2023 Fantasy Footy Review | Carlton Blues

With the 2023 SuperCoach, AFLFantasy & DreamTeam season officially over, it’s time to review the year in full, one club at a time. First up for our 2023 Fantasy Footy reviews is the Carlton Football Club.

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For big chunks of 2023, Sam Docherty was a dominant defensive force for the fantasy community. After a patchy opening month and then missing a few weeks of footy, Sam returned in round seven and once again proved why so many coaches started him in AFLFantasy, SuperCoach & DreamTeam. From round nine until the season’s end, he posted nine AFLFantasy tons, three extra scores over 90 and nothing under 80. It was a similar picture of dominance with nine SuperCoach tons and four scores of 90+. He ended 2023 ranked as one-third in AFLFantasy amongst all defenders by average, going at 104.5 and eighth in SuperCoach with an average of 100.6

As the season went on, the Blues played Doc more consistently across the wing and through centre bounces, so much so that it won’t surprise me to see him eligible as a midfielder only to start the 2024 season.

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Money Man

Carlton provided us with only a few candidates under this category, although many started with Lachie Cowan; the defender did play the opening six games of the year. After that, he was quickly out of the Calrton team and our fantasy footy sides. Alex Cincotta became one of the most highly traded cash cows during the season after debuting in round six.

His DEF/MID status became hugely valuable and arguably more helpful for depth and coverage as he went on to play sixteen games and averaged 55.2 in SuperCoach and 48.1 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam. He generated $201,500 in SuperCoach, $202,000 in AFLFantasy and $271,600 in DreamTeam.

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It didn’t quite work out

During the 50 most relevant in the preseason, we discussed the recent history of Brownlow Medal winners having a scoring hangover the following season. Patrick Cripps has become another ‘victim’ of the curse, dropping his average by 14 points per game to 88 in AFLFantasy and 97.5 in SuperCoach. Those averages are fine, but given what you paid for him in classic or positionally in draft formats, he probably let you down and didn’t quite work out how you’d hoped.

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2024 Watchlist

Perspective is everything in fantasy football. And when a player averages 94.6 in AFLFantasy and 103.2 in SuperCoach, for most players, that would be considered a successful season. That wasn’t the case for Sam Walsh. The former #1 pick showed flashes of brilliance after returning from an offseason injury; his first 5-6 weeks were sensational. But his scoring faded as the year went on.

This wasn’t just due to some role volatility but mostly due to his rebuilding his fitness base. The primary weapon in Sam’s football arsenal is his endurance and ability to cover the ground better than anyone. Having no preseason impacted him and, as a result, his fantasy output. But as we say most years, one year’s frustration is the coming season’s blessing.

Sam will come in between 10-15 points below his previous two seasons averages and will likely be highly hyped through the preseason. This is being further enhanced during the AFL Finals series, with him scoring back-to-back tons in the first two finals and being a significant reason for the Blues pushing deep into September. Plenty will be on him next year, and I’m super keen to be part of the ownership party!