Tristan Xerri and Kieren Briggs compete for the ball during North Melbourne's clash against Greater Western Sydney in round one, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

FOR MOST coaches, it was great to be back into it, while others have been left feeling like the Lions and Pies, wishing they had an extra week or two of pre-season.

Round one was the standard Fantasy rollercoaster filled with highs and lows, highlighted no doubt by the regret of watching some of our favourite pre-season options dominate after removing them from our side before lockout… That was Matt Crouch (MID, $757,000) for me who put an impressive 113 on my head.

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Caleb Serong (MID, $1.02M) showed he is the No.1 banana in the Dockers' star-studded midfield after attending 23 CBAs. He made the most of his mantle, putting on a show for the ages with 46 possessions, six marks and seven tackles for a thumbing score of 161 to be the standout player of the week.

Giant star Tom Green (MID, $1.03M) wasn't far behind, having the ball on a string with 37 possessions and 145.

Tom Green in action during the match between Greater Western Sydney and North Melbourne at Engie Stadium in round one, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

We got to see a number of our highly-touted rookies hit the park for the first time and it came as no surprise that young Roo Colby McKercher (MID, $343,000) embraced his role across half-back with 22 possessions, including 18 kicks and eight marks for 94.

Fellow Tasmanian Ryley Sanders (MID, $312,000) was on fire, collecting 15 possessions and taking seven marks for 68 before for being Bevo-ed with a vest, rightfully leaving coaches up in arms in what was a bizarre decision given the lack of contributions from a number of his teammates. He amassed that total in just 55 per cent time on ground to justify how highly we rate him.

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  • Tristan Xerri (RUC, $622,000)
  • Massimo D’Ambrosio (DEF, $498,000)
  • Riley Bonner (MID, $501,000)
  • Oliver Dempsey (FWD, $300,000)
  • Caleb Serong (MID, $1.01M)


  • Brodie Grundy (RUC, $715,000)
  • Ollie Wines (MID, $696,000)
  • Jai Newcombe (MID, $817,000)
  • Zach Reid (DEF, $244,000)
  • Josh Gibcus (DEF, $257,000)
Darcy Cameron and Brodie Grundy contest the ruck during round one, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos


  • Matt Roberts (MID, $355,000) +$110,000
  • Blake Howes (DEF, $298,000) +$98,000
  • Isaac Heeney (FWD, $808,000) +$86,000
  • Seth Campbell (FWD, $268,000) +$68,000
  • Alex Sexton (FWD, $448,000) +$66,000


  • Darcy Macpherson (DEF, $548,000) -$139,000
  • Tim Taranto (MID, $930,000) -$85,000
  • Kieren Briggs (RUC, $778,000) -$71,000
  • Sam Wicks (FWD, $446,000) -$67,000
  • Shai Bolton (MID/FWD, $719,000) -$64,000
Tim Taranto in action during the match between Carlton and Richmond at the MCG in round one, 2024. Picture: Getty Images


  • Blake Howes (DEF, $298,000) - 14
  • Matt Roberts (MID, $355,0000) - 11
  • Oliver Dempsey (FWD, $300,000) - 10
  • Colby McKercher (MID, $343,000) - 3
  • Seth Campbell (FWD, $268,000) - 1


  • James Sicily (DEF, $886,000) 163
  • Tim Taranto (MID, $930,000) 152
  • Marcus Bontempelli (MID, $1.03M) 145
  • Darcy Macpherson (DEF, $548,000) 144
  • Brad Crouch (MID, $898,000) 142


Tristan Xerri (RUC, $622,000): Round one last season was one to forget for the X-man, this year however was quite the contrast. The big fella embraced his opportunity as the No.1 man in the middle, putting in a huge performance which consisted of 18 possessions, five marks, nine tackles, a goal and 19 hitouts for an impressive 121. His BE of just 34 and the fact he doesn't have a bye makes him a great target moving forward.

