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Brand new: AFL Fantasy 2014 first look

AFL Fantasy 2014 first look

Things are changing in the Australian fantasy football landscape… and it’s about time!

AFL Fantasy 2014No, it’s not just the return of the FanFooty blog! That is happening as of this blog post. I had a sabbatical for a couple of years but now I’ll be back.

The big early word is that AFL Fantasy – what used to be called AFL Dream Team, but which now has transitioned fully to the new name of AFL Fantasy – is making some significant changes to the competition. Primary among those announced so far are the rookie prices. Not only is the price premium on the top draftees going to be more than doubled, mini-draft rookies are priced even higher, and the minimum price has been lifted so that late national draft picks are priced at the same as rookies.

This means that the tactic last year of preferring mini-draftees for basement price – Jaeger O’Meara and Brad Crouch this year, Jesse Hogan and Jack Martin next year – over the top national draft picks will no longer make sense purely on salary cap considerations. The price premium will still dampen enthusiasm compared to those at basement price, but the comparison becomes more even now. For instance Lachie Whitfield wasn’t all that popular in 2013, being in 46,747 teams as opposed to Crouch being in 50,124 DT squads despite not even being picked for Adelaide in round 1. Of course, Crouch eventually outscored Whitfield by 20 points per game, but Crouch’s lack of games pre-byes meant he was the wrong choice as Whitfield’s price topped out at the right time. Perhaps one to chalk up to picking draftees in developing sides.

Anyway, a hidden consequence of this structural change in prices is that the trend of the best teams being “finished” before the byes will be much harder to attain now, assuming that the price movement mechanism stays roughly similar. It will still be possible if you can manage to find six to ten rookies who outscore their implied price by 30+ and get games every week before the byes. Taking Martin and Hogan out of that equation narrows the window of possibilities, though, because that means they would have to score a lot more than they would have. Hogan’s “implied price” is 49 under the new system, whereas it would have been 25 under the old one. This means he has to score 49s just to break even now, which for a key forward in particular is a lot more difficult than 25s, and he would have to average 24 more points per game in 2014 to get the same price increase as he would have got in 2013.

I will post the Team of AFL Fantasy Teams periodically during the preseason, which is deriven from the FanFooty Fanplanner. At the moment it’s a bit skewed, because we’re in the middle of the teams being announced with positional changes that make many teams illegal. In particular, the popularity of Viv Michie as a forward will mean lots of rearrangement because he’s only a mid.

Team of AFL Fantasy Teams Fanplanner squad in the AFL Fantasy competition coached by m0nty. Salary cap left: $109,100.

Bryce Gibbs, Jarrad McVeigh, Sam Mitchell, Matt Suckling, James Battersby, Matthew Scharenberg
Nathan Bock, Jake Kolodjashnij

Scott Pendlebury, Jobe Watson, Gary Ablett jnr, Dayne Beams, Claye Beams, Jared Polec, Dom Tyson, Jack Martin
James Aish, Matt Crouch

Hamish McIntosh, Aaron Sandilands
Daniel Currie, Liam McBean

Steve Johnson, Tom Rockliff, Dale Thomas, Paul Chapman, Lance Franklin, Alex Fasolo
Jesse Hogan, Shane Kersten

Martin and Hogan are still well represented, though that’s probably a holdover from their earlier cheapness. I’d expect their popularity to plummet, especially Hogan. Personally I don’t like Bock or Kolodjashnij to score well, the former because I think he’s not going to be fit and the latter just because he’s a key back.

There will be a lot more focus in the preseason on basement price rookies. Fantasy coaches are not going to want to miss any of the boats if they’re going, as gaining that extra $100k+ is going to be crucial as to when you attain the 22-gun salute. More on that in future posts, no doubt.



  1. Alex87

    December 9, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Nice work Monty!

    Should be a good year!

    Speaking of change…would you ever consider building Fan Footy into the AFL website like the NFL do for fantasy?

    I think you two could be very good friends.

  2. m0nty

    December 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Everything is possible, Alex!

  3. chad

    December 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    great to have the blog back m0nty! us tragics can never get enough media. Few years ago the blog was on my morning checklist 🙂 Stevie J surprises me, most expensive player not sure he is value. Patty D will be more popular I suspect.

