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AGL Grand Final Daily Fantasy guide: The strategy you need to build a winning team


Some Grand Final traditions have stood the test of time. The overnight Grand Final Marathon, the pre-game beverage(s) at your mate’s BBQ, and the half time kick to kick on the street.

These days however, new traditions are starting to take over.  Showing your mates that you have the knowledge and confidence to back in your Norm Smith pick, your first goal scorer and picking the winner of the Granny. And for value you put those selections in a same game multi.  Yet when it comes to ultimate bragging rights in your group of mates, it is all about beating them on the leaderboard on Draftstars.

If you have never heard of Draftstars before, the site is for Daily Fantasy Sports. You probably heard of season long fantasy competitions such as AFL Fantasy, Supercoach and Dream Team but Draftstars contests are just a one-day fantasy format.

You need to construct a line-up of players within a $100,000 salary cap and then once the game is underway, you score fantasy points for your line-up from the players statistics. These statistics are updated live so you can see where you stand on the contest’s leaderboard. If your team puts together a very good performance, then your paid entry can yield a handsome return!

This week, Draftstars have released their largest ever prize pools for the AFL Grand Final between the Cats and the Swans. The featured contest is guaranteed for $250,000 in total cash prizes for that one day in September.

The $250k is not the only contest they have on the site, there are other contests that suits everyone’s budget with contest fees starting at 50 cents per entry all the way up to $150 per entry if you like to play with the “High Rollers”. The site also can create custom contests between your friends so you can really cheer on your players after your Same Game Multi is dust after the 1st quarter.

The scoring format is exactly the same as the official AFL Fantasy game, so if you are used to that format then it will be easy to follow.  

Building a Draftstars team for the Grand Final is quite simple if you keep to these principles:

  1. Select your Ruckman first – Since there are only a couple of players to choose from as your Ruck, then make that selection first. You don’t want to make a beautiful looking team and realise you do not have enough money in your salary cap to roster a Ruck. Do this first and if you like to live dangerously then roster the underperforming and injury prone Rhys Stanley.
  2. Dual Positions Players are popular – With 9 roster spots and 4 positions, there is overlap for players who push forward or roam back. Thus, Draftstars give these players a dual position. Players such as Zach Tuohy and Mitch Duncan are always popular as they can be rostered as a Defender and a Midfielder.
  3. Decide on a line-up build strategy – Having a salary cap means you cannot just pick the 9 best players and win. In season long fantasy, the best coaches load their teams at the start of the year with premiums and rookies. The Rookies play and their salary increases over the season. That is no different here, you can build teams with 3-4 expensive players and fill the rest of your roster with cheaper low salary players. This is known as ‘Stars and Scrubs’. If the Scrubs go well and the Stars do what they are supposed to do, then your line-up has a lot of potential.  However, the scrubs tend to score what they normally do, and that is not much at all. Other players look to build a team that is quite middle of the road. Not picking the players who are the most expensive and not picking the bottom of the barrel players either. This is called a ‘balanced’ approach. These players look to extract value from players who look to be under-priced from bad recent form. Joel Selwood is the exact type of player here. Middle priced but has the ability to score a large amount of fantasy points. Each strategy has its pros and cons.
  4. You do not have to spend all your salary cap in Tournaments – You have rostered your final player and you see you have over $1,000 left in your salary cap. To you it may look wrong but do not change it! Our minds are trained to extract all the value you can from an item. Playing fantasy is no different. You may have enough money in your salary cap to go from Oliver Florent to Zach Tuohy who is exactly $1,000 more. 98 people out of 100 will automatically change from Florent to Tuohy because they have the funds and Tuohy looks to be a better player than Florent on their history of fantasy scores. In these large field tournaments having “salary on the table” makes your line-up very unique and gives you leverage. You’re playing to win the large first place prize, not to share it with ten of your closest friends! If Florent scores simply 1 more fantasy point than Tuohy, you have achieved leverage.
  5. Have a sneaky play – Think of a player that no one would like to play in their teams. Max Holmes with a dodgy hamstring. Jed Bews is still getting a game although I don’t see him near the footy. Paddy McCartin is a great story but is he a fantasy pig? Having a rostered player who will be low owned can make or break your team. This is a tournament with over 14,000+ in entries. If your sneaky goes above and beyond on their expectations for fantasy, then your line-up has the potential to be at the very top and no one else will have him in their lineups.
  6. Build to your narrative – Are the Cats going to win by 10+ goals? Then you may want goal kickers such as Jeremy Cameron, Tom Hawkins or Gary Rohan in your teams. Does it look like a wet MCG? Then look for big tacklers such as James Rowbottom and Callum Mills. Think about how the game might play out and roster players for that narrative.

This is the last chance to use your AFL Fantasy knowledge before we put it away for the year. And best of all a cheeky brag to your mates on Grand Final day if your line-up comes up trumps. 

Keen to give it a go? Hit up Draftstars today to get started.

T&Cs apply. Gamble responsibly.



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