Stats Blog: Strike while the iron’s hot after debutant bonanza

For all the anguish around Matthew Rowell’s shoulder injury, his Gold Coast teammate Izak Rankine along with a few other debutants gave coaches reason to smile in Round Six.

There’s never been a better time to downgrade, with Round Six representing a debutant bonanza.

An unprecedented eight players debuted in Round Six, plus Geelong’s Sam Simpson (AF $170k SC $123k MID) who had played six AFL games before but at his price is practically a rookie.

Eight debutants is very high for a round this far into the season. For context, there’s been 36 debutants in 2020, so on average that’s six per round, but usually there’s a large influx in Round One which peters away.

Amid that, Round Six debutant Izak Rankine (AF $204k SC $123K FWD) produced the highest scoring first game of any of 2020’s debutants in both AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach, with 65/111.

He was actually tied in AFL Fantasy, alongside another Round Six debutant Dylan Stephens (AF $288k SC $189k MID) with 65.

In SuperCoach, another Round Six debutant Will Day (AF $268k SC $153k DEF) came in third in for highest scoring debut in 2020 with 92, while Andrew McPherson (AF $190k SC $123k DEF) came in sixth with his 76.

Day was also seventh in AFL Fantasy, meaning three of the top seven AFL Fantasy debuts in 2020 and three of the top six SuperCoach debuts in 2020 occurred in Round Six.

Above all of those players is Simpson who posted 102/112 in AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach respectively, meaning coaches are spoilt for choice with rookies right now. But strike while the iron is hot. Double downgrade anyone.

Highest scoring 2020 debuts – AFL Fantasy (left) & SuperCoach (right)

PlayerAF Debut ScorePlayerSC Debut Score
Izak Rankine65Izak Rankine111
Dylan Stephens65Sam Sturt100
Matthew Rowell64Will Day92
Sam Sturt61Matthew Rowell80
Mitch Georgiades60Mitch Georgiades78
Caleb Serong60Andrew McPherson76
Will Day58Jake Aarts76
Accurate Monday 13 July 2020

New Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir has established an annoying new habit for AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach coaches; late withdrawals.

Across six rounds, Freo have already had five late withdrawals; Nathan Wilson (R2), Stephen Hill (R3), Travis Colyer (R5), Sam Sturt and Brennan Cox (R6).

For context, the next worst is GWS, Hawthorn, North Melbourne and Sydney who’ve all had two late withdrawals this year. Nine AFL clubs have had zero late withdrawals in 2020.

There are justifiable injuries behind all of Freo’s late withdrawals so it’s easy to ignore as unlucky but it is a sign of how a club handles selection, giving themselves to the last minute on players.

Such an outlying figure is important to take note of. Can you trust Fremantle’s final 22 before lockout?

In Round Six, Geelong scored the most points as a collective 22 and they also conceded the fewest across both AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach too. That’s an impressive feat.

On average in 2020, the Cats actually average the most points scored in SuperCoach and sit behind only Port Adelaide and Collingwood in AFL Fantasy.

Geelong also average the fewest points conceded per match of any side in both AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach.

That’s particularly relevant as they have the Thursday night game again this week against Collingwood, with both sides possessing some good VC loophole options.

There’s few better than Brodie Grundy (AF $897k SC $679k RUCK), particularly when he’s brooding after a mediocre-by-his-standards score of 53/107.

Geelong’s Darcy Fort seems an easy opponent but he’s restricted Stefan Martin and Oscar McInerney to 45/39 and 35/38 respectively last round and Jarrod Witts to 63/83 in Round Five.

But the Pies and Cats are among the top three collective scorers for 2020 in both AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach, so take your pick on the VC loophole.

Fremantle have also been one of the most restrictive sides over the past fortnight in both AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach, so tread with caution if you’ve loaded up on Eagles ahead of the Western Derby and their home run.

Also on West Coast, take note on the recent upsurge from Tim Kelly (AF $728k SC $500k MID), Dom Sheed (AF $675k SC $487k MID) and Elliot Yeo (AF $677k SC $481k MID) which has coincided with two wins, Andrew Gaff being tagged the past two games and Luke Shuey’s absence through injury.

For the record, across the 2020 season, Adelaide have still conceded the most points in both AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach by a considerable margin. St Kilda play the Crows in Round Seven.

For more collective stats head to our Statistics section.

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