Fantasy A-League Focus – Round 10

In each edition of the Fantasy A-League Focus we take a look at some of the key issues emerging in the A-League and analyse their implications for fantasy coaches.

 

Double Fixtures

Round 10 sees our first (and probably only) ‘double round’ of the season, where Perth and Melbourne Victory will play twice.  This is due to the Round 5 game needing to be postponed as those teams faced off in the FFA Cup final that weekend.

So obviously fantasy coaches will be wanting to capitalise on this situation.  Perth perhaps have slightly more favourable fixtures – playing twice at home, first against the Mariners then the Victory, while Muscat’s men face a trip to Wanderland before heading to Perth midweek.

Unfortunately Perth – now sitting bottom of the table – don’t provide us with any clear fantasy choices.  Richard Garcia (MID, $224k) is hardly prolific, however he is their top point earner (41; 10 more than their next best, Michael Thwaite) and has scores of 6, 5 and 4 in his last 3 outings.  Garcia also has managed 4 shots on target in his last 2 games, suggesting he may add to his solitary goal soon – which was scored against the Mariners in Round 1.

Gyorgy Sandor (MID, $215k) is fit again and returned to the side against Adelaide.  However, his early season form (25 points in 3 games) is probably deceptive given he’s a deep-lying playmaker more than a goalscorer.  Garcia is more advanced positionally and therefore more likely to get chances to score.  Sandor nonetheless scored against the Mariners in Round 1.

Coaches may wish to gamble on Sidnei (FWD, 218k) or Chris Harold (FWD, $194k) finding the back of the net, however given the strong performances of other forwards this season it is a massive risk to bring either into your team.

In defence, it’s not likely Perth will keep a clean sheet; they’ve done so only once this season and allow an average of 4.9 shots on target per game (only the Mariners, City and Newcastle average more). However, those who have Marc Warren (DEF, $102k) and lack quality defenders in their line-up may want to give him a run on the field this round regardless.

The Victory on the other hand have plenty of options to choose from; Besart Berisha (FWD, 353k) and Gui Finkler (MID. $327k) are the most obvious selections, however picking a 3rd Victory player is slightly more difficult.

Fahid Ben Khalfallah (FWD, $292k) is finding the going slightly more difficult in his second season in the A-League, while Kosta Barbarouses (FWD, $282k) has dropped off in form (8 points total in his last 3 games) after a promising start to the campaign.  As with Sidnei and Harold, the strength of other forward options is something for coaches to weigh up against their inclusion – especially with two away games.

Oliver Bozanic (MID, $251k) is the only other non-defender to consider; he’s similar to Garcia in that he’s hardly prolific, owing to his role in the team.  However in the last 3 rounds he’s produced scores of 7, 9 and 6.  Be wary though that Bozanic may be rested in one game this round, as he’s played all but 20 minutes of Victory’s A-League campaign.

Like Perth, Victory have struggled to keep the opposition out this season, keeping only 2 clean sheets.  This is despite the fact they’ve allowed an average of 3.6 shots on target per game – only Sydney, Western Sydney and Brisbane average less.

Victory’s defenders aren’t exactly cost effective either – Jason Geria is the cheapest ‘safe’ choice at $168k, while Daniel Georgievski and Matthieu Delpierre will set you back $206k and $223k respectively.  Danny Vukovic in goals is a massive $299k.  Risky, pricey picks.

 

Mooy Bueno

The other conundrum facing coaches this round is who to captain.  If not for the double fixtures, it surely had to be Aaron Mooy (MID, $369k).  Mooy is on track for the greatest season of all time in Fox Sports Fantasy A-League; in 9 rounds he’s scored 99 points, placing him 19 points ahead of the 2nd highest point getter, Mitch Nichols.

Despite being man-marked in the last round Mooy eventually managed to break the shackles, notching an assist and a late goal to maintain his record of hitting double figures in every game since Round 2.

City have scored 10 goals in their last 2 games, and lead the league in shots on target with 56  – that’s 16 more than the 2nd best team, the Mariners.

And this week, they face… the Jets.  As mentioned in previous editions of the focus, while the Jets defensive record looks good in terms of goals conceded (just 9 in 9 games) the shots on target allowed data paint a very different picture.

The Jets allow their opposition an average of 5.3 shots on target per game – only the Mariners average more (5.9 per game), and they’ve conceded 12 more goals than Newcastle.

Or, looking at it a different way – the Jets have conceded 9 times from 48 shots on target; Brisbane have conceded 9 from 33 and the Victory 9 from 29.

The points have already begun to dry up for the Jets – 3 draws and 2 losses in their last 5 games – so is this the week where their defence is finally exposed in a big way?

It’s a question every fantasy A-League coach needs to consider before they decide on who to give the captain’s armband to this round – do you put the ‘C’ on the rampant Aaron Mooy against the Jets, or take a punt on someone potentially playing twice?

 

Team shots on target and shots on target allowed statistics via Opta / A-League match centre. Player shots on target via Fox Sports Fantasy A-League.


12 thoughts on “Fantasy A-League Focus – Round 10

  1. Hey Justin,
    Thanks so much for uploading these articles. I check them every week religiously. I’ve just played my wildcard and picked out the following team. It seems to me really risky with plenty of strong players and buffered with a couple of ~100k players that seem to be getting minutes. I was just wondering your thoughts if you have time or any suggestions of changes?

    Janjetovic- (Chalmers)
    Jurman, Warren, Gersbach, Bowles- (Jackson)
    Mooy, Mauk, Nichols, Finkler- (Austin)
    Berisha, Fornaroli- (Crowley)

    I’m thinking the risk on Warren with the double is worth it over a Jets defender against City this week. I was thinking of the possibility of Janjetevic > Young to free up a little cash. But I’d be worried about Theo’s return.
    My last thought is on the Jets defence. I feel like it’s a possibility that there might be a little bit more than luck playing a role in their conceded goals per shot on target conceded. For one thing, Birighitti has been an absolute beast this season, but I’d like to see a statistic on how many shots on target they have conceded from outside the box vs close range. Not disputing that they’re in more danger than other teams, but they could continue to deal with it as they have. Keep it up! Thanks again,
    Jake

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    1. Hi Jake – thanks for the kind words. Really appreciate that you find our writing helpful.

      With regards to your team, I think all of the players you’ve picked are fine, I would be wary though of loading up so heavily on one team (Sydney) in defence. They are the only team restricting their opponents to under 2 shots on target per game at the moment, so they are seemingly safe picks in the regard. However, it only takes one goal to rob you of three clean sheets.

      I think Theo will replace Young in goals once fit – and that will be soon – so I’d avoid bringing the Roar keeper in.

      As for the Jets’ defence – I don’t have access to those statistics, nor do I currently have the time to compile them. But a quick look at the last 3 weeks shows:

      Sydney’s 3 shots on target v Jets were all from inside the box
      3 of Brisbane’s 6 shots on target v Jets were from inside the box, and one right on the line directly in front by Maclaren
      Only 1 of Adelaide’s shots on target v Jets was from inside the box.

      It’s a little hard to judge how skewed that is without the data from the other teams to compare with (for the whole season), but the last 2 rounds at least show the Jets are allowing shots that hit the target from dangerous positions, and they conceded accordingly in both of those games.

      I admit I am an amateur when it comes to using analytics, and I chose to stick purely with shots on target for these articles given their effectiveness in determining fantasy football output (see Round 1 edition) but I defer to someone who is far more of an expert on this:

      “From a defensive perspective, only 2 out of 30 sides in the last three years hasn’t had a save% between 63% and 75%.” – via: https://galbertson.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/pdo-regression-and-newcastle-v-wanderers/

      Currently, the Jets have a save % of 81.2% – it is highly unlikely they will sustain that for the rest of the season. It may not drop massively, but it will drop.

      And the fact that they aren’t creating many chances down the other end – they are the only team with less than 2 shots on target per game (1.9; next lowest is 3.8) – will no doubt play a role in the amount of pressure their defence is under each week.

      For them to start winning games they need more of a balance in their play style, and unless that comes their fantasy prospects should be in question also.

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      1. Hi Justin,
        Just saw that Robbi Koren is back in this week. I’m sure he may have limited minutes as he regains match fitness, but will that pull Mauk out of the squad? Also, thanks for those stats too.

        Like

      2. Hi Jake

        No worries.

        As for Koren – it’s not an easy call to make. He is their marquee so it feels as though they would have to play him. But he’s also been very disappointing, and Mauk has typically done well when called upon.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if City tried to offload Koren in January & bring in a new marquee, though that could spell the end for Mauk’s fantasy viability too.

        It’s a risk to hang onto Mauk but you can probably get away with it for a week or two and see what happens. Or if you don’t want to take any risks, trade him out now if you like.

