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Deck of Dream Team

Caleb Serong – Deck of DT 2024

The stats are unpacked for this gun Docker.

Player Caleb Serong
Club Fremantle
Position MID
Price $976,000
Bye 0 & 13
2023 avg 108.1
2023 gms 22
Proj. avg 105
Draft range Second round (M2)

Click here for 2024 Fantasy Classic prices.

Why should I pick him?

Entering his 5th season at AFL level, Serong turned 23 years old yesterday. Happy Birthday! His career has developed very nicely year-on-year and has played 22 games in each of the last 3 seasons. Serong started off with a 67.2 average in shortened quarters of 2020, then 82.3 in 2021, 90.6 in 2022, and then broke out to premium status last year with a 108.1 season average. It is a great profile of scoring and his 2023 scoring was exceptional, the 7th best midfielder on average. He started the year with an 83, which ended up being his lowest score all year. He averaged 117.4 over the next 5 games and increased his price to a premium. From rounds 9 to 21, Serong averaged 111.4 and didn’t drop below 100.

Serong’s role is impeccable. He plays good time on ground, sitting at 80% or above in all games in 2023. It is so consistent that he tonned up when going at 1 point-per-minute, and went under 100 if he was under 1 PPM. Let’s talk about Serong’s score build using what I like to call stoppage points.

Season Fantasy Stoppages Transition
CentreBounce BallUp ThrowIn Total Turnover KickIn Total
2021 82.3 14.7 10.8 16.2 41.7 35.9 4.7 40.6
2022 90.6 15.0 12.4 19.9 47.4 40.0 3.2 43.2
2023 108.1 23.8 20.0 17.5 61.2 43.2 3.7 46.9

It’s clear that Serong massively improved his stoppage game in 2023, averaging 61.2 points per game at stoppages. This ranked him #4 in the competition behind Bontempelli, Taranto and Laird. A high stoppage reliance is very important for the consistency of a player’s scoring, and this is what we saw with Serong – only 1 score below 86 and 17/22 scores of 100+.

Serong had a large bump from centre bounce scoring, it made up more than half of his improvement. He attended the 8th most centre bounces of midfielders, and was Fremantle’s best at 82% usage. The impact was obvious, as Serong went on to score 1234 fantasy points inside the centre square. This was over half of his total and more centre square points than any other player in 2023.

Where does this leave Serong in 2024? He is a consistent player in a perfect role, and finished the year as a top 8 MID. He is an easy player to watch from a fantasy perspective, dominating at stoppages and inside the centre square. The singular R13 bye is optimal – Fremantle play every round until then, so you will get maximum opportunity with Serong. It is highly likely you will need Serong at some stage during the season.

The unheralded star who deserves more credit from Victorian media

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Serong is priced at 108.1, and I suspect many coaches are hesitant to start him at just 5.5% ownership. Every fantasy coach looks for ‘upside’ and improvement, so where do we see this coming from? Serong is maxed out on stoppage points at 61.2 per game, it’s highly likely that he will regress in that department following a career best season. We know this because, since 2021, just 1 of 18 players have managed to improve on a stoppage average of 55+.

Could Serong build his outside game more? 46.9 transition points per game is respectable, but most premium midfielders evenly balance transition points and stoppage points. Marks around the ground would give more options for Serong to build his score, but it is unlikely with the new midfield mixture of the two-way-running Andrew Brayshaw and the elite-kicking defender Hayden Young. Based on my ‘Worthwhile Averages‘ modelling, Serong needs to average 112.6 to be a good starting pick; 4.5 points of upside required!

Deck of DT Rating.

QUEEN

Caleb Serong is likely to feature in the top 8 midfielders for the season once again. However, he doesn’t present any value at his current price after a breakout season and is maxed out on scoring in his current role. A high CBA, high TOG% midfielder is as good as it gets, and while he dominates stoppages, Serong’s scoring is capped and likely to regress in stoppage points. At his price, you want a high-ceiling captain option, whereas Serong is a more consistent scorer. You will need Caleb Serong, especially around the byes, but perhaps not from the start.

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Started playing Dream Team as soon as I was old enough to use a computer! Growing up in the Fantasy mindset inspired my passion for statistics, so now with a degree, I provide new metrics and unique insights into the game. Follow me on Twitter as I dive into new content for AFL Fantasy.

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Baldrick's boys
Baldrick's boys
21 days ago

Elite write up Jaiden – great stuff!
Can I ask a cheeky question, based on those centre vs transition stats, does that mean someone like Laird is capped too on the upside or does his transition game enable upside this year in your opinion?




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