Champion data have revealed the new fantasy football positions for SuperCoach, AFLFantasy and DreamTeam for 2024. As usual, we’ve got some significant positional gains and disappearances. 87 players will start with DPP, down from 149 who commenced last season with the flexible position allocations. MJ’s back to take you through the changes.Embed from Getty Images
Have no fear; Nick Daicos is still here. One of the premium stars of 2024 can still be selected with our backlines and holds DEF/MID status. Based on his late-season heavy midfield role, this could be his final season for the foreseeable as a defender.
Tom Stewart, James Sicily, Luke Ryan, Nic Newman, Jayden Short and Dan Houston all maintain pure defensive status, while Harry Sheezel, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, Lachie Ash, Lachie Whitfield and Jason Johannisen, who held DPP, are among several players who will only be selectable to start the year as a defender.
After reading through the list, I was surprised that James Sinclair is listed as a pure defender, but I was convinced his consistent centre bounce and wing time over the year would be enough to be a DEF/MID. Regarding St Kilda players, Marcus Windhager might provide some mid-late draft range value by picking up DEF/MID status. Heading down the highway, Mitch Duncan will always be a popular player, especially in drafts; he maintains his defensive status for 2024.
Speaking of draft rankings, a few guys will maintain some interest in the community with their availability on the backlines. Elliot Yeo is a DEF/MID, Joel Jeffery is a DEF/FWD, and Liam Baker is still a DEF/FWD. I was concerned that Darcy Wilmot’s role on the wing might cost him DEF status; thankfully, those fears have proven unfounded. He’s selectable again as a defender in 2024.
Many of the previous season’s topline forward-eligible options have lost this position and become midfielders only. Unsurprisingly, last year’s best options in our forward lines will all lose DPP and be solely available as a midfielder. Josh Dunkley, Tim Taranto, Errol Gulden, Zak Butters, Stephen Coniglio, Connor Rozee & Zak Butters. You can also throw in Jason Horne-Francis, Ben Hobbs and Tarryn Thomas as MID/FWDs from 2023, transitioning into midfielders for 2024.
Our forward lines weren’t the only line to lose some upper-tier options; all of Sam Docherty, Will Day and Adelaide skipper Jordan Dawson have lost defensive status; they’ll each be listed as pure midfielders.
There was some hope amongst the fantasy community that players such as Sam Walsh & Christian Petracca have possible options to pick up MID/FWD status; however, that isn’t the case in both instances. According to Fantasy Freako, the Twitter/X handle behind Champion Data, Petracca, was under 3% of variance away from picking up forward status. So, while not great news for starting squads, a refresher heading into rounds 6. 12 or 18, he’s got the potential to gain dual position status with some luck.
Even if players lose or don’t gain DPP, they are still relevant prospects for the coming season. For example, Jordan Dawson finished last season in SuperCoach, AFLFantasy & DreamTeam ranked fourth overall for points. Even without defender status, I can see him backing up similar scoring output and scoring in 2024.
Rarely do we see any drastic changes of gains into the ruck line, but we do see some DPP gains and losses year on year. Collingwood premiership player Darcy Cameron has been a popular RUC/FWD over the previous two seasons, but in 2024, he’s set to be a pure ruck. Mark Blicavs maintains the unique MID/RUCK, which is supremely valuable in draft leagues.
Last year, Melbourne & North Melbourne spent large portions of the year with two rucks playing on the one side. The hope was that one of Max Gawn, Brodie Grundy, Todd Goldstein or Tristan Xerri might pick up RUC/FWD status. However, this didn’t happen; all are pure rucks next season.
In some good news, the popular R3 Max Heath has held RUC/FWD DPP and could prove a popular loophole and swingman option. He’s not the only RUC/FWD, Fremantle’s Luke Jackson has maintained it. And should Sean Darcy miss games early, I can see plenty in the community targeting him.
A trio of Western Bulldogs arguably lead the conversation for potential topline billing in our forwards. Caleb Daniel, Bailey Smith and Jackson Macrae have maintained the forward status they gained during the previous season. While all have positional volatility under their coach, a compelling narrative exists where each could be a clear top-six forward by the conclusion of 2024. It’ll take a brave coach to start one, let alone multiple.
Structurally, in 2023, I saw many teams start with four or as many as five premium forward options. Based on the options available, despite it being so early in the preseason, I’m confident to advocate against that approach in 2024.
Late-season flyer Sam Flanders has held onto MID/FWD status. His scoring power can not be ignored or dismissed. But the uncertainty of who fills the Gold Coast Suns midfield roles and how they play stylistically will ensure coaches will be slightly tentative to commit to going all in on him. If he maintains that roaming half-forward/midfield role, he could be seen in many teams by round one.
After a surprise trade to the Swans, Taylor Adams has maintained MID/FWD status. After moving clubs in the hope of more midfield responsibility, it looms as only his health being a primary reason for coaches not to pursue him as an attractive starting squad option. He’s shown over multiple years that he can average well north of 100+ across the formats.
Over the past few seasons as a community, we’ve become accustomed to being able to select players who are more realistic midfielders. Still, for a few reasons, they’ve picked up forward status. With this not being the case as widely in 2024, it makes players such as Charlie Curnow & Jeremy Cameron. It could also mean the high forwards / damaging roaming options like Isaac Heeney, Shai Bolton, Dustin Martin, Toby Greene, and even Dylan Moore all present an interesting preseason conversation at the very least.
For draft formats, not just keeper leagues, I can see the value of Elijah Tstas, Jye Caldwell, Jai Culley and Elijah Hewett increasing as they walk into this season with MID/FWD status. Given the potential ‘low bar’ of what it might take to be a fieldable forward this year, all have the potential capacity to be on-field scorers for us.
The #1 draft pick, Harley Reid, will be available as a MID/FWD. The question isn’t whether he will get games. You could build a compelling case that he’s already the most talented player on the Eagles list. The real question around Harley is whether he can score highly enough at the elite level to make ‘spending up’ on him a worthwhile financial outlay. Something no doubt to debate over the preseason.