Burning Answers – Danger-ous Math

Written by Father Dougal on March 14 2018

It wasn’t a dark and stormy night, but it should have been, when Dangerfield did his hammy. While making decisions is what SuperCoach is all about, how to cope with an injured gun is not a fun decision. Like it or not, most of us get to make it now. I immediately had a cunning plan, but it was in no way thought out, and lacking in data, so really no plan at all. So, math:

The Terminator Scenario (’cause He’ll Be Back) : If you keep Danger and wait for his return, you miss out on his 136 points a match. You get back the points from your M9, which I am going to be a little generous and assume is 61, which is one more than I normally would because round number and we do have decent mid rookies. So, you lose 75 points a match until he returns

The Great Pumpkin Scenario (“cause patiently waiting, and waiting) If you just get rid of him and spend the money, you lose nothing while he is out, assuming you can usefully use all the money, which is pretty likely. What you do lose is the ability to captain him when he returns. Assuming he returns at full strength, which I am. I am also assuming you have at least one or two guns to captain, like say Dusty or Tom Mitchell. (If not, why not? Hello McFly! You need captain candidates in this game!) If they average 116, which is a little lower than they did last season, then you are (probably) losing 20 points a round. I’ll do numbers for losing 25 points a round as well, in case you think 20 is not enough.

Now you may be thinking, “But Father, you’re not taking into account the trade I saved by keeping him in the Terminator scenario, which was a very clever name by the way”, which is a reasonable thing to think. I admit to optimism on the part about the scenario name. But really, would I miss something like that? Well, yes, but not this time. Also, I just mistook my coffee mug for the dish with the pumpkin seeds I was munching on, which was not clever and actually happened. Sigh. Anyways, having dried my fingers, in the Great Pumpkin scenario you are not spending a trade you wouldn’t have otherwise. Someone is going to be your first upgrade target, right? Well, having your first upgrade be Paddy just changes who you upgrade to. Start with Danger bring in Dusty as your first upgrade, or start with Dusty and bring in Danger as your first upgrade. Both take one trade. Both leave you with Danger and Dusty. The difference is the points you lose by not having Dangerfield to captain – which is what we calculated.

So, what about leaving a big pile of cash in the bank to bring him in with? That’s worse than starting with him. You have all that money not being used, and you are using a trade you would not otherwise have used.

How about using some of the money on someone like Coniglio, and saving the rest to bring him in? Well, $749,800 – $452,400 = $297,400. Unspent, that’s 54 points a round you are missing out on. If we assume Coniglio averages 100, then you are still missing out on the points from money in the bank, you are just getting good value for what you spent on Stephen Coniglio, who has SC as his initials I see. Cool. Now SC may slowly go up in price, but the longer Danger is out the more points you are losing to the bank. If we assume a 106 for SCon, which is best-ish case, then you are 45 points better than having Danger on the bench per week, and down a trade when you bring him in since upgrading Coniglio to Danger is not your normal first upgrade.

So, almost time for a side by side comparison. First we need to figure out when you would be able to harvest cows to bring in Danger, which is not dependent on when he comes back. Short answer Round 7 to Round 8. Let’s assume R8, can also calculate for R9 just to be safe.

We also need to value a trade in points. I like to use 150. Cases can be made for 100 or 200; which is why I’ll use 150.

At first glance you are always better off using Coniglio rather than keeping Danger on the bench, but that ignores the value of the trade. If Danger is out 1-2 rounds, and you get a 106 average from SC, you are paying a trade for 45 or 90 points. Blah. If he is out three rounds, it is a trade for 135 points. Meh. At four rounds, you are probably a little ahead at 180 points for the trade. Of course if SC goes for 96, then Danger has to be out 5-6 rounds before you are getting ahead, again not by much. Danger has to be out a long time for taking Coniglio and saving the difference in cash is clearly better than just starting with Danger.

“Bench” is baseline bench from above, “SC #s” are points improved from the bench. So, “SC 96” out for 3 is 105 points better than “bench” out for 3.  Trade value not included.

