Nick Maxwell’s AFL Fantasy Elite draft night


Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell took part in his first AFL Fantasy draft tonight and is pumped with the way he handled the pressure of draft night. He is playing in an 8 person league, picking a squad of 22. Thanks Maxy for taking the time to share this with the DT TALK Community!

I write this having just popped my Dream Team Draft cherry! It’s fair to say that I am happy that I did my research because I came out with a side that I think with even luck can bring home the bacon!

As part of my research, I sat down and had a look at scores from last year. Leaving defender/mids as defenders and forward/mids as forwards I worked out that the key is getting as many players that either averaged above 90 last year, or whom I rated as 90+ players, in my team. For example, Hamish Hartlett averaged about 82 last year and I think he’ll go to the next level and average 90+ in 2013.

So by my numbers, there were 46 mids who were over 90+ point players, 11 forwards, 4 rucks and 6 defenders. So I felt I needed to get on top of the defenders and forwards early, as well as getting one of the 90+ ruckmen.

So when the draft numbers fell, I was dealt number 3. I had Swan and Ablett on top like most others, so expected Cox at pick 3. After 2 weeks of getting inside the heads of my mates who had one and two however, I managed to convince one of them to take Buddy – obviously a great pick, but I had him at 4. So at 3 I got Swanny – rapt! By the time my second pick lobbed 11 mids and 2 rucks were gone, leaving me to snap up Goddard at 14. On the way back around I picked up the second highest ranked ruckmen in Maric so felt I was in good shape. By this stage I had a clear theory – my next 3 picks were to consist of 2 defenders and a forward. I picked Waters, Hartlett and Bartel.

By this stage all of the popular rucks were gone so I ignored that and looked for the best available player. Jack Redden averaged 103 last year so I took him and then went for my teammate Dale Thomas. He’s a 100+ averager all day. He’s coming back from surgery and may be a bit behind the eight ball but our Dream Team league starts round 3 so he’ll be sweet.

Now one important point that I have learnt about this system – people tend to pick the pretty or popular players. My advice is to ignore that and take the proven scorers. Here’s what I mean – I selected Tuck (67), McLean (94) and Ward (115) in my side. On last years’ averages, they were 104, 100 and 97 respectively. They should have been snapped up in the top 50. The only reason I can think of is that they may not be lightning fast or kick goals from 60 after taking 3 bounces. They are however good Dream Teamers!

Anyway one more strategy…. Before I filled my last defensive spot (eventually Brett Goodes) and my last ruck spot (eventually Daniel Currie), I went for midfielders on my bench. I picked Liam Anthony, Matt Rosa, Sam Gibson (all 90+ averages) and the forgotten David Swallow – a number one draft pick who is a gun but because of injury last year was still available for me to select. Now I know that selecting 4 mids on my bench means that I can’t swap one for a forward, ruck or mid should injury hit, but if one of my defenders, forwards or rucks are unavailable or late withdrawals, your bench players can sub into any of those positions. So I’m happy to either carry injured players (with a mid substituting for one of them), or trade them out if need be. Either way, I think this way beats picking the 41st best defender / forward or the 17th best ruck, but that’s just me!

Good luck to all those going into a draft over the next fortnight!

For what it’s worth, here’s my team…


Follow Maxy on Twitter: @Maxy_5


  • Even in an 8 team league, I think managing to pick up Swan AND Goddard is pretty awesome. In my 12 team league both were gone before my first pick (at 12 of course). Gibbs and Buddy were also gone, I got Grimes and Heppell with my first two picks…

    Looks strong to me Maxy. How many teams/players per team would it take before you’d draft yourself? ;)

    • Haha, surely 18 man draft with 22 positions per team?
      Who is your Captain option??

      • Yeah that’s a bloody good question…Barlow probably – he’s my best mid! Hopefully Heppell once he averages 120 for the first month or so…

  • Great perspective of draft strategy. He’s obviously done his research and has some great advice. Good luck Maxy, hot pies!

  • My first ever draft league!

    Stanley, Heppel, Mcpharlin, Atley, Ellis
    Sidebottom, Zorko, Dal Santo, Judd, H.Bennel, C.Pearce
    Cox, Maric
    Wright, DeBoer, Bruest, S.Martin, Siposs

    Vlastuin, b.Goodes, Hannebery, Macaffer

    10 team league, 22 players.. I had pick 3 so chose Cox, then Maric, then best player available. Loving my DPP links everywhere

  • Nice Job Maxy. I managed to snaffle up Jobe Watson at 9 in my first ever draft league. I’ve got another one coming up this weekend, and I have a clear strategy. Pick 8, I can work with that.

  • There’s always a couple players who slip past everybody early in the draft. Goddard really should’ve gone earlier though, in my two he’s gone 4 and 5. Everybody in his league must be blokes who really value midfield premiums :P

    That being said, in my most recent one I took Pendles, Cotch and Stants with my first three picks (I was pick #2), lucky as. There’s three 110+ players right there. :3

    D: Shaw, Reilly, Dempsey, Taylor, Ellis (Armstrong)
    M: Pendles, Cotchin, Stants, O’Keefe, McVeigh, Gibson (Carrazzo)
    R: Ryder, Bellchambers (McIntosh)
    F: Thomas, Robinson, de Boer, Blair, Howe (Bird)

    Pretty insanely good team imo for an 8 man league :O

  • 249735

  • Anybody want to join a $100 DT cash league? 7 spots to fill. Email me at for further details.

  • Good to see how it works as I am in my first draft on Saturday night. Even better info that Dale Thomas will be good for round 3.

    And for you above posters, how about you do you league recruiting on a more appropriate forum and just leave this one for comments about the article and the draft.

  • That’s an interesting point about the bench. I had initially thought that it was the same as DT and only players with the same position status could cover. With auto-emergency is there a temptation to picking a dud 2nd ruck and using using your lowest scoring bench player (if like Maxy’s team a mid) to replace him each week?

  • Ultimate Footy Draft League: 277080