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Playing the averages

Who are the points leaders for all categories?

Last week we gave out some half-season awards for the best and most improved players in Dream Team, which was obviously based on a player’s overall performance in the competition.

But as you dedicated Dream Teamers know, the points awarded to players come from 13 different statistical categories; I think it’s time to single out just who is leading each of those – both overall and on average – so you can get an understanding of why certain players are great value and also see just who is getting docked the most points each week.

Tries: These are worth four points, just like in a match. So far there are three leading try-scorers in the NRL, each with 14 tries and therefore 56 points for the year in this category.

Panthers fullback Lachlan Coote, Rabbitohs centre Beau Champion and Newcastle’s Fijian flier Akuila Uate are the top dogs here. But what about on average? Coote’s 14 have come from 12 games (4.67 points a game), while the other pair have played 13 (4.31).

But… they are not the best try-scorers on average in this competition. Israel Folau from the Broncos is the man here. With 13 tries in 10 games he averages 5.2 points from tries each match (Drury Low from the Raiders has an 8.0 point average but has only played one match).

Goals: Two points for each successful shot between the uprights and over the crossbar. Again, regular Dream Teamers know the value of a good goalkicker, as they can add those valuable few points to your total.

Panther Michael Gordon, with 51 goals, or 102 points, has been the most prolific so far this season. Sea Eagles captain Jamie Lyon is next with 43 goals (86 points) with Bronco and Dream Team legend Corey Parker following on 42 goals (84 points).

Parker is tied with last year’s MVP Jamie Soward, who also has 42 goals and 84 points. Gordon’s 102 points have come from 13 matches at an average of 7.85 each week but it is bested by Parker who has played just 10 games and therefore averages 8.4 – another reason why he has been a “must-have” for those doing well this year.

Field Goals: Worth just a solitary point these seldom come into consideration; in fact only 17 have been scored so far this season… but it only takes one point to win right?

Dragon Jamie Soward has three for the season to lead the way on total and at an average of 0.23. Storm five-eighth Brett Finch and Wests Tigers duo Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall each have two field goals and lower averages.

The only better average out there is from Raider Marc Herbert with 0.5, but he has played just two games this season.

Try Assists: These plays are worth two points each and come, as the name suggests, when you are credited with the assist for a try. With 22 try assists and therefore 44 points, Panther Luke Walsh is the leader of this pack. Rabbitoh John Sutton is next with 15 (30 points) and Melbourne’s Cooper Cronk is third with 12 (24 points).
Walsh’s average of 3.67 points a match is only bettered by one other player in the NRL, Dragon Nathan Fien who had two try assists from his one game for an average of 4 points.

Metres Gained: Points here are awarded for running metres divided by 10.

The biggest metre-eater so far this season when looking at totals is Shark Paul Gallen and his 2009 metres, or 200.9 points. Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne is next with 1952 metres, or 195.2 points and Bulldog Luke Patten, who has 1890 metres, or 189 points, rounds out the top three.

While Gallen leads the totals, it is Hayne who is averaging better. He is pumping out 177.5 metres a match, or 17.75 points, while Gallen is at 167.4 metres a game or 16.74 points.

Three players with just a single match this year average higher. Kalifa Fai-Fai Loa from the Dragons pumped out 205 metres on debut, or 20.5 points. Kane Linnett of the Roosters was even better in his first match last week with 231 metres, or 23.1 points, while Raider David Milne produced an impressive 285 metres in his solitary appearance this year, or 28.5 points.

Line-Breaks: Once again it is Uate who is streaking away with this category.

Line-breaks are awarded two points and with 19 busts already this season, the Knights’ juggernaut has 38 points to his name.

Raider Joel Thompson and Rabbitoh Nathan Merritt are next with 13 each, or 26 points.  Uate’s points average here is an impressive 2.92.

