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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

Breaking Down GameDay Squad's 2024 Rugby League Strength of Schedule


How important is the strength of schedule for fantasy coaches? This has been a hot topic in fantasy sports for some time. I believe knowing the strength of schedule can assist GDS coaches with those 50/50 decisions when setting their squad each week. In this blog, we'll identify which positions have favourable matchups against which teams based on the 2023 season.


2024 Rugby League Strength of Schedule

I just want to start by saying that the below information is just another data point when making your squad selections each week. When making squad selections we all tend to select he best player for a particular position and it's natural to do so. It might not always be the best decision based on the matchup for that player though.


Fullback

The league average for points allowed to fullbacks was 46 points. The three teams that allowed the most points per game to opposing fullbacks were the Bulldogs (58 points), Wests Tigers (53 points) and Raiders (51 points). The three teams that allowed the least points per game to opposing fullbacks were the Panthers (37 points), Rabbitohs (40 points) and Roosters (41 points). The Bulldogs averaged 12 points a game above the league average. In 8 of their 24 games they allowed either the most or second most points to opposing fullbacks. The Panthers averaged 9 points a game less than the league average. In 2 of their 27 games they allowed either the most or second most points to opposing fullbacks.


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Halves

When looking for favourable / non-favourable matchups in this position, I break this positions into two separate categories. They are halfback and five-eighth. The halfback is generally the playmaker of the team and the better fantasy scorer. Only on six occasions last season was one of the top two scoring halves in a round a five-eighth. To be honest, good halfbacks can score well against any team on a consistent basis. However, when the likes of Cleary and Hynes are not playing, knowing which teams allow more points to this position can assist with any selection dilemmas.


Halfback -The league average for points allowed to halfbacks was 49 points. The three teams that allowed the most points per game to opposing halfbacks were the Bulldogs (60 points), Eels (54 points) and Cowboys (53 points). The three teams that allowed the least points per game to opposing halfbacks were the Broncos (42 points), Panthers (42 points) and Storm (43 points). The Bulldogs allowed opposing halfbacks to score 70+ points 9 times. Collectively the Broncos, Panthers and Storm only allowed opposing halfbacks to score 70+ points 5 times.


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Five-Eighth - The league average for points allowed to five-eighths was 34 points. The three teams that allowed the most points per game to opposing five-eights were the Cowboys (39 points), Dragons (38 points) and Eels (38 points). The three teams that allowed the least points per game to opposing five-eights were the Sea Eagles (25 points), Knights (28 points) and Panthers (29 points).


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Edge Forward, Winger and Centre

When looking for favourable / non-favourable matchups at the edge forward, wing and centre positions, I break these positions into two separate categories. They are right edge and left edge. Knowing which defences allow more fantasy points down the left / right can be a decisive factor when making a decision on which players to start in your squad. The important stats to consider when looking at defences are how many tries, line breaks and tackle breaks that a defence allows.


Right Edge Forward - The league average points through tries, line breaks and tackle breaks allowed to right edge forwards was 10 points. The three teams that allowed the most points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing right edge forwards were the Dragons (14 points), Titans (13 points) and Storm (11 points). The three teams that allowed the least points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing right edge forwards were the Knights (7 points), Broncos (7 points) and Dolphins (8 points).


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Left Edge Forward - The league average points through tries, line breaks and tackle breaks allowed to left edge forwards was 9 points. The three teams that allowed the most points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing left edge forwards were the Bulldogs (13 points), Cowboys (12 points) and Dolphins (11 points). The three teams that allowed the least points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing left edge forwards were the Sea Eagles (6 points), Sharks (7 points) and Rabbitohs (7 points).


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Right Winger - The league average points through tries, line breaks and tackle breaks allowed to right wingers was 21 points. The three teams that allowed the most points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing right wingers were the Wests Tigers (29 points), Dragons (28 points) and Raiders (25 points). The three teams that allowed the least points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing right wingers were the Panthers (14 points), Sharks (16 points) and Roosters (16 points).


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Left Winger - The league average points through tries, line breaks and tackle breaks allowed to left wingers was 18 points. The three teams that allowed the most points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing left wingers were the Cowboys (26 points), Eels (24 points) and Titans (22 points). The three teams that allowed the least points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing left wingers were the Panthers (14 points), Dolphins (14 points) and Knights (15 points).


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Right Centre - The league average points through tries, try assists, line breaks, line break assists and tackle breaks allowed to right centres was 18 points. The three teams that allowed the most points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing right centres were the Dolphins (23 points), Raiders (23 points) and Dragons (22 points). The three teams that allowed the least points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing right centres were the Warriors (14 points), Panthers (14 points) and Knights (14 points).


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Left Centre - The league average points through tries, try assists, line breaks, line break assists and tackle breaks allowed to left centres was 18 points. The three teams that allowed the most points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing left centres were the Dolphins (24 points), Cowboys (21 points) and Storm (20 points). The three teams that allowed the least points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing left centres were the Dragons (12 points), Sharks (14 points) and Roosters (15 points).


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Middle Forward

When looking for favourable / non-favourable matchups in this position, I break this position into two separate categories. They are lock and prop. The strength of schedule isn't as relevant to this position as it is to other positions. This is because GDS coaches are likely to play big minute playing forwards in this position. However, when the likes of Haas and Yeo are not playing, knowing which teams allow more points per minute (PPM) to this position can be useful when making your squad selections.


Lock - The league average PPM is 0.71, this works out to be 46 points for a 65 minute playing lock. The three teams that allowed the highest PPM per game to opposing locks were the Titans (0.77 PPM), Dolphins (0.76 PPM) and Warriors (0.76 PPM). The three teams that allowed the lowest PPM per game to opposing locks were the Broncos (0.59 PPM), Dragons (0.64 PPM) and Panthers (0.66 PPM). This means a 65 minute playing lock averaged 50 points against the Titans and 38 points against the Broncos.


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Prop - The league average PPM is 0.79, this works out to be 43 points for a 55 minute playing prop. The three teams that allowed the highest PPM per game to opposing props were the Titans (0.86 PPM), Raiders (0.84 PPM) and Bulldogs (0.84 PPM). The three teams that allowed the lowest PPM per game to opposing props were the Broncos (0.70 PPM), Sea Eagles (0.72 PPM) and Storm (0.75 PPM). This means a 55 minute playing prop averaged 47 points against the Titans and 39 points against the Broncos.


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Hooker - When looking for favourable / non-favourable matchups at this position the important stats to consider when looking at defences are how many tries, try assists, line breaks, line break assists and tackle breaks that a defence allows.

The league average points through the outlined metrics allowed to hookers was 8 points. The three teams that allowed the most points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing hookers were the Bulldogs (12 points), Sharks (11 points) and Dolphins (10 points). The three teams that allowed the least points through the outlined metrics per game to opposing hookers were the Broncos (4 points), Panthers (5 points) and Sea Eagles (5 points).


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