AFL Fantasy Cheat Sheet: MIDFIELD (Ablett edition)

Thanks for all the emails and comments requesting our 1st Midfield cheatsheet for the preseason. We love hearing from you and know you’ve all been super patient waiting for our finest work.


ABLETT… that’s what!

zeus ablett

To be honest we have been debating the Ablett dilemma greatly!

For those of you catching up with the news, Ablett has had a terrible preseason, barely training at full capacity, doing non-contact work, and recovering from his shoulder injury. He has not played an intra-club match, and has not played a single NAB match either. We were all expecting him to line up however for the last NAB game, scrape through unscathed and play Round 1. Nearly every team we have looked at on forums and DT sites, along with all of our own draft teams, have included Ablett. He is one of the biggest locks of the season. Or is he?

The news of his withdrawal from Gold Coast’s final NAB match and the talk of him not getting up for Round 1 is sending shivers down our spines. (*Karma strikes DTFML’s very own Baker who luckily drew 1st pick in both Supercoach draft and AFL Elite draft and took Ablett with the #1 pick both times) It was only 7 days ago we were wrapping up midfield cheatsheets and we were telling the story… “Lock Ablett first”. All of a sudden we have this quandry, to Ablett or not to Ablett… and what to do if we don’t? And holy shit… don’t publish that cheatsheet quite yet!

As you know, we don’t take these issues lightly at DTFML!
We really take our advice and cheatsheets seriously.

Something as big as losing Ablett from your round 1 team can send shockwaves through a team structure. Financial implications, captaincy implications… it’s a serious decision to make.

So we appreciate your patience and hope that we can get you thinking about this mega issue which needs to be addressed.


The Rockliff Issue

Here at DTFML we had concluded a week ago that assuming Ablett is fit and playing, then starting with Rockliff at his ridiculous price is just not something we can recommend. We were going to push hard to take Ablett and leave Rocky out, upgrading someone else to Rocky using a double-downgrade-upgrade (in Fantasty) during the season as soon as possible, especially if his price comes down a little. The difference between Rocky and another gun (Beams, Priddis, etc) is just too much money, which can be used to upgrade elsewhere. Even the difference from Rocky to Ablett is significant, and no-one can deny Ablett’s ability to score as a captain every week!

It’s a significant decision, but we have truly decided that running Ablett as captain instead of Rocky in your Round 1 team and to use the money to significantly improve elsewhere is our advice. Our team structures and cheatsheets are based around this very important decision.

With Ablett in doubt however, this critical decision comes into doubt.

Can we afford to go into Round 1 without the 2 best Fantasy players in the country. What does your team look like without Rocky or Ablett at the helm? Weak. That’s what. Do you really want to come up against someone with Rocky as captain? Urgh. It’s a really shit decision to have to make.

Option 1 – Ablett is all good, he’s playing round 1

There is a solid argument that ‘god’ (as we like to call him here) doesn’t need a preseason. GC are just cotton-woolling him through the preseason so he can hit Round 1 fit and raring to go. This is the best case scenario… but it’s possible that if Ablett does play Round 1 he may underperform. He may not bang out that glorious round 1 score of 130points like we want, he might not even play the whole game, and he most likely wont be playing at full capacity. But hey, its ok, lets take him, make someone else Captain for that first week because he’ll be up and running shortly after and our team just looks awesome with Ablett leading the way.

On this basis, the 2 cheatsheets below this article follow this option.


Option 2 – Ablett’s injured, pick Rocky instead

The next option to look at is dropping Ablett and taking Rocky as your M1 position, using him as your captain. Rocky should bang out about 20 more points a match than the next best gun (Beams, Priddis, etc) which makes it +40points a game as your captain. Can we sacrifice the higher captain score each week? Not sure. Whats our other option…

Option 3 – Ablett’s injured, don’t pick him or Rocky

The money saved by not taking Ablett or Rocky and replacing them with another genuine gun player you wanted (Sidebottom, Barlow etc) is significant. That money could be the difference between upgrading a midpricer like Rich to an underpriced premo like Griffen! Or a midprice forward like Adams/Mitchell to a gun like Bartel/Goddard/Gray/Franklin!

