New Fantasy Classic bench option for 2018

The team at Fantasy HQ is really keen to get the thoughts of the DT Talk community about the future of the AFL Fantasy Classic bench for 2018 and beyond.

OPTION 1 – Leave it as it is

Keep the traditional two (2) bench players per position, with the option of having four emergencies. That is, two defenders, two midfielders, two rucks, two forwards.

OPTION 2 – Remove the second ruck bench and make it a utility

Eight (8) bench players, with two per position for Backs, Mids and Fwds. However, just one (1) ruck and the eighth and final spot becomes a utility. This means you can choose that player to be either a back, fwd, mid or ruck.

OPTION 3 – One emergency per position, four utility bench players

Eight (8) bench players – four (4) emergencies with one (1) per position (eg one defender, one mid, one ruck and one fwd) and then a bench of four (4) can be chosen from any position. Similar to how bench works in many Ultimate Footy leagues.

OPTION 4 – Ranked open bench

Eight (8) bench players, all from any position. Players are ranked 1-8, based on who you would want to replace a late out. Note: If a forward is a late out, your highest ranked forward replaces them. If you don’t have a forward on your bench, you don’t get an emergency score.

We want to hear your thoughts. Any questions, comments, etc are welcomed! The Fantasy HQ team is really keen for this to be an open discussion as this is YOUR game! Fire away in the comments and feel free to tweet any of your thoughts to @AFLFantasy.


  • Same as SC would be ideal 2 Defs, 3 Mids, 1 Ruck, 2 Forwards.

  • I’m all for option 3. One emergency per position is simple, the four open/utility spots for me adds another element to the game – especially when trading and making coin out of our cows! Superior to the one utility spot and adds extra flexibility to our sides.

    Post why you made your choice!

  • Leave it as is – any other option is just making the game even easier than it already is.

    Leaving it as is allows for those of us who work hard to pick the best cash cows to benefit from our hard work, instead of being dragged back into the pack with the filthy casuals/people who just do what The Traders tell them to.

    • Agree with you Sir Bobby, Sorry Warnie

    • So people who play for fun/ or don’t invest hours and hours into research and look to others for advice ( isn’t that the point of this site) are classed as filthy casuals!!
      Hopefully us filthy casuals don’t listen to small minded pissants like yourself.
      And note to self, flog, if you don’t like what the traders and co say:

      • Why do people (I assume they’re people) on the internet resort to name calling? You didn’t even answer the survey question, all you did was post to name call and insult. Awesome.

        I don’t really understand how 3 would work any better than 4… or vice versa. Of the four options, I like 2.

        • I don’t have an opinion on this matter. I enjoy and will enjoy playing fantasy no matter how it’s formatted.
          As for the name calling!
          It angers me that someone that does not do extensive research, and listens to others advice is belittled and called a filthy casual.
          This is a great site where anyone can ask for advice, give advice at any level, it doesn’t matter what ranking you are.
          So in summary I do not/ will not apologise for anything I put in my comment, and will state that we are all equal on this site!!
          No person is better than another.

          • There has always been small minded people on this site. It sucks as the hard work the team puts into creating a great place to get advice and be entertained (plus be part of a generally good community).

            If you haven’t worked it out, casual players come to site like DT Talk to get advice on playing the game because they are either learning it or want to be competitive against their mates.

            Those that put in the work will generally have more success.

            If you truly want to measure your skill, get a group of mates and play draft.

          • We’re equal except those that are pissants, flogs and morons? And you get angry by things other people do, even though it has no impact on you whatsoever?

            Who the fk are you, Donald Trump?

          • I’ve had my say!
            Enjoy the rest of the season!!

    • Just wanted to nip this in the bud and say that I think my initial post may have been misinterpreted.

      I didn’t coin the colloquialism ‘filthy casuals’ , it has existed for years. While it may be perjorative, I employed it (as it often is) with tongue firmly in cheek. However, this is difficult to translate on a message board.

