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.
- It was the Hardwick / Sicily (grrrrr!) combination that dominated the Hawks kick-ins across 2022, taking 30% and 29% respectively!
- With a play on percentage of 96%, J.Sicily actually usurped Hardwick on fantasy points gained from cheap +3’s adding a total of 192 points at an average of nine per game! For the record, Sicily averaged an elite 96!
- As the saying goes “sharing is caring”… Hawthorn were one of only four clubs to have five players kick-in 20+ times in season 2022.
- Hawthorn are the only club in the competition where two of their top three kickers played on <75% of the time… Hardwick and Scrimshaw – any danger lads!
- Hawthorn had five separate players take a solitary kick-in in 2022, the equal highest (with Brisbane and BWS) in the competition.
As much as it pains me to say it… After an injury-riddled 2021, J.’Sic Dawg’ Sicily made every post a winner in 2022 and this extended to kick-ins! With a play on percentage of 96% and a fantasy average to match (96), Sic basically took the piss out of yours truly the entire season. Moving on from that… Fair to say we saw a fairly atypical spread of kickers in the Hawks list with five separate players getting a substantial lick of the ice-cream at various stages throughout the season! While Hardwick and Sicily were the mainstays, astute observers will notice Lachlan Bramble popped up mid-season, even taking the most kick-ins of all his peers in a couple games. Had he been available for the entire season, he would’ve likely found himself in the top three of this list. I think this would have been the same with a guy like Will Day who had his injury woes in season 2022 but is a known hard running, penetrating kick of the footy!
2023 Crystal Ball
Looking ahead to 2023, I don’t think we’ll see a great deal of change with the Hawks kick-ins. Their highly publicised trade period is unlikely to have any bearing on their defensive stocks given who they lost (O’Meara, Mitchell, Gunston) and who they gained (Amon, Stephens, Meek and co.). Assuming the fitness of Lachlan Bramble, I think he’ll take a greater chunk of the kick-ins. As for Will Day, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sam Mitchell has plans to get him up the ground, whether that be through the middle or on a wing given how the trade period eventuated. Preaseason as always will be an interesting watch in this space. Regardless, seemingly the only fantasy relevant player of note is my best mate Sic Dawg. Personally, I don’t think I can justify paying a premium for him but watch him make me look like an absolute clown a couple weeks into the season… There’s history there!
- Look up the word “monopoly” in the dictionary and you’ll get: “S.May kick-in numbers for 2022”!
- In total, May took 151 of a possible 219 kick-ins, equating to 69%. Taking out games May did not feature and his kick-in percentage increased to an absurd 77%! Easily the biggest monopoly in the league, ahead of the likes of D.Rich for Brisbane…
- May’s 16 kick-ins in R17 vs Geelong is the highest individual tally in any game of 2022. Funnily enough, May also had the second highest individual tally in a game with 13 kick-ins vs Hawthorn in R7.
- For those interested, in the two games mentioned May recorded fantasy scores of 65 (vs Hawthorn in R7) and 95 (vs Geelong in R17)… Despite adding 39 points alone from cheap +3’s in each of these games, May showed that he is a key defender first.
- Melbourne had the equal most players kick-in with a 100% play-on percentage in the competition (tied with Sydney), with seven!
Well, it really was the Steven May show from the kick-ins at Melbourne in season 2022! The sad part for us fantasy coaches? He has never really been fantasy relevant given his role in the side is to play as a key defender on an opposition big dog! Heading into the season, many coaches would’ve hoped to see Christian Salem feature more heavily at the kick-ins… Granted he got injured early in R1 vs Western Bulldogs and missed 10 weeks of the season! Even after he returned, it was all about Steven May and failing that it was a toss up between himself and Michael Hibberd. This left many coaches who thought they had picked up value around the byes scratching their heads in disbelief! Elsewhere, we became accustomed to the versatility of fantasy relevant Angus Brayshaw as 2022 wore on… This extended to grabbing three cheeky kick-ins at 100% play on vs Sydney in R12 (noting May did not play in this game!).
2023 Crystal Ball
Whilst having a fairly active trade period, there’s nothing to suggest any of the moves made will have an effect on the kick-in numbers at Melbourne in season 2023… I’m expecting the May Monopoly (yes, I’ll coin the term) to continue into season 2023 and he’ll take at least 60% of the kick-ins (barring injury / suspension / peronivirus). This won’t be good news for those considering Salem at what will be an awkward starting price… If he did take a greater proportion of the kick-ins, you may consider him at a discounted price! I myself will most likely be staying away given the events of 2022. Elsewhere, I expect Angus Brayshaw to continue with his elite fantasy scoring midfield role and as such is unlikely to feature in this list come the end of 2023.
- This is Norf we are talking about… So why not experiment? They had McDonald (25%), Corr (20%), Hall (20%) and Stephenson (13%) take their fair share of the kick-ins!
- From R4 onwards, Jack Ziebell lost any semblance of how to fantasy… You can probably see why based on the table (more on this in the analysis!)
- Top of the list Luke McDonald blanked on four separate occasions in 2022… I’m guessing he was deployed elsewhere but can any of the five Norf fans who tuned in nationwide fill us in?
- Of all clubs in the competition, Norf had the least amount of players who played on 100% of the time from their kick-ins (the one being Tarryn Thomas).
- Aiden’s Bonar did not help him in the kick-in department… Recording a measly two without playing on either time!
We saw some interesting, fantasy relevant trends emerge with Norf’s kick-ins as 2022 wore on. It was as early as R4 where we saw a significant change. I’m sure plenty of you have already connected the dots, but it was Jack Ziebell’s permanent move from the back six to the forward half… From a fantasy perspective, his stocks plummeted sensationally as he finished the season with an average of 60! To put things into perspective, Ziebell took 146 kick-ins (92% play on) in 2021 on his way to averaging a ridiculous 100 – his highest averaging season of his long career. Thankfully for coaches, it was not the same fate for fellow seagull A-a-ron Hall who continued pinching cheap +3’s like hot chips. Unfortunately, his spaghetti strings did not hold up too well only registering 11 games of which two he was subbed out with soft tissue injuries. No doubt the Hall selection comes with a large degree of trepidation given his highly questionable durability – it’s high-risk, high-reward stuff! Elsewhere, we saw Jaiden ‘Chompers’ Stephenson get his lick of the ice-cream, taking 35 of his 38 kick-ins over a six week patch later in the season. In this time, Chompers had 2×110+ scores in another illustration of just how conducive that half-back role is!
2023 Crystal Ball
With Clarko now in charge, it won’t be easy to get a read on the kick-ins until we see the Roos in action come preseason fixtures. In a perfect world, Hall remains fit and healthy for the entire season and dines out on 50+% of the kick-ins… Unfortunately, that is borderline delusional and given he enters 2023 as a 32 year old, I can’t see him playing a full season without some sort of injury hiccup. His durability is questionable at best, having only played a full season once since debuting in 2012! A huge buyer beware, not to mention that Clarko may have different plans for Hall and his role in Norf’s side… Despite his past and the ever present flags, astute coaches will keep an open mind to selecting Hall given that on his day he can waltz to 120+ – scoring power that not many players in the competition boast. For those who love a bit of nostalgia, I don’t think it will be good news for Jack Ziebell… I can’t see why they’d revert to the 2021 tactic of “Get it to Ziebell so he can pound the ball as far away as possible, only for it to return within 30 seconds”! Hopefully a sign that this rabble is on the right track…
So there you have it folks, a complete analysis of Hawthorn, Melbourne and Norf’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. Port Adelaide, Richmond and St Kilda are up next!
What did you make of the fourth of the kick-in analysis articles? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Feedback, comments and banter welcome.
Fantasy Fanatic #70