DFS Fantasy

Draftstars AFL 23 Saturday Round 13 Tips

With the AFL Byes in full swing and five days of AFL to cover, we are embraced with a 3-game back-to-back Draftstars contest on Saturday. With the Dockers and Crows looking to get back into the Top 8, we are going to see some heavily weighted selections in Round 13. ‘Tbetta’ is looking through the 6 sides available and presents his Saturday Draftstars ‘Stargazing’ preview.

$75,000 Main ($15 entry, 125 max)
$10,000 High Roller ($150 entry, 3 max)
$5,000 Fiver ($5 entry, 50 max)
$3,000 Mini ($2 entry, 15 max)
$2,500 Buck Hunter ($1 entry, 100 max)
$2,000 Micro ($0.50 entry, 100 max)


HAW vs BRIS – MCG: Fine.
ADE vs WCE – Adelaide Oval: Fine.
FREM vs RICH – Optus Stadium: Showers.



It’s hard to be too excited about a key forward debutant for the Eagles given their current woes – especially one that wasn’t one an AFL list a week or so ago – so I’m happy to let the #1 mid-season draft pick Ryan Maric ($6,000 FWD) slip through to the keeper. It then becomes borderline impossible when you can easily rouse a few extra quid and snap up Deven Robertson ($6,810 FWD/MID) instead. The fringe Lion is averaging a huge 113 in VFL this year, and we’re only able to snap him up at this price due to scores of 4 and 3 this season as the tactical substitute.

Liam Henry ($7,220 FWD/MID) is another salary-saving candidate, looking at potential wing time with the dominoes of team selection toppling at Fremantle. Jaeger O’Meara out, Matthew Johnson into the guts and Henry slotting in as a wing/half-forward looks like the tonic for a usually-predictable Dockers outfit. His season average of 60 is a solid baseline here.

His former Captain is one of two veteran Brownlow Medalists with parallel storylines playing out as their careers wind up. Both Nat Fyfe ($8,740 FWD/MID) and Trent Cotchin ($8,780 FWD/MID) began the season learning new and foreign forward roles, but both have been reintroduced to the centre bounce rotations in recent weeks. Fyfe’s 44% CBA share over the past fortnight could receive a shot of adrenaline with O’Meara missing, while Cotchin was granted a season-high 68% CBA action under fickle caretaker coach Andrew McQualter last week. Of course, the subtext here is that they’re far better midfielders than they are forwards.

Draftstars have reduced some of our tastier forwards to the dreaded MID-only status, which leaves us with some high variance Premium options to consider instead. When he’s on, Joe Daniher ($11,870 FWD) pumps out slate-winners – he’s recorded 120 and 118 this year when bagging at least 5 goals. Hawthorn could struggle to contain him. Speaking of the Hawks, Dylan Moore ($12,890 FWD) finally attracted some CBA’s last week (22%) and there’s a universe where that swells again this week if the unforgiving Sam Mitchell wants to shake things up following a deplorable effort against Port Adelaide.

West Coast are on life support with their personnel, but someone has to touch the footy at some point, right? Greg Clark ($6,860 MID) has been stuck as the tactical sub for the past few weeks, but he earns his freedom here. He averages 56 from full games this season and can certainly upswing on that with a wing all to himself.

I like paying a little bit extra and anchoring my midfield with Matthew Johnson ($7,800 MID) however. He’s a stone-cold lock for extra inside midfield minutes after filling a litany of roles for Fremantle in his first season in the seniors. He’s racked up 22 and 20 touches in his last two full games at AFL level – and that was without the CBAs that he’s going to inherit from a suspended O’Meara.

Flicking back to the Eagles for a moment, and we have a few interesting veterans populating the mid-range. Andrew Gaff ($10,390 MID) showed signs of life with 80 last week, which begs the question – is he back? He’s always been the cherry on top of West Coast’s midfield, so with Elliot Yeo and now Luke Shuey returning over the past few weeks, he could have some instant increased supply. Of course, Elliot Yeo ($12,020 MID) himself is a genuine option after scores of 84 and 94 in the last fortnight, and if you were unlucky enough to watch them last weekend, you’d have witnessed just how crucial he was during the stirring 3rd-quarter “comeback” against the Pies.

