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Cash Cows

Fry’s Cash Cows – Rd. 4

As we return to a round of 22 on-field players, Fry gives us an update on all the rookie picks!

Three down, 21 to go!

I’ve had a glass-half-full approach with the rookie class of 2024 through the first few weeks of the fantasy season. That optimism is starting to fade. The most selected forward cash cows are struggling to hit 45 points and a green dot below $350K in the backline is as rare as a West Coast win. And yet, it’s not all doom and gloom with the midfield rooks stepping up as others falter around them. A handful of the most popular players in the game are nearing a point where we can give them the flick, making this week’s set of trades even more important.

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 3

We were treated to some juicy rookie scores in Round 3, with Oliver Dempsey (102) stealing the headline in the last game of the round. Geelong’s young gun filled up the stat sheet and didn’t need to hit the scoreboard for his lofty point total, with a handful of other popular cash cows topping the 90-point plateau. Matt Roberts (94) continues to excel off the halfback line for the Swans, looking every bit like the best rookie so far this season, while Harvey Gallagher (90) feasted against West Coast for a season-high. The mainstream duo of Colby McKercher (77) and Ryley Sanders (85) also found themselves amongst the top scorers for the weekend, with Dempsey receiving my vote for raising the bat against the Hawks.

Who's gets your vote as the most important cash cow in Round 3?

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Round 3 Power Rankings

After 3 weeks of action, these are the top 10 cash cow performers in season 2023!

Making Moves

Money makers

The awesome foursome in the midfield continue to produce. Three (and a bit) rounds in, Matt Roberts ($505K, 94, BE 3), Ryley Sanders ($429K, 85, BE -3), Colby McKercher ($466K, 77, BE 7) and Jeremy Sharp ($422K, 63, BE 11) are all averaging 70+ and have established themselves as fieldable players of fantasy coaches. I still think the safest strategy is to field 3 of these rooks and leave one on the bench at M9-M10 (most likely Sharp), although you don’t win a car by playing it safe. Coaches may have given Jhye Clark ($302K, 76, BE -3) the flick already from their midfield bench, but laying seven tackles and gathering 15 touches on Easter Monday has reignited his money making abilities.

While Clark’s performance was great in that contest, his teammate Oliver Dempsey ($426K, 102, BE -13) was the talk of the town after he filled up the box score to post his best score of the young season. Both he and Harvey Gallagher ($337K, 90, BE -19) will be popular targets this week as coaches look to lock in the best possible cash cows for their forward line. Some may also own a pair of Giants coming off their bye, with Aaron Cadman ($323K, DNP, BE -3) trending in the right direction and Harvey Thomas ($267K, DNP, BE -23) the early favourite to be the most traded in player ahead of Round 4.

Keep the faith

Not all of our bench FWD options are still moving in the right direction, however Chris Burgess ($288K, 49, BE 0) and Seth Campbell ($352K, 54, BE 13) haven’t done anything to deter us yet. A lot of coaches plugged Cambell into their lineup before the first official lockout of the fantasy season and Burgess has a path to success now that he’s found a consistent spot in Adelaide’s senior side. Roos duo Zane Duursma ($379K, 32, BE 25) and Charlie Lazzaro ($351K, 55, BE 19) are nearing the end of their stay in fantasy sides. Somewhat tougher matchups with Brisbane and Geelong in the next fortnight means it might be time to start thinking of an alternative. In defence, we can’t find reliable rooks which has led some coaches to trust Oisin Mullin ($261K, 51, BE 15) and/or Bodhi Uwland ($263K, DNP, BE 8). While there are concerns surrounding the fantasy prowess of both backmen, leaving them at D7-D8 for a few more weeks is a fine manoeuvre.

Cut them loose

God damn, why can’t we have nice things! The defensive cash cow situation is dire, to say the least, and our options are going from few to none. Melbourne pair Blake Howes ($396K, 23, BE 31) and Marty Hore ($355K, 50, BE 31) gave coaches a glimmer of hope in the past few rounds, however, a measly score of 23 from Howes and a fractured thumb for Hore means they can’t be trusted anymore. While Howes can rot away at D7-D8, Hore is expected to miss 3-4 weeks making him a player you need to remove from your squad. The same can be said for Nick Watson ($343K, 71, BE 8), who is poised to miss 4-6 weeks with a medium-grade syndesmosis injury.

Thin Ice

Let’s address the elephant in the room. A large portion of the fantasy community found themselves on the receiving end of some poor scores from our forward rookies in Round 3, making us question their residence in our teams. Darcy Wilson ($338K, 35, BE 22) sucked us in with a 90+ showing in the preseason, but he hasn’t fired in his three AFL games to date. Another top draftee Caleb Windsor ($374K, 38, BE 31) hasn’t stood out when it comes to scoring points and the regular drubbings that West Coast are receiving mean that Harley Reid ($362K, 43, BE 27) isn’t reaching the lofty heights we expected.

