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Ultimate Footy: The new number one

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Matt Palfreman, Footy Prophet

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Fantasy footy weekly update

Scott Spits and Footy Prophet's Matthew James analyse the fantasy footy winners and losers from round eleven.

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Before a ball had been kicked this season, we at Footy Prophet had discussed at length our player watchlists. Having spent the entire off season pouring over stats and trends, we each had compiled lists of our top Ultimate Footy draft picks. One player in particular was a firm favourite with many of us, and with myself being one of the most fervent spruikers of his talents, I must admit to more than a shade of smugness to see Tom Rockliff leading the fantasy ratings.

The thing is, Rockliff isn't only topping the leader-board, he's head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to fantasy points. His average as we approach the season’s midpoint is sitting at a huge 127.4 points per game; 10.1 points more than Dayne Beams in second place.  What's more is that he is averaging 147 over the last five, and an unfathomable 153 in his last three games.

To many coaches this impressive spike in scoring may have come as a bit of a shock, but the signs pointing to this breakout were there for all to see.

Rockliff came to our attention in 2011 when he averaged 112 for the year through the Brisbane midfield. He had the eighth most disposals in the AFL, and his elite kicking and hard running had him firmly stamped as a fantasy star. His 2012 season was a different story however. Rockliff, much to the distress of fantasy coaches around the country, was used more and more as a forward – a move that saw his average drop to 93.

The drop in 2012 saw him fall off many coaches’ radars, and despite earning Forward eligibility, his draft value was on the slide going into last season. Despite the doubts, 2013 saw a good increase in his fantasy figures, even though again he spent a large chunk of his time in the forward line. Finishing the season with a very handy average of 103, Rockliff was one of the top ranked forwards in Ultimate Footy, and would have been high on many draft wishlists. With the 2014 season approaching, however, it was announced that he would lose forward eligibility - leading many to again underestimate his value, seeing him slip as late as round three in many drafts.

Those who looked a little more closely at the stats, however, will have noticed a very interesting sign that was a precursor to this year’s hike in numbers. Rockliff played the majority of the 2013 season through the midfield, and was only used as a forward in a stretch of games between rounds 8 and 15. With these rounds ignored, his average would have been 114, putting him in the elite category of fantasy midfielders. Add to this the retirement of Lions star midfielder Simon Black, the progression of forwards such as Josh Green and Marco Paparone, and his instalment as vice-captain, it was highly likely that a permanent midfield role this season was on the cards. We could finally see the end of Rockliff the forward.

We’re now halfway through the season and it certainly looks to be the case. Rockliff has played almost exclusively  through the midfield, and with four 140+ scores to his name already this year, including two over 150, he has even possibly exceeded our lofty expectations. His ability to rack up huge scores is second to none at the moment, despite Brisbane's struggles, and with the apparent fading of fantasy stars such as Dane Swan, we could be seeing the emergence of our new number one man.

The future is looking very bright indeed, and hopefully you took our pre-season advice and bagged yourself a true fantasy game winner in your Ultimate Footy draft.  If not, there is always next year - although I very much doubt he'll slide as far as pick three, let alone round three.

Article supplied by Footy Prophet (www.footyprophet.com) – football analysis and opinion with a fantasy focus. Be a part of the game.

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AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
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ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
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RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
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STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
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RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
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MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
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NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
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ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
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RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
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STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
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HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
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CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
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GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
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GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
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COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
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Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
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RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
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GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
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GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
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Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
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SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
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Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
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COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
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Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
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WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
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Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
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COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
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PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
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Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
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GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
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CAR 54vs NTH 118 Stats
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Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
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Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
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FRE ($1.87)vs WCE ($1.87) 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
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Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
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