Crunching the Numbers – Changing Teams

When selecting our SuperCoach sides, a lot of thought often goes into which players have changed teams.
Maybe they’ll get a better chance to play, maybe their role will change, or maybe they just need a fresh start.

Are there any stats to back this notion up, however? Looking at the averages for the 30 players involved in 2016’s AFL Trade Period makes for interesting reading.

The improvers

When considering which players became better players at their new club, I’ve set a parameter that their SuperCoach average must have improved by at least 10 points per game.

Of the 30 freshly traded players, 11 (or 37%) actually boosted their season average by 10 points or more.

Jarrod Witts was the standout from this group, taking his average from 50 up to 94.3. Well done if you jumped on the new Sun.

Will Hoskin-Elliott (49 to 81.3) and Jack Steele (63.8 to 91.1) were the next on the table.

Aaron Black, Michael Hibberd, Marley Williams, Tom Mitchell, James Stewart, Toby Nankervis, Joel Hamling and Bradley Hill were the other in this group, but as you can see, there’s no discernible pattern.

They’re not all midfielders, they’re not all coming off injuries.

Maybe pure game-time is the common denominator, but Mitchell, Hamling and Hill all played regularly before switching clubs.

The rest

For the other 19 players (63%), they either improved by less than 10 points per game, or went backwards all together.

In total, 15 (exactly half) players’ averages regressed, with 10 dropping by more than 10 points per game.

Veterans Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis and Brett Deledio were in this bunch, as expected.

In total, the average improvement across the the 30 players was a whopping +1.71. Yep, the difference across the board was negligible. So what if we add some more parameters?


Firstly, let’s get rid of those players on the wrong side of 30. Lewis and Sam Mitchell are the only guys from that category, leaving 28 players. The average improvement per player rises to +2.63.

Let’s drop down a bit more, to 27. In the list of players who were traded before their 27th birthday, 23 names appear. And with the older guys out, the average improvement rises again, to +5.26. It doesn’t seem like much, but that’s doubled, so fairly significant.

If we lower the age bracket to 24 years or younger, our list drops to just 12 names. But the average improvement per player jumps to a very encouraging +7.1.

Of these 12, nine saw improvements, three didn’t. So we can say that purely off 2016 numbers, if you picked a traded player who was younger than 24 years old, there was a 75% chance he improved on his 2016 numbers.

[table id=1 /]


So, can we take anything away from these figures?

A seven point increase for the youngest group might actually be worth looking into. Who’s in that boat from the most recent Trade Period?

From the most recent batch, there’s 13 players traded before their 24th birthday. They are Charlie Cameron, Harrison Wigg, Jake Lever, Josh Schache, Lachie Weller, Harley Balic, Darcy Lang, Adam Saad, Matthew Kennedy, Jarman Impey, Logan Austin, Sam Murray and Jake Stringer. 

Looking at those names, it would be fair to say that they’re all a chance to improve, especially Lachie Weller and Matthew Kennedy, in my opinion.

But, I wouldn’t be selecting a player just because they fit this category. Jaeger O’Meara, who looked the safest bet from the under 24s last season, saw the greatest drop-off of all (down 33.9 points on his 2014 numbers).

Would love to hear your thoughts. Is it a green light for all traded players? Or is just an old wives’ tale?

7 thoughts on “Crunching the Numbers – Changing Teams

    1. thanks notPowerade. Umm, oh boy. Jakey String. The Bombers say he’ll have stints through the middle, but too many doubts for me. The injuries, the mental, the work-rate…


  1. Wouldn’t be going anywhere near Gibbs and Gazza. Go the improvers there is plenty of value to be looked at. Kennedy Blakely worth a punt. Money saved goes down back and forward. Don’t trust Stringer either but he could pull a rabbit out of the hat early and make cash but…


    1. Totally agreed Grunter. Especially on Stringer – won’t be a keeper but a chance to make good coin early in Essendon wins…


  2. Players 24 & under playing regular games i expect would increase there average (on average) regardless of being traded or not. You would really need to look in to that to give this any weight. Players in this braket are mostly on an upward trajectory

    My very humble opinion would be that in fact the best age group to target in your analysis would be 26-29 as these players are more likely to have established a base line average & then the filter of being traded can be added to see if any relevance.


    1. That’s fair Tony. And I completely agree – because the difference between the U24s and U27s wasn’t that much. Hibberd, Mitchell and Prestia were in that category last year. This year those in the 26-29 group include Devon Smith, Jack Watts, Hayden Crozier, Aaron Young, Nathan Wilson, Brandon Matera, etc.


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