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Draftstars AFL 23 Finals Saturday Tips

We have reached the last multi same day slate for the AFL season! Two intriguing finals on Saturday with plenty of storylines to take in. ‘Tbetta’ has however broken down the four teams involved and is back with his Draftstars preview.

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St Kilda vs GWS Giants – MCG: Low chance of showers.
Brisbane vs Port Adelaide – The Gabba: Fine.




Ross Lyon might be untrustworthy, but he’s not unpredictable and that makes St Kilda’s changes easy to decipher. The extra midfielder in Seb Ross means that Marcus Windhager should slide back to a half back flank, with Hunter Clark filling the Swiss Army knife role instead. I’d also be wary of some regression in Mattaes Phillipou’s ($7,470 FWD) midfield time of 44% CBA action in the final fortnight of the home-and-away season – not that it resulted in fantasy value anyway. Meanwhile, business as usual for the Giants with predictable changes.

The Lions were too midfielder-heavy against the Pies in Round 23, so sacrificing Jarryd Lyons was an easy lever to pull. Port’s selection committee had a much tougher puzzle to solve, making the tough decision to leave out their last two skippers in Tom Jonas and Travis Boak – although I’d get on the beers with Steven May if the latter wasn’t the tactical sub. Reanimating the corpse of Scott Lycett ($9,590 RUC) was another interesting call after the Power seemingly threw the ruck position in the latter half of the season – he’s cheap, but can you trust that he won’t be subbed out, as he has already thrice this season?


GWS copped a few early injuries that really warped the game, with all of Nick Haynes, Harry Himmelberg and Lachie Whitfield copping knocks in the first quarter. As a result, the Giants weren’t able to cash in on the juicy DEFs vs Saints trend as they scrambled to cover defensive posts, so expect that to correct itself this weekend.

Round 1 was a long time ago, and there were a few Port performances that suggests we should throw out this entire clash as a form guide. Todd Marshall (4 goals), Charlie Dixon (3 goals), Junior Rioli (3 goals) and even Lachie Jones (3 goals) had their own little sausage roll bake-off at Adelaide Oval, completely contradicting what we’ve come to know about Brisbane. Since that game they’ve been the clear toughest team for FWDs to score against, both big and small. Expect the tale of the tape to be very different up at The Gabba almost 6 months later.


The big watch is on Willem Drew and whether Ken Hinkley wants to pull an Oppenheimer and revoke Lachie Neale’s ($15,570 MID) security clearance. The history books don’t look back kindly on Neale and his record against the tag; his big dud was the 60 against Touk Miller a month ago, but he’s never made it past 104 this year when getting shadowed as Ben Keays, James Rowbottom, Marcus Windhager and Hayden Young have all rendered him human.


There’s not a lot to work with in the 4-digit price bracket, which is usually the kind of slates where you’ll pick a couple of teams to win and stack their cheap forwards, purely in the hope of milking any kind of value from a barren cash cow. Outside of that, you’ll have to get speculative.

Can Miles Bergman ($8,230 DEF/MID) finally translate a wing role into fantasy gold after so many stumbles this season? Midfield time has just opened up at Brisbane – much like his guernsey a couple of weeks ago – so can we expect some improved output from Deven Robertson ($8,090 FWD/MID)? Will Callum Ah Chee ($7,810 FWD/MID) spend some more time up the ground with Lincoln McCarthy reclaiming his small forward role, having produced scores of 87 and 108 a month or so ago as a wingman? All have upside, but all are plagued by doubt.

Then we have the ultimate risk-vs-reward pick in Jason Horne-Francis ($9,990 MID). He’s shown both sides to his game lately with failures of 45 and 46 the freshest in the mind, but that was immediately preceded by hot form of 100 and 107. Who shows up in his first ever final? Do we have anyone on ice bath watch…?

