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The AFL fantasy draft: Round 1

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Roar Rookie
7th May, 2020
5

Welcome to the fantasy draft, a series where every player is placed into the draft pool and redrafted across 22 rounds to create fantasy best 22s filled with bonafide stars of the competition for each side.

For this series the draft order will be based on the home-and-away results of the last eight years, beginning in 2012 and ending in 2019.

AFL ladder 2012-19

  1. Geelong – 122-2-51
  2. Hawthorn – 122-1-53
  3. Sydney – 117-1-58
  4. West Coast – 110-1-65
  5. Richmond – 109-1-66
  6. Adelaide – 104-1-70
  7. Collingwood – 99-1-76
  8. Fremantle – 92-1-83
  9. North Melbourne – 91-0-85
  10. Port Adelaide – 90-1-85
  11. Essendon – 82-1-93
  12. Western Bulldogs – 80-0-96
  13. Greater Western Sydney – 76-3-97
  14. St Kilda – 63-2-111
  15. Brisbane – 60-0-116
  16. Melbourne – 58-0-118
  17. Carlton – 55-1-120
  18. Gold Coast – 44-1-131

The draft order will be the reverse ladder position of the last eight years. The start of the draft will almost definitely be the best player available, but as we get to later rounds of the draft I’m sure it will begin to become needs-based and may see clubs take risks on players.

Pick 1: Patrick Cripps

Midfielder, Gold Coast
Cripps may not be the best player in the competition currently, but he is certainly set to become the best player over the next few years. Cripps has been an absolute star in his 102 games for Carlton since 2014, being the heart and soul of the club and their midfield for a while now. He is a two-time All Australian and three-time club best and fairest and has been the Carlton co-captain.

At just 25 years of age his best is yet to come, and he would certainly be an incredible pick-up for the Suns with the first pick of the fantasy draft. Even without the rest of the Suns fantasy best 22 being drafted, Cripps will be selected as the captain of the Suns fantasy best 22.

Gold Coast fantasy 22
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Patrick Cripps

(Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Pick 2: Nathan Fyfe

Midfielder/forward, Carlton
The West Australian midfielder may well go down as an AFL great at the end of his career, having won two Brownlow Medals already across his 174 games in purple. Fyfe is a powerful and versatile goalkicking midfielder who has had many highlights in his career thus far, having won a Brownlow Medal in 2015 and 2019, being a three-time All Australian (once as the captain of the side), three-time club best and fairest, and also having the honour to captain Fremantle since 2017. At 28 years of age, Fyfe brings pure star power and experience to a club who are desperate to experience success.

Carlton fantasy 22
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Nat Fyfe

(Kelly Defina/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Pick 3: Marcus Bontempelli

Midfielder/forward, Melbourne
Melbourne are another club who haven’t had much success in recent times, with the Demons’ last premiership coming in 1964. They’ll be desperate to nail these draft picks, having had a few flops at the top of the draft order in recent years. The Bont has been a pure star for the Dogs since being drafted, having won a premiership, being a two-time All Australian and three-time club best and fairest, and being named part of the 22under22 team five times. Bontempelli was named skipper of the Dogs ahead of the 2020 AFL season, and in the fantasy draft he has the captaincy of the Demons fantasy 22 locked in.

Melbourne fantasy 22
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Marcus Bontempelli of the Bulldogs celebrates with supporters

(AAP Image/Scott Barbour)

Pick 4: Dustin Martin

Midfielder/forward, Brisbane
Dusty has won almost everything possible at AFL level, with the Richmond legend having won two premierships, two Norm Smith Medals, one Brownlow Medal, three All Australian selections, two club best and fairests, two Gary Ayres Medals, two Yiooken Awards, two Ian Stewart Medals, two 22under22 team selections and a best on ground in the 2020 State of Origin Match. The Tigers star has played 225 games since being drafted in 2009. The 28-year-old still has quite a few years left in him and will provide valuable experience and star power for the Lions.

