Fantasy finals are upon us! What better way to get the edge over your opponent than to get the stats you can’t find anywhere else — the fantasy coach’s favourite temptress — the Centre Bounce Attendance.

Centre Bounce Attendances (CBAs) are awarded to players present inside the centre square at the start of a quarter or following a goal.

Last week we saw one of the finest CBAs of the season; Jake Stringer’s monster game-winning clearance that went through for a goal. This week, I present to you the ugly side:

Animated GIF

The Battle of the Bridge had an exciting finish, but a rancid ruck duel. In this centre bounce, we see Shane Mumford up against Hayden McLean (#theinferiorDos), in a contest perfectly described by Leon Cameron’s unrelated reaction above.

In this example, for GWS: Mumford, Taranto, Hopper and Greene are in attendance. While for Sydney: McLean, Parker, Jones and Hewett recorded a CBA.

If you have any trouble interpreting the plethora of colourful tables, use the image below to follow along with the opening game of the round:

For those who don’t know how we get these stats — we watch every single centre bounce across all the games and record them manually. This week a big thanks goes to Stevie Fizz, who recorded the data and provided notes for 5 of the games.

Round 20 CBAs

North Melbourne / Hawthorn

Steve says:

  • Ben McEvoy delivered a massive effort, attending every centre bounce, despite getting dinged up before half time. Burgoyne saw less time, whilst Worpel went full ham (37 disposals) with a bit of a spike in attendances.
  • Midfield mainstay Jed Anderson was out, creating a vacuum of opportunity and Higgins stepped up to take them all and a heap of fantasy points. Tarryn Thomas continues to get a crack, whilst the Ziebell role yo-yo continues, though he did put out a great score for owners this week.

Essendon / Port Adelaide

  • Jake Stringer‘s midfield heroics last week was not rewarded with more mid time — attending just 2 of 15 centre bounces to half time before being unleashed in the second half.
  • While Darcy Parish‘s early concussion may have altered the Dons plans slightly, he wasn’t a huge attendee in round 19 anyway. Mitch Brown filled the back-up ruck vacancy left by a Shaun McKernan late withdrawal.
  • Playing in just his 3rd game of the season, 21-year-old, Peter Ladhams got his chance as Port’s primary ruckman following the controversial omission of Scott Lycett. The 202cm big man was pretty solid; winning 22 hitouts, 10 contested possessions and 7 clearances — amassing 78 AFL Fantasy and 95 SuperCoach points. Should be on keeper radars with the noise surrounding the soon-to-be out of contract, Paddy Ryder.

GWS Giants / Sydney Swans

Steve says:

  • Dawson Simpson was a late out, so the GWS split ruck situation was also out; leaving Mumford free to win all the hitouts and score a ton over Hayden McLean.
  • Aiden Bonar came in for his first game of the year and, despite his low time on ground (TOG), managed to get a really good crack in the middle. Someone to watch moving forward, no doubt.
  • Isaac Heeney was jammed forward in this one as the Swans continue to blood their youngsters in the midfield.

Fremantle / Geelong Cats

Steve says:

  • The big news for fantasy coaches was David Mundy being taken out of the square and put forward for the whole game — putting out a bad score for coaches.
  • Fremantle reduced the amount of mids they rolled through the middle on top of that, so players really saw a nice bump in attendances, notably Tucker who is sometimes in, sometimes not.
  • Business as usual on the Geelong side, though Ablett attended fewer centre bounces. He still scored well with 8 tackles, equalling his season-high. The Cats still use a lot of players through the square.

Melbourne / Richmond

Steve says:

  • A couple of regular Melbourne mids saw a little dip in attendances with Petracca getting a bump. It wouldn’t shock if Melbourne gave him a bit more run over the last few weeks as they play for pride. Melksham made a long-awaited return and got in a couple of times. Was a regular earlier in the year, watch this space.
  • A huge bump for Shane Edwards, with Sydney Stack and Trent Cotchin (both out injured) opening up some game time. Surprising to see Jack Graham drop attendances in those circumstances, but with the way the Tigers are rolling, it’s hard not to want to just start them all and not get too cute.

Adelaide Crows / St Kilda

Steve says:

  • Not much change at St Kilda, but Adelaide brought Gibbs in and he was playing pure midfield. Scored nicely, too. The midfield group condensed with the Brodie Smith/Wayne Milera types not attending any centre bounces, with only 5 different mids getting a look.

Collingwood / Gold Coast Suns

  • Stewie Dew seems to be trying to find the right midfield mix, with really anything on the cards at the moment, like… Sean Lemmens. Unfortunately one of the big losers of the recent experiments has been my beloved, Brayden Fiorini. He attended just 1 centre bounce in the second half.
  • The return of Jack Bowes and Jack Martin will throw a spanner in the works for the final few games, with the 2 likely to spend some more time in the engine room. Particularly Bowes, who had 5 of his 6 CBAs in the second half — being eased back into action with limited TOG in his first game since round 11.
  • Taylor Adams directly replaced the injured De Goey, while Rupert Wills filled the low-TOG, high-attendance role usually reserved for Brayden Sier. It appears as if Jack Crisp will remain at his usual post in defence (for now at least), with Scott Pendlebury back in his midfield role the past 2 weeks.
  • With Mason Cox out for the remainder of the season, could the Pies possibly roll out Wills as the chop-out for Grundy? It sounds absurd. But the 191cm Wills was used in the role during this game following the Cox injury.

Carlton / West Coast Eagles

  • Teague appears settled on using the Cripps-Murphy-Curnow combination heavily, with a spattering of youth thrown into the 4th midfield slot throughout games. Jack Silvagni getting a run with the full midfield brigade back in tow could do enough to tilt keeper coaches toward potentially holding the talented youngster into season 2020.
  • West Coast remains one of the most settled midfield units in the competition, with Naitanui’s injury the only major change since round 15.

Brisbane Lions / Western Bulldogs

  • Dayne Zorko‘s hamstring injury (now thought to be minor) opened up more time for Lincoln McCarthy — who had zero CBAs up to half time. If Zorko misses this week’s Q Clash, McCarthy could be the ultimate risk/reward stream for desperate draft coaches.
  • While Bontempelli spent a little more time forward, Caleb Daniel got a rare (and brief) go on the inside. However, Beverage has opted for a steady big 3 of Macrae, Dunkley and the Bont in recent weeks, allowing coaches a welcome sigh of relief amid fantasy finals.