||1.8|
Two stats jump out at me from this comparison. So far this season Birchall has simply being getting more of the ball and he has managed to hit the scoreboard. He has averaged over 8 more disposals per game and because he has always been so efficient with his disposal, this equates to a substantial increase in Supercoach points. The fact that he is also scoring goals, where in previous seasons you were more likely to see a Melbourne victory than a Birchall goal (sorry dees fans), is also helping his improved output.
I think the reason is clear why Birchall is getting more of the ball this season. The injury to Suckling in the preseason has meant that instead of sharing the rebounding roll with Suckling he has now become the Hawks main avenue out of defence. I was very much aware of this dynamic when selecting my side and yet I still chose not to put him in my side. Why? Well it has baffled me to date and especially against the defensive minded Ross Lyon’s Fremantle last weekend, why the first thing you would do every week is put a hard forward tag on Birchall? Limit Birchalls influence on the game and you will severely limit the Hawks ability to rebound. I am no AFL coach but surely this must be something that the likes of North’s, Adelaide’s and Sydney’s coaches will be looking at on current form, if it’s not something that should already have been obvious.
Birchall reminds me a little like what happened with Jed Adcock in 2011. Brisbane had a run of injuries and Adcock was pushed into the middle at the start of the year. After starting the year with scores of 71, 111, 143, 127 and 100, I got sucked in. I brought him in in round 6 where he would go on to average 83.8 for the rest of the season as he started to pick up a tag when running through the middle.
Birchall will most definitely be in the top 6 averaging defenders for the year as he currently is the top defender averaging 127.5 points per game. I think this is extremely unlikely that Birchall will continue to average anywhere near those sort of numbers for the rest of the year and from this point the absolute best I can see Birchall averaging from rounds 5 through to 23 is 100 points per game.
For those who currently own him you should be extremely happy that you have picked up his huge scores to date but for those that are thinking of bringing him in this week you must be aware that you have missed four of his biggest scores and that his current average is very much inflated.
Birchall is currently priced at $563,400, which based on the start of the year value system is priced to average 105 AFL Supercoach points per game. I can’t say with any great confidence that he will average that from now until the end of the season and even though his breakeven is reasonably low I believe he is currently overpriced.
Mick’s Gut Feeling
The tag is coming. Very interested to see how his disposal numbers will be affected by Brain Lake coming into the team. At his current price there are enough doubts to keep me away. Am sure he will have low scores like the 68, 71, 75, 66 and 55 he had last season and once a few of them run through his rolling average I will consider bringing him in at a lower price. Anything over 500k is too pricey for a defender at this stage of the year. If you want a defender for this round Hartlett is your man. Over 70k cheaper and more likely to average more than Birchall from this point on.
I would love to be able to go through a few more players that are currently out performing their previous bests and have climbed up into the Super Elite bracket after 4 rounds, however I am off to NZ tomorrow (Wednesday) to watch Jock’s beloved Saints take on Sydney on Thursday, so it’s an early night for me. If you would like a second option on the likes of Cornes, Westhoff, McEvoy, Boak, Minson or any other high performing player if you fear you may be getting “Sucked In” just leave me a message in the comments and I’ll do my best to get back to you.
Now community those are just my gut feeling (based on solid statistical information of course), and if I have ever learned one thing from this last week in this wonderful game, is to back yourself in and stick with your gut feeling. So if any of you have a different gut feeling on either Cloke or Birchall, go with it.
Stay tuned ….
Mick the Mad Irishman
Mad as a cut snake – but one of the most developed Fantasy Football brains in Australia. Click here for more from the Mad Irishman