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Deck of Dream Team

Garrick Ibbotson – Deck of DT 2015

This is a super cool excerpt about Garrick Ibbotson. Unfortunately, you’re gonna need to read the whole article to figure out whether he’s worth the $336k price tag.

Name: Garrick Ibbotson
Club: Fremantle
Position: Defender
AFL Fantasy: $336,000
AFL Dream Team: $335,300
Bye Round: 12
2014 Average: 59.4
2014 Games Played: 10
Predicted Average: 76

Click here for DT Live Profile.

Why should I pick him?

The main allure is certainly because he’s anywhere from moderately to severely underpriced at just $336k. Ibbotson showed us what he is capable of in a stellar 2013 display; pumping out an average of 92.3 DT from 13 games as he compiled a compelling case for All-Australian honours to compliment his budding fantasy stardom.

But, as the story always goes, injury cut his blistering run short and his health woes continued well in the 2014 season. A red vest here, a couple of green vests here and boom! – Ibbotson’s average drops from a serviceable 72 points to the lacklustre 59, which he currently finds himself valued at. This is significant to note, given that he’s never failed to average less than 59 in a season since 2007 – his debut season, which consisted of the single 37-point effort.

In other words, his worst-case scenario still involves an increased output of fantasy points. Let that percolate for a moment.

Another key factor is the alarming lack of Premium options in DEF this year, while the FWDs appear stacked. It’s already attracted a lot of discussion early in the pre-season and the overwhelming consensus seems clear – go top-heavy up forward and round out your backline with discounted/mid-priced defenders. Players like Henderson, Waters, Geary, Hunt, Seedsman and Whitecross all fit the bill, with Ibbotson’s name just as viable among that cheaper crew.

Also, do you really want to miss out on having the Hibbo & Ibbo backline combo? Didn’t think so.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Common sense says he’ll definitely better last year’s hobbled effort, but there are a few factors which could easily cap his fantasy ceiling.

The obvious concern is a fitness track record that has proven to be spotty at best. Achilles problems in 2013 ended his career-best year, while a dodgy shoulder haunted his 2014 campaign. Ibbo seems to be tracking well after off-season surgery, flashing green lights in an early December puff piece while a Jan 10 pre-season update on the Dockers revealed that he’s re-joined the main group. While we have every reason to be optimistic, obviously his durability is a career-long issue and needs to be carefully tracked right through until the end of the NAB Cup – I think it’s fair to suggest that we’ll need a pristine bill of health before we’ll send $336k his way.

Even if he looks fit and firing for Round, we still need to think about the aging Luke McPharlin’s fitness. Let me explain.

Let’s look at Ibbo’s averages over last two years:
2013: 99 with McPharlin in the side; just 69 without.
2014: 82 with McPharlin in the side; this time 66 without.

This is my largest single concern when it comes to Ibbotson – he needs to play that mark-heavy intercept role across the backline to pump out the bigger totals. Unfortunately, Garrick’s only freed up to do that when McPharlin is wrestling the opposition’s goal-hungry gorilla, and, to a lesser extent, Michael Johnson is available to keep the next tall quiet. If Ibbo’s not playing that third stopper role, he’s forced to play a much more accountable brand of footy – choking his most potent supply of fantasy points… The Mark.


As you can see, in Ibbo’s best DT year, his scoring was heavily handcuffed to the amount of marks he was able to accumulate. This is definitely not the norm for an AFL player; possessions usually dictate the flow of fantasy points, not marks (see Ablett’s 2014 graphs below), a statistic that is much harder to come by in the AFL battlefield.



This is not necessarily a bad thing – he can easily prove to be a marking fiend again in 2015 – but it does highlight a significant Kryptonite in his DT game. It just takes one injury to a McPharlin or a Johnson, and Ibbo’s stuck in a back pocket, super-glued to his man, left begging for a lick of the leather.


Deck of DT Rating.

