Predicting Uber-Premium Midfielders 2022

Written by Father Dougal on March 9 2022

Predicting Uber-Premium Midfielders 

I was really happy with the stuff I did on trying to predict uber-premium breakouts, but now  with rule changes and the 17 match season over the last few years, it is hard to make good year to year comparisons anymore. But looking this over I think there is still some value. Anyways, I was trying to see if there was a way to predict players going 125+ for the first time, and now there are two more players who broke out and scored 125+ since I wrote the original, so I’m going to look back and see how they fit into the data. Then I’ll check if anyone is looking like they will break out this season. 

Of the seven breakout players from the first study, four broke up at age 23, then one each at 24, 25, and 26.   Neale also did it at 26 and Steele did it at 25.  Touk Miller got very close at 25, but this is neither horseshoes nor hand grenades, so I am not including him.  

Every one of the breakouts missed 0 or 1 game the previous season.  Still true with Steele and Neale. 

The 23 years olds who broke out averaged  110.3 the year previous, that has not changed.  Neale averaged  121.3 and Steele averaged 122.5 so both over the previous known minimums.  

Averages the previous season for other ages with Steele and Neale added

Average at 23 before Breakout at Age 24 – 118.9

Average at 24 before Breakout at Age 25 – 121.2

Average at 25 before Breakout at Age 26 – 122.25

Previous season average of all over 23 breakouts –  121.16

Previous season’s average over the last ten games over their full season average? 

118.2 Neale so not quite but close. Nice to know.

125.5/125.25 (last ten /  last 8 from 17 match season) by Steele, so yes either way

Average 3 seasons before boom:

2 Before 3 Before 4 Before

Neale 111.9 109 112.6

Steele 95 94 91

Both are pretty consistent with the other data. 

So, a bit more variance, but still seems to be useful as a guide to guess breakouts. 

Oh, the 2020 candidate, Dunkley, got hurt and of course did not go uber-premium, then or at 24. He is currently 25, based on his injuries he  is not a 125+ candidate.  Of course he averaged 129 over his first six games last season, prior to getting injured, so that’s awfully interesting to me. I feel like if he had not been injured he would have or close to, which is why I have him in my 2022 team despite his injury history. 


So, anyone on the horizon this season? 

There are six guys to check, plus Andy Brayshaw who is a year too young, at least in theory.  

Brayshaw first:  Too young, missed more than one game, last ten average of 114.9 higher than season average of 107.3. Prior season average of 101.3.  Season before that just 70 and 60. 

So, no, not very likely. But I am so checking him again next season, because he could fit the bill for an age 23 breakout based on his career so far. Also, just because he is not likely to average 125+ does not mean he will not raise his average by a lot. Just won’t be by more than 17.6. 


Two of the candidates are 24 this season. 

Clayton Oliver:  Missed no games. Last ten average of 121.7 which is just under his season average of 123.5 Previous season’s averages are amazing.  So, the thing with predicting Clarry to average 125+ is that he has averaged 122.2 and 123.5 in his last two seasons. Saying someone might average 1.5 more than last season is a nothing. Of course he can hit 125 or more;  if he stays uninjured it is probably just a matter of time. And since he is already priced so close to 125, there’s not a lot of benefit from that prediction. However, the reason I always fear not having him is that I can see him going 130 or 135 some year. I kind of expect him to give his history.  Anyways, I feel like yes he is a great candidate to “break out” but we all knew that.  

Darcy Parrish:  Missed no games. Last ten average of 109.8, which is well below his season average of 114.1. Last season averaged just 114.1, not close to 118/121 and previous averages are meh. So, no breakout predicted. Improvement is possible sure, just no breakout.

The rest of the candidates are 26: 

Marcus Bontempelli: Missed no games. Last ten average of 111.6, well below his season average of 119.7. Last season average of 119 which is short of 121 but not too far and previous seasons good.  Predicting no breakout but won’t be shocked if it happens.  

Touk Miller: Missed one game. Last ten 130.9 which is over his season average of 124.5….um…..gosh I wonder if he can add HALF A FREAKING POINT to his last season’s average…..previous seasons ok…..I mean, he sure looks like a great candidate to add half a point to his average and go for 125 or more. But, I think with the strong finish to the season he could add, let’s say, “several” more points to his average.  Again, a great candidate to “break out” but we all knew that.  

Zachary Merrett: Missed no games. Last ten of 119.3 which is higher than his season average of 115. Past seasons are good, but last season’s 115 is well below the 121ish range so no breakout predicted.  

Christian Petracca: Missed no games. Last ten of 117.3 which is well over his season’s average of 111.4. But a 111.4 is far off 121 so no breakout predicted. 