      Secondly, it’s not my intention to denigrate what The Traders do in any way. I read every article, listen to every podcast, contribute (sometimes) on these forums, and have benefited greatly from it over the years. My personal opinion (which I am entitled to) on this particular issue is that the proposed changes make the game too easy, and I would prefer the game to remain as challenging as it currently is.

      • Glad you explained that.
        I hereby apologise for my terrible remarks.
        I am embarrassed by my actions, and for the rest of the season I will not drink and type, as I have let myself and team Isittheshoes down.

        (I’m not taking the piss, just trying to be funny)

        ((my apology is sincere))

        • No harm done mate.

          I too know the feeling when the froths take hold and the blood starts rushing – that’s why I didn’t reply to you last night! ; )

  • Option 3, no point being forced to have 2 per position when you are likely to only have 1 emergency for each position. Gives flexibility and makes the game unique to Supercoach/RDT. I also like option 2

  • 100% agree with Warnie

  • Make it the same as Supercoach and Dreamteam.

  • i’m with Warnie, having the option of 4 bench players from any position really opens up options for rooks and cows, it would probably reward the more advanced players rather than casuals but sod them, I want 4 utility bench players!

  • How many people have ever tried to find a playing ruck for the 2nd bench spot? For me it has always been the lowest priced ruck I can find and he sits there all year. Its not an option listed but I would just go with one bench ruck spot and leave it at that. In fact I don’t know that I have ever needed (or had the luxury of) 2 bench players in one position ever, so maybe just reduce all positions to single bench. I agree with others here that we don’t want to make it too easy so not really keen on utility bench options.

  • Depends on how that would work. When would the utilities come into play/get counted? Would we swap them in and out of the 4 emergency spots? You’d still need a utility from each position then?

  • I do hope the option of removing the 2nd ruck and making it a 3rd mid spot hasn’t been excluded from the options purely because it’s what RDT and SC use.

  • Leave as is…alot of the skill is already being taken out of the game…becoming a bit of a joke really..

    • I don’t mind the extra layers of strategy this game requires. DPP inclusions, immediate price rises, etc. Fantasy requires skill in the same way poker does. You can put in no effort and have full houses flopped to you all year, or you can strategise your ass off and still get nowhere. There is definitely skill involved, but the question I ask myself each year is whether it’s worth it any more. A year’s work can be undone in a week pretty easily (e.g. this week — thank fk I have the week off!), which hopefully the proposed changes above will help iron out.

  • I had an idea that the ruck spot could be a utility in a different way.

    I’d say the player in that utility spot will replace the lowest score on your field (so long as they score above that). Say a player gets injured or spuds up a 30 or worse. Having that utility would be a safeguard for injuries and allow you to get high risk high reward players like Sloane or Toby Greene and avoid that low basement. You could rotate that position depending on if somebody comes into a bad matchup or has a bad run of scores.

    I’m not sure if that would be too complicated or not, but it would provide some cover in case of a bad injury like Blakely getting 8 a few weeks ago

    • Have to say I don’t like the proposed changes precisely because I think the potential for big damage as well as high reward is what appeals! If you take a big risk bringing in a player then you bear the consequences!
      It’s the mix of skill and luck that makes the game enjoyable – we never know what’s going to happen on any given weekend. And that’s exactly the same as in AFL.

    • I don’t mind this. In the olden days your emergencies covered donuts no matter where they were, so you could stack your back line with non-playing rooks and your mid bench with premos and beat the shit out of everyone. That’s changed, but in many ways I miss those days… this idea would help bring an element of that back. Nice work!

  • Option 1 – leave it as it is!
    Don’t see the need to dumb it down or make things any easier.
    Don’t like the utility bench idea at all.
    The only idea that I think has any merit is to reduce the Ruck bench to one spot and move it so there are three spots on the Mid bench … and I’m not even convinced of that.

