Caleb Windsor poses for a photo after being drafted by Melbourne at the AFL Draft on November 20, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

AS MATCH simulations and AAMI Community Series games take place in the lead up to the start of the 2024 season, all eyes will be on the cheap players in AFL Fantasy Classic.

Cash cows are generally valued between $200,000 and $300,000 and are picked in teams to generate cash while scoring points on field. Coaches will be looking to get some big price rises before selling as an upgrade (or downgrade) in an attempt to get more premium players on field.

They might be first-year players who come in rookie-priced, other players yet to debut or some who received a discount, whether by playing fewer than 10 games last season or naturally by sub-affected scores.

Listen to the AFL Fantasy Podcast with The Traders at Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

Last season, Harry Sheezel was the Cash Cow of the Year and he in fact became a keeper (a super low priority to trade or someone who ended up in the top few players for their given position).

In 2024, we have plenty of players putting their hands up for a spot in their club's best 22, but also making a case to be selected in Fantasy teams.

Coaches will likely pay up from the basement price of $200k for a lot of rookies and some players over $300k could be considered as cash cows this season. There's a lot to watch over these pre-season matches as we build our team towards round one. Use the 'favourite star' on the website and app to keep track of all the cash cows.


Daniel Curtin (DEF, $279,000)
A likely starter for the Crows in the defensive 50, Curtin may get a gig in our teams by default. While his scoring was positive in the U18 Championships where he averaged 102, he's unlikely to get the opportunity to play across the ground like he did for Western Australia. While it would be nice to play a rookie in defence, Curtin will be best on your bench.

Josh Gibcus (DEF, $256,000)
Hopefully the hamstring issues that saw him miss all of last season are behind him. He played 17 home and away games in his debut season for an average of 40.5. He has some upside and should be considered, but an average of 50 is likely to be a best-case scenario. Bench only.

Josh Gibcus handballs during the R15 match between Richmond and Geelong at the MCG on June 25, 2022. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Oisin Mullin (DEF, $245,000)
Mullin played six games for the Cats last season for a modest average of 30.8. If we take out the sub-affected games, it bumps up to 42.8. Not exactly earth-shattering. If we're in need of someone to hold down a bench spot, Mullin could be a slow burn cash cow if named.

Bodhi Uwland (DEF, $219,000)
The Sun played three games in 2023, including a score of 68 on debut. He followed up with 27, a stint back in the VFL and one more game where he came on as a sub for -3 points. He's close to basement price and Gold Coast had him in the A team in a recent intraclub match. We will get a look to see if he's in the Opening Round team and, if so, he could be one of the better sub-$300k selections if he can get closer to his VFL average of 74.4.

Toby Pink (DEF, $200,000)
North Melbourne will be looking for some tall timber down back and the former Swan could be a chance of suiting up early in the season. Don't expect huge scores from the 195cm defender considering he only just ticked over 50 points per game plying his trade in the SANFL last season.

Toby Pink in action during North Melbourne training at Arden Street on November 13, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

>$300k cash cows: It looks like the Bulldogs could be giving Nick Coffield (DEF, $358,000) a crack and at that price, with limited defender options, he could be one of the most profitable cash cows available down back. Melbourne has got Marty Hore (DEF, $307,000) back on the list and he gets a big discount. He averaged 103 in the VFL last season but his job security could be shaky.

Others to watch: Connor O'Sullivan (DEF, $270,000), Zach Reid (DEF, $253,000), Jedd Busslinger (DEF, $200,000), Jakob Ryan (DEF, $200,000), Ethan Phillips (DEF, $200,000).


Colby McKercher (MID, $297,000)
There's going to be a lot to love about this star Tasmanian. Not only was he an elite scorer in the juniors (112 average in the Coates Talent League and 117 average at the U18 Championships), he is poised to play off half-back for North Melbourne. That Fantasy friendly role has seen the likes of Nick Daicos and Harry Sheezel be smash plays in Fantasy Classic and just about be keepers. If this is the role that McKercher plays, then get ready to flick him back after round six when he becomes a dual-position player with DEF/MID status.

Ryley Sanders (MID, $285,000)
A complete professional on and off the field, Sanders was named captain of the All-Australian team after the U18 Championships where he won the Larke Medal and averaged a competition-high 125 Fantasy points. He's been training with the midfield at the Bulldogs and with track watchers singing his praises, a couple of solid games in the practice matches against the Hawks will mean he's a sure thing for round one … and ready to be a key cash generator for our squads.

Ryley Sanders at Western Bulldogs training ahead of the 2024 AFL season. Picture: AFL Pictures

Jeremy Sharp (MID, $284,000)
Picked up by Fremantle during the pre-season supplemental selection period, Sharp is a running machine that looks to have his magnet on the wing on Justin Longmuir's board. Sharp averaged 91 in the VFL last season, but many coaches would remember his back-to-back scores of 123 and 112 in 2021 which saw his price skyrocket.

Matt Roberts (MID, $245,000)
We keep hearing about these players heading to half-back and Roberts has had that flagged this pre-season. The 20-year-old is heading into his third season on the list and has been a solid VFL performer with an average of 90 last season which helped him break into the Swans' team as a substitute. He finally cracked the 22 to score 64 on the wing before an early injury in the next match. Certainly one to watch and if the job security is there, he can make some cash on the bench.

Matt Roberts in action at Sydney training in January 2024. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Jhye Clark (MID, $237,000)
Geelong's first pick in the 2022 AFL Draft played one game last season as the Cats' substitute. In his 25 per cent time on ground with a few centre bounce attendances, he collected six disposals and five tackles to score 36 points. If he breaks into the round one team, then the former No.8 pick is a must-start in your squad.

