It came to my realisation when my girlfriend pulled me aside from a conversation and asked why I kept saying CBA this... CBA that? That as fantasy coach's we can't expect everyone to understand what in the world we are talking about when it comes to fantasy slang and term. It then dawned on me that it entirely possible that some up and coming fantasy coach's don't know what the hell a CBA is or why it might be an important statistic to take into consideration. So, with my trusty laptop and a coffee, i'm going to explain exactly that!
So in short CBA stands for Centre-Bounce-Attendance. What this means is if a player lines up in the midfield (Centre, Rover, Ruck-Rover) at a centre-bounce stoppage or restart of game it counts as a CBA. The reason this statistic is so universally loved by the Aussie Rules fantasy community is that those who have a high CBAs percentage compared to others have an increased opportunity to score well. As we all know, players who have the ball in their hands the most, often score the best or have a high floor for scoring, and as the old saying goes opportunity = production, there's no better opportunity to produce when you're under the ruckman's nose.
Now that we have covered what CBAs and why they are important to analysis. Let's take a look at some players who were a little surprising to see at such a high CBA percentage and some that maybe we thought would get a little more opportunity in the early stages of the season.
Port Adelaide Power- Forward (FWD)
New colours, new role for Jason Horne-Francis? Horne-Francis made a massive move from North Melbourne to Port Adelaide this past off-season after rejecting Norths contract extension offer. Horne-Francis was an incredibly highly touted junior midfielder, but didn't really get the opportunity to break into the North Melbourne midfield properly, only seeing a 42% CBA percentage. Fast forward to round 1 of the 2023 season in teal blue and black and Horne-Francis has that opportunity to forge himself into a midfield role. Horne-Francis saw a massive increase to a 67% centre-bounce-attendance in his first game for the Power! And with that opportunity, he produced. Horne-Francis finished the day with 110 GDS fantasy points of the back of wracking up 25 touches on the day. Hopefully a promising sign of things to come from the 19-year-old.
Greater Western Sydney Giants - Midfielder (MID)
The oppotomy of opportunity = production is Tom Green. Green has been held out of owning a full-time midfield spot at GWS for some time. The Giants have had incredible depth at the position for some seasons now, Callan Ward, Stephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly, Tim Taranto, Jacob Hopper, it's hard for any rookie to break up that core midfield group. Last year Green saw a bit of an increase of CBAs, attending 58% all season long, mostly filling in for injuries and never really getting a consistent crack at it. It very much feels like 2023 is the year for Tom Green to push that percentage up to the 70-ish percent mark. Green has been causing headlines all over the country, tearing up the track and preseason games with ease. His round 1 performance only throws fuel into that fire. 81% centre-bounce-attendances for 37 disposals and a huge GDS fantasy score of 152! With this level of opportunity the fantasy world is his oyster.
Richmond Tigers - Forward (FWD)
Very similar situation for Tim Taranto who made a big off-season move from the Greater Western Sydney Giants to the Richmond Tigers in the hopes for more midfield time. Taranto has been hampered with multiple injuries in the past which was detrimental to his role at GWS. He only saw 44% CBAs in season 2022 in a midfield that was once again full of elite talent. Taranto himself is a known gun midfielder, but without that consistency it makes it hard to hold down a spot. Hence, his move to Richmond! Which looks to already be paying off for him. In round 1 Taranto notched up an 80% CBA percentage in round 1, his highest percentage in a single game since 2020! Taranto looks to have a role that will hopefully bring him back to the higher 120+ GDS fantasy average again.
Sydney Swans - Midfielder (MID)
For all the players who see boosts in CBA percentage, theres unfortunately some that decline in CBA percentage. One of those who looks to have been pushed out is James Rowbottom of the Sydney Swans. Now, it's obviously an extremely small sample size, I 100% get that. I just personally thought we would see more of Rowbottom featured in the Swans midfield early in the season. It could have been a case of matchup, but 46% CBA percentage isn't what Rowbottom owners would have projected. Ahead of Rowbottom on the CBA depth chart was, Luke Parker, Errol Gulden, and Chad Warner. I think we will see Rowbottom sneak ahead of Gulden and Parker as the season goes on, but for now, with a round 1 score of 95 GDS fantasy points, Rowbottom will be a sit until he put up some higher CBA percentages.
Collingwood Magpies - Defender (DEF)
Nick Daicos is a genuine fantasy footy unicorn. He's a guy who the community thought might get an increase in centre-bounce-attendances in his sophomore year. However, it seems as though the fantasy community whiffed on that call. Daicos didn't attend a single centre-bounce in round 1, not that he needed it! He played extremely well off half-back for Collingwood scoring 137 GDS fantasy points. We may just need to adjust our projections until he alters his role to become more of a midfielder.
Geelong Cats - Forward (FWD)
Tanner Bruhn is another player who left the Greater Western Sydney Giants in hopes of increasing his chances to earn a midfield spot. Geelong introduced a ton of new, young talent into their system, Bruh being one of them, who would be looking to fill the gigantic shoes of someone like the recently retired Joel Selwood in the midfield. From what we have seen so far, it looks like it's not going to be so easy for Bruhn and those who own Bruhn. 41% centre-bounce-attendances is all Bruhn saw in round 1 which is far from what we as a community were hoping for, his score mirrored the stats as well, only scoring 74 GDS fantasy points against Collingwood. Bruhn did score incredibly well when he did start in the centre in the first half before being pushed out to the wing in the second half, so there is hope for his scoring ability, but he cannot be started until that percentage rises.