Pre-Season selection news: Which relevant players are in the mix to play in Round 1?

The AFL season returns along with our daily selection news updates which we’ll post Monday-Friday throughout the 2020 season. To pre-empt that, we’ve done an all-in pre-season catch-up on relevant AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach players to get you ready for Round 1.

Purchase the Honeyball digital magazine now for only $5.95 via this link.


Wayne Milera (AF $446k SC $312k DEF) is practically ruled out for the season, while Jordon Butts (AF $207k SC $176k DEF) is in some doubt for Round 1 after an ankle injury in their AAMI Series game. Late last week, teammate Jake Kelly declared Butts would be OK. Nick Murray (AF $170k SC $102k DEF), James Rowe (AF $196k SC $117k FWD) and Riley Thilthorpe (AF $268k SC $202k RUCK/FWD) appear probable Round 1 debutants. Worth noting, Murray is battling an ankle issue too.

Brisbane Lions

Cam Rayner (AF $515k SC $392k FWD) did his ACL in the AAMI Series and is out for 2021. Dan McStay’s knee injury means Tom Fullarton (AF $170k SC $128k RUCK/FWD) is likely to get a crack in Round 1, while Nakia Cockatoo (AF $243k SC $123k MID/FWD) is listed as a test but Brisbane may be conservative with his return. Ely Smith (AF $170k SC $123k MID/FWD) and Harry Sharp (AF $170k SC $117k DEF/MID) are possible Round 1 debutants but appear unlikely.


The Blues have a long injury list although there’s not much relevant to AFL Fantasy or SuperCoach. Nic Newman‘s (AF $542k SC $415k DEF) return from a knee setback is TBC, while Zac Williams (AF $626k SC $458k) will miss Round 1 due to suspension from their AAMI Series game against St Kilda. No debutants looming.


The Pies have given Taylor Adams (AF SC $588k MID) and Brayden Maynard (AF $716k SC $549k DEF) the green light for Round 1 after hamstring and shin concerns, but Steele Sidebottom (AF $841k SC $588k FWD/MID) has been ruled out, as they aim for a potential Round 2 return from a calf injury suffered in their AAMI Series game.

Will Kelly (AF $172k SC $135k FWD) had a lot of pre-season interest and will return sooner a shoulder injury sooner than expected, possibly around Round 5. Trent Bianco (AF $170k SC $123k DEF/MID) and Oliver Henry (AF $238k SC $135k FWD) are possible Round 1 debutants. Finley Macrae (AF $234k SC $126k MID/FWD) is an outside chance to debut too.


Recruit Nick Hind (AF $409k SC $331k FWD) looks set to take his place for Round 1 after a shoulder issue, while the injury-enforced absence of Michael Hurley and James Stewart could lead to a surprise key defensive selection such as Zach Reid (AF $252k SC $166k DEF) although he’s quite raw.

Jake Stringer will likely miss Round 1 opening the door for Harry Jones (AF $170k SC $123k FWD) or Alec Waterman (AF $170k SC $102k FWD) to debut up forward. Top 10 picks Archie Perkins (AF $254k SC $171k MID/FWD) and Nik Cox (AF $256k SC $175k DEF/FWD) are in the mix for an early debut too.


The Dockers have a long list of injuries creating opportunities. Sean Darcy’s ankle injury will be important to monitor as possible debuts to Lloyd Meek (AF $170k SC $123k RUCK) and Josh Treacy (AF $170k SC $102k RUCK/FWD) hinge on it, after big man Rory Lobb went down. Treacy has since copped a WAFL suspension which would rule him out of Round 1 which Fremantle may challenge on Tuesday.

Michael Walters (AF $698k SC $531k MID/FWD) is out for 3-4 weeks with a hamstring suffered in their AAMI Series derby. Luke Valente (AF $170k SC $123k MID) seems a long shot debutant for Round 1, while Heath Chapman (AF $244k SC $148k DEF) is a chance to debut.


Mitch Duncan (AF $809k SC $556k MID) looks certain to miss Round 1, offering more opportunity for Jordan Clark (AF $422k SC $241k DEF/MID) in the midfield initially. Patrick Dangerfield (AF $780k SC $611k MID/FWD) is fit and firing for Round 1 after a pre-season groin issue. There’s no debutants on the radar.

Purchase the Honeyball digital magazine now for only $5.95 via this link.

Gold Coast

Top 10 pick Elijah Hollands (AF $258k SC $180k MID/FWD) is recovering from an ACL injury and won't play early in the season. Matt Rowell (AF $574k SC $495k MID) looks likely to take his place in Round 1 despite a slow recovery from last season's shoulder injury.

GWS Giants

The Giants have already confirmed Matt Flynn (AF $170k SC $123k RUCK) and Tanner Bruhn (AF $248k SC $157k MID) will debut in Round 1, with ruckman Braydon Preuss ruled out for 12-16 weeks. Lachie Whitfield (AF $820k SC $561k DEF) is also out for another month at least with his liver issue.

