Three games of AFL are available for Draftstars action on this Sunday, but it seems that the League is already knows who is playing finals this year and who ain’t! With a $90,000+ featured prize pool loaded up by Draftstars, let’s check out who will should be targeting on Sunday.
$90,000 Main ($15 entry, 150 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)
SYD vs HAW (1.10pm AEDT) – Showers forecast, especially in the morning. Monitor.
ESS vs GCS (3.20pm AEDT) – Roof.
WCE vs GWS (6.20pm) AEDT – Showers forecast, especially in the morning. Monitor.
Reliable cheap forwards are dire on this slate, so maybe you can talk yourself into Sam Petrevski-Seton ($7,300 FWD) for an upswing game with the potential for a sliver of midfield time against the Giants? With only one score above 66 last year, I don’t love it. I’d much prefer to scratch some extra coin together and take a dip into the Double Ruck waters with a solo Bailey J Williams ($9,020 FWD/RUC) at a generous price-tag. I love Archie Perkins ($9,610 FWD) long-term, but his 104 from last week is probably irreplicable given the 3 snags and 0% centre bounce involvement. Meanwhile, Toby Greene ($12,340 FWD) against the Eagles and Errol Gulden ($14,030 MID/FWD) against the Hawks appear to be the best way to spend up safely in the forward line.
We have a debutant for the underdone Giants in Harry Rowston ($6,000), who I expect to sneak some midfield time amongst a predominantly half-forward excursion out west. The rookie averaged 89 in the NAB League last year, so I definitely have interest with Kelly, Perryman and Whitfield absent. The same goes for Cooper Hamilton ($6,130 DEF/MID) who I have slotting in on a defensive wing, and should have more responsibility than he did whilst averaging 56 at AFL level last year. This line is where we’re spoilt for choice in salary-savers on this slate, with Mackenzie, Callaghan, Ginbey and Day all coming in under $10k and showing excellent signs in their respective season openers. Likewise, the prices haven’t caught up to new roles for Worpel, Setterfield and Shuey, while Ward and Green will be a hugely popular combo with the aforementioned trio missing for GWS. I project that the sharks will be hunting value in mid-range in the midfield this week, but it’s hard to completely ignore the ceilings of some of the Uber-Premium options if they go untagged.
GWS will unveil a first-round pick on Sunday. Harry Rowston will make his debut against West Coast at Optus Stadium. The latest Giants Academy product to reach the AFL. Taken at pick No. 16 in November, after a bid from Sydney. Story on @AFLcomau
— Josh Gabelich (@JoshGabelich) March 24, 2023
Lachie Weller has returned to action for the Suns, which knocks Macpherson ($8,550 FWD/DEF) and Constable ($8,710 DEF) down a peg in the pecking order after very handy scores in the 80’s last weekend. The same goes for the cheaper Bodhi Uwland ($6,910 DEF), who I can’t see repeating that score of 68 and is probably a healthy Ellis away from a return to the VFL. It’s the opposite situation for Lachie Ash ($9,990 DEF/MID) who steps into more responsibility with prime-mover Whitfield out for a week or two, while his superior in Isaac Cumming ($12,650) is cheap enough to take a nibble out of with a less diluted distributor role. James Sicily ($14,930 DEF) looks like being a huge part of the way Hawthorn moves the footy out of defence this year – where it will be a lot – so his ceiling (130 last week in a belting) needs to be respected on every slate.
We have a nice spread of solo rucks on this slate, headlined by Jarrod Witts ($13,710 RUC) following his 137-point masterclass against the Swans. A Draper/Phillips tag-team won’t leak as heavily as Sydney did last week, but his floor is rock solid and he can be picked with confidence. Matt Flynn ($10,380 RUC) was a little disappointing last week with just 57, but a match-up with a Naitanui-less West Coast rather than the experienced Reilly O’Brien projects out much better. Considering he was getting dunked on by Witts all game before being mercifully subbed out early, a score of 78 is a great sign for Ladhams ($10,700 RUC) truthers for when the going is a little less tough.
