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Draftstars AFL 23 Sunday Round 16 Tips

3 AFL games in 3 extreme points of the nation. It is going to be an interesting Sunday afternoon for Draftstars AFL Fantasy players with many options to look at it. ‘Tbetta’ is back with another look into the space in Sunday’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)



HAW vs CAR – MCG: Fine.
MEL vs GWS – TIO Traeger Park: Showers.
WCE vs STK – Optus Stadium: Fine.



I’m still interested in David Cuningham’s ($6,920 FWD) services despite a middling 44 last week, mainly because of the scoreless final term where he understandably ran out of steam. He’ll be better for the run, and the leftover wing time is guaranteed with Matt Cottrell out for a week through suspension.

Another player that could see more midfield time is Connor Macdonald ($8,700 FWD) with Hawthorn opting to downsize up front. He’s surplus to needs as a small forward with Chad Wingard and Fergus Greene rejoining the squad, so I have him moving up into the more fruitful high half forward role. With 5 scores of 75+ already this year from 10 full games, he’s worth a look.

I’m also very interested in a pair of big Blues to capitalise on Hawthorn’s lack of experienced key defenders. Harry McKay ($10,880 FWD) has been out of sorts recently but has shown that when he gets supply, he can score big – 119 from 14 marks against the Roos and 110 from 14 marks against the Saints earlier in the year proves that.

Charlie Curnow ($12,990 FWD) is the other candidate obviously, especially as he’s building a reputation as a flat-track bully. The best match-ups for Key FWDs this season are the Hawks, Roos and Eagles, so you’ll be very unsurprised to learn that he pumped out season-high totals of 114 and 151 against the latter pair respectively.

The safest play on the slate is James Harmes ($8,610 FWD/MID) in his 150th, who’ll look to continue the trend of players going big in milestone games this year. New-age coaches are seemingly much more sympathetic to these individual landmarks than they have traditionally been in the past, so I expect that Harmes’s normal fringe role will receive a one-week boost against the Giants.

He’s probably too pricey and unpredictable to feature in your core, but Josh Ward ($11,010 MID) piques my interest as an upside pick. He’s just come off a block of VFL matches (for scores of 98, 107 and 119) after looking lethargic mid-year. The Hawk fledgling posted scores of 133, 107 and 97 within his last six games in his debut season, so hopefully he can engineer a similar late-season surge.

Then we have a couple of veteran Eagles in the midrange that demand attention at their bargain price-tags. I’ll cover Luke Shuey ($12,720 MID/DEF) in more detail below, so let’s focus on the volatile Dom Sheed ($12,770 MID). His scoring has fluctuated with his inside midfield time lately, averaging 119 from his last three games with 80%+ CBA presence, compared to just 61 from the last three without that role. Could Elliot Yeo’s latest injury send Sheed’s 54% CBA share against the Swans to the moon for the Saints clash?

There’s no shortage of tempting Premium options now that we’re back to our regular 6-team Sunday slates. Sam Walsh ($14,970 MID), Jack Steele ($14,970 MID) and Adam Cerra ($15,380 MID) stick out as underpriced, while Jack Sinclair ($16,180 DEF/MID) and Brad Crouch ($16,370 MID) should be very popular as punters look to cash in on the West Coast boost.

It’s another slate full of tantalising stacking opportunities in defence, so core DEF options are somewhat redundant. I did want to cover a couple of Giants though, because I find the structural evolution under coach Adam Kingsley very fascinating.

The first thing I noticed in their last clash pre-Bye was a new role for Nick Haynes ($11,240 DEF), who was shifted up to wing. He was scoring freely prior to rolling his ankle, so I’m keeping an eye on the utility – especially because the Giants look to be structuring up similarly against the Demons with Isaac Cumming ($11,120 DEF) coming in as a straight-swap for the suspended Lachie Whitfield. He’s fallen out of favour at GWS this year, but 29 touches and 10 marks in the VFL last week paved the way for a return, and it’s interesting to note that he took 11 kick-ins when Whitfield last missed back in Round 2.

It could be Harry Himmelberg ($12,790 DEF) that enjoys Whitfield’s absence the most, however. His last three scores as a DEF without Whitfield reads 101, 112 and 103, so Himmelberg has a great opportunity to post his first ton for season 2023 here.

Liam Duggan ($14,850 DEF) deserves a shout-out, with his last two scores at Optus Stadium being belters of 137 and 140. The St Kilda back boost is the perfect way to add another banger to that list.

It’s a tough slate for rucks, especially as the obvious option in Rowan Marshall ($16,580 RUC) is in danger of a tactical subbing after Ross Lyon took a no-risk approach in Rounds 4, 8 and 9 already this year. The Eagles are one of the best fantasy RUC match-ups so I don’t suggest full fading, but make sure you spread your ownership around a bit.

His opponent in Bailey J Williams ($12,270 RUC) is as reliable as they come, scoring 83+ in each of the last five rounds. If you want to shoot for upside instead, his teammate Anthony Caminiti ($7,760 FWD/RUC) could be the way to go with a goal-kicking upswing very possible against West Coast. Something like the 9 marks, 2 goals and 79 fantasy points he posted against the Bulldogs earlier in the year would be enough to break the slate.



