DFS Fantasy

Draftstars AFL 23 Saturday Round 5 Tips

Gather Round is here and Adelaide are putting their best foot forward in showcasing the city and the State of South Australia.

With some indifferent weather forecasted, it is going to be an interesting 3-game Draftstars contest on Saturday. Tbetta is back for his next edition of Stargazing, with his preview and predictions for Saturday.


$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)

$75,000 AFL Saturday


BRIS vs NTH – Showers. Avoid mark-heavy players.

ESS vs MEL – Showers. Avoid mark-heavy players.

PORT vs WBD – Showers. Avoid mark-heavy players.


There’s honestly not a lot to love in the forward line on Saturday’s slate, especially with the forecast showers making it tough to bank on your standard upswing from a key forward kicking a bag. Darcy Tucker ($8,430 DEF/FWD) is cheaper than he should be after a substitute game in Round 3, and I liked his game across half-back for last week’s 79. Tom Sparrow ($8,900 MID/FWD) could thrive in the slippery conditions with his consistent 30-40% CBA time, but it’s hard to invest too heavily in him given he’s yet to crack 70 this year.

Unfortunately, even the pay-up options in attack are surrounded by question marks. Kyle Langford’s ($11,830 FWD/DEF) 63 last week can be partially discounted after an early injury to Sam Weideman thrust him forward – he was ticking along at 90 per game as a half-back. The canyon between the best and worst of Dayne Zorko ($12,290 MID/FWD) is almost as concerning as his 69% time on ground so far this year, but he’s cheap enough and the Roos have enough on an experience disparity that it’s probably worth shooting for his ceiling. Zak Butters ($12,640 MID/FWD) might be the safest play of them all, which says a lot about the state of the FWDs considering he’s averaged just 73 so far in 2023.

The lack of debutants means we need to put sprinkles on a turd rather than trying to unearth a gem when looking for salary relief on this slate. Daniel Howe ($8,650 MID) had a decent slice of the wing pie last week and hit 60 to go with a 78 in Round 3, but the Roos are getting personnel back and his role is far from secure. Sadly, that’s the same knock on players like Jarrod Berry ($10,650 MID) and Travis Boak ($11,020 MID), so I’d feel a lot better moving up a pay bracket to underpriced options like Hugh McCluggage, Jack Viney and Ollie Wines.

On a more positive note for DFS, the midfield squeeze at the Bulldogs has been relieved via a Bailey Smith injury, so we can all get back on board the Jack Macrae ($14,390 MID) train. Or is it a rollercoaster, given the random half forward role in recent weeks? I also like Zach Merrett ($15,390 MID) following scores of 113, 104 and 172 against the Demons over the last two seasons, and it’s not like they’ve never been easy-beats over that stretch either. The Essendon skipper has tonned up in every game so far this year, but we’re going to need him to finally break through that 110-point threshold if he’s going to feature in a winning line-up.

With so few cheap options available, you could do worse than trying to bank on the WBD-Defender trend by snapping up Dylan Williams ($6,000 DEF) or Trent McKenzie ($7,240 DEF) for a DvP upswing. Adam Tomlinson ($6,900 DEF) is better than his price-tag, as is Jason Johannisen ($8,220 DEF) following that return to a half-back role that has borne scores of 69 and 81 in the past fortnight. Even the veteran Daniel Rich ($11,220 DEF) is cheap enough to have a nibble at, with the kick-ins always a chance to propel a player’s score.

As for the premium echelon of players, the big question is how long can the Harry Sheezel ($15,980 DEF) and Jack Ziebell ($13,860 DEF) circus continue? At some point, an opposition team will force the Roos to change the way they move the footy from defense, so I’d be preparing for that to happen sooner rather than later. You can save a bit of coin going to Dan Houston with a friendly match-up, or even a sideways look at Mason Redman ($13,640 DEF) is worth considering with his ceiling – he’s scored over 120 in a third of his last 15 games.

If money was no object, Tim English would be irresistible with his 122-point average and one of the softer ruck match-ups in Port on the horizon. But money is a thing, and therefore the distinct lack of value makes him mighty difficult to reach. So, who do you pivot to?

Todd Goldstein ($11,280 RUC) is the “safe” option following scores of 82 and 85, but the Lions bringing in ruck support limits his ceiling. Sadly, the correct play is probably to hope that Andrew Phillips ($6,640 RUC) clocks in and clocks out as usual – a 50 from him is worth a 125 from English on a per-dollar basis.




