2021 Rookie Cheat Sheet

Published by Statty Matty on

Well, the season is nearly here. We’ve been debating Premos and Mid Pricers for months now, and the only thing left is to choose some rookies. Well hopefully this cheat sheet can help your decisions.

I’ve capped my rookies at $220k this season, but be aware there are some excellent value picks just above this (Ziebel, Impey, etc.) If you have the cash, consider someone like that also. There are also some other sub $220k players that could have made this list. This list should not be considered exhaustive.

And lastly, while some of the players below have been already named in the Round 1 sides (Sydney and GWS have announced their debutants) your choices are entirely dependent on rookies being selected in their teams. With rolling team announcements, there may be some more value in picking players with slightly better job security, than those with scoring potential.

Anyway, here’s the Rookie Cheat Sheet for 2021.

(You may need to zoom in on the page a little for a clearer read, or right click on the image below and click “Open Image in new tab”.)

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if it wasn’t for the rookie crisis in defense this year, i would be loading up on keepers in the forward line.

the forward line has the clearest cut top 8 then any other line (except Ruck)

Danger, Dunkley, Dusty, Sidebum, Zorko, Heeney, Marshall & Butters are pretty much it.

I’d be more than happy to pick 4 now and upgrade a couple later (once Daniher and Zeibell have fattened up).

Other lines it is hard to pick who will be the top 8 come year-end.

I see people going 5 keepers deep to start, not much wriggle room.


You could always load your midfield with dunkley, danger, martin and/or zorko in whatever order. Then when you upgrade the zeibells and rookies up swap them to fwd and gauge what mids you want to target


Nice work Matty thanks for this…hope Warner gets the nod along with his other young mates.


No love for Henry in the fwd line, confirmed Rd. 1. Admittingly his scores sucked in preseason but Pies see something in him.


Can’t believe how bare we are down back with rookies. Atm I’m 3-2-1 down back but that looks light compared to alot of teams.
You’d think with the amount of time I’ve spent looking into my team the past 3-4 weeks I’d have it all nailed down. Im still unable to even lock in my structure!
Also while I’ve got your attention so we think Phillips or butters are a better F2 option? Dunks F1.


Hi Mav, yeh the stocks are thin down back mate…I’ve got one rook onfield down back and it’s Highmore with Kosi and Briggs benched, know what ya mean about the final decisions and all that, I’ve been back and forth several times to Grawndy or not to Grawndy?..it’s agonizing I wish the season would hurry up and start already haha
In regards to your question, I reckon Phillips is worth a shot at the nice price he is, and resuming his previous role rather than stuck as a fwd flanker.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russty_

Thanks for the reply russty.
I have Clarke and young on field for now as my midpricers but a young down to Briggs/sharp could turn Phillips into danger! So basically young & Phillips v danger & sharp.

Yeah I know what you mean about GAWNDY I for now am running with it. The last 3 years I haven’t and it’s just caused headaches. But it could change I do like the look of my side without Grundy it’s alot of cash if you play Flynn R2. It could be Grundy & Highmore vs Stewart & Flynn . Even then Grundy/Highmore probably wins!

Yeah you could be right russty just worries me that wingers aren’t huge SC scorers but 95 is all we probably need to finish top 6-8 forward and at 400k that’s value.

All these little things are causing me sleepless nights mate haha


Players like PHILLIPS bug me Russty At best a slim chance to be in the best 6 and require trading. Danger and co dont even Butters is on the edge of the best so warrants more thought than a PHILLIPS OR caldwell people forget about trades required I got bagged for my opinion on a team with 8 real prems and 8 midpricers when let’s face it how many make it like Clarry at 382k ? Not many Even if that dude gets 2 right thats 12 prems to find ,that’s a lot of trades If as appears likely, rookies start to get selected .12 prems would be my lowest better 13 Definitely guns n R for me


I’ve tried to stay as much GnR as I can NDD. I’ve flirted with so many sides the past month and Gawn + rookie R2 but I’m taking GAWNDY and as many rookies as I can around the ground. Dow named on the ball too so I might look at him again. But a 102k Scott may make as much as a 210k Dow in the end.


And most of the probables/maybes play on Sunday so we wont know till Sat night! 🤯

At least all in same boat.

Sharp might be a chance. 👍


It’s a cruel cruel game Trigg. Good luck with the first round rookies and for the season mate


Sounds like we have the same structure down back Mav, 3-2-1. I have Laird, Ridley, Stewart, H.Clark, H.Young, Jones/Briggs onfield and I’m happy with that. Not sure I want to pick more than three premos, I’ll need room to get Lloyd and two more, who knows who they will be. Butters for F2. I have Danger, Dunkley, Dusty as my fwd premos. I would have to drop one of them for a rookie if I went back to Grundy R2.


