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Draftstars AFL 23 Sunday Round 1 Tips

Here we go, after the dramas of AFL Saturday, the space theme continues for this 3 game slate on Sunday.

$90,000 Main ($15 entry, 150 max)
$10,000 High Roller ($150 entry, 3 max)
$5,000 Fiver ($5 entry, 50 max)
$2,500 Buck Hunter ($1 entry, 100 max)
$2,000 Mini on ($2 entry, 25 max)
$2,000 Micro on ($0.50 entry, 100 max)


GWS vs Adel – fine.

Haw vs Ess – Chance of showers earlier in the day. No action required.

STK vs Frem – roof.



Saldy we won’t have the bounty of West Coast cheapies on this slate which means that we need to get a little more surgical with our salary savers. Ryan Byrnes ($6,000 MID/FWD) was a VFL stud last year with a 101-point average and, unlike many of the other basement-ish types like Alwayn Davey Jnr, Jye Menzie, Luke Pedlar and Fergus Greene, he’ll actually get some midfield time via the wing. Likewise, Liam Henry ($6,530 MID/FWD) should sneak some wing time but might be the third banana behind Hughes and Aish. Milera ($7,540 FWD) and Wanganeen-Milera ($9,980 MID/FWD) have opportunity for easy ball with new roles in defence this season and could be worth your attention given the Premium options in this line consists exclusively of Moore ($14,490 FWD) and Coniglio ($16,100 MID/FWD).

Cam McKenzie ($7,450 MID) will be the most popular spend-down option here after a 92 at 0.98 PPM in the pre-season outing garnered him significant AFL Fantasy hype. Similarly, Finn Callaghan’s ($8,830 MID) 1.04 PPM from a wing has the season-long community buzzing. As always with these chalky options, you have to make the call to fade, match or smash them in when planning your exposures. The mid-range looks absolutely packed with value on this slate with Will Setterfield & James Worpel under $11k and Sam Berry, Tom Green, Jai Newcombe, Caleb Serong and Lachie Whitfield under $14k. With this much value available, I expect to see a lot of the sharks swimming in these waters rather than paying up for the $16k-plus types.

With plenty of value in the guts and not so much in defence, perhaps this is where you can spend the extra salary? I could take myself into nibbles at Liam Stocker ($7,250 DEF) at his new club or Ethan Hughes ($8,560 DEF) on a wing but it would be with very little confidence. Hunter Clark ($9,750 DEF) has always been a favourite of mine and Ross Lyon seems to share my affection, showing the intention of playing him in the midfield this year with 41% CBA action in the pre-season opener. Will Day, Bradley Hill, Andrew McGrath and the aforementioned Lachie Whitfield all have upside with tweaked roles this year and I’d be comfortable playing any of them outside of DEF stacks.

What’s our rule about solo ruckmen? Rowan Marshall ($15,280 RUC) is the obvious candidate following the retirement of Paddy Ryder and Tom Campbell’s failure to crack the 22, but he comes at a premium. I favour him heavily over the similarly-priced Reilly O’Brien ($14,120 RUC) who also comes in without recognised support, but Matt Flynn ($10,110 RUC) piques my interest at a different price-point and a 72-point average without Braydon Preuss last year. If we were to break the solo ruck rule, Lloyd Meek’s $7,890 price-tag is low enough to consider even with the dirty 50-50 split with Ned Reeves at his new club.


Midfield Uber-Premiums
Unlike Saturday’s blessed run with taggers, the dirty Sunday afternoon slate could be equally dirty for a few of our spend-up targets. GWS has already confirmed that they’ll put some attention into the most expensive player of the round in Rory Laird ($17,110 MID), which I think will come in the form of a Perryman shadow. Marcus Windhager didn’t quite make the 22 with a hand issue, but that didn’t stop the Saints from using Jack Bytel in an identical role in the pre-season, keeping Parish to just 39 points. I’m worried that Andrew Brayshaw ($16,020 MID) finds himself with a new best friend for the day. Finn Maginness looms as the tagging Final Boss of 2023, although his target remains unclear – does he set his sights on Darcy Parish ($15,650 MID) given that he’s very recently shown he can bleed, or does he opt for the more damaging Zach Merrett ($16,280 MID)?

