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DT Talk Writers Draft 2014

As there is a greater trend towards the Draft style of AFL fantasy, the DT Talk team decided that we needed to have a resource out there for you guys to have a look at and use whilst you are doing your drafting.

As there is a greater trend towards the Draft style of AFL fantasy, the DT Talk team decided that we needed to have a resource out there for you guys to have a look at and use whilst you are doing your drafting.  Our draft was hosted on the Ultimate Footy platform as we believe that this is the one that most of our readers are more likely to play.  However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use our results below for your guide on any of the other platforms available such as AFL Fantasy, Real Dream Team and Supercoach draft.

Our draft had the following parameters:

Player Settings were default apart from adding a Utiliy spot.


Scoring Settings are the default settings



Our draft order was decided by my son Josh drawing numbers relating to teams out of his hat.  Exceptionally Random!  Teams were given two days notice as to their draft position.  The draft had a 60 sec limit on making selections and was held on Thurs the 13th of Feb so we only had one NAB Challenge game in the books to go on.  This made it very tough for the guys.  Anyway, below are the results of the draft and some analysis by each of the coaches as to their results and strategy.


Click on the picture below to get a full size look at our full draft results.


Coaches Analysis.

Each coach has given you their analysis of their night and what they thought about the draft.

draftGriffPick 1 – Griff’s Growlers

Using a snake-draft system meant I had to be very methodic when picking players. If I didn’t pick mutliple positions in back-to-back picks, it was highly possible that by the time I next got to pick, all the good players of one position (rucks or forwards) could be gone. As such, after my first two picks I ensured to always pick the best two players available from different positions. This ensured my team would be well balanced, despite possibly leaving better players for others. I sacrificed the backline a bit which made it possible to pick stronger players in the midfield and forward-line (traditionally higher scoring positions).  I was willing to allow my backline to be weaker than the rest of my team on the assumption that a weak backline bleeds less points than a weak forward line or weak midfield. Even if my five backline players average only 70pts each across a season, it’s still only 60 points behind a backline that scores 2×100, 1×80 1×70 & 1×60. Having more premiums in the midfield will easily make up these points.

I did pick a few ‘premo’ injured players with the plan that I had enough cover to get through the early rounds with a few wins with this cover and then with a bit of luck can storm home at the end of the season. Pairing them with their replacement players (Butler for Waters, Darley for Murphy, Young for Seedsman etc) also ensured my cover should score reasonably well.

I feel I had a good draft, getting enough big-scorers who could combine for weekly wins. I also went for known names, so if I get in trouble, a trade which includes ‘Boyd’ or ‘Ablett’ or ‘Walker’ may carry some weight in my favour. An extra DPP backline player would’ve helped for versatility, but the good ones were gone early. The biggest surprise of the night came when Calvin picked Will Minson with his second pick. Calvin must be banking on him having a huge season to rate him in the top 15 players available.


Pick 2 – McRathdraftMcrath 

Going in with pick 2, like Griff I had to be very careful to maintain a balance in my picks. Aside from having 10 minutes in between every second round, I had little time in between my actual picks e.g. after netting Swanny at #2, my next two were 23 and 26 respectively – a pattern that continued for the rest of my 29 picks. It was, however okay to be able to relax and reflect in between then smash out two guys I wanted pretty well back-to-back. Having a bit of fun (smack talk and the like) in between via the chat box was great fun, too.

My basic strategy was to get a few guys in each position that I thought would play all year (durable) and be in the top 5-10 by years end (scoring power) – that was my goal with my first 5-6 picks. From there it was all about trusting my instincts and rotating positions with each pick, while trying to get guys in that I thought were better value than their avg inferred e.g. Cotchin, Gunston, Mumford etc
Would I have done anything differently? No, I don’t think so. I’m pretty happy with the players I drafted and have a good balance – having a strong Defence, Ruck duo and Forward line. At times I opted against the proven type, instead puting faith in the ‘breakout’ that I picked at what I deemed appropriate times (Armitage, Cunnington, Shaw etc). But overall, I’m very happy with the squad and how the draft went for Team McRath. Big surprise for me was seeing Minson go early at 15 – Calvin must’ve really wanted the big man!
One final thing – I’d definitely recommend having your pre-draft preferences (position scarcity considered) set to at least a rough degree (crucial for later rounds) up to at least 200-300 if you can. Writing down your drafted players names as you go per position helps you keep an eye on your progress, which is also essential to make sure you get your balance right early on.

