It’s AFLW time on Draftstars! That’s something we haven’t been able to say for a few seasons and is genuinely exciting no matter how much you know about the league. It’s only going to grow with every passing season, so now is the perfect time to get involved. The season opener is Thursday 7:10pm, with Carlton hosting Collingwood at Ikon Park. Both teams were mid-pack last year and come into the season with similar expectations again. The league-wide roster churn that comes with expansion hasn’t hit either team too hard, so we could see a close contest.

Draftstars has a handy $15,000 contest with $1133 to first place. There are also several other contests including the Mini, and the Single Entry. 


Team News

Carlton has been hit in the one area that matters most, losing a few key midfielders to rival teams. That will see youngsters Mimi Hill, Maddy Guerin and Abbie McKay take a big step up around the ball. There’s some new tall timber in attack, with draftee Mia Austin and veteran (former) Cat Phoebe McWilliams both making their club debut. Amelia Velardo is another addition, coming across from Collingwood and likely to play on the wing. Lucy McEvoy is another young mid who was expected to miss time with a shoulder injury but has been named to play and could have a big role this season.

Collingwood are a little more settled, but the dual loss of Brianna Davey and Brittany Bonnici to knee injuries means they have a big midfield hole to fill alongside Jaimee Lambert. Ruby Schleicher (back) and Chloe Molloy (fwd) can both pick up some of the slack but are also needed in their usual positions at times. Other youngsters like Alana Porter, Tarni Brown and Imogen Evans could also see a role in the middle.


Carlton $4.05 v Collingwood $1.23 - Bet now at Ladbrokes!


This game looks a lot closer on paper to me than the odds suggest. The big question mark is whether the young Carlton midfield can hold their own, but they seem to have enough experience and talent elsewhere on the field. With early season pricing meaning there is plenty of value on the board, it’s probably not necessary to focus on stacking too heavily in either direction. I’ll highlight a few extra players given this is a new set of names for many of us.

Love It - Imogen Evans $5,000

Evans stands out to me as the value play that can’t go too far wrong if we’re trying to save enough salary to get up to the premium options. Reports are that she’s put together an excellent junior season and impressed in the pre-season, and is slated for at least some time as an inside mid. That still might end up being a low time-on-ground role without much upside, but as a salary saver I think it will be fine. A solid 30+ should be enough.


Love It - Abbie McKay $10,360

As above, McKay, Hill and Guerin are all expected to see a boost after the loss of midfield star Prespakis. McKay has built on her season averages by 10 points the last two season (29>39>48) and could be in line for a similar jump again. With a ceiling of at least 70, I think she gives a nice blend of safe value and upside to help fill out our four midfield slots. Guerin is also in contention for similar reasons.


Love It - Chloe Molloy $10,690

In the FWD slot, it’s always nice to find someone with the upside of a midfield role, and Molloy seems like that player on this slate. It sounds like it will be a mid/fwd mix, but the upside is there of some 60+ season averages in the past. With a ceiling of 80 we’re again looking at a strong mix of value and upside at a position that is often difficult to predict.


Love It - Breann Moody $15,380

The RUC slot gives us 3 feasible options, but my preference is to try to get up to the best fantasy ruck in the women’s game. Coming off her best season of 72, Moody is only 25 and can still go higher. She punches out a lot of scores in the 70-80 range, so it’s not so much a ceiling play as locking in a big haul of points and looking for ceiling elsewhere. Jess Good is not far behind as a strong play, while 38-year-old Alison Downie looks to have very limited upside and may only be useful in very tight salary builds.


Love It - Ruby Schleicher $15,290

Just like the FWDs, it can be useful to look for midfielders in the DEF slot. Players like Velardo and Porter have some appeal in the cheaper areas, but I’m keen to spend up here too with Schleicher a strong scorer who showed massive upside last season once Bonnici and Davey went down. She posted a 128 and a 95 late in the season and could do something similar in this game if Carltons young midfield can’t compete.


Who Knows - Mia Austin $5,000

Austin is a true unknown to me, as a relatively high draft pick who is going to come in and play key forward at the age of 18. It’s very unlikely that she’s a strong scorer straight away (or maybe ever), but she’s one of a few minimum priced forwards who could be interesting if looking to spend right up to Lambert or Hill. Jordan Membrey is potentially another after 18 months out of the game with injuries, and some moderately good scoring history (~30 average).

Suggested Draftstars Team

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