If you have to move one or two of these FWD cash cows on to help facilitate another on field upgrade, I say pull the trigger. Windsor in particular has his bye just around the corner, making him the rook I’d trade first, but honestly, all three can go. We may be able to squeeze the orange and get a touch more of a price rise from them, but averaging 50ish isn’t going to cut it as an on-field option. By no means are they must-trade candidates this week, but the faith we had in them to reside at F5-F6 has all but disappeared.

Wait and see

A few debutants/cheaper rookies have thrown their hat into the ring recently as possible downgrade targets. The one who interests me the most is Toby Conway ($338K, 68, BE 17) who shone for Geelong only a few days ago. Chris Scott is on record saying Conway isn’t ready to feature at the top level on a consistent basis yet, however, he’ll be the best R3 option we see all season should the Cats give him a chance to at least string a few together.

In defence, Dockers second-gamer Josh Draper ($228K, 49, BE 7) and North’s mature-ager Toby Pink ($242K, 20, BE 20) may seem like an answer for those chasing a green dot. Still, their scoring ability gives me serious pause and I’d rather address other issues at the trade table over bringing in a key defender. The DEF rookie I do like in Angus Hastie ($200K, 16, BE 32) was forced to don the sub vest and until he breaks free of that role, I think the wise move is to wait – while Swans debutant Caleb Mitchell ($209K, 36, BE 16) didn’t do enough in his first pro game to suggest he’s a viable trade option.

Sub status

Subbed On – Kai Lohmann, Orazio Fantasia, Angus Hastie, Taj Woewodin, Corey Warner

Subbed Off – Finlay Macrae, Mykelti Lefau

The same names are popping up here every week, with FWD rookies Kai Lohmann ($240K, 18, BE 38) and Finlay Macrae ($274K, 31, BE 42) the most-owned cash cows in this bunch. We saw Macrae out of the vest to start the game last Thursday, although the failed to fire and was dragged early in the 3rd quarter. Lohmann went back to the VFL and kicked four snags, but even after that inspired performance, it’s hard to see him squeezing into Brisbane’s best 22.

State League Stats

Billy Dowling (135) – Adelaide teen who started his SANFL season with a bang! Averaged 77.2 from 20 SANFL games last season as well for what it’s worth – one to monitor closely as he firms for a debut.
Riley Garcia (128) – Garcia is making life hard for the Doggies selectors after he racked up 31 touches and a goal.
Kane McAuliffe (120) – If McAuliffe was close last week, surely Richmond give him a run soon with even more injury setbacks, right?
Kai Lohmann (113)
– As I mentioned, Lohmann kicked 4.1 in the VFL while gathering 17 disposals and laying 7 tackles. I wonder if it’s enough to see him shake the vest?
Liam Reidy (108) – Managed 48 hitouts for Peel Thunder, but with Sean Darcy nearing a return for Freo, he’ll likely stay in the WAFL all season.
Hugo Garcia (105) – I was surprised that St Kilda gave Hastie a run over Hugo Garcia last week. Following another impressive effort for Sandringham, the two youngsters may swap places in Round 4.
Archie Roberts (102)
– Continues to impress for the Dons, although he appears to still be waiting on the outside looking in.
Joe Richards (96) – A six-goal haul against Brisbane is bound to see Joe Richards take a step closer to an AFL debut.
Koltyn Tholstrup (92) – I’m sure this kid will play some AFL footy in 2024. Tholstrup produced another strong showing for Casey without blowing selectors away.
Jaxon Binns (85) – Another 25-disposal game from Binns as he fights to earn an AFL debut.
Josh Sinn (85) – Didn’t excel for the Port Adelaide Magpies and it’s hard to envision Sinn breaking into the senior team right now.
Daniel Curtin (81) – Building, but not yet.
Arie Schoenmaker (53) – 16 touches with 14 kicks is nice to see, but Schoenmaker recorded just one mark against Essendon.

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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3 months ago

Hey Fry
Would you go ?
1. Jordan to Flanders or
2. H Reid to Dempsey?

3 months ago
Reply to  John

Is reid on your field?

3 months ago
Reply to  Roger

Yes F6

3 months ago
Reply to  John

You’d have to give JJ one more chance against the useless strays over west wouldn’t ya before the bye ?

3 months ago

Hey Fry! Awesome work again mate. Always look forward to your article.
Whats thoughts on these trades mate. Would love your opinion! Have $280k in bank.

Pretty keen on Fisher > Flanders as my first trade. Second trade options below:

1) Reid > Dempsey (would be F5)

2) Wilson > Gallagher (F6)

3) Wilson / Mannagh> Thomas (F6)

3 months ago

Who’s more of a priority Fryski?!?

Thomas, Gallagher or Dempsey

3 months ago

If I can get Dempsey in for Reid, would you do that? Or would you focus on saving the cash and going a Gallagher or Thomas?? Srsly hard to decide

3 months ago

Thanks Fry!

