The Defensive Headache Part 2
Hello there community and welcome to part two of this week’s Mad Irishman’s Supercoach Special. If you haven’t read part one then I’d flick on over before we go any further.
“The Unsung Hero’s”
The next group of men I will look at have been going about their business without much fuss or attention. While none of these players are in the Premium bracket, they have been performing quite amicably and providing those who picked them in their teams with solid consistent scores. Scores we could all to with, in this year of fluctuating inconsistent backmen.
Michael HibberdAverage 98.42
Current Price $480,100
Priced to Average 93.4
Games Played 12
Michael has gone unnoticed by most in fantasy football this year but currently sits second on overall points scores by any defender in the competition, and sixth overall for average pts per game. Not bad numbers for a game who only finds himself in 8.9% of all the teams out there. I think Michael has suffered from the other “Big Brand” name defenders at Essendon in Goddard and Heppell who both come with that extra star quality that sees them appear in more media and pushes Micheal back into the shadows. Let’s say we change that and shine the light of Hibberd in 2013.
You might think Hibberd has come from nowhere to have this breakout year and if you where to go by his pervious numbers alone you could be justified. The table below shows his averages over his three year AFL career to date.
However what this table doesn’t show is the promise Michael was showing last season until he got injured and then didn’t quite get back up to those heights again when he returned. He was averaging 96.25pts per game before he went down in round 5 against Collingwood with one of many soft tissue injuries the Essendon Drugers .. cough cough .. I mean Bombers came down with last season. He came back in round 13 but didn’t quite reach those same heights, only averaging 70 for the rest of the season. However the promise was there and he has proved over the first 12 rounds this year that he a fantasy relative backman.
In terms of his role within the Essendon team he is mostly utilised across the backline, pushing up on a wing and through the middle on limited rotations. Tends to find a lot of the ball and has been averaging 23.7 disposals per game, as the more marquee names of Goddard, Stanton, Watson and even Heppell tend to receive the attention of the opposition. Not only that but he uses it very well and has a current disposal efficiency of 77.2%, which is elite. This all bodes well for Hibberd to be considered by a lot more than the current 9% of teams he finds himself in.
My only concern going forward is that Michael hasn’t played out a full season in his short AFL career so there is nothing to judge how he’ll run out this season.The Mad Irishman’s Verdict: 2013 Predicted Status: Strong Midpricer
Predicted Average from here on out: 94-98pts
Final Word: In a year where we are short on premium stocks to choose from in the backline one must seriously consider the very consistent Michael Hibberd. Doesn’t get that much attention both on and off the field and could very well be that solid defender you don’t have to worry about. Sure he won’t go averaging big premium numbers from here on out but then again who will? Is likely to drop in value this week due to a 74 he got against Carlton in round 11 so if you can hold off a week you will save yourself a little $$$
Bachar HouliAverage 96.5
Current Price $487,400
Priced to Average 93.4
Games Played 12
Bachar has gone even more unnoticed by most in fantasy football this year but he currently sits 3rd on overall points scored by any defender in the competition, and 11th overall for average pts per game. Yet Bachar is only selected in 4.42% of all teams. Bachar is a little different to Hibberd in that it was even harder to see this break out year occurring. The table below shows his averages over the last five years.
Houli’s numbers where never terrible but they we’re the kind that would draw you in either. It appeared he was a good midprice player but was unlikely to breakout into a premium. Yet here we are 12 rounds into the season and Houli has been the third highest scoring defender in supercoach this year. So where has this come from.
There is normally a correlation between an increased supercoach average and an increased number of dissposals. This normally happens due to a change of role, new coach, more responsibility within a structure etc. However in Bachar’s case his disposal numbers haven’t gone up from last season to this season, well not enough to account for a 13.3pers per game supercoach average increase. In 2012 he averaged 21.4 disposals a game while this year he has increased that by 0.8, up to 22.2 disposals per game.
