If you’re new to fantasy AFL, this guide will teach you everything you need to know to start playing. More experienced players can go straight to our recommended bookies but those keen to know more should read on.
Draftstars is easily one of the best fantasy sports sites in Australia, especially when it comes to Aussie native leagues such as AFL. We loved them from the get-go because of the wide selection of competitions and many game modes.
Another great thing about Draftstars is that they’re great for beginners. The site is very straightforward and easy to navigate, so even complete rookies won’t have trouble moving around. Plus, they offer numerous guides and top-notch customer support, in case you get stuck along the way.
More experienced punters will be pleased to know that Draftstars offers both free and high-stake AFL fantasy competitions. All of you who prefer to play on the go will love the Draftstars mobile apps. You can get native apps for both iOS and Android and enjoy all of the features from the desktop site.
A second recommendation worth considering for fantasy betting is PlayUp Australia. Draftstars and PlayUp are part of the same company, which means PlayUp punters get to also enjoy Draftstars if they wish.
PlayUp is one of the best betting sites in Australia for general sports betting, but having access to Draftstars makes them a perfect choice for punters keen to mix up their betting.
It is this mix between fantasy betting and conventional sports markets that sets it apart. You can switch between soccer, cricket or Aussie Rules betting to drafting players for fantast contests in just a few clicks. Discover more with our PlayUp review.
One big reason Draftstars stands out as a top AFL fantasy bookie is the fact it also has excellent bet appsfor both Android and iOS.
It is quick to navigate and makes placing a bet on the go easier than ever before. Scroll below to see more about what the app has to offer.
AFL Fantasy Strategy
Winning a fantasy AFL contest can be tricky, and it’s quite different from usual AFL betting. You need to draft the right team at the right time and even have a bit of luck. But keep in mind that in fantasy sports, raw skill is even more important than with classic betting. To outclass opponents and win rewards follow our expert tips below. Note that these are all general advice, meaning that you can use them for any footy fantasy season or game.
Find the right superstar player – They cost a lot, but they also contribute the most. Star players are the ones that can determine the final outcome, so don’t be afraid to spend a lot of money on them. However, be extra careful! If a player has recently failed, think twice about getting him on your team.
Look for players ‘on discount’ – Maybe some great player is coming back from an injury that has previously slowed him down? Or he just had a bad stretch? Always look for solid players that have dropped in money value due to current circumstances. There are some real gems to be found!
Focus on mid-priced players as well – Stars are important, but getting great mid-level players can also payout big time. Don’t try to stuff the team with superstars and rookies only. Choosing a great set of other players can dramatically increase your chances of winning. In most cases, solid mid-priced players offer the best money-to-score ratio.
Types of AFL Fantasy Contests
Operators like Draftstars offer a much broader selection of different AFL fantasy contest types. The selection of game modes can be quite different from site to site. That’s why always make sure to read the guidelines before playing. Here we point out a few of the most common contests available almost everywhere. If you’re a fantasy AFL beginner, it would be best to start with one of these. After you master them, proceed to more advanced leagues.
Here are a few of the most common AFL fantasy contest types:
Guaranteed Games – The operator guarantees a certain prize pool, regardless of the number of contenders.
50/50 Contests – All of the contenders who finish in the upper half of the leaderboard get their stakes doubled. There is also a variation where the top 30% get their stakes tripled.
Head to head – You play against a single opponent. The one who drafts a better scoring team wins.
AFL Fantasy Scores
As with any other fantasy sport, you earn the points in fantasy AFL based on what the players you have picked do on the court. For example, every kick or a mark will earn you a set number of points. The great thing about the fantasy footy is that the scoring will be more or less the same regardless of the platform you choose. Note that not all stats are worth the same amount of points, which means that you should have the scoreboard in mind when drafting players. Here is how it goes:
Kick – 3 Points
Handball – 2 Points
Mark – 3 Points
Tackle – 4 Points
Free Kick For – 1 Point
Free Kick Against – -3 Points
Hitout – 1 Point
Goal – 6 Points
Behind – 1 Point
How to Start AFL Fantasy?
This is an essential read if you’re just starting with fantasy sports betting. Otherwise, since fantasy AFL works more or less as any other fantasy contest. Don’t worry if you’re just a beginner. The process may slightly differ depending on the operator, but for the most part, it’s all the same.
Start With Fantasy AFL
Find a reliable fantasy sports operator
Register an account
If the operator is offering more sports, filter out the AFL
Pick the game type you want to play
Draft your team
Trade players if necessary
After the contest begins, just enjoy the action
Official AFL Fantasy Vs Draftstars
Probably the most popular AFL fantasy platform is the one hosted on the official AFL site. However, we firmly believe that it’s far from being the best one. On the bright side, it has the most comprehensive coverage and super deep stats. But it also comes with a few major disadvantages. Below you can check out a few of the most important reasons why we believe that Draftstars is better than the official AFL Fantasy.
Both free and paid competitions – The Official AFL Fantasy is wager-free only. They do provide prizes for a few of the top contenders at the end of the season, but there are no real money leagues. On the other hand, Draftstars offers a healthy mixture of free and buy-in competitions, which makes the game much more exciting.