Brisbane fantasy 22
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Dustin Martin

(Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Pick 5: Tom Lynch

Key forward, St Kilda
The former Sun and current Tiger has been a strong key forward over the past decade and still has many years left in him before he settles into life after footy. The star forward has played 157 games for 317 goals for just over an average of two goals a game. Lynch is a premiership player, All Australian, two-time club best and fairest and five-time club leading goalkicker. He featured in the 22under22 team in 2015, is a Marcus Ashcroft Medallist and was the co-captain of the Suns for the last two years of his time at the club. Before the 2010 he drew comparisons to Matthew Richardson and Nick Riewoldt, and he’ll fill a need for the Saints that some clubs struggle to fill.

St Kilda fantasy 22
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Tom Lynch

(Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Pick 6: Brodie Grundy

Ruckman, GWS
There is often a debate as to who the best ruckman of the current competition is between Grundy and Max Gawn. With the 26-year-old able to play as another midfielder alongside his role as ruckman, he has won the rights to the best ruckman of the competition, with the Giants taking the star with Pick 6 in the fantasy draft series. The 133-gamer is a two-time All Australian, two-time club best and fairest and two-time 22under22 recipient. Ruckmen are not usually taken with high picks, but Grundy is worth it for the Giants. He will fill a valuable position in the Giants fantasy 22.

GWS fantasy 22
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Brodie Grundy

(Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Pick 7: Max Gawn

Ruckman, Western Bulldogs
It didn’t take long for Grundy’s competitor to pop up in the draft, with the 28-year-old Melbourne ruckman being taken with Pick 7 by the Dogs. Ruckmen are rarely taken with high picks in the first round, with many clubs usually preferring to take the tall blokes with late picks. Gawn took a while to get his career going but has been a star since his breakout game against Geelong in Round 12, 2015. Gawn is a two-time club best and fairest and three-time All Australian, has won the Neale Daniher trophy once and was named the new Melbourne skipper as of this year. The Dogs new ruckman will be named the captain of the club.

Western Bulldogs fantasy 22
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Max Gawn of the Demons celebrates a goal

(Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Pick 8: Jackson Macrae

Midfielder, Essendon
The Dons are in need of a strong midfielder for their on-ball brigade, and that is exactly what they will get with their first pick of the fantasy draft. Macrae is a massive accumulator of the Sherrin, with Macrae averaging almost 28 disposals across his career thus far. Despite being one of the best midfielders in the competition, he has been overshadowed by Bontempelli amid a strong midfield at the Kennel, and the 25-year-old will almost definitely lead the Dons in the midfield. I will name him captain of the Bombers pending completion, with the possibility for this to change depending on the other 21 selections by the Bombers. The midfielder is an All Australian and premiership player.

Essendon fantasy 22
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Jackson Macrae

(Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Pick 9: Jeremy Cameron

Key forward, Port Adelaide
The Power take their pick and will pounce on the next best tall forward to begin building their forward line around. Giants key forward Jeremy Cameron has been an absolute star since joining the competition in 2012, with the forward kicking 406 goals from 155 games. Cameron is a Coleman Medallist, two-time All Australian, two-time 22under22 recipient, eight-time club leading goalkicker and club best and fairest and was part of the inaugural Giants team. Cameron will allow a man for the Power to build their forward line around.

Port Adelaide fantasy 22
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Jeremy Cameron

(Robert Cianflone/AFL Photos/via Getty Images )

Pick 10: Clayton Oliver

Midfielder, North Melbourne
Oliver may have only been in the system for four years, but in Oliver is a man a team could build their midfield around for the next decade. The 22-year-old star is already a two-time club best and fairest and All Australian and has featured in the 22under22 team three times thus far in his career. The inside midfielder has potential to be one of the game’s best midfielders within the next five years and will no doubt be a key cog of the Roos midfield in their Fantasy 22.

