Dive into the dynamic world of Christian Petracca, Melbourne’s midfield maestro, as we explore his profound impact in AFLFantasy and SuperCoach formats. Uncover the nuances of his game and his pivotal role in fantasy drafts, where he stands as a top-tier selection in SuperCoach and a formidable force in AFLFantasy.
WHY IS HE RELEVANT?
Christian Petracca is a quintessential example of a modern AFL midfielder, combining a unique skill set that makes him one of the most damaging players on the field. His strength in contests, coupled with a high football IQ, makes him a formidable opponent in the thick of the midfield battle. Petracca doesn’t rely on brute force; his game intelligence allows him to take calculated risks, often paying off spectacularly.
As a good ball user, he knows how to make each possession count, whether setting up a play or going for a goal. Moreover, his ability to perform under pressure is evident both in the congested midfield and when isolated one-on-one in the forward line, making him a dual threat that is hard to stop.
In AFLFantasy for the 2023 season, Petracca’s performance was impressive. He averaged 106, with 17 scores over 100, including three surpassing 120, and remarkably, he had just one score under 80. This consistency earned him the 15th rank by average and 9th by overall points – a testament to his reliability and scoring prowess.
In SuperCoach, Petracca elevated his game even further. He averaged an exceptional 119.4, with an outstanding 20 scores over 100, of which 11 were above 120, and his season-low score was a still-impressive 95. These achievements placed him third in overall points, trailing only behind Marcus Bontempelli and Tim English and fourth by average, behind Clayton Oliver, Bontempelli, and English.
During the 2022 season in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam, his seasonal average of 102.5 ranked him as the 14th-best midfielder in the game. He scored thirteen tons, five over 120, including 136, 139, 141 & 142. Those are some strong ceiling games! And in the first ten games of the season, he averaged 111. Alongside these top-end scoring elements were five scores below 80. We’ll address one of them in particular shortly. By the season’s conclusion, he was ranked eleventh for total points. Not a bad result for a guy who had a ‘down’ season in the eyes of many.
His SuperCoach season was even stronger. His average of 112.3 made him the 8th best midfielder by averages and seventh best for points. He ended 2022 as the ninth-highest scorer across the format. He got there by scoring twelve tons; he converted eight into scores over 120 and seven above 130. Some of these were absolute monsters. They included a 163 in the opening round and a career-high 189 against the Crows. He had just two scores below 80 all year and ended the season with an average of 120 from the final nine games.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Christian Petracca’s career has been his durability and consistent performance. He currently stands second on the list of players with 132 consecutive games played. This record highlights his physical resilience and underscores his mental toughness and commitment to maintaining peak performance levels. Petracca’s ability to remain a constant force on the field, game after game, season after season, is a rare and valuable trait, making him an indispensable asset for both the Melbourne Demons and fantasy football coaches.Embed from Getty Images
The Melbourne Demons’ forward line has received a significant boost with the inclusions of Jack Billings and Shane McAdam, alongside the return to health of key players. This bolstering of the forward setup could have various implications for Christian Petracca’s role and output. A stronger forward line might lead to more scoring opportunities or a shift in Petracca’s responsibilities on the field.
One area where Petracca could unlock another level in his game is his accuracy in front of goal. He was 12th in the league for shots on goal but had a relatively low conversion rate, kicking 28 goals and 34 behinds from 87 shots, equating to a 32% accuracy. Improving his goal-kicking efficiency could significantly increase his scoring on-field and in fantasy leagues.
Petracca’s participation in centre bounces averaged 61% last season. This could increase, especially if Clayton Oliver is absent, providing Petracca more midfield time. During Oliver’s absence last year, Petracca’s centre-bounce attendance rose to over 80% in three of the first four games. His scoring potential might also increase with a focus on midfield duties, as evidenced by his averages without Clayton Oliver in the team – he went 112.6 in AFLFantasy and 124.3 in SuperCoach from 10 games.
The Demons’ early bye due to their opening-round game requires careful consideration when selecting players like Petracca, especially in balancing your team across the bye rounds. In the seven weeks leading up to Melbourne’s next bye in round 14, they face a series of teams that present favourable matchups for inside midfielders, making Petracca a strong early upgrade consideration if 2023 trends continue.
Petracca’s low level of scoring variation makes him a reliable premium player to own. However, in AFLFantasy, his infrequency of scoring above 120 points is a concern for a player priced at nearly $ 1 million. For such a high investment, he should ideally be a consistent Vice-Captain or Captain option, but his lack of ceiling games makes starting with him less appealing, though he remains a solid upgrade target. In SuperCoach, Petracca presents a different picture. His high ceiling and consistency make him a more compelling option from the start.
If you choose not to begin with him, no matter the format, he should be considered for an early inclusion in your squad.Embed from Getty Images
Christian Petracca emerges as a compelling choice for drafts. In SuperCoach formats, his high-scoring potential and consistency elevate him to an M1 position, making him a top-tier midfield selection. His ability to deliver substantial scores and his increased role in the Melbourne midfield positions him as a pivotal player in any SuperCoach team.
On the other hand, in AFLFantasy, while still a strong contender, he’s more suitably placed as an M2. This is due to his slightly lower frequency of hitting the highest scores compared to other elite midfielders, though his consistent scoring and durability still make him an invaluable asset. Regardless of the format, Petracca’s proven track record and role in a potentially more potent Melbourne lineup in 2024 make him a strategic and high-value pick in fantasy drafts.
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