2019: Rucks Discussion

Who will you start from the most expensive ruckmen?

  • Grundy

    Votes: 43 76.8%
  • Gawn

    Votes: 9 16.1%
  • Martin

    Votes: 3 5.4%
  • McEvoy

    Votes: 1 1.8%
  • Westhoff

    Votes: 6 10.7%
  • Goldstein

    Votes: 16 28.6%
  • Nankervis

    Votes: 10 17.9%
  • Sandilands

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sinclair

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 7 12.5%

  • Total voters
    56

Leroy

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Shane Mumford's pre-season has been interrupted by a hamstring strain suffered in the week leading up to the club's summer break.
Mumford sustained the low-grade strain in training days before Christmas, and is expected to return in late January, weeks after the rest of the playing group resume training on January 9.
Mumford was on a modified training module when he endured the injury given his age (32) and lack of conditioning due to his hiatus from the game in 2018.

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl...f=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport_afl
Who rucks for the Giants if Mumford doesn't make it? Patton? Or does Simpson get a crack at solo?
 

pizza safety

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Id like to know about Nankervis's HOTA/effective hit out numbers and whether or not they are increasing from year to year since becoming a sole ruckman. I think the argument about Nankervis lacking the ability to become a truly elite Supercoach ruckman without getting good HOTA numbers is a valid one. I wonder how his tap ruckwork stacks up against Stef Martin's for example, if Nank is slowly increasing the quality of his tap work I would be pretty interested.

If anyone has any relevant statistics/research id love to hear about it!
Pretty sure they've increased very slightly but nothing to really care about. You could check it out at AFL stats pro. Still very early in his ruck career and still plenty of room for improvement.
 

pizza safety

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Thanks mate. The idea of bringing someone like him in to complete an R-F set when needed has been floated a couple of times previously. I don't think it's a bad idea, albeit it is using a trade to do so - so it's really providing future cover, rather than cover for that week, if you like (you could just trade the injured/suspended ruck for one trade and have similar cover for that week).

If you place some value on the option to wait, that's a slightly different story. That might be the case for anyone who wants to see if their rucks miss, who thinks he is overpriced, or who wants to see how he scores this year (albeit he will likely be expensive if he's scoring well, and vice versa, so the latter two may largely offset). The other thing I probably don't like about it is that you're quite constrained in the week your ruck misses - you largely need to do a forward upgrade that week, which may not be easily done. It's not wildly different to trading the missing ruck in my mind, except for the future cover provided.

I should mention that I quite like Westhoff on a standalone basis, as I do with Mummy, but in my mind they have synergy value. If I start Mummy, Westhoff will be up forward, otherwise he might be my R2.
I have the intention of trading him in if he's looking successful but I think it's worth gambling on your rucks not missing games if he's not looking like that good of an option and therefore not bringing him in. I just think that he will drop off a bit due to him peaking so late in his career. If he does look good I'll try to bring him in early so I have him as cover for most of the year, of course his form could revert but I'll also take that gamble, the forward line is always a bit difficult to predict a top 6 for in any case. Love the Hoff as a player though.
 

Seymour Skinner

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I think that should be considered when comparing previous ruckmen years.
I vaguely remember Cox and Sandilands dominating for a while, but don't know who the 3rd best ruckman was then.
I reckon, SuperCoaches are putting too much emphasis on Preuss taking points away from Gawn. Cox didn't do it to Grundy.
But Cox did effect Grundy, a lot. I owned Grundy in 2017 and I hated whenever Cox got a gig that year. The weeks they both played Grundy scored 82, 71, 83, 58, 105, 80 and 93 for an average of 81.7. That's nearly 16 points less per game on his season average.

Last year Cox was mostly played as a forward, and on top of that they have spent a lot more time playing together.

Id like to know about Nankervis's HOTA/effective hit out numbers and whether or not they are increasing from year to year since becoming a sole ruckman. I think the argument about Nankervis lacking the ability to become a truly elite Supercoach ruckman without getting good HOTA numbers is a valid one. I wonder how his tap ruckwork stacks up against Stef Martin's for example, if Nank is slowly increasing the quality of his tap work I would be pretty interested.

