The “best pre-season yet” and “dominated their time-trial”, you read as you scour over-hyped training reports which seem to guarantee that the club will dominate the AFL competition for years to come. You recall a sense of deja-vu as you feel you’ve read this before – and in fact you have – the same dribble is rolled out year after year. Given the propaganda, finding reliable information on value players that are hitting their straps is to dabble in the arcane arts.

Sometimes we need cold hard facts to keep us grounded before we move into the realms of alchemy – trying to turn dust into gold. And in this series, Band of Brothers, we will focus on finding players which statistically speaking should be moving into their prime. Players who provide you with the best value for money.

Rules of Engagement

When sorting through the multitude of players who are allegedly in “career best form”, a bit of rigor is required. The criteria I’m going to focus on in this series of blog posts are:

  • Career Games Played – I’m going to look at how a players experience affects their DT Totals
  • Price – It’s impossible to talk about value unless we look at price. Price is based on the players previous average.
  • Durability – As I looked at in the Buyers Beware blog post, here’s a strong correlation between the number of games a player plays, and their output the following season.

Other coaches have their own rules – for example, the YouTube Fantasy Coach, “Boothy” has the “No Second Year Player Rule”. This is based on the wide-held belief that second year players slump on form. Statistically this isn’t the case – but I’ll leave that for a future blog-post.

Career Games Played

Using the AFL Fantasy statistics since 2011, I have compiled the following chart which shows AFL Fantasy output vs Career Games played:

DT Total by Career Games Played

There appears to be sweet spot between 160 games and 240 games where their average output is the highest in their careers, as I’ve highlighted in red.

Conclusion

Based on this, my first guideline when looking for players is I’m going to look in that sweet-spot 160 and 240 games.

As explored in my previous article, Sale of the Century, we already know that Rookies represent a bargain this year, and our premiums are more expensive than ever before. But we can’t field a team of rookies, and value must be found. So in Band of Brothers – Part 2, I will focus on finding the right price point to maximize points.

And finally, in Band of Brothers – Part 3 in this series, I will compile a list of players that fit the guidelines which represent best value.