Harry Himmelberg ($13,030 FWD/DEF)
While he soared through the sky when unleashed as a defender in late-2022, new coach Adam Kingsley has created a Himmbenberg incident in sending him back to the forward line. I implied in Tuesday’s article that there’s a 40-50 point difference between Forward Harry and Defender Harry, so this makes him completely unpickable in this price-range.

Ben Keays ($13,110 MID)
The forward role isn’t as damning for the Adelaide bull, but a continued preference to play him as a forward-line wrecking ball caps Keays’s upside massively. I think he’ll trick a lot of punters with his 112 in the pre-season, but the far more important numbers were his 4 goals (which he won’t kick and he sadly can’t play West Coast each week) and his 21% CBA involvement. That was behind Josh Rachele, Jake Soligo and the pinch-hitting ruckman, so he’s clearly not in that midfield core. Pass.


Whitfield’s Return
Leon Cameron was not a fantasy-favourite for a lot of reasons, but messing with Lachie Whitfield’s ($13,840 MID/DEF) role week-to-week and season-to-season was one of his greater crimes against DFS. Kingsley has slotted him back in at half-back, which is where he won his All-Australian blazer. He only scored 82 in the pre-season clash, but the most important indicator for me was that he was responsible for 3 of the 5 kick-ins and now comes up against the team that conceded the most 100+ scores per game last year and 4.6 an outing.


Fremantle’s Unique Midfield
Fremantle were unique in 2022, being the only team that almost exclusively rotated their midfielders through the bench. They were able to achieve this by adding an extra player to their core and running them ragged, which is why Freo MIDs had the much-lamented low-TOG last year. But if this pre-season was any indication, Longmuir has further tightened that rotation, marooning Fyfe up forward, swapping out Mundy for O’Meara and cutting the extra onballer. The result? All of Serong, O’Meara, Brayshaw and Brodie sit between 64-80% CBA involvement, and all scored above 90.



As we spoke about in yesterday’s article, the betting lines are all unusually close in Round 1, so it’s off to the DvP matrix to find some stacking value.

Essendon DEF’s
Hawthorn gave up the 2nd-most fantasy points per game to end 2022 – then farmed off Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell – so I’m very interested in the Bombers for some stacking action. This one’s simple. The Hawks gave up the 4th-most points to backmen last year, and the Bombers have just brought in a new possession-retention game style along with their new coach Brad Scott. Five defenders amassed 8+ marks against the Saints in the pre-season clash, with Ridley and McGrath both clearing the ton as a result. This is a great spot to try and find the ideal defensive combination, whilst pairing them with Bomber midfielders who also get that juicy DvP bump.


Giants FULL
The Crows “boasted” the worst fantasy differential over the last 10 games of 2022, and while a fair bit of that can be put down to a young squad running out of legs, that midfield is still full of fledglings and will get dominated at times this year. GWS has a new coach with a fresh gamestyle that we don’t fully understand yet, but a disappointing year on-field and some brutal raids of their playing list off-field have left a lot of the surviving Giants in a great spot on this slate. Package them up and profit.


Fremantle DEFs
St Kilda were a soft match-up for defenders last year as it was, but add in the forward-line decimation over the pre-season (King, Membrey, Hayes, and Allison are all missing) and the Fremantle backmen won’t be left with a lot to do defensively. I just spoke about what the Bombers’ backline did to St Kilda in the pre-season, so I’d be taking a long look at Premium options like Luke Ryan, Hayden Young and Jordan Clark of course, but also cheaper picks like Hughes and Wilson.



In a parallel universe:

  • Jack Steele defies the late drift on the tote. His poor score of 76 in the pre-season has much of the fantasy community jumping ship, but I was personally loving the competition-high 88% CBA involvement for non-rucks. His last three scores of 134, 105 and 121 against the Dockers loom large…
  • Coniglio returns value even at that price-tag. His scores without Taranto last year of 120, 108, 130, 105, 103 and 121 prove prophetic in hindsight…
  • The plucky Hawks ride the wave of youthful exuberance and upset the Bombers, with the slate winner unearthing the right combination of Newcombe, Ward, Worpel, Mackenzie and Day in a rare Hawthorn stack…
  • Will Brodie top scores for the round with a near career-high 79% TOG to capitalise on his elite PPM numbers that had him ranked behind only Laird and Brayshaw in 2022…

Ready to go? Draftstars multi game Sunday slate will close at 1.10pm AEDT. ENTER NOW!

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