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Steele Sidebottom – Deck of DT 2019

He’s consistent, but are there question marks hanging over Steele Sidebottom?

Name: Steele Sidebottom
Team: Collingwood
Position: MID
Price: $750,000
Bye round: 13
2018 average: 103.4
2018 games played: 22
Predicted average: 105
Draft range: 10-25

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Why should I pick him?

Last year I wrote about Steele Sidebottom and predicted that he would increase his 2017 average from 106 to 110 in 2018.  Instead his average went down to 103.  So, here we are again, why am I writing about Steele Sidebottom? Why should anyone pick him in their team? With average fantasy points of 108, 102,103,106 and 103 from 2014 to 2018, he can certainly deliver consistent fantasy outputs.  Last year he produced 13 tonnes, 6 of which were 120 points or greater.  Nevertheless, in 2018 his ceiling and his average compared to previous years did not increase. Why? In 2017, the WCE was the only team that paid close attention to Sidebottom and you guessed it was Hutchings who limited him to 71 points.  In 2018, there is no denying Sidebottom received more attention from opposition taggers compared to previous years.  With the addition of Beams to the Collingwood midfield, does the focus of the tag divert from Sidebottom? In addition, Collingwood in 2019, will once again boast a strong midfield group and with the coach indicating a move back to the wings for Steele, do we see his average finally break that 110 points ceiling?  

Sidebottom can certainly tease fantasy coaches. Every year, he shows us flashes of AFL Fantasy brilliance. From rounds 1 to 12, he produced 8 decent hundreds.  His top 100 ownership between these rounds, believe it or not, was only 1% or lower!  He was certainly unique in the top 100 and if you had him between those rounds, I would say you would have been pretty happy with your decision. I had him and I was feeling pretty special. Certainly, after his bye round (13), a lot more coaches in the top 100 loaded up on Steele. We saw his top 100 ownership increase from <1% to 14% straight after his bye. It was hard to ignore the output that he was producing. I’m not going out on a limb by saying that he will once again be a unique player in AFL Fantasy. I will eat my hat if his top 100 ownership is anywhere over 6% before his bye round this year.  If you are looking at a leg up on the competition, I say go unique and pick Sidebottom from the start.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Beware of the tag.  Sidebottom, if left unchecked is a game breaker for Collingwood, he certainly showed Richmond (141) in the 2018 preliminary final. The man of Steele has one obvious Kryptonite, Hutchings, I mean a tag.  Passionate Steele owners such as myself over the last 3 years have loved watching that possession count go up during games, and when he is on, it’s a viewing pleasure.  With a tag, his possession counts, both kicks and handpass are considerably lower, we are talking a drop of about 30% compared to when he is not tagged.  

Steele also gets a considerable amount of marks and his average in 2018 was about 5 marks in a game. Pretty good? Yes, but place a tag on Steele and in rounds 5, 15, 17, and 20 his mark counts were, 1, 2, 0 and 1, not good! For those that are playing at home, that’s a drop of about 80% compared to when he is not tagged.  The overall picture for a tagged Sidebottom is not good.  His highs and ceilings are up those with any fantasy players with scores of 147, 131, 144, 139 and 137 in the last five years.  However, as an owner for the last 3 years I have also endured his lows of 64, 64 and 48! In total fairness, he is not the only player whose scores are significantly affected when tagged.  However, at $750K, there are cheaper options such as Merrett ($736K), who in no way is susceptible to taggers. Right?


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Deck of DT Rating.

QUEEN Steele Sidebottom has been a consistent player in AFL Fantasy and his records in the last five years has reflected this. Although overlooked almost every year by most fantasy coaches, he is one of those players that sneaks his way into AFL Fantasy sides at some point of the year. If he is to increase or beat his average from last year, it means beating the tag this year. Can he do it? That’s the question that we all need to ask of Steele Sidebottom.

What does Sidebottom average this year?

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  1. Avatar

    Tristan Kelly Catters

    February 16, 2019 at 7:08 am

    How can top 100 ownership be less than 1%? Either one person had him in the top 100 (which would be 1%) or no one did.

    • Avatar


      February 16, 2019 at 9:45 am

      Didn’t say less than 1%? It said 1% or lower. Meaning between rounds 1 to 12, his ownership was either 1% or 0% depending on the round.
      Eg. Round 2 – team #98 may have him in the squad (1%)
      Round 3 – team previously #98 drops to #104 and a team the didn’t have Sidebottom joined the top 100 (0%)

      • Avatar


        February 16, 2019 at 9:48 am

        And further down the article, the <1% to 14% refers to averages before and after the bye round.

        • Avatar

          Tristan Kelly Catters

          February 16, 2019 at 8:40 pm

          Fair enough. Anyway, doesn’t detract from what is a great piece!

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