Footy Forensics - the best AFL data explained

ESPN's Footy Forensics column delves deep into the data to give you the best statistical analysis throughout the AFL season.

Each week, we attempt to make sense of the numbers to discover trends in the game, and predict future developments.

Footy Forensics: 2017 columns

Who wins it all?

The Swans are the best team in footy right now, but our Elo ratings show the Crows and Tigers are more likely to win the flag.

Is finals experience crucial?

Start dreaming big, Power and Tiger fans, the stats suggest finals experience is less important than people often assume.

Finals swing: Which games matter most?

Finals chances and top-four hopes are on the line for a lot of clubs this weekend. We look at how much each game matters for every team dreaming of playing in September.

The Swans are rewriting history

Not only do Sydney look like being the first ever team to make the top eight after starting the year 0-6, but they're short odds to win it all. How have they done it?

Is the top eight locked in?

Elo ratings show which teams still have a realistic chance at playing finals - and which should start thinking about next year.

Is the AFL the world's most even sports league?

This AFL season is on pace to be the most even of any major sports league, and among the most even in footy history.

Does home ground advantage exist?

A spate of upsets have left many of us pondering whether or not home ground advantage is still a thing in the AFL. It's time to answer that question.

Effects of the Bye
A week off can help heal battered bodies, but AFL teams surprisingly don't seem to do better after the bye.

Will your team make the finals?
Has there ever been a more unpredictable season of AFL? Don't panic, the Elo-ratings are back to make sense of it all and predict which sides are finals bound.

Your club's key trend: Hawthorn-Western Bulldogs
A deep dive into footy data turns up the graph that tells your team's story. This week, we analyse Hawthorn through to the Western Bulldogs.

Your club's key trend: Adelaide-GWS
A deep dive into footy data turns up the graph that tells your team's story. This week, we analyse Adelaide through to GWS.

The most even of seasons
This is one of the most even seasons in history, with nearly all teams still in the mix to play finals. We've used our Elo ratings system to estimate each club's chances of making it to September.

How has AFL changed this year?
Footy's always changing, and digging deep in the numbers can help make sense of the trends. How has footy changed this year?

Are ruckmen redundant?
Could ruckmen, the AFL's dinosaurs, one day become extinct? They'll have to at least evolve, because winning hit-outs means less than ever.

Who's still got a shot at September?
Are the Hawks cooked? Are the Tigers for real? Simulations show a range of teams - even the winless Swans - still have a meaningful shot at playing finals.

Champion team or team of champions?
Every team would love a 'Dangerwood' combination. But is an even spread of contributors more valuable than a superstar or two?

If you don't mind, umpire!
Umpires are easy targets for frustrated AFL fans. But stats can help us understand why some players and teams get the rub of the green.

It's crunch time, already
Think it's okay for your club to slowly work its way into the season? Think again. Statistics show the early rounds do more than any other point in the season to set teams on a path to finals - or not.

Elo ratings: Full ladder predictor
After simulating every match of the 2017 season 10,000 times, we've predicted the likely finishing position of every AFL team. How is your club shaping up?