The Collingwood Conundrum – Mick the Mad Irishman

Published by Jock on

The Collingwood ConundrumOver the coming weeks I will be taking a look at all the players that will start season 2013 with Elite or Super Elite status. In this article I will be focusing on the Collingwood FC and the most unusual scenario of having three players finish the year with averages of over 120 points. This places all three in the group of Super Elite players.

Considering that there are only 6 players in total that finished with Super Elite Status, it is quite remarkable that half of these players would come from the same club. Like in all aspects of life if something looks too good to be true … it probably is. I believe that there were a number of factors that contributed to this anomaly and most importantly I don’t expect to see three players from Collingwood finish season 2013 with super Elite Status. So let’s have a closer look at why I believe this to be, starting with the stats.

Below is a table showing each player’s scores from 2012. The very right column shows the average of all three players score for each individual round and the very bottom columns shows the players overall average for the year.

scott pendlebury dayne beams

The first thing that should be noted is that none of the players got through a full season with Beams missing one game, Swan missing four games and Pendlebury missing four games.

The rounds in question are highlighted in red. It can also be noted that only one of the three were out of the team in any given round and in total all three only played 13 of the 22 rounds.

But this is where it gets really interesting. The average points scored when all three players play is 123 points but when one of the three was out the average for the other two goes up to 128 points per round. This is to be expected as the time in the middle for the two playing will go up and there is one less gun to “steal” points from them, but as there were 9 rounds in 2012 where only two of the three played we will be looking at some inflated averages going into 2013.

Inflated averages = inflated prices = No Value for Money.

So who benefited the most from a disrupted midfield in 2012??

Supercoach averages Beams, Swan and Pendles

This table compares the averages of the midfield trio when all three are playing and when there are only two of them playing. Swan is the least effected out of all three of them and averages very similarly no matter who lines up beside him. Pendlebury is fascinating as his average is considerably higher when he is playing alongside both Beams and Swan.

His average is the highest when all three are playing at a very respectable 127.9 points per round. Beams is exactly the opposite of this and averages considerably less when both Swan and Pendlebury are playing. However I would like to add that the 114.4 average does include his first two outings of the year where he scored 67 and 69 points before he really broke out once Luke Ball went down in round 3. Which takes me nicely into my next point, the Collingwood List?

A lot of people have already discussed the “Luke Ball Factor” and I’m not going to dwell too long on it. In short, Luke will be back in the guts this year which will mean less time in the guts for somebody else. Expect to see Beams, Swan and Pendlebury spend more minutes resting forward in 2013.

What people are not talking about are the “Travis Cloke” and “Dasiy Thomas” factors. We should all know that each game in Supercoach offers only 3300 points to be divided out amongst the 44 players who partake, with the players that impact the games result the most through possessions, tackles, goals etc being rewarded with the most points. In too many games last season it was Beams, Swan and Pendlebury that were making the big plays that were affecting the result while others around them went hiding.

Last season Travis Cloke was too busy thinking about how to spend all the money he is about to make in the next five years and for a long period last year was probably wondering where he would be playing while making all that $$$. Now I’m not saying for one minute that Travis Cloke will be a viable option in your AFL Fantasy team next season, because he’s not. But with no distractions I would expect to see Cloke’s average get back up to the 90+pt mark from the dismal 81 point average he produced in 2012.

Dale Thomas is another who’s output was down on his 2011 year. As Jock discussed here Dale picked up an injury in round 3, missed 5 games and was playing catch up for the rest of the year. If he bounces back from his off season surgery and can play out a full year I would expect to see Thomas’s average get back up closer to the 105 Supercoach point mark from the 96 point\t average he finished with in 2012.

Travis Cloke and Dale Thomas

If indeed my predictions are correct and we see Luke Ball diving on a loose ball at the bottom of the pack, flicking a hand pass out to Dale Thomas who sends the ball deep inside the forward 50 where Travis Cloke takes a speci and kicks a goal to win the game for Collingwood, all these Supercoach points will have to come from within the 3300 points on offer in each game which means somebody else isn’t getting them.

It is for this reason that I can see a drop off in the Big Three’s averages next year and why I don’t expect to see three players from Collingwood finish season 2013 with super Elite Status.