Massimo D'Ambrosio (DEF, $498,000): The former Bomber had a great debut in his revenge game, 'amassimoing' 29 possessions and four marks for a great score of 94. He looked impressive all pre season, so it appears his score was no fluke, providing plenty of drive off half-back for the Hawks which makes him a prime, low-risk mid-price candidate given his BE is just 29.

Massimo D'Ambrosio is tackled by Jye Caldwell during the match between Essendon and Hawthorn at the MCG in round one, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Riley Bonner (MID, $501,000): The bone had an awesome club debut, continuing his pre season form despite playing in the hostile environment of the Cattery. He displayed elite endurance, providing targets all over the ground while spending little time on the sidelines for a break. He eventually finished with 102 from 28 possessions and five marks from 93 per cent TOG. The best thing is, The Saint love the ball in his hands as much as his Fantasy coaches do.

Matt Crouch (MID, $757,00): If you were like me and jumped at the shadows of the ever growing Crows midfield mix … Yeah, bad call. He attended the second most CBAs amongst the Crow mids, second only to Jordan Dawson with 13 and made the most of his time in there with 33 possessions and six tackles for 113. It leaves him with a BE of just 69 headed into a home game against the Cats. Although the wet conditions suited him and it was a high-scoring affair across the board for the midfielders in this game, he looked back to his bullocking best.

Jack Billings (FWD, $538,000): After starting as sub and coming on to score 10 in Opening Round, many coaches were quick to put a line through the former Saint's name. Well, grab the eraser because now we have a legitimate money maker on our hands. The winger bounced back to have one of the games of his career, amassing an impressive 15 marks to go with 20 possessions and a goal to score 140. It leaves him with a BE of 31 and he is worth consideration given the sub-par performances of a number of popular forward selections. It's also worth noting he is still only 28 and in the prime of his career.


Ollie Wines (MID, $696,000): Ken Hinkley is pretty popular in Fantasy circles and has built up a lot of trust with his transparency over the years. Unfortunately that came crumbling down after the pre-season talk of Wines returning to a full time mid role didn't eventuate and his numbers reflected that. In an easy day out against the Eagles, Wines managed just seven kicks amongst 23 possessions and a score of 72 which caused a drop in price for the projected 'under priced' prospect. No point hanging around to see where this story ends, trade.

Ollie Wines tackles Harley Reid during the match between Port Adelaide and West Coast at Adelaide Oval in round one, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Brodie Grundy (RUC, $715,000): After an outstanding debut for the Swans where the Ruck Pig got the better of Max Gawn, scoring an impressive 118, he didn't back it up against the Pies, collecting just eight possessions and taking one mark for 53. He now has a BE of 85 and carries an alarming statistic in the frees against column with his most recent tally of seven giving him a total of 11 for the year which is -44. He has games against the Bombers, Tigers and Eagles leading into his bye which is a nice draw, so he should improve on last week.

Jai Newcombe (MID, $817,000): The hard-nosed Hawk has been touted as a breakout candidate all summer and his pre-season performance against the Dogs did nothing to make his coaches think otherwise. Unfortunately, he didn't carry that form over against the Bombers in round one, scoring just 62 from 21 possessions. He is going to be a lot better than that moving forward but with a BE of 122, it may be worth moving him on to a cash generator this early in the season.

Zac Fisher (FWD, $622,000): It was a tough match up in new colours for the former Blue who struggled to get into the game against the Giants, eventually finishing with a score of 68 from 21 possessions, four marks and no tackles. His next two games are at Marvel Stadium which should provide him with an opportunity to take a few more marks, but that hasn't stopped a large number of coaches from instantly pulling the trigger on a trade. He increase $2K and has a BE of 77 heading into his matchup with the Dockers.

Connor Budarick (DEF, $521,000): Opening Round caught us out with a number of players, none more so that the coaches who jumped on the Suns defender after an impressive score of 88 from 21 touches and eight marks. It was a hard watch in the wet conditions as Budarick struggled to get amongst the play, collecting just seven possessions and not taking a mark for a score of 25. He will be much better than that moving forward, but must be traded regardless.

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