Stat analysis: Vital numbers to beat the best

Statistics wizard Adam Driussi provides invaluable breakdowns to allow you to differ your side from those atop the rankings.

Stat analysis

Our newest contributor Adam Driussi is here to deliver SC Playbook readers with a comprehensive breakdown of key statistics to help you gain an invaluable insight into edging the game’s top ranked players.

Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of the largest data analytics firm in Australia (Quantium) and is also a SuperCoach and Bulldogs tragic…three times top 100 finisher including 32nd last year.

Here are the key figures he found from Round 7.

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Analysing the top 20,000 teams after Round 7

Wow, what a week of SuperCoach carnage.  It felt like every time I looked another player of mine went down. Not to mention some of the scores of those players who did play!

Given injuries are so topical, much of my commentary this week will focus on a deep dive on the player ownership levels of players who we already know are unavailable heading into Round 8. It’s a tough read for some teams.

Fullback

As per last week, the table below sets out the percentage of teams ranked in the top 100, top 500, top 1,000, top 10,000 and top 20,000 teams that own each fullback and contrast that with the ownership levels as per the SuperCoach site. 

I’ve now ordered the tables by overall ownership levels according to the SuperCoach site.

Well who knew that those who held onto Ryan Papenhuyzen would be rewarded for their patience? 

Last week just 4% of the top 1,000 teams owned Papenhuyzen and 0% of the top 100. 

A monster performance in a very difficult week now sees 10 of the top 100 teams and 14% of the top 1,000 teams owning him.

With Turbo going down prior to last week, we’ve seen a huge increase in player ownership levels for Kalyn Ponga amongst the top ranked teams. 

Unfortunately, we are now in the position where the vast majority of the higher ranked teams have Teddy and Ponga – meaning it’s difficult to run a POD other than Papenhuyzen. 

In what shaped to be a really interesting position, it now looks pretty boring in terms of the ability to differentiate.

On the injury and suspensions front, RTS joins Turbo, Valentine Holmes and Caleb Aekins on the sideline this week – although he is actually owned by almost none of the top 20,000 teams anyway.

CTW and dual FLB/CTW

What a nightmare week at CTW. Bradman Best’s COVID dramas meant that 99% of the top 20,000 teams were immediately down one CTW. 

What followed though was ridiculous. Between Best, Wiliame, Mansour, Staggs, Capewell and lots of teams stashing nuffs at CTW, many teams were left scrambling to field 4 CTWs.

In fact, over 25% of the top 1,000 teams were one CTW short heading into last week pre-trades and a further 5% were 2 or 3 CTW’s short.  

If that wasn’t enough, we then had the most popular trade in target, Xavier Coates, flop with 9 points. Coates is now owned by over a third of the top 20,000 teams. Good luck.. 

The news wasn’t that much better for those teams who could scrape together a fourth CTW prior to trades last week. 

The overly popular Latrap (yes, I’m a happy non-owner) had a shocker with 9, only to be outdone by Ben Hampton’s 5, Jamayne Isaako’s 3 and Will Hopoate’s 2.

Meanwhile, David Nofoaluma continued to pile on the pain for those of us without him and Isaah Yeo, Zac Lomax and the Hammer pleased the 65% plus of teams that own each of them.

Not surprisingly, owning Nofoaluma (who is now the highest scoring player this year) continues to be one of the strongest predictors of current overall ranking.  Hats off to those who forked out the big dollars at the start of the year.

Halves

Our readers from last week will recall that Nathan Cleary was owned by just 15% of the top 1,000 teams – with Mitchell Moses owned by over 70%.  What a difference a week makes.

Cleary’s 99 together with Moses’ injury impacted 18 means that teams owning Cleary enjoyed a huge surge in the rankings.

To put it in perspective, going into last round, the team ranked 1000th was on 6,946 points. 

The team 81 points behind (i.e. the difference between owning Cleary and Moses this week) was 2,093rd – so owning Clearly this week resulted in a ranking boost of over 1,000 places for those anywhere near the top few thousand.

The carnage continued in the halves. Moses going down impacts 54% of the top 1,000 teams and the 32% who also own Cameron Munster are suddenly struggling to field a team this week. 

Add to that the 40%+ of teams still carrying Billy Walters and you have a lot going on here.

In fact, we can quantify it.  Across almost all rank bands the data is consistent. 

83% of teams have at least one of Moses or Munster. A third of teams have Moses and Munster, whilst a further 7% of teams have Moses, Munster and Walters. Ouch.

Unfortunately, I suspect that the key outcome will be even less differentiation in the ownership of halves.  

Moses owners will surely flock to Cleary almost immediately and Munster owners will most likely flock to Shaun Johnson. 

Between FLB and the halves I suspect a lot of us will be running with the Teddy, Ponga, Cleary and SJ combo – with the likes of Jarome Luai, George Williams and Scott Drinkwater sitting in the wings in case of injury. 

This opens the door up for those keen to select a POD such as Cody Walker (already a popular POD move for 9 of the top 100 teams), DCE, Luke Keary or Kyle Flanagan – or for those silly enough to still think that Anthony Milford can produce the form of 2014-2017.

2RF

As we observed last week, along with CTW, 2RF is the other position that largely dictates the ranking of teams to date. 

Owning Ryan Matterson, Cam McInnes and Angus Crichton instead of the likes of Jurbo, Cameron Murray or Viliame Kikau have proved crucial to date.

I note this week that around 7% of teams have signed up to the TPJ rollercoaster. As an owner throughout much of last year I wish you the best of luck. 

At his best he can be a SuperCoach weapon – but personally I don’t think he delivers that enough to rely on him – not to mention the inevitable suspensions.

I’ve included a few additional players this week to highlight some genuine POD options. 

Players like Tohu Harris, JFH, Curtis Sironen and Nathan Brown have very low levels of ownership compared to their five round averages. 

Most of us probably have bigger issues to fix in our squads this week – but you could do worse than upgrading the likes of Leilua, Hess, Carrigan etc to one of these guys in coming weeks as a POD move. 

Put it this way – depending on your rank, bringing in guys like Ryan Matterson or McInnes instead is not going to see you surge up the rankings.

Finally, whilst 12% of overall teams supposedly own Victor Radley, less than 2% of the top 20,000 teams are impacted by his season ending ACL injury. I will miss watching his hits though – what a player.

FRF

As noted last week, FRF is another position which hasn’t yet had a huge impact on rankings. 

We are all running with Payne Haas and none of the second FRF options have particularly shot the lights out relative to price. 

Alex Twal was the exception but his injury has seen mass trade outs and at least now we have some variation going forward.

Corey Horsburgh’s season ending injury is a blow not just to Big Red, but to the 12% of teams in the top 100 and 9% of teams in the top 20,000 who currently have him.

I’ve added a few serious POD options to the table this week. AFB is owned by just 1% of the top 20,000 teams and Sio Siua Taukeiaho is owned by less than 1%. 

As we saw last weekend, on their day these guys can be SuperCoach weapons and offer a serious alternative to the likes of Klemmer and Saifiti.

Moeaki Fotuaika has attracted interest amongst the leading teams after Alex Twal’s injury. 

HOK

How sick are Melbourne? It’s not good enough that they have the greatest hooker of all time in their squad along with the Kiwi hooker as a backup, but they also have Harry Grant in their squad going forward. 

This kid is a freak and unfortunately this week I had to watch him do it against my beloved Bulldogs. 

Going forward, I suspect we will see teams hold Harry, and gradually trade Api Koroisau up to a premium hooker in either Cameron Smith or Damien Cook.

Already we can see the top 100 teams are more likely to have Cameron Smith which makes sense given he is the third highest scoring player overall this season.

Round 7 Captaincy Choices

Once again, the table below shows that the most misleading statistic on the SuperCoach website is the captain’s choice stat – frankly it should just be ignored. 

The range in captaincy choices amongst the top 50 and 100 teams this week was really interesting. 

Not surprisingly, Kalyn Ponga dominated and the 66% of top 50 teams who had him would have been sweating until he at least jagged a late try-assist. 

Interestingly, a further 16% went with Payne Haas to score big against the Titans – this continues the theme of leading teams trying to find a captaincy option against the Titans.

Understandable, but it may soon switch to looking for captaincy choices against the Broncos..

I’m amazed that none of the top 50 teams went with Jason Taumalolo as captain. Maybe we are getting too cute here – the guy is a freak no matter who he plays.  

The other thing we can do this week which is pretty cool is quantify how many teams utilised the VC loop. 

Interestingly, just 4% of the top 100 teams looped this week. This is best seen in the table above as ‘Other’ – just ignore it for the overall stats though since I assume that is zombie teams who don’t have a captain as opposed to teams looping. 

I thought it might be more this week with so many teams having just 17 or 18 players it was a real option. I guess those who looped Papenhuyzen or Cleary would be pretty happy.

Note that the top 2 teams had Ryan Matterson and Harry Grant as captain so good to see that they are not afraid to be different!

Summary

Thanks to everyone for your feedback on the article last week. It was good to see that people found the stats interesting and valuable. I’ll keep posting regular articles and thinking through other ways we can look at the data.

Good luck in Round 8!  

Help support the future of the site by signing up to SC Playbook for detailed SuperCoach analysis from hundreds of additional articles throughout the 2020 NRL season.

8 Responses to “Stat analysis: Vital numbers to beat the best”

  1. Great article, have really enjoyed it over the past few weeks. An idea for the coming weeks, maybe some analysis on team value and how much teams are spending their money by position would be great.

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