Dayne Beams

What a break out year this kid had in 2012. Once Luke Ball went down in round 3 and he got his chance running through the middle he was unbelievable and actually had Gary Ablett figures once he found his grove averaging a whopping 136.8 from round 9 onwards. Wow!!  Just kept finding the ball averaging 16 kicks, 15 handballs, laid 4 tackles and kicked 1.3 goals a game. This made him Collingwood’s second highest goal kicker overall with a grand total of 27, with the majority of them coming through the midfield at important moments during the games. So is Beams a Lock for 2013 ?? I’m afraid he’s not for me.

The fact the guy he replaced in the guts is due back round one and I still see both Swan and Pendlebury as more important players in the middle, it is likely that it will be Beams that will be given more time across the forward line. It is also noted that he excelled when one of Swan or Pendlebury were out injured and I can’t see both Swan and Pendlebury missing 8 rounds in 2013. This coupled with the fact I expect more from the likes of Cloke and Thomas and we have only season 2012 figures to back up his Super Elite status all leads to think that there are better or at least safer options out there for your initial 2013 team.

The Mad Irishman’s Verdict

Current Status:  Super Elite

Starting price:   $657,600

2012 Average:  122.9pts

2012 Games Played:  21

2013 Predicted Status:  Elite

2013 Predicted Average:  114 to 117pts

2013 Predicted Games:  22

Value Rating:  4.6  (average)

Final Word: If either Swan or Pendlebury go down with a long term injury then jump all over Beams.

Dane Swan

This guy is an enigma. He doesn’t have a great deal of pace, is far from an elite kick but yet year after year he produces the goods both in terms of his on the field performances and in what is important to us, fantasy scoring. Dane Swan could probably play a whole game in the corner pocket and still come out with 40 processions. He just reads the game so well and the football always finds a way into his hands. A sign of a great player. Then there was him rubbing his Belly at an Essendon supporter who shouted out “You Fat Bast**d” in his run up to kick a goal on ANZAC day and his interview on The Footy Show last year that lifted my admiration for the man even higher. Top Bloke. On the football field he was his usual self averaging 21 kicks, 14 handballs, laid 3 tackles and kicked 1.2 goals a game.

Unlike Beams I don’t see Balls comeback effecting Swan so much as I still think he will play the majority of his time in the middle and as I’ve said even when he’s rested forward he has a habit of finding the pill and snagging a goal or two. However he did miss a total of 4 rounds through injury last season and was rested midway through the season in 2011. He will be 29 next season and I think he will be managed very carefully to ensure he is in top form for Collingwood’s assault on the Flag. Collingwood play Gold Coast in round 17 and GWS in round 18 before a very tricky run home that includes Essendon, Sydney away, Hawthorn, West Coast and North in the last five games.  I expect Swan to be rested in either round 17 or 18 and possibly once earlier during the year and as others around him improve will see a slightly reduced average for 2013. It is for those reasons I will be looking elsewhere for midfielders in my initial team for 2013.

The Mad Irishman’s Verdict

Current Status:  Super Elite

Starting price:   $675,300

2012 Average:  126.3pts

2012 Games Played:  18

2013 Predicted Status:  Elite/Super Elite

2013 Predicted Average:  118 to 122pts

2013 Predicted Games:  20

Value Rating:  4.6  (average)

Final Word: If you have one midfield up grade left after round 17 and Swan has just come off a rest then lock him him.

Scott Pendlebury

For anybody that has being living under a rock this guy is just pure class. Has just turned 25 and is right bang in the middle of his prime. Has been at the Super Elite Level for the past two seasons with an average of 129.2 in 2011 and 124.7 in 2012. Every touch is effective and always seems to have so much time when he has the ball in his hands. Averaged 15 kicks, 14 handballs, laid 5.1 tackles and kicked 0.55 goals a game in 2012. Has arguably only had one bad game in the last two seasons and that was against Carlton in round 3 last season.  Was at the game and couldn’t quite understand what was up with Pendlebury. I remember him dropping a chest mark with nobody around him in the third quarter and saying yep he must be sick.  I think we can put it down to him having an off day or not quite being 100%. Couple that with the fact he was subbed out of the game at half time in round 12 against North and taking those two rounds out of his totals he would have actually averaged 130.5 in 2012.

