DFS Fantasy

Draftstars AFL 23 Saturday Round 24 Tips

The last Saturday mega slate for the season. What a journey it has been! Draftstars veteran ‘Tbetta’ has been in the trenches all season long and today we have the last 5-game preview for the year. Another 2000 words for Saturday’s contests. Enjoy.

$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)


HAW vs FREM – MCG: Chance of showers.
NTH vs GCS – Blundstone Arena: Fine.
BRIS vs STK – The Gabba: Fine.
GEEL vs WBD – GMHBA Stadium: Chance of showers.
WCE vs ADE – Optus Stadium: Fine.



It’s a surprisingly busy slate for key forwards, with a number of options piquing interest. If you have Tex Walker (see below) in mind for a repeat performance against West Coast, then you also have to consider Lachlan Gollant ($6,120 FWD) following bags of 3, 6 and 6 in the SANFL over the past month. It’s a similar story for fringe Sun Chris Burgess ($8,470 FWD/DEF) after averaging a hefty 4 sausage rolls and 95 points from his last 7 VFL games, earning senior promotion just in time to face the Roos.

By far my favourite “core” forward on this slate is forgotten Dog Toby McLean ($8,320 FWD/MID), who finally cracks the AFL side after creaming it in the twos with 31 touches and 135 points an outing over the past month. With both Jack Macrae (concussion) and Bailey Smith (illness) exiting the squad, there’s a clear high half forward role beckoning. I also have strong interest in Caleb Daniel ($13,360 FWD/MID) for the same reason, as he’ll no longer have to share his CBA cameos amongst a committee of three.

Tarryn Thomas ($11,920 FWD/MID) finally smashed through his 90-point glass ceiling for the first time this season with 105 against the Tigers, and there’s reason to believe we could have an encore against the Suns. His 74% CBA share was both a team-high and a season-high for Taz, and with Luke Davies-Uniacke off hanging ten and Jy Simpkin still sore, there’s plenty of inside midfield reps available.

The value floodgates always burst open in the final round of the season as a suspicious number of players pick up mysterious “injuries”, and it’s the mid-range we’ve been blessed with this Saturday.

I’ve been waiting for Brandon Parfitt ($9,380 MID) to finally earn promotion into the starting 22 after persistently excellent PPM as the tactical sub, and he gets his chance amongst the exodus at Geelong. Matthew Johnson ($9,900 MID) also earns a promotion of sorts as the Dockers opted against bringing in another midfielder such as Will Brodie or Neil Erasmus to replace the injured Jaeger O’Meara, opening the door for the latest Rising Star nominee to move into CBAs. He produced a sneaky 111 against the Eagles a fortnight ago.

But wait, there’s more! Brayden Fiorini ($11,340 MID) was curiously back into the centre bounces (59%) after a spicy 3-week stretch of VFL form with 142 points a game, finishing with 22 touches and 86 points against the Blues. If he retains this role against North he’s irresistible value, but make sure you recognise the “if” in that sentence. Then we have a cheap Luke Shuey ($11,440 MID) for a retirement-game bump, but can you trust his body, even for one final game? Sam Menegola ($11,870 MID) rounds out a potent $11k range after averaging 113 over his last 3 VFL games, and there’s plenty of scope for him to replicate this in the seniors given the number of his teammates taking an early Cat nap.

The North Melbourne match-ups thrusts Sam Flanders ($14,640 MID) into contention despite what would have been considered an outrageous price-tag for him 6 months ago, but it’s hard to deny his fantasy pedigree. I was particularly impressed with Ned’s career-high 125 last week given that it was built upon just 21% CBA action and a tough match-up against Carlton. Tom Liberatore ($15,250 MID) is another option in this neighbourhood, and he’s only this cheap due to a 22-point concussion score crippling his salary formula. Libba averaged 120 points the month prior.

If you’re looking to pay up, then you have to be tempted by Rory Laird ($17,720 MID) up against his bunnies. He’s scored belters of 125, 122, 127, 122 and 138 in his last five versus West Coast and comes into this clash averaging 118 from his past 6 games.

Hayden Crozier ($7,490 DEF) hasn’t had a lot go this way with injury and a permanent place in Bevo’s doghouse, but he’s earned a recall through hot VFL form of 91 points per game over the past two months. His ceiling is too high to ignore at this price-tag, with that 102 against St Kilda earlier this year the blueprint you’d be working towards.

Crisis creates opportunity, and that’s what we have plenty of in the mid-range. Darcy Tucker ($9,420 DEF/MID) should step into a bigger rebounding role with the Roos missing mainstays in Luke McDonald and Jack Ziebell in defence, and I think he could push triple-figures for the first time in 2023. Likewise, Darcy Macpherson ($9,890 DEF) has no Rory Atkins, no Lachie Weller and no Wil Powell to dilute his half-back role. Hunter Clark ($10,890 DEF/MID) has filled the sub post for the past fortnight but he’ll return to regular programming following the injury to Seb Ross, and he boasts scores of 90 and 108 from his last two full games.

Shannon Hurn ($12,800 DEF) is well-priced for a retirement boost but the Crows are super tough for defenders, so he might not get a chance to flourish. I’d prefer to whack a few dollars on his head and move up to Bailey Dale ($13,470 DEF), who’ll be looking at plenty of rebounds out of defence with no Jeremy Cameron or Tom Hawkins up forward for Geelong’s midfielders to target.

I would have been very interested in Toby Conway ($6,000 RUC) at bottom dollar after 89 in the VFL last week, but Rhys Stanley – as ever – ruins it. Instead, I’d be turning my attention to Ned Reeves ($10,630 RUC), whose past two games with just Koschitzke as back-up have borne scores of 95 and 104.