Then we have Dom Sheed ($13,810 MID), who has shown a counter-intuitive ability to go nuclear even when West Coast lose big, pumping out monsters of 139 and 138 in capitulations against Hawthorn and Collingwood recently. Could the Crows on their home deck qualify for this bizarre requirement from the King of Kalgoorlie?

Speaking of the Crows, Ben Keays ($13,670 MID) is now a midfielder again and potentially projects out the best of anyone on this slate – more on him below. Of course, with the same soft match-up Rory Laird ($16,200 MID) has to be strongly considered despite the larger salary. He has a crazy Eagles record with 125, 122, 122, 127 in his last 4 against them, and even pumped out a casual 138 on them in the pre-season a few months ago to really embolden and underline the trend.

Tom Doedee’s ACL misfortune is Josh Worrell’s ($7,330 DEF) AFL lifeline, who was unfortunately squeezed out a fortnight ago after doing absolutely nothing wrong in his season-debut. Another healthy score like that 69 fantasy points could be on the cards with a West Coast-powered upswing.

If you buy into my Fremantle stacking pitch (see below), then Ethan Hughes ($8,510 DEF/MID) and Nathan O’Driscoll ($9,250 DEF/MID) become the perfect correlation plays between the MIDs and DEFs you want to target against the Tigers. Dual position eligibility and modest price-tags make them very attractive as gap-fillers if you’re trying to unearth the ultimate permutation of Dockers.

I’m a big fan of Alex Witherden’s ($13,100 DEF) upside in the premium bracket in defence – again, see below – but Jayden Short ($14,170 MID/DEF) could be an alternative now that’s he’s returned to defence under McQualter. He and Daniel Rioli shared kick-in duties with 6 apiece last week, but the return of Nick Vlastuin muddies the waters somewhat.

Check out below if you want to read about Luke Jackson ($12,720 RUC) while I focus on a couple of alternatives here. Reilly O’Brien ($13,580 RUC) is famous for beating up on part-timers and inexperienced rucks, which makes it hard to ignore the season-best trend of RUCs against BJ Williams and West Coast this week. Sadly, he doesn’t get to come up against the “lazy” and “unfit” Nic Naitanui this weekend…

If you’re looking to “do a Bevo” and throw the RUC position, Riley Thilthorpe ($8,420 FWD/RUC) is an interesting option as a benefactor of both of West Coast’s extreme areas of weakness. Consistency isn’t his forte, but he’s shown glimpses of a ceiling with a handful of scores over 90 in his short career so far.



Tim Kelly ($14,960 MID)

If the Crow stopper Ben Keays is going to be tapped on the shoulder and asked to tag anyone against the shell of a club that is West Coast, it’s probably the former Cat. Regardless, Kelly’s glaring lack of ceiling (only 1 score over 112 this year) is a big turn off at a sliver under $15k – does he realistically have the 120-point score in him, at Adelaide Oval, that he would need to return the minimum required 8X value for a premium pick?

Mitch Lewis ($9,880 FWD)

The young Hawk has been extremely impressive over the past three rounds, kicking 12 goals and flashing a previously-unseen fantasy ceiling with scores of 126 and 96 in that stretch. Unfortunately, he might be a little bit short on supply to be able to cash in on his hot form with the Brisbane match-up on Saturday afternoon. Not only do they boast excellent 1v1 match-ups in Harris Andrews or Jack Payne, but they also have a team defense that contains opposition Key FWDs better than any other club in season 2023.

Tigers Targets

Fremantle have been exhibiting some seriously ominous signs statistically over the past month, averaging a whopping +285 fantasy points over their opponents during that stretch. A rare gruelling plane trip west to Optus Stadium without their mastermind coach isn’t the greatest recipe for Richmond overcoming that trend, so I’m happy to wind back my exposures to Tigers this weekend.