QUEEN – Ibbo is a low risk option at D4 or so this year, but his upside is capped unless he hits the sweet spot in a structural perfect storm, just like in his break-out 2013 year. If you’re looking for a steady earner and aren’t set on bagging a bargain Premium pick (like, say, David Swallow circa 2014), then Garrick is your man.

PS. Based on Ibbotson’s 2013 data and the resulting line of best fit, an average of 6 marks has him hitting 76 DT per game, my predicted output. If you think he can reach 8 marks an outing, then the numbers say a 90-point average is within reach! Food for thought.

What will Ibbotson average in 2015?

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  1. PK

    January 17, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Great arcticle tbetta! Hes on my preseason watchlist but not in my side at the moment for fantasy. Wont be touching him in real dt.

  2. scott

    January 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Will depend on my structure if Ibbo squeezes into my team at D4 but definitely on my radar. Great article Tbetta an actuarial career awaits!

  3. samdiatmh

    January 17, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Hibbo and Ibbo, now there’s the real selling point

    probably not the best idea to compare Ibbo with a gun midfielder, a better comparison would’ve been Hibbo (given that he also gets slutty marks)

  4. Jake

    January 17, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    got seedsman, hendo and c pearce at D4,5,6. then ive got whitecross on my bench. i could possibly trade c pearce to ibbo but that will loose me 60k or so. the only other option is hendo. depends on preseason to see what two i get- ibbo,waters,hendo,seedsman

  5. Fat Knife

    January 17, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Extremely unlikely that Johnson and mcpharlin play consistently next year so ibbos scores will remain erratic. But he will still average 70+ and throw in the odd huge score

  6. TDominator

    January 17, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Hey guys given the lack of back premiums i am strongly considering starting with no back premos at all and loading up every where else?

    Seedsman, ibbo, henderson, pearce
    Whitecross and hunt would be the six mid pricers

    Is this setup to risky?

    • Jake

      January 17, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Very risky. I would try to have at least someone like newnes Or Hibberd. Unless you have a strong bench. Cause all those guys are injury prone and not guaranteed games

  7. Ben Gogos

    January 17, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Fantastic article tbetta, definitely provides some food for thought!

  8. Fat Knife

    January 17, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Tdom, I’m doing the same. Kkolo, Mayes, seedsman, vlaatuin, ibbo, waters. Also got atley, McKenzie, Pearce, rainbow, yeo and Goddard on watch. All the premier defs will drop at some point.

  9. Fyfe4Lyfe

    January 17, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Decent analysis, but the cons outweigh the pros for me. Not a possession heavy player, and only has had one great season under his belt. Only has averaged over 70 twice in his career (and once only barely). Also has a Round 12 bye. Henderson is a better bet for slightly more.

    FWIW I’m a Freo supporter, but I’m quite wary of picking my own team. Might explain why I only have 2 Dockers in my DTLive team ATM – C. Pearce (tenuous) and Walters (may swap to Lycett).

    • Fyfe4Lyfe

      January 17, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      The positive thing about Ibbo though is that apparently, McPharlin looks fit and raring to go after a misdiagnosis of his injury in 2014 that hindered his campaign. However, McPharlin is likely to be rested still. Johnson still looks proppy (last I heard) at training so that casts further doubt over his consistency.

  10. Jawdan95

    January 18, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    (Please note I am a Fremantle supporter but will try to be non-biased with my opinion here)

    I genuinely see no reason as to why Ibbo cant smash out an 85+ average for the season if he stays fit and perhaps become a top 6 defender. McPharlin and Dawson are the 2 key defenders who’ll take the oppositions best forwards, with Silvagni to replace them if one gets injured. Johnson takes the 3rd forward/resting ruckman whilst Spurr, Sutcliffe and Duffield are much preffered to take the oppositions best smalls. I think this season Ibbotson is perfectly in-line to play the same role he had during 2013, where he’d play basically as a loose man in defence, collecting intercept marks for fun.
    100% In my starting line-up at the moment. If he can keep fit I think he’ll be there for the majority of the season, if not all season

  11. Aye-Aye

    January 20, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Bit too iffy for me, a one season wonder.

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