For those who haven’t heard of ‘The Breakout Tracker’ (you can view a demo of it here), we calculate the career average for every player that has played under 100 games. We also work out the combined career average of the top players at the same time in their careers. We then compare those figures and give you a differential between the two.
You can use this information to see how early career players compare to the best in the league. This will give you an idea of their breakout likelihood, or if they’re trending towards being one of the top AFL Fantasy performers in the competition.
Using this data, I will take a look at five players and see how they are tracking in comparison with the best fantasy scorers in the competition.
Lachlan Sholl (B,C)
Sholl began his AFL career halfway through 2020, initially running out of defence for Adelaide before shifting to a wing towards the end of the season.
He has continued this role in 2021 and has shown some genuine fantasy potential. He has scored over 100 AFL Fantasy points in three out of his four games this season, a feat he could only manage once (BCV adjusted) in his 8 games at AFL level in 2020.
But how does this stack up against the top AFL Fantasy players in the competition?
For this example, I have decided to compare him to the top 20 midfielders in the competition (as opposed to defenders) as I see him playing the majority of his career on a wing.
As you can see from the chart below, he had a slow start to his career but is currently trending ahead of the top 20 midfielders. After 13 games, the combined average of the top 20 midfielders was 65.6 AFL Fantasy points, and Sholl’s current career average is 73 points. If he continues at this rate, he is on track to eventually become one of the competitions best scorers.
Errol Gulden (C,F)
Gulden immediately became a fan favourite for fantasy coaches with his score of 108 points in Round 1. Given the scarcity of good performing rookies in recent times, many sides around the country put faith into the young Sydney forward to maintain that kind of scoring, especially when you consider his underage fantasy numbers.
He then had two scores in the 90s over Rounds 2 and 3 but has since had back-to-back scores in the 60s bringing us to round 5.
Is this a cause for concern? In the AFL Fantasy Classic format we might need to worry if his scoring and cash generation is drying up but in terms of the potential of being one of the better fantasy scorers in the competition over his career, he is still on the right track.
After 5 games, he is averaging 86.4 and when you compare this to the top 10 forwards in the competition after their first five games, their combined average was 61.8. So he still has a positive differential of 24.6 points in that regard.
However, if you look at the chart below he is trending downwards, but I would back him to bounce back in the coming weeks given what we have seen so far.
Caleb Serong (C)
Serong has come under scrutiny for his fantasy scoring over the first 5 rounds of 2020.
After debuting in Round 4 of 2020, he was putting up some big fantasy scores by the end of the season. He averaged 76 (95 BCV) from his last 5 games of 2020 and even had a score of 101 (126 BCV) in Round 18 to finish off the year.
Naturally, this kind of scoring made AFL Fantasy coaches excited and expected 2021 to be an even bigger year for Serong, but it hasn’t eventuated so far. He is currently averaging 73.2 from the first 5 games of 2021 and hasn’t managed to spend more than 73% time on the ground in any of those matches.
Looking at his numbers on The Breakout Tracker, it’s not all doom and gloom when you compare him to the best in the competition in the early stages of their careers.
Serong currently has a career average of 80.7 from his first 19 games, which is 13.6 points ahead of the combined average of the top midfielders at this point.
While he appears to be having a case of second-year blues, he’s still on the right track to be a fantasy star.
Tom Powell (C,F)
Tom Powell seemed to have a slow start to the year when you compare it to the likes of Errol Gulden, Chad Warner and James Jordan, but he’s really shown us what he can do over the past few weeks.
He began the year with high expectations, coming into the competition as the best fantasy scorer in the 2020 AFL Draft class, averaging 118.5 from 15 games in the SANFL U18s last season.
Some fantasy coaches may have been disappointed when he was only averaging 63.6 from his first 3 games, but a shift to a more permanent midfield role has seen him put up scores of 91 and 73 over the past two weeks, bringing his average to 70.4 after Round 5.
When you compare this to the top 20 midfielders in the competition, they had a combined average of 67.1 after their first 5 games, giving him a 13.6 point positive differential.
Whilst he may not have gotten off the fast start we were hoping for, there are very good signs for the future of Tom Powell’s fantasy scoring.
James Jordan (C)
Another player who was an instant fantasy favourite after the opening few rounds was James Jordon.
Kicking off the year with an AFL Fantasy score of 85, he backed it up the following week with 105 points and a respectable score of 76 the week after that.
He has had a lean few weeks over the past three rounds (which has partially been due to decreased time on the ground), but he is still trending well regardless.
As you can see below, his average dipped after scoring 29 in Round 4, but he’s still ahead of the top 20 midfielders in the competition after 5 games.
Whilst I wouldn’t be surprised if James Jordon’s scoring dips further as the season progresses, he’s showing good signs of being a reliable fantasy scorer in the long term.