If anyone has any relevant statistics/research id love to hear about it!
Don't have any stats on hand, but IIRC Nank has a fairly high HTA%, the issue is he doesn't get as many hitouts as the big boi rucks. Nank is a bit undersized for a ruckman (199cm) and relies on his contested possessions and intercept marks to boost his scores.
 

Connoisseur

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But Cox did effect Grundy, a lot. I owned Grundy in 2017 and I hated whenever Cox got a gig that year. The weeks they both played Grundy scored 82, 71, 83, 58, 105, 80 and 93 for an average of 81.7. That's nearly 16 points less per game on his season average.

Last year Cox was mostly played as a forward, and on top of that they have spent a lot more time playing together.



Don't have any stats on hand, but IIRC Nank has a fairly high HTA%, the issue is he doesn't get as many hitouts as the big boi rucks. Nank is a bit undersized for a ruckman (199cm) and relies on his contested possessions and intercept marks to boost his scores.
Hit the nail on the head regarding Nank. His 2018 HTA rate was 29.74% and 2017 HTA rate was 27.49 and averaged 25 Hitouts in 2018 and 24.71 in 2017. Unless he starts averaging 33+ Hitouts then I don't think he's worthwhile as a pick.
 

Bomber18

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I found your previous post on Westhoff very interesting, thanks for sharing.

One more recent reservation I had is that he may have played a lot more ruck time, and get more clearances, touches, maybe tackles etc, but just not generate many hitouts, especially if he was up against a strong opponent.

I thought it might be best to check how he performed in the matches Ryder and Dixon missed (they were his main contenders for ruck time across the year, although Frampton and Howard got a lot of hitouts in select games). This was rounds 2-6 and 18 (Ryder) plus 22 and 23 (Dixon).

Comparing those games vs his 2018 overall averages:

- hitouts 10.9 vs 8.3
- SC 107.8 vs 101.2, see below
- disposals 21.1 vs 19.9
- marks 5 vs 5.3
- clearances 2.4 vs 2.6
- tackles 4.5 vs 4.9
- goals 1.3 vs 1.1

Other than SC average (and hitouts, not surprisingly!), the stats are very mixed.

The higher SC average was almost entirely due to his 147 against North (102.1 ex that, with a season average of 99 ex that game). In that game he only had 4 hitouts and 0 clearances - Dixon had 25 (easily his second best for the year) and 4, so I'm working on the basis that Westhoff didn't get a lot of ruck time in that game.

This collectively indicates to me that extra ruck time didn't help Westhoff's scoring to a meaningful extent.

I'm very interested if anyone has a contrary interpretation though, especially as I plan on picking him!

Also worth noting that if Gray is potentially in line for more mid time (Wingard and Polec gone from the mids, Lycett in and Ryder hopefully fit with both resting forward), there may be some incremental time available for Westhoff up the ground (but not necessarily in the ruck) as well.

2018 was his career best year for disposals, tackles and clearances as well as hitouts, so perhaps this mid time is important in its own right, and likely to be at least maintained?
The Ruck Contests attended stat available from aflstatspro provides good background. In 2018, Westhoff attended about 3-4 times the amount of RCs compared to previous years, which I think would’ve led to more scoring due to the increased time around stoppages.

Breakdown below
Year | Total RC | Avg RC | HO win % | SC avg
2018 | 629 | 28.6 | 29.1 | 101
2017 | 86 | 3.9 | 36 | 87
2016 | 184 | 8.4 | 32.6 | 85
2015 | 101 | 4.6 | 46.5 | 95
2014 | 119 | 5.4 | 38.7 | 91
2013 | 200 | 9.5 | 31 | 99

I haven’t been able to tally up the RCs when Ryder/Dixon missed, but on a brief look the RCs are higher between R2-6 as you would expect. In comparison to previous years, 2018 was the first year that Westhoff didn’t have multiple games with 0 RCs. In previous years he usually had 5-10 games with 0 ruck time. In 2018, he would usually get at least 8-10 RCs a game.

I think Port just changed their ruck strategy to ensure that Westhoff probably got about 15-20% ruck time even when Ryder played (probably to limit Ryder’s time in ruck due to the Achilles concern). I haven’t followed Port games closely but it’s possible that Westhoff played around stoppages alongside Ryder as well.

