AFLW Post-Round 2 Power Rankings

After round 2 of the AFLW season – nearly a third of the way through the competition – HPN thought that it was fair time for reflection on the strengths and prospects of each side.

These rankings are guided, but not entirely determined, by the HPN Team Ratings, which early in the season tend to be very jumpy. For reference though, this is currently how the teams look to our system right now:

aflw team strengths.PNG

Some of the figures are likely unsustainable, especially anything north of 140% of the competition average or below about 75%.

Also worth noting is the Player Approximate Value (PAV) values of the season to date – which are also volatile at this point:

PlayerClubPAVOffPAVDefPAVMidPAV Total
Emma KearneyWB15.312.019.446.6
Dana HookerFRE14.74.717.136.5
Daisy PearceMELB5.
Phoebe McWilliamsGWS30.52.32.335.1
Ellie BlackburnWB14.58.49.432.3
Nicola StevensCARL8.616.35.830.7
Elise O'DeaMELB7.08.315.330.7
Brianna DaveyCARL2.622.94.329.9
Chelsea RandallADEL10.314.33.828.4
Darcy VescioCARL13.29.94.928.1
Alexandra AndersonBL8.43.516.128.0
Richelle CranstonMELB17.8-0.410.427.9
Katie BrennanWB20.
Angelica GogosWB6.
Alison DownieCARL9.612.73.826.1
Tayla HarrisCARL11.
Christina BernardiCOLL13.
Aasta O'ConnorWB10.17.85.723.6
Shelley ScottMELB16.7-
Emily BatesBL3.05.614.122.7
Jamie StantonBL2.57.612.422.5
Erin McKinnonGWS12.94.94.622.4
Chloe MolloyCOLL2.617.12.322.0
Jess HoskingCARL6.07.48.421.8
Emma KingCOLL12.50.88.421.7
Kirsty LambWB6.96.08.821.6
Tegan CunninghamMELB17.
Ruth WallaceADEL14.52.64.421.6
Jess WuetschnerBL14.92.14.621.5
Amelia BardenCOLL8.
Melissa CaulfieldFRE14.11.95.321.3
Katie LoynesCARL6.67.76.621.0
Kate HoreMELB10.
Jacinda BarclayGWS16.91.32.520.7
Stephanie ChiocciCOLL4.57.88.320.6
Karen PaxmanMELB5.91.113.320.4
Ashleigh GuestMELB3.
Brooke LochlandWB9.93.56.820.3
Hannah ScottWB3.814.21.619.6
Emma ZielkeBL3.03.212.618.7
Aliesha NewmanMELB11.31.75.618.7
Melissa HickeyMELB4.37.46.818.5
Kate LutkinsBL3.09.16.418.4
Danielle HardimanCARL0.017.50.818.3
Ashlee AtkinsFRE10.42.15.818.2
Sarah HoskingCARL4.06.17.517.6
Aisling UtriWB8.
Lauren BrazzaleCARL7.31.58.517.3
Cecilia McIntoshCOLL5.86.84.617.3
Tahlia RandallBL6.4-1.111.917.2
Sharni WebbBL5.00.611.617.1
Breann MoodyCARL4.
Kara DonnellanFRE1.84.510.416.8
Emma HumphriesMELB4.
Isabel HuntingtonWB16.2-1.41.916.8
Brittany GibsonBL4.51.310.916.7
Jenna BrutonWB8.43.44.616.4
Ebony MarinoffADEL2.
Maddison GayCARL5.
Britt TullyGWS4.23.28.515.9
Lily MithenMELB2.
Gabby O'SullivanFRE6.11.77.915.7
Alicia EvaGWS2.
Gabriella PoundCARL0.013.61.915.5
Sarah AllanADEL2.311.61.615.5
Amy LavellFRE13.40.41.615.5
Melissa KuysCOLL4.
Jessica Dal PosGWS4.24.66.415.2
Justine MulesADEL5.25.04.915.1
Amanda FarrugiaGWS2.56.95.515.0
Courtney GumGWS3.42.98.715.0
Eloise JonesADEL8.33.23.314.8
Breanna KoenenBL3.04.96.814.7
Libby BirchWB0.812.01.714.5
Ashley SharpFRE6.73.73.914.3
Dayna CoxADEL1.011.61.714.3
Sabrina Frederick-TraubBL7.23.43.514.0
Lara FilocamoFRE3.
Rhiannon MetcalfeADEL8.
Erin HoareMELB5.
Hayley MillerFRE4.91.27.413.5
Jasmine GarnerCOLL8.70.04.613.3
Shae AudleyCARL1.33.48.313.1
Lisa WebbFRE3.73.95.513.0
Shannon CampbellBL1.09.72.313.0
Rebecca BeesonGWS3.45.73.712.8
Elle BennettsGWS3.
Lauren SparkWB0.012.40.312.7
Jenna McCormickADEL10.
Jordan ZanchettaBL1.01.79.712.4
Jaimee LambertCOLL4.
Stevie-Lee ThompsonADEL3.
Georgia GeeCARL4.05.02.811.8
Kate McCarthyBL4.
Bonnie ToogoodWB5.32.53.711.6
Stacey LivingstoneCOLL0.
Nicole HildebrandBL0.57.43.311.1
Catherine PhillipsMELB1.
Nicole CallinanWB5.32.52.810.7
Lauren PearceMELB6.31.82.510.6
Belinda SmithFRE0.66.33.610.5
Jess DuffinCOLL0.69.40.510.5
Kaitlyn AshmoreBL6.4-
Jasmyn HewettADEL4.45.30.710.4
Leah KaslarBL0.
Evangeline GoochFRE0.
Iilish RossCOLL-0.610.30.610.3
Sarah PerkinsADEL9.6-0.10.810.3
Monique ContiWB2.33.04.910.2
Sophie LiCARL1.35.23.610.1
Angela FoleyADEL2.15.52.510.1
Arianna ClarkeBL2.
Deanna BerryWB2.
Meg DownieMELB-
Stephanie CainFRE1.
Laura DuryeaMELB-1.610.90.29.4
Katherine Gillespie-JonesCARL1.
Rheanne LuggADEL2.
Caitlyn EdwardsCOLL0.
Ebony AntonioFRE0.
Leah MascallFRE2.
Nat ExonBL3.
Sophie CaseyCOLL0.
Eliza HynesCOLL4.
Alicia JanzFRE4.
Ellie BrushGWS1.
Tanya HetheringtonGWS-
Cora StauntonGWS6.
Emma GrantCOLL0.
Naomi FerresWB2.
Sally RileyADEL4.
Stacey BarrFRE2.
Emma SwansonGWS2.
Jessica AllanADEL4.
Madeleine BoydGWS0.
Bianca JakobssonMELB0.
Lauren TesorieroCOLL0.
Kate ShierlawCARL5.
Cassie DavidsonFRE0.
Renee ForthGWS0.
Tiarna ErnstWB2.
Georgia BevanADEL2.
Abbey HolmesADEL6.
Jodie WhiteFRE3.
Phoebe MonahanGWS0.
Nicola BarrGWS-
Renee TomkinsGWS0.
Alyssa MifsudMELB4.9-
Pepa RandallGWS0.
Bree WhiteCOLL-
Brittany BonniciCOLL0.
Brianna GreenFRE1.
Alex WilliamsFRE-
Kerryn HarringtonCARL-
Tilly Lucas-RoddCARL0.
Sophie ConwayBL4.0-
Katherine SmithMELB-
Maddy GuerinMELB1.
Megan HuntBL0.
Daria BannisterWB2.3-
Talia RadanADEL-
Tiah HaynesFRE0.
Gemma HoughtonFRE1.
Deni VarnhagenADEL0.
Sarah D'ArcyCOLL3.2-
Maddy CollierGWS0.
Brooke PattersonMELB0.
Bailey HuntWB0.
Tara MorganCOLL0.
Jasmine GriersonMELB0.
Jodie HicksGWS0.
Jessica SedunaryADEL-
Aimee SchmidtGWS0.
Moana HopeCOLL0.
Emma MackieWB0.
Sophie ArmitsteadADEL0.
Anne HatchardADEL0.
Ruby SchleicherCOLL-
Sarah DarganCOLL-0.6-
Gabby CollingwoodBL0.
Lauren ArnellCARL0.
Natalie PlaneCARL0.
Sarah LastCARL0.
Rebecca PrivitelliGWS-
Reni HicksCARL-0.7-0.10.2-0.6
Louise StephensonGWS-0.8-0.10.0-1.0
Hayley WildesWB-0.8-0.2-0.1-1.0
Holly WhitfordCOLL-1.9-0.51.2-1.2

The Power Rankings

1. Melbourne

With our other early favourites dropping games, the Dees look like the presumptive premiership favourite. They’ve got results on the board, can score pretty efficiently, and probably have the best midfield in the game. Daisy Pearce, in the absence of Erin Phillips, is the best midfielder in the game, playing important roles every week even when partially curbed.

The GWS game was a shootout and the Crows couldn’t hang with them in a similarly open match, so our only query would be how well the Dees actually defend when they need to. Right now, a spot in the Grand Final looks theirs to lose.

2. Western Bulldogs

The Bulldogs were a huge unknown early in the year and so far they’ve smashed a weak Fremantle and pulled off an impressive win in Brisbane. They won that game in the second quarter through finding marking targets deep in Brisbane’s defence. After that stopped being possible with the loss of Huntington, they settled in to defend in the second half and did so successfully enough, in spite of Brisbane’s weight of inside-50 dominance.

The loss of Huntington for the rest of the season has to put them behind the Dees. Like 2017, a lot rests on the shoulders of Kearney and Blackburn. Kearney is currently sitting atop of the PAV leaderboard due to strong figures for all of defence, forward and midfield value. However, a resurgent O’Connor and a dominant Brennan means that there are at least a couple of other focal points on the ground.

3. Brisbane

The Lions had their first ever regular season loss due to one ripping quarter from a pretty strong looking Bulldogs outfit. They’re now a win behind the top two and may need some luck to get into the grand final but we didn’t see anything to suggest that the Lions’ prowess is diminished relative to the sides below them.

Last year their ability to resist a high number of inside-50s was their trademark, but this year they may have pushed that up the ground a bit to preventing inside-50s occurring in the first place – so far this year their midfield has produced three inside-50s for every two they’ve allowed the opposition.

This week they take on Carlton and Bella Ayre comes in to debut, having been recruited as the structural replacement for Harris. It will be interesting to see how the Lions make the two-target structure work.

4. Adelaide

The Crows were overpowered by both Brisbane and Melbourne in fairly stark fashion, with the Dees punishing them on the scoreboard more heavily. However, Erin Phillips is back this week, and that could be worth a few goals on its own.

The Crows likely need to win the last five games to make the Grand Final, and they need to start this week against the Bulldogs. However, we have seen how dominant and game-breaking Phillips has been, so they still sit this high in our power rankings for now.

5. Carlton

Two wins is still two wins, but Carlton are a fairly unconvincing 2-0. The loss of what we currently have as the league’s most valuable defender in Bri Davey, is sure to hurt them.

The Blues adapted their apparently negating 2018 style extremely well to the conditions against GWS, with a simple “kick long and trap the ball for ball-ups” approach. That’s effective wet weather footy of the kind that’s been viable for a hundred years, but a method that GWS seemed unable to adjust to matching. This week’s match against the Lions in Melbourne is a chance to more seriously prove their credentials.

6. GWS

They’re 0-2 but nearly beating Melbourne does mean something. The team is a very new look team versus last year with a much stronger midfield and more avenues to goal. They get a shot at Collingwood this week in the park at South Yarra, and on exposed form would expect to get the job done for their first win of the year. Like Adelaide, a Grand Final is still possible but they will have to win out, including against strong Adelaide, Bulldogs and Brisbane sides. Stranger things have happened.

7. Fremantle

Fremantle finally found some scoring power against the Pies, their midfield dominating and hitting marking targets up forward more than they’ve ever done before. Freo’s centre was its strength last year, so if they’re finally connecting better with their forwards that’s a positive sign. Beating Collingwood with a huge crowd behind them is one thing, but on the face of it, they shouldn’t come close to Melbourne this week. That isn’t exactly something to be ashamed of, though.

8. Collingwood

There’s just not enough firing talent on the park for the Pies, as they continue to swing positional changes to try to find something that helps. All-Australian ruck Emma King was left deep forward. Hard nut Brittany Bonnici floated around halfback. Hope was tried in a few places upfield in week 1 before being dropped. Duffin and Molloy both have been anchored in defence.

It’s unclear whether the positional “flexibility” is hampering Collingwood or if it’s a symptom of them struggling, but either way, they have looked by far the most lost and incoherent team in the competition for the first two weeks, having problems everywhere but an artificially stacked defensive line.

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