Cheap +3’s 😍
When it comes to Fantasy Footy, coaches love nothing more than fielding players with conducive roles to score bulk fantasy points! Inevitably, defenders who play on out of the defensive goal square when kicking the ball in are massive winners. For the record, if a kick-in is taken within the defensive goal square, no stat (or more importantly the +3!) is recorded. However, as soon as a player leaves the square, they cash in with a cheap +3 (kick) or less commonly +2 (handball).
In this series of articles, I will breakdown and analyse each respective clubs kick-in numbers for 2022 and provide my two cents (‘Crystal Ball’) on what to look out for in season 2023! Information of value as we look ahead to selecting our starting squads.
- Of Crom’s 221 kick-ins, J.Dawson took 81, equating to 37%. He was followed by B.Smith, who took 62 of his own, equating to 28%.
- In total, Dawson added an extra 192 points from kick-ins across his 22 games – boosting his fantasy score by an average of 9 points per week. For the record he averaged 101 across 2022. The difference between being a top-4 defender and back with the pack!
- J.Dawson blanked in two games (R3 and R9), attributable to his prowess as a swingman, at times playing a ‘Mr Fix It’ type role for Crom.
- B.Frampton chimed in with 12 kick-ins at a play-on percentage of 100% early in the season. This was until his head grew to the size of a watermelon and he was sent packing to the 2’s…
- B.Frampton was one of only five players in the competition who recorded a 100% play-on percentage with greater than 10 kick-ins.
- In total, Crom had 14 different players take a kick-in in 2022, with 8/14 (57%) not registering over 10 kick-ins…
There was plenty of hype around boom recruit Jordan Dawson’s exquisite ball use and Crom took advantage of this from opposition minor scores. The fact that Dawson took majority of the kick-ins reinforces that Crom were doing everything they could to get it in his hands. Importantly for fantasy coaches this translated into elite scoring, particularly later in the season – hopefully you recognised this and jumped on! The booming right foot of Brodie Smith complimented the left foot of Dawson. With the ability to launch it 60m (seemingly effortlessly) there’s little wonder as to why Smith continues to share kick-in duties! He has previously been somewhat relevant in Fantasy circles (averaged 87 in 2019) but I suspect his best scoring days are past him. Elsewhere, there wasn’t a heap to crow about (pardon the pun!) and with the exception of a couple of rookies toward the bottom of the list, Dawson was the only major player in Fantasy coaches squads.
2023 Crystal Ball
In my view, Crom would be silly not to continue to trust the Dawson/Smith combo who rarely let them down in 2022. I think there will be temptation for Nicksy (Crom coach) to utilise Dawson elsewhere (i.e., wing or half-forward). In this way, his ball use can be exploited forward of centre where you can really hurt opposition. Assuming Smith’s fitness, I see Dawson blanking on kick-ins on at least three occasions in 2023 as Crom continue their rise toward the top 13… I’m forecasting about a 50-50 split on the kick-ins between the two head honchos in 2023. Preseason will be an interesting watch as to whether Nicksy will trust the younger brigade to kick-in – I’m talking the likes of Parnell and Milera if they get a game. Elsewhere, we saw Benny Keays pushed out of the midfield in favour of guys like Berry and Soligo later in 2022… Could we see the same fate for Rory Laird given his motser of experience as a half-back (2x All-Aus if you don’t mind!)? In my opinion, he remains in the midfield, continuing to pig it up with the likes of Parnell and Milera to cement their spots in Crom’s back six.
*Please note: These numbers include finals games as Brisbane progressed through to the Prelims.
- Of Brisbane’s 253 kick-ins, D.Rich took 145 on his own, equating to 57%.
- In games Rich played (missed R17 + R18 + R20) his kick-in percentage increased to 64%.
- In total Rich added an extra 399 points from kick-ins from his 22 games this season – boosting his fantasy score by an average of 18 points per week! For the record he averaged a tick over 82 across 2022.
- In total, the Lions had 15 different players take a kick-in across 2022, with 11/15 (73%) not registering over 10 kick-ins.
- In games K.Coleman had greater than one kick-out, he never had a 100% play on percentage.
- B.Starcevich recorded about 30% of his kick-ins for season 2022 in R18 vs Essendon. Funnily enough, this was when multiple Lions were struck down with Covid… lots of Phil Inns!
