The 2023 AFLW season is now just a couple of days away, with action set to begin on Friday, September 1st. The leadup to a new season can be a stressful time of the year for avid players of the different fantasy formats, and a confusing one for those looking to dip their toes in for the first time.
With that said, we’re here to help you build your team for the official AFLW Fantasy competition by providing a list of key players to include in your lineup. Find our best premium and bargain selections for each position below and good luck to everyone having a crack this season!
AFLW Fantasy 2023: Best Premium & Bargain Picks
Six defenders in total are required, with five on the field and one on the bench. Most coaches will opt for a defensive structure that includes 2-3 premium players ($800k), 1-2 mid-priced players ($400k-$799k), and 1-2 rookies ($300k-$400k).
Emma Kearney (NM $916k) – Kearney is the most expensive defender in AFLW fantasy and for good reason. She’s averaged 64+ in three straight seasons and has led her line in average points scored on each occasion. Lock her in and move on.
Charlotte Thomas (WCE $837k) – The young gun improved her rookie scoring average of 38 (AFLW Season 6) to an elite average of 60 in her second campaign. The 20-year-old is clearly on an upward trajectory and could rival Kearney for the most fantasy points scored in defence this season.
Also Consider: Jordyn Allen (COLL $853k), Katie Lynch (WB $833k), Eilish Sheerin (RICH $805k)
Amy Smith (NM $625k) – Along with Kearney, Amy Smith will be important down back for North Melbourne this season. She averaged a tick over 50 points in her recent campaign and showed a high ceiling with 110 points in Round 11. She could be a sneaky mid-pricer that scores like a premium.
Harriet Cordner (CARL $304k) – At over 28% owned at the current time, Harriet Cordner is the obvious value pick at basement price. She was an All-Australian only a couple of seasons ago and is only this cheap due to recent injuries. Make sure she’s on your field.
Also Consider: Serene Watson (STK $508k), Evangeline Gooch (WCE 478k), Eliza Vale (SYD $301k)
(Emma Kearney (right) pictured above)
The midfield is where you’ll spend the bulk of your salary and as such, this is where you’ll generate the most points. First and foremost, it’s important to have at least 2 absolute guns ($1.3m+) that will be your captain and vice-captain options for the year. Mid-pricers with upside can also be worth taking a punt on in this position, and you’re never short of $300k rookies that can have an immediate impact in the midfield.
Kiara Bowers (FREM $1.7m) – Here’s your #1 captain option for season 2023. Kiara Bowers averaged a whopping 121 points per game in Season 7 and finished the year with five straight scores of 128+. Don’t overthink this one. Lock!
Ebony Marinoff (ADEL $1.6m) – If you have the cash left after spending up for Bowers, Ebony Marinoff is another terrific selection. She’s also a captain option as she’s been one of the most consistent uber-premiums in the competition for a number of years now.
Also Consider: Anne Hatchard (ADEL $1.4m), Georgie Prespakis (GEEL $1.3m), Jasmine Garner (NM $1.3m)
Brianna Davey (COLL $867k) – The Collingwood captain is at a discount price after missing the last 18 months due to injury. Davey’s last true season was in Season 5 where she averaged a tick under 95 points per game. At her current price point, averaging anything over 80 is a big win for fantasy coaches.
Tyanna Smith (STK $300k) – Smith burst onto the scene in Season 5 where she averaged 72 points across nine matches. She’s missed the past two seasons due to an ACL injury, hence the basement price. Smith is a lock and load at $300k and should be in everyone’s teams.
Also Consider: Brittany Bonnici (COLL $943k), Gabby O’Sullivan (FREM $560k), Georgia Nanscawen (ESS $300k)
(Ebony Marinoff pictured above)
Rucks are a position where a lot of fantasy coaches like to ‘set-and-forget’, meaning they select the best player available at the start so they don’t have to make any changes to their ruck lineup for the year. It’s a viable way to play this position, but you could also be missing out on a lot of important cash generation, and that looks like it might be the case this season with plenty of great options available at basement price.
Breann Moody (CARL $1.1m) – If you’re a coach looking to implement the set-and-forget method, then look no further than Breann Moody. She’s been the best ruck in AFLW fantasy for a number of seasons now, and has averaged over 70 points in each of her last two campaigns which lead all of her ruck counterparts.
Also Consider: Gabrielle Seymour (RICH $1m), Tahlia Hickie (BRIS $906k)
Erin Hoare (GEEL $336k) – The tallest woman in the competition is back in action in Season 8 after taking some time away from the game. She earns cheap points for hitouts and should at least on your bench if named in Round 1.
Also Consider: Fleur Davies (GWS $300k), Matilda Scholz (PA $300k)
(Tahlia Hickie pictured above)
Fantasy coaches will want to have a similar structure in their forward line as they do in defence. Here, you’ll be looking to pick 2-3 premiums, 1-2 mid-priced players, and 1-2 rookies.
Chelsea Randall (ADEL $1.2m) – The gun Crow comfortably led the scoring for all forwards in fantasy last season, averaging 78 points per contest with six scores of 80 or better. Randall isn’t your traditional stay at home forward and that helps her scoring output, which is sure to be in the upper echelon again in Season 8.
Chloe Molloy (SYD $958k) – After making the switch from the Magpies to the Swans, big things are expected of Molloy this season. Splitting her time playing in the midfield and forward of the ball, she should be among the better scoring forwards again this campaign and is one to give plenty of thought.
Also Consider: Karen Paxman (MELB $1.1m), Nina Morrison (GEEL $1m), Ella Roberts (WCE $813k)
Laura Gardiner (SYD $647k) – Laura Gardiner is a relatively popular pick among fantasy coaches this season (10% ownership) despite being awkwardly priced. It’s expected Gardiner’s move to the Swans (previously with the Cats) will see a sharp rise in her fantasy output, simply due to more opportunity.
Lily Postlethwaite (BRIS $300k) – Listed as a forward but likely to spend a lot of time in the midfield, Postlethwaite looms as a potential on field option for your team despite being only $300k. She’s returning from a long stint on the sidelines but has plenty of quality and could rise in price quickly.
Also Consider: Erin Phillips (PA $788k), Isabel Huntington (GWS $300k), Kristy Stratton (HAW $302k)
(Chelsea Randall pictured above)