The current ladder is an interesting beast as there are three distinct groups of teams.
Current AFL ladder a thing of beauty (W's)— F M l (@Footy_Maths) July 4, 2016
1 x 11
6 x 10
1 x 9
1 x 7
5 x 6
1 x 4
1 x 3
2 x 1
The remaining fixture could amend the above split, but by how much is yet to be determined. Models such as the FMI predictor and others can estimate where the changes will occur, if at all.
As it stands now, the FMI calculations set GWS as the minor premier followed by Adelaide, the Western Bulldogs and Sydney to round out the top 4.
Missing the eight are Port Adelaide and Melbourne in 8th and 9th. All the detail is in the 'WIN' tab of the SWARMS page, as opposed to the simple ladder prediction table added in here.
|F M I|
There have been questions asked about the derivation of these outcomes, The above is based on 'as current' data plus the expectations on performance plus adjustments to teams ratings post each individual simulated game. All of the future factors alter during simulations as the fixtures play out, and repeated simulations are run.
If the above methodology is true and correct has already been debated, and depends on your viewpoint, but the system employed above will remain for the remainder of the season.
What is interesting to do is to not only consider a single simulation outcome as 'the data', but instead look for more data. And this is easy as there are three other (and perhaps better known) systems that produce similar simulations.
Firstly, the Matter Of Stats blog has recently joined the 2016 season prediction stakes and also upped the ante by running 100,000 simulations for greater accuracy .
Also to compare are the highly popular (in BigFooty circles) Squiggle predictions , and the FootyForecaster end of season table . Its not clear on how many iterations the data is created from in both these, but they do change as the weeks roll on.
 Additional win expectation data used below not listed on that blog, but tweeted today.
 Click the 'Prediction' marker at the top of the page to open a new table.
 Click on 'Season Forecast' on the left of screen.
To make everyone's life easy, the table below aggregates all the predictions together for ease of comparison.
Immediately leaping off the page are some disagreements, such as the number of expected wins and positions of the top 6 teams, as well as some obvious positional agreements, such as West Coast and North Melbourne to fill 7th and 8th, as well as the same four teams in 15th to 18th.
|CURRENT AS AT (POST) ROUND 15|
|F M I||MATTER OF STATS||FOOTYFORECASTER||SQUIGGLE|
|7||West Coast||14.4||7||West Coast||13.7||7||West Coast||14||7||North Melbourne||15|
|8||North Melbourne||14.3||8||North Melbourne||13.7||8||North Melbourne||14||8||West Coast||14|
|9||Port Adelaide||11.1||9||Port Adelaide||11.2||9||Port Adelaide||11||9||Port Adelaide||12|
|10||Melbourne||10.2||10||St Kilda||10.1||10||Melbourne||10||10||St Kilda||10|
|11||St Kilda||9.9||11||Collingwood||9.1||11||St Kilda||10||11||Melbourne||9|
|15||Gold Coast||4.9||15||Gold Coast||6.2||15||Gold Coast||7||15||Gold Coast||7|
|17||Brisbane Lions||1.8||17||Essendon||3.2||17||Brisbane Lions||3||17||Brisbane Lions||3|
There is distinct commonality across all four particularly when you look at the earlier tweet about groups of teams in the current ladder.
All four predictions remain with three groups after 23 rounds - a top 8 separated from a trailing 6 with a distant last 4.
All four also have roughly 14 games as the standard for making the finals, and also a gap of 2 to 3 games between 8th and 9th.
All four also have a second gap of at least 2 games between 14th and 15th.
Which is the most accurate is open for speculation. As an exercise in bench-marking the four modelling systems we can see that all four have enough in common to consider the eventual R23 ladder to be something like what is above.