What has increased this year is his disposal efficiency which has gone from 78.5% up to 81.1% which is indeed very impressive in both years. Another point of note is that his rebound 50’s has also increased on last season, up to 3.9 per game from 3.2 per game last year. I believe these numbers may have to do with the fact that Bret Deledio is now a permanent midfielder who only goes back on occasion this year. Whereas last year Houli would have been feeding it to Delidio to run in out of the backline, this year he is taking it on himself and kicking it out of the backline more.
However I do air on the side of caution with Houli. Whereas his numbers so far this year are very impressive he has never had a disposal efficiency as high as he has now and I can’t say with any great confidence that he can maintain that for the rest of the year. It could be that he has just gone through a purple patch and his scores could align themselves with his past three seasons over the rest of this season. However on the other side of things he has been very consistent with his actual disposal numbers and I don’t see them changing for the rest of the year as Richmond too have marquee players in Deledio, Cotchin and Martin who will always receive the opposition’s attention long before Houli. If he keeps backing himself coming out of defence he will continue to produce solid scores.The Mad Irishman’s Verdict: 2013 Predicted Status: Strong Midpricer
Predicted Average from here on out: 87-92pts
Final Word: I personally would have more reservations about Houli than Hibberd, but a lot of the same arguments for Hibberd as a selection apply to Houli. Doesn’t get that much attention both on and off the field and should continue to produce solid scores for your team. I do have a gut feeling he is currently averaging more than what he’ll produce for the rest of the year but still it’s hard to separate him from the rest.
Harry TaylorAverage 95.45
Current Price $499,400
Priced to Average 97.15
Games Played 11
Harry too gets a quick mention in this segment. Only selected in 6.23% of all teams but has rewarded those coaches who selected him with very solid average, if not consistent performances. A little like Bachar it was difficult to forecast this break out year occurring. The table below shows his averages over the last five years.
Much like Bachar it’s hard to pin point in Harry’s stats where is increased scores have come from. It is even more so my option that Harry has gone through a purple patch in spells this year amassing scores of 125, 138 and 134 along the way. Then on the otherside he has had scores of 44, 69 and 78 to balance them good scores out. However this is normal practise for Harry as last year’s average of 86.9 also contained a mass of both super high and super low scores. It is for that reason that we shouldn’t pay too much attention to Harry’s average as it sits now as I’m betting his current average will align itself more with last year’s numbers as this season goes on.The Mad Irishman’s Verdict: 2013 Predicted Status: Strong Midpricer
Predicted Average from here on out: 82-87pts
Final Word: Of all the un-sung hero’s of this season Harry would be my least favourite option. His role hasn’t changed, his stats haven’t changed and his erratic scores haven’t changed. I’m betting his Supercoach average come the end of the year won’t change either. If you want a more solid option I’d go Hibberd or Houli in this group.
“The Breakout Contenders”
Ok community stand up and take note.
This next group have been categorised as potential breakout contenders. Their form this year has been solid but unlike the unsung hero’s above these men could potentially breakout into the premium bracket for the remainder of the season. Pick the right one and you’ll go a long way to improving your ranking and getting over the line in those tight league match ups. However, are these true breakout players or will we place them in with the flirts of Hanley and Hartlett come the end of the season.
Garrick IbbotsonAverage 103.38
Current Price $496,400
Priced to Average 96.57
Games Played 8
Garrick has had a true break out year in 2013 currently increasing his average from 72.62 to the 103.38pts per game he finds himself at currently. That is a massive increase of 30.76pts per game.
He has scored really consistently too, with just a low score of 79 and two monster scores of 142 and 137. Everything else has found itself in the bracket between 82 and 112. The question then has to be asked where these scores have come from.