No love for Lachie Young from North, 200K so he is cheaper then the likes of hayden young/clark, should have decent JS and is safe for a 50+ score each week. I thought that with the lack of rookies down back that he would of been a more popular pick


He’s a corrective trade for me if he goes big in the first two rounds


He shat the bed in aammi 50% of his 11 disposals were clangers. You only have those sort of players in your team when there aren’t any alternatives


The Ruck line is the one that I see people messy around with.

The obvious choice year-in, year-out was always Gawn & Grundy, and now I am seeing teams with the R2 as Flynn.

My concern is the amount of $ it will take to upgrade from Flynn to either Gawn or Grundy mid season. Even if Flynn plays well in the first 6 weeks and climbs to $400k, it will still be a $300k jump to Gawn or Grundy.

Is anyone considering a different R2 other than Grundy or Flynn, where the upgrade amount may be lesser?

I am thinking of running with Grundy & Nank, as I think Nank is under-priced, and Gawn is over-priced, and I am running Flynn at R3, in the hope that at around round 6-8 I can paint the fence by trading Nank & Flynn to Gawn & rookie (probably non-playing loophole).

Appreciate your thoughts, not just on Nank (it could another mid-priced Ruck option).

Teague Train

Ive gone Gawn and Draper, Draper should hold the #1 spot, another pre season under the belt should have him ready to go


Hi Donavan, I’ve had a look at 5 different players at R2, Grundy, Nank, Draper, Flynn, Hunter. They all have something going for them, in the end all you can do is pick who you feel the most comfortable with as well as the structure that player gives you.

Shake n Bake

Fyfe Gold Coast i think might get a look in

Shake n Bake

Up There Cazaly league is stacked! Good luck all going to be alot of cracking games. Always finish in the top 100. Got as high as 7th last year. Lets finish in the top 30!


great league mate pleasure to be involved


Good luck this year lads, good to be back in there Shaker

Teague Train

Im sure we are all up to draft number 10,000 of our sides, but this is what ive settled on

Ryan, Laird, Stewart, Saad, Clark, Kosi, Briggs, Highmore
Neale, Steele, Oliver, Cripps, Rowell, Campbell, BRuhn, Powell, Jordan, Brockman, Downie
Gawn, Draper, Meek
Danger, Caldwell, Ziebell, Impey, Dow, Rowe, Scott, Waterman


Nice side mate. I currently don’t have Lloyd either, and it’s making me nervous as ….

Draper looked real good in the Geelong preseason game, and I had him in my team. But just can’t go past Gawn & Grundy.

Looks ready for a big year, and hope he plays well for you.

Last edited 1 year ago by johnno29

if I had to grade all the cheat sheet rookies into the best chance of making coin and points Flynn would be number 1. If I am correct then if grundy had dpp like Big Boy,you would park grundy in def and Flynn ruck? It therefore makes complete sense to choose an equal prem like MACRAE or STEELE same price same average same injury record in preference to GRUNDY and any rook This has got me over the line with FLYNN R2 — NDD


at the start of the preseason, my plan was Hickey at R2, purely because he was the cheapest #1 ruck. Didn’t get much support for the idea.

Flynn is a bit cheaper and everyone is onboard.


Nothing new there Derek ,you do it every year It’s hard to get GRUNDY back but equally hard to get MacRae in later


I supported the idea, I had him in there for ages until Flynn was named.


140k is more than a bit cheaper Derek. The other reason was we didn’t rate Hickey.


See, this is a great assessment of the situation. Grundy v another gun premo…personally I’m still taking Grundy but you are correct


My team as it stands –

Def – Lloyd, Laird, Stewart, Clark, Wehr, Highmore (Z.Williams,Koshi)
Mid – Neale, Steele, Macrae, Fyfe, Taranto, Campbell, Powell, Downie (Bruhn, Brockman, Gulden)
Ruck – Grundy, Nank (Flynn)
Fwd – Dunkley, Phillips, Zielbell, Daniher, Dow, Bergeman (Fullarton,Scott)

I’m playing for league wins, hence starting Zac Williams on the bench week 1, think he represents value, and save the trade to bring him in, and leagues dont start until week 2.

Rookies are obviously placed to the best of my knowledge but may change depending on selection.

