Over the course of the home and away season, the Bulldogs received 451 free kicks, while they gave away only 370. That left them with 81 net free kicks, the biggest differential of any team. The Kangaroos came in second with 67 net frees, with daylight third.
Although the Dogs got a lot of net free kicks, they only just scraped into the top 20 for the AFL era. Five teams have cracked the century – the 2008 and 2012 Eagles, the 95 and 96 Pies, and Fitzroy’s 93 team. The 2016 Dogs fell well short of that mark.
When playing as the home team at Docklands, the Bulldogs averaged around 4 free kicks per game, similar to the Eagles at Subi, the Crows at Adelaide Oval, or the Kangaroos or Tigers at Docklands.
The 2016 Bulldogs and Kangaroos both stand out for their ability to do well on net free kicks when playing at home or away. While Adelaide and West Coast attract a similar net free advantage as the Dogs or Roos, both the Crows and Eagles tend to give away more frees than they receive when playing away. The only team to have negative net free kicks both at home and away in 2016 was Melbourne.
Here’s a breakdown of each team’s average net free kicks per game, by both home/away status and home state/interstate. Teams that play home games interstate tend to do very well on free kicks in those games.