Friday, 14 February 2014

Fantasy Predictions: Paul Chapman

Is Chappy ready to reaffirm his
position as an elite fantasy forward
once more?

By the Stats...
Price: RDT $416,300/ Fantasy $403,800/ SC $464,400
Average: 85/ 95
Minutes Per Game: 86
Points Per Minute: 0.98/ 1.1
Previous Averages ('09 to '12): 112/114, 113/116, 102/101, 97/100
Age: 32

So a few days back a report came out on every major AFL website. Chappy will be playing 16 out of a possible 22 games in the H&A season. Thus thousands of fantasy coaches proceeded to do the following. 

a) Login to their respective fantasy squads. 
b) Scan their team. 
c) Found Chappy's picture. 
d) Pressed the little Red Cross next to his name. 
e) Bye Chappy. 

Paul Chapman arrived at Geelong in 1999 after being selected at #31, and proceeded to play 251 magnificent games for the club. Chappy has 2 All Australian Selections, a B&F, 3 premierships and a Norm Smith to boot. Add in more than a goal a game (331 to be precise), he has achieved it all. With a CV like that, you'd expect any club would be more than willing to renew his contract, but the Cats declined on that front. After winning the Cats semifinal against the Power off his own boot, he was told his services were no longer required. 
Enter Bomber Thompson who couldn't believe his luck and worked quickly to land one of the most gifted footballers of this generation. He may just be the missing ingredient the Dons need to push deep into September. 

Player Analysis

Paul Chapman is priced at 76/86 in the major fantasy competitions. That's right, he has even received a discount on his injury ravaged season which saw him post his lowest average for the best part of a decade. Better still, Chappy's hamstrings really aren't made of paper anymore. Previous to last season, he'd missed just 5 of 66 possible H&A games. This is due to Paul having an individually designed weights program, implemented four years ago, which allows him to focus on and strengthen the areas which have been giving him grief. 

Another point to recognize is the way restings are planned out. Football is a physical, aerobic sport which is much more difficult to play at the end of a season, physically, than at the start. I'd be surprised if Chappy was rested more than once leading into his bye. Now if we use this premise, and he happens to average 95-100 (which he is more than capable of), he'll be priced so highly that you should be able to easily manage a sideways trade to just about any premium. With Essendon having a R9 bye, he may be a straight trade to Cloke who would've just finished his R8 bye. Tempted?

Furthermore we must also consider the Essendon playing list and where about's they're situated. Essendon are a team who will undoubtedly be dependent on their star players. Namely Watson, Goddard, Carlisle, Chapman. Whilst resting Chappy will lessen the likelihood of injury, it'll also lessen the likelihood of an Essendon Top 4 finish. Whilst the Bombers may set Chappy a certain number of games he is able to play, a slow start to the season may well see them go back on their word.

One final point to consider is the lack of depth in the forwards this season. Outside of Dangerfield, every high priced player has question marks hanging over his head. Chapman does as well, and I'm not suggesting otherwise. What I am suggesting is that when he is out on the park, his scoring potential can't be questioned. Given this relative lack of depth and a desire for all fantasy coaches to stack our midfield's with under-priced premiums, he possibly makes far more sense than settling for a newly appointed defender in Martin or an ageing Riewoldt.

Reasons to Pick Chappy

  • Majorly under-priced
  • Is having a very strong pre-season 
  • The forward premium options lack depth
  • Paul is a proven scorer

Reasons to Avoid Chappy

  • The Bombers have set him to play 16 games this season
  • He's 32 and nearing the end


At the end of the day a pick like Paul Chapman comes up to how risk adverse you are with this game or how big you see the risk being. The facts are he's training the house down, he'll outperform his starting price in all competitions and the expectation is that he'll avoid the rests early. So think about it and just maybe bring Paul back into the frame.