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The Elite of the AFL

The TipBetPro player rankings are calculated based on three primary factors:

  • Optimal experience: based on an experience curve. Players between 100 & 200 games and under the age of 30 are statistically shown to be most likely to be in the peak of their career

  • AFL Player Rankings (injury adjusted by TipBetPro): measures player performance over a range of game-impacting statistics (contested possessions, involvement in scoring chains and metres gained are amongst the statistics weighted favourably) over a rolling two-year period

  • Short term form: As measured by SuperCoach scores in the current season with a bias towards more recent performances

We have used historical results to weight these three factors and we then calculate the TipBetPro ranking points for each player in the AFL. Any player who has in excess of 50% higher than the AFL average we consider as elite and there are 36 such players in the competition. Let’s take a look at the breakdown by team.

So in terms of those players that statistically are considered to be the most impactful players in the competition, Hawthorn and Sydney lead the way with 5 elite players each. Certainly the Hawthorn assessment will come as no surprise and the three-peat premiers are a step ahead of the competition when it comes to elite players. In fact, in addition to the five players above, a further five – Shaun Burgoyne, Josh Gibson, Luke Breust, Grant Birchall and Jack Gunston are not far off entering that “elite category”. We have been somewhat reluctant to endorse Sydney as a genuine premiership contender in our analysis to date due to concerns over their depth. However, if the depth players do stand-up (and the first two rounds has been a stunning endorsement that the Swans depth may be a lot stronger than we originally suspected) then the Swans must come into premiership contention as there is no doubt that statistics would show they have more than sufficient elite talent capable of leading the Swans charge. Other teams with a strong representation of elite players include Adelaide, Fremantle, North Melbourne, Richmond and West Coast who all boast three players considered in the elite category by TipBetPro. At the other end of the scale is Brisbane, Melbourne and St Kilda – all of which failed to have a player classified by TipBetPro as being elite. Historically it has been near impossible to consistently win games of footy without having some elite talent and unless there is a significant step-up by the better players within these three teams we find it difficult to make a case for this trio of teams to be a finals contender in 2016.

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