draftCruttPick 3 – Crutto’s Crappers – (Crutton)

With Pick number 3, my plan was to select Ablett or Swan, if available – just can’t pass that up. I really liked the idea of Dangerfield in the first round, but I think he is probably every chance of averaging 95 again this year, and when you have a 110 point consistency of Pendles on offer, I just couldn’t pass it up. Next I wanted to focus on DEF/FWDs – The midfield quality is deep – the same can’t be said for forwards and defenders. I liked my chance of picking up decent mids in the later rounds of the draft (which I think I did).   I’m not overly fussed with Rucks – plenty of them later in the draft. Rather than selecting “safer” picks in the later rounds, I wanted more risk/reward players. Knowing the Waiver Wire will always be there at the end of the draft throughout the season, will always be guaranteed 65 point DEF, 75-80 point MID, 65-70 point RUC and 65 point FWD, I want to try and pick some players before they are left on the Waiver Wire too long. It’s all about value – the first few picks can’t win you the competition – but the last few can.

How I Went?   Very happy with my forwards, considering my midfielders are also pretty strong. A lot of upside with them – they all have potential to score very well. They are also somewhat risky, but I think I have the depth to cover form/inconsitency.  I think I have a strong, relatively even side – no real stand out strength. Stoked to pick up Zaka, Bastinac and Gibson as starting mids later in the draft – just as I expected, value midfielders were going to be there late.

What would have done differently?    Probably picked up a ruck earlier when there was a run of rucks. Possibly held out a round or two too long – Tippett/Tom Nicholls now my first choice ruckman – ideally would like a “set and forget”.  Biggest Surprise of Draft was   Will Minson getting taken in the second, the run of midfielders in the early rounds. The amount of rucks taken early – Minson, Goldstein, Cox, McEvoy, Lobbe all off the board by the 4th round. The other surprise was Calvin pinching Toby off me – I didn’t think he would stoop so low.


draftJeppaPick 4 – Jeppa’s Juniors

The plan was pretty simple. My first three picks had to be used on the best midfielder’s available then it was about locking in your ruck. I ended up with Beams, Stanton, Murphy & Lobbe so I’m very happy. All four of these players can go really big on their day. Next I had to concentrate on my defenders and forwards. The big defensive five of Mitchell, McVeigh, Bartel, Enright and Hanley were all off the table at this point so I went for a reliable source in Grant Birchall. JJK was the best forward up for grabs at my next pick so that was an easy choice. During the next few rounds hereafter, I concentrated solely on forwards and defenders but jumped at a couple of gun mids who slipped through the cracks in Jack Redden and Jordan Lewis.

My favourite pick of the night was Brodie Grundy in the 18th Round. This was an absolutely steal in my opinion and I’m set to use Grundy as my utility. Another bargain pick was David Myers in the 23rd Round who showed promising signs in the second half of last season. Upon reflection, my biggest regret was not selecting more DDP players across all lines. I’m going to be limited for options if a couple of injuries come my way. Overall, I have only one starting player in my team (Hurn) that is projected to average less than 75 this season so I think I’ve done pretty well.

A couple of picks that surprised me were Rockstars’ choice of Dustin Martin at pick 7 and Dunny’s pick of Brad Ebert in the 4th round. Rockliff, Jelwood, Mitchell and Jobe were all available for the Rockstars’ first pick but Dusty was chosen above all. Personally, I would have gone Rockliff.  I thought Dunny would lock away an assured ruckman at pick 44 but opted for Ebert who can sting ya with an occasional sub 80 score. Everyone has their own strategy and many take a few risks during the draft, this is what makes it so exciting.


draftDunnyPick 5 – Dunny’s Destroyers

My strategy was to go for the best available Fwd or Def with my first pick as I knew that the three big guns of Ablett, Swan and Pendles would be off the board by the time it got to me, so Danger it was.  After that I went for a Mid (Jack) and then a Back (Bartel).  From there I wanted to get the best mids available.  After that I start to fill out my Forwards and Backs.  I followed my strategy pretty well and threw a ruckman in there when I felt that they were getting a little thin.  I got Maric in the ruck, not the best but certainly not the worst!  After having my Fwd and Back lines nearly full I went back to concentrating on Mids and if I could, DPP’s.  Particularly when I got to bench and emerg I wanted to focus on DPP, however, there weren’t too many good ones left by that stage.

