The Roar
The Roar


How to play AFL daily fantasy: the six key steps to building a money-spinning team

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
14th March, 2023

Fantasy AFL is a big deal in Australia. The days of putting in your tips in the office competition have now grown to seeing if Dustin Martin’s groin is good to go on Friday night.

(If Martin is good to go then he is in my fantasy team.) Season long AFL Fantasy is a great pastime, but let’s be honest, it only takes 3 injuries, a suspension and Luke Beveridge deciding to put Marcus Bontempelli in the forward line to ruin your team.

Daily Fantasy AFL on Draftstars takes the stress out of that weekly commitment plus you can still have the ultimate bragging rights in your group of mates, letting them know your top dog  on that leaderboard.

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! 

Toby Nankervis and Dustin Martin celebrate.

Toby Nankervis and Dustin Martin celebrate. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

This week, Draftstars are back with AFL contests with massive Prize Pools throughout each week of the season. Contest fees start at $0.50 per entry all the way up to $150 per entry if you like to play with the “High Rollers”. The site 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 main attraction is the Guaranteed Prize Pool Tournaments, and we are here to provide tips to take down that huge 1st prize.


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 AFL team is quite simple if you keep to these principles:

  1. Select your Ruckman first – Since there are only a couple of players from each team 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. 
  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 Josh Dunkley and Dustin Martin are always popular as they can be rostered as a Forward 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. Lachie Hunter 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 $500 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 $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 competitors! 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. Ivan Soldo doing more than being a 2nd ruckman. Jack Riewoldt turning back the clock and kicking 5+ goals. Nathan Broad turning himself into a rebounding defender. Having a rostered player who will be low owned can make or break your team. Tournaments can have up to 10,000+ 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 – Is a team going to win by 10+ goals? Then you may want goal kickers such as Jeremy Cameron, Max King or Charlie Cameron in your teams. Does it look like a wet Adelaide Oval? Then look for big tacklers such as Rory Laird and Sam Powell-Pepper. Think about how the game might play out and roster players for that narrative. 

Test your AFL Fantasy knowledge on a daily basis on Draftstars. Contests are now available for all prize points and different formats. 

Keen to give it a go? Hit up Draftstars today to get started. T&Cs apply. Gamble responsibly.