Consistency… Defined as some one always behaves in the same way, has the same attitudes toward people or things, or achieves the same level of success in something. In AFL Fantasy, consistency is not only a key ingredient to success but has also been proven to prevent aneurysms from when you log on to find one of your so-called “reliable premiums” dropping a sub-70 score…
These series of articles will be all about the top end of town… Our all important premiums and what to look out for when trying to separate the best of the best!
We even have data from one of the best in the business! The man, the myth, the legend James Forwood has come on board with some elite analysis for your viewing pleasure. A budding Performance Analyst who produces goods like these in his sleep!
Go and give the lad some love on twitter! Like, follow, retweet, etc.! @forwoodjimmy
Quick shoutout also to @jaidenpopowski who is a guru when it comes to AFL Fantasy stats – go check him out!
The Box Plots: Explained
Thankfully I slid into big Jimmy’s DM’s and he explained everything we need to know in Layman’s terms…
The shorts of it are: the skinnier the box, the more consistent a player’s scoring output is. Each box represents 50% of a player’s scores for the given season with the thick black line in the middle representing their median (middle) score. The black lines on either end of each box represent the upper and lower 25% of scores with grey dots symbolising outliers in the data set.
James has nicely laid out neat red lines for us where the thick red line is 100 points and the dotted red lines represent 120 points and 80 points respectively.
In fantasy land, we are generally looking to select players who are both consistent (skinny box) as well as high scorers. Where coaches differentiate themselves is deciding whether to go for a larger box (i.e., less consistent output) with a higher average or a thinner box (i.e., more consistent output) with a lower average.
Without further ado, let kick it off with the defenders!
- Based on the data, the most consistent of all of our premo defenders was Jack Sinclair with 50% of his scores falling between 93 and 110! Huge given he had two outliers of 140 and 146, proving he had the ceiling to go with it.
- The least consistent happened to be a bloke I selected… Jake Lloyd. 50% of Lllloooooyd’s score fell between 71.5 and 106 – a range of 34.5 points. Ironically, “consistency” (see my mate Jakey’s 2021 box plot) was one of the reasons I picked the
spudman in 2022!
- While Tom Stewart’s data depicts lower scoring, he did pump out separate scores of 157 and 169 during 2022… Bonkers stuff and it’s scores like these that can single-handedly win you a crucial match up! Conversely, Stewwy also dished up a 46 vs St Kilda in R21 with Fantasy finals in full swing – ouch!
Moving on to the big dogs and largest scorers in our teams, the midfielders!
- Consistently ridiculously good – R.Laird in a nutshell! Incredibly, Laird was the highest averaging player in the game and also the most consistent going around. 50% of his scores were between 113 and 129.5! He even had a 163 as a outlier.
- Clayton Oliver was also outstanding with only one score below 87. 75% of Clarry’s score were 102 or greater – everything that you ask for consistency wise from a premo!
- Interestingly, it was Callum Mills who was the least consistent of this crop of premos with a range between 89 and 126 for his middle 50% of outputs. Need I remind one of his stinkers happened to be when “Pills, Thrills and Callum Mills” was established by yours truly… Not all doom and gloom!
- Patrick Cripps’ data was skewed by his score of 36 which from memory was when he was subbed at QT vs Gold Coast early in the season.
So what do we make of the data and how can we apply it when selecting our fantasy squads and formulating trade strategy across the season?
Well, my general rule of thumb to start the season is to err on the side of picking consistency. The last thing you want is your so called “reliable premos” dropping 60’s and 70’s, particularly with all the carnage that ensues and accumulates week on week! With scoring so variable with our rooks and mid-pricers, you want to be able to rest easy and back in your premos to perform on the regular, ensuring they avoid these stinkers. Not to mention the rookie patch-up work and jumping on players you missed that is key to keeping in touch with the pack early on. Consistency also becomes an important commodity when selecting our captains – in a perfect world we are left with an R.Laird perma captain sitch but we are not always afforded that luxury in AFL Fantasy!
As the season progresses and your squad becomes more established, you can afford to be a bit more adventurous with your selections… This is where it pays to take note of upcoming fixtures and favourable match ups so you can (potentially!) cash in on a ceiling. And if it doesn’t pay off? At least you know you have the trades up your sleeve to fix it up and can afford to go “sideways” without compromising your team structure significantly.
In the final few rounds, I like to throw caution to the wind and toss out this idea of consistency… When our squads are full of premos it’s about picking ceilings! While coaches are usually told to avoid key forwards like the plague, a soft match up in R22/R23 has implications on the Coleman Medal and if teams have someone within striking distance or up top, they will generally feed that player! I look back at 2019 where Jeremy Cameron (then playing for BWS) had 154 vs Gold Coast in R23 to all but sew up the Coleman with 9.5 – 14 scoring shots alone!
So there you have it folks, an elite collab with the man himself James Forwood! What do you make of the data and how will it influence your selections?
As aforementioned, go give the lad some love on twitter! Stay tuned for more preseason content – just under two weeks out from the season proper now so it’s time to get your squad together and apply the finishing touches.
Fantasy Fanatic #70