You almost choke on your coffee… what do you mean Tom Mitchell is a whopping $896,000? That’s a big step up from Patrick Dangerfield’s $712,000 in 2017.

Inflation

Now that the AFL Fantasy competition is alive for 2018 the prices are confirmed, and like every year the prices have increased.

Here’s a quick-glance translation to help get your head around the price rises:

Break Even 2017 % 2017 Cap 2018 % 2018 Cap
25 $150,900 1.37% $176,175 1.40%
30 $181,080 1.65% $211,410 1.68%
35 $211,260 1.92% $246,645 1.96%
40 $241,440 2.19% $281,880 2.24%
45 $271,620 2.47% $317,115 2.52%
50 $301,800 2.74% $352,350 2.80%
55 $331,980 3.02% $387,585 3.08%
60 $362,160 3.29% $422,820 3.36%
65 $392,340 3.57% $458,055 3.64%
70 $422,520 3.84% $493,290 3.92%
75 $452,700 4.12% $528,525 4.19%
80 $482,880 4.39% $563,760 4.47%
85 $513,060 4.66% $598,995 4.75%
90 $543,240 4.94% $634,230 5.03%
95 $573,420 5.21% $669,465 5.31%
100 $603,600 5.49% $704,700 5.59%
105 $633,780 5.76% $739,935 5.87%
110 $663,960 6.04% $775,170 6.15%
115 $694,140 6.31% $810,405 6.43%
120 $724,320 6.58% $845,640 6.71%
125 $754,500 6.86% $880,875 6.99%
130 $784,680 7.13% $916,110 7.27%

At first glance, you’ll notice that overall the cap is lower this year compared to price rises. Essentially, the competition is harder this year than it ever had been before.

Let’s look at the two extreme’s of AFL Fantasy – the Rookies and the Uber-Premiums:

The Basement

Year Player Price Break Even % of Cap
2017 Basement Rookie $150,000 25 1.35%
2017 Andrew McGrath $250,000 41 2.27%
2018 Basement Rookie $170,000 24 1.35%
2018 Cameron Rayner $270,000 38 2.14%

While in real-terms, basement priced rookies are both worth 1.35% of the salary cap in both 2017 and 2018, considering that the humble dollar is worth less this year than last, rookies are actually fractionally under-priced this year. For example, last year the basement priced rookie had a break-even of 25 – which in 2018 would cost $175,000. So rookies actually represent good value this year. And things look even better when we look at the premium end of the rookie table – Cameron Rayner represents much better value than Andrew McGrath did in 2017.

The Attic

On the other side of the ledger are our most expensive players.

Year Player Price Break Even % of Cap
2017 Patrick Dangerfield $712,000 118.00 6.47%
2018 Tom Mitchell $896,000 127.18 7.11%

This is slightly more difficult to compare, because their previous averages were so different. So let’s look at it this way:

Break Even 2017 % 2017 Cap 2018 % 2018 Cap
118.00 $712,000 6.47% $831,546 6.60%
127.18 $767,658 6.98% $896,000 7.11%

Essentially, on the higher end of the spectrum there’s less value than ever before. However, I have no doubt Tom Mitchell will still be a popular pick – the value of having a player you can reliably place ‘Captain’ on cannot be understated. Also, the fewer trades to your ‘complete’ team, the better.

Conclusion

Rookies, and especially premium rookies represent the best value this year. And conversely, premiums are even worse value for money this year than last.

When we look at economics – it makes most sense to maximize your money and work with the system. So my advice is to stock up on the premium-rookie players this year; and Rayner, Brayshaw, Dow, and Davies-Uniacke should all be on your watch-list for this years pre-season cup with a look to have them in your side.

Tell us what you think in the comments below.