Simply put Garrick’s role has evolved, like a lot of others at Fremantle as Ross Loyns game plan takes hold. Fremantle are ranked number one in the competition for short kicks as they look to retain possession when they have it. So that been said everyone across the Fremantle backline becomes an option for them coming out of defensive. Garrick’s disposal numbers have gone up from 16.9 a game last season to 23.9 this year. He has also embraced this new game plan and seems to cherish having the ball in his hands more. His disposal efficiency has also gone up from 72.2% last year to 77% this year. He is also not part of the midfield group and where you might not think that is a good thing for supercoach scoring in this case it might actually be beneficial to his scores. Not being in this group has meant he is not part of the regular rotations of the midfield players and has played a staggering 97.8% of time on the ground this year.
The only side of caution I have with Garrick is that scores form the Fremantle backmen tend to fluctuate at different times. This time last year Michael Johnson was having a breakout year increasing his average from 72.1 the year before to 98.72 after round 11. I jumped on in round 14 and he only averaged 82.4 from then on out. It was a failure trade for me and is the reason I personally won’t be taking the punt on Ibbotson this year. His numbers are too similar to Johnson’s from last year, where it was the Dufman to came home like a train.The Mad Irishman’s Verdict: 2013 Predicted Status: Strong Midpricer
Predicted Average from here on out: 91-95pts
Final Word: I have predicted that Ibbotson will do better than Johnson did on the run home last year because the Ross Loyn game plan has really set in this year and Ibbotson has been a lot more consistent than Johnson was last year. However I still have predicted that he will not break out into the premium bracket as I just can’t trust he can keep his current form up and that it won’t be Duffield or Johnson that come home strong this year. Still a strong option down back and if you think he will be the man the Fremantle go to coming out of the back then jump on. Just not for me.
Trent MckenzieAverage 97.25
Current Price $462,900
Priced to Average 90.05
Games Played 8
Trent too has had a true break out year in 2013 currently increasing his average from 67.28 to the 97.25pts per game he finds himself at currently. This is a massive increase of 29.97pts per game.
He has scored really consistently too, with just a low score of 76 and a high of 114. Everything else has found itself in the bracket between 88 and 108. Trent falls a little more into the typical breakout bracket playing in his third season with a team on the improve.
I have to say I have had my eye on Trent for a while now and I am not over exaggerating when I say Trent is in the best 5 kicks I have seen in the AFL. He reminds me a lot like Bret Deledio and I will be watching him very carefully to see if he transitions into the same type of player Deledio has at the Tigers.
Trent has now become the go to man in the backline for the Gold Coast Suns. He is averaging 21.9 disposals per game with a very healthy kick to handball ratio of 2.42 to 1. Has an elite disposal efficiency of 77.2% and is averaging 5.5 rebound 50’s a game. All excellent numbers and explains his rise in Supercoach average. He also seems to be improving game on game just like the Gold Coast and the more the Gold Coast stay in games the more important Mckenzie becomes and the more weight is attached to his disposals.
Gold Coast also have a really easy run home during Supercoach finals and could very well be in the hunt for a finals spot themselves. They play Melbourne, Port, St Kilda and GWS in their last four.
The only side of caution I have with Trent is that he hasn’t been receiving any attention from the opposition. I can’t help but fear that his current form will draw some attention and he might find himself receiving a forward tag as more and more opposition teams get worried out by the GCS.The Mad Irishman’s Verdict: 2013 Predicted Status: Premium
Predicted Average from here on out: 100-104pts
Final Word: I am going out on a limb here and I am going to predict that Trent will finish out the season has a Premium defender. With Gary Ablett in his team he is never going to get the number one tag. His disposal is that good that even if he is limited in some games he should still score solidly and will more than make up for it in the games where he is let off the lease. I also know Jock is a massive fan so that says enough for me.
Now I am sorry I did want to go through a few more players but time hasn’t allowed me.
Honourably mentions to:
Any questions on any of the above, just leave a comment in the box and I’ll do my best to give you a second opinion.
Stay tuned ….
Mick the Mad Irishman
Mad as a cut snake, spews in Jock’s sink, brain the size of Phar Lap, and one hell of a fantasy footballer. Click here for more from the Mad Irishman
And make sure you follow him on twitter https://twitter.com/Da_Mad_Irishman