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Draftstars AFL 23 Round 21 Sunday Tips

Draftstars Sunday 3-game slate looks to be a pearler with four teams fighting for finals spots. Draftstars have reloaded the kitty with plenty of AFL Fantasy prize pools which means we need Draftstars veteran ‘Tbetta’ to help us out with our teams.

$60,000 Main ($15 entry, 100 max)
$10,000 High Roller ($150 entry, 3 max)
$3,000 Mini ($2 entry, 15 max)
$2,000 Fiver ($5 entry, 20 max)
$2,000 Buck Hunter ($1 entry, 100 max)
$2,000 Micro ($0.50 entry, 100 max)


NTH vs MEL – Blundstone Arena: Possible showers.
STK vs CAR – Marvel Stadium: Under the roof.
FREM vs BRIS – Optus Stadium: Fine.




North Melbourne has been known to make it a little easier on key forwards than most, which thrusts a basement-priced Joel Smith ($6,000 FWD) into the mix. His last 4 games for the Demons have come as the starting sub – which is what has eroded his price-tag – so the scores of 59 (Collingwood) and 65 (Geelong) against significantly tougher opposition are much better baselines. While we’re in the neighbourhood, can lightning strike twice for Harrison Petty ($8,520 FWD/DEF)? His bag of 6 goals and 117 fantasy points last week were clear career-highs which suggests an unsustainable upswing… but it’s the Roos?!

Another week of data supports the potency of the wing role for Callum Ah Chee ($9,380 FWD/MID), who’s now produced totals of 108 and 87 on the trot. Does the domino effect of Zac Bailey’s return from injury, which could bump Jarrod Berry out of his centre bounce cameos and back to pure wing usage, affect his expected output? An alternative at a slightly cheaper price-tag is Zac Fisher ($8,790 FWD/MID), who I expect to play a hybrid mid-forward role in his return to the senior team. He’s coming off 30 touches in a midfield role in the VFL last week after averaging 99 at that level this year, so he can easily outperform this price-tag if Michael Voss paves the way.

While he might be a bit sore between the thighs, I’m still buoyed by Dayne Zorko’s ($11,230 FWD/MID) steadily increasing output, producing scores of 55, 65, 75 and 84 since returning from injury. I think everyone expects Lachie Neale to be shadowed by his former team (more on that below), so Zorko might need to assume some extra midfield responsibility this week.


I’m expecting Paddy Dow ($9,760 MID) to be one of the most popular salary relief options on the slate as the field looks for DFS value amongst Carlton’s injuries to first-choice midfielders in Adam Cerra and Sam Walsh. I actually have Sam Docherty sliding back to defence too, which further solidifies the heavy inside midfield role looming for Paddy. He’s only had this same level of midfield opportunity once in season 2023, where he was able to punch out a 75 from the 67% CBA action he received that day against the Eagles.

There’s a lot of parallels between the careers of Dow and Will Phillips ($9,830 MID) who puts his hand up at a very similar price. I was wary that his 86% centre bounce involvement against the Saints would melt away completely with Jy Simpkin returning last weekend, but 71% CBA share was an excellent result against the Eagles. Consistency is far from his strong suit, but WillPhil has the means, motive and opportunity to do some damage down in Tassie this weekend.

If we’re looking closely at Dow due to missing personnel, then we absolutely have to be paying plenty of attention to more senior Blues in George Hewett ($12,110 MID) and Patrick Cripps ($13,400 MID). They’ll be asked to work overtime in the clinches this weekend and both have encouraging exposed form against the Saints, racking up 29 touches (85 points) and 34 touches (126 points) against them already this season.

Speaking of St Kilda, it’s hard to ignore the generous price-tags of Brad Crouch ($15,290 MID) & Jack Steele ($15,750 MID) with their direct opposition’s onball unit weakened. Their inside midfield minutes will also be maxed out with Zak Jones joining Seb Ross on the sidelines and Jack Sinclair directing traffic in defence.

If you’ve managed to squirrel enough coins away to reach the big dogs in the midfield, you won’t be disappointed. Christian Petracca ($16,450 MID) was back in the midfield a little more last week, but with 9-straight tons and only North to contend with, there’s nowhere Simon Goodwin can put him that won’t result in fantasy carnage – just refer back to his season-high 142 against the Roos back in Round 7 where he notched video games numbers of 35 touches, 8 marks and 3 sausage rolls. Josh Dunkley ($17,130 MID) is the other luxury pick based on healthy form lines, with his last two outings at Optus Stadium generating scores of 133 and 139 on top of a three-game average of 119 against the Dockers.


Caleb Marchbank ($7,630 DEF) passed the eye test last week and took 7 marks for 69, which is more than I dared to hope for from someone with his footballing incontinuity. A date with the Saints has my expectations swelling rapidly. However, Jaxon Prior ($8,590 DEF) might be the better standalone pick, replacing Keidean Coleman in defence for the Lions. He hasn’t had a clean run at AFL level until now but has been absolutely crushing this role in the twos, averaging 101 (including a low score of 91) from his past 9 VFL games.

