DFS Fantasy

Draftstars AFL 23 Saturday Round 16 Tips

We are back to regular schedule programming for the AFL after a massive drag of byes. With Thursday’s still on the agenda, 4 games are available to Draftstars users on this Saturday. The Bombers/Power game looks a tasty to fixture to watch but all 8 teams have legitimate fantasy potential. ‘Tbetta’ is back breaking down Draftstars contests in this Saturday’s edition of Stargazing.

$60,000 Main ($15 entry, 100 max)
$10,000 High Roller ($150 entry, 3 max)
$5,000 Fiver ($5 entry, 50 max)
$3,000 Mini ($2 entry, 15 max)
$2,000 Buck Hunter ($1 entry, 100 max)
$2,000 Micro ($0.50 entry, 100 max)


ADE vs NTH – Adelaide Oval: Showers.
WBD vs FREM – Marvel Stadium: Under the roof.
GCS vs COLL – Heritage Bank Stadium: Fine.
ESS vs PORT – MCG: Showers.



Prices are typically tight at this point of the season and this Saturday is no different, so once again I’m looking at sub-affected options for the vegan discount. Beau McCreery ($7,310 FWD) was managed through the tactical sub vest last week and is worth a look against the Suns, who are leaking points to small forward types over the past month.

Nat Fyfe ($9,650 FWD/MID) doesn’t have consistency on his side by any stretch, but he does have a hybrid midfield role and bountiful skill to engineer an upside game at any moment. Given that the Dockers added a midfielder to the mix last week, it was super encouraging to see the dual Brownlow Medallist given more CBA sustenance at 52% than Jaeger O’Meara’s 37%, for instance.

Forecasting Jack Macrae’s ($13,460 FWD/MID) role is impossible under Bevo with all of his midfielders fit and firing, but if you want to find a reason to pick him, his record against Fremantle is faultless. Macrae has already scored a solid 99 against them earlier this year, adding to his totals of 114, 101 and 123 since 2021.

The midfield is where you can really pinpoint value in Round 16. Riley Bonner ($8,170 MID/DEF) and Darcy Tucker ($8,420 DEF/MID) keep popping up in these articles, and that’s because they can rack up the footy on their day. Bonner flashed that by scoring at 0.98 PPM after he was activated as the sub before the bye, while Tucker is fresh off 37 touches and 2 sausage rolls for his 131 in the VFL.

I’ve buried the lede here though, as Sam Flanders ($9,450 MID) is by far my favourite option in this range after the 94 fantasy points from 43% CBA action against the Suns. Flanders was absolutely crushing it in the VFL with a monstrous 142 average over 5 weeks, so it was pleasing to see the midfield role allow him to finally translate that blistering form in AFL DFS goodies. Of course, his teammate Brayden Fiorini ($11,820 MID) ticks the same “extra midfield time” box – see below for more of an in-depth look.

There’s plenty of competition in the price-range however, especially if you want to pre-empt a similar reversal of fortunes. Travis Boak ($10,540 MID), Jy Simpkin ($12,140 MID), Bailey Smith ($12,740 MID) and Luke Davies-Uniacke ($13,730 MID) all catch the eye as underpriced guns.

We’re also spoiled for premium options with all the extra teams post-bye. It’s hard to look past Ben Keays ($14,510 MID) and Adam Treloar ($14,090 MID) given the midfield minutes they’re being pumped full of, but can you choose them over their higher-priced teammates?

Rory Laird ($16,510 MID) has a great record against the Roos with a 120-point form line against them – could he escape a potential Liam Shiels tag after Jordan Dawson’s career afternoon? Meanwhile, Marcus Bontempelli ($16,870 MID) is coming off monsters of 145 and 148 against the Dockers, who would have to make a significant structural change to assign him a tag.

Besides that pair of DEF/MIDs I mentioned above, I’m mostly looking at stacks in defence this Saturday. Fremantle under the Dome, the Pies for some Queensland ping-pong and the Power up against the Bombers all whet my appetite for some correlation hunting.

I have some passing interest in Mitch Hinge ($10,100 DEF), but this is mainly just a flag that he assumed primary kick-in duties this week with 5 of Adelaide 10 restarts. This gives him scores of 83 and 91 the last two occasions where he’s taken the most kick-ins for the Crows.

Brandon Ellis ($11,460 DEF/MID) was promising with 85 in his return from a VFL sabbatical, reeling in 9 marks in a pure wing role. Unfortunately, the Pies are a red match-up, so I might keep this one in my back pocket for future weeks – this is too cheap for his ceiling on the right stage.

I waited a week to get a look at Sean Darcy ($13,360 RUC) post-hamstring and was very happy with the 73/21 split with Luke Jackson, which was essentially normal programming for their tandem. Tim English and the Bulldogs are now officially the easiest fantasy ruck match-up in the league once again this season, so I’m very keen to pull this lever. Darcy amassed a casual 53 hitouts and 112 fantasy points against them back in April.

I know that I always parrot the “no dual-ruck” rule in this article, but as the late OceanGate CEO famously mused, you’re remembered for the rules you break. This is a rare opportunity to look at Luke Jackson ($12,990 RUC/FWD) here too. He’ll cash in on the same Bulldogs trend, but he can also run rings around a backline missing Liam Jones, Tim O’Brien and Sam Darcy on top of smaller types like Ed Richards and Jason Johannisen.


