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2023 Fixture and AFL Fantasy

Some initial thoughts following the 2023 fixture release.

Positions a few days ago and now the fixture. Fantasy coaches are getting a few things to think about prior to the pre-Christmas launch of AFL Fantasy for 2023.

We’ve got rounds 1-15 locked in with dates and times. The nine weeks of remaining fixtures (rounds 16-24), have match-ups, but dates and times will be revealed later in the season.


The biggest change is that we’ll see four bye rounds in 2023. These will start at round 12 (as we’ve seen in recent times), but continue through to round 15. That is because the first two weeks of byes will see four teams and then two teams having byes. The other two weeks will have the six teams on a bye as we’ve been accustomed to.

(4 teams)
(2 teams)
(6 teams)
(6 teams)

Having four weeks of byes isn’t a new thing; however, this structure is new.

When Port Adelaide was playing their game in China, there was an early bye round (usually 2-3 weeks before the block of multi-bye rounds). This made managing byes easier as we had two teams – Port and Suns/Saints – who had already had their bye and would be ‘easy’ or logical players to bring in. Sometimes this didn’t work out well due to who were available… but it was something.

The 2023 structure has the bye with 2 teams on it in the second week which will be after the round with with four teams on it.

At the time of writing, we have no idea what the rules for Fantasy Classic will be like. There are a couple of options:

  • Rounds 12-15 are treated like normal bye rounds. That is, best 18 in each round with three trades that can be used.
  • Rounds 12, 14, 15 have the regular best 18 and three trades while round 13 is treated as a normal round (22 scoring players, two trades).
  • Rounds 12, 13 have two trades each with best 18 and rounds 14, 15 are best 18 and three trades.
  • Some other combination…

I’m not sure where it will land… but my gut feel would be keeping the rules the same across the four week period for simplicity. This may not appeal to the hardcore players, but I’m thinking it is easy for communication for our casuals.

Whatever it is, we’ll chat through what the strategy will look like once we know! At the end of the day, we play by the rules we are given and if it is ‘easier’, we all find a way to take advantage of them. A heap of strategy will open up with how the byes are structured now.

As for players to pick/fade, etc… we will leave that to later in the pre-season. Although, feel free to discuss anything in the comments below.

Note that the custom settings in AFL Fantasy gives you the choice to play through byes. In Draft, you may even choose to award averages as commissioner can change scores for match ups (with pro subscription).


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We start the season with five weeks of Thursday games. They’ll return in round 13 and continue until round 18 according to the fixture pdf. This makes for 11 Thursday night games which is up from what we’ve seen in the past.

Previously these meant a bit more to us with our fixed Friday night lockout. It has been confirmed that the rolling lockout will continue in 2023, so this isn’t as big of a deal, but some thinking around it is imporant.

Early games are good for loopholing; VC and also emergency.

Realistically, we shouldn’t be starting with non-playing players in round one, but we all know what can happen. Below is a table highlighting the number of games teams play on Thursday or Friday for the first five rounds of the season. These could be where you might find the easiest plays for VC and emergency loopholes.

3Richmond, Collingwood
2Geelong, Brisbane, Melbourne
1Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne, Adelaide, Fremantle, Gold Coast, Sydney
0Essendon, GWS, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, St Kilda, West Coast

Only rounds 1-15 have been named with dates. Round 16 onwards is a floating fixture. Therefore, we will look at the teams with Thursday and Friday games once we know them. The block of six weeks of Thursday night footy is longer than last season.


The Scale of Hardness will be coming later in the pre-season. This will tell more of a picture of what the below means, but knowing teams who play each other twice can be important… mostly for Draft and the premiums your select in Classic.

Gold Coast
GWS Giants
North Melbourne
Port Adelaide
St Kilda
West Coast
Western Bulldogs


Collingwood and Melbourne usually have the third and final bye due to timing of Queens Birthday, but they will have the second last (R14) this year as ‘Gather Round’ has added the extra week and the public holiday for Kings Birthday keeps the same timing. This is significant as they’ve often had upgrade targets coaches have pencilled in. They’re a week earlier this year.

Round 5 and 9 will see Friday night double headers. The first is a big one as lockout will be at 5:10pm AEST (3:10pm AWST) as it is part of ‘Gather Round’ in Adelaide. The second is different as the games will overlap.

Anzac Day is on a Tuesday. This spreads the round out significantly and a key thing to know is that teams won’t be announced until the day before the game (Monday evening at 6:20pm AEST). It is also worth noting that Collingwood and Essendon will play on the following Sunday. This is the shortest break teams will have this year.

On Anzac Eve there is a Monday night game. We will also have the Easter Monday and the aforementioned Kings Birthday game on a Monday. We will get extended squads announced for these on Thursday night, but they won’t be finalised until Saturday at 4:30pm AEST.

Co-captain of DT Talk since we started this thing in 2007. Best finish was 13th in 2009... that was a long time ago. Follow on Twitter: @WarnieDT



  1. Dulcify

    December 11, 2022 at 10:24 am

    Good stuff Warnie. Strategy for round 12 will be interesting. There are about 18 players from those 4 teams who will be in a lot of fantasy teams. Players such as Neale, Dunkley, McCluggage, Ashcroft and 1 or 2 others will be popular picks from Brisbane alone.

