2024 AFLFantasy, SuperCoach & DreamTeam Possible Positional Changes

Unlock AFL Fantasy & SuperCoach Success in 2024 with our positional Insights! Explore the potential positional changes for the coming season and optimize your fantasy football strategy from the Coaches Panel. Don’t miss out on the winning edge!

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Maintain Defender Status

Like every season, we’ll lose a couple of good top-end premium options, but we still retain some strong ones. Given their role for their teams deep inside defensive 50, I don’t think anyone would be shocked to see Tom Stewart, James Sicily, Luke RyanNic Newman, and Dan Houston maintain pure defensive status. All found themselves amongst the top dozen options across some formats last year, and you can build a compelling case they’ll all be there again this coming year.

Last year, Harry Sheezel, Nasiah Wanganeen-MileraLachie AshLachie Whitfield and Jason Johannisen were among several players who all picked up defensive status during the 2023 season. These five had DPP last year, but I have them all as pure defenders in my forecast for the coming season.

Some pockets of the SuperCoach, AFLFantasy & DreamTeam community have Nick Daicos dropping his DEF/MID status and being just a midfielder, given his increasing midfield time as the year went on. While I can see a time coming (maybe as soon as 2025) when he is an exclusive midfielder, I’ve got some confidence he’ll be available as a DEF/MID heading into this coming season.

I’ve even seen the same pockets of the community suggest that because Hayden Young did move into the Fremantle midfield late in the year, he’ll not maintain his defensive status. But there’s zero chance of that happening; he only spent five games of his 20+ last year in the midfield. It shouldn’t even be enough for him to get DPP; I see that midfield data is not enough to create a DEF/MID, which is at ‘worst’ what he’ll be.

Before we move off the defenders that could maintain this status, it’s important to touch on Jack Sinclair. The St Kilda speedster did pick up his midfield role in 2023 in contrast to the seasons prior, but while some have him touch & go to maintain defensive eligibility, I’m confident he’ll retain it. The main factor is that he had only seven games where he attended over 40% of centre bounces, and just four were above 50%. Yes, he did spend time starting across the wings; while it won’t shock me if he did lose defensive status, I’ve got him heading into 2024 a DEF/MID.

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Gain Defender Status

At first glance, it may not feel relevant, but the new Kangaroo Zac Fisher could be a sneaky option for draft formats and in classic. The former Blue found his feet across half back in the back half of 2023 and posted some more than handy scores. There’ll be some value to be had should he get a comparable role at his new club.

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Lose Defender or Forward Status | MID Only

Many of the previous season’s topline forward eligible options lose this position yearly and become midfielders only. Heading into 2024, it’ll be no different. 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, Connor Rozee & Zak Butters will lead the candidates of former MID/FWD’s heading into the midfield. Some might hold a vague hope that some retain DPP, but the likelihood of that happening is as likely as Christmas Day being cancelled worldwide this year.

There will likely be plenty of others like Jason Horne-Francis that fall away from MID/FWD status into MID. Still, those above six will be the big names that the SuperCoach, AFLFantasy & DreamTeam community will look at in classic.

The upside is you can genuinely build a compelling narrative that they all could still be relevant as a pure midfielder. They all showed they could score in the realms of the best fantasy midfielders in the game; the only difference beyond positional availability is them being considerably less owned than what they were in 2023.

I’m on the fence about what happens with Sam Flanders. But I think his heavy midfield role towards the end of the year might just cost him DPP. If he holds MID/FWD status I can see a world where his preseason hype hits fever pitch.

We’ll also see a few defenders drop out of this status and move purely into the midfield. Adelaide Crows captain Jordan Dawson will lead this crop. He ended last year with an average of attending 70% centre bounces, but from a SuperCoach & AFLFantasy perspective, he would still be someone highly desirable even as a midfielder. He ended last year ranked 4th across all formats for total points, so moving from being a DEF/MID into a straight MID shouldn’t mean his conversation as a relevant option falls away too far.

You can throw Will Day into the mix as a lock for midfield status next year. The rising star Hawk was a breakout star for us last year, but his heavy midfield role will see him lose defensive status. Sam Docherty spent too much time across the wing and through centre bounces to retain his defender status. Should this happen, we’ll see his value in drafts bottom out from the early rounds and make him lowly owned in classic. If he does lose it, he’d certainly be worth keeping an eye on for an in-season DPP allocation. I’m not as convinced, but Angus Brayshaw loses his DEF/MID status to become a midfielder again. I hope I’m wrong, but those midfield numbers kept growing as the year went on.

Much like in the forward line, the pain might be felt in the depth of keeper leagues with guys that became options to play on the field in the backline and are now just playable as midfielders. Chayce Jones, Reuben GinbeyTom Atkins and possibly even Darcy Wilmot, who spent plenty of time across the wings for the Lions.