Forward line was tricky, but I see a lot of potential cash generation mid-pricers on that line, and think the likes of Dangerfield, Gray, Dusty will be cheaper mid season, and we will also know if Hawkins/J Cameron are worth the punt.

Appreciate your feedback.


Would love some thoughts on my team!

Def – Laird, Daniel, Stewart, Short, Clarke, Highmore (Koz, Briggs)
Mid – McRae, Merrett, Fyfe, Cripps, Rowell, Taranto, Powell, Gulden (Downie, Scott, Fyfe)
Ruck – Gawn, Nank (Flynn)
Fwd – Dunkley, Butters, Ziebell, Campbell, Bergman, Rowe (Brockman, Bowie)


Obviously like it, very similar structure to mine.


probably one of the best i have seen across 2 sites / No messing about with high priced cow like objects Great defence value plus mids -ok forwards no worse than most but your worst line and NANK brilliant pod 12 keepers plus CLARKE TARANTO nank and ZIEBELL perfect NDD

Shake n bake

Nank 1 out Chol not named. Scored 65 in 35 mins against Grundy


Thanks for the feedback boys! Any recommendations for some backup plans if rookies aren’t named – currently only have around $10k extra to play around with

Should I look to move nank down to meek and bring in a premo in another line, or should I be looking for something like Taranto down to Caldwell or even dow/impey


I’d keep your Nank R2 structure and sacrifice Taranto for Dow if you need some quick cash, 6 deep in the mids is a bit of a luxury. Clark doesn’t have an E by the way 😉


Stuck between Bruhn, Cox and Butts…gotta choose one


Seymour cox


I think Goldsack is still playing 😉

Rick Grimes

Cox and Butts go well together, if you are into it. Maybe Bruhn if you can only choose one.


I feel such regret going against the formidable Gawndy setup but to beef up a few more lines, I’d like to get some opinions on my team so far. With 50k left:

DEF: Lloyd, Laird, Daniel, Stewart, Short, Highmore (Briggs, Kozzie)
MID: Neale, Oliver, Macrae, Merrett, Taranto, J Clark, Powell, Gulden (Brockman, Downie, Scott)
RUC: Grundy, Hunter (Meek)
FWD: Dunkley, Caldwell, Ziebell, Daniher, Campbell, Rowe (Bergman, Treacy)

I’m hoping the cash saved in my ruck has helped shore up my other lines a tad.


Good side Longshot but I’d trade one of Hunter or Meek for Flynn, he has better JS than the other 2 combined.



We have over 400 players signed up to the JR SURVIVOR Groups for this year. The team that Ultimately survives until the end will be etched into immortality.

Looks like we will try and start the season with about 40-45 players in each division

We have a few too many people in DIVISION 5

Not quite enough people in DIVISION 7 (code 242419)

We need a few coaches to do a switch-a-roo please.

We have room for one for Division.

NEW – Division 9 (277782)

No eliminations week 1, but Immunity is up for grabs.

thanks fellas.


So this season is going to fall into the lap of the gods with luck determing the winner.
I know you make your own luck but you cant help/predict/or avoid bad luck. It will clean you up and leave you flat on your back fazed and gasping for air as the rest of the competition plays on.
What am I on about well glad you asked.
Say one of your big boys Neale, clarry, lloyd etc flies for a mark bit falls awkwardly or gets cleaned up by another player 10 mins into the game.
They are concussed. Subbed out. Their night is over and so is your season.
Firstly as they took the field you get their score probably a single figure. Then they are out for 12 days minimim so if it is the one if the last games that could be 2 weeks.
So what have we got?
9 then subbed
Next 2 weeks – 60,60 as need to field a rookie.
Steele plays 3 full weeks – 120 per week.
Game over.
Lady luck – she plays her part. 😕


trade him out for a prem


If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all 🙂

The Ranger

Looks like those that get their starting team right will have an even bigger advantage this year eh Trigga? Gonna be hard to play catch up if you find that you’ve got the wrong structure.


Good read mate, yep gotta try and get those starting keepers right, so there’s less trades need to be made, there’ll be enough injury trades, there always are, having a full side or as close to it as possible with a few trades in hand at the end is gold gold goooold


Have those writing off Rowell forgotten about Oliver? He went 70 in his first year and backed it up 111 in only his second season… Explain too me why Rowell cannot do the same? He’s rated more elite for his inside game than Oliver and in an improving GC side. Oliver was in a shamble of a demons side at the time

Rick Grimes

I think it’s the injury that’s put them off. I’m on the Rowell train. GC will play him every game and even if his tog is managed, he only needs half a game to ton up. It seems to be a toss up between he and Taranto. I dont mind that selection but I doubt he has the ceiling to match Rowell.