Tall Essendon Blokes

He bumbled his way to 9.1X value in the end, but there’s no way that Andrew Phillips ($9,470 RUC) would have garnered 56% ownership had Brad Scott been honest about his dual ruckman fetish for once. By my count, this marks the 4th week running where the Bombers have made a late change to bring in a ruckman, which is just plain rude for everyone involved.

I gave Brad Scott the benefit of the doubt last week – thinking it might have been constant Draper (hip) coverage that caused all the previous late changes – but it turns out he’s just a prick. Fool me twice, shame on me, blah blah blah. With Phillips up almost $2k since last round and Nick Bryan conveniently waiting for his last-minute promotion from the injury list, it’s a resounding no from me this time around.

Darcy Cameron ($13,040 RUC)

Gold Coast ranks as easily the worst match-up for RUCs this year, with a huge 89% of players failing to reach their average against the Suns. Jarrod Witts is a huge part of that obviously, with his aerial dominance at 209cm restricting hitouts for his opponents – a staple in the diet of all ruckmen.

Cameron was slapped around by Witts at the stoppages in Round 7 last year, losing the hitouts battle 44-15 as the solo big man. The Pies remedied that in Round 16 by playing him alongside Cox, with the pair registering a 53/47 split for total ruck contests attended. This makes perfect sense; standing at 211cm tall, Cox is a much better fit as a pure stoppage opponent for the former Pie.

Therefore, if Cameron is going to reach value this Saturday, he’ll need to rack up a heap of marks and tackles around the ground, and those are never as guaranteed as hitouts. At $13k, I just don’t see it.

Tarryn Thomas ($10,750 MID/DEF)

He’s been utilised as a midfielder and most recently across half-back since being released from the purgatory of off-field naughtiness, but the selection moves at North suggest he’ll be stationed in attack this weekend. Tarryn’s fantasy score has dwindled each week (82, 78 and 66) as the Roos regain crucial players from the injury list, and I fear that trend will continue if his supply is naturally throttled as a forward for North Melbourne.


Fiorini Szn

It’s that time of the year again! Every season the Suns lose their spark, and every year they turn to one man who just happens to attract leather. See what happens when you give Brayden Fiorini ($11,820 MID) 74% CBAs action? He stars with 115 AF from 35 touches, registers a team-high 7 clearances and collects an equal game-high 8 Coaches Votes along the way.

I predicted that we’d see some volatility from the Suns in terms of roles after Stuey Dew spat the dummy with his midfield group the week prior, but even I – the most optimistic of Fiorini truthers – didn’t see this big of a boost coming. But with the Suns going in unchanged, I’m more than happy to ride this familiar wave of fantasy goodness!

Nick’s Midfield Era

Collingwood adding the extra defender at selection hinted at a midfield role for Nick Daicos ($16,460 DEF/MID), and they followed through with a massive 81% centre bounce presence for the second-year star. Given how well he played (scoring 120 AF, his highest score in two months) and with De Goey still a week away, expect Little Nicky to go to work in the guts again against the Suns.

While I’m not sure Daicos has the upside at almost $16.5k on a packed slate, I do like what the toppling domino of his move into the guts did for a few of his teammates. With a few extra points to go around in defence, it was no surprise to see Brayden Maynard (97), Isaac Quaynor (87) and even the returning Jeremy Howe (82) share the spoils.

Something to keep in mind against the Suns, fresh off facing off against a Hawks side whose top 5 fantasy scorers were all defenders…

Dryin’ Ryan

Luke Ryan ($14,370 DEF) simply loves playing indoors, pumping out gaudy scores of 124, 151 and 156 in his last three games at Marvel Stadium. A big reason for this is a lot of the Docklands tenants sit atop the list of points conceded to DEFs this season, with St Kilda, Carlton and Essendon all hovering within the top echelon of match-ups for backmen.

Add in Ryan’s Bulldogs kink, and it’s hard to find any logical reason to avoid the Docker linchpin. His last four scores against them reads 104, 115, 151 and 119, making the Doggies his second-favourite side to score fantasy points against over his career.


Port Adelaide – Outside Stack

The wings and half-back types dominated for Fremantle against the Bombers last week (Liam Ryan with 143 and Liam Henry with a career-high 118, just to name a couple), which falls in line with the season-long trend. I’ll be investigating combination of players like Dan Houston ($13,330 DEF), Miles Bergman ($9,170 DEF) and Riley Bonner ($8,170 DEF/MID) this week, while Travis Boak ($10,540 MID) could be looking at an upswing if he’s out on a wing again.

Adelaide – Full Stack

North has ended up ahead in the fantasy stakes in just one of their past 14 games, conceding the 2nd most points overall this year. Meanwhile, Adelaide has the best fantasy differential this season, so this is as pure as it gets.

FWDs and MIDs are the way to go – Rory Laird, Jordan Dawson and Ben Keays are very reliable scoring options and are therefore great core pieces to build line-ups around, while the Crows aren’t short of key forwards that can cash in (as they did against West Coast a fortnight ago).

Gold Coast – MID Targets

There are a few factors at play here.

The Pies have been the best match-up for MIDs over the bye period, and anecdotally that was on show with Dawson (172) and Laird (111) top-scoring against them at the G last week.

Meanwhile, after a gruelling month on the road, the Suns are back at home for a second straight week, where they’re a 124-point better fantasy team this year.

On top of that, Dew is shaking up the midfield unit by playing Anderson and Swallow less as pure inside guys – which is obviously great for some underpriced Suns we’ve already touched on above.


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

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