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Fantasy 101

Fantasy Flashbacks – Round 11

Here’s a look at a different Richoman.

For many of us, AFL football wouldn’t be the same without fantasy footy. Yet believe it or not, there was a time when fans didn’t spend hours obsessing over player stats, role changes and the like, in pursuit of fantasy glory in whatever their preferred format might be.

However, just because fantasy footy didn’t exist, doesn’t mean we can’t take a look back in time to see how some of the players from the past, would of performed in fantasy football if it did exist when they took to the field.

In each week of the 2021 season, we’ll delve into historical statistics to find a player of the past who would’ve excelled from a fantasy perspective in the corresponding round of football, and that player will be named our Fantasy Flashback ‘Player of the Round’.

In Round 11 of the 1971 season, traditional rivals Collingwood and Carlton faced off at the MCG in a replay of the 1970 Grand Final. A game in which the Blues had stormed home after being down by 44 points at half time to win by 10 points, and once again break the hearts of Magpie supporters.

Although it would have been little consolation for Collingwood and their fans, the Magpies absolutely belted the Blues, running away with an 85-point victory and firmly entrenching themselves at the top end of the table with a 10-1 record.

The standout on the day for Collingwood was first year Skipper, Wayne Richardson. Richardson gathered 45 disposals – of which 40 were kicks, took seven marks and kicked five goals in a performance which earned him three Brownlow votes and would have given him a whopping 185 fantasy points (tackles not counted) and gives him the nod for our Fantasy Flashbacks Player of the Round for Round 11.

From the time Richardson belatedly joined the Magpies in 1966, after South Fremantle and the WAFL refused to give him a clearance the previous season, he would have been a fantasy gun. In his VFL debut against Richmond in Round 4, Richardson amassed 31 disposals and kicked three goals, which would have equated to a fantasy score 128-points and would have finished his first season of senior footy with a fantasy average of 93.5 points.

From a fantasy perspective, Richardson would have backed up his brilliant debut season with 92.4 in his second and 89 in his third. Fantasy averages of 88.8 and 89 would have followed in the next two seasons, before Richardson would have produced his best fantasy season in 1971 of 118.7.

Richardson would have registered a fantasy average of 96.4 the next season, followed by averages of 94.3 in 1973 and 93 in 1974, which would have really been his last as a popular fantasy option, as his average would have fallen to 74.4 in 1975 and 64.7, 71.7 and just 40 in his final three seasons – one of which he spent at Carlton (1977).

Other than the final few years of his career, Richardson was almost the perfect player from a fantasy perspective. His kick to handball ratio was heavily weighted towards kicking and he has six of the top 20 kick totals in a game in VFL/AFL history. He also often kicked multiple goals in games as well as having a career average of 4.4 marks per, so ticked all the boxes of a fantasy gun. It’s important to point out too, that in Richardson’s playing days tackles were not recorded, although by all accounts he was a pretty ferocious tackler which would have improved his fantasy averages quite substantially.

Over the length of his 277-game career, Richardson would have averaged a healthy 85, however from his debut season until his final season of truly being fantasy relevant in 1974, he would have averaged a very impressive 95.1. Which, when you consider tackles were not recorded nor was the game played in the same disposal heavy way it is now, would probably have made Wayne Richardson as close to a fantasy pig as you could get back in his playing days – and you can’t give much higher praise than that.

Recent Comments

  • Rippo on The Thursday Scramble: Round 11: “Two options this week 1) duursma to mcauliffe, reid to sexton (already have fisher) (80K left) 2) duursma to allan,…May 23, 10:30
  • Fry on Fry’s Cash Cows – Rd. 11: “Removing the two rookies for Sexton and Crisp is a solid move IMO – I’d go No. 1May 23, 10:24
  • Fry on Fry’s Cash Cows – Rd. 11: “Possibly, but given their $200K price tag I’d rather wait and see how Allan fits in Collignwood’s lineup (or if…May 23, 10:23
  • Fry on Fry’s Cash Cows – Rd. 11: “Freijah for mine mateMay 23, 10:21
  • Fry on Fry’s Cash Cows – Rd. 11: “Cheers legend! Nothing yet, he didn’t play at any level last round so I expect him to suit up in…May 23, 10:21



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