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Deck of Dream Team

Nick Daicos – Deck of Dream Team 2023

Can the young ball magnet continue his hot start and have a second year breakout?

Player Nick Daicos
Club Collingwood
Position DEF
Price $769,000
Bye 14
2022 avg 86.8
2022 gms 22
Proj. avg 96
Draft range 3rd Round

Click here for 2023 Fantasy Classic prices.

Why should I pick him?

You’re Only As Good As Your 2nd Half Of The Year

Over the course of the season Daicos progressively improved his average. He came out of the gates hot with scores of 102, 73, 89, and 126 (including a 99 in the pre season match), before tapering off after whispers of a small ankle niggle started to surface. Daicos (perhaps carrying a small injury) continued to an average of 80 in first half of the year, respectable considering he came in last year priced at $284,000. But the second half of the year is where Daicos turns himself from a rookie into a bonafide premium option for this year. From round 12 onwards Daicos went at an average of 96 per game (including his 3 neglected finals scores of 90, 96, 99) , which would place him as the 6th highest averaging defender of this year. Compare this to his ranking in starting price of the defenders which is 17th, and you’ve got yourself an underpriced premo.

Junior Scores

Nick Daicos was a class above his NAB League peers last season, averaging a ridiculous 35.8 disposals from his five matches which translated to an average of 136 fantasy points. Daicos’ best performance of the year came when he amassed 44 touches for a score of 149 against the Murray Bushrangers, highlighting his natural ability to find the footy and produce big time, pig-ish, Fantasy scores.

More Mid Time?

It wouldn’t be a proper preseason without the words, “more mid time”, thrown around. In his junior years Daicos was a pure midfielder so it’s safe to assume he’ll transition into that role at some stage of his career. “I’m, sort of, trying to improve (on) so many aspects, running, strength … putting on a bit of size (to) hopefully play a little bit more midfield time next year,” Daicos claimed this preseason. Although the acquisition of Tom Mitchell doesn’t bode well for his claim, we could see a few more games this year with increased CBA’s.

Daicos had his first proper run through the mids in round 7 vs Essendon, but was flicked back to half back in the last quarter, for a score of 77. Throughout the course of 2022, Daicos attended an average of just 4% of the Pies’ centre bounces, with his engine room peak coming between Rounds 21 and 22 where these means rose to 46.5% per week.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

More Mid Time!?

There’s no doubt he’ll collect more CBA’s than his debut year, but Mitchell coming into this already mature midfield group pushes Daicos one more player away. Daicos is the sort of player that can accumulate 30+ disposals at full back, but his ability to do this super consistently is definitely effected by a role in the back line. And the stat line that gets effected the most playing this loose defender role are his tackle numbers. In 2022 Daicos only averaged 2.2 tackles a game.

And remember how I said between Rounds 21 and 22 Daicos’ CBA’s peaked at 46.5% week? He only scored 65 and 69 in those games, respectively. So maybe more CBA’s isn’t necessarily a good thing?

Not Cheap.

As mentioned, he’s the 17th most expensive defender, which at $769,000 isn’t exactly cheap. There is still risk associated with the pick because of this. As always, the aim of the game is to select players who are going to increase their value and there is a world in which Daicos either matches his current price, or decreases his price. Daicos still managed to hit a few floors during his stellar 2022 campaign with scores of 59, 63, 52, 66, 65, 65 and 69. You could even argue that his average is inflated due to a massive 147 in round 18 against Adelaide, a game 21 points above his next highest score.


Hard to imagine that Daicos would be drawing the heat of a forward tag coming off half back by the end of the year, but he did. Daicos became a bit of a target, namely by Sydney’s Ryan Clarke on a few occasions, which reduced him to one of his basement scores. This trend could continue going into 2023, especially as tagging came back into vogue going into the end of 2022 and he’s fresh off his target inducing Rising Star award.

Deck of DT Rating.


He’s got Fantasy chops. No doubt about that.

He’s going to be the sort of player that’ll spend a lot of his career in our Fantasy teams. A season average of 110+ is a matter of when, not if.

The main draw card in Daicos’ favour is if he can replicate his 2nd half of 2022 he’s a top 6 defender. And that’s without factoring in any natural improvement (I feel there’s a lot here), plus what having another full preseason will mean for him mentally and physically.

If he runs at that 96 he did in the final 14 games of 2022 then it makes Daicos a stellar starting option, and a season long keeper.

A 96 average was the line between KING & QUEEN here, and I think he can scrape through!

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Have been an avid DT'er for over a decade now, with 2 top 100 finishes (23rd & 94th), and more top 500 placings over that time. Looking to continuously push for more competitive rankings while giving some advice along the way!



  1. John1

    January 10, 2023 at 8:20 am

    Hes a hard call, I want to go him, but it just feels wrong to go him as one of my “premiums”. I have him in the same category as ellis and young, gonna be hard to choose
    Nice write up, ill probably have him in and out of my team over the next couple months many times

  2. The Chosen Won™®©

    January 10, 2023 at 8:50 am

    Low risk with a good upside.

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

    • Squid

      January 10, 2023 at 4:46 pm

      Agree, still don’t think he’s the best player in his draft but he will be the best scorer I suspect and that’s what we are all looking for after all.