How about Coniglio v. spending it all elsewhere? If we take the most pessimistic case, loss of 25 a round and no Danger until Round 9, then if Danger is out one round you are 170 points ahead at the cost of a trade, and it gets worse every week from there. Ick. How much worse? If Danger is out five rounds, you are paying a trade for *negative* savings. And if SC scores at 96, you’re negative after just 4 rounds…..double-ick.

“R9-25” is baseline bring in Danger on Round 9, with a cost of 25 a week, from above. “SC #s” are points improved from the R9-25. So, SC 96 out for 3 is 30 better than bench out for 3. Trade value not included.

How about bench vs spend? Bench is better if he is out one round. If he is out two rounds, it is pretty much even. If he is out more than two weeks spend is better, getting increasingly better each round.

“Bench” v. “Best case Coniglio” v. “Medium case Spend” Cost of trade included in “SC 106” at 150 pts.

So, my first thought was 100% wrong. A part spend is never the best option.

Another possible advantage of the spend plan is if someone gets hurt, you may be able to bring in Danger as their replacement. That would reduce the cost as calculated, since you would be getting him back early. Also, the spend plan gives you more points. The cost is lost points from loss of him as a captain option. But that is also not certain. Gawn could go big, so could some mids. You might lose fewer points than the 20-25 I used in the calculations. The cost of Bench and the part spend are sure lost points, the costs of the spend option are lost captain opportunity, and may not end up lost.

I’m going to sell Danger and use all the cash to improve the rest of my team. I’ll be sure to have at least three good captain options and a loophole.  If I have money left over, it will be about the same as the money I was planning to have left over with Dangerfield. And now, thanks to math, I won’t be stressed about that decision.



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23 thoughts on “Burning Answers – Danger-ous Math”

  1. Great write-up! I am glad my gut decision has been backed up by science.

    Of course, SC gods being what they are, this means that what will actually happen is Danger will be a late inclusion to play round 1 and hit 162, and the three lunatics in my league (who’ll not only keep him but also put the C on him) will be laughing all the way to the top of the ladder.


    1. Thank you!

      The “whatever I do will be wrong, so which options screws me least” attitude is a valid way to think about an issue. Risk management in action. If you just go without Danger the worst case is he plays and is fine, and you don’t get to captain him. Not great but no disaster. If you start with him and he is out 4+ weeks, you are totally hosed, “enjoy” the rest of your season.


  2. 740k is a huge price to pay for someone with an injury cloud even danger. will get him in as my first upgrade target


    1. As i recall last year in afl fantasy i did the same with with Rocky jumped on him once he was back from his shoulder injury paid top dollar for him 700k+ he didn’t give me a tonn at all and i traded him out for a 200k loss.


  3. I’m planning of going the bench option and using Danger as a rookie loophole due to him playing in the last few games in the first few weeks. This should hopefully give me more out of the bench reducing the negative impact.
    If he is out for 3+ weeks then he won’t be in team but these results will be massive today


  4. PATRICK Dangerfield is still a chance to play in Geelong’s round one clash despite sustaining a low-grade hamstring injury in the Cats’ final pre-season hitout against Essendon.

    The club confirmed on Wednesday morning that the superstar midfielder was still in the mix to face Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday, March 25.

    Teammate Rhys Stanley also remains a chance to line up against the Demons after scans revealed he had a low-grade calf tear.

    “This is positive news for Patrick and Rhys and they both have their sights firmly set on round one,” Geelong football manager Simon Lloyd said.

    “Both Patrick and Rhys will undertake individualised programs over the next 10 days with our medical and fitness staff as they work towards full fitness for the beginning of the season.”

    Dangerfield pulled up short after kicking the ball in the first quarter of the Cats’ JLT Community Series clash in Colac and immediately left the field.

    However, he appeared to be moving freely in the rooms after the game.

    Stanley also suffered his injury early in the first term against the Bombers but, like Dangerfield, he wasn’t limping as he left the field.

    Dangerfield’s positive prognosis keeps alive his chances of joining skipper Joel Selwood and prodigal son Gary Ablett in the Cats’ dream starting midfield against the Demons.