  • Remove 2nd bench option in rucks and give midfield 3 bench players!

    Good Luck in 2018

  • Hmmm. Option 2, but it would need some limitations. If it could be any player then people would take advantage of it and put a MID in the emergency spot (e.g. Titchell) and have their second on-field RUC a non-playing player and get a 9th MID scoring. So the utility would probably need to be a “TALL” (maybe > 195cm) which would actually make it more like real life. How many clubs go into a game with 2 rucks? They go in with 1 ruck and use a tall forward as the backup.

  • Utility is a crazy (bad) idea, straight away I thought why not put a promo mid there then a non player on your weakest line, probably Def, sit back and reap the rewards? That really screws with the whole positional based game, I wouldn’t mind the SC approach but as is is fine, this year we even had some ruck cows and the ability to switch nank/Ryder or whoever you had to cover outs would have saved a lot of coaches. Despite what some may think the game ain’t broke,also it ain’t easy if luck goes against you but crazy “innovations” could ruin it

    • this argument falls down because;
      you wont have a completed team ’til RD 18 or 19 if at all.
      Why waste your dollars on a maybe?
      It’s nonsense

  • Warnie, where’s the wild card?

  • Option 2. Also if you make the GF and have more than 2 trades left why not make all of your remaining trades available to use on grand final round. Should make an interesting match up especially against your mate

  • Option 2. More choice but make the game harder.

  • gET RID OF mid-season DPP upgrades. That’s dumping down to the nth degree.
    Gives the mugs an even break. Why?

  • Please leave it as is.. enough rule changes happening in the AFL all the time. leave classic rules alone and let it evolve naturally

  • Option 3. It works!!

  • I think keep the 2 emergencies in each position and you get the highest scoring player out of the 2 on your bench as your cover in that position, (if you’re lucky enough to have both bench players playing). And if you’re unlucky enough to have two out in the same position you get both bench players scores to cover them.(this part is more wishful thinking).

  • Option 2 all the way! 3 is OK, 4 is ridiculous and 1 is still good but inferior to 2…

  • Maybe another idea similar to option 4. Have eight emergencies but instead of ranking them if you have one player that does not play you just get the highest scoring bench player out of the eight as cover. If you have a second player out you get the next highest bench scorer and so on. (eliminates donuts unless you’re extremely unlucky to have more than eight players out in which case “delete team”)

    • You do that and next thing you know you have a squad of 40 players on the ground and the best 22 scores count each week.

  • If you have a nominated emergency and he scores more than one of your starting players in that position then the emergency score should count.Not enough benefit currently if your emergency only has his score used if there is a late out.

  • If your player on field is tagged or injured early and gets low score it can be replaced by a higher scoring emergency. Gives more power to emergency players. Have just 4 emergency players, one for each position and more players on field. DPP players become move valuable.

  • Clearly option 3 is the best. One emergency per line with an bench of reserves that can come from any of the positions. Let coaches decide what their bench looks like. It is a step in the right direction by AF, which unfairly cops a lot of criticism for actually moving forward.

    For those who want it to be the same as RDT and SC, just play those games. You constantly want to move the game back to how it was. Those games are out still there.

    Most of us play for the fun and like the challenge that a different game brings. Kudos to AF for thinking outside of the square.

    (BUT – this isn’t really outside of the square – Option 3 is just like how most other fantasy sports games around the world have their bench and it should be adopted).

  • I like not overdoing as the game is currently great as it is. However the second ruck bench spot is usually useless, so having that position as a utility would be an improvement that I could look forward to and adds a good amount of extra versatility to the game!

    • Agreed, Second ruck spot is useless. Move it to the mids so 3 mid and 1 ruck emergency. That extra mid emergency esp DPP could prove invaluable to cover fwd or back carnage.

  • I think your emergencies should be able to play out of position if required, however at at maybe only 50% of points scored.