Manu Vatuvei is close with a 2.86 average and the two one-gamers mentioned above in Fai-Fai Loa and Linnett average 4.0 thanks to impressive debuts.

Line-Break Assists: Another self-explanatory category, worth two points each assist.

Three gentlemen lead the NRL with 12 line-break assists: Titan Scott Prince, Dragon Darius Boyd and Rabbitoh John Sutton, each earning 24 points for the year. Prince has the best average of the trio at 2.67 points a game.

Bulldog Jake Foster is the only better average with a 4.0, although he has also played just one game.

Tackles: Players earn a point for every tackle made; Bulldog David Stagg is the man carving up the comp with 572 tackles (and points) thus far.

Titans hooker Nathan Friend is next with 545 tackles and Sea Eagles rake Matt Ballin is third with 492.

Stagg’s average is also the best in the competition at 47.7 tackles a match – giving him a certain 47 points every game he plays! (No wonder he is captaincy choice for so many.) Parramatta’s Nathan Hindmarsh is next on the averages table with 43.6 and Friend is third with 41.9. Raider Shaun Fensom holds his own, with an average 40.9.

Offloads: Worth two points each, the current leader with 34 offloads (or 68 points) is Raider Bronson Harrison.

Titan Greg Bird is next with 32 (64 points) and the top three is rounded out by Paul Gallen and Eel Feleti Mateo who each have 29 offloads (58 points).

Harrison’s points average here is 5.67, which also leads the way in the NRL.

Kick Metres: Here a player gets their metres divided by 20 to arrive at their points total. By far the longest kicker in terms of metres is Dragon Jamie Soward who is at 6295 metres so far (or 314.75 points) for the year.

Raider Terry Campese comes next with 4965 metres, or 248.25 points, and the top three finishes with Luke Walsh and his 4647 metres or 232.35 points.

Campo’s average is 20.7 points a game from kick metres – but Titan Scott Prince pips him with 21.05 points a game.

Soward is the king with 24.2 points coming per match from this category.

Okay, now it’s time to point out the negative stats…

Missed Tackles: Players lose a point for every tackle they miss. With 71 already this season, Rabbitohs halfback Chris Sandow is leaking points big time, while equal second with 56 misses (or -56 points) is Warrior James Maloney and Sandow’s team-mate Issac Luke.

Sandow’s average is 5.5 missed tackles a game, the worst in the league – although Warrior Brett Seymour joins him with the same average.

Maloney, Luke and Bulldog Brett Kimmorley all miss 4.7 tackles a match, while Queensland prop David Shillington is the next worst forward with 4.6 misses a week.

For those of you interested, David Stagg misses just 1.1 tackles a match.

Errors: This killer stat is “worth” a negative two points. Titan Greg Bird has the unlucky honour of the most this season with 24 (or -48 points).

Issac Luke, Anthony Watmough, Preston Campbell and Anthony Minichiello are all next with 22 errors, or -44. Bird is losing 3.69 points each week from errors, which has him above the others named.

Shark Albert Kelly has a worse average with -4.4 points coming off his total each time he plays.

Panther Shane Elford is averaging -4.0 points, as is Joel Monaghan and David Milne from the Raiders, Brett Stewart from Manly, and Nathan Waters and Blake Lazarus from the Wests Tigers.

Dragon back-up Michael Lett averages -5.0 from his two matches this year, Michael Crocker from the Bunnies and Jonathan Wright from the Eels are at -6 a game (but have played just the one match).

Penalties Conceded: Another minus two points category! With 14 this year, or -28 points, James Maloney from the Warriors is on top.

Anthony Watmough is next with 13 conceded, or -26 points, followed by Rooster Nate Myles with 12, or -24.

Maloney leads the average of the trio also with an average 2.33 points lost from his score each week.

Josh Cordoba from the Sharks has the same negative average.

So there you have it. Hopefully this info has been helpful for those of you uncertain about a trade here or there.

Good luck all!

Lone Scout
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