Fantasy AFL to be transformed by draft

Ryman White Editor

By Ryman White, Ryman White is a Roar Editor

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    Last week it was announced that SuperCoach and Dream Team (or ‘AFL Fantasy’ as it looks set to be called) would be undergoing big changes in 2013.

    The reaction from fans has so far been mixed: some are justifiably disappointed, while others are embracing the evolution.

    Unsurprisingly, the decision to implement significant structural changes to the games has been a hot topic of conversation this past week. So hot, in fact, that it has largely overshadowed another important announcement.

    I am talking of course about the introduction of a free draft-based fantasy competition to complement both Dream Team and SuperCoach – to be available alongside the traditional salary cap versions.

    The draft-based format has been available in previous seasons, but has struggled to ignite user enthusiasm, due largely to the fact that it has never been free.

    Although other draft-based AFL fantasy competitions have existed for some time, many are operated by smaller, lesser known organisations. As a result, the draft-based format has never managed to lure the mainstream audience in Australia.

    In 2013 however, 600,000+ Dream Team and SuperCoach users will, for the first time, be offered a free and convenient way to enter the realm of draft-based fantasy sports. The only question is, will they embrace the opportunity?

    In the United States, the ‘fantasy draft’ lies at the heart of all the most popular fantasy sport games.

    With participation levels in North America now estimated to be in excess of 35 million people, it is hard to see any reason why Australian fantasy sports enthusiasts won’t also embrace the style.

    Until now, the two major players in the AFL fantasy sports arena have never pushed the draft-based format, as users were seemingly satisfied with the games with which they were supplied.

    However, after both Dream Team and SuperCoach experienced diminished participation levels in 2012, it seems as though the decision has been made to test user interest in a draft-based format.

    This is an exciting development for all AFL fantasy sports enthusiasts.

    The barriers which have previously kept many unenthusiastic have now been removed, allowing players the opportunity to reap a new range of fantasy frustration and elation – and of course deal with all the challenges that come along the way.

    At this point it is hard to predict whether the recent changes to the traditional versions of Dream Team and SuperCoach will result in an improvement in user experience or an increase in participation levels – only time will reveal this.

    However, the latest design changes could prove negligible in the wake of a surge of interest in the draft-based format.

    Perhaps this currently understated addition to AFL fantasy sports games in 2013 will be the change that was needed all along.

    At the end of the day, 35 million people surely don’t lie.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • December 9th 2012 @ 10:11am
      TC said | December 9th 2012 @ 10:11am | ! Report

      I’m not familiar with the draft version of the game.

      How does it work exactly. Do all the players need to be online simultaneously and take it in turns at picking a player or something?

      TC

      • December 9th 2012 @ 11:30am
        Cugel said | December 9th 2012 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        I played an NRL version a few years ago, worked just like that. The problem is, though it’s quasi-realistic, if you do poorly in the draft or your high picks go down injured – you’re screwed and no-one else is. There’s no good players left in the pool, and possibly restrictions on how many you can pick up anyway.

        • December 9th 2012 @ 12:37pm
          MrTripleC said | December 9th 2012 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

          Great point Cugel.

          35 million start, probably 10 million are still actively following by playoffs.

          Will reserve judgement but seems a number of flaws. Imagine an 18 team league. Two ruck man needed for a team. Can anyone name 36 ruckman who will play each week?

        • December 9th 2012 @ 1:22pm
          TC said | December 9th 2012 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

          thanks for the tip.

          I guess if both comps are playing side by side, then its basically two different games, and different teams – provides a good contrast actually.

          TC

      • December 9th 2012 @ 3:17pm
        mds1970 said | December 9th 2012 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

        TC, I was in one a few years ago. The way it works is that you have lists of defenders, midfielders etc. You move players up & down the list in the order you want them – the higher you move a player up the list, the higher your chance of getting him.
        So if you rank, for example, Jimmy Bartel as number 5 midfielder; and everyone else ranks him lower, you get Bartel in your team but no-one else does.

        But each player can only be in one team; so it’s a departure from the traditional system where Gary Ablett is in everyone’s team.

    • December 9th 2012 @ 10:36am
      Bang said | December 9th 2012 @ 10:36am | ! Report

      I love it….now my team won’t look like everyone else’s team in my league during finals. Good move. This will separate the good strategist from the bad. Looking forward to 2013 already!!
      Bang

    • December 9th 2012 @ 3:37pm
      Alex said | December 9th 2012 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

      I’ve played nfl fantasy for a while. Draft based games are much more interactive. Having a draft night with mates where you pick your team is one of the best nights on the calendar! Having unique players and improving your team by trading with your mates is such a better format than playing a side with 3 players different to yours. For an introduction to draft based fantasy afl and all the advice and analysis you need head on over to footyprophet.com

    • December 15th 2012 @ 12:34pm
      Simon said | December 15th 2012 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

      The draft game is only good for your own private league but the problem with it is there can be no Australia wide competition.

      • December 15th 2012 @ 1:06pm
        TC said | December 15th 2012 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

        True, although there would still exist the possibility of seeing which drafted team did the very best.

        TC

    • December 31st 2012 @ 7:00pm
      JA said | December 31st 2012 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

      have played supercoach and dream team for a while and have loved it. I dont really like the idea of another comp with all the same players. its not a good idea

    • January 10th 2013 @ 7:54am
      Dylan said | January 10th 2013 @ 7:54am | ! Report

      Anyone who has an interest in the draft style dt and sc should watch the league. It’s an amazingly funny show that revolves around fantasy nfl. I cannot wait for my leagues draft night and for the season to start. This is a much better way of playing.

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