Brodie Grundy ($15,020 RUC)

It went under the radar a bit, but Essendon were the toughest ruck match-up in the land last year, and that trend has continued into 2023 with the Bombers behind only Fremantle for ruck suppression so far. Grundy has enjoyed a charmed run over the last fortnight following the medium-term injury to his main competitor in Max Gawn and running into some soft kills in Sydney and West Coast, but the double-team of Draper and Phillips will present much more of a hurdle on Saturday. Price is up, so time to jump off.

Luke Davies-Uniacke ($16,320 MID)

LDU has looked like an absolute beast this year when on the park, but that price-tag is taking the hype too far. The fact that he’s been so influential and “only” averaged 107 points is a serious concern, lagging ominously behind his whopping 133-point average in SuperCoach. Factoring in the brutal Brisbane match-up and throwing up the possibility of a Berry tag and we’re in full fade territory here.

Christian Petracca ($15,440 MID)

It’s a bit harsh, I admit. But with Melbourne’s full midfield on the park for the first time in Round 4, Petracca’s CBA’s dropped to a season-low 43% – a mark he fell underneath just once in 2022. The gamebreaker needed 3 goals and a 92-point second half against the target dummies at West Coast to return value, which aren’t numbers he can rely on each week. The mathematics suggest winding back your exposures to CP5.



Pack Your Bags

Brisbane haven’t settled on their midfield mix just yet, but Hugh McCluggage ($11,460 MID) shooting up from 35% to 65% centre bounce action on the same week as they knock off a contender in Collingwood is a great omen for The Suitcase. Berry’s move back to a wing paved the way for that boost, and there’s plenty of cause for optimism that it continues given an untouched midfield unit at the selection table. McCluggage is too good to not bounce back from his lacklustre 73-point start to the year, and getting the young Roos on the road is as good a time as any.

Grease Me Up

A month into the year is always bounceback season in DFS given the nature of price fluctuations, which throws up Zak Butters ($12,640 MID/FWD) as another underpriced option to consider. I declared last week that we’d need to see something from Ken Hinkley as much as Zak to consider him again, and the veteran coach delivered in spades. A season-high 68% CBA action sparked a season-high of 27 touches for Butters, and the Bulldogs are much kinder to opposition onballers than the stingy Swans.

Distributor Dog

Since Caleb Daniel moved up to a wing, it’s been the Dale and Richards Show in defence with Bailey headlining with 90 and 115 on the trot. Given that his namesake in Bailey Smith is out injured this week, the Caleb Daniel midfield experiment lives on and frees Dale from overlapping skillsets with his diminutive Dog teammate. The tough Port DvP is a shame, but I’m backing him to lean on his kick-out dominance to buck the trend.



Brisbane – MID, FWD Stack

The Lions have been the lowest scoring club in fantasy to start 2023 so I’d go easy on the full 5-man stacks, but I do like a more surgical approach with some bargain Brisbanites. While nowhere near as diabolical as last season, North has been giving up a ton to Key FWDs – just ask those that packaged up McKay (119 from 4 goals) and Curnow (114 from 6 goals) on Good Friday. The Roos getting Logue and McKay back certainly dampens my enthusiasm for Eric Hipwood and Joe Daniher darts somewhat, but I still like the risk versus reward at that $8k tax bracket. Correlate them with the aforementioned McCluggage, Jarrod Berry and even Lachie Neale, who are all priced well below their abilities.

Port – DEF Stack

The Bulldogs forward line is the gift that keeps on giving, with some lower key defenders in Daniel Rioli (105), Nick Vlastuin (91) and Hugo Ralphsmith (89) all returning value in Round 4. Port likes to possess the footy much more than the direct Richmond though, so crank up the exposures to the Dan Houston’s, Ryan Burton’s and Kane Farrell’s of the slate. I’d strongly consider rolling this DvP trend into a full stack too, given that the Doggies have given up more fantasy points than any other team in the last 10 weeks of H&A footy.

Melbourne – Full Stack

I strongly suspect that Essendon are secretly shithouse, having cashed in on a soft draw of the Hawks, Suns and GWS on the road for their 3 wins this season. Don’t be surprised to see a lopsided scoreline reflected in the fantasy scores in this one, with a lot of bonus tackles on a slippery Saturday in Adelaide.



In a parallel universe:

  • Lycett’s record against English and the Bulldogs continues, adding to his last three scores of  94, 98 and 140…
  • Addition by subtraction has always been a Bevo special, so missing Bailey Smith helps the midfield to click and the Bulldogs run over the top of the Power. Underdog stacks win the day…
  • The substitution rule ruins someone’s day. Imagine Melbourne giving the Bombers a spanking, so Goodwin opts to sit Clayton Oliver or Brodie Grundy for the final quarter to keep them fresh…


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

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For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit