AFL Dream Team - Tips and Advice

AFL Dream Team is a very popular fantasy Australian Rules Football game that is run by Virtual Sports on the Official Australian Football League website.

There are a number of great prizes on offer and there is a lot of internal competition that takes place at work places and schools for bragging rights and sometimes organised prizes too.

Here are some tips to make you a better player.

Which players are the best to pick?

The scoring system for AFL Dream Team is as follows:

  • Kick = 3pts
  • Handball = 2pts
  • Mark = 3pts
  • Tackle = 4pts
  • Free kick for = 1pt
  • Free kick against = -3pts
  • Goal = 6pts
  • Behind = 1pt

...so you want to pick players that get:

  • Get high disposal counts
  • Get high mark counts
  • Get high tackle counts
  • Don’t give away too many free kicks
  • Contribute frequently with goal scoring

The players that are best suited to DreamTeam, do change over time, as does the positional categorisation of the players, so you need to keep up to date with the AFL world.

There are websites dedicated to providing fantasy football related information like FanFooty and DT Talk, which are excellent free resources.

Immersing yourself in the statistical databases like those kept at FootyWire and Pro-Stats is another way of researching players.

Most of the club websites have reports on training and injuries that are important to stay up to date with (you don’t want to pick a player that’s injured and not going to play for the rest of the season!)

Football forums like BigFooty can also be useful in researching players, particularly players that are yet to play AFL like recent draftees and also finding out who is starring in the off and pre-season.

...and of course watching games yourself live at the ground or on TV, but beware the eye can play tricks with you (a statistical focus is essential)

NOTE: with the weekly bye in 2011, you will want to have an even spread of players from all clubs.

How many trades do I get?

You have 20 trades over the course of the season with 22 rounds of football this means you have roughly 1 per week.

There are different schools of thought about how to trade and you need to develop your own strategy of how to best go about using your trades...

Do you want to peak early on and run the risk of not having trades later in the piece to replace players?

Do you want to peak later on and run the risk of not improving your team to its maximum potential during the middle stages by saving trades for later?

You can also try to strike a balance between the two extremes...

This also depends on your goal – is it overall placing or winning your league?

How do I structure my initial team?

Again there are varying strategies about how to go about the task...

One popular strategy amongst dream-teamers is the ‘guns and rookies’ approach (focusing on a combination of very high priced players and bottom priced players to fit in the salary cap).

This is seen as the highest risk approach as bottom priced players are often on the fringes of selection, but potentially the highest reward approach as bottom priced players have the greatest potential to rise in value out of all players.

The key is picking the right rookies – so if you are going to focus on this strategy

Another popular strategy is known as the ‘mid price improvers’ (focusing on a core of middle priced players with potential to improve into top-line players).

This is seen as lower risk than the aforementioned guns and rookies approach given middle priced players usually have cemented a place in the team, but not as high reward as guns and rookies as middle priced players don’t have the potential to increase in value as much.

...of course, you can use a mixture of the two approaches to build a starting squad that will fit in the cap and increase in value and allow you to improve with smart trading throughout the season .

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