  5. Wow great article super in depth! Gotta admit though a lot of that maths went over my head.

    I am concerned a bit though that you don’t seem to have considered the lower captain’s score for the “Terminator Scenario”? You lose 75 points + the loss of 20ish from a lesser being becoming your weekly captain not just the 75 points that you describe.


    1. The comparison is of the different options against each other. Nobody is getting Danger’s captain score while he is out. When he comes back, only then do the people who don’t have him fall behind from not having his captain’s score, so it starts to matter. You do lose and extra 20 from what you would have scored with him, but that isn’t what I am calculating.


      1. I get you now! I got confused because you brought up and considered the captain’s score in the pumpkin scenario but that’s just because in that case there’s rounds where he’s playing but you don’t have him.


  6. Father, forgive me but the maths are all wrong. I have run my numbers through the Deep Blue computer, I’m sure many of you out there have heard of it, and it has confirmed my calculations.

    Put simply…

    1. Take Danger’s average score last year, and divide by the standard deviation of that score.
    2. Take the next top 20 midfield scorers and do the same for each, dividing by 20 to give an average std (thats short for standard deviation for those who are wondering… not something you pick up on a friday night on the town !!).
    3. Divide 2 by 1
    4. Take 3 and multiply by Pi.
    5. Then take the number of rounds Danger is expected to miss and multiply by 4 above
    6. If the answer is above 42, keep Danger…if it is below, don’t start him.

    Now, isnt that much simpler ??


    1. You have made a fundamental error my son. You have used 42 as part of the answer when you know the question. Now the universe is going to end. Go to your room until the end of time, which won’t be very long now…..


      1. Father…you have correctly identified a problem. I doubt any of us will see the season start as the world will surely end before then if Danger doesn’t play.


  7. This is some great analysis FD. I’m guessing the 25 point difference per game relies on being able to spend all of Danger’s funds effectively. I’m in a situation where I will probably replace Danger with someone like Mitchell/Kelly/Zerret and then I won’t be able to do much with the extra 100-150k except upgrade a speculative forward breakout into a speculative forward premium or upgrade a cheap rookie into an expensive one. In both cases I’m struggling to see the value so am leaning towards hanging onto to a little bit of funds for trading flexibility. The issue is if I can’t make use of the funds and my alternate captain averages 115 and danger goes on a early hot streak of 140, then the difference lost for me is 50 points per game, which makes the decision a lot harder.

    The other issue is that if Danger does go on an early hot streak then trading him in at 700k+ will be extremely difficult and will cost an extra trade. If you start with him you have the flexibility to pick up whichever fallen premium looks good value at around 500k.

    Sorry for complicating things…


    1. Those are all valid points. It may be some managers will have a hard time productively spending the extra cash. which would matter. Unspent, $100,000 is about 18 points a round.

      The 25 a round is an average. Could be more or less in one match, or over a short run. I don’t think we can assume he will have a great or poor run, so went for the middle.


    2. This is pretty much the situation I’m in. The extra 100k which I’ve banked from downgrading Danger to Mitchell/Dusty isn’t proving to be much use for me without completely restructuring my team, which i don’t want to do at this point.

      Even if i go Danger to Coniglio, I’m left with an awkward amount. It only allows me to upgrade a rookie to a midpricer, which i also don’t want. I’m thinking i might just bank it for upgrade flexibility.

      Otherwise i agree with your analysis Father.


      1. What matters to me is if this helps you decide what is right for you. Every team is different. I agree with not going rookie to mid-pricer, that’s probably cownter productive. 🙂


  8. I may need to be corrected on this as I think SC Leagues don’t start until Rd 3.
    My aim is to win my $$$league & not worried about my overall ranking in SC .
    If Dangerfield is classified as a 1-2 wks injury I will keep him.


    1. Yes, you can trade him out Sunday before he plays without costing a trade. Just the other teams will be locked out, leaving Parker/Oliver or one of the other Geelong premiums your only option.

      I expect him to be named and a late out if anything.



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