I think if you’re happy to pay 105 ish for a player that avgs closer to 93-95 then that’s your call but you’d want to be sure that he’s continuing to get that 15% or so of ruck time or has a role that puts him around the stoppages. If not, his avg might slip more into that 85-90 range which would make him a poor starting pick and a better trade in target.
 

lavenderbandit

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Like most others, the ruck position is really doing my head in. I decided to look at this from a different angle, so here is some food for thought on rucks and their ages. Correlation does not imply causation.

Notes
  • My first ever real crack at any form of half a$$ed analysis, go me!!!
  • Ages might be ‘out’ by a year, depends on when you take them eg start of finish of the year I haven’t been exact but its enouh for a view
  • I did this by running through footywire.com stats, so may have missed a previous ruck, happy for anyone to let me know if so.
Previous top 2 rucks.
1546610120523.png
2019 “premiums” and age
1546610155133.png

Not sure if there is anything in the above, but anyway here are my thoughts

Most likely top 2 based on age alone seem to be from grundy, gawn, Nank, Lycett. To a lesser extent Hickey.

Going against the age related grain: Martin, goldy,.

Too injury risky for me: Sandi/ryder/mummy/Kreuz (and NN if he comes back mid year)

Not interested: Lobb, Jacobs,

In summation I still have no clue, but after the above exercise I am leaning towards Grundy + Nank, only because of the unknown with Gawn and Preuss.
 

Bermi

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Who rucks for the Giants if Mumford doesn't make it? Patton? Or does Simpson get a crack at solo?
I'm wondering who will ruck for the Western Bulldogs?
 
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Bermi

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I have the intention of trading him in if he's looking successful but I think it's worth gambling on your rucks not missing games if he's not looking like that good of an option and therefore not bringing him in. I just think that he will drop off a bit due to him peaking so late in his career. If he does look good I'll try to bring him in early so I have him as cover for most of the year, of course his form could revert but I'll also take that gamble, the forward line is always a bit difficult to predict a top 6 for in any case. Love the Hoff as a player though.
If Westhoff can be a ruck cover and score in the mid 90s, I would be happy with that.
 

Bermi

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But Cox did effect Grundy, a lot. I owned Grundy in 2017 and I hated whenever Cox got a gig that year. The weeks they both played Grundy scored 82, 71, 83, 58, 105, 80 and 93 for an average of 81.7. That's nearly 16 points less per game on his season average. Last year Cox was mostly played as a forward, and on top of that they have spent a lot more time playing together.

Don't have any stats on hand, but IIRC Nank has a fairly high HTA%, the issue is he doesn't get as many hitouts as the big boi rucks. Nank is a bit undersized for a ruckman (199cm) and relies on his contested possessions and intercept marks to boost his scores.
I really don't like comparing players, I used the Cox/Grundy and Preuss/Gawn comparison to say that a main ruckmen can score well, even if another ruckman is playing. You (and Pizza Safety) have made a good point that Grundy mainly played as a solo ruckman. It does appear that Gawn and Preuss will share the ruck, as Preuss is not relied upon as a key forward, but Gawn will do the bulk of the ruck. (Just my opinion, I don't think Preuss is really needed in the team, I think he is there as back-up only if Gawn has an injury. Gawn does a great job on his own without help).

Nankervis, who will be 25yo and only played 59 games, is the same size as Stef Martin, who averaged 112 SC pts the season starting on 62 games. I'm not saying that Nankervis will do the same, but only that it can be done.
 
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Bermi

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Hit the nail on the head regarding Nank. His 2018 HTA rate was 29.74% and 2017 HTA rate was 27.49 and averaged 25 Hitouts in 2018 and 24.71 in 2017. Unless he starts averaging 33+ Hitouts then I don't think he's worthwhile as a pick.
I agree that Nankervis height, 199cm, makes it unlikely to reach 33+ hitouts, but there are other areas that he could score more SC pts, as he is entering his prime as a ruckman at 25yo.
 

Adrenaline

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Grundy definitely overpriced, but the alternatives just don't seem appealing at the moment. I think the best value combo is clearly Goldy and Kruezer but surely you'll need to trade one or both to Grundy and Gawn eventually if they both end up scoring about 10-20ppg more than those two?

If Longer looks reliable, he's still my preferred option as an R2 cash cow. Mummy in R5 offers a bail out if needed. . Otherwise, I'm thinking Grundy and Kreuzer at this stage with the aim to trade Krezuer to Gawn if needed down the track.