    As for the byes, I’d like to see round 12 with best 20 scores and 3 trades.
    Round 13 normal, but still have 3 trades. Rounds 14/15 as per normal.

    • The Chosen Won™®©

      December 12, 2022 at 7:17 am

      Round 13 Best 20 scores count 2 trades….

      Rounds 12, 14 and 15 Best 18 scores count 3 trades…..

      I smashed da Minj ©™
      Good Luck in 2023™®©

      • The Octopus

        December 12, 2022 at 9:59 am

        Sounds good, ceedub

        • The Chosen Won™®©

          December 13, 2022 at 11:19 am

          *Also if your player gets green vested they automatically get 100!

          I smashed da Minj 2019 2020 2021 2022©™
          Good Luck in 2022™®©

  2. Marcus Lawton

    December 11, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    After looking at the Fixture I think it might be best to start with 2 or 3 GCS players as they play there first 4 games either on the Gold Coast or at Marvel Stadium

    • Phteven

      December 11, 2022 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks for the heads up, Marcus. I will have Witts, Touk and Anderson, plus some rooks on the bench!

  3. PAFC

    December 11, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    just seen draw on afl site 4th hardest draw for a team that finished 11th wtf. still we have to beat the best to be the best.hinkley sleeping with gils wife? bring on 2023 best of luck all

  4. Phteven

    December 11, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    PAFC, oddly enough FoxFooty has ranked our season as 5th easiest!!

  5. PAFC

    December 12, 2022 at 5:21 pm

    how they come up with that phteven we got 4 finalists double games and collingwood only 2 they finished 4th {surprise surprise} brisbane melbourne 3

    • Phteven

      December 12, 2022 at 8:57 pm

      PAFC, Zerohanger has another version where we (Port Adelaide) have worst draw! Very confusing!!!!!!!!!!

      • PAFC

        December 12, 2022 at 10:03 pm

        considering where we finished last year phteven i think we have worst draw as they say 1 game at a time best of luck to all teams (except the crows) lol

        • Dulcify

          December 13, 2022 at 8:33 am

          Surely one of you Port supporters would like to purchase a 2004 four card Premiership set made by Select.

          • Phteven

            December 13, 2022 at 10:21 am

            Dulcify, where can i get one of these beauties?

          • Gandreg Gustavson

            December 13, 2022 at 10:28 am

            I’ll have one as well, Dulciferous one!

            • Dulcify

              December 13, 2022 at 11:17 am

              Hey guys, thanks for your interest. Sadly I only have one set available, the set is listed on eBay.

  6. JungleMuffin

    December 19, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    Prices are out lads!

    1st day of PS!

  7. Dulcify

    December 21, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    For those who play Dream Team, it is open for those who have assistant coach.

    • The Chosen Won™®©

      December 21, 2022 at 3:34 pm

      Some good value picks in 2023!

      I smashed da Minj 2019 2020 2021 2022™®©
      Good Luck in 2022™®©

      • The Choozler

        December 21, 2022 at 5:21 pm

        Good luck in 23, Ceedub. Always enjoy your dry sense of humour!

        • The Chosen Won™®©

          December 22, 2022 at 8:06 am

          Just doing my bit to keep the community thriving!

          I smashed da Minj 2019 2020 2021 2022™®©
          Good Luck in 2023™®©

          • iridium192

            December 26, 2022 at 9:09 pm

            Great to see some things never change Greg. Compliments of the season and good luck in 2024

            • Dulcify

              December 26, 2022 at 9:49 pm

              Good evening Colin. Good to see you commenting. Best of luck for the upcoming season.

            • The Chosen Won™®©

              December 27, 2022 at 9:08 am

              2017 CL Champion ©™
              I smashed da Minj 2019 2020 2021 2022™®©
              Good Luck in 2023™®©

            • iridium192

              December 27, 2022 at 10:27 pm

              and also to you Wayne, looking forward to the 2023 season.

    • JungleMuffin

      December 22, 2022 at 4:16 pm

      This is almost making me sign up to it :/

  8. PowerAde

    December 22, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    Bloody Carlton gets all the breaks, graphic shows them playing Eagles twice twice…

  9. Julian

    December 23, 2022 at 8:48 am

    The detailed rules are now up and it states AFL Fantasy for 2023 begins 12.01am on 22nd Dec 2022 (yesterday). Doesn’t seem to be open though? :(

    • The Diesel Driver

      December 24, 2022 at 3:38 pm

      Had become semi turgid thinking it was about to open but now I’m rather flaccid knowing we have to wait until next year

  10. Dulcify

    December 25, 2022 at 9:27 am

    Merry Christmas to all.

    • Phteven

      December 25, 2022 at 11:56 am

      It would, of course, have been merrier if AFL Fantasy had opened by now, but as the young say, it is what it is!
      Merry Christmas to all!

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