Some may be surprised to learn that I am yet to sit down and seriously map out my 2012 Supercoach team. Of course I have been gathering information. Of course I am weighing up certain strategies. Of course I am trying to find the right Supercoach rookies. A few loose ends need to be considered before I begin in earnest.
One such consideration is “How will teams play in 2012?” Understanding how our game is changing enables you a greater chance of picking an effective squad.
As I alluded to in this weeks podcast, a coach must understand how the Supercoach 2012 Scoring system will change;
It is important to note that the following three scoring statistics have changed from 2011;
- Clanger Kicks in 2011 resulted in a 4 point deduction, this year it is -8 points
- Clanger Handballs in 2011 resulted in a 4 point deduction, this year it is -6 points
- Free Kick Against in 2011 resulted in a 4 point deduction, this year it is -6 point
These scoring rules will have a negative impact on all scores – of course, more so on those players who are poor with disposal and who tend to give away free kicks.
After analysing the top 50 Supercoach players for 2011 and sorting them based on Clangers Per Game, some interesting insights can be gained;
Players whose scoring output will be least affected by scoring changes;
Players whose scoring output will most likely be affected by point system changes;
So a big tick for the top 10, however, some serious questions need to be asked when considering a selection from the bottom 10.
While Thompson, Mitchell, Selwood and Boyd will raise a few eyebrows, Franklin is extremely interesting. I would expect him to be the first forward selected for most teams. The pre-season talk of midfield time and an even bigger engine … I think we can mount a fair case as to why you shouldn’t pick him.
Franklin will be most affected by the new point scoring system. Not only will clangers steal points from his output, but the Frees Against penalties will also prove costly. Over the past five seasons Franklin has consistently ranked in the top few players in terms of frees-against, averaging 2.26 frees-against per game – equating to a 2012 weekly point loss of 13.56.
Last year’s winner, Jay To, won because he didn’t select Goddard. Could Franklin be the Goddard of 2012?
Now for some game trend research …..
Of the three game basics – kicks, marks, handballs, interesting changes can be identified over the past decade.
Line A represents the first significant game shift. In 2005 the AFL introduced the “Chopping of Arms” free that resulted in a rise in marks. To balance this trend, in 2007 the AFL introduced the “hands in the back” rule which made key forwards less potent, defenders more so – marks and kicks decreased, handballs increased.
Line B represents the next big game shift. Flooding from Roos and Lyon started a trend in 2005 and 2006, which gave rise to zones, rolling zones and Clarko’s Cluster – all requiring quick “keepings off” handballing skills. In 2010, the game changed as more coaches adopted long kicking (greater than 50m) to break through these zones.
While Line A represents bad news for the forwards, Line B offers them some good news. Long kicking through zones means a return to the possibility of the forward being delivered a ball in a one-on-one competition.
How else has our game changed?
Tackles and Hitouts are increasing – supporting my thoughts that the most reliable Premium Locks can be found in the midfield and in the ruck.
Disposals may be on the slide. Is this a direct result of the AFL’s new sub rule? This may be a factor, however, again, it is more likely a result of the long kicking through zones. But what would happen if we went to a 2 – 2 sub rule? I think you could forecast this one.
Now, back to where I started on the Supercoach Point Scoring rules …. Who is the ideal player for your team?
Someone who kicks more than handballs, is effective in their disposal, doesn’t give away free kicks, tackles and can kick goals. While this may sound obvious, it is well worth interrogating each of your squad members based on these five key point scoring factors.
There is no doubt that Fantasy Football has turned punters into serious football analysts. We are now closely looking at players from clubs we don’t support and looking at how teams “structure up”, it makes every team and every game infinitely more interesting. Fantasy Footy allows footy tragics with a tragic lack of footballing ability, like me, to chase a flag.
In your flag chasing wisdom, where do you think the game will head this year? Which players do you think fit the mould?