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Draftstars AFL 23 Finals Blues v Swans Tips

After a highly charged final on Thursday night, attention now turns to Friday night and the return of the juggernaut and the Carlton Blues. Draftstars have reloaded the kitty and ‘Tbetta’ is back to breakdown this match for Daily Fantasy.

$75,000 Main ($15 entry, 125 max)
$10,000 High Roller ($150 entry, 3 max)
$5,000 Mini ($2 entry, 25 max)
$2,000 Fiver ($5 entry, 20 max)
$2,000 Buck Hunter ($1 entry, 100 max)
$2,000 Micro ($0.50 entry, 100 max)



Carlton vs Sydney – MCG: Showers.




Patrick Cripps and Sam Docherty headline the changes from both teams, which has contributed to the unfortunate omissions of a pair of much-maligned but in-form Blues in Paddy Dow and Zac Fisher. Scratch their names from the very short list of value options available.

For the Swans, the biggest eyebrow raiser was the axing of Ryan Clarke following the very public murder of Christian Salem (39) in Round 24. I thought that Horse Longmire might have turned to the x-factor of last year’s Finals series with a repeat job on Adam Saad, whom Clarke kept to just 11 kicks when these sides met earlier this season, but not so.

Both of these add up to a big night for Nic Newman ($15,570 DEF), at least on paper. Not only will he have undisputed distribution rights across half back now that Zac Fisher’s 27 touches are out the door in favour of the defensive-minded Caleb Marchbank, but Sydney’s biggest counter-measure if he were to get out of hand has just been dropped.


Carlton had an unfortunate injury spike in-game as Nic Newman and George Hewett exited the game before it was decided, while Oliver Hollands, Corey Durdin and Patrick Cripps picked up injuries late as the rotations dried up. Michael Voss was forced to shuffle the magnets around early, so I’m not taking too much out of the Round 11 clash up at the SCG.


Perhaps in an attempt to stretch Sydney’s already-taut tall defence, the Blues have recalled Marc Pittonet to lead the ruck unit and “allow” Tom De Koning ($10,160 RUC) to hunt mismatches in attack. Of course, this is a huge blow to TDK’s fantasy outlook after an excellent stretch as the solo ruckman, where he’s produced scores of 97, 105 and 92 in his last three tries.

Given that his last four scores alongside the Pitbull were mongrels of 28, 68, 65 and 33, it’s fair to say that De Koning has been muzzled this Friday night.


You can do worse than David Cuningham ($8,420 FWD/MID) as a throwaway value pick, given that he can be slotted into multiple positions and at least picks up some midfield time to protect his floor. He’s averaged 70 over his last three full games, but he’s unlikely to go any further than that. Braeden Campbell ($9,070 DEF) is his high-half forward counterpart from the Swans – despite weirdly being named as a DEF-only – but is the much more volatile option. His last five starts have produced skidmarks of 22 and 33, offset by slate-winners of 95 and 110 at the other end of the spectrum.

The worst-case scenario for Marc Pittonet ($8,970 RUC) is leading the ruck with a 60/40 split (as he has done over his last four games alongside TDK), while the best-case scenario is the 79/21 split they ran back in Round 11 where he scored 73. Either way, he’s too cheap to ignore at a sliver under $9k, especially with Sydney ranking as the 3rd-softest ruck opponent in season 2023.

On the other hand, Tom Hickey ($9,240 RUC) is roughly the same price and also had 73 when these teams last squared off, but he doesn’t have the same threat on his ruck role. There’s a big decision to be made in this ninth of your Draftstars entries.

Nic Newman can’t kick to himself in defence, which is why I like Mitch McGovern ($10,110 DEF) at this price-tag. He’s averaging 77 from his last five full games, and has a mortgage on the kick-in duties – he took a massive 89% of them against the Giants in Round 24, and played on from all 8 opportunities.

I can’t help but feel like Luke Parker ($13,810 MID) is going to smash this price-tag with the extra contested nature and intensity of a final. He’s been a September specialist his entire life and that’s continued into the twilight of his career – he’s averaging 108 from his last five appearances in the month that matters.

Callum Mills ($14,460 MID) isn’t quite as long in the tooth as Parker, but he’s definitely timed his run for meaningful footy in a similar fashion. After playing odd roles and managing his niggles in game all season, he flicked a switch in the last fortnight of the season with 88% and 77% CBA – the latter resulting in that monster 155 that’s cranked up his Draftstars stock price. I would’ve considered this salary an absolute steal for Mills pre-season, so I’m happy to back in the KPIs and the player quality once again.

The Blues have a full midfield to choose from for the first time in a while, so it’s hard to pick out a clear target from under the blanket of big names. Despite missing Round 24 through injury, I really like Patrick Cripps ($14,050 MID) given the expected contested nature of a wet final against Sydney.

I’m also interested in Adam Cerra ($14,410 MID) following a week off to rest his body after some late season niggles that limited his output to 62, 66 and 86 to close out the year. He scored 122, 114 and 110 in the three games immediately prior to that injury patch, so there’s plenty of meat on the bone of his naturally discounted price-tag.

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Sydney – DEF Stack

Defenders went to town on the Blues earlier this year, with Jake Lloyd and Nick Blakey waxing their way to scores of 123 and 114 respectively, which were top frag for the Swans that evening. In terms of value, they were joined by Harry Cunningham (84 at 11.5X) and Justin McInerney (102 at 10.9X) in the top echelon of players on the slate, so the trend extended right from the top to the bottom of Sydney’s backline hierarchy.

The Blues have since tightened up on points conceded to DEFs overall to be slightly above average for their opponents – but given that the Swans are the single worst matchup for backmen, the allure of this microstack is purely relative to the alternative.

Carlton – Key FWD Targets

The glaring hole in Sydney’s squad is their key defensive stocks, with Paddy McCartin sadly retiring and not much left to back up his brother Tom. Conversely, the Blues boast the two winners of the previous 3 Colemans. See where I’m going with this?

Harry McKay ($9,550 FWD) and Charlie Curnow ($12,990 FWD) were wasteful against the Swans last time, managing to kick just 1.6 deep in the trench of a 6-game loss streak. While the lingering threat of showers dampens this trend slightly, I’m still expecting Carlton’s Two Towers to have a much bigger impact on the fate of Middle Earth the final result at the MCG.



Ready to go? Draftstars Blues v Swans contest will close at 7.50pm AEST. ENTER NOW!

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