FREMANTLE contested beast Nat Fyfe has declared himself a certain starter for round one despite missing the Dockers' two JLT Community Series games with an elbow injury. 

Fyfe underwent minor surgery on his right elbow shortly after appearing in the AFLX tournament. 

RULES WASH-UP How your team adjusted in pre-season

The 27-year-old said he tested his elbow in contact exercises at training on Sunday and he rated himself a certainty to face North Melbourne in the season opener.

Fyfe believes new centre bounce starting positions will play to his strengths, and has reassured fans it is not "panic stations" after the Dockers' understrength midfield was thumped by West Coast. 

The superstar onballer's absence was keenly felt on Sunday when the Eagles dominated stoppages (55-27) and centre clearances (18-5) in the Dockers' 51-point loss in Mandurah.

WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor

"I think it shows the immaturity of our team somewhat," Fyfe said at Fremantle's season launch.

"A great first half, we moved the ball well, we were competitive around stoppages, but in that second half a quality team was able to get hold of us – particularly out of the middle.

"We're seeing some changes with the new 6-6-6 structure at centre square bounce, that's having an effect on teams and our team really needs to evolve quickly to be able to handle that, so some immaturity.

"Against Collingwood, we won the clearances (41-38), we were really competitive, and against West Coast the opposite happened, against two quality midfields.

"It just shows we're going to have some ups and downs as the season goes.

"We get David Mundy back in the midfield (this season), I'll be coming back in, that means there's not as much load on (Andrew) Brayshaw, (Adam) Cerra and younger players going through that midfield.

"I don't think it's panic stations, but it just shows we've got kinks to iron out."

Fyfe ranked in the elite category for centre clearances (3.1 per game) last season and will relish more time and space under the starting positions shake-up.

"Basically, it's just a pure four (versus) four centre square bounce setup, which is my game, contested work," he said.

"I've watched some sides run out the front of the square and midfielders having shots on goal.

"I think that's something we'll try to exploit and really plays to my strengths."