This article is part of our DraftKings AFL series.
With a spread-out schedule due to Easter Weekend, there are only three games to play in our slate this week. Though Western jumped into first after routing North Melbourne last night, other top teams in Port Adelaide, Richmond and Sydney all headline our options for tonight.
If this is your first time checking out Aussie Rules Football, welcome to a sport that combines the physicality of rugby, the stamina of soccer players and the impressive verticality seen in the American code of football. To make sure you know exactly what each stat looks like, check out this helpful video.
On the pitch, there are 18 players fielded by each team with four interchange options that can rotate up to 75 times per match. In DK competitions, lineups are permitted just nine players: two forwards, four midfielders, two defenders and one ruck. To earn points, players can add to the score (+6 for a goal, +1 for a behind), keep the footy under control (+3 for a kick, +3 for a mark, +2 for a handball) or stop the other team from advancing (+4 for a tackle, +1 for a free kick, +1 for a hitout). On the other side, conceding a free kick is a deduction of three points.
It's worth noting that AFL fantasy is heavily weighted to those who can touch the footy the most times, which is why there are extra midfielders available as they are usually capable of scoring the most points without ever needing to enter the 50-meter line. And with that, here are some potential picks to give you an idea of who to watch out for on Saturday.
Sydney Swans (4th) vs Richmond Tigers (3rd)
Saint Kilda Saints (11th) vs Essendon Bombers (17th)
Port Adelaide Power (2nd) vs West Coast Eagles (7th)
This Week's Picks:
Errol Gulden, Sydney ($5,100): Gulden has been exceptional in his first AFL season with four goals, 41 disposals and 17 marks in his first two matches. With each result coming against two talented opponents in Brisbane and Adelaide, it believable that he could repeat his efforts this week as well. With the second-most fantasy points recorded of any Swans player, Gulden will have another challenge against Richmond, which will have to be more prepared after their convincing win over Hawthorn in Round 2. Another forward with similar early-season production is Steven Motlop, though he comes in at a higher price point in a squad that's better about sharing possession.
Josh Battle, Saint Kilda ($4,900): Battle pops in where he may not typically garner much attention after putting up one goal and six marks in Round 2 against Melbourne. With the lineup below diving into some big names at lower prices, filling out the roster with guys like Battle helps to maximize the available salary and pick guys who put up high-value statistics. With this week's options at forward, one could swing for someone like the recently-returning Connor Rozee on Port Adelaide, or Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, who's a safe bet for 70 points against any opponent.
Jade Gresham, Saint Kilda ($6,500): We now start getting into the bigger names, as Gresham will be picked at midfielder instead of forward to make the most of the deeper options that area this week. Going into a matchup with Essendon, Gresham has already logged 95 and 107 points over his first two rounds against Melbourne and GWS, which help prove his abilities against opponents high and low on the ladder. When facing the Bombers, who lost by 54 to Port Adelaide in Round 2, Gresham could be in the perfect spot to top 100 points in Round 3 as well.
Dion Prestia, Richmond ($5,800): The first of two Tigers appear in tonight's lineup, as Prestia has started the season with 54 total disposals and eight marks through two rounds. With his price still at a moderate spot because he only barely topped 100 points in Round 2, Prestia gives this lineup an element of balance if he can remain consistent against the in-form Swans. It's certainly worth seeing what someone like Brad Crouch can do in his first match of the season for Saint Kilda, or checking out Andrew McGrath after his 142-point performance in Round 1, though both come in at over $7,000 and would require cheaper selections in defense.
Trent Cotchin, Richmond ($4,900): Like Dion Prestia, Cotchin will look to make good on an impressive performance last week by following it up in a tougher game against Sydney. In that first game in Round 2 against Hawthorn, Cotchin logged 27 disposals and recorded five marks, which should be easier to repeat if the Tigers take control of Round 3 as well. Simply based on matchup, Karl Amon would be one of the few worthy of comparing to Cotchin in this slate, as no one below $5,000 in price has the same pedigree as this Tiger.
Xavier Duursma, Port Adelaide ($5,500): The Power's presence will steadily increase in these picks, as we look to take advantage of their good early-season form. Add this to a matchup with West Coast, who let up 100 points to another contender in Western Bulldogs during Round 2, and there's a good recipe for Duursma to collect another steady effort. While Duursma did only put up 53 points in his first road game against North Melbourne, he still improved across the board in Round 2 with 10 more disposals and three more marks against Essendon.
Dan Houston, Port Adelaide ($6,800): Houston may be the one throwing the biggest wrench into this lineup as the third-most expensive defender, but his 102 points in Round 2 against Essendon saw him play against a team with plenty of fantasy weapons and still come out with a solid stat line. This time around, he'll face an Eagles club that's much higher on the table and much deeper throughout their roster. If they're able to keep it close against Houston and the Power, there should be more than enough points on the scoreboard and fantasy production for everyone. Though it's not worth dropping the price on defenders too much this week, Tom Barrass could help ease the limits on who's still available to pick with over $1,000 more to spend by leaving out Houston.
Nick Hind, Essendon ($5,100): Hind has played well enough not to be ignored this week even if his team is less consistent. Even after logging 100 points in Round 1 against Hawthorn and remaining solid with 21 disposals and five marks in Round 2, his price is still manageable to fit in any lineup, and stick around in this one if changes are made to include more expensive midfielders. Going up against the Saints in Round 3, Hind could easily find himself among the best fantasy defenders in the league if his opponents are able to even put up a solid goalscoring threat.
Scott Lycett, : ($5,800): Lycett rounds out the list by seeing if he can match last week's 99-point performance. Even if he has to go up against Nic Naitanui, who's the most expensive option available, Lycett still put up 21 disposals and scored one goal in Round 2, so he's capable of more than just going stride-for-stride in his positional matchup. A risky pick could be made for Shaun McKernan, who's exceptionally cheap and taking on ruck duties with Jake Carlisle while Rowan Marshall remains out.