Gawn is unlikely for me unless Preuss gets injured or there's a strong indication that Preuss plays VFL (which I don't see as a likely scenario seeing as he would've gone over for more senior football opportunities).
are you considering using a r/f such as westoff? i like kruzer but i am not overly confident that his injuries are behind him. i dont have any info its just a gut feel.
 

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The Ruck Contests attended stat available from aflstatspro provides good background. In 2018, Westhoff attended about 3-4 times the amount of RCs compared to previous years, which I think would’ve led to more scoring due to the increased time around stoppages.

Breakdown below
Year | Total RC | Avg RC | HO win % | SC avg
2018 | 629 | 28.6 | 29.1 | 101
2017 | 86 | 3.9 | 36 | 87
2016 | 184 | 8.4 | 32.6 | 85
2015 | 101 | 4.6 | 46.5 | 95
2014 | 119 | 5.4 | 38.7 | 91
2013 | 200 | 9.5 | 31 | 99

I haven’t been able to tally up the RCs when Ryder/Dixon missed, but on a brief look the RCs are higher between R2-6 as you would expect. In comparison to previous years, 2018 was the first year that Westhoff didn’t have multiple games with 0 RCs. In previous years he usually had 5-10 games with 0 ruck time. In 2018, he would usually get at least 8-10 RCs a game.

I think Port just changed their ruck strategy to ensure that Westhoff probably got about 15-20% ruck time even when Ryder played (probably to limit Ryder’s time in ruck due to the Achilles concern). I haven’t followed Port games closely but it’s possible that Westhoff played around stoppages alongside Ryder as well.

I think if you’re happy to pay 105 ish for a player that avgs closer to 93-95 then that’s your call but you’d want to be sure that he’s continuing to get that 15% or so of ruck time or has a role that puts him around the stoppages. If not, his avg might slip more into that 85-90 range which would make him a poor starting pick and a better trade in target.
Thanks mate - this is very good info.

I am keen to check out the game by game stats for ruck contests, but can't seem to locate them on the site (I can see 2018 and career numbers). Are you able to access the above on a tablet, or is it potentially PC only?
 

Bomber18

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Thanks mate - this is very good info.

I am keen to check out the game by game stats for ruck contests, but can't seem to locate them on the site (I can see 2018 and career numbers). Are you able to access the above on a tablet, or is it potentially PC only?
I’m currently overseas and accessed them from my mobile! It takes a bit of navigating but on that page with the career numbers there should be a “cog” icon which lets you select up to 10 stats (including RCs).
 

Seymour Skinner

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I really don't like comparing players, I used the Cox/Grundy and Preuss/Gawn comparison to say that a main ruckmen can score well, even if another ruckman is playing. You (and Pizza Safety) have made a good point that Grundy mainly played as a solo ruckman. It does appear that Gawn and Preuss will share the ruck, as Preuss is not relied upon as a key forward, but Gawn will do the bulk of the ruck. (Just my opinion, I don't think Preuss is really needed in the team, I think he is there as back-up only if Gawn has an injury. Gawn does a great job on his own without help).

Nankervis, who will be 25yo and only played 59 games, is the same size as Stef Martin, who averaged 112 SC pts the season starting on 62 games. I'm not saying that Nankervis will do the same, but only that it can be done.
Being a tiger man I'd love for Nank to get even better.
Personally I don't pick Nank because I can't see him playing 22 games, missed 1 game in '17 through suspension (was due for a rest anyways) and then missed one game in 18 too (rested against GC), which was at the back end of the season.
Think these late season rests will keep happening if the tiges keep choosing to play only 1 true ruckman (highly doubt Lynch will be rucking), to avoid burning Nank into the ground like they did with Ivan.
Also worth noting that we play Carlton and Brisbane in the last 3 rounds, could see Nank being rested for either of those.
 

Bomber18

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are you considering using a r/f such as westoff? i like kruzer but i am not overly confident that his injuries are behind him. i dont have any info its just a gut feel.
Not considering Westhoff as a starting option but definitely considering him as a trade in. If Kreuzer got injured early, I’d probably just trade him.
 

