The footy season is under a week away and I can start to feel the Christmas eve type butterflies creeping in already! To manage the excitement and try to put a lid on things a little bit, i'm going to go through what my dream GameDay Squad Aussie Rules 22 looks like! I'll be going through all the positions and identifying players i'd snap up in a heartbeat given the chance. To kick the series off, I'm starting with my own personal favourite position - the defenders! Let us know your thoughts on who we have down below on all of our social channels: twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
Sam Docherty - Carlton Blues
2022 Average: 131.64 - 2022 Defender Ranking: 1st - 2022 High Score: 167
The surgeon himself, GameDay Squad Aussie Rules' reigning MVP, Carlton's safe haven, Sam "Doc" Docherty will be the back-to-back defender champion come the end of the 2023 season! I'm not even going to utter the "i" word - we all know what it is, let's just not even bring it up. At the defender position you can't get safer, there were only two rounds in 2022 where Docherty didn't eclipse the 100 GDS fantasy point marker. There are whispers of Doch spending some time in the Blues' midfield as Sammy Walsh recovers from his back injury to begin the season, which only makes Docherty even more desirable in my opinion. We also saw Docherty at his absolute potent best in the practice matches, he torched Sydney for 169 GDS fantasy points just to quell any doubters. He's an absolute set and forget, and every team should have at least some variation of Sam Docherty in their teams!
Projected base score average - 130 GDS points per game
Jordan Dawson - Adelaide Crows
2022 Average: 121.18 - 2022 Defender Ranking: 3rd - 2022 High Score: 156
Jordan Dawson's prospects leading into the 2023 season are very exciting for owners of any variation Dawson's card! Jordan's coming off a season where he averaged 121 GDS points per game and finished the season as the 3rd ranked defender in GDS based on average score per game. Interestingly, that was Dawson's first season at the Crows, we saw how much Adelaide leant on him down back and now they're going to be leaning on him as the captain of the club this season as well! There is no reason to believe Dawson will regress in any way this year, especially after an uninterrupted preseason and a practice game against the West Coast Eagles where Dawson put up a solid score of 124 GDS fantasy points. Stick him in your squads as the second best option down back for 2023
Projected base score average - 126 GDS points per game
Nick Daicos - Collingwood Magpies
2022 Average: 103.03 - 2022 Defender Ranking: N/A - 2022 High Score: 181
We love and trust a lot in fantasy footy! And with this selection of placing Nick Daicos ahead of some elite defender talent, I am love and trusting a lot! Though I think it's worth the punt and do truly believe that Nick Daicos is going to have an incredible year in 2023! Nick Daicos had a rookie season to remember last year, at just 19 years old, he averaged 25.8 disposals, 4.1 marks and 2.2 tackles per game. Now that he has a feel for AFL footy, he's had a full uninterrupted pre-season and what seems to be a extremely fantasy friendly role which i can see turning into more and more midfield time as the season progresses I can see a world where Daicos can turn that 2022 GDS average of 103 points per game, and add another 20 odd points onto it in 2023!
Projected base score average - 123 GDS points per game
Angus Brayshaw - Melbourne Demons
2022 Average: 117.14 - 2022 Defender Ranking: N/A - 2022 High Score: 180
Andrew Brayshaw's brother is in for another big season in 2023! Gus has always been role dependent as a fantasy asset, and from what we have seen in practice games and from the media, his role from 2022 shouldn't be changing. Which is music to the ears of Gus Brayshaw owners, who can now deploy Brayshaw as a defender in 2023! The position change makes Brayshaw a clear must-start down back as he comes off a season where he averaged 117 GDS fantasy points per game, and if he were listed as a defender as opposed to a midfielder last year, he would have finished as the 6th ranked defender on the season. Lock and load, Gus Brayshaw in 2023!
Projected base score average -121 GDS points per game
Jack Sinclair - St Kilda Saints
2022 Average: 123.68 - 2022 Defender Ranking: 2nd - 2022 High Score: 175
You could select him purely based on his luscious, flowing locks but he also just so happens to be very good at football as well. Jack Sinclair broke out in a gargantuan way last year, it may have taken seven seasons to do it, but he did it! And he averaged 123 GDS fantasy points which was enough to rank him as the 2nd highest averaging defender in the league! I do expect a minuscule regression in average, mainly because of all the bodies St Kilda are expect to try down on that half-back flank, but he'll still get you enough to be considered a top 5 player at the defender position! Projected base score average - 118 GDS points per game
James Sicily - Hawthorn Hawks
2022 Average: 117.73 - 2022 Defender Ranking: 5th - 2022 High Score: 181
James Sicily comes into the 2023 season having been awarded the captains armband and seemingly seems to have retained his heavy intercept marking role in defence for the Hawthorn Hawks. Sicily made a reputation for having a high floor last year, but late in the season we saw just how high his ceiling can be! He scored a scorching 181 GDS points in round 23 last year, which capped off a last 3-game average of 148 to end the season! If he can produce to those levels, Sicily will comfortably retain his top 6 defender ranking in 2023.
Projected base score average - 117 GDS points per game
Stiff: Mitch Duncan - Geelong Cats
Tom Stewart - Geelong Cats
Hayden Young - Fremantle Dockers
Isaac Cumming - Greater Western Sydney Giants
Bailey Dale - Western Bulldogs
Elliott Yeo - West Coast Eagles
Jordan Ridley - Essendon Bombers Alex Witherden - West Coast Eagles Dan Houston - Port Adelaide Power
The "i" word is injury, okay - No one mention injuries.... Especially when we're talking Sam Docherty! Capiche?