Monday, 3 June 2013

The Unique Men

Michael Barlow
Is Michael Barlow a must have for the run home?
Bye- R11

By the Stats...
AFL DT- 108.1ppg, $530,000~, High (149), Low (81), Last 5-114.2, Owned by 5.92%
AFL SC- 111.7ppg, $550,000~, High (141, this week), Low (79), Last 5-117, Owned by 4.43%
AFL Sportal- 141.9ppg, $520,000~, High (180), Low (92), Last 5-147.6, Owned by 6.09%

We all love Michael Barlow. That is plain. He marauded around then Subiaco, like few had. Fremantle, a dire club who had never seriously challenged for a premiership suddenly had a star in their midst. In his debut game against the Crows he had 33 touches and 2.1! Fremantle had a new king. The weeks went on and his herculean average was around the 110 mark. Then Palmer, a much loved rookie not too long ago, was suddenly hated by all fantasy owners. Barlow's season ended at a 109.8/116 average, and that was that. Barlow had devestated the opposition week in week out for 13 games, but now found himself with a broken leg.

Broken Legs

This is important that we analyze the injury in its entirety before we go any further. It took Barlow approximately a year from when he did it, to get back on the field. This is a roughly the norm regarding this type of injury. Now we notice for the following 2 seasons, his numbers were down at 85.8/83.6 (2011, 9 games) and 96/95 (2012, 22 games). These numbers are obviously down on the incredible scoring that we saw Barlow deliver in his astounding debut year. But this is what interests me. Listening to players that have broken their legs, like Jed Adcock and Nathan Brown, both suggested that it took them roughly 18 months after playing their first agem on the footy field to 'feel themselves again'. If we use this logical explanation, it makes much sense that Barlow is now averaging numbers akin to his pre-injury numbers.

This Year
Barlow is back to his best! After a somewhat slow start 97/110, he has since turned in some awesome form, with scores of;

122/92 V Richmond
81/79 V Gold Coast
100/108 V Collingwood
123/119 V Sydney
149/138 V Melbourne
118/141 V Adelaide

Now as you can see by these numbers, he can score fantastically well against all sides, poor (Melbourne) and strong (Sydney). Now in the second half of the season he comes up against sides such as;

Brisbane @ Patterson's
GWS @ Patterson's
Melbourne @ MCG
St Kilda (Twice)
Port Adelaide @Patterson's

Not too mention West Coast and Richmond which he has also delivered massive scores on this year already. That means that 8 of the 12 matches left he has very favourable fixtures. Not that Barlow needs them if we go off those Sydney-type scores. Nonetheless, the question that must be asked is has Barlow rediscovered his scoring capacity of old, or is he simply in a good run of form. You should also consider that in his debut season, he sometimes got a tag, which will not occur given the likes of Mundy, Fyfe, Pearce and Hill running through their now. I'm going to back the data that he has now overcome all trauma of that dramatic incident on the 50 metre line of Subi. Get on the Barlow train while you can, because with a low score of 81/79, and him starting to hit that big score form, I see no reason why he won't average 110+/115+ for the rest of the season!

Stats from m0nty's fantastic site Fanfooty and chat in the comments regarding whether you think Barlow is back to his best in 2013 and whether he is the must have of the second half of the season!