Would you trade Jordan or Fisher first? Can get either to Flanders. Keeping in mind I still have two fwd rooks on the field. Just don’t see a way of getting one of them off yet. Already have Powell.


3 months ago

Who are you giving the VC and C this week Fry?

I think I’m leaning towards Green C but VC is a bit harder. Sheeze on Friday?

3 months ago

G’day Fry.
Who is the best Suns rookie?
Sam Clohesy or Will Graham?
Thanks mate

3 months ago

Thoughts on what trades to do this week

Got 0k in the bank haha

Im thinking of going

Wilson- Thomas
Lazzaro- Gallagher or should I drop Wilson to a 200k player( McAuliffe) and go Lazzaro- Dempsey??

DEF: Sheezel, Whitfield, Young, Houston, D’Ambrosio, Zilliams (Reid, Howes)
MID: Zerrett, Green, Rozee, N Martin, Bonner, McKercher, Sanders, Roberts (Mannagh, Clark)
RUC: Gawn, Grundy (Barnett)
FWD: Heeney, Jackson, Powell, Jordon, Reid, Lazzaro (Wilson, Campbell)
UTIL: Cadman

3 months ago
Reply to  Fry

I know I know, if I do this I’d have to field Gallagher and also Reid, or is it best to pay up and grab Dempsey, means D5 will be Dempsey and D6 will be Reid

3 months ago
Reply to  Liam

Also means I miss out on Thomas and hopefully can grab McAuliffe from Richmond

Help Me
Help Me
3 months ago

Trading out wines for Hewett and thinking doing one of these two trades:

1: Z Reid to random rookie for $$ next week
2: H Reid —> Money maker (Gallagher?)

Cheers Fry, great as always

Help Me
Help Me
3 months ago
Reply to  Fry

Even if he is on my field?

3 months ago

sexton -> powell
fyfe -> powell

3 months ago

What’s more important? Sorting out cash gen (mannagh, h. Reid, other reid, Lazzaro-> Gallagher, Dempsey, Thomas) or trading the bont?

3 months ago

Great article as always, thanks Fry.
One of my trades is going to be ZDuursma to Gallagher/Thomas on my bench, which will allow me to get to Powell by trading one of these on field rooks –
Which one would you get rid of first from HReid, Wilson and Lazarro?

Last edited 3 months ago by Nath
3 months ago

Hey Fry,
The most comprehensive article every week mate. Please keep up the good work, I read it every week my friend and have been a long supporter of yours as you know. Fry know his stuff, so please Fantasy Community Take note and give Fry some love.
Have a really tough decision to make just based on a point loss/gain perspective given it’s Best 22. Will be one of double downgrade for Bench spots and focus on double upgrade next week (1. Wilson/Reid -> Thomas, 2. Sexton/Fisher -> Gallagher seeing as I already have Dempsey at F6). Or 1 Upgrade 1 Downgrade 2 weeks straight (Wilson/Reid -> Gallagher, 2. Sexton/Fisher -> Flanders, then a combination to get Grundy -> Marshall). Don’t normally like doing the downgrades in a Best 22 but I guess you have to strike the Rookie Breakevens when there hot.
Given that all going well I am 80% sure that I can still do the necessary 2 upgrades next week as long as Marshall and Flanders don’t absolutely hit it out of the park taking note of breakevens of Grundy, Marshall, Jordon, Flanders (Double Upgrades Grundy -> Marshall and Jordon -> Flanders and sticking with Dempsey F6 and Gallagher F7 and Thomas F8). What would you suggest Double Downgrade or 1 Upgrade 1 Downgrade for my particular situation as it is always team specific as you know??.
Then also the question on everyone’s lips is who to go first Wilson or Reid, it’s a real flip of the coin in my opinion, interested to see what do you think?
All the best Fry 😊

3 months ago

How do we feel about Clohesy, pals?

3 months ago

Hey Fry
Need some help –
have D4 to D8 – B Howes, M Hore, T Pink & C Dean
also have Billings as well
Thinking trade
Billings to Clohesy/Will Graham / Comben
One of D4 – D8 to Clohesy/Will Graham/someone else

Recent Comments

  • Ben on Calvin’s Captains – Rd. 19: “Williams hasn’t been giving up that much points to opposition rucks. Doubt marshall will go huge.Jul 20, 13:33
  • gilbert on Calvin’s Captains – Rd. 19: “I’m surprised no one has mentioned Marshall as a captain option this week against Williams for the eagles.Jul 20, 13:26
  • John on Calvin’s Captains – Rd. 19: “Is Xerri worth a captain shot with DeKoning as Carltons solo ruck?Jul 20, 11:33
  • Versari james on Fry’s Cash Cows – Rd. 19: “I’m the same, I might roll the dice into whitfieldJul 20, 11:01
  • Jeremy on Fry’s Cash Cows – Rd. 19: “Caldwell passed the concussion test, couldnt come back on due to time constraints. Fingers crossed he will be back next…Jul 20, 09:22



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