Community, how good was it to have a full complement of players to choose from again.
For the most part scores across the leagues looked pretty good, with most of us now close to full premium. If you’re not quite there yet, then hopefully another “Tight Arse Tuesday” can help you finish those teams off.
Current Price $334,000
Priced to Average 66
What a difference a week can make when it comes to who’s hot and who’s not. Last week the words “Taylor Walker” brought vomit erupting from many readers’ months, and shear disbelief that I dare suggest that he was a valid selection option. A week later and he has now become round 12’s second most traded in player.
Last week I stated that although he hasn’t set the world on fire in his two return games to date he has still shown me enough to suggest he can get back to those 2012 levels again. He collected 17 disposals and 7 marks with 4 behinds in his first match back and 13 disposals, 5 marks and one goal one in his second match. You would have to expect that he would be a little sluggish on his comeback, remembering that he only played 5 games since the final series in 2012. The fact that he seems up and about, collecting possessions and marking the ball is very encouraging and I’m backing that the goals will come in time. When they do, you can expect some big scores form Taylor.
On the weekend the goals did come and so did the big score of 146. Now before we go getting too carried away, this isn’t going to happen every week and mark my word there will be games where he doesn’t hit the score board and we will see those sub 70 scores again. If you didn’t pick him up last week you have missed one of his massive scores and thus if my predicted average of 96-100pts is to run true from last week, that would mean he will average 92-96pts from this week on. Still not too bad for a 334k player, considering there aren’t too many forwards in that bracket as we speak.
The Mad Irishman’s Verdict
2014 Predicted Status: Strong Midpricer/Premium
Predicted Average from here on out: 92-96pts
If I was looking to bring in a Key Position forward this week then why not pick the guy who will cost you the least and most likely provide you with similar or better than all the other Key Position forwards. Look is he going to have a few terrible scores? Sure, but we should all know that anyway. ALL KEY POSITION FORWARDS DO. The bonus with Tex is you won’t be forking out heaps of cash and watching it disappear like you would have done if you picked Riewoldt, Franklin, Roughead, Petrie, Cloke, Pavlich, or Kennedy at the start of the year. If you have a full forward line then I would suggest you make two trades this week and bring both Tex and a non playing rookie in, and loophole Tex for the rest of the year, ensuring you only get his big scores and I’m confident that there will be some more to come.
Average to date 84.1
Current Price $443,400
Priced to Average 85
Now most of you probably know that Franklin didn’t have the greatest start to the season. I know many of you reading this have found this out the hard way. I also know that many of you who had picked him up from the start of the year have since given him the flick, and the thought that he has all of a sudden become a valid selection sickens you to the core. But is Franklin really a valid selection? I think it’s time that we go on a journey into the world of stats and see what is really happening with one Lance Franklin.
We all know what Franklin is capable of, as he has produced the goods in the past. The table below shows Franklin’s SC performances over the years.
Of course we all know he had a pretty ordinary season in 2013. Many went into this year assuming that 2013 was a dip in form most likely caused by a contribution of factors, namely:
Contract Distractions – It is a very real thing and the stats would back this up.The greatest evidence that he wasn’t 100% in the game was the drop in his tackle numbers. It is one thing to have a drop off in disposals and you can make excuses for that, like the Hawks game plan changing slightly by not going to Franklin as much. However one stat you can’t make an excuse for is the tackle count. Amazingly this dropped by 1.2 tackles a game in 2013 compared to 2012 and that just proved to me that Franklin’s intensity and desire wasn’t all there in 2013, and why would it be? If you didn’t know where you would be working in 6 months’ time do you think you’d be giving 100% at your current workplace, knowing rival firms wanted to snap you up on a far more attractive salary? Have a think about that one.