Overall I was happy with my strategy and I felt that I was able to put together the team just how I wanted to.  Did I get all the players I wanted?  No.  However I think I got a well balanced team that on paper should do ok.  Having executed my strategy I don’t think I would change it if I had to do it all again.
The biggest surprise of the draft for me was probably a tie between Tbetta’s pick of Harley Bennell in the 4th round and McRath’s pick of Hertier Lumumba in the 5th round.  Certainly nothing wrong with those guys, but the were a little earlier than I would have expected.



draftLeftyPick 6 – Leftfielders (Lefty)

With pick 6 I was pretty confident on still picking up an uber premo mid-fielder so that was always going to be my first pick (hello Stevie J, highest brownlow votes to games ratio in 2013)

Our league setup of 5/7/1/1/5 meant I focused early picks on getting high scoring mids as they are 8 of the 19 on field spots (including the utility). The area I was most closely watching was rucks as there aren’t a huge amount of top choices here which is why my 4th pick was big boy Mcevoy.  I then planned to pick the best 2 backs and 2 forwards available but I added Luke Shuey in the middle of this as he was still available at pick 91.  Then I went back to filling the mids (next 4 picks) then it was make the most of what was left in backs and forwards, with a little extra weighting given to dpp’s.  I also grabbed an injured Bellchambers, his injury hopefully won’t keep him out too long and his dpp may be handy.

Overall pretty happy with my strategy and starting squad, I think my biggest win was Travis Varcoe at 259 and my biggest shock was probably Dawg’s first round pick of Deledio at 11.  Next time I would probably have a sheet of paper next to me with my top 10 in each position listed in order and cross them out as they go and also pencil in by position who I have already drafted. I got a little lost flicking between screens and this cost me Brodie Grundy who I should have selected at pick 211 (bloody Jeppa got him at 213), also keeping track of how many I had in each position was a little difficult.


draftRockstarsPick 7 – Rockstars (Anthony)

So pick number 7 is kind of an interesting position to sit at. You’re sitting right in the middle of every round.

I’m going to say this from the start, do your research guys! Don’t just blow in and hope for the best! This was a 12 man draft so at about 2 and a half hours it was pretty exhausting, having any kind of plan/ranking would of been mighty helpful by the latter rounds.So there I was, logged in with 26 seconds to go before my first pick! My plan was to focus on DPP fwds and backs early. Which saw me take Dusty at pick 7 which may have been paying overs but I don’t think he’d have been there by my next pick. Hanley and Daisy were the other 2 DPP’s within my top 5 picks (really hoping Daisy hardens up).Sorted out my rucks with a set and forget pick of Berger with my 6th and couldn’t leave my boy Ellis on the board any longer at pick 7. It was at this point my lack of planning and research kicked in. The board started to thin and I’d found myself with little pure fwds or defs.Darting back between researching available players and positions saw me somehow have two draft pages open simultaneously, with the one I was unaware of drafting on auto. So as I was scrolling through players during my pick, auto pick drafted for me. This saw Taylor Adams and James Kelly join my team before I realised what was going on! Having a ‘ranking’ system selected would have helped this. Started scrambling for Defs and Fwds after that. Once again, research is imperative! Completely slipped my mind that Weller is still on the rookie list!