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Maintain Forward Status

The top of the tree for our forward lines will be clipped, but that’s an annual occurrence. The good news is we’ll still have plenty of potentially viable scoring prospects without unpacking who might pick up forward status.

Recently, I posted a video about the new Port Adelaide ruck Ivan Soldo on our YouTube channel. Within it, I discussed the potential scoring upside he might have as the #1 ruck at the Pear, but his split of ruck and forward time last season should help him maintain RUC/FWD. Should he win the ruck battle against Jordan Sweet and hold DPP, then Soldo is a potential topline candidate. Last year, in the games he played without Toby Nankervis, he averaged 92 in AFLFantasy and 105 in SuperCoach. If he can deliver that over a full season, he needs to be looked at regardless of our forward player gains.

Speaking of potential RUC/FWD options, I still have Fremantle’s Luke Jackson maintaining this status. Some will say he only scored well when solo ruck, but that is false. There’s enough scoring upside that for draft formats, at minimum, he could provide some significant value based on the drafting position.

Isaac Henney, Toby Greene, Dustin Martin and Shai Bolton will maintain their forward eligibility. They might not ever be the top 6-10 forwards in classic, but for drafts, they’ll all play valuable roles in how we tier out this area of the ground.

During last season, Western Bulldogs pair Bailey Smith and Jackson Macrae both picked up forward status, and I’m forecasting they walk into 2024 with MID/FWD status remaining intact. The positive here is the potential for significant value. Just 12 months ago, both were coming into a new season as viable starting squad options and seen with some value baked into their price. This upside is even greater after an underwhelming season. Should one or both of these Dogs pick up the previously held midfield minutes, they both have the potential to be the top-scoring forwards across the formats.

I fully expect the new Sydney Swan Taylor Adams to keep the forward status entering into 2024 that he picked up last season. The former Magpie was squeezed out of the midfield rotation for large portions of last year. While it impacted his fantasy output in 2023, it will provide significant value at his price point alongside being forward eligible. If he can get through the coming preseason fit, he should be a key part of the Sydney midfield mix and could be one of the most highly-owned fantasy forwards entering round one.

Nobody will be shocked to see it, but I’ve got Adelaide’s Josh Rachele as a forward this coming year and firmly on my breakout radar. As a second-year player, he averaged 89 in AFLFantasy and 86 in SuperCoach in the opening seven rounds of last year. As the year went on, his midfield minutes and scoring started slowing, but it has provided moments where fantasy coaches can see a pathway forward to him scoring well. Monitor his preseason cause if Josh gets that midfield opportunity again, he could come out of the gate swinging.

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Gain Forward Status

Every year, we lose a bunch of topline forward premiums, and yet we always find a way in our starting squads to at least have that listed populated with a couple of potential replacements. Don’t be surprised if Christian Petracca jags DPP and is available as a MID/FWD in 2024. Heading into the AFL finals, he was right on the ledge of the 35% forward threshold, according to Fantasy Freko. Based on his role in Melbourne’s games, there appears to be no significant push movement. Either way, it’ll be a small percentage gap that means he either maintains his midfield status or becomes a MID/FWD. I think he will sneak over the line and enter the year as the top forward option.

How much value does Champion Data place on Brodie Grundy’s role in the VFL compared to AFL? If it’s purely just the AFL, of the seventeen games he played last year, only three were without Max Gawn, and it’s only when Gawn wasn’t playing that he attended over 55% CBA’s in a single match. I mention that percentage rate because that’s what he’s sitting at for a season summary. If it’s just pure AFL-level data, then he’s right in consideration for gaining DPP and being a RUC/FWD. However, if the VFL data where he played a heavy ruck role is factored in, he will likely be a forward. Plenty will still have Brodie locked into their starting squad conversation regardless of positional gains.

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2023 Draft Class

With the 2023 AFL draft officially over, we’re just weeks away from the announced positions for the coming seasons. Here are my projections of the positions we might see from some of the most relevant prospects.

Harley Reid | MID/FWD
Colby McKercher | MIDFIELD
Zane Duursma | MID/FWD
Jed Walter | FORWARD
Nick Watson | FORWARD
Ryley Sanders | MIDFIELD
Caleb Windsor | MIDFIELD
Dan Curtin | DEFENDER
Ethan Reed | RUCK
Nate Caddy | FORWARD
Connor O’Sullivan | DEFENDER
Phoenix Gothard | FORWARD
Koltyn Tholstrup | MID/FWD
Jake Rogers | MIDFIELD
Jordan Croft | FORWARD
Will Green | RUCK
Darcy Wilson | MIDFIELD
Charlie Edwards | MIDFIELD
William McCabe | DEFENDER
Riley Hardeman | DEFENDER
Cainden Cleary | MIDFIELD
Harry Demattia | MIDFIELD