The Forest from the Trees: A post for the stats nerds


Hi all, as some of you know I attempt to predict the brownlow every year using machine learning methods. I think I’ve improved it this year, we will find out in a few months. I have however put it in a dashboard so people can interrogate for themselves! Any feedback welcome.


I was very disappointed you didn’t do a post-Brownlow wrap-up of how your predictions fared last year.


Lol I did but i went down the rabbit hole and never published. I’ll do it before the end of the season this year.


look forward to it :slight_smile:


HPN, best in the stats nerd biz


I know 99% of you guys reckon CD is total utter BS.
This is where they rank us at the moment. Playing better than 14 other sides, ( see the red line)]
But lets not get too lid off about this. Its is CD, after all.


Any metric that has Sydney and/or Adelaide ahead of us on current form is complete garbage.

CD: hold my beer.


I like the shift from round 19 to 20 with an unchanged line up. Some players stats must have improved a lot in one week.


Actually we destroyed Sydney. Should have won by at least 12 goals , so I guess its understandable.


Green line is current “team quality” which means Adelaide and Sydney are way behind us. Go on, have a beer.
Richmond, Geelong and Port are the only teams ahead of us according to CD but we know its rubbery figures



Both those teams have been rated higher than our current output throughout the season. I’m calling inordinant amounts of BS on that. Neither have ever played better footy than we are at the moment, she for maybe Round 1 when Sydney beat West Coast in Perth.


OK, I see where you are coming from.


We are playing top 4 footy, that is reflected in our top 4 rating. At no stage have Sydney or Adelaide looked like a top 4 side.


FWIW the ranking shown appears to be the sum of the player rankings, not a team ranking as such. That presumably leads to our current team being under-rated (“the sum being greater than the parts”).


Or have that absurdly overrated the other teams at various stages?

  1. I like seeing Carlton plumbing new lows.
  2. I’d be very interested to know how this approach has performed on tipping this year.


One of the stats that we have improved massively since Round 8 tells a story. Forward half intercepts. Its not a readily available stat that people like King and the press have access to .

I believe that Johns original plan was to operate a zone defence down back and press when the ball was in our forward half. The team thought that meant, “let the defence turn the opposition over and launch attacks from half back”. But we had defenders zoning off way too much in the back half, put ourselves under pressure and we leaked goals. After round 8 the midfield took responsibility for turning the opposition over as a first line of defence and the defence started to play more man on man footy, only adopting a zone/press when we had the ball locked inside 50.

Seemingly subtle change with massive ramifications for a talented team that either was playing a bad game plan, or not playing it properly maybe due to bad communication and confusion.


So here we are, wasted season? Let’s see what the stats nerds have to say.

According to , last year we were an unusual team from a statistical point of view in that we relied on an unusually high level of efficiency (#1 in the league in 2017 in fact!) inside of our forward 50. The problem of course, unlike the #2 ranked team Adelaide Crows, was that our midfield didn’t generate enough inside 50s to take advantage of our efficiency. On the whole though, we were a middle of the road team. Unfortunately, key injuries and major system issues meant our forward line efficiency tanked majorly, we are now below average in this area. On the plus side, we are now above average in the midfield!

All up though, we are exactly we were deserve to be. 12th. A sobering thought. But in a year this close (with the exception of the Tigers) the stats blog community have a tough time splitting teams, with a fair bit of variance depending on the methodology.

For instance, according to The Wooden Finger, we’ve made major gains this season to finish the 6th best performing team in the league:


Even different sets of numbers can be lid-on or off it seems?


Good article this.

TL;dr who cares about clearances

Fuhgeddabout a clearance beast. Francis holds the key to our 2019.


Good point RE Francis as Richmond can only do this game style becuase of him. Still so silly how people underate Rances place in football.