Adding in the data from Steele and Neale makes it rather obvious that the guys who score 125 or more for the first time after age 24 are the ones who scored very close to that the previous season.  That’s nice to know, but as I have said, predicting a small increase takes little predictive ability.  

We have so many players floating around the 120s now I probably need to check on 130+ scoring breakouts. Probably next season…..


Thanks for reading!



Leave a comment / Scroll to bottom

14 thoughts on “Predicting Uber-Premium Midfielders 2022”

  1. Great article, very insightful.

    Sam Walsh would have been an interesting one if not for injury to start the year, I predict a year too young though.
    Ollie Wines ticks some boxes out but perhaps a little too old to fit the criteria?
    Fiorini and Keays maybe don’t have enough games yet to be able to break out that much, but ones to watch throughout the season.
    I can see small improvements in McCluggage and Simpkin due to their age and games played, however can’t see even 110+ for them as they seem to have stagnated.

    The breakouts over the next few years will be quite interesting to see. Brayshaw, Rowell and Walsh stand out to me but nothing jumping out after that.


    1. Thank you!

      Walsh is probably 2 years too young. So far nobody has scored 125+ under 23. But, how his chances look will be revisited next season. Someone may someday if they are good enough and he may be.

      Wines is 27 with a career high of 112. It is more likely that Taylor Swift becomes my willing love-slave then he averages 125 for a full season. Her loss.

      Fiorini and Keays are both 24 and barely averaged over 100 last season and never did before last season. Negligible chances of them getting that much better this season. Better sure, but not that kind of better

      Brayshaw might well look good for that after this season. Rowell will still be too young next season but sure might at 22-23.


      1. Hey FD! Thanks for the great read. I’ve been struggling trying to fit Steele, Touk, Macrae and Oliver in (maybe fade Neale, even though he seems like the obvious choice at his price).

        Quick question: what do you think are the chances Mills or Laird could “breakout”? Both showed huge improvements last year. Love to have your thoughts on this.


        1. Laird is 28 with a career high of 116, so tiny, with extra tiny because he is hurt now.

          Mills is 24 with a last season average of 112 in only 18 games so very low. Next year if he plays 21-22 games and averages 120 or so, then he might be a real candidate.

          Noting that by breakout I mean 125+ Either could improve, just not to the 125 level.


  2. You never cease to amaze FD.

    That Taylor Swift / Wines comment was classic LOL!

    I would love to see this with Defenders ? Trying to pick when a Short,Ridley, Dale will spike to Lloyd like level. Stewart kinda did it last year. It would be awesome to see some numbers.

    Thanks again for a hugely entertaining contribution.

    Good luck in SC..2022

    PS Oliver and Dunkley are locks. 😉


  3. Think you are sleeping on Parish. You need to take out his early rounds before he was playing midfield. which raises his season average. Also worth noting that 109 average the last 10 games was with a tag which he struggled to break.

    So if Parrish keeps his Midfield role (He Will) and has spent the off season being strong enough to break a tag. Then he’s pretty likely to score 130

    edit: for 12 games during the middle of last season in the mids Parrish averaged 135


    1. Also if you count only the games Parrish played Mid (including the tag) he went at 121.7 in 17 games.

      Both of those seem to point at him being the breakout 130+ candidate


      1. If you think Parrish is going to score that we you should certainly take him. The point of using numbers as in the “model” is to avoid human judgment and stick to hard data. So why someone did what they did does not matter.


        1. The “why”is just data cleaning.

          Saying parish averaged 114 for the season while true is a false comparison. Every other player on the list was a full time midfielder for the whole pre breakout season. It would be wrong to include it.

          A 17 game sample is large enough to be representative of a single season. And in that sample he averaged 120.

          He meets the only missed one game criteria

          Furthermore if you add Essendon’s elimination final loss where parish scored 169 to his sample his final 11 games are a more respectable 114 (120 if you eliminate the score of 49 as an outlier)

          All I’ve done is data cleaning. Nothing more


          1. For instance you used a 17 game sample with a final 8 games for Neale in your math so using a similar 17 game standard and removing a game that’s seemingly an arbitrary number (or in Parish case an outlier) is fair game for this model


  4. Another factor is that you virtually have to have at least 5 to 7 years experience in the system.
    Dangerfield took 9 seasons and 147 games experience , however, he maintained that standard for 3 years. Swan took 7 years and 125 games and would have maintained that level period same. Ablett 6 years and 125 games.

    Jack Macrae and Jack Steele are tracking the same path of Pendlebury who maintained an average around 125 for 4 years.

    Just got to pay up for guys like Oliver, Miller, Macrae and Steele who should be at the top of list barring injury.


    1. It never occurred to me I could use games played stats for season pre-supercoach! Duh. I bet those do matter and I will try and add them in for next season. Can’t say for sure without looking of course.

      Might be useful to try and predict losing Uber-Premium status too….



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *