Collingwood, Essendon(e), Freo: 2022 Kick-In Analysis

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.

Collingwood

Kick-Ins Snapshot

Fast Facts

  • Of Collingwood’s 231 kick-ins, D.Moore took 80, equating to 35%. He was followed by rookie of the year N.Daicos who took 53 of his own, equating to 23%.
  • N.Daicos was one of only five players in the competition who took greater than ten kick-ins and played on 100% of the time. His 53/53 ranked second in the competition. The man sure knows how to stat!
  • In total, Daicos added an extra 159 points from kick-ins across his 22 games – boosting his fantasy score by 7.2 points each week on average. It doesn’t sound like much but when you consider it nudged his average up to 86.8 it makes for great reading for any serious coach.
  • S.Pendlebury took 73% (17/23) of his kick-ins in the first 8 rounds in what seemed to be a role change to half-back… Fast forward to the end of the season and Pendles was back at the coalface for longer periods in games leading to next to no kick-ins post-bye!
  • T.Bianco is one of 49 players to record a solitary kick-in to their name in 2022. Bianco is one of 31 to play on from that singular kick-in! +3 baby!

Analysis

Rarely do we see first year players trusted with kick-in duties… Nick Daicos is an exception to this rule! Clearly the kid is a gun and the fact that he took a major chunk of the kick-ins after the Pies bye is a testament to how highly rated he is. There were times in games where he was seemingly everywhere, taking the absolute piss linking up in possession chains and receiving the cheapest of handball receives. Fantasy gold! Oppositions who were happy to just let this happen were hurt more often than not… Elsewhere, not too many fantasy relevant names to speak of with the exception of Scott ‘Dependlebury’ Pendlebury. He took almost 75% of his kick-ins in the first eight rounds in what appeared to be a permanent role change to the half-back line. Craig McRae ended up using his ever green veteran at more CBA’s post-bye and rarely was he let down by his (now former) skipper. Interestingly, Pendles was fairly content disposing inside the defensive goal square with a play on percentage of only 61%.

You can see why the Pies were feeding him… Elite distributor!

2023 Crystal Ball

Given their stellar 2022 season, the Pies have wasted no time getting more quality to the club as they hope to go one better in 2023. Specifically, they’ve acquired the services of Brownlow Medallist Tom ‘Former Pig’ Mitchell from Hawthorn. In fantasy land, this recruitment is relevant on a number of fronts. My prediction is that the Pies won’t dick around and he’ll be straight into their midfield mix! This will in turn take some heat off Pendles and I see it facilitating a more permanent role change to half-back. Pendles heads into the 2023 season as a 35 year old and with the likes of Mitchell, Adams, Crisp De Goey coupled with Nick Daicos likely to get more midfield minutes, we could see Pendles chipping in with his share of the kick-ins. Look out for Pendles as an early DPP (will start the season as a MID only)… Another possibility would be Crisp and Pendles rotating through the middle and half-back given their prowess in both positions. Elsewhere, with Nick Daicos recruited initially as a midfielder, I think we’ll see his midfield minutes increase at the expense of the cheap +3’s!

Essendon(e)

Kick-Ins Snapshot

Fast Facts

  • No one really had a monopoly on kick-ins at Essendon(e) in season 2022, with Ridley (34%), Redman (25%) and Hind (18%) taking their fair share of Essendon(e)’s 242 kick-ins and 13 separate kickers.
  • Despite enjoying 234 points worth of freebies in his 20 games (boosting his average by 12 points per game!), Ridley was unable to capitalise with an underwhelming average of 75… In his defence (pardon the pun!) he has been playing as a key back rather than an interceptor in recent seasons.
  • How about our man Nic ‘Alpha’ Martin sneaking down for a cheap +3 in R17… What a legend!
  • Not to mention premo mid, Zach Merrett, who snuck down for two kick-ins of his own throughout 2022. Not sure how he conjured that up perhaps Ben ‘Truck’ Rutten had him skipper those weeks!
  • Of players who took less than four kick-ins, only 42% (5/12) resulted in a play-on and more importantly the cheap +3… Rookies!

