Are All Our Dream Teams The Same?

It’s that time of year when are teams are being “finalised” as we trade in more and more premiums and inevitably the statement is made that everyone’s team now looks the same. But how true is this statement? I decided to investigate and had a look at the teams in our DTTalk Writers League to see how similar our teams really had become.

Looking at the Players

The first thing which caught my attention was that there were 137 different players selected across the 16 teams. Additionally every single team had at least one player that wasn’t in any of the other 15 teams. One team even had 8 players that weren’t in any other team, which certainly surprised me. There were 54 completely unique players in total, an average of 3.4 completely unique players per team.

The converse of this, which was not surprising, was that every team had players in common with every other team. The most similar teams had 16 shared players whilst the least similar teams had only 5 shared players. Across the league there was an average of 11 shared players, meaning that generally 50% to 70% of the players on the field in a head-to-head match would be different.

Is It Good To Be Different?

The two teams which were most similar on average to the other teams currently have respective league ranks of 4th and 13th, while the two teams which were the most unique currently have respective league ranks of 9th and 5th. Matching the respective league rankings for each team against their level of uniqueness found that there was a 11% correlation between the two, in favour teams with more similar players to have a higher rank. Statistically though 11% is a very small correlation and not considered significant. It’s almost like flipping a coin to determine ladder position.

Everybody Here Loves You

Dustin Martin was the single most popular player among the DTTalk writers, featuring in 15 of the teams, conforming to the fact that he is also the most owned player in the competition. Dane Swan, Robbie Gray and Jack Newnes weren’t far behind though, each being owned by 14 teams, again aligning to the fact that they are respectively the 2nd, 3rd and 10th most commonly owned players in the competition.

Rounding out the popular players were Kane Lambert with 12 selections, David Mundy and Tom Rockliff with 11 selections and Luke Parker with 10.

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They’re My POD

Many of the 54 players to be only found in one team were there for reason’s beyond our control. For example, I was the only coach with Kamdyn McIntosh still in my squad and that’s not because I think he’s a keeper. But there were plenty of meaningful players only appearing once.

Players averaging 100 or higher, who could help tip the balance in a close game, who only appeared in a single team were David Armitage, Patrick Dangerfield, Andrew Gaff, Jack Macrae and Mark Blicavs. Plus there were high scoring non-midfielders including Steven Motlop, Brodie Grundy, Corey Enright, Josh Gibson and Dylan Roberton who only appeared once. The teams with these players are getting an advantage every week.

This is before looking at the star players who were only selected a couple of times. I could fill up half a page with them, but as an example the competition leading Jack Steven is only in 3 teams in the league.

Got No Friends

Whilst nearly every high scoring player in the competition was selected in at least one team, there were two notable exceptions. For some reason not a single team has selected Leigh Montagna, who is the 4th highest averaging player at 113.2, and no one has selected Dan Hannebery, who is 8th with a 109.9 average. While Montagna is somewhat understandable after the games he missed at the start of the season, Hannebery has played every game and must just be disliked for some reason.

So…  Are The Teams Similar or Not?

It appears that they’re really not similar at all. There is a average of 37% overlap between any two chosen teams meaning that there are far more differences than similarities. As an analogy, imagine going the football with 30 people each week and each week 11 of them are the same ones you saw last week. You might get sick and tired of seeing Dusty every week, but there’s lots of other different people there to focus on should you choose.

Finally, given that the most similar teams in the league shared 16 players currently, if they were to trade out two different players and trade in the same players every week for the rest of the season then they could have 30 identical players by Grand Final week. They’d still probably pick different captains though.

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  • Very interesting. Thanks Tristan.

    Higher trade numbers in Fantasy should mean more variation in teams than other formats .. and this analysis confirms this.

    Because this is the DTTalk Writers league – we can rule out different levels of information or engagement as being a factor. The different players are simply making different choices every week.

  • Thanks Tristan awesome effort.

    What I find most intriguing is the back line. Out of the top 5 averaging players back there between the league you own 23, taking out Mundy’s 11 then there is 12, less than 1 per person. Just goes to show how people are neglecting their defence in favour of the rest of the field.

    Personally I own Hodge, Mundy, Boyd and McVeigh and only sit at 1500, if I did not fork out to try and fix my defence I probably would not be fielding Fields or McKernan/Knight/Lambert this week.

    On a side note:
    I do find it quite interesting that not every one has Swan though, he was too good to refuse at the start of the season and has backed it up for us.

    • Having 4 of the top 5 they are all yet to fire simultaneously, it just goes to show could have spent that 100-200k on a mid pricer at the time (Newnes, Shaw etc) and spent that extra cash elsewhere.

    • That’s a great point, there certainly were a lot of different defenders selected, especially compared to the forwards. Mundy, Newnes and Yeo were the only defenders with lots of selections and certainly the second two were mid-price options.

      • I think the new DPP changes that happen in Fantasy contributes to this. Many of those most selected forwards would have been in our teams from the start, whereas not many people would have started with Mundy, Boyd or Picken.

  • The guy i play next week and i have 5 different players out of 30

  • Interesting reading. One question though – is this going on their starting 22 or their whole 30 man squad?
    If it’s on the whole 30 man squad, which i think it is, this analysis is flawed.

    I would say it’s over 50% same players when matched up on best 22 across the League.

    • Unfortunately it’s essentially impossible to compare best 22 players, unless you take who they had on the field the previous week, but that doesn’t take into account injury, suspension, etc.

      The 50% same players is assuming that all 11 matching players are on the field, which wasn’t the case a lot of the time. There were often matching bench players who weren’t getting a game such as Ciaran Byrne (7), Trent Dumont (7) and Jason Holmes (9).

  • Games this week in our main mates league.

    Warne Dawgs v Calvinator – 12 onfield PODs.
    destROY v JP9 (Thorpy) – 11 onfield PODs.

    All teams top 1000… and if there is any group of coaches who get involved in group think, then it’s these four.

    I’m also in a few big leagues that are going along very nicely. One in particular is called the Rainbow Cup (leading RDT at the moment). My match up this week has 13 onfield PODs for Fantasy, while last week in the RDT version of that league, there were 8 PODs.

    • Happily surprised at this level of uniqueness. Most of the arguments against the 2 trades per week Fantasy format have been proved to be non issues.

      1) Thinking that all teams end up the same is the main one that gets used to downplay this format. Hardly true, and I doubt RDT or SC teams are much more unique to one another anyway.

      2) The other is that it requires less strategy to play than the other formats. Without going into it too much: less strategy no, different strategy yes.

      However the 2 main arguments in favor of Fantasy always ring true.
      1) Its simply more fun being able to make trades every week

      2) It keeps the interest levels high throughout the whole season. Especially towards the end when most people playing DT/SC have barely 1 trade per week left.

      This is coming from an old time SC and DT guy who only plays Fantasy now, mainly for these very reasons. Rock on!

      • You’re right about the trades thing giving you more interest in AF, but I cannot stand rookies being ridiculously priced and price changes before the third week.

        • I think rookie prices should start at $250K and go down from there, $300K is too much in my opinion.

          Weekly price changes is a win. It’s the way to counteract the two trades per week, every week… and it seems to be working. I’m all for it.

      • Also, RDT only having one rookie ruck bench and 3 bench spots for the midfield is a masterstroke.

        • We might be seeing something different (and superior) with benches to what we have and to what RDT/SC went with. Stay tuned!

          • Warnie is there any talk off potentially having carry over trades and therefore being able to use 3 trades a week sometime. People will still be able to trade every week, but there could be more strategy involved with saving a trade one week and using it a latter week when required due to numerous donuts (You may still only want 21 however to allow yourself to score 2300 ;) )
            I really like the 3 trades that are allowed in the bye weeks for RDT/SC.

            Personally for me I would love around 36 trades a yr with the option of using 1-3 trades a week as I believe it would provide the perfect balance, however I know everyone likes different things.

          • Highly doubtful. The neatness of 2 trades per week, every week for the regular punter is what will keep it as that for the season I think.

            While that idea isn’t terrible, I don’t think it will happen. Two trades per week, every week will stay… so ’44’ if the fixture remains as it is.

          • Ok thanks, I was more wondering because atm there is somewhat of an expectation to make 2 trades a week and I myself a few times would have been better off if I hadn’t made any trades and having carry over trades could make things more interesting.
            It doesn’t really matter though as I will roll with whatever happens.

  • To answer to the original post – no they’re not, my bench is definitely the worst!

  • I still don’t understand the whole Fantasy v Real Dreamteam, the average score for the Top 10 in Fantasy is 32,549 versus the average score for the top 10 in Real Dreamteam of 32,538. Not significantly different enough to say one game is easier than the other despite the difference in trades.
    Besides all that, they are different games so why the animosity?

    • It’s a strange thing. A lot of people were angry about the changes 18 months ago with many still harboring some hatred towards Fantasy as it is so easy to play.

      As I said from the start (with my goggles on as a new employee of the AFL and Telstra), they are different games. One not better/easier than the other, etc. This is backed up by things like teams will end up the same as you have two trades per week, every week. After 18 months of playing each game (and around a dozen years of experience), I think RDT and SC are more formulaic.

      Maybe Fantasy is more random and more luck is involved, but that is outweighed by the ‘bad luck’ being outweighed knowing that two trades are there to use to fix things.

      Anyway… things keep evolving. Those with their glass half full are hopefully enjoying all formats and especially the AFL Fantasy one – which we hope to add to with our content of podcasts, videos, etc.

      • The thing I don’t like about Fantasy is the immediate price changes… I started with Rocky and Bartel in R1 and have never recovered because they lost a stack of cash after one game.

        Similarly, rookies I missed went up after one game. Been chasing my tail since and it’s frustrating because like lots of people here I put a lot of time and effort into my team only to see it wasted after one week.

        RDT is more forgiving and in that sense it’s more fun for me. I doubt I’ll return to Fantasy next year, but will keep playing RDT till it folds… or changes.

        • There has to be a sweet spot though. After playing immediate price changes in fantasy, I prefer that over the two weeks of a ‘free look’ of a rookie… of which everyone will then jump on, making the game more formulaic.

          While I get your point about playing catch up, Rocky dropped $26K… that’s because you paid for a guy at a 134.8 average. There are risks involved with that. With the way the magic number works, he would have dropped slightly even if he hit 135. As for Bartel (I assume you mean after his rd 3 injury), he would have dropped a heap in RDT with his score of 8 if that was his 3rd game and not second.

          We can’t predict injuries, but those points aren’t as ‘bad’ as they seem.

          Agree that RDT is more forgiving, for sure. Hopefully for those who enjoy that format it is still around for the next few years.

        • One other thing, Roy started with Rockliff, Bartel and has had quite a few injury trades and he sits 99th overall.

          • Good thing I’m not on a debating team against you Warnie! Yeah, I mean Bartel’s R3 injury, maybe it’s just all blurring. It’s been a struggle in Fantasy for a few reasons, enough to mean I won’t be going back. Roy’s a bloody legend, we all know that ;)