DFS Fantasy

Draftstars AFL 23 Finals Magpies v Demons Tips

We finally made it to the finals, which means the stakes are higher. That also means the prize pools are increased and the focus on game by game fantasy is intense. ‘Tbetta’ is back with his finals edition of ‘Stargazing’, starting with the Qualifying Final between Collingwood and Melbourne.

MAIN CONTESTS:$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)

Pies v Demons



Collingwood vs Melbourne – MCG: Cold front coming through, maybe be miserable, maybe nothing too it. 



There’s very little mystery in Melbourne’s Teamsheets, reinforcing their season-long consistent structure with clear like-for-like swaps in Michael Hibberd & Tom McDonald replacing Daniel Turner & Jake Melksham respectively. Whoever you liked before, you can continue to like now, and vice versa.The intrigue is therefore centered around Collingwood’s changes, with some shock omissions of John Noble (after playing all 23 games so far this year) and Jack Ginnivan, who was sensational in the final round of the season and received AFLCA votes for his efforts (however he has been named by the club as the sub tonight). The final half-back position is the most up-in-the-air of McRae’s chosen squad; does Jack Crisp return to a full-blown defensive role, or will we see a committee of himself, Scott Pendlebury and Will Hoskin-Elliott rotate through that post from the midfield, as they did against the Bombers?


Parallels are hard to draw from their previous match up, as the landscape has changed significantly since Round 13. There was no Clayton Oliver or Jordan De Goey leading the respective midfield units, just as Brodie Grundy and Nick Daicos won’t be there this Thursday evening to mould the fantasy landscape.

One score that I found interesting was a season-high 102 for Brayden Maynard ($12,160 DEF), and I don’t think it was an accident. Melbourne concedes the most intercept possessions of any side in the league, and it was Maynard that led the way for the Pies that afternoon with 8. He’s worth a look after hitting form lately, spraying out three scores in the 90’s in the run-up to the Finals series.


The Mason Cox & Darcy Cameron 50/50 ruck timeshare against the Bombers is a huge concern, even if those numbers probably flatter the American Pie as Collingwood dropped back into second gear after blasting out of the gates.

However, the fact that both of Darcy Cameron’s ($12,980 RUC) lowest centre bounce attendance figures for the entire season were posted in the last fortnight of the season cannot be ignored, and we’ve seen the Pies opt to use the more vertically-gifted Cox more often against taller opponents in the past (such as the Round 16 clash with the Suns and former Pie Jarrod Witts). He’s a clear fade for me here, despite the encouraging score of 96 back in Round 13.



Salary relief is always dire during the Finals series for obvious reasons, so we might have to lower our expectations with the sub-$10k crowd over the month of September.

For instance, Joel Smith ($6,000 FWD/DEF) often looks like a newborn deer out there, but he’s dirt cheap and can be leant on in multiple Draftstars positions. He’ll play forward this week, which is where he was galloping around for his 59 against the Pies last time around. Bayley Fritsch ($9,150 FWD) is the pricier option, but Melbourne’s forward line was a shambles before he returned (Petracca aside) – so if the Demons have success, it’s likely Fritsch will feature heavily in it.

My favourite value picks are probably a pair of Collingwood backs. We’ve spoken before about Oleg Markov’s ($8,350 DEF) price being naturally discounted due to tactical sub involvement this year, but I also think he absorbs some of Noble’s touches across half-back. Jeremy Howe ($9,890 FWD/DEF) is a better defender than a forward in fantasy, and the Teamsheets suggests he’ll sit behind the ball again.


He’s famous for being a seagull and McRae’s Collingwood are famous for not caring about uncontested footy, so Lachie Hunter ($12,370 MID) piques my interest slightly. The 102 from 28 touches and 8 marks last time around solidifies that, so I’d be anchoring him in a lot of Melbourne stacks.

Christian Salem ($12,130 DEF) is another midrange Demon that deserves attention, especially as the field will overlook him following a brutal 39 on the back of a Ryan Clarke in Round 24. The Pies haven’t gone down the forward-tag route this year and I don’t expect them to start here either, so Salem’s previous scores of 88, 85 and 84 should be his baseline here. His season-high was that 100 against the Pies in Round 13.

Then we have Jordan De Goey ($13,760 MID), who I find suspiciously underpriced for a guy who has 3 scores of 120+ this year. He’s far more quality than quantity this season, so treat him as more of an upside pick for your Collingwood stacks.Maxis

Tom Mitchell ($14,090 MID) jumps off the page with no Nick Daicos and Jack Crisp perhaps sliding back to defence, as midfield priority has been his big downfall in the back half of the season. He averages 98 this year when you remove those three sub-affected scores from his formguide, which includes 121 against the Demons last time and 115 last week. Solid as a rock.

If you can afford it – and that’s a big if – it’s hard to go past the premium Melbourne bulls. Jack Viney ($16,740 MID) dropped a cheeky 135 on the Pies earlier this year, adding to the 157 and 105 against them last season. We know Collingwood has a poor centre-square midfield, and Viney punishes them every time. It’s a similar story with Clayton Oliver ($16,930 MID), who pumped out monsters of 146 and 139 for 5 Brownlow votes against the Pies last year. He’s only failed to reach the ton once this year – and that was with the Maginness tag – so you can feel very confident in Clarry returns if you make the big up-front investment.

Of course, no Brodie Grundy means that Max Gawn’s ($15,860 RUC) salary looks more like a bargain than an exuberance. I’m sure everyone is aware of this at this point, but just to refresh you on the numbers: Gawn averages 113 in his last six games without Grundy, compared to just 85 in the last six alongside him. Pay the money.

Download the Draftstars AppGALAXY CLUSTER:

Melbourne – Full Stack

While they profile very similarly coming into this game in terms of points accumulated, points conceded, etc, Collingwood has clearer areas of weakness and that makes their armour easier to penetrate. I will be targeting MIDs and DEFs against the Pies – they concede the 5th-most uncontested marks of all teams this year (which benefits both lines), as well as allowing the 3rd-most points to inside midfielders to close the season.Collingwood – Rebounding DEF Targets

On the flip side, Melbourne concedes the most intercept possessions and rebound 50s in the league, which puts a few Collingwood names into the mix of the coveted DEF slots. I’ve already flagged Brayden Maynard as an option, but can you also consider Darcy Moore ($9,370 DEF) in his first game back from a hamstring injury? Does Isaac Quaynor ($11,360 DEF) have a bit more freedom to create rather than simply defend with the dour Nathan Murphy in and the line-breaking John Noble out?


Ready to go? Draftstars Magpies v Demons contest will close at 7.20pm AEST. ENTER NOW!

Imagine what you could be buying instead. For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit gamblinghelponline.org.au


For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit gamblinghelponline.org.au.