What would I do differently?
Research and prepare!! Also having a pen and paper handy to write players I’d already drafted down would be easier for reference and knowing who I still needed. I’d also take more fwds and defs earlier.
What was I happy with?
Tom Curren at pick 319 (round 27) who I think is going to explode this year and Matt Rosa at pick 210 (round 18). *Edit – Very happy with Matthew Wright’s 135 on Sunday*

draftRunningmanPick 8 – Running Man Cometh (Jimbob)

Well as I was late call up off the bench due to Rainman being sick, so I had a whole hour to contemplate my strategy. Having been given pick 8, I felt I was in ‘no man’s land’ as it was hard to plan who to get as there is at least 8 picks between each go. My first 2 picks I took Rockliff and Selwood and then looked to get the best defender available (Kade Simpson) as I thought Rockliff was still classified as a fwd in UF. Rockliff is not classified as a forward in UF. I found this out after my 4th pick of Joey Montagna and used my next 2 picks to get Wells and Sylvia. As there were a fair few rucks who were going to average around 80-90, so it wasn’t a huge priority for me, I took Naitanui in the 7th round. From there I picked a few breakout contenders such as Mayes (128), Brodie Smith (152) Dalhaus (161).

I thought I went ok. Am happy with my core midfield of Rocky, Jelwood, Joey, K Cornes, JOM, Conca and Coniglio. Feel I am a little weak in the backs with Broadbent picked as my 5th Defender and will either look like a genius or an idiot hinging on Dalhaus Mayes and Kerridge to all breakout in 2014 as they are forwards 3-5. Happy with some value picks Howe, Lonergan, HMac, and X Ellis  – all after pick 233.

What would you have done differently – that’s a simple one. Confirm the positions of players before I picked them! Also check my internet is good or else you get auto picked Chris Judd.

What was the biggest surprise of the draft?  There were a few. Jack Watts went in the top 100, Dunny only has 3 port players, and no one calls Tbetta ‘Alexander’.


draftballersPick 9 – Ballers (Mattcraig)

I looked through the list of each line and took note of how many players I would be happy to start. I then compared those figures to how many starters everyone would need after the draft is complete. 60 forwards and backs, 12 rucks and 84 mids (Plus a utility each). Alarmingly I found that there was a lack of quality forwards, so they were my main focus. You can afford to leave the midfielders until later, as there is a lot of depth in that position. Nobody is quite sure who the number 1 ruck will be this year so you can hold on the rucks, although be careful as you don’t want to get caught out by a run on. Learning from the draft we conducted, I know that even though there is more quality down back, once that quality goes it gets real barren. There is much more potential up forward.

I’m very happy with my drafted team. I tend to look for stability and an even spread, so I avoided too many injury prone players. My forward line is very solid, no worries there (Christensen is now in for surgery, what can you do). There is a lot of potential and quality in my midfield, and I was ecstatic to get Jacobs in the 18th round! He has averaged 86 and 87 in 2011 and 2012, and would have been a high draft pick last year. He backs up a slightly riskier option in Ryder and may even be my utility. Even though I got a steal on Goddard at 9, my backline is thin beyond my starters. As I say the pool dries up quickly, so hopefully Otten can step up this year. I wasn’t too sure about Fisher, but hopefully he was worth the late gamble.

What would I do differently?  As I said earlier, I had miscalculated in the backline as there was hardly any potential to choose from in the latter rounds. Perhaps I would have snared one more solid option early, unfortunately Dempsey was taken a couple of picks before I had planned to get him. The midfield pool really does run deep, so they could have waited even longer.  My biggest surprises were Danger at 5 and Goddard at 9 surprised me, however if I’m honest I still can’t get past Jacobs at 208. For a guy who can average mid 80’s, coming into the prime of his career and in the thinnest line, he is great back up to have. Sidebottom at 19 was a massive call too.


draftCalvinPick 10 – Calvinator

Basically what I tried to do was to pick gun players ha ha. Nah, seriously I tried to get guns in positions where guns are rare. Sam Mitchell was my first picked based on this. Last year only 1 person in the Forward and Defender areas scored 100+ compared to 15+ players listed as mids. This will be slightly different this year, but that’s the approach I took.

How did I go – Pretty well I think but everyone is going to say that. Not many people had my approach. I collected Minson who I see as the best and most reliable/durable ruckman this year which left other scrapping the barrel later in the draft chasing spuds to fill spots as they were in other areas. My team is well rounded as I started picking my mids much later than everyone else.

What would I have done differently – Nothing, everything I did was perfect! I just would have liked a higher draft selection early rather than coming in at #10 when Swanny and the other jets had gone. Would have loved to have the pig or Gazza.

