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Cash Cows

Fry’s Cash Cows – Rd. 2

Another season opening fantasy round, another weekly dose of rookie advice from Fry!

One down, 23 to go!

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty good about the rookies we have to choose from to start the 2024 fantasy season. The backline leaves a bit to be desired, however most coaches locked in the mainstream cash cows prior to Round 1, with very few of them faltering over the weekend. Of course, we couldn’t pick them all and there are some rookies who loom as pressing additions at the trade table this week. Don’t blow up your entire structure to bring them in, but it’s not to late to pounce on some of the premier money makers with your trades this round.

Make sure to also cast your eyes over:
My DT Talk 2024 Rookie Guide
My DT Talk 2024 Preseason Watchlist

SBF article – The most important rookies/cash cows for 2024

Rookie/cash cows are typically defined as players who started the season priced at $300,000 or lower

Cash Cow King – Round 1

We haven’t seen a triple-figure score yet from a rookie this season*, although Colby McKercher (94) came close. As was the way last year, a North debutant posted the highest score to start the season with Rising Star nom Oliver Dempsey (92) only a few points behind the popular Roo. Jeremy Sharp (79) was the next-best rookie scorer from Round 1 with Ryley Sanders (68) and Matt Roberts (68) tying for 5th place to round out the nominees. My vote will go to Colby for his efforts last round and I have a hunch this won’t be the last time he earns five votes in the Cash Cow King award during the 2024 season.

Who's gets your vote as the most important cash cow in Round 1?

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*FWIW, here are the Cash Cow King votes from Round 0
5 – Matt Roberts (91)
4 – Blake Howes (74)
3 – Seth Campbell (61)
2 – Aaron Cadman (47)
1 – Caleb Windsor (45)

Round 1 Power Rankings

After 1 week of action, these are the top 10 cash cow performers in season 2023!

Making Moves

Money makers

The majority of the cash cows mentioned in this section boast a high ownership thanks to switched on fantasy coaches making sound investments for their initial team. The handy MID trio of Colby McKercher ($343K, 94, BE -3), Ryley Sanders ($312K, 68, BE 11) and Matt Roberts ($355K, 68, BE -11) all excelled this week and over the next month they will maintain their place as crucial cash generation players. Some coaches are only fielding two of the young guns, while others have opted to keep all three in their midfield rotation. Either way, coupled with Oliver Dempsey ($300K, 92, BE -10) and Blake Howes ($298K, 66, BE -14), there are plenty of cash cows on offer in multiple lines that can assist coaches early on this fantasy season.

Richmond youngster Seth Campbell ($268K, 48, BE -1) is another one who owns a negative breakeven and there were almost 30,000 coaches who opted to add him to their lineup prior to Thursday night’s lockout. While he is best served as a bench option, high draftees like Darcy Wilson ($275K, 63, BE 7) and Harley Reid ($316K, 55, BE 22) can play a role on our fields as they build into their AFL careers. Reid in particular got off to a flying start and despite a difficult matchup with Port Adelaide, the No. 1 overall pick wouldn’t have lost any fans following his efforts on the weekend. One rookie that was neglected by some in Jeremy Sharp ($319K, 79, BE 3) will become a popular trade target this round after his 18-disposal, 8-mark game against Brisbane. He has already seen his ownership increase by almost 3% as fantasy managers look to bolster their MID stocks.

Keep the faith

Not every rookie got off to a flying start scoring-wise this round, although I wouldn’t be panicking about any of these cash cows just yet. A 31-point fourth quarter from Marty Hore ($328K, 62, BE 20) helped him salvage a solid point total and given the lack of reliable, cheap defensive options he may become a trade target this week. Jake Bowey is still scheduled to miss close to a few months with a broken collarbone, which hopefully paves the way for Hore to keep his place in Melbourne’s side. His young teammate, Caleb Windsor ($320K, 58, BE 15) did his best to aid fantasy coaches with a nice score before being subbed out midway through the fourth quarter.

