Another big week of fantasy footy action means another huge week of centre bounce attendances — the best stat in ALL of fantasy!
A centre bounce attendance (CBA) is recorded when a player attends the centre bounce at the beginning of a quarter or following a goal and can give us an idea of which players have those cushy, fantasy-friendly roles.
In round 17, 160 different players recorded a CBA from a total of 226 centre bounces across the 9 games. Reilly O’Brien attended the most centre bounces of any player this week, recording 29 CBAs in the Crows blowout victory over the Suns, while 14 players attended just 1 centre bounce on the weekend.
For those who are unfamiliar with the beauty of a CBA, here is the final centre bounce from the Essendon vs. North Melbourne heart-thumping 4th quarter:
In this example, for Essendon, Zac Clarke, Dylan Shiel, Zac Merrett and Dylan Clarke would be awarded 1 CBA. For North, Todd Goldstein, Jack Ziebell, Jy Simpkin and Ben Cunnington are the centre bounce attendees.
As always, there are a lot of numbers to digest here, so familiarize yourself with this explainer image that uses the first game of round 17 — to fully understand what we’re on about!
Underneath the stats are my thoughts from a single season or keeper league perspective on players of interest, based on their CBA numbers from the weekend.
Listen to The Draft Doctors podcast for plenty more fantasy draft content every Monday morning during the fantasy season — and don’t forget we go all year round!
Round 17 CBAs
West Coast / Collingwood
With Nic Nat ruled out indefinitely on the official AFL injury list and Nathan Vardy still 1-2 weeks away, Tom Hickey should have the solo ruck reigns for a couple of weeks at least and will be a nice streaming option during that time.
Jack Crisp was the biggest story from this game, essentially swapping roles with Scott Pendlebury, with the Pies opting for a largely new-look midfield against the reigning premiers. Starting with a Grundy, Treloar, De Goey, Crisp lineup at the opening centre bounce, Buckley stuck with the fresh midfield core throughout the match — paying dividends during a dominant 2nd half for the Pies. Despite a slow start in his new role (just 1 kick in the opening term), Crisp came home like a steam train and was instrumental in the comeback victory.
31-year-old veteran, Pendlebury, had finger surgery after suffering an injury in the second quarter — playing out the game on the half back flank (a shift that occurred pre-injury), but is listed as a test for round 18. Taylor Adams potential injection back into the side against GWS could once again see a shift in the midfield dynamic, so stay tuned!
Sydney / Carlton
Neither Aliir Aliir or Sam Reid have managed to thrive in the ruck during the absence of Callum Sinclair. Both have been given their chance, but neither have managed to find their own scoring bump as a result of the more fantasy-friendly role. They have however, formed a formidable duo of allowing fantasy points from opposition ruckmen. As Statesman pointed out on this week’s podcast, the Swans ruck matchup is providing an opportunity for coaches to put the captain armband on their direct opponent — with ruckmen not-named Zac Clarke averaging 111.5 AFL Fantasy and 114.5 SuperCoach against the Reid-Aliir ruck tandem.
Patrick Cripps’ return to the Carlton midfield saw a slight dip for many of the younger Blues players. Sam Walsh, Jack Silvagni and Zac Fisher took a slight hit, but still all scored well in their slightly varied roles. New Carlton caretaker coach, David “training wheels” Teague is valuing playing veterans alongside Cripps, while giving the future Blues a taste of the action. Ed Curnow and Marc Murphy season is in full swing!
In Teague-coached games, the elder-Curnow is averaging 95.4 AFL Fantasy and 100.4 SuperCoach points. Murphy, who turns 32 on Friday, is similarly back to his fantasy best, averaging 103.5 AFL Fantasy and 110 SuperCoach points during the training wheels era.
Hawthorn / Fremantle
In what has been an injury clad, underwhelming start to his career at the Hawks, Chad Wingard (87 AF 88 SC) was thrown into the midfield in his return from injury, posting solid fantasy numbers. Should he maintain this more fantasy-friendly role, Wingard’s scoring will be much more palatable going forward — a trade deadline buy-low candidate.
Rory Lobb was preferred as the primary ruck against Big Boy McEvoy, with Sean Darcy struggling at times against the more physical Hawks big man. In the 9 games where Lobb has produced 20+ hitouts, he is putting up 87.8 AFL Fantasy and 94.3 SuperCoach points.
Essendon / North Melbourne
Dylan Clarke (81 AF 78 SC) spent more time on the inside in this game, putting the clamps on Ben Cunnington (47 AF 54 SC) and proving to be a reliable tagging pest on bigger-bodied midfielders this season. Zac Clarke (86 AF 88 SC) was far better in his second attempt to fill the Bellchambers void — taking it up to North ruckman Todd Goldstein.