Hunter Clark ($10,540 DEF/MID) is clearly a bit of a sinner in Ross Lyon’s eyes after tactical sub involvement and midfield exclusion in the last month of the season, but he’s a cheap date who can easily outperform this salary. Or do we look at the man who’s the biggest threat to his midfield time in Seb Ross ($11,970 MID), buoyed by that 122-point bomb his only full game between hamstring concerns?

For those looking at stacking the Giants, Callan Ward ($11,860 MID) and Finn Callaghan ($11,260 MID) are nicely priced and have clear midfield roles. They’re perfectly placed to cash in on the flurry of stats that trickle down from the Saints after the big-name GWS accumulators have had their fill. Likewise, if you’re stacking the Lions at home, Jarrod Berry ($11,820 MID) is a strong mid-priced target with two scores over 110 in his past month of footy, while Zac Bailey ($10,950 FWD/MID) and Dayne Zorko ($13,320 MID) should lap up the extra midfield minutes on offer.

He missed out last time around due to concussion, but Harry Himmelberg’s ($13,230 DEF) toolbox is absolutely perfect for reaping the crops that St Kilda’s backline soil richly nurtures. His best scores of 112 and 114 this year were built on the foundation of 12 and 8 marks respectively, and you don’t have to look far back into St Kilda’s opposition history to suggest that he’ll have plenty of access to these cheap +6’s on Saturday evening.

Lachie Whitfield ($14,760 DEF) is the other clear target for a defensive bump against the Saints, in sparkling form with 102 and 119 in the fortnight leading into finals. While he only managed the 86 points last time, he was playing under duress after an early knock and yet still racked up 32 touches. If you’re a fan of the law of averages, then you should be all over the slim sweeper this Saturday.

What about the superstition of revenge games? Jack Steele ($14,450 MID) seemingly loves playing against his old mob with gems of 110 and 121 on them most recently, but a deeper look into his scoring history against the Giants debunks that theory pretty quickly. Still, he’s cheaper than he should be – at least based on his ceiling, with 7 scores over 115 in a poor season by his lofty standards.

Other headline acts I like include Hugh McCluggage ($14,290 MID) in the comfort of his own backyard, Josh Kelly ($14,620 MID) with a questionably-low price-tag and Jack Sinclair ($15,840 DEF/MID) with a 120-point three-game form line on top of the appropriately-giant score of 141 the last time he played the Giants.

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GWS – Full Stack

Unsurprisingly (given that it’s finals), Brisbane, GWS and Port are three of the stingiest teams in the league this year, which makes whoever plays St Kilda the clear full-stack favourite. I also think the Saints are the worst team left in the Premiership race, so this lines up *almost* perfectly for the Giants, who would’ve loved home ground advantage here to really tie a bow on the whole thing.

Stats-wise, St Kilda conceded the 2nd-most untouched possessions, the 2nd-most marks and the 3rd-most fantasy points of all teams in 2023. If you’ve been paying any attention this year, you’d be all over the DEF line as the overwhelming focal point, but MIDs also benefit from a lot of the same structural weak points. Match them up and profit.

St Kilda, Port Adelaide and Brisbane – RUC Targets

It’s a packed slate for ruckmen with three of the four sides showing significant weaknesses to opposition big men. Port has been a clear team to target over the course of the season and GWS is relying on a tiring Briggs, while Brisbane has joined the fray late with scores of 106 (Darcy Cameron), 149 (Luke Jackson), 91 (Jarrod Witts) and 162 (Max Gawn) in the past month or so.

Rowan Marshall ($17,400 RUC) has almost priced himself out of it, so which way do you lean in the late-game throwdown? Do you take the pricier Oscar McInerney ($13,480 RUC) with the rock-solid floor and dream match-ups, or do you roll the dice with a half-cooked Scott Lycett ($9,590 RUC) and hunt value instead?


Ready to go? Draftstars multi game Saturday slate will close at 1.45pm AEST. ENTER NOW!

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