Ratings changes in bye weeks don’t always tell the full story. The way in which the FFSS system rates teams1 means that ratings only have the potential to change when a team is playing. A win always sees a team ranked (at least a tiny bit) higher in the following week.
Geelong slip only 12 points this week despite the loss to a below average team in St Kilda. The small loss is due to the tight final margin and the fact the Cats created better quality scoring chances than the Saints throughout the game. They can be considered slightly unlucky not to come away with a win.
As Geelong and Hawthorn will both sit out this week, a convincing win for the Crows against Melbourne may well see them climb up to top spot in the rankings.
The top-8 remain a clear class above the rest of the comp, but the ratings between them are beginning to stretch out a bit for the first time in weeks.
North Melbourne and West Coast have shown weakness of late and have fallen away from the familiar powerhouses of the last 10 years in Geelong, Hawthorn and Sydney. Adelaide and GWS appear to be new entries into this top tier.
That said, the top-8 are still so tight that interstate home-ground advantage would most likely tip our predictions in favour of the home team if any of these sides were to meet this week.