This is a significant cost saving, but expect to sacrifice 40 captain points a week and youll wanna spend the saved money somewhere else to make back these points at least! Can we do that? Where can you gain back those 40 points in your structure?

Final thoughts…?

* If Ablett is named for Round 1 – prepare for a late withdrawal ! What is your backup plan? Get ready to execute it!

* If you are playing a league which doesn’t start competitive games until Round 3… we think you have to pick Ablett and not worry about him missing the first game. He’ll be right by Round 3!

* If he plays Round 1, he has to be in your team!

* If he doesn’t, we think you have to take Rocky instead, and lock away a captain option. If you need to free up cash to make this happen, downgrading a midfield gun to the extremely underpriced Ryan Griffen is probably your best approach.


There seems to be a fairly common midfield structure out and about on the forums which looks a little like this…

  • CAPTAIN (Ablett or Rocky)
  • 3 GUNS
  • 2 MIDPRICERS (Rich and VanBerlo)
  • 2 BARGAINS on field
  • 2 ROOKIES on bench

The key behind this structure is not the guns or the rookies, there’s plenty of both, but it is the midpricers of Daniel Rich and VanBerlo. Rich looks set to fill the run from half back pushing through the middle and setting up play for the Lions in place of the injured Hanley. Returning from a season of injury he is super cheap and most expect him to average 80’ish. Van Berlo looks set to release his tagging role and could slot into the mid for a similar 80+ average. Priced under $300k, both look like a bargain.

But to be honest, we don’t like it.

Firstly we don’t think it scores well enough. Even from Round 1 we can score better than that.

Secondly, there are enough Bargains/Rookies to fill more than 2 spots on field and the bench, and with an absence of defense and ruck rookies, we will be relying more than ever on forward and midfield rookies/bargains to make us the cash we need to upgrade our team throughout the season.

Both Rich and VanBerlo are certain to make some cash, but not as much as a $120k rookie who could score just as well with an 80 average. In fact the rookie can average only 65points and still make us more money than the midpricers.

So here are our plans instead… grab the 2 midpricers and make one a gun, and one a rookie… giving us a nudge on scoring while providing 5 solid cash cow positions.

M1 – ABLETT – fully dependent on the concerns we shared earlier… but if he plays, you gotta pick him.

M2, M3 & M4 – 3 GUNS – pick 3 solid reliable midfield guns who will sit in your team for the entire season. Think Barlow, Beams, Lewis, Pendles, Priddis and co.

M5 – VALUE GUN – There are a host of excellent midfield options to pick this year who are underpriced due to injury or just priced and poised to explode into super gun status. Think Griffen, Treloar, Green, Wines, Crouch and Neale. Pick the one you think will go big consistently and who you could keep for the year.

M6, M7 & M8 – 3 BARGAINS –  Look for non-rookies who finally get their shot, like Cripps, Newton, Acres or Anderson. Add to that list some rookies like Freeman, Dumont, Vandenberg and Ellis-Yolmen. There are enough options under $200k to get us safely through the first rounds to the bye where we can offload and make some money and some much needed upgrades. IT is critical that all of these players are not only  named for Round 1, but are likely to avoid getting vested, and have solid job security. These guys need to be playing every week to make the money you need.

M9 & M10 – Bargains/Rookies on the bench – Exhaust the above list of bargains and rookies and load up your bench with 2 more cash cows, giving you a total of 5 players making you the big bucks that you need to upgrade your team.

