For those of you who have been keeping track of overall rank in AFL Fantasy football you will know that the same team “Moreira’s┬áMagic” has won two years in a row. So it comes as no surprise that many of us are looking closely at what he does.

In his 2019 Season’s guide (which is well worth the entrance fee – especially since it goes to charity), he makes a statement that is also common in AFL Fantasy folklore:


The last 5 games gives a great indication of what to expect in the up coming season, particularly with younger players.

Moreira’s magic

On the surface it seems reasonable. But is this fact or legend?

The Criteria

Moreira qualifies his quote above by looking particularly at younger players. His rational is: “younger players who are given more responsibility or pushed into the midfield is a sign of things to come”.

So I have come up with the following criteria:

  • A young player is a player has played 5 or fewer seasons.
  • Played all 5 of the last home-and-away rounds in the previous season (i.e. they have had a contiguous run at things).

Five or fewer seasons is the way Moreira defines a young player – and this is backed up by my research in last years Band of Brothers where players improve mostly during their first 100 games (which is ~5 seasons) before peaking.

Correlating the Results

On the X-Axis I have plotted the “Average of the Previous Seasons Last 5 Games”. On the Y-Axis I have plotted the “Average of the following Season”. I’ve used data going back as far as 2011 (as this is simply the data-set I have collated).

From what we see here the plots show a clear positive linear correlation between the last 5 games and the next seasons average.

Conclusion


It’s confirmed! For young players the evidence is there that their last 5 scores from the previous season is a good indication of what is to come.