Hawthorn Preparing for Life After Buddy–It would have been naive to think that Alistair Clarkson wasn’t preparing for the worst case scenario of Franklin leaving. Even if it was only a second thought to the main focus of winning the flag, it was still there and there is evidence to suggest the game plan had been tweaked when it came to how and who the Hawks went inside 50 to. Jarryd Roughead stats between 2013 and 2012 didn’t actually change all that much apart from two key indicators. While his marks per game where roughly the same in both years at 4.5 and 4.6 marks a game respectively, his marks inside 50 increased by 1.1 per game from 1.8 to 2.9 per game. We also see a direct correlation between the increase of marks inside 50 and the Coleman winning year of 2.9 goals a game, an increase of 1.1 per game on his 2012 season. So while Franklin’s marks inside 50 went down 1.6 per game Roughead’s went up by 1.1 per game. Get from that what you want but I think it is fair to say the Hawks where preparing for life after Buddy.
So for all those who picked Franklin at the start of the season it wasn’t the worst assumption that as he moved on, he’d be back to being the main focus of attack for his knew club and he would be back to his 110+ SC average ways once more. Add to that he was at a perceived bargain price at the start of the year; it’s not surprising that so many jumped on.
On the other hand if any of you had read my preseason article on Franklin you might not have been in such a big hurry to bring him in. In that article I did a comparison of his old club, the Hawks and his new club, the Swans. In 2013 both played a completely different brand of football and the assumption that you could lift one player from one club and plonk him straight into the other and that his output would remain the same was a very dangerous assumption to make. These were the difference between the clubs in 2013.
A comparison of both sides on some key indicators revealed that:
- On the contested possessions, Sydney ranked first in the competition with an average of 155.2 per game. Over 6 more per game than the next best in the competition and 13 more than the Hawks who were ranked 8th.
- The Swans also ranked number one in the competition in the clearance department, with 42.1 per game. This is 3.8 more than the Hawks who with 38.3 a game are ranked 6th in the competition.
- The Swans also ranked number one in the competition for tackles per game with 71.1 per game, compared to the Hawks who are ranked 8th with 64.5 per game.
- On the flip side the Hawks are number 2 in the competition when it comes to effective disposal efficiency with only North Melbourne with a better percentage. This compares to Sydney, who languish in 15th spot when it comes to disposal efficiency.
- The Hawks were also the best ball users when it comes to clangers. They had the fewest clangers of any other team last season, whereas the Swans ranked 6th for the average number of clangers per game.
As you can see from the breakdown of the stats in the above table, the Swan’s were more of a contested footy team. They tried to dominate in the middle, with high contested footy where winning the ball in close is paramount. The focus wasn’t on the run and carry but just getting the ball forward and if it wasn’t clean ball they would go about winning the contested footy at the next break down up the ground. The Hawks on the other hand were a possession based side that relied on quality ball use. They were more patient in their build up and kicked and marked the ball a lot more. The emphasis was not about getting the ball forward quickly but instead finding a target with the ball first and foremost.
While at the Hawks Franklin got 56.4% of his possessions uncontested over his last three years he was there, where he led up the ground to collect quality ball from the elite kicks of his Hawthorne team mates. I figured this was not going to be the case at the Swans and unless he learned how to win more contested ball I didn’t foresee Franklin averaging the 18+ disposals a game like he produced in 2011 and 2012.
Likewise I assumed the quality of ball coming inside 50 will be a lot different than what he was used to at the Hawks. The under pressure rushed kicks coming in from a contested breakdown would be a far cry from the slower more patient build ups from the Hawks. Franklin has never been renowned for his overhead marks,and I somehow doubted if that part of his game is going to change under new coaching at the Swans. I couldn’t imagine him taking a specky over a pack from a wobbly Dan Hannebery clearance.
The one stat I did see improving on last year was his tackle count as Sydney are just ferocious in this category and it won’t take Franklin long to join in. I wouldn’t be surprised if he improved on his average of 3.7 a game in 2012 and push close to the 4 a game total in 2014.
However I drew to a conclusion that this was the only stat I could see Franklin improving on from his best Supercoach year of 2012 and hence why I didn’t think we would be seeing his average sore back up to the 110+ that he produced that year. It was for those reasons I didn’t pick up Franklin at the start of the year. Now don’t get me wrong I decided to pick up a few other spuds, but that’s another story altogether, isn’t that right Mr. Roughead!