He hasn’t left my lineup Mav, gonna be a gun of the comp because of his attitude and work ethic.


Agree fellas. I have flirted with Simpkins, tarantos, Walsh and brayshaw but Rowell just feels right he is a contested beast and just so professional lives and breathes football. If I were to go any of the other it will be walsh


Option 1 : Neale & sharp

Option 2 : Walsh & H.clark

I still have MacRae Oliver Gawn Grundy as captain options. Neale with a niggle is worrying and hunter Clarke means I don’t have to field two rookies down back.




Thanks lek


Any thoughts on my team would be HUGELY appreciated!

Def: Lloyd, Laird, Crisp, Docherty, Young, Clark (Kosi, Highmore)
Mid: Neale, Oliver, Macrae, Merrett, Walsh, Powell, Downie, Gulden (Brockman, A.Fyfe, Scott)
Rk: Gawn, Flynn (Hunter/Meek)
Fwd: Dunks, Butters, Ziebell, Daniher, Campbell, Warner (Rowe, Waterman)

Could go Walsh > Taranto and Doch to Ryan/Daniel, but I feel Doch is undervalued considering his past and Walsh could explode.

I agree entirely on those saying upgrading to someone like Macrae is just as hard as to someone like Grundy, hence why with poor rookies this year I think Flynn is a monty to generate the cash we need to get Marshall later and then upgrade a fwd to grundy via DPP.

Two proven Midpricers up fwd feels comfy, but could be screwed down back if Young and Clark fold, with the poor rookies..

Am I crazy?


doch to daniel you will sleep better


Thoughts on my team much appreciated – have gone against the Grawdny set-up like a few others.
Would love some thoughts on my team!
Def – Laird, Stewart, Short, Docherty, Young, Clark (Koz, Highmore )
Mid – Neale, Oliver, Macrae, Merrett, Dunkley, Campbell, Powell, Gulden (Jordon, Downie, Trew)
Ruck – Grundy, Martin (Flynn)
Fwd – Danger, Butters, Ziebell, Dow, Warner, Brockman, (Scott, Rowe)


Like it, Martin a bit of a shark move


Then I should rename my team “The Meg”. Ruck line is Martin, Flynn and Meek. Yeah, I know. But the rest of my lines look great!


Cheers Lek! Definitely a risk…but allows me to have 0 on field DEF rookies and a bit more MID / FWD depth…

Still umming and ahhing!


I keep tweaking but here’s my team as it stands at the moment. Probably fairly standard. I had Lloyd in for a long time but decided to drop him down to Short which means I can afford another midpricer in the backline given the lack of rookies. Gone pretty heavy in the midfield and rucks. Any feedback?
DEF – Laird, Stewart, Short, Fantasia, Clark, Jones (Koschi, Highmore)
MID – Neale, Oliver, Macrae, Merrett, Rowell, Dow, Powell, Gulden (Downie, A Fyfe, Scott)
RUC – Gawn, Grundy (Flynn)
FWD – Dangerfield, Butters, Ziebell, Campbell, Rowe, Brockman (Warner, Waterman)


Hi community would love your opinion on these two options. This will complete my team after 1001 drafts

1. Danger, H.Clarke & Waterman

2. Phillips, Ridley/Stewart & dow


2 for me Phillip.


Hey fellas, anyone got any spare spots in any leagues, I’m only in 7 and would like to be in 10, cheers.


Hey hedski, one spot left in ”TheSonsOfAnarchy” code 510093


Thanks John I’m in, good luck for the season, can’t wait to have the footy back on tonight 👍


Glad you were able to get in hedski, I’ve been having trouble with the last spot. I would invite someone, then another person would jump in ahead of them, then they would finally get in, but under a different team name to what they said and so I pressed remove team, when I shouldn’t have. All good now.


Anyone concerned about Goodwin’s comment in the herald Sun today? About Gawn playing alot more forward time this season? Is that chewing into his ruck time or he going to rest forward instead of the bench?


My gut feel is that it is more of the latter, I think we will see it with a lot of the stars.


Maybe the Freo game but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Majac pop up shortly

The Ranger

It’s why I’m starting Grundy over Gawn.
No Weideman and no Ben Brown has me thinking Gawn might have to play fwd more


No melbourne player has kicked 100 goals Ranger yet— go dees


Good luck all , sick of looking at my side and making knee jerk changes. Please please hoping most clubs blood rookies . Now let the games begin