Centre Bounce Attendances, better known as CBAs, may as well be defined as the lifeblood of fantasy footy fanatics around Australia.

We crave the stat more than Bevo craves a role change.

CBAs can tell us which players are spending primary time in the midfield, providing us an opportunity to interpret whether a dip or spike in fantasy output may be attributed to less or more time in the middle.

Here’s an example of a centre bounce, or more accurately in this case, a centre ball-up, from the heart-thumping 4th quarter between Carlton and Melbourne in round 16:

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Following a goal from Jayden Hunt, this frantic final centre bounce with just over 90 seconds left to play and 5 points the difference was crucial for both teams.

With the game on the line, Melbourne lined up with Brayden Preuss, Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney and Angus Brayshaw in the middle. Carlton opted for a Matthew Kreuzer, Sam Walsh, Ed Curnow and Marc Murphy combination.

In this example, each of the players named above would be awarded 1 Centre Bounce Attendance (CBA).

Like last week, I’ll use the first game of the round to illustrate how to correctly read the spreadsheet flurry of numbers and colours:

Underneath each game are my takeaways from an AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach draft perspective to help you strive for single season and keeper league glory.

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Round 16 CBAs

Hawthorn / Collingwood

Interesting to see Jordan De Goey get a descent run in the mids in this one, as the Pies try to recapture their midfield magic. Tough run coming up for Collingwood on the run home, so don’t get too excited.

Keeper coaches would be hoping young gun, Brayden Sier (38 AF|36 SC) could have capatalized a bit more in the ongoing absence of Taylor Adams and Dayne Beams — but with 59% time on ground (TOG) and attending just 32% of CBAs, it’s been tough to see his true scoring upside.

The Hawks spread the love a bit by taking away midfield minutes from one trusty fossil, Silk — while gifting another borderline fossil, Poppy, a few extra bounces.

Essendon / Sydney

Shaun McKernan didn’t get a heap more CBAs like we may have hoped for sans Bellchambers, but he still put up big fantasy numbers across both formats. Still widely under-owned (only 52% owned on Ultimate Footy), this fantasy friendly ruck-forward role makes him a worthy stream for the time being.

With Sydney’s ruck Callum Sinclair also on the sidelines, Aliir Aliir spent major time in the ruck in this game, putting up great numbers in the SuperCoach format. The role may be short-lived, though, with the return of big man, Darcy Cameron being a real possibility in the near future.

Keeper coaches go ahead and snap up James Rowbottom for a stash right NOW! The 18-year-old rookie had 87 AFL Fantasy and 99 SuperCoach points in a mere 52% TOG, being used as the 4th midfielder behind the ‘big 3’ of Parker, Kennedy and Hewett. With numbers this good expect Horse to dump him back to the two’s next week.

Gold Coast / Richmond

After almost missing out on selection (he was a late replacement), Will Brodie managed to squeeze in the team, but was way down on his CBA numbers from the last few weeks. Touk Miller was back being utilized as a prime mover following his gradual return from injury, while Brad Scheer was in the midfield only for a negating role on Dustin Martin and little else. Brayden Fiorini’s stock may have taken a hit in recent weeks, but I’m holding out hope for a strong response against Adelaide this week.

While it may have been circumstantial midfield time for some Tigers (a nice way of saying they were absolutely spanking the Suns so they rolled out the B Team), Shai Bolton showed exciting signs for a fantasy friendly future. The 20-year-old basically swapped roles with Dusty for this game, piling on 116 AFL Fantasy and 122 SuperCoach points. An intriguing speculative add option in single seasons with his forward status and a solid stash in keepers.

Adelaide / Port Adelaide

Rory Sloane and Hugh Greenwood upped their CBAs following the axing (again) of Bryce Gibbs — but aside from that, not a heap to take away from the Crows side of things, who were soundly beaten in the midfield.

Port Adelaide welcomed back fantasy royalty in Tom Rockliff, while Sam Powell-Pepper was a late replacement for the injured Travis Boak. Both spent major minutes in the midfield, while Robbie Gray delayed his predicted move back to the forward line with a dominant performance. Biggest story here was Justin Westhoff (132 AF|125 SC), who was outstanding roaming on a wing, leading up the ground, and pinch-hitting in the ruck in his first game alongside Charlie Dixon in 2019.

