Keidean Coleman during the Grand Final between Collingwood and Brisbane at the MCG, September 30, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

AFL Fantasy Classic champion Darren Carr, coach of the Wise Ocean PODs, is itching to defend his title as he revealed some of his early strategy and value options.

It took until late in 2023 for Darren to hit the lead in AFL Fantasy, before going on to claim the Toyota HiLux.

But the reigning champion is already looking ahead to next year, and his team is taking shape.

"I was itching ready to go again," he told The Traders on the Official AFL Fantasy Podcast.

"I already had my list for 2024 ready to go and now with the launch my team is already set, just a bit of tinkering in the next three months."

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Fantasy in 2024 will look a little different, commencing in round one rather than Opening Round due to the unique start to the season.

It means there are teams on byes in rounds two, three, five and six, with the usual mid-season byes to follow.

"I think this year is going to be a little bit different to previous years, with the byes and the new fixture that we have going on so there's a little bit of strategy to it," Darren said.

"Obviously with the Opening Round byes, that may play a little bit into what premiums I pick.

2023 AFL Fantasy Classic champion Darren Carr

"You want to look for the value around. I don't think there's super value this year compared to previous so I'm currently looking at a guns and rookies structure. It's also focusing on what the Scale of Hardness will look like."

Darren is set to start a set-and-forget ruck structure again, partnering Max Gawn (RUC, $831,000) with Brodie Grundy (RUC, $677,000).

"I think last season obviously the two main rucks really were strong for most people who started with them and not messing around with it too much so I'm looking at doing something quite similar with Gawn and Grundy," he said.

He also pointed to Brisbane's Keidean Coleman (DEF, $628,000), Carlton's Zac Williams (DEF, $442,000) and Sam Walsh (MID, $854,000) and St Kilda recruit Paddy Dow (MID, $512,000) as value options to consider.

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