North Melbourne fantasy 22
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Clayton Oliver of the Demons kicks the ball

(Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Pick 11: Jordan de Goey

Forward/midfielder, Fremantle
Jordan de Goey is a strong forward/midfielder who has been likened to Tigers champion Dusty Martin at several times throughout his career. De Goey is an explosive player who generally likes to play with bursts and patches. The 24-year-old has high potential to become one of the best players of the competition and would be a welcome addition to any club.

Fremantle fantasy 22
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Jordan De Goey

(Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Pick 12: Charlie Cameron

Small forward, Collingwood
Cameron used to have to play at the Crows in the shadow of legendary small forward Eddie Betts. However, now he leads the small forward fleet at the Lions, having been named an All Australian and leading the Lions goalkicking in 2019. The Pies love having a wide variety of small forwards available for selection, and with Charlie Cameron available at Pick 12, he’ll now get to light up the MCG on Anzac Day in the black and white.

Collingwood fantasy 22
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Charlie Cameron

(Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Pick 13: Tim Kelly

Midfielder/forward, Adelaide
The 25-year-old midfielder has announced himself as a star of the competition after only two years featuring in the AFL competition. The mature-age draftee had to wait his turn, but it was worth it, with Kelly being a strong part of the Cats midfield in his two years at the club and is set to be a key part of the Eagles from this year and beyond.

Adelaide fantasy 22
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Tim Kelly

(Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Pick 14: Harris Andrews

Key defender, Richmond
The Lions defensive beast has been an important member of the Lions back half ever since he debuted. The 23-year-old was named in 22under22 team twice, has been the Lions vice-captain since 2018 and was an All Australian in 2019. There is a strong belief around the Lions that Andrews will be the next skipper of the club, and in the fantasy draft and Tigers fantasy 22 Harris Andrews will be named as the Richmond captain.

Richmond fantasy 22
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Pick 15: Lachie Neale

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Midfielder, West Coast
Lachie Neale has always been a strong midfielder throughout his career. His first year and only year at the Lions was the best thus far. Neale has played 160 games in his career. The 26-year-old midfielder is a three-time club best and fairest, three-time Ross Glendinning Medallist, two-time Geoff Christian Medallist, an All Australian and featured once in the 22under22 team.

West Coast fantasy 22
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Lachie Neale

(Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Pick 16: Josh Kelly

Midfielder, Sydney
The Giants midfielder is just one of three Giants to round out the first round of the fantasy draft. Kelly has been a star of the youngest club in the land and has a few achievements so far to show for it, being an All Australian, featuring once in the 22under22 team, winning the club best and fairest and being the Giants vice-captain since 2018. With Kelly’s leadership, the Swans first pick in the fantasy draft will be named captain of Sydney.

Sydney fantasy 22
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Josh Kelly GWS Giants AFL 2016

(AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)

Pick 17: Stephen Coniglio

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Midfielder, Hawthorn
Another Giants star has made the cut for the first round, with the new Giants skipper being drafted to the brown and gold. Coniglio has presented as one of the best midfielders for the club in a star-studded midfield, with the captain featuring in the 22under22 team once and being a part of the inaugural GWS team. He was named as captain ahead of the 2020 season following a thrashing at the hands of the Tigers in the 2019 AFL grand final.

Hawthorn fantasy 22
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Pick 18: Toby Greene

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Small forward, Geelong
The Giants pest is hated by many AFL fans, but let’s all agree Greene is one of the best players to watch when he’s on. He started his career as a midfielder but came around to a positional change in 2016 when Greene kicked 44 goals as a small forward and helped to get them to their first preliminary final in the Giants’ short history. Greene is an All Australian, club best and fairest, club leading goalkicker for a season and was part of the club’s inaugural team. Greene will be a strong pick-up to the Cats forward line in the fantasy draft.

Geelong fantasy 22
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One round done, 21 rounds of the draft to go. Already six clubs have made their selections on their captains from only one round of selections. Do you agree with the selections of the first round? Which club do you think has made the best selection so far and why? Who was a shock selection and who was a shock miss? Who do you think will be selected with the first pick of the second round? Let us know in the comments.