Injuries have helped create an opportunity for him as well and I’m confident that even when first-choice wingman Lachie Hunter returns the fold, Windsor will keep his spot in the Demon’s outfit. Another fresh face in that game who can be picked in the FWD line showed glimpses of promise for the Bulldogs, with Harvey Gallagher ($225K, 56, BE 2) even helping himself to some CBA’s in the final term. As a result, he doubled his score in the fourth to ensure he’ll maintain a price rise as long as Luke Beveridge picks him and more importantly, he dodges the green/red vest. Those who invested in Aaron Cadman ($273K, 56, BE 3) will be happy to see the GWS tall forward continue his positive cash generation, with a matchup against West Coast potentially equating to another healthy score in Round 2.

Cut them loose

Following just one week of the fantasy season, there aren’t too many cash cows who need to be immediately culled. Unfortunately, those who are trade priorities all come in defence – an area where we don’t have a lot of reliable rooks on offer. The pressing issue for almost a third of the competition is to find a replacement for Zach Reid ($244K, 17, BE 37) with the luckless Dons defender poised to miss 4-6 with his latest hamstring setback. Thanks to the early byes and best-of-18 rounds for the next fortnight, there is a world where you can hold onto him, although there is no longer optimism around Reid making a return in Round 4. Two other cheap DEF rookies in Josh Gibcus ($257K, 12, BE 38) and Karl Worner ($286K, 42, BE 26) don’t boast a high ownership percentage although an ACL tear and a badddd concussion respectively mean they’ll reside as red dots until coaches can find a trade-in target.

Thin Ice

Alright, let’s talk about the underperformers. Registering 59% TOG saw Geelong’s second-gamer Jhye Clark ($241K, 32, BE 25) falter, despite the young MID owning a promising role. All the news we heard regarding Clark in the preseason saw over half the fantasy community plug him into an M9-M10 slot and he probably scored half of what we were hoping for. Let’s hope Chris Scott continues to increase his game time, as it should lead to better scoring efforts. Similar could be said for Charlie Lazzaro ($303K, 52, BE 22) – the role was there but the points didn’t exactly flow. Jy Simpkin’s potential return means that Lazzaro will have to fire against the Dockers, otherwise fantasy coaches will be forced to look elsewhere. In defence, there are already 3,000+ coaches opting to trade for Charlie Dean ($239K, 51, BE 4) to help promote cash gen down back, although I’m not completely sold on the young Magpies’ fantasy ability.

If you desperately need another DEF this round, then maybe Dean is the answer. I’d prefer to wait when it comes to swapping your dud defenders though, with Dean accumulating just 87 points in two career games thus far. Giants forward duo Toby McMullin ($219K, DNP, BE 8) and Harvey Thomas ($205K, 35, BE 18) generated some interest over the summer too, with Thomas in particular a cash cow that coaches had their sights set on. Ok, maybe it was just me. Either way, a DNP and sub-40 score wasn’t what we were hoping for, and as a result, it’ll be hard to trust them moving forward – especially considering they put their feet up in Round 3 during GWS’ bye. Hardly anyone had their sights set on Lachlan McNeil ($253K, 35, BE 25) given the number of reliable options we had to choose from in the forward line. Still, the 43-game Bulldog wasn’t able to make the most of his opportunity against Melbourne, finishing with just 35 points from his 14 touches.

Wait and see

Unless you already own the three players I’m about to touch on, the smart tactic is to ignore them at this point of the season. Every team is different of course, and while it may be tempting to bring in one of these cheaper alternatives, the risks definitely outweigh the potential rewards. Adelaide key forward Chris Burgess ($208K, 33, BE 17) may find himself on the outs with Taylor Walker set to return for the Crows and even if he holds onto his spot in the 22, Burgess didn’t compile a score great enough to suggest we should acquire him. Defensive duo Bodhi Uwland ($234K, 41, BE 16) and Toby Pink ($207K, 32, BE 18) performed as expected, with neither of them giving fantasy coaches confidence in their money-making ability.