Analysis

Not a heap of fantasy relevance jumping out in the top half of Essendon(e)’s kick-ins list with the exception of Mason Redman. He became more prominent from opposition minor scores as the season wore on, with Dyson Heppell taking a back seat to the hard running, raking right foot of Redman. Unsurprisingly, the pristine conditions under the Marvel roof suited his game to a tee, culminating in 3×125+ scores at Marvel! I’ll coin the term ‘The Marvel Effect’ to describe the mark-friendly conditions that defenders particularly enjoy down at Docklands. Looking at the numbers, it doesn’t appear that the Bombers had a designated kicker and each of the top three in that list offer something different. Redman kicks it the longest, Hind takes ground with his speed and Ridley is probably the most likely to hit a target by foot! Not really too sure why Heppell was kicking in the first place as he doesn’t possess a point of difference… Mind you, this is Essendon(e) we are speaking of here so who knows the thought process?!

Brian Taylor… Master of Chat!

2023 Crystal Ball

With Brad Scott taking the reins at what is currently a rabble of a football team, 2023 could be a great opportunity to experiment with his list… You look at who they’ve bought in (Setterfield, Weideman, Davey x2, Tsatas) and it seems unlikely any of these guys will slot straight in for kick-in duties. One name that was a surprise omission from the kick-in list was Massimo D’Ambrosio. I see him settling down on a half-back flank and he has always been touted as a good kick and a brave ball user which you’d imagine Brad Scott will encourage. I think he at least makes the list and takes >10% of the kick-ins! Unfortunately from a fantasy perspective, most of the guys listed are priced very awkwardly and lack consistency to justify a selection. I’ll be watching their preseason hitouts closely to try and help us identify any patterns from the kick-ins! The only one I am half considering at this point is Redman given his ceiling is elite, however, Essendon only play two of their first 11 games at Marvel… (Remember ‘The Marvel Effect’!). A flag worth raising given what we saw in 2022!

Freo

Kick-Ins Snapshot

Fast Facts

  • Of Freo’s 222 kick-ins, L.Ryan took 136 of his own, equating to 61%! This is the second most prolific monopoly on kick-ins in the league (not accounting for missed games – i.e., D.Rich)
  • L.Ryan averaged 85 for the year, of which 14 points per game were coming from kick-ins alone! In total, Ryan added 336 of his 2083 points from kick-ins, equating to 16% of his total.
  • Of the nine players in the competition to eclipse 100 kick-ins, L.Ryan had the second lowest play on percentage at 82%. Get out of the square brother!
  • On four separate occassions in 2022, B.Cox had more kick-ins that L.Ryan throughout a match.
  • Fremantle love Big Cox.

Analysis

Well, there’s no sugar coating it – it was all about the lad with two first names who was the undisputed kick-in king in season 2022. Ironically, second on the list happens to have no first names! Ryan has been prolific from the kick-ins the past couple of seasons and this season was assisted largely by the absence of Nathan Wilson (two games). Diving deeper into the numbers and we can see Ryan would have barely nudged an average of 70 without his one wood (kick-ins!). Looking at the list, I am a little surprised to see that Hayden Young only took about 10% of the kick-ins given it is something that sets him apart from peers in the same draft class. Then again, not sure what parallel universe we were in when big Alex Pearce got his lick of the ice-cream in R22… Albeit vs the Traffic Cones from down the road.

2023 Crystal Ball

In my opinion, Ryan does not enjoy a monopoly of the same proportions in 2023. If Hayden Young stays down in the backline, my prediction is that he takes about 20% of the kick-ins… Wilson has been stuck in the magoos since mid-2022 so unless he lifts or a frontliner gets injured he won’t be much of a factor. Freo were busy at the trade table, but I can’t see any of their additions making a difference on the kick-in front! From a fantasy perspective, the one I’ll be watching is Hayden Young. He rolls into his fourth season in the big time off the back of 20 games at an average of 88 in season 2022. It only takes 3-4 cheap +3’s per game and he’s in the conversation with the big dogs down back… Elsewhere, I can’t see Ryan improving by much given the events of this season (averaged 71 before kick-ins!) and the others don’t have any fantasy relevance.

So there you have it folks, complete analysis of Collingwood, Essendon(e) and Freo’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. Geelong, Gold Coast and BWS are up next!

What did you make of the second of the kick-in analysis series? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Feedback, comments and banter welcome.

Cheers legends,

Fantasy Fanatic #70

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