Marcus Bontempelli speaks to the media during Captains Day on February 26, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

AFL FANTASY is back and it starts tonight!

Despite four games being played over the Opening Round, AFL Fantasy starts tonight when Carlton takes on Richmond, starting at 7.30pm AEDT.

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Once that ball is bounced, players from this game will be locked into (and out of) your team. This includes captains, vice-captains and emergencies. The rolling lockout will occur all weekend, locking players from each game as they start.

Therefore, you still have time to create a team and start playing today. Even if you are late to the party, there is plenty of tips and advice from The Traders.

- Roy's Fantasy locks
- The Traders' round one team
- The cash cows ranked


Trap or treat?

Your starting squad is very important. Here are some traps to avoid and some treats worth considering.

Tim Taranto (MID, $1,015,000) Trap
With a huge breakeven of 200… Taranto will drop thousands after he scored 56 last week. A breakeven is a score a player needs to have to maintain their price. Scoring 200 is out of the question which means he'll be very cheap in a matter of weeks.

Errol Gulden (MID, $1,015,000) Trap
Gulden is a Fantasy jet but after scoring just 69 in the Opening Round, his breakeven of 179 is unreachable, even by his standards. Wait for his price to drop and then jump on.

Tom Stewart (DEF, $869,000) Treat
The Saints conceded plenty of points to defenders last year and to prove that, Stewart had 133 against them in 2023. At home, he could have another big day out.

Tom Stewart during Geelong's match against St Kilda in round 23, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Lachie Whitfield (DEF, $855,000) Treat
After scoring 137 in the Opening Round, Whitfield now has a breakeven of 29. With games coming up against the Kangaroos and West Coast, he will be flying heading into his bye.

Luke Jackson (RUC/FWD, $765,000) Treat
With Sean Darcy on the sidelines, Jackson will take over as Fremantle's No. 1 ruckman, a role that saw him average 99 in the final six games of 2023. But monitor when Darcy is coming back.

Live Teams Show

The Traders will be live tonight to cover all the important ins and outs as teams are announced. They break down the popular trades, discuss captains and answer all your burning questions. Watch the Live Teams Show every Thursday night via and the AFL Live Official App and ask your questions in the comments.

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

Opening Round ownership

The Opening Round gave us the opportunity to see players before AFL Fantasy officially starts. Over these games we saw Fantasy coaches react to what they saw, and stats guru @jaiden_popowski has crunched the numbers to see who the most traded in and out were over this period.

  • Blake Howes (DEF, $200,000) – up 17 per cent
  • Brodie Grundy (RUC, $677,000) – up 14 per cent
  • Matt Roberts (MID, $245,000) – up 13 per cent
  • Isaac Heeney (FWD, $722,000) – up 10 per cent
  • Lachie Whitfield (DEF, $855,000) – up 10 per cent

Blake Howes (DEF, $200,000) was very impressive on debut against the Swans last week. He scored 74 and now has a breakeven of -58. He will start making huge cash instantly. The same can be said for Matt Roberts (MID, $245,000) who is another must-have player under $300k. Roberts scored 91 floating across half-back and after that performance, he can even be placed on your field.

Matt Roberts during Sydney's game against Melbourne in Opening Round, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos
  • Keidean Coleman (DEF, $628,000) – down 20 per cent
  • Errol Gulden (MID, $1,015,000) – down 10 per cent
  • Max Gawn (RUC, $831,000) – down 8 per cent
  • Tristan Xerri (RUC, $580,000) – down 4 per cent
  • Toby Pink (DEF, $200,000) – down 4 per cent

It's no surprise to see Keidean Coleman (DEF, $628,000) as the most traded out player over the Opening Round after the Brisbane defender injured his ACL, ruling him out for the season. It was a surprise, however, to see coaches trading out Max Gawn (RUC, $831,000) after he scored 87 against Brodie Grundy. Although he didn't quite reach his breakeven, he's still under-priced and has a great record against Tim English. Expect him to bounce back on Sunday.

Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn during Sydney's match against Melbourne in Opening Round, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Calvin's best captains

With round one on the doorstep, here are my best captain options for you to consider.

Thursday night
Jayden Short v Carlton
It's a tough game to find a captain option but if you were chasing anyone here… Short could be your man. He scored 103 last week and based on last week's results, the ball could spend a fair amount of time in Richmond's defence.

Friday night
Errol Gulden v Collingwood
When the Swans travelled to the MCG to take on the Magpies last year, Gulden brought his own ball and scored 161. Expect him to bounce back after a disappointing 69 last week with something huge.

Tom Green v North Melbourne
North Melbourne conceded the most Fantasy points to their opposition last year and Green will look to build on the 116 he had last week. Even though he only had 73 against the Kangaroos last season, the writing is on the wall that something big is coming.

Marcus Bontempelli v Melbourne
After scoring over 120 in five of his last seven games last year, Bontempelli was at it again in his practice match, scoring 127. He only scored 99 against Melbourne last year, however, he is always a great captain option.

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.