AFL 2011 Power Rankings – Round 20 – Balance of trades

In this week’s Power Rankings, I’ve decided to look closely at the “wheeling & dealing” of Trade week (one of my favourite weeks on the footy calendar!). Specifically, what player has been the best pick-up by your club?  I’m focusing on Season 2000 up to present day, as anything prior is essentially irrelevant to the clubs as we know them today.  Enjoy!

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Collingwood 1 <NO CHANGE>

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The Pies, historically not active in trade week, pulled off a genius move at the end of 2009, sending draft selections #14 and #46 to Sydney in exchange for Darren Jolly (ultimately, their influential premiership winning ruckman). One of the best trades in recent memory. /tr>

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The Pies are giving up just 66 points per contest to their opponent – the best in the AFL.

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Geelong 2 <NO CHANGE>

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Like the Pies, Geelong haven't been very active in the trade market recently, but they could never have imagined the upside to the Brad Ottens trade at the end of 2004. Swapped for two high draft picks, Ottens had repaid the Cats in spades, helping them to win 2 flags.

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Geelong has made the second most team changes in the AFL – with a total of 66 so far in 2011 (from 19 games).

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Hawthorn 3 <NO CHANGE>

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Hawthorn's best work at the trading table arguably occurred at the end of the 2009 season – acquiring the services of Josh Gibson and Shaun Burgoyne, essentially for a bunch of draft picks. Both Gibson and Burgoyne could well feature in a Premiership team.

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Other than the Blues, the Hawks face the Power, Bulldogs and Suns on the run into finals – a near perfect fixture.

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Carlton 4 <NO CHANGE>

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At the end of 2003, the Blues acquired 7 players in the trading period. It's fair to say not all the selections worked out for Carlton, but the acquisition of Heath Scotland from Collingwood (for pick #35) was a steal – and is paying dividends even through to 2011.

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As opposed to Hawthorn, the Blues have a tough run to finals – Dockers (away), Hawks and Saints.

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West Coast 5 <NO CHANGE>

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This may sound ridiculous but West Coast's most successful trade between 2000-2009 was the same one that sent Chris Judd away from the club? It brought them Josh Kennedy (a 10-year key position prospect) and a couple of very good draft picks from Carlton.

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Will fatigue catch up with the Eagles? They’ve made the second fewest team changes throughout season 2011.

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St Kilda 6 UP 2

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Another club with not a lot of trading success. Whilst I would not have guessed it at the time, acquiring Michael Gardiner from West Coast) at the end of 2006 (giving up almost nothing) has been a win, playing 50 games for the Saints including two Grand Finals.

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To reach September, the Saints have to do it the hard way – with games vs. the Pies, Swans, Roos & Blues to come.

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Sydney 7 UP 2

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Sydney are known for rejuvenating careers and have quite a number of players who have benefited from a move to the Harbour city. They almost all deserve a mention, but it's hard to go past Premiership winning stars Barry Hall and Darren Jolly.

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Sydney average the fewest possessions per game of any club in the AFL.

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Essendon 8 UP 2

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Arguably the club with the worst trading record – incoming players have included Mark Williams, Richard Cole, Justin Murphy, Mark Alvey and Damian Cupido. By default, Adam McPhee from Fremantle (for draft pick #55) was their best choice.

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The Dons may be 8th on the ladder, but they rank 5th of all teams according to my "key" statistical measures.

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Fremantle 9 DOWN 3

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Barely sighted at the trading table in recent years, the Dockers have landed a few very good players in their time. Securing a future captain, Peter Bell (from the Kangaroos), was one of their better choices, giving up Jess Sinclair and a couple of draft picks.

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The Dockers are last/worst in the AFL for points differential in the final quarter of games.

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North Melbourne 10 DOWN 3

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The Roos have a relatively poor trading record, with very few success stories over the past 10 years. Nathan Thompson was a good pick-up (previously at the Hawks), in exchange for 2 draft picks. He played 60 games and booted 135 goals for the Roos.

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The Roos have registered just 1 win against current Top 8 sides (Essendon, round 13). They don't deserve to make finals.

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Bulldogs 11 <NO CHANGE> BYE

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Even the Bulldogs (a perennial finalist) have struggled to land a winner in trade week, with a string of poor pick-ups – particularly early in the 2000's. The much discussed acquisition of Barry Hall at the end of 2009 has proved a very good decision, giving up only a draft pick.

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The Dogs are statistically the most accurate shots for goal in the AFL – they just need to do more of it!

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Melbourne 12 <NO CHANGE>

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Almost non-existent as a trading partner since 2000. Though he isn't having a great run at the minute, Brent Moloney (swapped for draft pick #12) has been a solid pick-up for the Dees. Very few other selections inspire.

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The Demons have not won a quarter of football in their last 3 games. And only 2 quarters from their last 5 games. Wow.

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Richmond 13 UP 1

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Another club with a list of trade acquisitions that is less than impressive. However, the controversial pick-up of Nathan Brown from the Bulldogs cannot be criticised (giving up two good draft picks). Only injuries prevented Brown's effectiveness over time.

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The Tigers have the fewest 100 gamers (6) and 200 gamers (0) in the AFL, based on their round 20 line-up.

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Gold Coast 14 DOWN 1

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The Gold Coast were an active participant in trade week 2010, with a raft of draft picks at their disposal – which they used to secure the services of uncontracted established players Gary Ablett, Nathan Bock, Michael Rischitelli and Jarred Brennan to name a few.

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The Suns have to compete harder in the first half of matches. Statistically, they perform much better as the match progresses.

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Adelaide 15 UP 1

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The Crows landed a knock-out trade at the end of 2004, receiving star midfielder Scott Thompson from Melbourne for pick #13 in that years draft. I'd suggest the Dees would like to take that trade back, but Thompson has thrived back in his home state.

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The Crows round 20 line-up was the 4th youngest in round 20 (average age of 23.8). There are only kids outside the current 22.

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Brisbane 16 DOWN 1

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Before you ask – no, the Brendan Fevola trade is not in the running here. Acquiring 3-time premiership player, Mal Michael, in exchange for Jarrod Molloy and pick #44, was a massive win for the Lions. Contributed heavily to their 3 premierships at full-back.

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Despite a poor win-loss record, the Lions have still played the fewest games versus current Top 8 teams (only 6).

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Port Adelaide 17 <NO CHANGE>

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Whilst not exactly a club that many players would want to land at in 2011, the Power managed to secure the services of Byron Pickett in 2002 in exchange for two draft picks. Pickett would go on to be a Premiership player and North Smith medalist in 2007.

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The Power were deplorable against the Pies, with as many "rushed behinds" (3) as goals (3). I'd drop them further if I could.

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