  4. Warnie

    December 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Great to have the blog back, m0nty! 2014 will be a very interesting year for all fantasy games… especially the official AFL Fantasy game. The rookie pricing structure is great. Needed to happen with the whole two trades per week, every week thing.

  5. Mr.Craig

    December 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I’d have to disagree about Whitfield being a better pick that Crouch. No one could have crystal balled that Crouch would get injured and his scoring on return suggests he would have made a bucket load more money than Lachie pre byes.

    Speaking of money, how achievable do you think a “complete” team is in 2014? We seem to be hoping that the Claye Beams’, Viv Michie’s and Mitch Clark’s of the world are going to suddenly light up. I’m all for a more challenging game but it seems on the surface next year will be quite a slog.

  6. m0nty

    December 9, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Whitfield ended up being a better rookie pick than Crouch because of the injury, that is undeniable. It’s also entirely luck-based, so it’s not a criticism of those who picked Crouch.

    Good point on the complete team issue, Mr.Craig. I suspect the select few at the very top of the rankings will be finished early, but most of us will hit turbulence somewhere along the way as Murphy’s Law kicks in and take longer than before.

  7. m0nty

    December 9, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Also, hey Warnie… tell Roy his call of Laidler as the new Mattner is his worst pick yet! 😉

  8. Aidan

    December 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Johnson, Rockliff and Daisy are all mid only…

  9. m0nty

    December 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Yes Aidan, there are some holdovers from the previous designations. Things will change a lot after Christmas.

  10. Warnie

    December 9, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I’ll be sure to pass that on! I think one of the ‘complaints’ about the 44 trades was that we were able to complete our teams too quickly. I am sure the rookie prices (as well as some other changes that we might still see) are there to slow that down. That’s a good thing for the game in my opinion.

  11. m0nty

    December 9, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    That’s an excellent point Warnie. 44 trades was a good idea IMO, but raising the rookie prices makes it better because it rebalances the flow of the game over the course of the season, back to somewhere near where it used to be.

  12. Don

    December 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    At the risk of being daft, how did you get 2 ruck reserves using Fanplanner? Only got two bench backs, centres and forwards.

    Very helpful article, Monty. 2nd year fantasy player. Planning so I can do a bit better in league.

  13. Ziplock

    December 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Good stuff m0nty. Honestly, I was surprised last year that O’meara/ Crouch were basement priced, so this year wasn’t a particular shock.

    Personally, I like the increased price on rookies, it makes mid priced strategy far more viable 😛

  14. Mick

    December 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Jarrad McVeigh should be the first picked this year by everybody….

  15. Jackwatt$

    December 11, 2013 at 11:45 am

    M0nty is it just me, or does FanFooty get a whole lot better in Hawthorn premiership years?? I remember 2009 per-season Woweee, the was my best finish yet! Can I expect to see the projected teams anytime soon? Another fine addition

  16. m0nty

    December 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Yes Jack, there will be the return of a lot of old features like the projected teams. Might also fire up the depth charts as well.

  17. jarrad_

    December 11, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    DESPERATELY hope super coach dont copy dream teams rookie prices

  18. Big Feller

    December 15, 2013 at 10:56 am

    One thing I’m not looking forward to is the loss of the team picker with Assistant Coach – I want my money back!!!

  19. nostradogmat

    December 29, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    44 trades is in my opinion retarded and Id rather less than previous than more. Id be happy with 20 trades again because then trades would mean more and you would have to think twice before ditching someone who was down on form or out with injury for say 3 to 4 weeks.
    This is the reason why in my opinion Supercoach will always be superior and why it will continue to dominate DT (or whatever stupid name it has now) in terms of participants.Surely Monty the likes of yourself, Warnie etc see that the excessive trades although seemingly attracting people to the game is actually losing the hardcore fans who have been round since the start.
    All the “nuffys” coming in get bored and never complete there teams anyway.
    In the past the overall prize was ableto be won by a top player now its more of pot luck then previous.
    Just my two cents (top 1000 both comps 3 years running)

  20. nick

    January 13, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    nice team how every you have a problem there and so will many supercoachs etc that steve j is not a mid fwd anymore they have only classed him as a mid and what about bartel I would pick him over Bryce gibbs any day as bartel is a super gun and gibbs well need I say it waste of talent also dale Thomas is looking good have whack him in the fwd line for me and stevie j will be in my mid also I would go bartel as he is cheaper then gibbs

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