Champion Data has released their Team of the Year based on, you named it….stats.
The stats gurus announced their team after the AFL All-Australian selectors came under fire for naming Patrick Dangerfield, Marcus Bontempelli and Dustin Martin in the forward line, ahead of genuine forwards such as Dan Buttler and Tom Papley.
The Champion Data Team of the Year is selected based on the primary position of each player, which left some questionable inclusions in the lineup.
Just like the All Australian team, Papley and Buttler missed out on selection in the Champion Data team of the Year, with Hawthorn pair Luke Breust and Chad Wingard making the team despite the Hawks finishing 15th on the ladder.
There was room for out and out wingers Hugh McCluggage and Sam Menehola who were picked ahead of Cam Guthrie and Jack Macrae. But Brownlow Medal favourite Lachie Neale could only manage to earn a spot on the bench as he was replaced in the starting 18 by Nat Fyfe.
In all, eight players named in the All Australian team (Harris Andrews, Patrick Dangerfield, Marcus Bontempelli, Charlie Dixon, Tom Hawkins, Nic Naitanui, Christian Petracca and Lachie Neale) also made Champion Data’s team.
What is clear in both teams is that there will be plenty of debate about how the Team of the Year should be picked.
How the teams compare
FB: Brad Sheppard, Harris Andrews, Luke Ryan
C: Jack Macrae, Travis Boak, Cam Guthrie
HF: Patrick Dangerfield, Charlie Dixon, Marcus Bontempelli
FF: Liam Ryan, Tom Hawkins, Dustin Martin
RUCK: Nic Naitanui, Christian Petracca, Lachie Neale
FB: Adam Saad, Harris Andrews, Sam Collins
C: Hugh McCluggage, Marcus Bontempelli, Sam Menegola
HF: Chad Wingard, Charlie Dixon, Michael Walters
FF: Luke Breust, Tom Hawkins, Robbie Gray
RUCK: Nic Naitanui, Christian Petracca, Nat Fyfe