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AFL Fantasy 2018: Top-priced players revealed

Tom Mitchell is the most expensive player in Fantasy in 2018 - AFL,Fantasy
Tom Mitchell is the most expensive player in Fantasy in 2018

HAWTHORN ball-magnet Tom Mitchell is the most expensive AFL Fantasy player in history after a massive price hike following his stunning 2017 home and away season.

Mitchell will cost Fantasy players a whopping $896,000 after topping the list for points scored with an average of 127.2 a game.

How do you afford him? Good question. There is some relief with the salary cap for Fantasy Classic increasing in 2018 and your initial squad of 30 players can come under a new cap of $12,600,000.

But with the significant salary cap increase comes more expensive players. While Mitchell is the top-dollar mid, Geelong's superstar duo Patrick Dangerfield and Gary Ablett (see prices below) aren't far off.

Interestingly, another Geelong player, Sam Menegola, is the most expensive forward, ahead of Sydney superstar Lance Franklin (see prices below).

How it works 

Players are priced according to their 2017 output. In simple terms, their average from the previous season is multiplied by the 'magic number'.

There are some exceptions.

If a player takes part in fewer than 10 games, a discount will apply in the form of three per cent per game. Discounted players are priced according to the higher of their last two season's averages. If they miss a full season, the discount can be up to 30 per cent (the price will be calculated on the player’s previous season average).

A popular choice of starting ruckman is set to be Nic Naitanui (RUC, $417,000). The Eagle missed the 2017 season due to injury and has received a 30 per cent discount on his 2016 average of 84.5. He is therefore essentially priced at approximately 59 points per game.

The cheapest players in the game are priced at $170,000 with the top 50 draftees having a premium added to their price.

No.1 pick and new Lion Cameron Rayner (MID/FWD, $270,000), is the dearest first-year player with second pick Andrew Brayshaw (MID, $268,000) valued at $2K less. That trend continues until the 51st selection, and all subsequent picks, are basement priced.

We will reveal all prices and positions, as provided by Champion Data, over the coming weeks ahead of the launch of AFL Fantasy in late January.

Assume the position: Fantasy spots locked in 

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Top defenders

In 2017, Sam Docherty (DEF, $823,000) and Taylor Adams (MID, $808,000) were the two must-have premium options down back. Unfortunately, Docherty has injured his ACL and is out for majority of the season, while Adams has been stripped of defender status as he was primarily a midfielder last season.

Rory Laird (DEF, $707,000) is the sole player to average more than 100 points available in the back line.

Named as a MID/FWD last season, Elliot Yeo (DEF, $692,000) is a good chance to be the top-scoring defender next year after averaging 110 in the first eight rounds of 2017.

It’ll be a new look list of defenders as you trade to your ultimate team. Also setting those initial Fantasy Draft rankings will be a challenge.

Name

Club

Position

2017 Avg

2018 Price

Sam Docherty

CARL

DEF

116.82

$823,000

Rory Laird

ADE

DEF

100.41

$707,000

Elliot Yeo

WCE

DEF

98.33

$692,000

Kade Simpson

CARL

DEF

97.68

$688,000

Michael Hurley

ESS

DEF

94.15

$663,000

Michael Hibberd

MELB

DEF

92.56

$652,000

Jake Lloyd

SYD

DEF

92.19

$649,000

Bachar Houli

RICH

DEF

90.50

$637,000

Dylan Roberton

STK

DEF

90.27

$636,000

Jeremy Howe

COLL

DEF

89.95

$633,000 

Rory Laird will be a popular choice. Picture: AFL Photos

Top midfielders

Just six midfielders averaged more than 110 Fantasy points in 2016, whereas 11 managed to top the number this year.

With some higher numbers than usual at the top end, it is going to be tough to fit many from the top 10 in initial Fantasy Classic squads.

Patrick Dangerfield (MID, $849,000) and Zach Merrett (MID, $825,000) have put together two outstanding seasons and will justify shelling out the big bucks for reliability. But there are a few new names in the top 10 who may have some extra growth in their output next year.

Having a set and forget captain each week like Tom Mitchell will be a popular choice, but it may be the players who fall below this list that will be the most beneficial.

Name

Club

Position

2017 Avg

2018 Price

Tom Mitchell

HAW

MID

127.18

$896,000

Patrick Dangerfield

GEE

MID

120.52

$849,000

Gary Ablett

GEE

MID

118.86

$837,000

Zach Merrett

ESS

MID

117.10

$825,000

Taylor Adams

COLL

MID

114.68

$808,000

Dayne Zorko

BL

MID

114.29

$805,000

Dustin Martin

RICH

MID

113.64

$800,000

Josh Kelly

GWS

MID

112.90

$795,000

Mitch Duncan

GEE

MID

112.57

$793,000

Bryce Gibbs

ADE

MID

112.14

$790,000 

Will you take the punt on Gary Ablett? Picture: AFL Photos

Top rucks

Last year it was Brodie Grundy (RUC, $748,000) and Max Gawn (RUC, $605,000) who were the sure-thing ruckmen to start the year. Gawn will be a popular starting selection priced below the top performers of 2017 due to an injury-interrupted season. Grundy is a Fantasy favourite, but if Mason Cox (RUC/FWD, $418,000) is named alongside him, the big Pie's numbers suffer.

If you can pick the next Matthew Kreuzer (RUC, $740,000), you will go a long way to winning your Classic and Draft league. The Blue increased his average by more than 23 points on the previous season.

Name

Club

Position

2017 Avg

2018 Price

Brodie Grundy

COLL

RUC

106.20

$748,000

Matthew Kreuzer

CARL

RUC

105.05

$740,000

Stefan Martin

BL

RUC

99.77

$703,000

Sam Jacobs

ADE

RUC

99.41

$700,000

Jarrod Witts

GCS

RUC

92.33

$650,000 

Who will be the 2018 Matthew Kreuzer? Picture: AFL Photos

Top forwards 

The forward line took a big hit with position changes.

Jack Macrae (MID, $732,000) was the top performer all season and Steele Sidebottom (MID, $745,000) added forward status in round 18 to be one of the main Fantasy upgrade targets. They’ve been wiped, leaving Cat Sam Menegola (MID/FWD, $719,000) as the most sought after premium option for the new season.

You can throw a blanket over who is likely to finish the season as the top forward, but looking at the dual position players (MID/FWDs) could be the winners.

Expect Luke Dahlhaus (MID/FWD, $624,000) to be in the mix as well as Robbie Gray (FWD, $572,000) who is priced well below his output in seasons prior. 

Name

Club

Position

2017 Avg

2018 Price

Sam Menegola

GEE

MID/FWD

102.11

$719,000

Lance Franklin

SYD

FWD

96.09

$677,000

Michael Barlow

GCS

MID/FWD

94.75

$667,000

Jack Billings

STK

FWD

94.59

$666,000

Chad Wingard

PA

MID/FWD

92.22

$649,000

Isaac Heeney

SYD

MID/FWD

92.17

$649,000

Toby Greene

GWS

FWD

91.44

$644,000

Travis Boak

PA

MID/FWD

91.24

$643,000

Tom Lynch

ADE

FWD

90.85

$640,000

Luke Dahlhaus

WB

MID/FWD

88.55

$624,000

Isaac Heeney will be a popular choice. Picture: AFL Photos

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