Keeper coaches (and select North fans) constantly asking for Paul Ahern to be given a chance would have been pleasantly surprised to see the 22-year-old getting a go in the guts on the weekend. However, playing only 60% time on ground (TOG) and grabbing only 12 disposals in a loss — translating to 35 AFL Fantasy and 42 SuperCoach points — its safe to say keeper coaches are far safer stashing Tarryn Thomas (70 AF 76 SC) is he’s still available. The 19-year-old is showing early signs of star potential to go with some future fantasy scoring chops, with more midfield time on the cards going forward.
Gold Coast / Adelaide
Hard to know what’s real in yet another blowout loss for our poor Suns. One of the more depressing moments of charting CBAs this weekend came from having to record some formidable Gold Coast midfield combinations featuring… Sam Day, Sean Lemmens and Michael Rischitelli…you hate to see it.
Brodie Smith (84 AF 98 SC) has been attending a few centre bounces in the last couple of weeks, firstly against the Power last week (as the Crows tried anything late in the game to try and get going), and again this week during a blowout. While I see this bump as more of a way to provide rest for Rory Sloane, its interesting to see the defender / winger having an occasional crack on the inside. Wayne Milera (92 AF 114 SC) may be more of a permanent solution in the midfield going forward, being the outside polish to help the Crows inside mids.
Geelong / Saint Kilda
Mark Blicavs (56 AF 79 SC) AFL Fantasy streaming days may be over, following the return of Cats big man Esava Ratugolea (83 AF 98 SC). Still a SuperCoach option playing his key post in defence, Blicavs just can’t hit juicy numbers in AFL Fantasy without the bonus hitouts and disposals playing backup ruck. Brandon Parfitt (72 AF 64 SC) returned from injury to post solid numbers in limited game time — eased back into action with just 67% TOG.
Next weeks Saint Kilda CBA numbers are going to be some of the most interesting of the season, following the resignation of coach, Alan Richardson.
Richmond / Greater Western Sydney
Shai Bolton (115 AF 112 SC) season remains in full swing, as the 20-year-old Tiger was awarded the NAB AFL Rising Star nomination for his efforts in round 17. Playing more midfield in the past 2 weeks, Bolton has made the most of the move — influencing games while posting huge fantasy numbers. Bolton was our #1 waiver wire pickup for the week on the podcast — if you still have a chance, take a flyer on this young gun!
Toby Greene (144 AF 138 SC) started this game in the midfield and remained a prominent feature in there, following the Stephen Coniglio injury very early in the game. The Statesman has long called this guy a #GUN — and for good reason! When Greene plays in the midfield he is a scoring machine. In his most prolific stretch early in his career, playing as a midfielder way back in 2014, Greene finished the season on fire. From round 17-23 that year, the then 20-year-old averaged 124 AFL Fantasy and 129 SuperCoach points! If he can get anywhere close to these numbers, this GUN will be worthy of The Statesman’s high praise.
Western Bulldogs / Melbourne
Jono Crockett’s observations on this week’s podcast were spot on. Experience Bulldog, Jack Trengove was the preferred primary ruck in the second half over Tim English. After English recorded 10/14 CBAs in the first half to Trengove’s 0, the younger bulldog only had 3/9 in the second half, with the veteran Trengove amassing 5/9 (1 went to Shache). This did, however, feel like a temporary move to stem the ruck bleeding to the dominant Gawn-Preuss duo.
Jordan Lewis continues to inexplicably spent a heap of time in the midfield. Strange scenes at the Demons. I’m sick of building Brayshaw theories as to the lack of midfield and game time. But regardless of whether its injuries, form, or something behind the scenes, Brayshaw is on the verge of being unfieldable of late.
Port Adelaide / Brisbane
Cam Sutcliffe (42 AF 31 SC) was used as a first-half tagger against former teammate Lachie Neale (83 AF 118 SC) to some effect. But after Hinkley realised he’s a spud, he gave Powell-Pepper all of Sutcliffe’s CBAs in the second half — as Sutcliffe replaced the injured Burton in defence. Connor Rozee as a future midfield prospect is super exciting, and while he was exposed late during a blowout loss — the future is bright for this 19-year-old WH-eapon.
Lincoln McCarthy (89 AF 103 SC) has been a fantastic streaming option for a month now, and might end up just being a solid scorer for us for the remainder of the year. However, with McCluggage a test this week and Berry gradually upping his midfield time, McCarthy’s CBAs (and potentially scoring) could take a hit in the coming weeks.