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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 ultimatefooty.com.au now to get started.

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

Related Coverage

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.

Related Coverage

AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE ($1.44)vs COL ($2.85) 19:50MCG
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS ($1.22)vs CAR ($4.50) 13:45Spotless Stadium
HAW ($1.01)vs BRI ($17.00) 14:10AS
NTH ($1.67)vs WBU ($2.25) 16:35ES
ESS ($6.75)vs RIC ($1.12) 19:20MCG
GCF ($3.30)vs PTA ($1.35) 19:20MS
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE ($2.10)vs WCE ($1.75) 13:10Adelaide Oval
STK ($4.50)vs SYD ($1.22) 15:20ES
FRE ($1.08)vs MEL ($8.50) 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC vs NTH 19:50ES
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
GEE ($1.72)vs ADE ($2.05) 13:05SS
BRI ($3.80)vs WBU ($1.28) 13:45G
PTA ($1.77)vs FRE ($1.95) 15:50Adelaide Oval
HAW ($1.01)vs CAR ($15.00) 16:40MCG
SYD ($1.02)vs GCF ($12.00) 19:20SCG
WCE ($1.11)vs STK ($6.00) 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
MEL vs GWS 13:10ES
COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 20 16 4 0 122.19 64
West Coast Eagles 20 15 4 1 150.85 62
Hawthorn 20 14 6 0 154.20 56
Sydney Swans 20 14 6 0 118.16 56
Richmond 20 13 7 0 120.22 52
Western Bulldogs 20 13 7 0 116.09 52
North Melbourne 20 13 7 0 110.91 52
Adelaide Crows 19 12 7 0 116.41 50
View all
 

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