PLENTY of AFL Fantasy Draft leagues have been created and coaches are preparing for their annual draft day.

Setting pre-draft rankings makes life easier when you're under the pressure of the clock when it’s your turn to make a pick. Although you can search through player lists and rank them by last year’s average or their current ADP (average draft pick), having players ranked in the order in which you would select them can help you make the right call.

Once you are entered into a Draft league you have the option to set your pre-draft list by dragging and dropping players into position, assigning a draft number or simply clicking 'up-and-down' next to their name.

Compiling your rankings can take in a lot of data. In Fantasy Draft, durability can be more important as scoring ability when deciding between players. Someone coming off the bench is unlikely to score as well as a star out injured. Looking across games played in recent years, or even pre-season injury lists, can help highlight those who could be better options to rank higher than others, despite a high previous average.

Past scores/averages can help guide your rankings, but it is all about what you think players will score this year.

RUBBER DUCK RACE, SPOTIFY PLAYLIST... The best ways to decide your Fantasy Draft order

Is there greater opportunity to score due to list changes? Were scores inflated last year due to injuries to other key players? For some coaches, a lot goes into setting pre-draft rankings … but often it comes down to a gut feel.

And, you've got to like the players you're drafting!

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Midfielders will feature heavily over the first couple of rounds as coaches look to lock in captain options. With only a handful of premium players in other positions, some will look to grab one of the top defenders, rucks or forward early on.

As the first 50 picks unfold, there is usually a split between midfielders and the other positions. In my pre-draft rankings, I have 28 midfielders with 22 in other positions (10 defenders, seven forwards and five rucks).

Picks 1-10

After two years averaging 120-plus and by far the best for his position, Brodie Grundy will be the first pick in almost all leagues. Jack Macrae and Adam Treloar have been consistently high scorers over the last few seasons and will be the first midfielders taken with Josh Dunkley, who averaged 117 after the bye last year, nipping at their heels. Lachie Whitfield averaged over 15 points more than the next best forward, and despite his questionable durability, will be a sought after player in the first round on draft day. Jake Lloyd and Max Gawn should be considered early on as they are also a few points better than other players in their respective positions.

RANK

PLAYER

CLUB

POSITION

1

Brodie Grundy

COL

RUCK

2

Jack Macrae

WBD

MID

3

Lachie Whitfield

GWS

MID/FWD

4

Adam Treloar

COL

MID

5

Josh Dunkley

WBD

MID

6

Tom Mitchell

HAW

MID

7

Max Gawn

MEL

RUCK

8

Jake Lloyd

SYD

DEF

9

Josh Kelly

GWS

MID

10

Patrick Dangerfield

GEE

MID

 

Picks 11-20

105-115 averaging midfielders are likely to be taken throughout the second round, especially if captains are on. Dustin Martin is tipped to be the second-highest scoring available forward, while Rory Laird may return numbers akin to those in 2018 (107.8 average) to be the only 'other' positions to feature here.

RANK

PLAYER

CLUB

POSITION

11

Andrew Gaff

WCE

MID

12

Zach Merrett

ESS

MID

13

Stephen Coniglio

GWS

MID

14

Tim Taranto

GWS

MID

15

Clayton Oliver

MEL

MID

16

Dustin Martin

RIC

MID/FWD

17

Rory Laird

ADE

DEF

18

Patrick Cripps

CAR

MID

19

Matt Crouch

ADE

MID

20

Brad Crouch

ADE

MID

 

Picks 21-30

Having not missed a game in the last five seasons, Jack Crisp is worth targeting in the third round. The Pie averaged a career-high 97.7 and has proven to score just as highly playing on the ball or across half-back. Devon Smith has received a huge rankings boost considering the 79.4 average that sits next to his name following an injury interrupted 2019. A record number of tackles in the previous season saw Smith average 106.6 and could be in the mix as one of the top forwards. Before missing two seasons with two ACL injuries, Sam Docherty averaged a whopping 116.8. While it would be hopeful to think he’ll return those figures, he’ll be among the top few defenders available this season.

RANK

PLAYER

CLUB

POSITION

21

Lachie Neale

BRL

MID

22

Marcus Bontempelli

WBD

MID

23

Nat Fyfe

FRE

MID

24

Dayne Zorko

BRL

MID

25

Jack Crisp

COL

DEF

26

Devon Smith

ESS

MID/FWD

27

Elliot Yeo

WCE

MID

28

Isaac Heeney

SYD

MID/FWD

29

Bachar Houli

RIC

DEF

30

Sam Docherty

CAR

DEF

 

Picks 31-40

Ruck selection is always interesting year-to-year in Draft. Reilly O'Brien enjoyed an outstanding 2019 and is predicted to improve once again. I've got him just ahead of Jarrod Witts, who was also excellent last year, but his pre-season injury has seen him slide

RANK

PLAYER

CLUB

POSITION

31

Reilly O'Brien

ADE

RUCK

32

Dion Prestia

RIC

MID

33

Tom Rockliff

PTA

MID

34

Jarrod Witts

GCS

RUCK

35

James Sicily

HAW

DEF

36

Scott Pendebury

COL

MID

37

Michael Walters

FRE

MID/FWD

38

Mitch Duncan

GEE

MID

39

Toby Greene

GWS

FWD

40

Lachie Hunter

WBD

MID

 

Picks 41-50

At this point of the draft, coaches will still be picking midfielders who should average more than 100 and other positions that should go at more than 90. It is an opportunity to start looking at players who may have a role change that could produce increased points. Dan Houston is one of these. The Port Adelaide 'defender' is looking at more midfield time this year as he did to finish last season. In the last five rounds, Houston averaged 103 playing extended periods in the middle.

RANK

PLAYER

CLUB

POSITION

41

Tom Stewart

GEE

DEF

42

Sebastian Ross

STK

MID

43

Rory Sloane

ADE

MID

44

Rowan Marshall

STK

RUCK

45

Zac Williams

GWS

DEF

46

Dan Houston

PTA

DEF/MID

47

Brodie Smith

ADE

DEF

48

Taylor Adams

COL

MID

49

Jack Ziebell

NTH

MID/FWD

50

Luke Parker

SYD

MID

 

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