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Draftstars AFL 23 Finals Magpies v Giants Tips

The best weekend of the year is upon us, the fight to get in the AFL Grand Final. It starts Friday night with the minor premiers taking on the Giants who have literally Giant slayed their way to a prelim. Draftstars have upped the pools for Friday night and the AFL Star final kicks off as well! Draftstars veteran ‘Tbetta’ has broken down the plays for Draftstars fantasy in his next edition of ‘Stargazing’. 


$750,000 Star Final (Game 1)
$90,000 Main ($15 entry, 150 max)
$10,000 High Roller ($150 entry, 3 max)
$5,000 Mini ($2 entry, 25 max)
$3,000 Fiver ($5 entry, 30 max)
$2,000 Buck Hunter ($1 entry, 100 max)
$2,000 Micro ($0.50 entry, 100 max)

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Collingwood vs GWS Giants – MCG: Fine & cloudy.




With just the single change made across both sides, there’s not much to muse over here. A Taylor Adams hamstring mishap at training saved Craig McRae from having to make a tough selection decision with the talented Nick Daicos ($15,570 MID) returning from injury, and he’ll obviously slot straight into that midfield rotation to make it as seamless as possible.

While Little Nicky probably soaks up some centre bounce action from Scott Pendlebury (85% last week) and maybe even Jack Crisp (25%) to supplement Taylor’s 50%, I’m not expecting anything drastic from the Pies in terms of role changes this Friday evening.


A lot has changed since Round 9, for both teams. Nick Daicos was still a defender, Kieren Briggs hadn’t played a single game for the season and GWS still believed Harry Himmelberg and Callan Ward were forwards. By the time that round finished, Collingwood were sitting in first place atop the AFL ladder, while the Giants languished in 15th spot.

Since then, GWS has surged and Collingwood’s gap over the next tier of teams has dwindled. Recent form will be a much better indicator of what will unfold on Friday night, so pay little attention to what happened on that last uncompetitive afternoon at the MCG.


Brayden Maynard ($12,180 DEF) has a dual role for Collingwood this year, being the first-choice lockdown defender for small types while being allowed to play a more aggressive style if there’s no clear match-up for him defensively. I think it’s safe to say that with Toby Greene potentially the single most influential player left in this Finals series, Maynard might have a little extra homework headed his way with an assignment from Mr McRae.



Mason Cox ($9,130 RUC) played the best game of his career against the Giants in Round 9, racking up 129 fantasy points as he outrucked (25 hitouts), outmarked (9 marks), outscored (2 goals), outworked (19 touches) and ultimately outed Matt Flynn himself from the #1 ruck role at the Giants. Obviously, it’s a completely different landscape in this Preliminary Final. Not only is Darcy Cameron ($11,980 RUC) back to co-pilot Cox in the skies, but Kieren Briggs ($13,660 RUC) is now commanding GWS’s air force, playing every game since that May meeting between these two warring factions. Expect a more grounded performance from Cox this time around.

Finding value on this slate is like trying to milk an almond the traditional way – it’s just not going to work and you’re going to have to get creative. His price-tag is steadily rising, but I still like Oleg Markov ($9,120 DEF) as non-traditional salary relief. He’s proven to be a safe source of 60 points when unvested, scoring between 54 and 75 in his past 9 full games for the Pies; plus, he has an elite top lip.

The other option is Will Hoskin-Elliott ($9,660 MID). He was a full-time defender against the Demons with John Noble falling out of the 22, which was the first time all season he has been given even a sniff of a fantasy-friendly role. WHE scored a season-high 94 as a result (to go with 92 the week before against Essendon), potentially making him underpriced here – provided that Nick Daicos’s return doesn’t set off a role-change chain reaction to his detriment.

While the cheapies were all Pies, it’s the Giants I really like in the mid-range. Wingman Isaac Cumming ($10,120 DEF) and the versatile Harry Perryman ($10,630 DEF) are underpriced in the DEF line, while Lachie Ash ($12,300 DEF) is an interesting prospect on the next rung up. Dash curiously has a couple of scores of 120+ within his past three meetings with the Pies – but only one score over 90 from his past 5 games – which makes this feel like a pick you save for the GWS stacks.

Into the midfield now, and Finn Callaghan ($10,730 MID) & Callan Ward ($11,270 MID) are clearly priced below their best and guaranteed to spend all game in the middle third of the ground. I’ll happily introduce my girlfriend to prime Wayne Carey if Callaghan has a 1:14 kick-to-handball ratio while failing to register a tackle or mark again, so I’m happy to disregard last week’s score of 25.

Tom Mitchell ($13,920 MID) piques my interest for the Pies, and not just because of the modest price-tag – his last three scores against the Giants reads 139, 119 and 120. His particular skillset hasn’t really been required week-to-week within Collingwood’s system ever since his move from Hawthorn, but he’s shown he’s still got that ceiling with 4 scores of 115+ this year.

The Pies don’t tag, which will be a welcome change for the influential Josh Kelly ($14,810 MID) after being targeted by both the Saints (94 with a Marcus Windhager tag) and Power (73, Willem Drew) in recent weeks. He was GWS’s best player in the Round 9 clash with the Pies (according to the AFL Player Rankings system) and ultimately finished with 113 points, an excellent effort given the 65-point final margin.

I’m not interested in paying up for Nick Daicos off that medium-term injury in a cutthroat final, which leaves a few Giants as premium targets. Lachie Whitfield’s ($14,980 DEF) role is very game-state dependent as a defender, but three Giants topped the ton against the Pies last time and he was one of them with 29 touches and 8 marks in the heavy loss. Finals rarely play out so freely, so buyer beware.

Of course, it’s hard to go wrong with Stephen Coniglio ($15,600 MID) or Tom Green ($16,620 MID), at least from a game script perspective – the ball is always going to be in the middle at some point, contested or otherwise. I wouldn’t fuss too much about this area of your budget though – on slates like this, the top spots go to those who nail the supporting acts, not the headliners.

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GWS – Full Stack

The Giants have been on a tear since the Byes, winning 9 of their 11 games and that has been adequately reflected in their fantasy splits – over that stretch they’ve been the 5th-highest scoring fantasy club, while conceding the 2nd-fewest points to their opponents.

So, while I think the bookies are spot on with Collingwood as clear favourites, I love how GWS profile statistically and I think they have the better chance of remaining close on the fantasy ledger in a loss. In fact, they’ve actually won the fantasy battle in two of their past three losses – and managing to generate 4 tons in a heavy loss against the Pies the last time around only adds to the selection confidence.

Collingwood – MID Targets

The Giants are a tough team to find an opening against, but if they do have one weakness, it’s in the midfield. In those last three losses I mentioned, it was those in the engine room they really killed them – Tim Taranto (130) lead the way for the Tigers, Errol Gulden (132) and Callum Mills (117) were the only Swans to top the ton, while usual suspects Dan Houston (129), Zak Butters (121) and Connor Rozee (112) were Port’s best.

The Pies aren’t a club that typically racks up huge numbers in the midfield, but when they do, there’s usually a Daicos involved…  And if you think Collingwood reigns supreme, then you’d have to be looking very closely at players like Tom Mitchell, Scott Pendlebury and Jordan De Goey with a mere thirteen at the beginning of their price-tags.


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

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