With Daily Fantasy Sports being in its infancy here in Australia it’s only natural that players look to the tools and strategies that have been honed over recent times in the much larger market of the US. The market value of DFS in the States is talked about in the billions of dollars and as such there are plenty of websites offering tools of varying complexity depending on the sport in question.
One of the most widely known and easily convertible to Australian Football is the Points Allowed by Position tool. Popular in NBA and arguably the most useful in NFL, this tool is designed to show how each recognised position performs against each team.
In sports where individuals play one-on-one (ie corner-back v wide-receiver or point-guard v point-guard) or vs a dedicated system (ie running-back v top ranked run defence) matchups are easily predictable, when this is the case this tool is extremely valuable. When matchups are not quite as easily defined then some caution needs to be taken as to relying on the tool as a standalone resource. In AFL some positions are more predictable than others simply due to the nature of the sport so we recommend coaches understand the limitations (as with all statistical tools and models) and supplement this tool with our other offerings when undertaking their research.
At Daily Fantasy Sports Australia we have developed the most advanced AFL Points Allowed by Position tool available which gives you the best possible stats for your line-up research. We provide a three panel layout, the first contains detailed filter and sorting options to help coaches narrow down their research.
We categorise players as per their Official AFL Player Ratings positions (with some basic tweaks to account for games where players have been played out of position, ie key forward covering for a ruck). We don’t simply rely on positions as assigned by the DFS Platforms as these are often inaccurate when players have undertaken role changes, etc.
Our rankings are measured by two metrics:
- Average Points Against
This is the most common way to present the data and provides some value to coaches, however, it’s not the preferred metric here at DFS Australia as it can be misleading and doesn’t provide the coach with the best possible underlying trends.
- Average +/- Against
This is the default rank setting and our preferred metric which we strongly recommend be used. This plus minus refers to the average points scored above or below each players season average and is the most accurate measure of a player’s performance from a fantasy perspective. (This is not plus minus vs the league average which we do not recommend as it masks important information more so than simple Average Points Against does)
Next we give the option to limit the number of players considered in the analysis. Coaches can limit their research to the top ranked player for each team all the way to the top five (default is to select all players). We feel this is a very important filter dependent on the position you are analysing. For example, when interrogating ruck performance for your line-ups it’s rare that you will be looking to roster a ruck that is expected to play the back-up roll and as such you want to know how each team performs against the opponent’s lead ruck, to do this you limit analysis to “Top 1”. This would be the same (for the most part) with key forward and key defender (although who is going to roster a key defender very often?). When researching midfielders, it may be best suited to analyse the top 3 or 4 instead of all.
The final filter is fairly simple and allows the user to select which round to start the analysis from. This is handy when wanting to understand how teams have performed in recent weeks as opposed to all season long. Maybe teams have turned their season around from a performance perspective and it’s not necessarily accurate to consider all rounds, or maybe there have been personnel changes that may affect them in a specific position (ie Nic Naitanui’s injury).
Once all filters have been assigned as required then simply clicking the “UPDATE DVP” button will perform the required analysis. The output of which will be shown in the second panel. As mentioned before, the teams are ranked by Average +/- Against by default and this is our recommended ranking metric. The ranked metric will be shown with a four colour scale, with dark green showing a matchup that is better than the average plus one standard deviation while dark red is the opposite.
Finally, the third panel shows the top players (based on season average) for the position being analysed and their upcoming matchup. This is a handy table to help quickly identify players who may warrant further research based on the AFL Points Allowed by Position tool.
As Always, Gamble Responsibly