IT HAS been a long pre-season and we've made it to the first game of the season. Our initial players will be locked in and the first points will be scored when the Tigers and Blues get things started for 2021.

Make sure you've registered, picked a squad of 30 players and created or joined a league so that you can have a heap of fun playing AFL Fantasy this year.

Don't forget you can win a TOYOTA HILUX valued at $60k if you're the overall winner of Fantasy Classic.

GET THE FANTASY APP Download from the Apple Store or Google Play now

Understand the rolling lockout

Teams will be announced the day before they play in 2021. This means a rolling lockout will be in place as teams for Sunday, for example, won't be known until after at least four games have started.

As each game begins, players from the two competing clubs are locked (ie. you can't trade in/out, change captain/vice captain/emergency if selected, etc). You are able to edit the rest of your team.

During round one, this becomes a challenge as you may pass up a player for someone later in the round only to find they are not selected. A fringe player from a club playing on Sunday may not make the cut and you will have limited options to replace them with.

Have a back-up plan but maybe picking players who play earlier in the round could give you piece of mind.

Thursday, March 18

Friday teams announced (Collingwood, Western Bulldogs) 6.20pm AEDT

Richmond vs Carlton (MCG) 7.25pm AEDT

Friday, March 19

Saturday teams announced (Melbourne, Fremantle, Adelaide, Geelong, Essendon, Hawthorn, Brisbane, Sydney) 6.20pm AEDT

Collingwood vs Western Bulldogs (Marvel) 7.50pm AEDT

Saturday, March 20

Melbourne vs Fremantle (MCG) 1.45pm AEDT
Adelaide Crows vs Geelong Cats (AO) 4:05pm ACDT (4.35pm AEDT)

Sunday teams announced (North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, GWS Giants, St Kilda, West Coast, Gold Coast) 6.20pm AEDT

Essendon vs Hawthorn (Marvel) 7.25pm AEDT
Brisbane Lions vs Sydney Swans (G) 6:45pm AEDT (7.45pm AEDT)

Sunday, March 21

North Melbourne vs Port Adelaide (Marvel) 1.10pm AEDT
GWS Giants vs St Kilda (GS) 3.20pm AEDT
West Coast Eagles vs Gold Coast Suns (OS) 3:10pm AWST (6.10pm AEDT)

04:36 Mins
Published on

The Traders' Fantasy preview: round one

Warnie names the cash cows he likes and Calvin nominates his top captain options

Published on

Pick the right cash cows

Bargain basement selections are the key to building your bank during the season.

Pick a $170,000 rookie, watch them appreciate in value and trade them out for another rookie a few weeks later. Use the cash earned to upgrade another player and hopefully gain more points.

Some clubs have already announced their debutants.

Adelaide: Sam Berry (MID, $216,000), James Rowe (FWD, $196,000)

Collingwood: Oliver Henry (FWD, $238,000)

Essendon: Nik Cox (DEF/FWD, $256,000), Harrison Jones (FWD, $170,000)

Fremantle: Lloyd Meek (RUC, $170,000)

GWS Giants: Tanner Bruhn (MID, $268,000), Matt Flynn (RUC, $170,000)

Melbourne: James Jordan (MID, $170,000)

St Kilda: Paul Hunter (RUC, $170,000)

Sydney: Logan McDonald (FWD, $264,000), Braeden Campbell (MID/FWD, $262,000), Errol Gulden (MID, $208,000)

Western Bulldogs: Lachlan McNeil (MID, $170,000), Anthony Scott (MID/FWD, $170,000)

CASH COW CENTRAL The must-have rookies in Fantasy

Medical substitute

The announcement on Wednesday of the medical substitute has brought back some flashbacks for Fantasy coaches playing between 2011-2015.

Things are a bit better with the new medical sub as the substitute comes from one of the four emergencies, not from within their club's 22. The 23rd player for each team will be named 60 minutes before the bounce of the ball in each game.

Important information for Fantasy.

  • If the 23rd player takes to the field, their score will count. Prices will change.
  • If the 23rd player isn't substituted into the match, he is regarded as a DNP (did not play). Price will not be affected.

This makes checking who is named as an emergency very important. Coaches should aim to have 30 players playing this weekend, all being within their club's 22. Avoid emergencies.

As the season progresses, holding a player who is named as an emergency could come with some risk if they are activated as a substitute. You run the risk of limited game time, a low Fantasy score and if they don't reach their breakeven, a price drop, hurting cash generation.

Please be patient this weekend as we navigate any issues having 23 scoring players may present.

 >> Click here to download this year's AFL Fantasy Draft Kit

Follow the trends

Some coaches like to have a point of difference (POD) but over the years, it has been a positive move to start with a 'vanilla' team. Following what other coaches have done can get you on the right track. In most cases, players are popular for a reason. Whether that is due to their Fantasy scoring history or the perceived value of the picks, generally the crowd know what they're doing.

Top 30 most selected

Rank

Player

Club

Position

Price

Ownership

1

Jacob Koschitzke

Haw

DEF

$170,000

53.9%

2

Matt Flynn

GWS

RUC

$170,000

52.2%

3

Matt Rowell

GCS

MID

$574,000

51.2%

4

Rory Laird

Adel

DEF/MID

$763,000

48.1%

5

Tom Phillips

Haw

MID/FWD

$602,000

46.8%

6

Tom Powell

NM

MID

$246,000

46.2%

7

Tyler Brockman

Haw

MID/FWD

$180,000

45.9%

8

Braeden Campbell

Syd

MID/FWD

$262,000

45.1%

9

Paddy Dow

Carl

MID/FWD

$323,000

43.3%

10

Brodie Grundy

Coll

RUC

$867,000

43.1%

11

Max Gawn

Melb

RUC

$944,000

42.5%

12

Patrick Dangerfield

Geel

MID/FWD

$780,000

41.2%

13

Jordan Clark

Geel

DEF/MID

$422,000

40.7%

14

James Rowe

Adel

FWD

$196,000

40.4%

15

Errol Gulden

Syd

MID

$208,000

40.3%

16

Thomas Highmore

St K

DEF

$182,000

39.3%

17

Dustin Martin

Rich

MID/FWD

$713,000

38.7%

18

Miles Bergman

PA

FWD

$170,000

36.7%

19

Connor Downie

Haw

MID

$202,000

35.5%

20

Lloyd Meek

Frem

RUC

$170,000

35.2%

21

Jayden Short

Rich

DEF

$694,000

33.9%

22

Hayden Young

Frem

DEF

$337,000

32.4%

23

Jake Lloyd

Syd

DEF

$873,000

32.1%

24

Tim Taranto

GWS

MID

$718,000

30.6%

25

Zach Merrett

Ess

MID

$884,000

30.3%

26

Paul Hunter

St K

RUC

$170,000

29.5%

27

Harrison Jones

Ess

FWD

$170,000

26.6%

28

Lachie Neale

BL

MID

$935,000

26.2%

29

Trent Bianco

Coll

DEF/MID

$170,000

26.2%

30

Josh Dunkley

WB

MID/FWD

$741,000

25.7%

Below is a squad made up of some of the most popular players in Fantasy Classic. Some were added due to their availability this round while other decisions have been made around popular strategy, such as the $170k ruck in R2 that is gaining momentum. There is exactly $0 remaining … is it a sign that this is the 'perfect' team?

Get expert advice from The Traders throughout the season in the Fantasy Hub. Follow AFL Fantasy on Twitter and 'like' the Facebook page to join in the conversation.