The structure looks a little more old school than we’ve seen elsewhere, but with good reason. There are so little ruck and defender rookie/bargain options this year, that we truly need to rely on forward and midfield rookies to make us the money we need to upgrade all of our team. We just dont believe that this can be done, and that you can raise the money you need, with only 4 rookies across the midfield. We strongly recommend the 5 rookie structure at this stage.

  • 3 x GUNS
  • 1 x VALUE GUN

cheat mid nab 3 fantasy guns and rooks
(click above to load version 1 of our Midfield CheatSheet)



Ok so we’ve made you wait longer than we wanted so we only feel it’s fair to share some other thoughts we’ve been having this week. It’s a second option which we feel has some benefits also.

What if we wanted to score a little more than the last structure, and still try to make as much money as possible?

What if we grabbed that 4th midfielder, the gun, the Priddis/Barlow/Lewis type… and took advantage of the underpriced midfield guns that are available instead. So a 2nd value gun, like Greene/Treloar/Neale etc. This actually has the potential of scoring the same, while saving some cash.

And what do we do with that cash?
We upgrade one of the onfield bargains, and make them the safer midpriced option… like a Rich/VanBerlo type, or even Hallahan who I’m bullish on.

  • Can this structure make us enough money? Not convinced.
  • Can it score well… absolutely.
  • Are we relying on the rookies as much… not quite.

Some pros and cons, but overall it looks a little like this…

  • 2 x GUNS
  • 2 x VALUE GUNS
  • 1 x MIDPRICE

cheat mid nab 3 fantasy value
(click above to load version 1 of our Midfield CheatSheet)


JUSTO’s MIDFIELD as of 19/3/15

Here’s a quick look at how my team looks using the two structures described above:

Structure 1

  • 3 x GUNS (Beams, Lewis/Priddis, Barlow)
  • 1 x VALUE GUN (Neale/Greene)
  • 5 x ROOKIES/BARGAINS (Newton, Cripps, Anderson, Vandenberg, Freeman)

mid team gunsrook ablett

Structure 2

  • 2 x GUNS (Beams, Priddis/Lewis)
  • 2 x VALUE GUNS (Greene, Neale)
  • 1 x MIDPRICE (Hallahan)
  • 4 x ROOKE/BARGAINS (Cripps, Newton, Vandenberg, Freeman)

mid team value ablett

And what I like about this is that if Ablett doesnt play and I have to switch him to Rocky, I can get the money by changing Greene to Griffen, without changing my structure at all, which is extremely important!

mid team value rockliff

Im actually quite excited looking at a midfield which looks like this. It is certainly a structure I will spend some more time on this weekend.

Stay tuned for a few days (yes we really mean just a few days) and we will take a look at the entire team with Defense and Rucks as the final week of NAB games wraps up.

Cheers for your patience!

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9 thoughts on “AFL Fantasy Cheat Sheet: MIDFIELD (Ablett edition)

  1. Great work on the Sheets.

    Would you consider adding Scott Selwood to your “Value Guns” if he look OK in NAB4 (he is slated to play)? I am not seeing much love SSelwood out there and not sure why. He seems very under-priced.

    • Thanks mate
      Being a WCE fan myself, id love to have scooter in my team. But his preseason has been underdone, he hasnt played an intraclub or a NAB match yet and there isnt evidence that he’s 100%. Hopefully he plays the derby this Sunday and we can see how he’s feeling and how the coach wants him to play. You are spot on though, Id have him in that group if he’s fine to go, but still might not pick him ahead of Griffen, Neale, Greene, Treloar or Swallow.

  2. Thanks very much for the cheatsheet. Would you recommend the first structure or the first one, assuming that ablett is playing?

    • Might hold off from committing fully either way, but for Dreamteam i am leaning to the first structure – guns and rookies… and for fantasy im leaning to the 2nd one actually with those 2 underpriced midfield guns who could average 100+ (Neale, Greene, Griffen etc) and with the extra fantasy trades we have the luxury to swap and get it right if need be.
      Ill be discussing it again after the weekend

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