2016 AFL Fixture and Fantasy

The 2016 AFL Fixture has been released and we can start planning some of our weekend for next year. Of course, that planning doesn’t just revolve around our life… it’s Fantasy as well. But I guess Fantasy is Life! On Tuesday the NAB Challenge fixture was announced which will be an integral part of our fantasy pre-season. Those 27 games kick-off on March 18 and will run for four weeks. Every game will be shown live on Fox Footy and the AFL app.

Let’s get into the main points fantasy coaches need to know for the 2016 fixture.

Click here for the full fixture.

ROUND 23 FINALS ARE GO

finalroundThe best news out of the fixture announcement for Fantasy coaches was that there will be a week off between round 23 and the first week of finals. This is to curb the restings in round 23 that plagued our fantasy grand final weekend (oh, and the game itself).

The grand final is pushed to October 1 as a result.

SuperCoach moved their grand final to round 22 because of the amount of players rested in the final round. Hopefully this will ‘fix’ that problem as teams won’t want players missing two weeks on the eve of the final series. With this, I assume that AFL Fantasy will continue to play finals in round 23.

Looking ahead, there could be some fantasy relevant fixtures in the grand final week. Straight up, we will be keen on some Cats when they take on the Dees. Also, Bombers v Blues may bring us some decent scores to bring us home in the GF as that is likely to be Sunday arvo.

We’ll be looking at some more fixture analysis over the pre-season to look at who has favourable draws at what times of the season. Remember that in most cases, the double-up game will be played against teams finishing in the same third of the ladder as last year.

ROUND ONE

In the slow leak of information around the fixture, round one was announced last week and it will be held over the Easter weekend. The traditional Richmond v Carlton clash will take place on the Thursday night at the MCG and this will be where the first lockout will kick in. It will be a partial lockout being a Thursday game. There are no games on Good Friday next year. The round resumes on Saturday afternoon and will go right through to Monday for the Geelong v Hawthorn clash.

Thursday, March 24
Richmond v Carlton, MCG

Saturday
Melbourne v Greater Western Sydney, MCG
Gold Coast v Essendon, Metricon Stadium
Sydney Swans v Collingwood, ANZ Stadium
North Melbourne v Adelaide, Etihad Stadium

Sunday
Western Bulldogs v Fremantle, Etihad Stadium
Port Adelaide v St Kilda, Adelaide Oval
West Coast v Brisbane Lions, Domain Stadium

Monday
Geelong v Hawthorn, MCG

With no sub rule, this doesn’t become as much of an issue, but with the Easter Monday game we won’t know the final 22s until late Saturday afternoon (approx. 4pm). This would be after the full lockout which usually happens at the start of the first Saturday game. Vote in the poll below for which lockout you would prefer. The regular partial lockout that we always have when the opening round falls on the Easter weekend, or a full rolling lockout (for round one only) so we can pick our initial squads knowing all information available to us.

MULTI-BYE ROUNDS

The bane of our existence, but in 2016 they will be a little bit later. Occurring from rounds 13-15, many teams are getting quite settled… so strategy may change here from years past. The spread of teams with regard to fantasy relevance over the byes looks pretty good at this early stage of the season. There will be more on bye round strategy throughout the next few months.

ROUND 13
Adelaide, Carlton, Collingwood, Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda

ROUND 14
Essendon, Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Sydney, West Coast, Western Bulldogs

ROUND 15
Brisbane, Fremantle, Geelong, GWS, Hawthorn, North Melbourne

PARTIAL LOCKOUTS

There are five Thursday night games this season. The aforementioned Easter / Opening Round game and then four from rounds 14 to 17.

What does this mean? Well, quite simply we will have a partial lockout on the Thursday night through to, what we assume, the normal Friday lockout. With these all chances for the loophole, make sure you are reading Calvin’s Captains for the best tips for the loop-de-loop!

There are three Monday games. Easter Monday to get us going, but also the ANZAC Day game in round 5 and the Queens Birthday game in round 12. The drama with this is of course not knowing full teams before we are locked out.

thursdaygames

Discuss the fixture and your initial thoughts (or deeper thoughts if you have had a look through it) in the comments.

11 Comments

  • As per Freako’s tweet, the Dogs have 7 of first 11 at Etihad Stadium plus 10 of first 11 in Melbourne.

  • The last couple of years I have tanked the first bye week in RDT. Won all 3 of my cash leagues last year with this strategy (all keepers were from first bye round except max 1 per position (rookies I didn’t worry too much about as most were culled by the bye rounds anyway))

    don’t know if I will be able to do it this year with the spread of teams- just look at the rucks for instance. Stefan, Goldy, Sandi and Blicavs all out in round 15.

    • Yeah, not only things like who is out, but the fact it’s a lot later next year that changes things a lot. We could trade around the byes with upgrading/downgrading strategy. A different kettle of fish now!

      • yep – most teams will be close to completed before the byes now.

        hmm still might tank one week though for my sanity – a lot easier on the brain

  • Round 15 might catch a few people out, especially in the rucks. Anyone going with a Martin/Blicavs or Martin/Goldstein or Goldstein/Blicavs combo might be in a bit of trouble. Add in the fact that Mumford and Sandilands will be missing and there may be a few people scrambling to find a solution.

  • All of a sudden Jacobs becomes the second best ruckman. Was planning on a set and forget with Martin/Goldstein but geez. Dont like having both rucks off in the same round.

  • Forgive my ignorance, but won’t the teams that cant move on the ladder just rest players in round 23 giving their champs 2 weeks off to be fresh for finals??

    Eg – If north are in top 4 and cant move theyd tank against the giants surely??

    Same goes for the cats vs Melbourne….

    AFL opening the door for an extra week rest whilst trying to ‘stop teams resting’….

    • Good point, but having two weeks off before finals could be fraught with danger. I agree that some might rest, but I’m tipping we won’t be seeing 10+ players rested like North and Freo did this year.

  • Did I read it right that Collingwood have 11 of first 14 at the MCG?

    DePendles just signed himself into my starting squad

    • Yeah. Trip to ANZ Stadium in round one (historically they like playing there), a trip to Perth v WC is a tough one and a trip to the Gabba. So really, their away games in that time aren’t too bad even with the WC game in round 6.

      • AND they have the first bye. Add a discounted Gary Ablett and David Swallow (if def) and Brodie Smith from lucky round 13 already