This article is part of our DraftKings AFL series.
Every matchup in this slate sees teams in and out of the playoffs face off with one another. Though this doesn't mean the games will all be lopsided in one direction of the table, it does provide good statistical contrasts to test the mettle of this week's pick. A heavy emphasis on Brisbane in the front and Hawthorn in the back provide two early games with plenty of intrigue as the top eight now fights to confirm their positioning over the second half of the season.
If this is your first time checking out Aussie Rules Football, welcome to a sport that combines the physicality of rugby, the stamina of soccer players and the impressive verticality seen in the American code of football. To make sure you know exactly what each stat looks like, check out this helpful video.
On the pitch, there are 18 players fielded by each team with four interchange options that can rotate up to 75 times per match. In DK competitions, lineups are permitted just nine players: two forwards, four midfielders, two defenders and one ruck. To earn points, players can add to the score (+6 for a goal, +1 for a behind), keep the footy under control (+3 for a kick, +3 for a mark, +2 for a handball) or stop the other team from advancing (+4 for a tackle, +1 for a free kick, +1 for a hitout). On the other side, conceding a free kick is a deduction of three points.
It's worth noting that AFL fantasy is heavily weighted to those who can touch the footy the most times, which is why there are extra midfielders available as they are usually capable of scoring the most points without ever needing to enter the 50-meter line. And with that, here are some potential picks to give you an idea of who to watch out for on Saturday.
Greater Western Sydney Giants (10th) vs Melbourne Demons (1st)
Brisbane Lions (3rd) vs Adelaide Crows (15th)
Carlton Blues (13th) vs Fremantle Dockers (9th)
Port Adelaide Power (4th) vs Hawthorn Hawks (17th)
This Week's Picks:
Always remember to check your lineups! The initial team sheet will come out well in advance of the match, but teams only finalize their selection an hour before first bounce.
Joe Daniher, Brisbane ($5,500): Daniher is the first of three Lions to be selected, though every matchup on this slate pits teams in and out of the finals places against one another. While some forwards are heavily reliant on goals to boost their numbers, Daniher averages 15 disposals and five marks per game on top of already scoring 24 goals total. Though he and the next pick could end up with similar numbers, all they need to do is stay consistent in order to yield a solid result in fantasy. To get better value out of the forward spots, things may get more costly, as Rory Lobb is in good form while filling the void of Matt Taberner and Connor Rozee has scored nine times in his last three games, though he's coming off an injury.
Charlie Cameron, Brisbane ($4,200): Fresh off a three-goal performance against Geelong, Cameron can look forward to a friendlier matchup against Adelaide this weekend. On top of his impressive effort last week, Cameron has scored goals in 10 straight rounds and has 27 to his name in 14 games. Unlike some of the other forwards at a similar price point, Cameron has shown more consistency in his production to not get completely shut out each week. This can make him look better in comparison to someone like Harrison Himmelberg, who has scored four goals in his last three games but was kept in check by Hawthorn.
Dayne Zorko, Brisbane ($8,100): One could expect Zorko's name to come up more frequently in this page, but he's finally found his moment after a stellar showing last weekend against Geelong. Though Hugh McCluggage still ranks higher than Zorko in total fantasy points scored this season, he's topped 100 points in one of the last five rounds while Zorko has done so in eight of the last nine rounds. When facing an Adelaide side that's recently struggled with their fitness and has lost three of their last five games, Zorko's recent record looks good enough to pick his name from the bunch. A very forgivable selection this week is Tom Mitchell after he put up at least 125 points in three straight games. Other than that, Ollie Wines and Karl Amon from Port could put up big numbers if they gain control early in their game.
Nat Fyfe, Fremantle ($6,100): The Dockers' captain is back after missing a few weeks with a dislocated shoulder and he gets what should be a good game against Carlton. With a decent price for a second midfielder, Fyfe has scored between 91 and 103 fantasy points in his last four full starts. So long as he stays in the final lineup this week and isn't pulled as he was ahead of Round 15, his positioning in the center could prove to be a difference-maker when facing the Blues. One other option to consider is Ed Langdon of Melbourne, who as the next tier down from Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca has scored at least 86 points in his last two games.
Tom Phillips, Hawthorn ($4,500): The quality drops off from here as we move down the list, but that's not so bad when considering some of the potential weapons we've already seen and are still to come. With this in mind, Phillips should be a safe bet for seventy-or-more points if he's able to record at least 17 disposals. Given the Power's tendency to lose control for at least some portion of their games, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Phillips gets enough time with the footy to record a better game than he has so far. If this strategy doesn't enthuse you, consider targeting more players from Port Adelaide like Travis Boak or Mitch Robinson in the middle for Brisbane.
Jack Newnes, Carlton ($4,200): Newnes hasn't played since Round 8 but finds himself lined up at center eight games later. To begin the season, Newnes actually logged over 20 disposals in three of the first four games. For such a low price, Newnes could catch people by surprise and certainly against a team like Fremantle that's fighting for their finals hopes. Consider Adam Cerra on the other side as a more expensive alternate, as he lines up at follower this week but hasn't been in great form in the month of June.
Nic Newman, Carlton ($5,700): Newman's value jumped up after he recorded 111 fantasy points in Round 15 against Adelaide, but in a team where the defenders are often the most reliable scorers, it's worth a shot to spend up when possible. Additionally, Newman has only played six times this season but he's recorded at least 17 disposals in all but one game. Against the records of nearby defenders in Steven May and Blake Hardwick, these numbers are more than enough to make a difference. At the top of the list this week is Daniel Rich, and though he's got a good average for points per game, he's only scored above 100 points in two of his last four games.
Michael Hibberd, Melbourne ($3,700): For the price, Hibberd is in good shape on the back of consecutive scoring improvements over his last two weeks. His inclusion is more the basis of picking two players in the $8,000 tier, but it's worth the exchange since production is nearly guaranteed in some of the higher classes. For cheap defenders, it coudl be worth looking at the options offered by Hawthorn, as the recent injury to Jarman Impay leaves a hole that's in need of filling.
Max Gawn, Melbourne ($8,000): Though Gawn may have the toughest matchup of any two teams in this week's slate, he doesn't have as hard of a positional matchup against GWS and Matt Flynn. With no fewer than 97 points scored over his last seven games, Gawn is seldom stopped to the degree that his performance is negated by the efforts of an opponent. Much like the work done by Jack Macrae and Marcus Bontempelli in dominating the midfield, Gawn is in a class by himself among rucks on the field and in fantasy stats. An alternative to Gawn could be Scott Lycett, who has returned from his suspension in good form and recorded 38 disposals in last week's win over Sydney.