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Ultimate Footy draft basics


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Ultimate Footy preview

Sports journalist Michael Gleeson previews Ultimate Footy, a new draft style fantasy AFL game.

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With the launch of Fairfax Media's new fantasy football game Ultimate Footy in 2013, Footy Prophet is here to run you through some of the key differences between fantasy drafting and the salary cap games you might be used to.

1. Draft Night

This is one of the best events on the fantasy calendar, and one of the main drawcards of this game format. On draft night all of the coaches in your league get together, have a few drinks and systematically 'draft' players to their list from the remaining pool. There's plenty of sledging, but everyone picks their team at the same time. If you can't get into the same physical room you can still run a live online draft or use one of the other options available. With the clock ticking down, you have to choose between Matthew Pavlich, Jimmy Bartel and Dayne Zorko, and the pressure can be intense. You try and pick the best remaining players, while filling a squad consisting of backs, forwards, rucks and centres.

2. Each player can only be picked once

That's right. Gary Ablett can't play for the Suns and the Bombers on any given week, so why should he be able to play for multiples teams in fantasy leagues? As in the real world, each AFL player can only be picked by one team in your fantasy draft league. If you want to lock up Trent Cotchin ahead of what could be a Brownlow Medal-winning season, you can do so and stop anyone else from reaping the rewards. In a draft league you will never have to line up against Dane Swan every week, and if you're lucky enough to draft him, he'll only play for you. The same is true for your potential breakout or sleeper, and your favourite players.

3. Trades

Trading should be between coaches, and draft leagues are all about trades. If draft night is the best aspect of these leagues then trading is the second best. If you want Ablett, you'll have to engineer a trade with the team that drafted him. It's not as simple as just freeing up some salary cap, and trading in some rookies. Ablett will probably cost you two other fantasy guns, maybe Grant Birchall and Andrew Swallow. You lose Heath Shaw due to a 'gambling incident' and he's out for eight weeks? Trade him off to a team who can carry him, and get a reliable replacement. You will trade to try and improve your team, but your opponent is doing exactly the same thing. This is where the tactics and the skill really come into play, with the smoothest talkers usually the best at this. Trade negotiation can be intense, and it keeps coaches involved right until the end of the season.

4. Teams are unique

Drafting makes for a completely unique and enjoyable fantasy platform. You will never draft the same team twice, and your opponent will never have any of the players in your starting line-up. You could participate in dozens of fantasy drafts and never end up with the same team. The matchups are more dynamic because a monster game from just one of your players can wipe your opponent off the map. Gary Ablett's value in salary cap games comes from the fact that every team has him, so you're at a disadvantage if you don't. In draft leagues he is worth one of the very first picks, because once you've got him, you've got an edge over your opponent every week.

5. Free agents

In Ultimate Footy, free agents are those players who are not owned by any of the teams in your league. Each week all teams will be able to access this pool of free agents, and top up their squads to cover for injuries, byes and form issues. There are a number of options to determine preferences for accessing these free agents, where two or more coaches are after the same player. Picking up the right free agent can set your team up for your fantasy finals campaign, and also allows you to delist an injured player or someone out of form.

6. Keeper Leagues

Keeper Leagues allow you to retain a couple players from your list at the end of your season and automatically start with them the following year, prior to the draft. The number of keepers can range from as few as 1 or 2, leaving subsequent drafts with a stockpile of quality players, or to full dynasty leagues where the entire list is retained, and subsequent drafts are to pick up rookies and uncontracted players. With a platform like Ultimate Footy, the choice is yours.

All of these factors add up to drafting being a more enjoyable and competitive experience. Some leagues have cash and trophies on the line, others simply have pride and bragging rights. Whatever you play for, fantasy drafting is the way to go.

Head to now to get started.

Article supplied by – football analysis and opinion with a fantasy focus

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The Age's Ultimate Footy competition Ultimate Footy preview

Sports journalist Michael Gleeson previews Ultimate Footy, a new draft style fantasy AFL game.

List analysis: Adelaide

After a heroic lunge towards the grand final, Adelaide unsurprisingly looks to have a bevy of "automatic inclusions" and few gaps in its "best" 22.

List analysis: Collingwood

For a team with premiership aspirations, a surprising amount of positions appear up for grabs at Collingwood, mostly up forward.

List analysis: Carlton

The Blues entered the NAB Cup all but injury-free, in complete contrast to their situation a year ago. It means competition for spots in their best team is fierce.

List analysis: St Kilda

The Saints have plenty of options up front, but an unsettled defence as they enter 2013.

List analysis: Melbourne

A nightmare here for prognosticators. An influx of senior experience has muddied the waters, and injury blighted the seasons of many youngsters in the first season under Mark Neeld. One of the toughest teams to assess.

List analysis: Essendon

Essendon has a surprisingly stable looking squad for a team that missed the finals last season. A year without catastrophic injury rates could reward the faith of their coaches and selectors.

List analysis: Brisbane

The Lions are widely tipped to further improve after an encouaging finish to 2012.

List analysis: GWS

Greater Western Sydney just keeps adding to its troupe of incredibly competitive midfielders.

List analysis: Port Adelaide

Picking who is going to play for Port Adelaide in round one is hard. But by the end of Ken Hinkley's first year as coach, it may be harder to find players on the list who have not played during the season.

List analysis: Sydney

The premiers have enough youthful stars to keep them in contention.

List analysis: Gold Coast

Gold Coast has bolstered its back line with senior talent, but it needs some highly rated young big men to progress in its third season.

List analysis: West Coast

West Coast has enviable depth in its midfield and defence, leading many pundits to install the Eagles as their premiership fancy.

List analysis: Geelong

If the Cats start well they may rest senior stars, but there are only a handful of positions up for grabs.

