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Draft day tips from Mr Fantasy

Dream Teamers will be biting their fingernails at the prospect of getting Dane Swan in the Fantasy draft - ${keywords}
Dream Teamers will be biting their fingernails at the prospect of getting Dane Swan in the Fantasy draft

PEOPLE will undoubtedly attribute the recent spike in barbeque sales to the warm weather sweeping through the country like the newest trend on Twitter.

Fair assumption, I suppose, but they would be wrong. The latest surge can be pinned to the thousands of NAB AFL Fantasy Elite draft day parties being held across the land from now right up until the start of the home and away season.

NAB AFL Fantasy Elite draft day – where players in private leagues each draft a unique player in turns – is quickly becoming the most popular event on the Dream Team calendar. No AFL player can be picked in more than one Dream Team side within a private league, meaning you’ll face off against your mates with up to 22 exclusive players (and no salary cap) all year round.    

Register your team now at the NAB AFL Fantasy hub

Dream Teamers have the option to sit at home and draft players on their own computers, and there’s even a pre-selected draft option available, but the overwhelming method is for one of your mates to hold a big barbeque, whack the draft on the big screen TV and start choosing your AFL stars!

One host is so keen not to let cooking duties get in the way of his draft choices that he has booked one of Melbourne’s famous food trucks to come and do the catering for him. Full marks for dedication, and something you’re more likely to see on hit American fantasy football show The League.

Don’t be fooled. You may appreciate your mate opening up their home for the day, but there are a few tricks they may have up their sleeve to be aware of. Here are some tips.

Mind over stomach
They say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but the girls also need to watch out for this tactic. The food may be scrumptious on draft day, but don’t give any opponent an inch because of their culinary content. Hosts will try and serenade you with some fancy jus in return for some dibs on players, but you must remain ruthless, even if chocolate molten cake with vanilla bean ice-cream is passed under your nose like your some kind of sniffer dog. Eat the cake after you’ve secured the likes of Dean Cox, Marc Murphy and Brendon Goddard. It will taste better.

Dogs go whacko
If you love pets, your hosts may try and distract you with a performance from their huggable pooch. I don’t care if their cavoodle is wearing a tuxedo and serving you champagne and caviar – do not lose focus for one second. Your team selection is paramount, but seeing who everybody else is drafting can be just as vital. Playing fetch for five minutes could see you lose youngsters later in the draft like Suns gun Jaeger O’Meara or Giant Lachie Whitfield.

Don’t take the tour
If you are going to a house that you’ve never been to before, or one that has recently undergone a renovation, chances are you’ll be asked to take the tour. Try to avoid this. If you can’t get out of it, and you’ve come stacked with reams of draft plans and a phone with some of your pre-selections, shove everything in your pocket like you’ve just cracked open a piñata. Trust nobody.

Next week we’ll take a closer look at what type of players to choose throughout the varying rounds of the draft, making sure you get the edge on your opponents!
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs