The Luck of The Draw

Published by Patch on

Supercoach is all about odds. Nothing in this caper is a sure thing.

Our goal as Supercoachers is to try and define and know as many of those odds as we can. Never is that more relevant than preseason. Today, I will try to give you a tool that can be used to define the odds. A tool I call The Luck of the Draw.

This tool is certainly not the be all and end all in selecting players. North Melbourne had the most favourable draw by this system last year, yet my selection of Ben Cunnington didn’t pay the dividends I expected it to. However, David Swallow’s rise in 2014 was helped by his club having the second most favourable draw last year.


While gun players score no matter who they play – think Gary Abblett in the birth of Gold Coast or Tom Rockliff in a Brisbane side that struggled at times last year – this tool can be useful in identifying which breakout players might go to the next level.

And importantly – mentioned in the beautiful magazine presented by Higgo, Mick and co. – the draw can also be useful in identifying which mid-priced players may jump out of the blocks and allow us to preform our own ‘Bruyn Manoeuvre’ and get full premium sides as early as we can.

So how does it work?

It involves a lot of numbers. Each side gets points equal to where their opponents sit on an updated version of the 2014 ladder. For example, playing Hawthorn will get you one point, whereas playing St Kilda will give you 18. A higher rating dictates a more favourable draw.

Here is the modified ladder, adjusted for trends I expect to see this year. Analysis of this ladder is enough for another whole article in itself, and although it’s not perfect, it’s as close as I can get.

The Best Run in Supercoach

(I expect hate mail from Carlton fans, but I tend to get hate mail from Carlton fans because they’re hateful people. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m an Essendon supporter, which I get hate mail for anyway. I get a lot of mail. Thanks, Hirdy.)

Adelaide open their season against North Melbourne (who I have 8th), Collingwood (12th) and Melbourne (17th) and so get 37 points for their opening three rounds. This adds up this over the season, giving us a season score as well as a post and pre-bye round indicator.


Rating the clubs – who has the best draw?

However, there are two scores given for each club: one is the raw data and the other is scaled for finals. In this scaling, 50% more points are given for each side they play in a final (remembering that finals are rounds 18-22 this year, not 19-23) because final performances are crucial for those of us going for league wins.

Why look at finals this early? They’re an important factor. While you won’t pick your premiums solely based on their finals fixture, it is something we will need to be cognisant of eventually.

For example, looking at Fremantle in the Supercoach finals, we see them get 27 points in round 18 for playing St Kilda (18 + 0.5 x 18), 15 for playing West Coast, 12 for North and 25.5 for Melbourne.

If you are looking solely for the fifty thousand big ones, completely disregard the scaled score.

I’ll stop the jabbering and get into the data.

The Best Run in Supercoach 2

So let’s see where this leaves us in rankings.

Looking at the 2015 draw

This, unsurprisingly, shows us that the lower ranked teams have a more favourable draw than the higher ranked teams – aside from Barron’s poor Crows.

What this means is teams with easier draws generally win more games. This means they also get the lion’s share of Supercoach points to share amongst their players. This means Priddis, Griffen, Rockliff, Beams should have more point to share between them than North Melbourne’s brigade, or players like Sloane and Ebert.


Factoring in the byes

Things get even more interesting when you consider the byes. In terms of byes, it is important to note those with round 13 bye will have played two more games than those who have a round 11 bye, but nonetheless it gives crucial insight into how a player might start or finish the year.

Looking at the 2015 AFL draw

Looking at this table implies that players such as Liberatore, Watson and Mundy may drop significantly in price due to a tough draw in the first half of the year, making them prime targets to upgrade to during the bye rounds. Furthermore, seemingly breakout players from St Kilda, GWS and West Coast might not enjoy success in the second half of the year, but may have a good start.

So who should we be looking at?

Premos set to jump out of the block include Priddis, Pendlebury, Griffin, Ward, Jack Steven and Swan, while mid pricers Newnes, Seedsman, Hampton, Devon Smith, Josh J Kennedy and Kane Lucas might make more cash than Ibbotson, Higgins or Motlop.

Players to look for after their byes, who should have dropped slightly in output and in price, include Watson, Fyfe, Barlow, Liberatore, Dahlhaus, Heppell, Goddard, Sandilands or Barlow. Similarly, while not having a bad start to the year, Brisbane’s run post-bye looks good enough to consider waiting on Rockliff, Beams and co.

Remember community, it’s all about the odds. A good draw will not mean a player will have a good year. A gun will score if he’s losing or winning. You still need to watch for role changes, new coaches, natural progression and all that comes with picking a breakout player. However, knowing the ins and outs of the draw means you become closer to picking these players.

 Look forward to discussing!



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Wow, another awesome article from the JR Community. May have suffered a minor aneurysm whilst trying to digest all the info, but I'll just wait for my eye to stop twitching and give it another read later. 🙂


I nearly had an aneurysm putting it together! I almost felt like I was in A Beautiful Mind with the amount of paper I had around!

Mick Klavins

Fantastic read. This type of data doesn't come into enough consideration from most supercoaches when building their initial team.
This could be one of the most significant pieces of work done by the JR Community to help put your side together. Great Job! The AFL draw has been flawed for years and the Fantasy community should take advantage of that.

Mick – @klavo25


Thanks Mick!


Interesting theory Patch and I appreciate your effort. If you'd been able to support it with evidence from previous years it might be something that I'd look into but without supporting evidence this theory trails my Backline Superiority article in value for aspiring supercoaches:)


I've done it a few years running, but I always manage to lose the scraps of paper I do it on. It was never meant to be 'the ultimate guide to picking players', just another thing to consider.

I defer to all those who have come before me, Wombats!


My reply was actually an extremely polite (for me) request for somebody to post those comparrissons. This community is full of geniuses who could provide that data in a flash, just need them to read the comments section for your article so that they see the request.


Where's your article you troll?!


Bennell has a consistent draw, Smith has a fantastic than tough draw and Dahlhaus has a tough than fantastic draw. Out of Smith and Bennell for my F2/F3. At the moment I have Bennell. Dahlhaus maybe an upgrade target.

General Soreness

Brilliant work patch, another layer of the Supercoach supremacy cake has been masterfully put together. Now I just need the $50k icing


Any news on when a new rookie cheat sheet is coming out?


As a guess George we won't see anything until NAB. It's all a guessing game at this point. If you ask Jock nicely he might roll out of mid price and/or premium cheatsheets


Absolutely brilliant!

A great statedgy yet it’s made my choice of choosing wells/rich and Biggs for my M6 much harder!

Would appreciate thoughts on who to choose! Go with a fallen premium in wells or go for Biggs and save some cash


If it's cash you're after I'd go with Biggs. He has more to make and his JS is good from what I've read. Don't see Wells/Rich being top 10 mids at the end of the year


It will be tough to tell. From all reports Patrick Crisp has been training the house down at Carlton to get the gig vacated by Brock McLean and co. At the moment it's difficult to tell. I've got Crisp at the moment, but he could easily become Biggs.

Personally, I'm saving the cash, but if Rich stays injury free and tag free he could easily average 95+ off a back flank.


My gut says he won't be tag free Patch, there's no way teams are gonna let him sit at half back with his foot skills….Especially when he has been known in the past to be very easily shut out. If he plays in the middle he would have more chance of escaping it


Great article. Very interesting seeing I have picked Seedsman over Ibbotson. Just made my mind up to keep him as my D4. Also has made me lock Newnes as D3


Awesome stuff buddy, I was planning on looking into the draw in greater detail but it looks like you've done it all for me!


This is brilliant, Patch. Never seen anything like it. It's obvious to see how much of your time you've put into presenting this for the JR community. Cheers 🙂

Be interesting to revisit this in 2016 to see how effective it is, especially with break outs/mid pricers.


great article there!
i have been considering 3 mid price collingwood players and i think i will select 1 of them, and the fact collingwood has an 'advantageous' start sways me a bit more, but who do you think will be the most likely to have a breakout season.. could easily go wrong.
paul seedsman/ taylor adams/ josh thomas

i feel as if one of these guys will go bang this year, especially with the likes of luke ball and dayne beams no longer playing there..


I'd have to wait until the NAB cup to get a clearer view, but at this stage I think Seedsman is the more likely candidate if he's injury free and ready to go round 1. I feel Adams might be impacted by Levi Greenwood's arrival at the club, and I'm not sure how Josh Thomas will fit into their best 22.

I N Pieman

Not sure if Seedsman is best 22. I think Langdon does a better job as a rebounding defender. Before he hit the wall he was really handy. If he hasn’t already gone past Seedsman it won’t be long.

I N Pieman

Fantastic research & where did you pop up from Patch. Has Jock released a genie from the bottle. Like Kev I’ll be very interested to analyse this post season. I’m certain it has plenty of relevance. And I will be using your charts for final player selections. Brilliant stuff Patch. Good luck trying to top it.


Used this great article to edit my team, and here are two options:

Option 1: Guns and Rookies

D: Hibberd (maybe not because of ASADA), Newnes, Kolo, McDonald, Waters, S Edwards (Goddard, Maynard)
M: Ablett, Rockliff, Pendles, Fyfe (maybe not, heard somewhere about a hammy?), Priddis, NVB, Biggs, Boekhorst (Heeney, Freeman, Lambert)
R: NicNat, Kruez (Nankervis)
F: Goddard (maybe not because of ASADA), Deledio, Swan, J Martin, Membrey, Clark (Hogan, Krakouer)

Option 2: All-round
D: Hibberd (maybe not because of ASADA), Newnes, Kolo, Ibbotson, Waters, Whitecross (Goddard, Maynard)
M: Ablett, Pendles, Cotchin, Wines, Swallow, Rich, NVB, Boekhorst (Heeney, Freeman, Lambert)
R: NicNat, Kruez (Nankervis)
F: Goddard (maybe not because of ASADA), Deledio, Swan, Walters, Garlett, Clark (Hogan, Krakouer)

Which one would you guys recommend?

Ben Bretel

1. Shaw, H
2. Lumumba, H
3. Ibbotson, G
4. Waters, B
5. Goddard, H
6. Viojo-Rainbow, D
23. Scharenberg, M
24. McKenzie, D
7. Ablett, G
8. Pendlebury, S
9. Fyfe, N
10. Dangerfield, P
11. Wines, O
12. Swallow, A
13. Heeney, I
14. Boekhorst, B
25. Vandenberg, A
26. Freeman, N
27. Krakouer, N
15. Kreuzer, M
16. Leuenberger, M
28. Read, T
17. Gray, R
18. Martin, D
19. Bennell, H
20. Swan, D
21. Bellchambers, T
22. Hogan, J
29. Clark, M
30. Daniel, C
this is my team so far any advice would be great not sure about a few players plenty of swing that's good come byes

pauly walnuts

I like Lumumba,Waters injured,Shanranberg might still be under done, Fyfe hurt is hami on Friday, not sure about Kreuzer as R1, just my thoughts mate, good luck 🙂

Number 24

Scharenberg still recovering from ACL?


Everytime I think my team is set for a while something gold is put on the website to make me re-consider. Thanks Patch, now debating whether to start with Swallow or Steven due to St Kilda having a much easier start.


what about Toby Greene? breakout this year?


He finihsed off strong last year, I can see him carrying that into this year


toby greene or griffin you think?


KReuzer's done something to his foot, wont play first few weeks i heard


Yeah, heard the same thing. 4-6 weeks out. Same foot, different bone.


Great article, and what a lot of calculations.

I'll be using this article as a reference point when selecting between 2 or more evenly skilled players for 1 position.

Great tool to using for trying to predict good trades (upgrades or even sideways – for coverage) during the byes, say round 12 after some players have already had the bye.

Can think of a few players who play better against better teams, Bartel, Selwood, Hodge, etc, whilst others enjoying playing lesser sides like Franklin, Cloke, Natanui, etc



Awesome stuff mate! Whats your address and i'll send you some mail? Yes it will be hate mail – Blues Supporter :p .. aside form this obvious error in judgement loving your work mate



Firstly thank you very much for your comment on the stats sheet.

It has taken me a while to digest what you are saying in this article mate but it could be truly brilliant with some data to see if it actually has an impact on helping people make their selections.

I am a bit old fashioned but stats do not lie and I am truly looking forward to see what the Master Higgo comes up with.

Can't wait to see Higgo's results to see if he can find some form of relevancy for us using our stats together.
I do not like to over-complicate things in life when it can be so simple,BUT seriously looking forward to the results of his efforts on this and would consider it an honor to communicate with you to discuss any other theories and possible joint efforts we could possibly offer the community.

The Irishman does not sound happy, I did not look at this from the point of view of who I support but how relevant it could be to making your initial selections.

In saying that I will go and check how Richmond stand after reading his comment.

The last time I was in Ireland they still had STOP signs at the end of step ladders.

I might come back with another comment after studying the Richmond situation Ha Ha.

Cheers Mate.