List analysis: Western Bulldogs

There may not be a lot of optimism about the short-term on-field future of the Dogs, but there is a lot of competition on for positions, and there could be some well-performed players left out of their team in the early rounds.

List analysis: Hawthorn

So close to the ultimate prize in 2012, the Hawks look well-placed to contend again in 2013.

List analysis: Fremantle

The Dockers are a mature group ready to push for a place in the top four. Don't expect too many inexperienced kids to snare positions this year.

List analysis: Richmond

The Tigers are gradually creating a team with depth and options for many positions.

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HuffPost Australia

AFL 2016

Round 1
Thu, 24 MarTimes shown AEDT
RIC vs CAR 19:20MCG
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
SYD vs COL 19:25ANZ
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
PTA vs STK 15:20Adelaide Oval
WCE vs BRI 19:40Domain Stadium
Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
GEE vs HAW 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
COL vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs PTA 13:45Adelaide Oval
ESS vs MEL 14:10MCG
BRI vs NTH 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:25ES
FRE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:10SO
HAW vs WCE 15:20MCG
CAR vs SYD 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
PTA vs ESS 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs COL 13:45MCG
RIC vs ADE 14:10ES
SYD vs GWS 16:35SCG
GCF vs CAR 19:25MS
WCE vs FRE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
NTH vs MEL 13:10BA
WBU vs HAW 15:20ES
GEE vs BRI 16:40SS
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
ESS vs GEE 13:45MCG
HAW vs STK 14:10AS
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
CAR vs WBU 19:25ES
ADE vs SYD 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS vs PTA 13:10SO
COL vs MEL 15:20MCG
NTH vs FRE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW vs ADE 19:50MCG
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WCE 13:40SCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
PTA vs GEE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
STK vs GWS 13:10ES
FRE vs CAR 16:10Domain Stadium
MEL vs RIC 19:10MCG
Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
NTH vs WBU 19:50ES
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL vs STK 13:45ES
ADE vs FRE 14:10Adelaide Oval
GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
RIC vs PTA 19:25MCG
GEE vs GCF 19:25SS
Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 13:10G
CAR vs ESS 15:20MCG
WCE vs COL 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
GEE vs WCE 14:10SS
SYD vs ESS 16:35ANZ
GCF vs MEL 17:10MS
WBU vs ADE 19:40ES
FRE vs GWS 20:10Domain Stadium
Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
STK vs NTH 15:20ES
PTA vs BRI 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs NTH 13:45ES
HAW vs FRE 14:10AS
GWS vs GCF 16:35Spotless Stadium
BRI vs COL 19:25G
RIC vs SYD 19:25MCG
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs PTA 13:10ES
MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
WCE vs STK 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW vs SYD 19:50MCG
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs GEE 13:45MCG
GCF vs ADE 14:10MS
PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
NTH vs CAR 19:25ES
FRE vs RIC 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
GWS vs WBU 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs ESS 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NTH 19:50SCG
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs HAW 13:45G
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
STK vs FRE 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:25MCG
ADE vs GWS 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GEE 13:10ES
COL vs WBU 15:20MCG
WCE vs GCF 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
NTH vs RIC 19:50BA
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs MEL 13:45MCG
CAR vs BRI 14:10ES
GEE vs GWS 16:35SS
GCF vs SYD 19:25MS
FRE vs ESS 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs PTA 13:10MCG
WBU vs WCE 15:20ES
ADE vs STK 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
ESS vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs WBU 13:40Adelaide Oval
BRI vs FRE 16:35G
GEE vs NTH 19:25ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
STK vs CAR 13:10ES
RIC vs GCF 15:20MCG
GWS vs SYD 16:40Spotless Stadium
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
NTH vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WCE 13:40G
FRE vs PTA 16:35Domain Stadium
WBU vs GEE 19:25ES
Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 13:10SCG
ESS vs GWS 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 23 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs NTH 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs FRE 19:50MCG
Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC vs BRI 13:40MCG
GWS vs CAR 16:35Spotless Stadium
STK vs GEE 19:25ES
Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs GCF 15:20AS
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
WCE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
GCF vs STK 13:40MS
SYD vs WBU 16:35SCG
CAR vs COL 19:25MCG
Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs ADE 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Thu, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs SYD 19:50SS
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs COL 13:40Spotless Stadium
GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
WBU vs RIC 19:25ES
MEL vs FRE 19:40TIO
Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:10MCG
WCE vs NTH 15:20Domain Stadium
ESS vs STK 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Thu, 14 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs HAW 19:20SCG
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
FRE vs GEE 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs ESS 13:40MCG
NTH vs PTA 16:35ES
WBU vs GCF 19:25CAZ
ADE vs COL 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs WCE 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 15:20ES
BRI vs GWS 16:40G
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs NTH 19:50ES
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CAR 13:45ANZ
GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
WBU vs STK 19:25ES
GEE vs ADE 19:25SS
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
HAW vs RIC 15:20MCG
PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 19:50SS
Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs RIC 13:45SO
HAW vs CAR 14:10AS
COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
BRI vs PTA 19:25G
NTH vs STK 19:25ES
Sun, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs GCF 13:10MCG
FRE vs SYD 15:20Domain Stadium
ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 13:45SCG
MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR vs STK 13:10MCG
GEE vs ESS 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 19:50ES
Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CAR 13:45G
HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
STK vs SYD 19:25ES
PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs GCF 13:10ES
RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
COL vs GCF 19:25ES
PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
BRI vs GEE 15:20G
ESS vs WBU 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
STK vs BRI 12:00ES
ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
NTH vs GWS 12:00ES
GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
ADE vs WCE 12:30Adelaide Oval
FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Adelaide Crows 0 0 0 0 - 0
Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
View all

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