IN FOCUS – XAVIER COATES

Xavier Coates is currently in over 30% of starting sides, despite having a career winger 70+ minute average of 26.8 fantasy points (before new scoring calculations) and a BE of 27. Just take a minute to soak that in.

So what exactly is so appealing about Coates in 2022? In short, the Melbourne Storm have perhaps made people forget the style of player that Coates is.

The other important item we need to look at for the Storm is their schedule, where they face the softest starting schedule of the year for any team. Their toughest matchup in the first 9 weeks will come in round 2 with all their stars back off their week 1 suspensions, against a Rabbitohs side short Adam Reynolds, Dane Gagai and Latrell Mitchell. This needs to factor into our calculations with Coates, as the difference is significant with matchups against top defensive sides removed.

Excluding last year when the Storm went absolute nuclear, Storm wingers have averaged 33.7 Fantasy Points against non top 4 sides since 2015, increased to 35.8 when isolated to wingers in a similar mould to Coates, being Josh Addo-Carr, Suliasi Vunivalu and Marika Koroibete. Within that 35.8, there are only 2 seasons above that number at 37.4 and 39.3 respectively, with the other 4 ranging between 34.3 and 35. I am going to look at this sample of 4 years as our baseline, exploring the upside in the other two years.

Firstly, lets look at the likely base for 2022 in the first 9 rounds

COATES CAREER2022 PROJFANTASY PTS
TRY57%75%6
TRY ASSIST10%10%0.5
LINEBREAK57%70%2.5
LB ASSIST000
TACKLE5.74.54.5
TACKLE BREAK1.936
MISSED TACKLE11-2
OFFLOAD (HAND)0.30.52
OFFLOAD (GROUND)000
ERROR1.71.5-3
RUN METRES10712012
PENALTY0.20.25-0.5
6 AGAIN000
TRY SAVE010%.5
KICK DIFFUSAL1.31.51.5
T/O TACKLE25%25%1
ESCAPE IN GOAL0.51
TOTAL26.832
NON SCORING CATEGORIES REMOVED – LOW END PROJECTION

For me, moving from the Broncos under the guidance of rookie coach Kevin Walters, to the Melbourne Storm under arguably the best coach of all time Craig Bellamy, it is almost written in stone that Coates will improve to at least this level. There is obviously the chance that Coates just is not the same level of player, but the eye test tells you he is able to play in that space and Bellamy is the coach to get it out of him.

Now if we were to explore the upside seen in 2015/2017, it looks more like this:

COATES CAREER2022 PROJFANTASY PTS
TRY57%85%6.8
TRY ASSIST10%10%0.5
LINEBREAK57%85%3.4
LB ASSIST000
TACKLE5.74.54.5
TACKLE BREAK1.948
MISSED TACKLE11.5-3
OFFLOAD (HAND)0.30.52
OFFLOAD (GROUND)000
ERROR1.71.5-3
RUN METRES10714514.5
PENALTY0.20.25-0.5
6 AGAIN000
TRY SAVE010%0.5
KICK DIFFUSAL1.31.51.5
T/O TACKLE25%25%1
ESCAPE IN GOAL0.51
TOTAL26.837.2
NON SCORING CATEGORIES REMOVED – HIGH END PROJECTION

So in summary, what we are looking at from a 27BE:

Worst case scenario: 32 average (5 pts or $65k value) or less if he doesn’t take the step

Best case scenario: 37 average (10 pts or $125k value) which assumes he doesn’t have any single digit or teens scores to handbrake his price rises, of which there are 9 in the 51 game sample size (17.7%) of 2015/17 games.

As a player himself, Coates has a 40% strike rate of games under 20 points. If Bellamy takes time to work his magic with young Xavier, he may well start the season in familiar habits of not going looking for work and being extremely try dependent.

Essentially, Coates is almost guaranteed to have one sub 20 score in the first 9 weeks even in the best case scenario, and a better than 50% chance to have two under 20, with a real possibility it is 3 or even 4.

You may find yourself in round 10 against the Panthers with Coates having made only $30k or so in price rises, facing a run of Panthers and Manly (with a soft game in between) before commencing the Origin period, where Coates is likely for selection. Now you have a choice to hold an asset that has made sweet FA points and money, who will likely be rested in your emergencies, or burn a trade without realising the full value of the price rises.

For mine, there is little difference between Coates and a basement price cheapie. I would only be selecting Coates out of absolute necessity to allow the rest of your team to take shape, and he absolutely should not be owned by a third of teams.

Mark

Published by Fantasy Amateurs

Just guys providing Fantasy Football Content. Maybe we know what we are talking about, maybe we don't. You will need to work out if the name is ironic.

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