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The Traders reveal the first draft of their R1 team

First cut of The Traders' Fantasy Classic team Roy, Calvin and Warnie get together to select version 1.0 of their Fantasy Classic team

SELECTING your AFL Fantasy Classic team is a challenge at the best of times, let alone when you have to agree on the selections with a couple of counterparts. But, despite this hurdle, we managed put a respectable team together for both beginners and experienced campaigners to enjoy.

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We have been forced to change our team multiple times prior to release due to injuries to key personnel. Sam Docherty, Tom Mitchell and the most recent loss of our second ruck, Matthew Kreuzer, caused us to restructure while maintaining a guns and rookies approach. That said, we couldn't resist a couple of mid-priced bargains who are too cheap to ignore.

In the backline we project Jake Lloyd, Lachie Whitfield and Alex Witherden to be well entrenched in the top six defenders for the year with all expected to benefit from the new kick-in rule change. Our value pick is Giant running machine Zac Williams who received a 30 per cent discount due to missing the entire regular season last year.

We played it safe and selected Jack Macrae who is coming off an outstanding season and surrounded him with value. We are backing Zach Merrett, Dustin Martin and Taylor Adams to return to their best with 110-plus averages while former premium Dan Hannebery and tackling machine Tom Liberatore are just too cheap to ignore.

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Brodie Grundy was an easy choice but identifying the right man to take the second ruck position was a challenge. Eventually we went with the value of Sam Jacobs who we think will return to an average in the 90s as the Crows bounce back from a disappointing season.

Patrick Dangerfield is rightfully the most selected player with his forward status and we certainly wanted a part of that action, especially as we think he will improve on last year's average. Josh Dunkley's post bye form as a midfielder earned him a spot alongside Hawk recruit Chad Wingard, who presents some value given a likely increased role through the midfield.

Our rookies are very interchangeable depending on round one selection but we are very confident in the Blues combination of Will Setterfield and number one pick Sam Walsh entrenching themselves in the best 22 for the year.

So there you have it as it currently stands. There is $19K left in the bank and probably another 50 trades prior to the season commencing, but at this stage it is a well-balanced team.

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