Sub status

Subbed On – Finlay Macrae, Lance Collard, Shaun Mannagh, Taj Woewodin, Kai Lohmann

Subbed Off – Orazio Fantasia, Zach Reid, Ryley Sanders, Caleb Windsor

There weren’t too many surprises with the Round 1 vests, aside from Sanders being dragged by Bevo of course. The player I have my focus locked on from this group is Shaun Mannagh ($200K, 23, BE 23), who scored at an effective rate in his sole quarter of AFL footy. Geelong may continue to keep him in cotton wool, but the moment he breaks free from the green vest is the moment Mannagh should become a trade target for coaches. Let also hope that Finlay Macrae ($304K, 27, BE 42) can get an extended run after a preseason full of hype as well. He too boasted a fruitful point-per-minute clip and there is a blueprint for fantasy success for Macrae should he enter Collingwood’s best-22.

State League Stats

Sandringham and Collingwood will kick off the VFL season on Friday arvo, with a lot of the state leagues taking place in practice matches or intraclub hitouts last weekend. It’s tough to get a gauge on the reliable rookies out of these games, however there will be proper matches to analyse next week that will help keep coaches informed about the future downgrade targets for season 2024. The SANFL and WAFL competitions are a week behind the East coast state league, with their seasons commencing on the 28th of March.

Remember the Name

In no particular order, here are some of the other rookie-priced players to consider throughout the season.


James Leake (Giants, $252K)
Jakob Ryan (Magpies, $200K)
Oisin Mullin (Cats, $245K)
Billy Wilson (Blues, $201K)
Riley Hardeman (Kangaroos, $234K)
Sam Clohesy (Suns, $200K)
Archie Roberts (Bombers, $200K)
Caleb Mitchell (Swans, $200K)
Jedd Busslinger (Bulldogs, $200K)
Charlie Edwards (Crows, $240K)
Caleb Graham (Suns, $239K)
Connor O’Sullivan (Cats, $270K)


Kane McAuliffe (Tigers, $200K)
Ed Allen (Magpies, $200K)
Jake Rogers (Suns, $261K)
Caiden Cleary (Swans, $231K)
Hugh Jackson (Power, $200K)
Harry DeMattia (Magpies, $228K)
Mitch Hardie (Cats, $200K)
George Stevens (Cats, $200K)
Jack Bytel (Magpies, $270K)


Henry Smith (Lions, $200K)
Coen Livingstone (Eagles, $200K)
Max Heath (Saints, $200K)
Nathan Kreuger (Magpies, $261K)
Archer Reid (Eagles, $213K)
Will Verrall (Demons, $200K)
Dante Visentini (Power, $283K)
Taylor Goad (Kangaroos, $243K)
Mitch Edwards (Cats, $207K)


Tyrell Dewar (Eagles, $200K)
Kynan Brown (Demons, $200K)
Nate Caddy (Bombers, $273K)
James Tsitas (Suns, $200K)
Ashton Moir (Blues, $216K)
Steely Green (Tigers, $200K)
Darcy Jones (Giants, $200K)
James Tunstill (Lions, $286K)
Bigoa Nyoun (Kangaroos, $200K)
Reef McInnes (Magpies, $285K)
Billy Dowling (Crows, $200K)
Koltyn Tholstrup (Demons, $264K)
Brayden George (Kangaroos, $200K)
Logan Morris (Lions, $210K)

You can find more AFL, NBA and NFL fantasy advice from Fry by joining the Fantasy SportsbyFry Patreon community!

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER@SportsbyFry for all things AFL Fantasy! Feel free to hit me up with any questions you have throughout the season. Good luck! ✌️

An Australian coffee/burrito enthusiast who is the frustrated owner of 16 fantasy teams. Writer for SportsbyFry and DT Talk ?

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30 days ago

Great read. Lots of great cash cows this season. Unfortunately I’m in the Zach Reid boat and there is that lack of defender cash cows…

What can we see Hore averaging? 55-60?

30 days ago

Nice work. Thoughts on a Freo or Tigers rookie defender coming in due to injuries of others. Eg. Davies or Smith??

30 days ago

Thoughts on these trades

Wines- Bonner
Buddarick – Clark(freo) 40k left over or D’Ambrosio 248k left over?

