Fantasy Kings: Draft prospects for your Dream Team

WITH a new batch of AFL draftees comes considerations surrounding the next season of fantasy football. Though secondary to ramifications for the real thing, Dream Team coaches are likely already licking their lips at the thought of drafting some of this year’s potential cash cows to their side.

Using a range of statistics from the 2022 Under 18 National Championships, we run you through some of the best rookie options up for grabs in 2023.


Kick = 3 Points
Handball = 2 Points
Mark = 3 Points
Tackle = 4 Points
Goal = 6 Points
Behind = 1 Point
Hitout = 1 Point
Free Kick For = 1 Point
Free Kick Against = -3 Points

Given disposals (kicks and handballs), marks, tackles, and goals make up the basic scoring system, players who either dominate possession or do a bit of everything feature highly on the list of fantasy scorers. It was no surprise then, to see potential top pick and Larke Medalist Will Ashcroft top the charts as the only player to average over 100 points per his four games.

Will Ashcroft broke the Championships disposal record | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


Will Ashcroft – 125.5 average
Jhye Clark – 99.8
Jaxon Binns – 98.3
Angus Anderson – 96.0
Adam D’Aloia – 95.0

* – 3 games minimum

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During this year’s championships, Ashcroft broke new ground with the record for most total disposals (131, at 32.8 per game). With the feat, he overtook soon-to-be Brisbane teammate Deven Robertson and Carlton gun Sam Walsh, who put up incredible numbers in the 2019 and 2018 editions respectively.

Not only was Ashcroft the sole player to average over 100 points and 30 disposals, but he also featured among the top five tacklers and hit the scoreboard with a couple of goals. With an average better than Bradman (99.8), Vic Country captain Jhye Clark racked up the touches and tackles too, to follow him in second.

Perhaps the outlier of the top five is Jaxon Binns, the lone outside accumulator among a group of inside ball winners. The Dandenong Stingrays wingman was second only to Ashcroft for total touches, boosted by a mammoth haul of 39 against the Allies. Strongly built onballer Angus Anderson and South Australian MVP Adam D’Aloia cap off the list, having produced strong carnivals.

Only two more players averaged over 90 fantasy points in representative colours, with Vic Country running machine Oliver Hollands doing it over four games, while hardened teammate Ted Clohesy averaged a high of 7.7 tackles and booted a goal per his three games.

A few potential premium rookies also impressed in the fantasy department, but only over the course of one game. Namely, top five candidate Elijah Tsatas racked up 96 points in his Metro Under 18 debut against Vic Country, while over-ager Harvey Gallagher notched 95 in the losing side.

Both players, along with George Wardlaw may be reliable first year options to consider. Both Tsatas and Gallagher won NAB League best and fairests, with the former doing so off just five games at a rate of 34 disposals. The latter produced an exceptional late-season burst off half-back, averaging 33 touches in his last six outings.

Reuben Ginbey looks a readymade and versatile type | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


While premiums like Ashcroft, Tsatas, and Clark likely to be locks for many coaches, and Binns, Gallagher, and D’Aloia pose as potential bargains down the draft order, there are still plenty of points of difference to be made in the rookie slots.

Potential top 10 pick Cameron Mackenzie is a reliable midfielder who ranked third for total disposals at the National Championships, and shapes as another high-end player to consider. The mid-forward capabilities of Bailey Humphrey and Mattaes Phillipou will also appeal in the top 10 range, along with Reuben Ginbey. Capable of big games, goalsneak Harry Sheezel will also be a popular option.

Outside of the first round, strong and readymade accumulators in Mitch Szybkowski and Harry Rowston have the consistency factor, and would also rank highly among potential Supercoach suitors for their contested acumen. Coby Burgiel is also in the frame, as a midfielder who can hit the scoreboard, while Henry Hustwaite‘s numbers are hard to ignore.

Steering away from the realm of midfielders, Morrish Medallist Lachlan Cowan is a kick-in specialist whose booming boot and consistency are sure to impress at a slightly cut price, while West Australian utility Jed Hagan has played plenty of senior footy and may be a bargain further down the order. Though currently nursing a broken leg, defender Sam Gilbey is a long-term option to keep in mind.


Though only sighted in two games, first round candidate Jedd Busslinger (Western Australia) put up terrific fantasy numbers at this year’s championships. He averaged 85 points per game and is the type of tall who not only locks down and intercepts, but is capable of using the ball well on the rebound.

Lewis Hayes is a similar type in the same range who racks up strong numbers for a tall, but the drop is pretty significant after Aaron Cadman. The pick one fancy averaged 78.8 points per game as Vic Country’s spearhead, credit to a championship-high 20 scoring shots (10 goals), and an average of 6.3 marks.

In terms of rucks, Nicholas Madden was the highest-ranked top-ager, with Isaac Keeler not far behind. Harry Barnett is considered the best ruck in the pool though, and Hudson O’Keeffe averaged the most hitouts at exactly 20 per game. Of that group, only Keeler is likely to achieve dual-position status (ruck-fwd)


At the top of the tree, prospects like Humphrey, Phillipou, Ginbey and potentially Hollands will likely hold dual-position value as midfielders with another string to their bow. Olli Hotton (mid-fwd), Burgiel (mid-fwd) Hustwaite (mid-def) are others who could provide depth in that space, while Binns and smalls Hagan, Charlie Clarke and Blake Drury are known to put up strong numbers across the field.

Aaron Cadman looms as a premium key position candidate | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

TOP 5s: AFL U18s*


Will Ashcroft – 32.8 average
Jaxon Binns – 25.8
Cam Mackenzie – 25.0
Billy Dowling – 24.5
Adam D’Aloia – 23.8


Jhye Clark – 7.3
Tom McCallum – 7.3
Hugh Davies – 7.0
Sam Gilbey – 6.7
Oliver Hollands – 6.5


Ted Clohesy – 7.7
Adam D’Aloia – 6.0
Angus Anderson – 6.0
Will Ashcroft – 5.8
Jhye Clark – 5.0


Matthew Jefferson – 14
Aaron Cadman – 10
Jed Walter** – 9
Harry Sheezel – 8
Corey Tregenza-Cashell – 7

* – 3 games minimum
** – denotes bottom-ager

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