If you’re looking for a bit more reliability, it’s hard to go past Reilly O’Brien ($13,260 RUC) given the pillow-soft West Coast match-up. He’s already scored 94 and 100 against them this year, and BJ Williams looked bone-tired after a season of wrestling out of his weight division. I wonder what his iPhone notes have been adjusted to with NicNat not playing?


Alex Witherden ($12,650 DEF)

Don’t tell anyone, but I heard from a friend of a friend of an acquaintance that Alex Witherden hates Shannon Hurn. Yep, despises him; all the easy footy he hogs, and all the fantasy points he sucks away from the former Lion. Thankfully for Witho, this will be the final time he’ll have to play second fiddle to Hurn, alongside whom he’s been 14 points worse off in 2023.

This is definitely one to put in our back pockets for next season though, as a deep dive into the splits shows that Witherden’s averages without Hurn in the side over the past three years have been super reliable with 96, 95 and 95 points per game.

Andrew Brayshaw ($15,560 MID)

The Shark Finn will continue his reign of terror, but who gets thrown into the tank with him? Both Brayshaw and Caleb Serong ($15,250 MID) have been consistently excellent this season, but with the Eagles targeting Andy a couple of weeks ago and monstrous scores of 141 and 157 in his last two outings against Hawthorn, I have to lean towards Brayshaw. Expect his month-long ton run to come to a halt this weekend, joining Nick Daicos, Tom Liberatore and Clayton Oliver (66 last week) in Maginness’s sadistic trophy cabinet.

Jade Gresham ($11,920 FWD/MID)

I was surprised to see that Gresham had been iced out of the CBAs with a cool 0 the past fortnight – especially as Jack Sinclair has been a permanent defender in the same timeframe – as the Saints sorely lack a dynamic midfielder amongst glacial accumulators in Jack Steele, Brad Crouch and Seb Ross taking the lion’s share of midfield minutes. And it’s because of the actual Lions that I’m staying away from Gresham – I’m not sure he can overcome Brisbane’s rough DvP for forwards up there in their den at The Gabba.



Harry Sheezel ($14,900 DEF)

The heir apparent has apparently been crowned ahead of schedule, with this weekend’s clash against the Suns being the first time he’s run out without veterans Aaron Hall, Jack Ziebell or Luke McDonald alongside him in defence. If you’re not sold on the extra responsibility on top of his strong form with 110 and 129 in the past fortnight, can I refer you to last Saturday’s Stargazing article where we spoke about Gold Coast’s last-season weakness for backline distributors?

You can add Nic Newman’s 125 and even Zac Fisher’s 103 to that list, and I think it’s pretty likely we’ll be tacking on a cheeky Sheezel 120 before the end of Round 24, too.

Touk Miller ($15,370 MID)

He wasn’t bequeathed a tag against the Blues last week but still attended 72% of the centre bounce restarts for his 118 – his best score since Round 4 – and I can’t see anyone from North’s midfield deserving of a tag in a dead rubber either. Of course, the subtext here is that he scores better as a ball hunter, and the Roos give up the most points to MIDs this year. So, providing that Steven King doesn’t give himself whiplash throwing Touk’s magnet around this week, the Suns’ skipper is excellent value down at Blundstone Arena this Saturday.

Taylor Walker ($13,370 FWD)

Draftstars have priced up Tex in anticipation of a tsunami of suitors for the Crows spearhead, and it’s not hard to see why. West Coast have famously conceded the most points to Key FWDs this year, a nourishing meal that Walker has had the pleasure of devouring multiple times this year. The entree was 3 goals for a solid 92 points in the pre-season, but the three-star Michelin masterpiece was the main course of a dominant 10-goal haul and a whopping 166 fantasy points in Round 13. Can he still get his fill with a full-strength West Coast backline?

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Brisbane – DEF Stack

Backline babes Tom Stewart (133) and Mitch Duncan (115) were the top scorers for Cats in a surprise loss, suggesting that there’s still some milk left in the defenders-against-the-Saints nipple.

Keidean Coleman ($11,720 DEF) & Conor McKenna ($9,780 DEF) both scored in the 90’s against the Pies last week and while they haven’t gone nuclear in 2023, they still have to be considered for a bump here with the DvP. Of course, all of Harris Andrews’s ($10,420 DEF) biggest scores have come with the same kind of hefty mark figures that the Saints frequently allow – much like the 14 marks and 110 fantasy points against them earlier this year – making him another strong option that the field might overlook.

Gold Coast – Full Stack

North has lost the fantasy battle by at least 140 in each of the past 5 weeks, and I expect that trend to continue with the raft of key players missing (as mentioned above). There’s not a lot of finesse required with this stacking approach – they’re the best match-up for MIDs and FWDs overall this season, so that’s where you should focus your 4 or 5-man stacks from the Suns.

Adelaide – Full Stack

Adelaide have played West Coast twice this year, notching big totals of 1639 (pre-season) and 1762 (Round 13) against them, with the latter being a 539-point flogging in the fantasy ledger.

I have to admit though, I’m actually going kind of cold on this stack with the Eagles no longer having a compelling reason (Harley Reid) to lose. Plus, they’ll be at Optus Stadium in front of a packed crowd cheering legends Shannon Hurn and Luke Shuey into retirement… Could your hard-earned entries be better served going for the less popular stacks, such as the Hawks against a traveling Fremantle, or the underDoggies against a Geelong side making an early start of the post-season Bali trip with 7 changes?


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

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