Unsurprisingly, it was the two lethal left footers who led the way on the kick-in front for Brisbane. Daniel Rich has been a mainstay as a key distributor out of Brisbane’s back half for several years. It really shouldn’t come as a shock to see Rich enjoying a monopoly on the cheap +3s! Later in the season, it was the emergence of Kiddy Coleman as a running half-back and elite distributor which led to him being trusted with kick-in duties. While he probably doesn’t kick it as long as Rich, his touch kicking is phenomenal and I’d almost back him to hit a shorter target more so than Rich. With a play-on percentage of just 63%, coaches who are bullish will be hoping Kiddy ventures out of the square more often! Elsewhere, it was really horses for courses. We saw the little flea in Dayne ‘Spaghetti Strings’ Zorko play in the defensive half over the first five rounds (without an iota of defensive DNA in his body…) and he cashed in with 11x cheap +6’s! Even Jarryd Lyons registered a kick-in… Completely random stuff.
2023 Crystal Ball
Rich enters season 2023 as a 32 year old and has had his fair share of soft tissue injuries over the journey. I can’t see him playing a full season which is music to the ears of those bullish on Kiddy Coleman. I still see Rich taking a majority of the kick-ins in games he plays but I think the numbers will skew more toward Kiddy as 2023 progresses. He will enter 2023 awkwardly priced after finishing 2022 at $660K making the selection harder to justify. Elsewhere, with the arrival of Josh Dunkley to the Lions we may see a more permanent position change for the little flea himself, Dayne ‘Spaghetti Strings’ Zorko. He’ll enter the 2023 season as a 34 year old and I can’t see any value in playing him as a predominant midfielder with the likes of Rayner, Berry, Bailey and McLuggage symbolising a shift to the next wave of young midfielders to take the Lions forward. If this role change does come to fruition, look out for Zorko’s availability as a dual position player early on.
*Please note: These numbers do not include finals games as Carltank stole defeat from the jaws of victory to narrowly miss the top 8.
- We saw a fairly even spread at the Blues, with five players (S.Docherty, A.Saad, Z.Williams, N.Newman + M.McGovern) recording over 20 kick-ins!
- Despite blanking in four games, our undisputed D1 S.Docherty recorded 65 kick-ins (57 play-on) to rank highest amongst all blues. On average, Doch added 8 points each week through kick in stats!
- Of the 31 players to take 50+ kick-ins competition wide, Saad is one of only six players to have a play-on % less than 80% (58 kick-ins, 46 play on for a percentage of 79%).
- Interestingly, Saad blanked on two occasions despite playing virtually all of his time off half-back.
- Not sure what parallel universe we were in when Lachie Plowman recorded his solitary kick-in in R17 vs Weagles!
We saw an atypical spread of kickers at Carltank this season, with the top two (Doch and Saad) only registering 29% and 26% of kick-ins respectively – a far cry from other clubs where an individual or two have a monopoly/duopoly on the cheap +3s! Despite these comparatively lower numbers, Doch and Saad are probably the most assured in possession when looking to peel off a kick! You only have to go to a Carltank game to hear the flogs go “Woof” whenever leather makes contact with the left boot of Saad. Despite leading the way on the kick-in front, we saw both Doch and Saad blank on multiple occasions throughout 2022 (four and two times respectively). This was partly attributable to the Doch spending a bit more time in the engine room. This was particularly evident in the final two rounds of the season where the legend managed to peel of 123 and 137 at the coalface! Elsewhere, if we were to extrapolate the data, we’d probably see a table with Zac Williams atop as he battled injuries throughout 2022… For the record, he managed 34 kick-ins (31 play-on) in 9 games.
2023 Crystal Ball
As aforementioned, an interesting trend emerged in the final two games of the home and away season, with Docherty playing as a pure midfielder resulting in 0% kick-ins… I honestly think he is too valuable to not play around the footy for the Blues. As such, I think Doch will spend more time on-ball in 2023 given how successful it was for Vossy late in the piece! In good news for coaches, surely with such a small sample size he will still be available as a defender (now confirmed – yessir!) – pure sh*thousery but what the game is all about! The only flag I will mention is that R22 and R23 saw Cerra and Walsh out respectively. Even if the mid role didn’t come to fruition, he’ll be up there again vying for a top-3 defender position so no stress there! Preseason will be an interesting watch – make sure you keep an eye out! Elsewhere, I think we’ll see much of the same in terms of spread with seagulls like Newman and Williams wanting their lick of the ice-cream… Saad is probably the best kick but these blokes need to stay relevant somehow! If (and only if) Williams picks up more cheap +3’s coupled with a potential Doch role change, I may consider in Fantasy with an injury discount to be applied.
So there you have it folks, a complete analysis of Crom, Brisbane and Carltank’s kick-ins! Hopefully this information will give you a bit of a leg up on the competition – at the very least an insight into what to look out for in the preseason. Collingwood, Essendon(e) and Freo are up next!
What did you make of the first of the kick-in analysis articles? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Feedback, comments and banter welcome.
Fantasy Fanatic #70