Biggest surprise – None really. I was interested in some people selecting teams to be ‘finals’ bound. Collecting injured players who will not feature in round one. Each to their own I guess, but I was thinking about starting round one with this great team of mine. These other teams are wicked on paper and if they were to make the finals then they should and would most likely take it out. Ummm, it’s actually not a bad strategy ha ha – 2015 look out…. but they have to make finals first!


draftWarniePick 11 – Warne Dawgs

Whilst I’ve played fantasy footy for over a decade, I have only done a handful of drafts and I definitely wouldn’t call myself an expert. What I do know though is that every draft is different and this was no exception.

Having the second last pick, I didn’t really go in with a huge idea of who would be available and with a run of defenders going, I jumped on Brett Deledio due to his B/M eligibility that he has in UF. The big dog forwards and defenders were gone, so Lids it was. My next pick came around quickly and I jumped on Jobe… it was nice to have one of my boys.

Calvin grabbed Minson relatively early and I thought that Goldstein will be up there by seasons end, so he was a relatively early selection for me. Roughead then was my next pick that got me one of the ‘premiums’ per position.

I was happy with a few of my deep picks in Lake and Carlise.

Sadly looking at my team on paper, I’m not overly impressed! Haha. A bad thing to say I know, but there are a few guys who would need to step up on their previous averages to be competitive. It’s probably something I can look at in a couple of weeks (after seeing more NAB) to really get some feelings about it. I’m probably just grumpy that I jumped on Atley as a bit of a speculative pick early on and he didn’t give us much fantasy love yesterday!

I would have loved a bit more prep – which would include watching more NAB Challenge games – before doing my ‘real’ draft side. The perfect time for me to run my real league draft would be over the long weekend in March!


draftTbettaPick 12 – Tbetta’s Bulldozers

I’ve used the same basic strategy for the last couple of years, and it’s nothing ground-breaking – prioritise the Def/Fwd lines, ignore the Rucks early and take it easy on the Mids so you can round out your on-field players with midfielders, while everyone else picks dud defenders or forwards. Having the ‘turn’ pick makes that strategy difficult at times, because your picks can fall in between runs and you miss out on a lot of sliders, so I reminded myself before the draft not to reach when this situation would inevitably occur. In contradiction to my normal tactics, I rated getting two solid ruckmen highly. The extra Utility slot meant I could play two at any one time, then if one got injured I wouldn’t have to bring on a hack – I’d just replace the UTIL slot with my next best scorer off the bench.

I think I executed really well, save for a couple of panicky moments. I was only tempted into 3 Centre-only players (Scooter, Masten and Ward) in the first 13 rounds, and I got value on each of them as they weren’t ‘sexy’ picks. I made a conscious decision not to reach for hype/breakout type picks when I saw others doing so, and as a result I found myself will a lot of dull, though capable and consistent, players like Henderson, Breust, Lynch, etc. As planned, I ended up with a solid ruck contingent in Sandilands, Clarke, Pyke and Jamar.

Because I refused to reach in the name of positional scarcity, I ended up slightly lopsided in the backline, filling my on-field spots by Round 12. Next time, I’ll be more mindful of this (turn pick’s partly to blame) and I’ll prioritise Forwards a little more so I don’t miss out on some of the value defenders that were still on the board late. Also, Sandilands in the 10th was impulsive and went against my strategy, so I’ll avoid that next time – although I’ll point out that I did strengthen that selection by handcuffing Zac Clarke in my next block of picks.

The biggest surprises for me were a) Minson crazy early by Calvinator at 15, b) rookie Maverick Weller in the 14th round by Anthony and c) being able to pick Andrew Swallow at 204.


1312_UltimateFooty-VerticalThere you have it.  A long recap on the DT Talk Writers draft.  I hope that there is plenty in there for you to think about and also help you with your drafts that should be coming up.  Remember, the best time for your draft will be after the NAB finishes!  If you want to get involved in a league that is big and has relegation and promotion leagues, check out and jump in there, a few of us play in those leagues and they are a heap of fun.  Also cheers to our friends at Ultimate Footy who were our selected draft platform for this draft.

Now it’s your turn!  Who do you think was the best drafter of the night?

Which coach/team had the best draft night?

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