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Deck of Dream Team

Nick Daicos – Deck of DT 2024

What does stats guru Jaiden think about our best DEF?

Player Nick Daicos
Club Collingwood
Position DEF/MID
Price $982,000
Bye 5 & 15
2023 avg 108.8
2023 gms 20
Proj. avg 106
Draft range First round (D1)

Click here for 2024 Fantasy Classic prices.

Why should I pick him?

Nick Daicos launched into his second season and took his game to an elite level. The Brownlow fancy went on to finish 3rd, just three votes off the top despite missing three games. In AFL Fantasy, his start to the season left many coaches wondering why they even considered fading the Rising Star. Across the first 6 rounds, Daicos didn’t drop below 100 and averaged 122.2 points per game. He has shown that he has an elite ceiling and is a ball-magnet, always running and looking for handball receives (13.9 per game, #2 in comp) to consolidate his inside/outside scoring ability. This dynamic ability is highlighted by averaging 45 points from stoppages and 64 from transition; Daicos was the best outside player of the 63 players to average 45+ stoppage points.

Daicos has played a very fantasy-friendly role across his two years in the system. In his debut year, Daicos averaged 87 points per game off half-back, with 71 of these points sourced from outside ball movement. In 2023, Daicos was used more in Collingwood’s midfield, particularly in the second half of the year. In the first half of the year, Daicos averaged 37.8 points per game from stoppages, but in the second half he averaged 62.9 points per game from stoppages. Scoring from stoppages is a result of the midfield time and causes his floor to be more consistent. This coincided with his second run of 100+ games through the middle of the year! After an unfortunate knee injury to end his H&A season, Daicos was ‘eased-in’ for a cut-throat prelim (100) and the Grand Final (110), the latter in which he earned Norm Smith votes.

Overall, coaches are expecting a little more time in the midfield for Daicos in 2024. With DEF/MID status, Daicos is the most popular non-rookie in AFL Fantasy, owned by 54% of teams. At $982k, he’s priced at his 108.8 average. I don’t think he needs to improve to be a worthwhile selection as a DEF, especially if we have lots of salary left from cheap ruck and forward lines. Considering he has an injury affected game in his price, you could argue he averages 108 again with ease.

AFL Grand Final 2023: Collingwood star Nick Daicos accused of deliberately  diving in first half | — Australia's leading news site

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

There aren’t many villains in Fantasy these days, but there is certainly a prominent one for Daicos. After a best-on ground/career-high disposal/109-point effort in 2022, Sam Mitchell had enough of watching Daicos go unmarked. So, in a 2023 warmup game in Launceston, Finn Maginness was sent like a heat-seeking missile towards the young gun, and restricted him to 58 points. Again, in Round 21, Maginness held Daicos to 37 points before a knee-injury. These two games were 0.56 and 0.50 points per minute for Daicos, half as effective as his typical ~1PPM. There were many narratives around tagging Daicos last year, and its effectiveness was closely monitored. In fact, many of his sub-100 scores can be explained by a tag, including an 84 v Ryan Clarke and 86 v Willem Drew.

How do we expect Daicos to be targeted in 2024? We will need a fast start from him in 2024 to be a worthwhile selection. This is due to him playing in Opening Round, causing the subsequent R5 bye. His R0 performance will dictate whether he remains as the most picked premium in AFL Fantasy. Even if he starts well, coaches look towards the games a month in. Round 4 – Maginness, Round 5 – Bye, Round 6 – Drew. These are just the tags we expect. It could be even more popular in 2024 as opposition coaches try to restrict the uncontested damage Daicos can do to chase down the reigning premiers.

Deck of DT Rating.


He’s a popular pick, and for good reason. Daicos is a star of the competition and just turned 21. He is the clear D1 for seasonal drafts, and #1 overall in keeper leagues. In Classic, his worthwhileness will be determined by the first seven weeks. It is a constant consideration to fade him on tag watch, yet most did that last season and missed his early season explosion. Stay vigilant and assess him after watching him perform in Opening Round to determine whether he should be your D1.


Follow @Jaiden_Popowski on X for a TRUCKLOAD of great content.

Started playing Dream Team as soon as I was old enough to use a computer! Growing up in the Fantasy mindset inspired my passion for statistics, so now with a degree, I provide new metrics and unique insights into the game. Follow me on Twitter as I dive into new content for AFL Fantasy.

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