DFS Fantasy

Draftstars AFL 23 Saturday Round 17 Tips

Do we feast on West Coast or will something out of the ordinary will prevail on Saturday’s Draftstars contest? ‘Tbetta’ has his reasons why we shouldn’t go against the grain of Lions selections but read on to see what could make your Draftstars team that little bit different to climb the leaderboards.

$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)


BRIS vs WCE – Gabba: Fine.
GWS vs HAW – GIANTS Stadium: Fine.
STK vs MEL – Marvel Stadium: Under the roof.
PORT vs GCS – Adelaide Oval: Windy and showers.



After making a martyr of himself a month ago, Jack Gunston ($7,820 FWD) has apparently completed his training block and times his return perfectly with a nice soft Eagles match-up to get back into the swing of things. He’ll have plenty of supply, so it’s hard to say no at this price – even if Gunners has been disappointing this year as a whole.

West Coast are still struggling for soldiers and while the under-siege backline has been beefed up over the past few weeks, spotfires are starting to spark up in the midfield with Luke Shuey and Elliot Yeo back on the sidelines. That guarantees Elijah Hewett ($7,610 FWD/MID) significant CBAs for the second week in a row, and a repeat of last week’s 65 would be a win at this price. Jack Petruccelle ($9,900 FWD/MID) joined him in the guts following Tim Kelly’s late withdrawal, added an 83 to his recent scores of 80 and 70 with midfield and half-back time of late.

Of course, all eyes will be on the Lions mining the West Coast goldmine, framing Dayne Zorko ($12,450 MID/FWD), Zac Bailey ($12,910 MID/FWD) and Joe Daniher ($12,960 FWD/RUC) as the most tantalising pay-up options up forward.

The Demons were probably expecting to have Clayton Oliver back this week, but his loss is our gain with some fresh meat in Taj Woewodin ($6,000 MID/FWD) on the DFS menu. All signs point to him getting some midfield clock in a forward-heavy split, but he’s shown he can hit the scoreboard amongst his 89-point VFL average from his last three games.

James Jordon ($7,180 MID) is my Demon of choice though, with his Draftstars salary once again positioned by sub-affected games. He well and truly earned his spot with a monster VFL performance, racking up 41 touches, 7 marks, 5 tackles and 158 fantasy nuggets. While I’m talking about Melbourne, I have to share a hunch on Angus Brayshaw ($12,950 MID) – with the above names added to the squad, could Brayshaw shift back into defence in time to cash in on the infamous St Kilda backline trend?

That’s a nice segue to a couple of Saints returning from the medical tent, with Zak Jones ($9,820 MID) and Jack Billings ($11,050 MID) likely hopping straight into wing roles. Jones is coming into the senior side in form with 35 touches and 127 in the VFL last week, while Billings has been pushing for AFL selection all season (on either side of injury interruptions) with a 92-point VFL velocity.

And then we have yet another Reserves success story in Jarryd Lyons ($12,350 MID), who’ll replace Josh Dunkley in Brisbane’s midfield unit. He’s worked hard for this opportunity by averaging an insane 136 in the VFL this year, so I expect he’ll be extremely motivated to have an impact in an attempt to hold his spot when Dunks is back.

There’s plenty to choose from in the Premium bracket so I’ll let you have your pick of the litter, but a few that appear nicely priced to me are Jack Viney ($14,680 MID), Josh Kelly ($15,540 MID), Noah Anderson ($15,580 MID) and Brad Crouch ($15,790 MID).

Stacking is once again the name of the game in defence – especially the Demons crop that I’ll cover in more detail below – so core options back here are typically redundant.

If you’re looking for uncorrelated value though, Finn Maginness ($7,980 DEF/MID) could be your guy. He’s only this cheap due to persistent sub involvement, but he has a wide range of outcomes given that his role is never clear. I’d prefer to scratch together some extra change and move up to Miles Bergman ($8,780 DEF) instead; the return of the dour defender Lachie Jones means he’ll be freed up from playing lockdown and able to shift up to a wing instead.

He broke my heart on Sunday with a third-quarter subbing, but it looks like I’ll be going back for seconds on Ned Reeves ($9,210 RUC) this weekend with Lloyd Meek dropped. He was tracking for a triple-figure score in that timeshare, so I’m even more sold on his value with the ruck role all to himself against the Giants.

Jarrod Witts ($13,150 RUC) has to be considered given that Port have lost Scott Lycett for a week or two – more on the Suns skipper below. Other options include Oscar McInerney ($12,490 RUC) to cash in on his solo ruck role, or even slotting Joe Daniher into the RUC slot for the ultimate Brisbane stack.



Rowan Marshall ($16,400 RUC)

RoMa is one of the athletic new-age rucks that can do a little bit of everything, but one of the side effects of being an all-rounder is that he tends to follow the RUC trends very closely. The reasoning here being that the more traditional monolith ruckmen will dominate the hitouts, and so far, the reasoning is holding up:

Scores against 3 best match-ups: 130 (WCE), 159 (Port),116 (WBD).
Scores against 5 worst match-ups: 100 (ESS), 83 (NM), 72 (FREM), 96 (HAW) and ? (MEL).

