The first week of the 2023 AFL Finals Series gets underway this Thursday night with an absolute blockbuster at the MCG between Collingwood and Melbourne.

Collingwood have been the team to beat all season taking home the minor premiership, however they did limp to the finish losing three of their last five games. Melbourne on the other hand were the opposite, storming home with a 7-1 record from their last 8 games to secure the top four position. Team selection was always going to be a big story for this matchup with the Magpies getting Darcy Moore back from injury, but they will still be without second year sensation Nick Daicos. The winner of this game will be favourite for the flag as they lock in a home preliminary final at the MCG in two weeks!

Draftstars have come through with massive prize pools for the first game of the finals series, offering a huge $75,000 main contest for this match, as well as a couple of the very last qualifiers for the $750,000 AFL Star Final!

  • AFL $75,000+ Magpies vs Demons at Draftstars
  • AFL $10,000+ Magpies vs Demons High Roller ($150 Entry) at Draftstars
  • AFL $2,000+ Magpies vs DemonsFiver at Draftstars 
  • AFL $5,000+ Magpies vs Demons Mini ($2 Entry) at Draftstars
  • AFL $50 AFL Star Qualifier at Draftstars
  • AFL $5 AFL Star Qualifier at Draftstars


In addition to previews for each and every slate this season, Daily Fantasy Rankings will continue with our AFL Resources page. This section provides you all the data you need to build your best line-ups. It includes daily cheat sheets for Draftstars, Player Correlation tables, Player Out tables, Scores Against tables, Tagging information, statistical breakdowns and much more!


Betting Markets

Collingwood ($1.84) vs Melbourne ($1.96)

Line: Collingwood -1.5
Points: 156.5

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Melbourne - Cloudy, high chance of showers, 22 degrees.

We can expect some rain during the game this Thursday night. While not heavy, it looks like it will impact the conditions. A big final like this will already be a highly contested game, but if you add in a wet evening, I would be focusing on inside players in my fantasy teams.

Where To Attack?

Competitive finals games are a different breed, particularly when you are getting down to the best of the best teams. And in this matchup, we have two of the favoured teams to win the entire thing. As a result, there are few areas to target. Expect a hotly contested and high pressure game. Melbourne have racked up one of the highest amounts of contested possessions in the league this season, while Collingwood have given up one of the lowest amounts. So the question of who can win the contested game will go a long way to deciding the outcome of the game and the fantasy battle.

AFL Data

The one area that does stand out is the fact that Melbourne have conceded above average points to defenders this season. This is consistent with past years as they typically structure up with a spare behind the ball. Collingwood back stacks should be a popular play on this slate.

Game Script – Collingwood backs, inside players from both sides


Darcy Moore ($9,370) as noted above, is returning from injury for this game, but he has had plenty of time to fully recover and should be ready to go. I will be looking to stack up the Collingwood backs in this matchup and given the lack of quality talls in Melbourne’s forward line it should be an elite opportunity for Moore to play looser and rack up intercept marks. 

Kade Chandler ($7,410)… when it comes to value in these finals, it can be somewhat of a lottery. But Chandler has shown through the year the ability to come up with tournament winning scores and he should be suited well to the conditions. He has posted two 80+ point games from his last five matches and notched up 62 points against the Magpies earlier this season.


Brayden Maynard ($12,160) has assumed the lead role across half back to end the season for Collingwood. Racking up four 90+ fantasy points games from his last five matches, he continues to share the kick in duties and should be well suited in this matchup with the Demons giving up points to defenders.


Clayton Oliver ($16,930) will be my first premium pick as an inside contested beast in this matchup. He is a finals player and if the rain comes it will suit him even further. He will have the most consistent midfield role of anyone in this game and before his injury was averaging a massive 110+ points per game in 2023.

Max Gawn ($15,860) will be the solo ruck and we have all seen what he does in big finals games. His price is lower than what we would expect at this point in the season because of the Grundy factor, but we won’t have to worry about that again in 2023. Furthermore, Gawn gives up the fewest fantasy points in the league to the opposition number one ruckman, so paying up the extra $2k from Darcy Cameron makes sense.

Suggested Draftstars Lineup



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