So after 12 rounds and Franklin’s current average of 84.1 you would have to say that analysis seems to be adding up, or does it? I’m afraid for all those who gave Franklin the boot; something has changed down at the Swans in 2014. If we look at a comparison of their stats from this year and last in isolation first:
We can see that Sydney have improved on their disposals numbers, but what I find significant is that their contested ball is down slightly and their uncontested ball has gone up considerably by 27.6 per game. Add to this that their clanger numbers are down and their disposal efficiency has gone up, all pointing to the fact that Sydney have now combined that contested style of footy with a bit of outside class. It is no surprise that the likes of Parker, Bird, McVeigh, Malceskihave been prominent scorers this year, especially of late.
The scary thing is that these stats analyse the year as a hole, and it has really only been the last 5 games that have seen Sydney start putting it all together.
As you can see over the last five games in 2014 Sydney have been running at 75.85% disposal efficiency. Only Essendon can claim to have better disposal efficiency. Their clanger numbers over the last five are also very impressive, with only Adelaide averaging fewer clangers per game. This is all the more impressive considering that Sydney have been averaging 416 disposals a game, which ranks them first in the competition for disposals, ahead of Franklin’s old team the Hawks.
So what does this all mean I hear you ask? Well if the reasons I listed above for not selecting Franklin at the start of the year are no longer true then surely Franklin now becomes a very relative option once more.
Sydney has added an element of outside class to their game plan over the last 5 weeks, to add to arguably the best contested game in the competition. Sydney games have all of a sudden become a pleasure to watch and with the increased quality ball use it has afforded Franklin with much better service. In the last three games Franklin has played since he came back from a minor knee injury he suffered in round 6 against Melbourne, he has had 21, 18 and 23 disposals, 10, 8 and 6 marks and 2, 5 and 4 goals. In his best supercoach year of 2012 he averaged 18.4 disposals, 5.8 marks and 3.6 goals a game. In his last three he is bettering all those stats.
Of course something else of significance has happened since he has come back from that knee injury, and that is the return of his fellow big money signing teammate, Kurt Tippet. Tippet came back in the side the same week Franklin returned against the Hawks and has changed the entire complexion of the Swan’s setup and Franklin’s role.
Having Tippet as the full forward has allowed Franklin to push up the ground more and collect more disposals. Since Tippet’s return Franklin has collected 7.33 more disposals a game. It also means that he is no longer been double teamed when the Swans go to him inside the forward 50, as the oppositions players just can’t afford to come off Tippet.
So much can happen is such a short space of time in this game. When news broke the Franklin was involved in a car accident only 6 weeks ago, with the Swans then 2 and 3 on the ladder, I couldn’t have envisioned myself writing about how amazing the Swans are playing and how Franklin looks back to his 2012 best, yet here we are. I never like to get too caught up in media driven hype but you can’t deny how amazing the Swan’s stats from the last five games are. Now you can say that they are currently going through a purple patch and they are likely to fall off again this year, or you can go down the line of thought that they are just hitting their straps right now, as they are building towards finals and an assault on another premiership flag. If you are in the latter group, which I am, then I don’t see anything stopping Franklin from getting back to his 2012 Hawthorn form for the rest of this season.
The Mad Irishman’s Verdict
2014 Predicted Status: Premium
Predicted Average from here on out: 99-103pts
I know I don’t have to say this anymore but yes he too will have a few terrible scores from here on out. ALL KEY POSITION FORWARDS DO. However if he is going to be averaging 18 disposals a game he will only need to hit the scoreboard a couple of times for him to tonne up. Then there will be games where he kicks a bag and watch him bang out big 130+ games. The fact that he is playing with his confidence again, and taking marks I didn’t think he was capable of doing, is telling me a really big score isn’t that far away.
What do you think community, is Lance Buddy Franklin back to his best? Can you see him having premium output for the rest of the year, or have I truly gone mad? Will you be bring him in to your team this week? Leave a comment below or hit me up on twitter @Da_Mad_Irishman
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