Or should I hold buddarick and flick Clark( Geelong) for Sharp ( Freo)

30 days ago
Reply to  Liam

Clark for Sharp
Buddarick for Dambro

Should leave you also with a bit of cash to be flexible with future trades?

30 days ago
Reply to  Fry

Thanks for that, even considering Clark to Dempsey via dpp or if sharp better value?

Yeh I think I can hold buds for this week and flick him next week before his bye

30 days ago

Look out for Daniel Curtin if he gets named, a much better option than someone like Pink.

30 days ago

Still a bad pick, even if it’s the lesser of two evils.

Better off getting creative and try to bring a Williams/Yeo/Dambro etc and pick up a mid or forward rookie instead.

30 days ago

good sheet Fry!!

managed to nail most of my rookies by picking Dempsey, Dean and Cadman (all as bench cover making $$ and avoiding Reid, Gibcus & Lazarro, but couldn’t afford to get Sharp, which gets fixed this week..

thoughts on Arie Schoenmaker?? gonna need to cash in Dean/Howes/Coffield when DPPs are added to Martin & Roberts..

30 days ago

Billings or Bonner?..and why

30 days ago
Reply to  Overthinker


If you’ve seen Billings play football, you’ll know why.!

29 days ago
Reply to  Fry

Rekn billings will avg more than perkins? Why would perkins definitely not be an option for classic?? (as has been suggested in podcasts)

29 days ago
Reply to  Overthinker

Been thinkin the exact same thing overthinker. Perkins attended more cbas than anyone else at essendon and is a fwd. Why the guys on the podcast have said he is not relevant in classic is just staggering.

28 days ago
Reply to  Bert

For the simple fact that his coach has a surname ‘Scott’

30 days ago

Bonner of fyfe
If I get bonner i field Wilson
If I get fyfe I field sharp.

29 days ago
Reply to  Fry

Great work again Fry.
I’m downgrading Rowell to Bonner.
I need to know if Bonner’s scoring will slow with the addition of Sinclair?
I scored 2126 with no Gawn.
Got Grundy and Xerri.
I’ve got Green as well, nice captain.
Better to ditch Rowell now.
Other trade is a forced one, ditching Williams as I have pink and Z Reid on the pine.
I’ve got all 5 rookies that we voted on.
I’ll have $364k left picking Bonner.
I’d be happy if Bonner scores a 90.
I don’t have Fyfe v’s Roos @ home.
Is a risky Fyfe an option? No early bye.
Move Fyfe forward.. etc.

29 days ago
Reply to  MiseryBestowed

Why did you pick Rowell at all if you’re ditching him after one week?

And it’s not like he didn’t kill it the week before either.

Not sure what you were looking for from the pick to begin with, but whatever it is, I’m not sure he’s been underperforming.

And yes, Fyfe is a must have.

Last edited 29 days ago by JungleMuffin
Help Me
Help Me
29 days ago

Great as always Fry,

Owens —> S Campbell
Fisher —> Serong

Campbell will be on my bench and D Wilson comes on

29 days ago
Reply to  Help Me

You’re chasing last week’s scores. Far too Royactionary IMO.

Campbell has had a 2nd price rise already, and his 60+ score was in his first game also, so only one more rise to come from that sxore, with a bye on the horizon.

If you’re making a play for cash there are better options. If you’re making a play for points, you’re probably not going to come out ahead by exchanging a premium for a rookie on ground.

It’s a nope from me dawg.

Last edited 29 days ago by JungleMuffin
Help Me
Help Me
29 days ago
Reply to  JungleMuffin

Owens—>M Crouch

29 days ago

Hey Fry, ready for another season to be hurt again? Haha.
Have a very specific and unique situation. I have 1 trade locked in (Wines -> Sharp). Needing to know what you would recommend I do taking into account all aspects of the Classic game. Grundy -> Xerri or Clark -> Dempsey. Obvious differences being rookie swap to better breakeven for bigger cash generation quickly, versus more points on field as well as Cash generation but not maybe as much quickly.
Any suggestions from everyone and Fry would be greatly appreciated. Hope everyone is doing well. I have started terribly!

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