Gary Ablett – The Little Master of Fantasy AFL
In my last article I looked in detail at the three Super Elite Players at the Collingwood FC. Over the next few days I will round off the rest of the Super Elite Players from 2012 starting with the master himself, Gary Ablett.
Not too many fantasy football pages will have much content on Gary Ablett at this stage of the year as I guess it’s just assumed everybody knows that Gary is the undisputed King of Fantasy. However we don’t make any assumptions here at the Jock Reynolds Fantasy Footy Community and no stone shall remain unturned in our pursuit of getting our great community the information it needs for selecting their teams for 2013. So let’s spend a little time reminding ourselves how good this guy is.
Ablett has held Super Elite Status for the last four seasons finishing either 1st or 2nd in the average points rankings and only outside the top 3 once in the total points rankings, finishing 6th in 2011. Last season was his best Supercaoch performance finishing as the number one ranked player in both Average per round and Total points scored. One negative stat that jumps out at me on this table is that Gary Ablett has not completed a full season in the last four years. In fact you have to go back to season 2007 for the last time he got through all 22 rounds.
Remarkably last season – even though he missed two games – he still managed to be the top point scorer in the competition. His average for 2012 was a whopping 12.1pts a game better than his closest rival Dawn Swan and he scored 107 more points than his nearest rival Jobe Watson on the Total Points List. His stats breakdown is even more astonishing, averaging 33.75 possessions a game (19.45kicks, 14.3handballs), laid 5.5 tackles and kicked 1.3 goals per game. Here’s a breakdown of his scores in 2012.
So we all know the master has been a wonderful selection in the past four years but what about going forward into season 2013. Is he still the must have player in Supercoach or are their better options for your M1 spot ?? Well there are a few issues that need to be addressed, the first being his starting price.
I have seen a few posts this preseason questioning if Ablett is worth the $740,500 you will have to pay to have him in your initial team for 2012 and is it worth leaving him out and trying to pick him up a little cheaper later on in the year. Well first up you are 100% guaranteed to get Gary Ablett cheaper than the $740,500 he starts at because in order for him to hold that value he will need a 3 week rolling average of 138 all year round. It will only take one bad game under 100 to make this impossible and if you look at last year even the Master himself had two sub 100 scores. However if you also look at his rolling price from week to week last season you will see that his starting price only dropped by $89,000 and you would have had to wait until round 17 to pick him up at his cheapest price. By then you would have missed out on some of his monster scores and a lock down captain for 15 rounds. I also find it very difficult to upgrade to a player worth over $600,000 as it will really take three trades from rookies to do so, or two trades with the use of a sideways trade (A BIG NO NO). The other benefit of having the top priced player in the comp is if he does get a long term injury your options are endless has you can replace him with whoever you want.
Another issue that must not be overlooked is the Gold Coast Suns List. It’s more than fair to say that the Suns where a one man team last season with a few supporting cameos from Harley Bennell along the way. Entering their third season in the AFL it is time for the Suns to stand up and be accounted for. Last season there seemed to be a “Give it to Gary” mentality amongst a lot of their youngsters, where they found it easier to hide behind their captain than step up and take the fight on alongside him. I believe the two wins they got in their last four games will give the club the much needed confidence to take their performances to the next level in 2013. One really interesting stat I would like to bring to the communities attention is that Ablett’s average in a winning team last year was 127.6pts compared to an average of 140.2pts in a losing team. Granted the Suns only won three games so it is quite a small pool to pull the winning average from but I feel it is a stat that shouldn’t be over looked and may be a sign of things to come. As I reflected on in “The Collingwood Conundrum” there is only 3300pts to be divided up in any given game and if the Suns start performing as a team and players like Bennell, Swallow, Prestia start influencing more games and scoring more points, these points will have to come from within the 3300pts on offer in each game which means somebody else isn’t getting them. I have had a look at the Sun’s Draw for next year and I am going out on a limb here and predicting the Suns may get as many as 8 wins in 2013. I expect to see a lot more from the players around Gary Ablett and I expect to see his average fall slightly as a result.
The last thing I want to discuss is his “Durability Factor”. As I noted earlier Ablett hasn’t finished out a full season since 2007. With a stat like that and the fact that the Little Master will be 29 at the start of next season I will find it hard to predict him seeing out a full season in 2013. I have noted the importance of the Durability Factor in earlier articles but any rule has its exceptions and I believe Gary Ablett may very well be that exception. Even with missing two games last year he still finished as the top points scorer and if you add in a rookie score of 70 for the two rounds he missed your M1 position with Gary Ablett would have outscored the next best of Jobe Watson by 249pts.
So for all those coaches who chose to select Ablett as their M1 in 2013 you can expect his average to drop off slightly, him to miss at least one game and for his price to fall by at least $100,000. All this would suggest that Ablett isn’t a must have for 2013 but even with all those perceived negatives Gary Ablett is still the best player in the competition and the first guy I will be selecting in my team. His average is so high to start with a small drop won’t change the fact that you’ll still end up with a great lock down captain and the top averaging midfielder for 2013. I’ll let all the coaches who don’t select him fret and worry about getting him into their side while I sit back and watch the points come in and worry about the easier upgrades I can perform.
The Mad Irishman’s Verdict
Current Status: Super Elite
Starting price: $740,500
2012 Average: 138.4pts
2012 Games Played: 20
2013 Predicted Status: Super Elite
2013 Predicted Average: 129 to 134pts
2013 Predicted Games: 21
Value Rating: 4.7 (average)
Final Word: Don’t second guess when you can bring this guy into your team. Lock him in form the start and you’ll save yourself the major headache trying to upgrade to him during the year.
Final Final Word: Don’t ever doubt The little Master. Enjoy
Stay tuned ….
Mick the Mad Irishman