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I’m currently overseas and accessed them from my mobile! It takes a bit of navigating but on that page with the career numbers there should be a “cog” icon which lets you select up to 10 stats (including RCs).
Very helpful, thank you ... gee the site is quite clunky, but I've figured it out now!

I looked at his ruck contests attended, and how his SC average varied with this figure. Rounded, in 2018 he attended 37 contests when Ryder/Dixon missed, and 24 in other games.

Ruck contests SC average
<=15 102 from 4 games
<=20 108 from 8 games
>=30 100 from 9 games
>=45 102 from 5 games

So there is no relationship between ruck contests attended and his scoring in 2018 on my assessment. [If anything he scored slightly better with fewer contests.]

As you mentioned, he used to attend a lot fewer contests, so looking at his SC average in games with 10 or more contests attended in prior years:

2017 96 from 3 games (season 87)
2016 90 from 9 games (season 85)

So in 2016-17 he scored 5-10 points better when he attended more ruck contests, albeit he didn't actually attend that many (under 10 games with >=10 attended in each of those years, vs 20 games this year).

It appears to me that (1) perhaps the roles he was playing when not in the ruck were more favourable in 2018 than in 2016-17 (so spending time in the ruck no longer led to higher scoring for him), and (2) that he simply played better from an SC perspective last year, meaning he scored better whether he played in the ruck or not.

Thanks again for flagging the site, I'm sure it will be useful in the future as well.
 
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Bomber18

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Very helpful, thank you ... gee the site is quite clunky, but I've figured it out now!

I looked at his ruck contests attended, and how his SC average varied with this figure. Rounded, in 2018 he attended 37 contests when Ryder/Dixon missed, and 24 in other games.

Ruck contests SC average
<=15 102 from 4 games
<=20 108 from 8 games
>=30 100 from 9 games
>=45 102 from 5 games

So there is no relationship between ruck contests attended and his scoring in 2018 on my assessment. [If anything he scored slightly better with fewer contests.]

As you mentioned, he used to attend a lot fewer contests, so looking at his SC average in games with 10 or more contests attended in prior years:

2017 96 from 3 games (season 87)
2016 90 from 9 games (season 85)

So in 2016-17 he scored 5-10 points better when he attended more ruck contests, albeit he didn't actually attend that many (under 10 games with >=10 attended in each of those years, vs 20 games this year).

It appears to me that (1) perhaps the roles he was playing when not in the ruck were more favourable in 2018 than in 2016-17 (so spending time in the ruck no longer led to higher scoring for him), and (2) that he simply played better from an SC perspective last year, meaning he scored better whether he played in the ruck or not.

Thanks again for flagging the site, I'm sure it will be useful in the future as well.
Useful breakdown, thanks for that. Worked well as a team :)

My thoughts now are that Westhoff just had a better role last year where (1) he got more ruck time consistently (ie: probably about 15% ish even when Ryder played) and (2) probably played around stoppages even when he wasn't in the RCs.

The thing to keep an eye out on is if he continues to get that consistent time in the rucks to give Ryder a rest. It might be the case that Port developed that ruck strategy last year to protect Ryder due to his achilles issue and that Ryder is now fit enough to shoulder more of a load. The HO win% suggests that Port benefit more from Ryder spending more time in the ruck so you'd think that if Ryder is fit enough, he would take the bulk of the ruck time.

The second part is to consider if Westhoff will continue to get the roaming role that puts him around stoppages alongside the ruck/mids. It's possible that he does with Lycett/Dixon playing more of a forward role. If he got that role, I think you could be more comfortable with him averaging 95.
 

Bermi

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Being a tiger man I'd love for Nank to get even better.
Personally I don't pick Nank because I can't see him playing 22 games, missed 1 game in '17 through suspension (was due for a rest anyways) and then missed one game in 18 too (rested against GC), which was at the back end of the season.
Think these late season rests will keep happening if the tiges keep choosing to play only 1 true ruckman (highly doubt Lynch will be rucking), to avoid burning Nank into the ground like they did with Ivan.
Also worth noting that we play Carlton and Brisbane in the last 3 rounds, could see Nank being rested for either of those.
Good points Seymore Skinner.
Good for SC pts if the Tigers only play Nankervis as the only ruckman.
Also, if Nankervis is rested, then that's where R/F Westhoff comes into play.
 
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