Western Bulldogs / Geelong

The Toby McLean (82 AF|102 SC) revival kicked into gear with some much-needed midfield time in his return to the side following a stint in the VFL. Probably dropped by a few frustrated coaches in recent weeks, you might’ve be lucky enough to pick up the forward-eligible 23-year-old and can now hope for a continued uptick as he builds back to form. However, with Libba on the cusp of a return, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Following zero CBAs in the first half, Gary Ablett Jnr. was called upon to make something happen in the middle as the Cats struggled to break away from the Dogs.

Fremantle / West Coast

The hopeful prediction of a Connor Blakely midfield move in last week’s article fell miserably short. Following a fantasy-friendly final quarter in round 15 where he attended 8 of final 9 centre bounces, Blakely moved straight down back in round 16 to allow Mitch Crowden…MITCH CROWDEN(?!!) his chance. High-pressure derby? Must-win game with finals implications? Yeah, let’s give the 10th gamer a crack (I like Crowden by the way and am admittedly a butthurt Blakely owner, but c’mon Ross).

Darcy Tucker is stringing a few solid games together and was given a chance to show his midfield chops in the final quarter of this blowout, with all of his 6 CBAs coming in the 4th.

The Eagles enter their fantasy-friendly run home with one of the more consistent and relatively unchanged midfield rotations in recent weeks.

Carlton / Melbourne

The Jack Silvagni train has all but left the station, hope you jumped on last week! However, Silvagni’s solid scores (109 AF 109 SC) were not from maintaining his bulk midfield minutes from last week, rather a combination of early midfield accumulation, followed by a successful move back in to his home up forward, resulting in a few snags. Nevertheless continuing impressive signs for the oft-criticized 21-year-old. I’d still jump on and see where this goes — even in single season leagues if you have a spot for him.

Melbourne – Ah yes, the vintage move by a coach with a team struggling to find their mojo…bring in the washed-up veteran! Enter Jordan Lewis. It’s perhaps a bit harsh on the former Hawks champion and reliable fantasy stud, but the 33-year-old is well past his best days. That didn’t stop Coach Goodwin chucking Lewis in there for huge midfield minutes — sacrificing James Harmes inside mid time in the process. Thankfully for owners, Harmes (94 AF 119 SC) scores were unaffected by the role change, while Lewis (64 AF 73 SC) could be considered a very speculative add due to his defender status — despite poor scores for the round.

Brayden Preuss (108 AF 140 SC) filled in superbly for the late-withdrawal Max Gawn, which begs the question. WHAT WAS PREUSS THINKING SIGNING IN MELBOURNE?! Guessing he’ll be looking for a new agent come next contract negotiations… Preussy, I’m available.

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North Melbourne / Saint Kilda

Another fantastic game from Jy Simpkin (110 AF 125 SC) and another ‘W’ for Coach Shaw. Following this game, Simpkin has a very #nice AFL Fantasy average of 69, with arguably a better average in SuperCoach. Currently at 69% owned on Ultimate Footy, Simpkin is easily the #nicest pickup going around at the moment.

Image from Ultimate Footy.

While he only had 3 CBAs to his name, Hunter Clark (78 AF 64 SC) looks like a star of the future. Clark was thrown into the midfield late in the game when the outcome was all but determined. But a couple of quality games now in a row from the 20-year-old playing mainly in defence makes him an ‘add’ prospect most certainly in your keepers, but even as a very smokey D6 for the run home in single season leagues.

Greater Western Sydney / Brisbane

GWS gun, Josh Kelly is expected to miss 3 weeks with a calf injury after putting together another strong performance for just over 3 quarters on the weekend. It was Toby Greene who filled the midfield void when Kelly went down and boy would it be exciting to see him get a proper run in there again, where we know he can pile on the points. If he is ever going to get a chance, it would be this week; with the Giants midfield brigade — Kelly (3 weeks), De Boer (5-7 weeks), Ward (season), Coniglio (test) and Whitfield (test) — running thin for their clash with Richmond on Sunday.

Lincoln McCarthy (109 AF 137 SC) continues to spend time in the Lions engine room and rack up fantasy points. A 3-game AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach average of 93.7 and 96.7 respectively, McCarthy is providing great value as a forward-eligible player getting some quality midfield time. Still available in plenty of leagues, jump on!