Chad Warner ($14,270 MID)
The Chad has quickly risen to the top of Sydney’s midfield rankings, top-scoring with 117 last week – but it might come at a cost. Hawthorn appears intent on using Maginness as a tagger again in 2023, shutting down Merrett early last week before the margin blew out. Make sure you factor this potential clash of titans into your Warner exposures this Sunday.
Touk Miller ($16,760 MID)
The exorbitant price-tag is bad enough given all the early-season value on offer, but a potential return visit from Jye Caldwell is the killing blow. Touk was shadowed by the young Bomber in last year’s clash against the Bombers where he scored 106 – but that score ballooned once the margin was out of reach and junk time kicked in. At almost $17k you need to be hitting scores of 130+ to justify selection, and there are more than enough risk factors to suggest that’s unlikely in Round 2.
The GWS midfield have been whacked with the injury stick by losing three first choice midfielders (although Whitfield is more half-back this year), which means that a veteran is going to have to put on his Superman cape for a week or two. Ward scored a massive +21 fantasy points when receiving even a modest 45% CBA action compared to games under that figure last season, a threshold that he should almost lap against West Coast this week.
Callan Ward, more than any other, impressed me yesterday.
He trained with the forwards all preseason, entering his 16th year, & due to Perryman’s injury, had 17 CBAs, the 4th most of any Giant mid.
He had 10 disposals in Q4, more than anyone, when the team had 1 on the bench.
— Rob (@RLGriffinTweets) March 20, 2023
Both fantasy owners and DFS buyers of Callum Mills last season will lament the times where games were close and he’d shift himself back to goalkeep, completely drying up his scoring. As a result, CBA’s have become a very good indicator of Mills’ scoring potential, with random wing rotations and backline bursts hurting his ceiling. At a hefty $16,330, sitting 6th in line for centre-bounce goodness last week is a massive red flag for those looking to pay up for the jet in a soft match-up against the Hawks – as is the middling 87 points he squeezed out with that light midfield load against the Suns.
Essendon – Full Stack
As much as I don’t rate Essendon’s overall chances this year, I rate Gold Coast’s even less. They ended the last season with a six-game run at a -150 point differential in fantasy, and that pattern continued in 2023 with a 321-point thumping from the Swans. The battlefield is littered with green flags for the Bombers this week, sitting pretty under the roof with positive match-ups everywhere bar the ruck.
GWS – MID Stack
We’re always looking for the double bump in DFS, so the dream match-up against West Coast’s midfield with some crucial personnel in Kelly, Whitfield and Perryman all missing certainly qualifies for those left standing. Callan Ward looks to be amazing value as mentioned above, Tom Green will be the midfield rock and Callaghan could be looking at some extra CBA’s after a strong debut on the wing – check the Inner Core section above for some other juicy prospects.
Sydney – Full Stack
It would be irresponsible for me to leave out the most lop-sided betting game of the season so far with Sydney as $1.08 favourites, with their league-leading +237 fantasy differential over the last 10 rounds a huge reinforcement of that favouritism. Hawks opponents are going to be targeted by DFS punters all season long, so providing that you dodge the Maginess tag, go nuts with matching them up to try to unearth that ultimate permutation. Hawthorn traditionally leaks a truckload of points to outside types, so that’s where I’d start with my slathering of Swans this Sunday.
In a parallel universe:
- The Hawks decide that by adding the midfielder Nash for the forward Wingard, Maginess’s tagging service is better deployed on a Lloyd/Blakely type in the backline instead…
- Logan McDonald breaks the slate at $6,780 by taking all the footy earmarked for Buddy Franklin before a suspension opened the door for his heir apparent…
- Worpel goes from being the most-used centre-bounce midfielder (77% last week) to a part-timer as Sam Mitchell continues his 2022 trend of fickle rotations…
- Brayden Fiorini reminds everyone of his scoring ability with a big ton at a low price, fittingly in a match-up with the team whom he pumped out his top score (118) of 2022 against…
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