Pidgeotto Used Tackle!

Adelaide have swung the bare minimum of changes ahead of their clash with the Eagles this week, which strongly suggests that Ben Keays ($13,670 MID) will be granted midfield time once again. Draftstars agrees, removing Keays’s FWD status for the first time in 2023. He’s been used as a defensive midfielder over the past fortnight (73% CBA share), tagging Lachie Neale and Noah Anderson whilst racking up big numbers (116 AF and 9.5 tackles) of his own.

It looks like Matthew Nicks has finally realised that stationing the crafty Josh Rachele up forward and the boarish Keays in the guts – rather than the other way around – is the better net result for the Crows. I recommend riding Keays’s wave of extra midfield time as much as you can ahead of a pillow-soft match-up with West Coast on Saturday evening.

Sly Witherden

We’ve talked about how much busier Alex Witherden ($13,100 DEF) is without Shannon Hurn – his last three scores without him reads 106, 125 and 101 – but the distribution superiority received double confirmation when Liam Duggan was suspended ahead of the clash with the Crows. Given that Duggan has pumped out scores of 140 and 137 in the past fortnight as a key cog in West Coast’s tired chip-chip machine, Witherden is in an excellent position to smash his price-tag with a ceiling score of his own.

Action Jackson

Luke Jackson ($12,720 RUC) could be the most-owned ruckman on this slate, inheriting the ruck throne from Sean Darcy and his damaged hamstring. The injury occurred early in last week’s clash with his former club so we’ve already seen what he can produce with that number #1 crown – it’s fair to say that scoring 108 against the Gawn/Grundy combo is an extremely encouraging indicator.


Adelaide – Full Stack

Stacking murders of Crows is the most obvious play of the slate, but for very good reason. West Coast are now essentially picking players from the WAFL such is the enormity of their struggle with injuries, which has been a storyline all year long. It’s been the biggest catalyst behind them giving up the most fantasy points of all teams this year, as well as the greatest differential (a massive -248) over the course of the last 10 rounds.

Add in Adelaide’s strong preference in playing at home where they average an extra 285 fantasy points and hold a 5-2 record (compared to just 1-4 on the road), and it’s hard to veer away from the crowd here. Up the Crom.

Brisbane – Key FWD Targets

Hawthorn is in the midst of an aggressive rebuild, which is putting their young backline under more pressure than they should be reasonably expected to handle. Opposition spearheads are unsurprisingly reaping the benefits of that, with Key FWDs against the Hawks ranking as the strongest non-ruck and non-WCE trend of the season.

It was Jeremy Finlayson (5 goals, 126 fantasy points) and Todd Marshall (5, 103) who cashed in last week, while an out-of-sorts Max King (4 goals) found form the week before. It could get nasty for the Hawks again this week, with Joe Daniher ($11,870 FWD) and Eric Hipwood ($8,040 FWD) famous for feasting on the soft kills.

Fremantle – MID-DEF Connectors

Richmond has been conceding a lot of hefty scores to MIDs lately and rank as one of the best teams for opposition DEFs all season long – why not combine the two trends with some correlation stacks? Luke Ryan ($12,730 DEF) and Hayden Young ($13,500 DEF) have a duopoly on the kick-ins and would be an excellent place to start, while Jaeger’s suspension opens the door for some midfield value for those who fill the void.



In a parallel universe:

  • West Coast have lost Tom Barrass, Josh Rotham and Shannon Hurn over the past fortnight, so vertically-gifted backmen are in short supply out West. Could we see Jake Waterman the defender make a rare appearance…?
  • Ned Reeves ($8,930 RUC) wouldn’t be cheaper than Lloyd Meek ($9,270 RUC) despite outscoring him 71 to 26 last week and having an eerily similar split of 72-16 in total ruck contests against the Power…
  • Getting Xavier O’Neill to tag Rory Laird would be a no-brainer, but is there even a spot for him in the guts? He was given 0 CBAs for the first time in 2023 last weekend, and Luke Shuey has just been added to the midfield group…



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

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