Again unlike Beams I don’t see Balls comeback effecting Pendlebury’s output and as the stats show he actually performed better with the best players around him. Has built up a great understanding with Swan and finds him with a lot of hard ball gets in and around the packs. The only one aspect of his game that he could improve is goal kicking but every other aspect of his game is as good as the very best the game has produced. Although he missed 4 games last season I don’t see this as a major issue as it was a freak injury, one which he recovered quickly and didn’t affect his output on his return. Has had great durability and until last season had only missed 4 games since 2007. I am slightly worried that he too could cop a rest in either round 17 or 18 but it hasn’t been Collingwood’s policy to rest him in the past and I’m leaning towards him not to be rested during the 2013 season as well. Of the three Collingwood Super Elite players he is the only one I can say with confidence I expect to increase his average in season 2013. For these reasons I have Scot locked into my starting midfield.

The Mad Irishman’s Verdict

Current Status:  Super Elite

Starting price:   $667,300

2012 Average:  124.7pts

2012 Games Played:  18

2013 Predicted Status:  Super Elite

2013 Predicted Average:  125 to 128pts

2013 Predicted Games:  22

Value Rating:  5.1  (good)

Final Word: Will finish season 2013 as the second highest averaging Midfielder. Do yourself a favor and Lock him in.

Stay tuned….

Mick the Mad Irishman

**Value ratings are on a Scale of 1 to 10 with anything below 5 indicating negative value and anything above 5 indicating positive value. Most Premiums will be around the 5 mark as their overall price increases or decreases will be a small percentage of their initial prices but it is still wise to try pick players with a value rating greater than 5. 

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Yeah, Pendles. LOCK!


Mick a cara,
Can you please stop telling people my locks for the upcomming season?
Fantastic article, Just brillient and an easy , flowing logical read. I hope you leave Duffman and Hanley out of this because every one will be on them mate LOL
Once again well done


Dools, would like to do a write up on the current crop of irish imports at some stage so our good friend P. Hanley will be in there. Sorry 😀


No Problems at my end mate, 🙂 All good.
Hopefully there are no secrets in an open forum.
Thats why I come to this site for the friendly different points of view.


Great article Mick, absolute quality.
Top recruiting Jock, this Irishman is top shelf. Will he get a gig in the podcasts?


Great stuff as always Mick.

Interesting to see that two out of the three sub 100 games Pendlebury had were when Swan was out. From the stats it would appear that when Swan is gone most of the midfield attention gets shifted to Pendles, which then frees up Beams, who got huge 160+ scores in 3 of the 4 games Swan missed.


Spot on MRB37 – Beams averaged 158 in the four games Swan was out last season. I'll definitely jump to jump on Beams if either one of Swan or Pendlebury goes down with a long tern injury in 2013


Outstanding article Mick!

Anyone considering Cloke?


Not for me Higgo. Is underpriced to start the year but can't see him finishing in the top 10 forwards for the year now that half the rucks are eligible up there. And won't rise all that much in price to look to upgrade. Better options around i'd suggest.


top class analysis Mick – an outstanding article. Thank you


Nice to have a decision/conclusion i had already made based on gut feel backed up by real stats. Cheers mr mad Irish man. It would be interesting to see if there were other crowded midfields where injuries or general soreness boosted sc averages. Thinking west coast, perhaps even Carlton?


BeerMonkey good to hear from you. Very good point and I will definitely be looking into other lists to see if there anything similar. As I said I hope to get through all the Elite and Super Elite players over the next 5/6 weeks and if anything unusal pops up i'll be sure to inform the community ….

stay tuned


Im sticking with Swan Pendles, the two flow together. Pendles gets in and gets the ball out. BUT SWAN, no matter where he is he gets the ball, you said it yourself, this makes him a lock for me


Pendles or swan??

Lavan Ruban

I would love to go with Scott Pendlebury, however, Pendles kicked 11 goals last year, whereas Dane Swan kicked 25. Swan is also tagged less often, thus I've gone with him. Very helpful post.