Is that question mark against the Gawn/Grundy duo worth the $16.k price-tag?

Sam Hayes ($8,000 RUC)

It’s very rare that I’ll move away from the affordable solo replacement ruckman, but the task ahead of Hayes is as immense as his direct opponent this week. Jarrod Witts is easily the hardest ruckmen to score fantasy points against this season, with only 13% of opponents reaching their average against the Suns over the past 10 weeks. We realistically need a minimum of 8X value for a player to feature in a winning line-up on a multi-game slate, which for Hayes would be 64 points. With that in mind, let’s check out his past efforts as a solo ruck.

Hayes spearheaded the Port ruck division for 7-straight weeks last year, for an average of 56 points. But one of those (a 77) was against the Covid-riddled Eagles, and another (70) was against a makeshift Blicavs. Therefore, in his five games as the solo ruckman against AFL-quality ruckmen, he averaged a grand total of… 49 points. Expecting him to exceed that against the best in the business is extreme optimism, in my opinion.

Brayden Fiorini ($12,850 MID)

While it wasn’t as high as the previous round, I was pretty encouraged by Fiorini’s 42% CBAs against the Pies… until I realised that every single one of them were logged in the first half before Dew moved him back to a wing. The Giro de Mele was lucky to get to his 95 points in the end, the majority of which were those short and meaningless link-ups that formed the bulk of his 9 uncontested marks for the afternoon.

While I was super keen on Fiorini last weekend, the winds of change have come howling in ahead of Round 17. Not only does he come up against the streaking Power at their Portress, it will be in slippery and windy conditions, with Touk Miller returning to make inside midfield time highly unlikely. It’s fair to say that getting those soft touches out on the wing becomes infinitely hard for Fiorini this weekend.



Hugh’s Who

This weekend’s clash against the Eagles will be the first time we’ve seen Brisbane without one of Dunkley/Neale at the coalface, so we don’t have a procedural precedent to hang our hats on. However, I think it’s a pretty solid assumption that Hugh McCluggage ($14,440 MID) is at least a part of those plans, given that he averaged 55% CBAs and 102 fantasy points immediately before Josh Dunkley became a Lion.

The Suitcase posted a season-high 116 with a healthy 59% CBA time against the Tigers, which was also Hugh’s heaviest inside midfield split since Round 4. What do those numbers evolve into when he’s unleashed against a West Coast squad on the road? Or does his role remain the same with Jarryd Lyons recalled from the VFL. And of course, does he even need a role boost against the Eagles?

Jarrod Witts

The absence of Scott Lycett foreshadows a big day out for the Suns skipper, who routinely dispatches part-timers and mobile types with his aerial dominance. His biggest scores this year have come against Sydney (137 vs Peter Ladhams), the Bulldogs (111 vs Tim English) and West Coast (99 vs Bailey J. Williams). Unsurprisingly, he had at least 48 hitouts in each of those games. What is he going to do against the SANFL legend Sam Hayes?

Mask of Zorko

Dayne Zorko ($12,450 FWD/MID) has been a flat-track bully (in the most positive sense of the phrase) ever since he entered the league, with his MID/FWD skillset perfect for cashing in on the soft kills. West Coast certainly qualifies as one of those these days. No Josh Dunkley, the modest price-tag, the familiar Gabba, a great recent record of 132 & 113 against the Eagles – the only thing working against Zorko this Saturday is the growing trend of teams resting their veteran stars in blowouts.

Let’s get the easy one out of the way. It’s one thing for West Coast to be plucky at home against a team that rarely travels, and it’s a completely different thing altogether to ask them to complete their longest plane flight for the season, to the unique Gabba, against one of the premiership favourites, with the longest injury list in the league… you get the idea.

West Coast are now conceding an average fantasy margin of 332 points over the last 10 rounds, which is more than double the next most in the league (North). If you were thinking of getting cute with this trend, swallow your pride and stack those Lions.

GWS – Full Stack

Hawthorn concedes the 3rd-most points in the League, but they make the job even easier by having a few clear places to attack. The Hawks are the 2nd-best match-up for Key FWDs, which is an obvious trend we focus on each week.

But a less conspicuous pattern is that they concede the most uncontested marks of any team in the league, which usually manifests in outside midfielders scoring well. Adam Cerra (114), Sam Docherty (113) and Blake Acres (113) highlighted that perfectly last week.

It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out which Giants match these trends and stack them at will.

Melbourne – DEF Stack

The greatest trend in AFL DFS is back against this Saturday, and given what the cellar dwellers in West Coast were able to do against the Saints (Hurn’s 133, Witherden’s 131, Duggan’s 113. Shuey’s 109, Barrass’s 93, and so on), you’d be silly to overlook it with the Demons on the receiving end. Steven May ($10,450 DEF) ticks all the boxes as a mark-heavy defender who also takes the majority of the kick-ins, but he has to share it around with someone. Christian Salem ($12,910 DEF) is due another ceiling game, while Jake Lever ($7,250 DEF) and Adam Tomlinson ($7,700 DEF) are the cheaper upswing candidates.


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

What’s Gambling really costing you? For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit


For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit