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Deck of Dream Team

Jack Macrae – Deck of DT 2024

What does Ricontop think of old Head Tilt.

Player Jack Macrae
Club Western Bulldogs
Position MID/FWD
Price $829,000
Bye 0 & 15
2023 avg 91.8
2023 gms 22
Proj. avg 100
Draft range R1/R2

Click here for 2024 Fantasy Classic prices.

Why should I pick him?

Jack Macrae has been an elite MID AFL Fantasy player in the past.  He is an exceptional fantasy scorer who has the capability of hitting high ceilings. While there are coaches who believe that his best years are behind him, Macrae might still prove them wrong in 2024. After all, he is three times back, to back-to-back, All Australian from 2019 to 2021.  A footballer like that, simply just doesn’t forget to play footy! Have we forgotten how good he has been, and how great he can be? Back in 2020, there was an article on the AFL Website titled “Who are the top eight Fantasy midfielders of the decade?” by Warnie from The Traders. Guess who made it on the list? No other than Jack Macrae. Trivia question, if a group of cows are defined as a herd, then, what is a group of pigs? The answer, a group of pigs is defined as a drift. What an elite company consisting of Dane Swan (PIG), Tom Mitchell (PIG), Gary Ablett (GOAT), Scott Pendlebury, Matthew Boyd, Tom Rockliff (PIG), and Patrick Dangerfield.

Jack Macrae’s AFL Fantasy highlight reels consist of the following statistics over the last decade (see below). These are sourced via the interwebs resources.  There is no denying these numbers are elite.  From 2018 to 2021 (*excluding the 2020 COVID year), as a midfielder, he was a sure 100.  Macrae scored over 100 AF points, at a rate of 81%, from 63 of the total games played. If you want to talk big 100s, Macrae on average converted those 100 into big scores (120+), at a rate of 50%, in that same period. People might say that is cherry-picking stats, so let’s do that! In 2018, undoubtedly his best year in AFL fantasy, he scored 16 tons from 19 games that’s an 84% conversion rate, of which 63% he turned into really big piggish scores (134, 128, 145, 151, 155, 144, 133, 132, 124, and 190).  In 2024, Macrae is available as a FWD, one can put up an argument that he is a “no-brainer” pick in 2024.

Jack Macrae has pedigree, and this year, Macrae is available for a bargain price of $829K. This still makes him the most expensive forward available.  Note that Macrae has never been cheaper at the start of the AF season as compared to previous years, 2023 ($916K), 2022 ($972K), 2021 ($860), and 2020 ($858K). The other top 6 options include D. Martin ($812K), C. Daniel ($811K), S. Flanders ($809K), T. Green ($799K) and D. Moore ($794k). Apart from Flanders (37% overall Ownership), who showed us quite a lot last year, Macrae still looks undervalued compared to other players in the top 6 FWD list.  In terms of “vanilla rating”, currently Macrae has an overall percentage ownership of 33%, this makes him the 5th most selected FWD behind, H. Reid (Rookie), S. Mannagh (Rookie), Z.  Duursma (Rookie), and S. Flanders.  Would coaches be gambling by selecting Macrae at the start of the AFL Fantasy season, or is it a bigger gamble not to start with him at the start of the season? There are 33% of coaches who believe that he is worth the risk.

There is no doubt if you are shilling top dollar for a set and forget gun forward, coaches are looking for consistency, high ceilings and durability. At $829K, coaches will need high scores, constant 100s and for Macrae to play all of the games in 2024. While his recent scores in 2022 and 2023 have not been elite as compared to his previous years, Macrae is more than capable of consistent scores. If a certain coach were to unleash the real J. Macrae, statistics show that he can turn those 100 into really big 100s! If coaches are looking for durability, Macrae’s statistics show that his fitness is his big selling point. Even taking into account his rookie year (2013) where he played 13 games, from 2013 to 2023, his average games played for the home and away season is 20.

Out-of-contract Western Bulldogs star with the latest on his future

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Before I start my verbal diarrhoea, let me put my hand up and say that I am biased in regards to Macrae. As a coach, no matter what I do, he always finds his way into my AFL Fantasy team. This year, I will be offering a counselling group to coaches who pick Macrae.

Okay, we all know the answer to this question, the biggest, and brightest pink elephant in the room, is staring at us, heck it’s yelling at us fantasy coaches. His name is Bevo. It all starts on Thursday’s team’s reveal, watching the live stream from the boys (The Traders), looking at the AFL website, and scanning for the name J. Macrae. In anticipation, we all look where Macrae is selected. Is it in the guts, or is it the dreaded Wing/Half Forward role?  In denial, we wait until game day, listening, reading, and hoping to find out, from all available sauces “Where will he play”? If it is at half forward/wing role, then bring out your protractor coaches, and start measuring that head tilt!

Last year, Dunkley departed the Kennel and there were thoughts amongst the fantasy community that this would see Macrae’s CBAs go up. His CBAs didn’t go up as some predicted. In fact, according to DFS Australia, his CBA for 2023 was a mere 36% on average. What is worse is the declining CBA trend from 2020 to 2023, from 74, to 36%. This year, unfortunately, Bailey Smith is likely to miss the entire 2024 AFL season as he recovers from his ACL injury.  Would this mean more CBAs for Macrae? As we all know, Bevo will be Bevo and there are no guarantees. One thing is for certain, while Bevo is in charge of the Bulldogs, I think we will continue to see the Ted Lasso style, Total Football (Agile) where anyone can play any spot. Good luck to us all. Anecdotally, having owned him for 2023, the amount of time he is sitting on the bench with 5 minutes to go, is a worry. Macrae can junk it with the best of them. If he is sitting on the bench with 5 minutes to go, he is losing prime time/junk time.

Instead of anecdotes let’s look at hard facts. The stats don’t lie. Let us cherry-pick his last 3 seasons from 2021 to 2023 (see below). Let’s revisit that question, is he still in his prime or are his best days behind him?  While we all know he has been an elite MID/Fantasy player, the declining TOG trend is a worry. In addition, the role change (Wing/HF) over the last 2 to 3 years has taken Macrae away from the ball. This has seen his average AF points drop from 116 in 2021 to about 92 in 2023. A positive statistic for Macrae is his disposal efficiency.  While his CBA and fantasy points are dropping, his disposal efficiency has improved from 75% to 79%.  It may be that the coaching staff are happy with this role change, less CBA, and a lower disposal count which leads to a higher disposal efficiency.  The most concerning statistic I can offer is his 100 point conversion rate. Gone are the days when we used to take Macrae for granted, he plays, and gets 100. Not anymore, his 100-conversion rate has dropped from 82% to 36% in the last 3 years. In 2023, we also saw Macrae fall below 60 points on two occasions, a feat he has not produced since his Rookie year.

Last words of argument why you might not want Macrae on your team. Picture this, according to the AFL Fantasy site, Tate McRae, I mean Jack Macrae, was owned by only 8% of AFL Fantasy coaches in the last round of the 2023 season. It is the Grand Final of the AFL Fantasy leagues. It is the last dance of the AFL Fantasy season! Here it comes, my payback for holding him until the very end.  Things are surely looking up. I have an ACE on my deck of dream team, and yeah, his name is no longer Jack Macrae, it is ACE Macrae. Macrae will go against my beloved West Coast Eagles, and they are bleeding Fantasy points down back, in the middle, in the ruck and the forward line. Just the very thought of owning Tim English, Bontempelli, Baily Smith and yeah, Jack Macrae was very tantalising. Like me, and the 8% other coaches that held him until the bitter end, all were ready to send our astutely constructed messages/sledges to mates, especially those who laughed at us for owning ACE. Then it hits you at three-quarter time…the head tilt, and the TOG (63%).  At the back of your head, you know that bad luck comes in threes. You start recollecting past and painful memories of seeing Jack Macrae, sitting on the bench, with 10 minutes to go, and he is stuck on the bench. You then yell at the screen, but Bevo can’t hear you.  Surely not though, Bevo you can’t, oh yes he can, he can do one better.  When you thought he could still junk his way to a 90 from 51 at 3-quarter time. He was SUBBED! In the words of singer/songwriter Tate McRae, “Oh, I’m sorry, sorry that you love me. Changed my mind up, like it’s origami”.

Deck of DT Rating.


We all know what Jack Macrae is capable of producing at his best and his worst. There are 33% of coaches that have selected him this year hoping he can be that set-and-forget forward. Only time will tell which Macrae plays this season. Will we see ACE Macrae with big 120+ scores, or will Bevo once again give us the “Jack of All Trades” Macrae? Let me preface this statement by saying I am biased toward Macrae. However, I will eat my hat if he is not a top 6 FWD come the season’s end, as such he gets an ACE rating.

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Rick Grimes
Rick Grimes
3 months ago

He’ll be in my team R1. Cannot see him going under 90 ave. In fact, 100 wouldn’t surprise. No Bailey Smith. Bont more effective going forward. Leaves Macrae where we want him to be.

3 months ago

If the Doggies are keen to play finals and win a few they must start CBA’s with English, Bont, Macrae and Libba often.

Rick Grimes
Rick Grimes
3 months ago
Reply to  MiseryBestowed

100%. Bevo has fluffed about enough. It’s all or nothing now. Macrae unleahed. It’s real.

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