The fact GWS declared their two debutants without Kieren Briggs (AF $170k SC $123k DEF/FWD), suggests he's missed out for Round 1.


Chad Wingard appears set to miss Round 1 opening the door for Tyler Brockman (AF $180k SC $117k MID/FWD) to play forward, especially with Jack Gunston out for another 4-8 weeks. All indications are Tom Mitchell (AF $823k SC $610k MID) will play Round 1 despite carrying a shoulder problem in pre-season.

Jacob Koschitzke (AF $170k SC $123k DEF) looks set to debut alongside Brockman after his six-goal haul in their AAMI Series game, while Connor Downie (AF $202k SC $117k MID) looms large but coach Alastair Clarkson alarmingly didn't highlight him on SEN Radio on Monday morning when asked about rookies.


Jack Viney will miss early with a foot problem while Steven May (SC $507k DEF) has a race against time after a concussion in their AAMI Series game. His 12-day mandatory concussion protocol leads up to the day of their Round 1 game, so it'll be tight.

Jake Bowey (AF $230k SC $117k MID/FWD), James Jordon (AF $170k SC $123k MID) and/or Bailey Laurie (AF $228k SC $117k DEF/FWD) loom as possible early debutants.

North Melbourne

Ben Cunnington (AF $503k SC $439k MID) was flying after his injury-impacted 2020 but a pre-season concussion has slowed him down and he's still a test for Round 1. North have a few potential debutants with Tom Powell (AF $246k SC $153k MID) looking certain, while Charlie Lazzaro (AF $200k SC $117k MID) is firmly in the mix too. Phoenix Spicer (AF $188k SC $117k MID/FWD), Eddie Ford (AF $170k SC $117k FWD) and Will Phillips (AF $266k SC $198k MID) may need to wait.

Purchase the Honeyball digital magazine now for only $5.95 via this link.

Port Adelaide

Hamish Hartlett has hamstring soreness which may be decisive around debutant Lachlan Jones (AF $240k SC $139k DEF) selection in the backline. Connor Rozee (AF $518k SC $377k FWD) is out for another 2-5 weeks with a foot issue, while Sam Powell-Pepper is out indefinitely too, opening the door for more midfield time for Zak Butters (AF $595k SC $471k FWD) or debuts for Miles Bergman (AF $170k SC $123k FWD) or Jackson Mead (AF $170k SC $123k MID).


Bachar Houli will miss Round 1 with a calf injury. All indications are Dion Prestia (AF $645k SC $446k MID) will get up to take his place, denying an opportunity to someone like Jack Ross or potential debutant Riley Collier-Dawkins (AF $170k SC $123k MID).

St Kilda

James Frawley's hamstring injury from their AAMI Series will keep him out for 4-8 weeks, opening up an opportunity for potential debutant Tom Highmore (AF $182k SC $117k DEF) or Jack Carlisle as a key defender. Highmore is preferred if reports are to be believed.

Brad Crouch is out suspended for the first two rounds, while talls Rowan Marshall (foot) and Paddy Ryder (personal) will be miss early for indefinite periods. Saints coach Brett Ratten has already confirmed Paul Hunter (AF $170k SC $102k RUCK) will debut in Round 1.


Jake Lloyd (AF $873k SC $656k DEF) has practically been cleared after a knee issue kept him out of their AAMI Series game. Lance Franklin (AF $377k SC $312k FW) is still listed as TBC in his recovery from a calf problem. Callum Mills (AF $705k SC $544k DEF) is one to monitor after a concussion.

Braeden Campbell (AF $262k SC $189k MID/FWD), Errol Gulden (AF $208k SC $117k MID) and Logan McDonald (AF $264k SC $193k FWD) are all firmly in the mix to debut in Round 1 after good pre-seasons.

West Coast

The Eagles' midfield is decimated as Elliot Yeo is out with osteitis pubis early and Luke Shuey will miss the first few rounds with a hamstring injury. But Tim Kelly will return from a thumb injury to play Round 1. Liam Duggan (AF $661k SC $448k DEF) is expected to get more midfield time, while Xavier O'Neill (AF $310k SC $233k MID/FWD) could also play a more prevalent role. Zane Trew (AF $170k SC $102k MID) is a long shot to come in and debut in midfield.

Western Bulldogs

Adam Treloar's (AF $812k SC $587k MID) availability is touch and go. Aaron Naughton and Laitham Vandermeer both got hurt in their AAMI Series game but are likely to play Round 1. Hayden Crozier won't but that's unlikely to open the door for any debutants in his role.

In saying that, rookies Anthony Scott (AF $170k SC $102k MID/FWD) and Lachie McNeil (AF $170k SC $102k MID) are right in the mix to play. Dogs coach Luke Beveridge has already declared number one pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (AF $270k SC $207k FWD) isn't physically ready to play early.

Leave a Reply