I love the work of Corey Wagner ($10,560 DEF), who I couldn’t help but notice pumped out a career-high score of 104 in the same week that Hayden Young was shifted into the guts. Is the price right for him though? I feel more confident about a pair of Saints in the same price range, for example. Marcus Windhager ($11,010 DEF/MID) looks set to retain his place in defence against a Harry McKay-less Carlton, while Hunter Clark ($11,180 DEF/MID) is coming off a season-high 68% CBAs for his 90 against the Hawks.

As teased above, I have Sam Docherty ($16,090 DEF) sliding back to defence to cover for the injured Mitch McGovern. The jury is out as to what his best fantasy role looks like in a vacuum, but I think we can all agree that slotting back into defence against St Kilda is the best possible prognosis for Doch this week.


Darcy Fort ($8,940 FWD/RUC) is the clear economical ruck pick this Sunday, averaging a spicy 86 in games without Big O last season. The best thing is that you don’t have to choose between him and other ruckmen if you don’t want to – I’m thinking of the Max Gawn hunters here – because you can stash him in a FWD slot if need be.



Dual Carlton Rucks

Now we move onto my favourite DFS rant, putting dual rucks back into the crosshairs. Carlton’s injury list featuring the names Harry McKay and Jack Silvagni makes this unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give Marc Pittonet and Tom De Koning a wide berth in DFS. Even a relatively favourable 70/30 ruck split between this pair resulted in scores of just 50 and 28 respectively against the Pies, unrecognisable from their outputs as solo rucks:

Pittonet’s last four without De Koning: 81-point average.

De Koning’s last three without Pittonet: 95-point average.

Lachie Neale ($15,250 MID)

You’d have to imagine that Fremantle are going to look to bottle lightning after the rousing success of Hayden Young’s tagging effort on Patrick Dangerfield (16 touches and 51 AF) that undoubtedly contributed to their shock win at GMHBA Stadium. Given this is the week after Lachie Neale got clamped by Touk Miller for just 60 points, I’m willing to upgrade this tagging job from “possible” to “check Justin Longmuir for signs of brain damage if he doesn’t”.

Neale has always struggled with a shadow, and 2023 has been no different. In his 5 tagged games this year the Brownlow Medallist hasn’t scored over 100 once, averaging just 84 points – well under the 112 points he’s averaged untagged since he last faced the Dockers.



Max Gawn ($16,440 RUC)

Outside of the healthy price bump, it’s extremely difficult to come up with any tangible reason to ignore a solo Max Gawn. Everyone is cognizant of the with/without relationship with Brodie Grundy following his scores of 162, 115 and 131 over the past few weeks, but the stars smile favourably elsewhere too.

While dual ruck set-ups are usually brutal for opposition solo ruckmen, that hasn’t been the case against the Tristan Xerri & Todd Goldstein pairing over the past fortnight, with Rowan Marshall (123) and BJ Williams (104) smacking it out of the park. Only an early knock-off concerns me here.

Jy Simpkin ($11,290 MID)

It’s been a disaster of a debut year as skipper of the Skippies for Simpkin, but he’s simply too cheap for someone taking 88% of CBAs and in possession of his ceiling (7 scores over 110 last year). This is the prime example of a player that the casuals avoid like the plague – it’s hard to look at his recent scores of 69, 7, 71, 67, 23 and 71 and think “boy, what a good pick”, but experienced players know that he’s a slate-winner in waiting.

If you do want some encouragement with Simpkin, his numbers of 24 touches, 10 marks and 102 points versus Melbourne earlier this year should help you pull the trigger.

Nic Newman ($14,240 DEF)

The St Kilda match-up was already sexual for Newman after his healthy 119 against them earlier this year, but the hamstring injury to one of his main defensive distribution competitors in Mitch McGovern makes this downright dirty. Newman has flown under the radar in fantasy this year but has quietly been averaging 108 over the past month, including 123 last week as sometimes-defender Sam Docherty found himself back in the guts to cover Adam Cerra and Sam Walsh issues. Lock and load.



Carlton – DEF Stack

This paragraph writes itself, honestly. The Blues are ranked #1 for wings/attacking DEFs, #1 for designated kickers and #3 for lockdown defenders, so all bases are covered. There is quite literally no bad pick here as long as they step foot in the defensive arc, with the leading backmen the last time these teams met being Adam Cerra (130 in defence), Nic Newman (119), Jacob Weitering (89), and Alex Cincotta (76).

Melbourne – Full Stack

The next-most obvious stack is Melbourne, but it’s obvious for a damn good reason. Their Northern namesakes are ranked in the top three for every DvP category forward of D50, as well as conceding the most disposals of any team this season. Only the chill of Tasmania can stop the Demons from feasting, with North’s previous clashes there (against the Power and Giants) resulting in only a couple of tons apiece.

Carlton – Full Stack

Using the same logic that paid off last week with a contrarian stack (St Kilda) in a high-scoring game (against Hawthorn at Marvel), we’re left with the Blues as a correlation play. The Saints have conceded the most fantasy points of all the teams not named West Coast, North Melbourne or Hawthorn this year, and show up green across the board in the DvP matrix. This is a super easy play to make while the field heads blindly towards the Demons vs Roos clash – which means that if it hits, you’re one of the few and not the many.


Ready to go? Draftstars multi game Sunday slate will close at 1.10pm AEST. ENTER NOW!

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