Others to watch: Josh Fahey (MID, $277,000), Jake Rogers (MID, $261,000), Josh Sinn (MID, $257,000), Harry Rowston (MID, $241,000), Kane McAuliffe (MID, $200,000), Jaxon Binns (MID, $200,000), Ed Allan (MID, $200,000).


Max Heath (RUC/FWD, $200,000)
A popular bench option last season due to his dual-position status, Heath was used for quite a few captain loopholes due to the Saints having a few Sunday games. He was solid in the VFL last year, averaging 73. Heath is a fair way down the pecking order at St Kilda, so don't pick him expecting games.

Harry Barnett (RUC/FWD, $200,000)
The Eagles added an extra ruck in Matthew Flynn so it is unlikely Barnett will play enough games to be a relevant option in Classic. The dual-position status might be handy as a starter as West Coast often plays games later in the round if you need to flick him around.

Finnbar Maley (RUC/FWD, $200,000)
There have been some positive words about Maley's pre-season at the Roos. The 20-year-old with a basketball background can play a mix of ruck and forward. One to watch.

>$300k cash cows: If the Power go in with Jordon Sweet (RUC, $387,000) as their No.1 ruck, he could be worth paying up for on the bench. Even if he's playing with Ivan Soldo, there is upside and he'll make money. Toby Conway (RUC, $316,000) played one game for the Cats last year for a score of 48 and could be considered if he's given a game.

Others to watch: Lachlan McAndrew (RUC, $288,000), Nathan Kreuger (RUC/FWD, $261,000), Mate Colina (RUC/FWD, $200,000), Nicholas Madden (RUC, $200,000).


Harley Reid (MID/FWD, $300,000)
There isn't too much to add to what has already been said about Reid. He's a lock! There's a good reason he was taken at No.1 in the draft and the Eagles will use him in some Fantasy friendly roles, including off half-back and through the midfield. He averaged 19 disposals and 85 points in the Coates Talent League but what should excite Fantasy coaches is the 99 he scored for the Bombers and 116 for the Blues in the VFL last year. He's ready!

Zane Duursma (MID/FWD, $291,000)
North Melbourne was stoked to grab Duursma at pick four. He was superb in the Coates Talent League last year, averaging 101, but his scoring at AFL level could be limited due to the role he's likely to play inside forward 50. Job security should be strong and maybe he's worth a look in a keeper league re-draft, but for Classic, we might have some better options.

Zane Duursma in action at North Melbourne training on January 26, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Nick Watson (MID/FWD, $288,000)
While goals get you six points (and the three for the kick) in Fantasy, the U18 Championships' leading goalkicker may not consistently post the scores we need to be a knockout pick. 'The Wizard' has been impressive this pre-season for the Hawks and is making a strong case for a round one debut, but there are only so many points that small forwards rack up… plus Jack Ginnivan will be also be up forward for Hawthorn wanting the ball!

Caleb Windsor (MID/FWD, $282,000)
The Dees played a match sim against Richmond on Sunday and unleashed Windsor on the wing. He was involved in a few passages of play that impressed onlookers. He's putting his hand up for an early debut with a spot on the wing up for grabs. Windsor averaged 83 in the Coates Talent League. Melbourne played four debutants last year who combined for 50 games.

Charlie Lazzaro (MID/FWD, $288,000)
We need to see it in these pre-season matches, but if Lazzaro is in the midfield mix and in the Roos' best 22, then he is an on-field lock! In his last two full games for North Melbourne's senior side, the 21-year-old scored 88 and 74. A couple of games as starting substitute sees Lazzaro priced super low – and with forward status he has to be considered as an on-field starter in the forward line. Let's hope he can show similar form as he did from his 13 VFL games where he averaged 99.4.

Darcy Jones (FWD, $200,000)
Selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2022 AFL Draft, Jones is a small forward who has been turning heads at training this pre-season. With spots up for grabs, Jones may make his senior debut in Opening Round and be a cash generator in the first few weeks of the season. He did an ACL in his first VFL game last April. Look out for Jones in the helmet in the match simulation and AAMI Community Series game.

Darcy Jones during Greater Western Sydney's training session on February 9, 2024. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Shaun Mannagh (MID/FWD, $200,000)
Mature-aged recruits have been the holy grail for Fantasy coaches with Michael Barlow setting the trend in 2010 as he made his debut as a 22-year-old and averaged 109 from his 13 games. We're not expecting Mannagh to match this, but he dominated the VFL Grand Final last year, scoring 133 Fantasy points thanks to 29 disposals and six goals. Other high scores from last season at Werribee included 155, 146 and 138. Whack him on your bench if named.

>$300k cash cows: Opportunity may present for Finlay Macrae (FWD, $310,000) to add more games this year. There is a worry that he could be used as the Pies' substitute but if his pre-season training is anything to go by, he's a real chance to be in the 22. Following the chat with Sam Flanders on the podcast, Alex Sexton (FWD, $382,000) is a live chance to make Classic teams. If the mooted half-back role is real, there's plenty of cash to be made.

Others to watch: Nate Caddy (FWD, $273,000), Orazio Fantasia (FWD, $269,000), Kai Lohmann, $257,000), Darcy Wilson (MID/FWD, $249,000), Aaron Cadman (FWD, $221,000), Cooper Simpson (MID/FWD, $200,000), James Tsitas (FWD, $200,000), Brayden George (FWD, $200,000), Bailey Laurie (FWD, $200,000), Jacob Bauer (FWD, $200,000), Bigoa Nyuon (FWD, $200,000), Chris Burgess (FWD, $200,000).

Get expert advice from The Traders during the pre-season in the Fantasy Hub. Follow AFL Fantasy on Twitter and Instagram and 'like' the Facebook page to join in the conversation.