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  2. Very good write up man..as per usual!

    Got no idea who to bring in. Looking at Bozanic and Garcia for potential double figure output from both games.But as you mentioned, those 2 will hardly be banging in the goals. Finkler probably too pricey and would have to give up Nichols/Mooy with 1 trade or use at least 2 trades plus I’m not so certain he’ll play both away games espeically with the Derby next round. Not overly exciting elsewhere. Mauk is frustrating as he is in and out but doing well when in..Carney could be on the move if rumours are true and is slowing down.Bridge has been a bit hit and miss as POD.

    Janjetovic
    Jurman, Neville, Bowles
    Mooy, Nichols, Carney, Mauk
    Berisha, Fornaroli, Bridge

    2 FTs. So I don’t mind taking a hit and raising some cash. Considering Neville down to Jackson. Which gives me around 100k to splash.

    looking strongly at these options:

    A) Neville to Jackson + Carney to Finkler
    B) Neville to Jackson + Carney to Bozanic + Mauk to Garcia – 3 points
    C) Neville to Jackson + Carney to Bozanic + Bridge to Barbarouses – 3 points

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    1. Cheers Lincoln

      I agree it’s a really tough call, and perhaps your best bet is to downgrade Neville to raise some cash despite the Wanderers’ good defence so far (well, except for Round 1).

      Carney’s dip in form is due to the fact that the Jets aren’t taking enough shots or hitting the target. They haven’t been all season but the early luck has run out. Unless they start shooting more I don’t think he’ll reach his early form again.

      I do have the same fear that Finkler – and potentially others – could be rested. I do have him in my team though in the hope he does play both.

      I guess the thing to weigh up with those last 2 options is that is the hit worth it? Garcia should outscore Mauk over 2 games but will it be by enough to make the trade worthwhile? And then you will have 2 players in your midfield who aren’t exactly big point getters.

      With option 3, it’s maybe more of a risk because you never know what Bridge might do & Kosta is out of form a touch (after a bright start). But at least there you are bringing in one player who can score goals & doesn’t seem to have the injury problems Bridge sometimes does.

      Hope that at least helps with the thought process on what to do. Don’t envy having to make that call – but I do envy your overall ranking! 😉

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  3. Justin

    Great write up again. Two questions:
    Captains – Berisha or Mooy. What are the chances of Berisha hitting form in these two games
    Bowles as a fourth defender or Austin as a fourth midfielder?

    Thanks

    Like

    1. Hi Ozjock

      2 tough questions!

      1. It’s strange given he’s only playing once but I feel like Mooy is the “safe” option (if such a thing exists in fantasy) – even if Berisha scores, he still might not equal Mooy’s total if he has a day out against the Jets. Mooy’s lowest score over 90 mins this season is 8 points & he’s hit double figures in the other 6 games – Berisha has done so 3 times.

      The main things that concern me with Berisha are that a) Victory play twice away – Berisha has only scored against Sydney on the road this season – b) Western Sydney’s strong defensive record (in terms of the no of shots on target they allow) and c) that he may not play a full game against Perth – likely to be the game in which he fires – considering Victory have the derby next round.

      The concern for Mooy is that the Jets may try to mark him out of the game like the Mariners almost did, and on top of that we can expect them to ‘park the bus’ and play a very negative style. But given the scoring form City are in it may prove too much of a task to keep them out. Add to that they’ll be looking to prove a point after losing from 2-0 up against the Jets at home earlier this season.

      2. I tend to lean towards attacking players when I pick my XI, but that’s a really tight call. Aside from last week Austin has been disappointing (in a fantasy sense), and they are playing away. albeit against Perth, this week. But I can see the Mariners at least getting on the scoreboard over there, given how many shots Perth allow their opponents (and how much the Mariners like to shoot). Meanwhile Brisbane are at ‘home’ (in Cairns) against Wellington, who have not been as prolific away from home – only 2 goals in their last 4 away trips. I can see it being quite a tight affair too, so there would have to be a reasonable chance of Brisbane keeping a clean sheet, though they haven’t done so for 3 rounds. If it were me I’d probably play Austin, solely because I like to play attackers, but there’s a valid case for either.

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  4. Was just wondering if there are going to be more updates? Was interesting reading your thoughts, I’m currently ranked tenth in the SBS a-league fantasy and any different view points I can analyse are appreciated

    Like

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