Daily AFL fantasy – Draftstars offers you an option to play daily footy fantasy competitions. It means that you’ll draft a set of players before each game, and settle the results after the match is finished. Official AFL Fantasy is focused only on long-term competitions, which makes the game a lot slower.
More game types – This one of the best things about Draftstars. They offer so many different contest types, including the likes of Multi-Entry Contest, Guaranteed Games and their signature Rapid Fire contests.
AFL Fantasy Draft
The draft is the most important and most exciting part of any fantasy sports competition. That is the time when you pick the players for your team. You get a certain amount of virtual money to buy players for your team. Since there is a salary cap, you have to carefully plan which players to take.
Draft rules can be different depending on the operator you play with, so make sure you read all the rules before starting. We cover some of the most common draft types below.
These are the two main types of AFL fantasy drafts:
Snake draft – A contender who picks first in the odd rounds will choose the last in the even rounds, so the draft could be as fair as possible.
Linear draft – The order from the first round is used in all upcoming rounds.
Regardless of the operator, you should always keep in mind the 5 Ps draft rule, which stands for ‘Prior preparation prevents poor performance’. Doing research and creating a draft strategy is essential for success. For example, if you have a 1st overall pick, don’t miss to choose a premier player, since your next pick will come 16th or 17th. It would be smart to do at least one free mock draft in advance, just so you can get the hang of it.
How to Form an AFL Fantasy Team
When drafting an AFL fantasy team, you have to get a certain number of players who are playing different positions. For example, at Draftstars you’re required to have 9 players altogether, including 2 forwards, 3 midfielders, 2 defenders and a ruckman. This can be slightly different depending on an operator, but the principle is always the same.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when drafting players for each position.
Forwards – Don’t be surprised if a forward score low. However, because of their potential to hit multiple goals, their ceiling is usually higher than with other positions.
Ruckman – Great ruckmans are usually a safer bet. But keep in mind that only elite ruckmans can outscore midfielders. On average, ruckmans score 30 – 35 hit outs per contest, which is a substantial amount of points. Also, keep in mind that there are very few great ruckmans, so if you want a great one, snatch it right away!
Midfielders – Investing in a lot of midfielders is a sound AFL DFS strategy because they usually score a lot of fantasy points. Since you’ll have the most midfielders on your team, try getting ones that can play multiple positions for extra flexibility.
Defenders – They fall in two categories – key defenders, who are guarding their forward opponent and are involved only when the ball is in the vicinity, and loose defenders who handle the ball more. You should avoid drafting key defenders since they don’t have a lot of fantasy value. On the other hand, loose defenders usually contribute a fair amount of points.
Every player will have a position listed on the side. However, you’ll notice that some of them have dual position roles. It means that you can play them in more than one spot, which makes them super useful. If you have dilemma about who to draft, always look for dual-position players.
Should You Trade Players?
The short answer is – yes, but very carefully. Typically, there are two types of trades. In case you’re looking to strengthen your footy fantasy team in a certain area, you should strongly focus on the stats. For example, you may lack tackle points, but at the same time, there is an extra ruck on the team. In that case, the trade would be a great decision to improve the balance.
On the other hand, you may also search for trade just to speculate the value of a player. If that’s the case, inside info and gut feeling will play a vital role. But note that in this scenario you usually either win big or lose big. That’s why we suggest it only to more experienced AFL fantasy players.
More Fantasy Sports Betting
Once you have a good understanding of AFL fantasy betting, you can also start to consider other fantasy sports as well. You’ll find the process is very similar for whichever sport you choose and a lot of the advice and strategy we mention here can also be applied to other sports. We have detailed guides on many of the most popular fantasy sports options.
The best place for fantasy AFL betting is with Draftstars. They are our top recommended fantasy bookie because of the number of fantasy games they have their general focus on all things fantasy betting in Australia. PlayUp is a great alternative for anyone wanted to combine both fantasy and conventional sports betting online.
We looked into many factors when making this assessment, including the quality of betting app, odds value, and tournament prize pools.
Fantasy AFL is pretty popular among local operators, so sometimes it can be hard to decide where to play. However, we think we know the right place for you. Click the button below to learn more.
Best AFL fantasy sites
Fantasy AFL FAQs
What is the best fantasy AFL betting site?
AFL is quite popular among Australian fantasy operators. However, we firmly believe that Draftstars is the best of them all. They have a bunch of AFL fantasy contest available as well as an unmatched mobile presence. To learn more about our recommended fantasy AFL bookmakers, check out the article above.
What is AFL fantasy?
AFL fantasy is a way of online sports wagering where you pick a group of real-life players and then score points based on their performance on the field. Take a look at the article above to learn how to play AFL fantasy.
How to play AFL fantasy draft?
You’ll first have to sign in with a fantasy operator of your choosing and pick an AFL contest. After that, the draft will start. If you want to know more about how to draft a winning fantasy AFL team, take a look at the article above.
How are AFL fantasy points calculated?
AFL fantasy points are calculated based on the real-life performance of players from your team. The scoring tables may be a bit different depending on your fantasy operator. We have listed the most common AFL fantasy scoring model above, so don’t miss to give it a look.