Hello there fellow fantasy fanatics. It has been a little while between articles but now that the drafts have been finalized, and all clubs are now well into their preseason preparations, it’s time for us serious fantasy coaches to start planning for our teams in 2014.
I will still be looking at the turncoats over the next month, so if there is anybody you would like an analysis and option done, please leave a comment below or alternatively you can find me on twitter @Da_Mad_Irishman
Today however we will be looking at a new Giant, Heath Shaw.Trade: Collingwood to Greater Western Sydney 2013 Average: 96.92014 Starting Price: $523,000 (approx.)
Shaw has been very relevant in fantasy terms since 2006 and has consistently finished among the top averaging defenders in that time. That’s not to say that he has been a dead-set lock in most teams in that same period, in fact he’s been far from it.
Shaw has burned many of us in the past with his inconsistent scoring and his incredible ability to find a way to get suspended or dropped. This has contributed to him not playing a full season since 2007.
Most still haven’t forgiven him for his 2011 suspension for betting which resulted in him missing the last eight rounds of the home and away season. What made it worse was that he was one of the most traded-in players in week he got suspended, and with no reverse trade button available at the time he burned so many coaches. Scars are still visible for so many of us today.
It really can be best summarized by looking at the above table.
- His ‘average points’ column is outstanding when we consider he is a defender. Remember not too many defenders will average you close to 100 Supercoach points a game over a season.
- However a quick run-down of the ‘games played’ column can quickly remind us why we might be hesitant in selecting him. Since 2007 he has missed on average 4.33 games a season, with his best result in that time frame of 3 games missed in both 2010 and last season in 2013.
- I’m sure consistent isn’t often a word used to describe Shaw but when it comes to missing games; Shaw is as consistent as they come.
From a fantasy scoring perspective however, inconsistent is the word that best describes Shaw. “Frustrating” is another that springs to mind. Take a look at his performances from the last couple of years.
- In both of the last two seasons Heath has managed to score greater than 120 on 5 occasions, but in both those seasons he managed to score below 80 on 4 occasions. Consistently inconsistent. It then begs the question is it really worth picking up Shaw from the start of the year if we can bank on him having at least four games below 80 during the season. I say this because you are 100% guaranteed to pick him up a lot cheaper than the 500k+ price tag he will have from round 1, as a few of those sub 80 scores run through his rolling average. I say this before I even look at what might lie ahead for him at his new club.
- If we look above again we can see that Shaw struggled in a losing Collingwood side last season, only averaging 80.71 in the 7 losses he played in, compared to the 106.33 average in a winning team.
- If you have kept a close eye on Shaw over the last few years you would notice that he is a last quarter specialist when it comes to fantasy scoring. Another way of putting it is that he is a junk time specialist, picking up a lot of stats as Collingwood chip it around as they close out games when they are in very comfortable winning position. Reverse the scenario where Collingwood are losing and Shaw has copped a heavy tag for most of the game and you will get the scores like the one he had in round 21 against Hawthorn where he managed to score only 37 Supercoach points.
- The next couple of questions you have got to ask yourself are, how many games do you see GWS chipping the ball around closing out games, and how many games is Shaw going to be the man receiving attention from an oppositions forward taggers? My educated guess would be, not many and a lot respectively.
Less Junk Time Stats + More Attention from Taggers = Less Fantasy Points for Shaw
I might have to get Higgo to look over the above equation but I’m pretty confident it all adds up.
Before I get too carried away and conclude that Shaw is completely fantasy irrelevant in 2014, it is still wise to analyse all aspects of Heath Shaw in his new side. Comparing GWS and Collingwood from 2013 will help us understand which fantasy relative stats will rise and fall for Shaw, and allow us to see a better overall picture.
As to be expected Collingwood dominate the stats and have an advantage in almost all areas.
- The biggest surprise in that bunch for me is GWS beating Collingwood in the clearance numbers but as far as Shaw goes this stat isn’t all that important. GWS also beat Collingwood in Rebound 50’s but this can be explained quite easily as GWS had to deal with a lot of inside 50’s against them, more than any other team in the competition. The more inside 50’s against, the more opportunities you will have to Rebound the ball back out. This is one area that Shaw is likely to enjoy a bump in his stats but apart from that the rest of the stats don’t make for pretty reading.
- Shaw is very much an outside player and a lot of his possessions are obtained by picking up uncontested ball in Collingwood’s defensive 50. In fact over 66% of Shaw’s possessions have been uncontested over the last three seasons. As Collingwood play a high possession game, ranked number one in the competition for disposals in 2013 in comparison to GWS who ranked 17th, it would be fair to assume that Shaw’s disposal numbers would take a hit playing at his new club, especially as he relies on uncontested possessions to make up such a large portion of his stats.
- Fewer disposals will hurt Shaw from an AFL fantasy perspective as he scores so much of his points from his effective kicking as opposed to the other large fantasy contributing stats. He only averaged 3 tackles a game in 2013, 0.5 contested marks in 2013 and failed to kick a single goal.
I don’t doubt that his elite kicking will remain in the high 75%+ range but if his disposal averages drop from around the 20 a game mark that he currently has to the 15-18 range that is likely, I can’t see him improving enough in the other categories to offset the drop off in AFL fantasy output.
You take this fact into consideration, along with the likelihood of Heath Shaw missing games and producing inconsistent scores that will see his price drop dramatically during the season, I have no hesitation in saying that Shaw will not be featuring in “Mad Mick’s Mayhem’s” starting line-up in 2014.
That’s not saying that he won’t feature during the year as he is likely to be cheaper than 400k at some point or another. The only thing that could possibly change my mind is if he is given a new roll at GWS that sees him play through the middle. I will keep an eye on him in this pre-season but I think this is unlikely.
The Mad Irishman’s Verdict
2013 Predicted Status: Strong Midpricer
Predicted Average 2014: 87 – 92pts
Bye Round: 9 (shared with likely popular players Hartlett, Goodes, Waters, Walker, Birchall)
Selection Status: Very Unlikely
Too many reasons not to pick him from the start and I will be looking elsewhere for my defenders in 2014. Were you thinking of locking him away? Have you now changed your mind? Don’t be afraid to get involved and leave a comment below – all opinions are welcome here at Jock Reynolds Fantasy Footy Community!
- 27th overall in Supercoach 2014
- Runner Up: Jock Reynolds Premier League 2014
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