      • enigma

        January 10, 2023 at 6:35 pm

        who was the best player in that draft squid?

        • Squid

          January 10, 2023 at 10:57 pm

          Don’t know yet, Daicos probably is right now and is very good certainly, reminds me a bit of Jack MacRae, from the little I’ve seen of them Rachele and a couple of others have potential to be special win a game single handed types.

          Getting heaps of touches isn’t necessarily what makes you the best player.

          Time will tell I guess.

      • Daicos4Brownlow

        January 10, 2023 at 9:29 pm

        I am a bit confused, Squid. He pretty much owned the junior comp – if he was not a father-son pick, he would have gone to Norf at number 1. He settled into the Pies as if he had been playing there for years. He won the Rising Star! He had a breakout Fantasy year in his first year, and he will get better. He was the best player in his draft by a long way. He could end up being better than his dad – along way to go, but he has the potential. I also reckon that his arrival at the Pies spurred his brother to his best season as well – nothing like a bit of sibling rivalry.

        • Squid

          January 10, 2023 at 11:26 pm

          He’s very good, and has matured early, reckon he hasn’t shown much game breaking X factor though, his brother seems to have got his share but not the consistency.

          Don’t get me wrong, I think he’ll be an excellent player for many years but others from his year may be better at single handedly dragging their team over the line and that’s what I personally rate a players on, ie Pendlebury is a great player but I’d take a Dusty or Judd over him all day long and from a small sample Rachele and a couple of others have shown that they may become game winners.

        • Little Ripper

          January 11, 2023 at 10:33 am

          As a young person, I have never heard of his dad or seen him play. Did he play in the old VFL?

          • Dulcify

            January 11, 2023 at 12:14 pm

            His dad, Peter was a fantastic goal kicker in the old VFL. Many of his goals had to be seen to be believed. His nickname was the Macedonian Marvel.

            I have fond memories of having kick to kick with him in the mid to late 70’s at the old Lake Oval in South Melbourne. Peter was a staunch Swans supporter.

          • Daicos4Brownlow

            January 11, 2023 at 4:17 pm

            Macedonian Marvel, Mr Magic – many superlatives. I saw Peter kick 13 against Brisbane (Bears). He was my favourite player well before then, but it really highlighted how he could kick a goal from anywhere. He was one of the last great users of the torpedo – he launched them from anywhere. I would refute that he was just a goal kicker though. He almost single-handedly defeated the Weagles in the 1990 Qualifying Final replay – so he did play AFL. The Weagles had no answer for him. It will take a lot of improvement, and he would need to show consistency, but Nick has the potential to be better than his dad. They always show Peter in the crowd whenever Nick or Josh do something good.

            • Phteven

              January 11, 2023 at 4:22 pm

              I once had a Macedonian friend who I called a Greek. Fortunately I survived and am here to play Fantasy!!

            • Dulcify

              January 11, 2023 at 5:00 pm

              Hey Daics, I didn’t actually say he was “just a goal kicker” nor did I say he didn’t play AFL.

              • Daicos4Brownlow

                January 11, 2023 at 6:21 pm

                No probs. I know you remember those simpler times. I shouldn’t expect the young’ns to know; after all, he did debut in the same year as your infamous cup run.

                I don’t think Peter would have been a Fantasy scorer.

                • Dulcify

                  January 12, 2023 at 8:39 pm

                  Till this day, I still haven’t forgiven Roy Higgins or Hyperno. Just like Dulcies pelvis, I was shattered.

  3. Daicos4Brownlow

    January 10, 2023 at 10:57 am

    Full disclosure: I am a Collingwood fan, so maybe a little biased. However, I never usually have many Pies in my side. Daicos, however, is a certainty.

    I would argue that Nick has already had his breakout. The question is: will it continue? Fly loves the ball going to Nick. That is not changing. He is going to be better.

  4. ????

    January 10, 2023 at 11:03 am

    AFL iD is an epic fail. Glitchy, clunky. Long term Fantasy player here that’s now forced to move over to SC/DT due to AFL iD signup process not working. Massive fail.

    • !!!!

      January 10, 2023 at 1:31 pm

      How have you managed to become a long term fantasy player with such thin patience? The game only just opened up, with lockout still 65 days away. I managed to sign up just fine, however had to wait 30min for the email to get through to me – Maybe the issue isn’t AFL iD, but you?

      • Squid

        January 10, 2023 at 4:42 pm

        I got sorted instantly, I suspect user error also.

        • Phteven

          January 10, 2023 at 5:14 pm

          The toys no longer appear to be in the cot!

          • Daicos4Brownlow

            January 11, 2023 at 4:18 pm

            Comment of the year so far

  5. BestowedMisery

    January 10, 2023 at 11:04 am

    Lock for me.

  6. D Nutz

    January 11, 2023 at 1:05 pm

    With the addition of T Mitchell I think N Daicos will be fed the ball a lot. But by saying that J De Goey will be in the same spot as N Daicos so its a no for me

  7. Pete

    January 30, 2023 at 7:10 pm

    Daicos or Gawn in keeper league?

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