TIO Traeger Park

We don’t often talk about game stacking and fading in this article, but it’s probably worth touching on for the Demons vs Giants clash in Alice Springs. Matches in the NT are typically low scoring in fantasy, with the game totals sitting around 2900 over the past two seasons, significantly lower than the AFL average of 3070 this season.

The hot weather, the high humidity, the slippery footy – footy is different in the NT, and it’s certainly not conducive to fantasy scoring. Make sure you’re considering this when formulating your attack plan this Sunday.

Tim Kelly ($15,130 MID)

This poor man has nightmares about “that” day and “that” tagger against the Saints last year. Marcus Windhager announced himself as a stopper against West Coast in Round 19, restricting Kelly to just 4 touches and 17 fantasy points to be the lowest scorer on the ground in a full game of Australian Rules football. Incredible.

St Kilda has just freed up a bunch of midfield time by dropping a defender (Paton) and presumably moving Jack Sinclair back into defence, which will allow Windhager to resume his mental and physical torture of West Coast’s most consistent onballer.

Tom De Koning ($9,910 RUC)

The Dutch King will attract interest as the solo ruckman for Carlton this week, but if you’re looking for a reason to avoid him, I got you.

De Koning’s scores without Marc Pittonet this year reads 76, 61 and 46, which isn’t exactly inspiring on its own. But those latter two scores came against red match-ups in the Demons and Bombers, who not-so-coincidentally happen to concede the fewest hitouts to opponents of all clubs. That’s the most concerning part, because guess who’s third on that list? Hawthorn. To make this more of a black hole, Lewis Young was reported to be held from the VFL as scoop Mitch tweeted.




What’s the only thing better than having Sam Docherty ($15,560 DEF/MID) back playing as a defender? It’s having him drift back into defence from the wing as an extra, which is exactly what happened against the Suns before the Bye. He attended 0 centre bounces for the first time since Round 1, meaning that he’s now scored 110 and 124 without inside midfield time this season – and both of those were team-highs for the Blues.

Did I mention that Hawthorn is in the top three match-ups for wings/attacking defenders over the past 10 rounds?


Half-back Luke Shuey ($12,720 DEF/MID) might be the best Luke Shuey, striking a healthy balance between having the ball in his hands as much as possible and limiting the likelihood of soft tissue injury by decreasing the need for high intensity running. He was easily the best Eagle on the ground with 120 points in that infamous demolition job by the Swans, so hopefully coach Adam Simpson elects to keep him in the DEF-heavy rotation with Reuben Ginbey rather than moving him back into the guts to cover the ever-injured Elliot Yeo.

If so, he gets the dream match-up with the Saints this week on his home deck. At this price, you simply have to have some Shuey shares this Sunday.

Reinforced Steele

He’s been frustratingly inconsistent this season due to lingering injuries, but if Jack Steele ($14,970 MID) is ever going to re-discover his ceiling, it’s this week. West Coast are the AAA-rated match-up for Inside MIDs this year, conceding an insane average of 116 points to their opposition’s top three midfielders over the last 5 weeks.

Steele has an excellent record against the Eagles to boost buyer confidence, notching scores of 128, 121, 106 and 154 against them since Covid-19 became a thing. And if you’re worried about how he travels to Perth, worry no longer – his last four scores at Optus Stadium reads 116, 133, 105 and 154.



Hawthorn – DEF Stack

With James Sicily out through suspension, I said there would be value in Hawthorn’s backline… but I certainly didn’t expect ALL of Will Day, (116), Blake Hardwick (117), Jack Scrimshaw (108), Jarman Impey (108) and Seamus Mitchell (91) to share the spoils as the top five Hawks scorers in a belting from the Suns. But here we are.

Lightning could strike twice too, given that Carlton allows the second-most points to half-back types over the last 10 rounds.

West Coast – DEF Stack

Welcome back to the Classic St Kilda Backline StackTM paragraph! Despite getting slapped around like a misbehaving child in the 1950’s every week, the Eagles have plenty of guys who can share it around in defence. In fact, they seem to do that even more often in beltings in an attempt to limit the final margin.

The aforementioned Luke Shuey and Liam Duggan are the main targets, but Shannon Hurn ($12,760 DEF) is back in the fray and we’ve seen Alex Witherden ($12,070 DEF) and Tom Barrass ($7,970 DEF) rack up the +6’s on their days too.

St Kilda – Full Stack

It could be a busy final game for you on this slate, with the two strongest trends in AFL DFS both falling in the Sunday twilight fixture. West Coast are conceding unprecedented fantasy numbers to their opponents, which means you should be on the lookout for anyone that’s vaguely dressed in red, black and white. As I seem to type weekly, FWDs, MIDs and RUCs are the sweet spots against West Coast.

Don’t get fancy and sleep on this trend – every single line-up in the top 15 of last Saturday’s Main slate leaderboard featured at least 4 Swans against the Eagles.


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

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For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit gamblinghelponline.org.au.