Stat Analysis: Player prices, it’s all in the value

Data analyst and SuperCoach weapon Joseph Kenny looks at the key stats to help you build your Round 1 team.

AFL Key Analysis Pre Season

Can’t decide which of the bargain players to select in your side? Let the data guide you.

Finding value in your selections is a key part of building any successful SuperCoach side.

This allows you (in theory) to field players early in the year that score well and increase in price until you transition your team to full premium.

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Classic examples from 2021 were Jack Ziebell (average of 107 at a starting price $258k) or Jarman Impey (average of 91 at a starting price of $213k).

However, this can go wrong if a player doesn’t score well, doesn’t gain in price, isn’t selected or gets injured (like how I picked Jordan Clark last year…).

This is your classic case of risk/reward with high upside if you get these selections right. With the five extra trades this year, there is a greater margin for error if these choices don’t work out.

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How can the data help?

If we assess the expected scoring of some of our under-priced players against their actual starting price, we can assess each player by how much extra value they are potentially offering.

This can help us decide between the many under-priced players on offer this year. The other important part of course being that the player actually plays each week!

For expected score, we can come up with a number in our head, use a past average, or if you have too much time on your hands like me – build a model.

We can convert this expected score into a dollar value by multiplying it by the SuperCoach magic number – about 5440.

For example, Steven Coniglio is priced at $261k and is currently in 64% of teams. This starting price equates to a score of about 48 points per round (see what I did there – 261,000 divided by 5440).

Let’s say we expect a score of 82 points per round from Coniglio. This would equate to a potential value of around $443k and a net value of $182k. Sign me up!

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Let’s look at some other examples:

  • M. Crouch looks underpriced at $482k (89 breakeven). If he scores at 102, you have just made yourself $63k. Not bad, but is it worth the risk?
  • Lyons ($640k) is priced to average 118 points per round. Let’s say he goes at 110, sounds great right? Wrong – you just lost $47k.
  • Gresham and Rayner are at a similar price point to Coniglio. To get good value, they need an average between 80 and 85. Can they do it? Can all three do it …
  • Horne-Francis, our No. 1 draft pick, costs us $207k. To get good bang for buck we are going to need an average of around 65 and ideally over 70. Is this expecting too much for a rookie?
PlayerTeampositionPriceBreakevenExpected ScoreNet Value
J. LyonsBRLMID$640K118110-$47K
M. CrouchADEMID$482K89102$63K
J. GreshamSTKMID FWD$299K5581$137K
C. RaynerBRLFWD$279K5161$49K
S. ConiglioGWSMID FWD$261K4882$180K
J. Horne-FrancisNTHMID$207K3860$119K

In Summary:

This is just one way to evaluate players and should be considered with a range of factors (injury risk, selection risk, role, having a cool name, you get a good vibe etc).

This can also be a helpful way of looking at prices throughout the year when they start to move and it comes to trading in players. Hopefully this helps one or two out there and opens up a new way of looking at players.

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