    In a real game of footy, if the coach doesn’t have a ruckman available for selection, does he just field 17 players, or does he put a non-ruckman in to pinch hit?

    Of the suggested options, I prefer number 4. This is more like real life, where the coach chooses his bench based on what is required. I still suggest that should you have (for example) a forward who doesn’t play, and you don’t have a forward on your bench that plays, you get half points for someone else on your bench.

    The whole idea is that real coaches will play people out of position if they have to, although realising that player won’t be as effective.

    • It bears thinking about. However the game must be basic enough
      to appeal to the very casual punter. Make the game more difficult
      but keep the rules simple……KISS.

  • Option 2.
    One ruck on the pine is enough. The utility spot sounds good.
    And while we’re on the subject of change….
    The sub rule needs to be altered, in that, if I have a DPP in the def, mid and fwd positions, I should be able to sub all three at once. For example: a def/mid, mid/fwd and a fwd/def is in my team currently. For me to sub them, the only way to do that is put one player in that position up for trade to free a spot and if you’ve used your trades already and need to alter your team at the last minute, you either have to reverse your trade and stuff around that way or miss out. There needs to be either a three player sub button, or a subs bench that can be used for such instances. And make it so that your team is not finalised if you leave a player on that subs bench so no loop holes can be made.
    Just an idea.
    Thoughts Warnie??

  • The midfielders make the majority of the points so any change will entice players to their increase their midfield. Their lies the challenge.
    Give me a good reason to change it?

  • The emergency player generally only comes into to play only a few times throughout the season for your squad. Very rarely do you have two late omissions on the one positional line. Therefore only one emergency should be listed for each positional line. To compensate squads should be increased to say around the 40 in total as per the approximate number of Team Lists. The set up being 22 playing on field, emergencies being 4 in total – one for each line with the balance in this example being 14 non playing squad members sitting at home. Increasing squad numbers would eliminate the scoring mechanism change associated with the bye rounds.

  • 1 Ruck on the bench and 3 in midfield. Also would be nice to have an extra lockout before Saturday’s first game, and more important than anything else, cheaper rookies and at least 2 games before their price rises

    • The 1 ruck and 3 midfield option is a pretty boring way to go about it (in my opinion). A utility is better… the four utilities, even better!

      Saturday lockout was mooted a couple of years ago. I don’t mind that.

      Weekly price changes is a nice POD to the game. They’ll stay as far as I know.

      • Agree that utilities are the way to go to add both extra flexibility and also extra interest. The utilities are not (IMO) an easy out for weaker team selectors ( that is just a glass half empty perspective), no, utlities offer on-the-edge bonus to those who can work that structural option. Coaches who are initially cautious about such a change will come to appreciate the challenge and opportunity it offers. Also all bench players in the real game are notional utilities, so the multiple utilities change brings more of the real bench zing to fantasy team selection.

  • get rid of rolling lock outs is my opinion. everything else is fine but I’ll accept any changes to bench structure.

    • Partial lockouts (which I assume you’re talking about), are needed for Thursday night games. You can’t be expected to lock a team in with, sometimes, 40 minutes between finding out teams and lockout… plus the Friday night lockout is a thing.

  • Hi warney I have been playing fantasy/dt for over a decade. My only thought (as per a number of the comments) is don’t dumb arse the competition down so that the afl can get more 13 year olds interested. It has become easy enough as it is. It’s a great set up as it is, requires a lot of strategy and a fair bit of luck. Any move to make the rules considerably softer will end up losing more players than gaining 13 year olds. Cheers

    • What rules dumb things down here? All this is about is removing R4 and getting a more realistic, flexible bench.

      • Precisely; the utilities provid for more intelligent flexibility in bench selection in a way that is more realistic to the game we watch on real turf. It will offer nuanced strategy that will be anything but dumbing for those who can get an edge by using it intelligently. The fixed bench option currently operating is the dumbing option.