Champion Data have revealed their annual list rankings, with Richmond and the Western Bulldogs leading the pack heading into 2020.
The AFL stats guru’s new and improved ratings formula have the Bulldogs jumping 13 spots from last year’s rankings, following their seventh-placed finish and recruitment of Josh Bruce and Alex Keath.
Former Bulldogs head coach Rodney Eade says he was surprised they were rated so highly, but agrees that they have a very talented squad.
“I think their list is pretty good,” Eade told the Herald Sun.
“I’m surprised they’re starting at No. 2 but I wouldn’t be surprised if they finished at No.2 because I think there is a projection upwards for them.
“Now they’ve added the two talls [Keath and Bruce], they’ve got a well-balanced squad and you would think a lot of their youngsters are going to improve again.
“I would have thought they would be ranked in the top four or five, but I’m surprised West Coast is not second-best.
“It maybe creates a bit of pressure for them (the Bulldogs), but they’ve certainly got a good list.”
At the other end of the spectrum, Adelaide and Melbourne have fallen sharply down the rankings after disastrous 2019 seasons.
The Demons, who entered last season as the Champion Data’s top-rated list, is now down to 12th after finishing second-bottom with just five wins.
Adelaide, meanwhile, have fallen 13 spots down to 15th after being strongly favoured for the premiership in 2019, with the club now set to embark upon a rebuild under new head coach Matthew Nicks.
Despite luring five players during the free agency and trade period, including prized recruit Brad Hill, St Kilda’s list has only improved by one spot up to 13th.
Champion Data’s rankings do not take the team’s statistics or system into account, with the new formula based on each individual player’s contribution to the side.
2. Western Bulldogs
5. West Coast
6. North Melbourne
8. Port Adelaide
13. St Kilda
18. Gold Coast