Deadlines, Dates & Things to Remember
(NB: All times are given in AEDT – Australian Eastern Daylight-Savings Time. Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT & New South Wales follow this. South Australia is half an hour behind this, Queensland is 1 hour behind, the Northern Territory is 1.5 hours behind and Western Australia is 3 hours behind. For internationals, you’ll have to work it out yourself.)
Wednesday, 22 March
@6.15pm: Richmond & Carlton name their 22 (plus emergencies) for their game on Thursday, 23 March.
By this point you should have all your various teams ready to go as in some/all formats there will likely be a system crash in the lead-up to Round 1 lockout, or at the very least a slowing down of the system. Some formats handle this better than others – for example, Ultimate Footy has not handled it well in recent years so you would not want to be trying to make last minute changes to any of your teams there. And by last minute I mean anytime after 5pm on the Thursday the system has crashed in each of the past two years, so do not be the person who forgets to put their best team on field after their draft. AFL Fantasy has also had a great many issues over recent years (whether it has crashed, voided people’s teams due to them not naming enough emergencies or whatever). Supercoach and Real Dream Team are usually better, however they may still be sluggish and can potentially also crash so keep this all in mind.
In summary, by this stage you should:
- Have your final squads of 30 locked in for all salary cap formats including Real Dream Team, SuperCoach & AFL Fantasy including having your preferred 22 on field for Round 1, have selected a captain & vice-captain and named all of your emergencies.
- For SuperCoach, bear in mind that the Captain-loophole is in effect, so you will want your Vice-Captain to play in an earlier match than both your backup Captain and the non-playing player you may use as your alternate Captain (if you wish to take the V-C score).
- For SuperCoach, the Emergency-loophole is also in effect, however it can only be utilised if you will have a player on that line who will not play in Round 1 and who will play later than the person you are risking as your emergency.
- For both loopholes, keep in mind that you may not have anyone who is not playing in Round 1 (meaning that you can’t do any loophole) but also keep in mind the option of deliberately starting with someone who won’t play Round 1 if it means that you get to take an amazing V-C or emergency score from someone who has already played.
- Real Dream Team also has a full rolling lockout for Round 1, so the Captain-loophole and Emergency-loophole apply equally in that format for Round 1.
- AFL Fantasy supposedly has a partial lockout for Round 1, meaning that your full team wouldn’t be locked out until the Friday night game, so if you choose you could try the Captain-loophole by putting your V-C on someone in the Richmond v Carlton game. You can also choose to try the Emergency-loophole using this games if you so wish.
- You should have set up all of your on field players and emergencies in any draft league that you’re in. It’s probably worthwhile having a last, quick check through any free agents at this stage too as there are usually some trigger-happy coaches who will have delisted someone since the draft, or you may find some players in the pool that you didn’t realise were there – and the free agent requests are usually the hottest after Round 1 so get in beforehand if you can. You should also select any captains and vice-captains. Take note of any potential loopholes for draft leagues too, but beware rules in UF that may stop your emergency covering a blank on-field slot.
- You should set up your MatchDay formats now for the Richmond v Carlton game too.
Thursday, 23 March
@ 5.50pm: Richmond & Carlton lodge their final team sheets and we will know whether there have been any late changes.
@ 6.15pm: Teams of 22 + 3 emergencies will be lodged for the following games/teams:
Collingwood v Western Bulldogs
St Kilda v Melbourne
Sydney v Port Adelaide
Gold Coast v Brisbane
Essendon v Hawthorn
Team squads of 25 (including extended bench) will be lodged for the following games/teams:
North Melbourne v West Coast
Adelaide v GWS
Fremantle v Geelong
This is now go-time! You have the teams for all matches (and will have to use your best guess regarding the Sunday extended squads), and you have around one hour until Round 1 kicks off. For any format (draft, MatchDay etc) that locks out as of the start of Round 1, you need your teams all set by 7.20pm.
For the salary cap formats you will not be able to move any Richmond or Carlton players in or out nor change their positions once their match has started. You will not be able to give them the ‘C’, the ‘VC’ nor an ‘E’, nor will you be able to remove those designations from them, once their match has started. So for salary cap formats it may be best to take your time on the Friday evening once most final ‘22’s are named and not risk a system crashing while you’re in the middle of changing your team. However, you will need to make sure that you have all your Richmond and Carlton players exactly where and how you want them.
For any format that you may wish to change, it’s probably better to have already logged into your team on that website well in advance of team announcements. That way, all you may need to do is click a button or two (if changing captains/emergencies etc), and if you really do need to make last-minute trades then you are several screen-loads closer to achieving it than the masses coming after you.
@ 7:20pm: The first game of the season starts, between Richmond & Carlton. If there have been any late, late changes (eg injuries during the warm-up) then we will have found out about this sometime between 5.50pm – 7.20pm.
Friday, 24 March
@ 5pm: The extended, 25 man squads for the Sunday games will now be officially cut down to 22 + 3 emergencies, being for the following games/teams:
North Melbourne v West Coast
Adelaide v GWS
Fremantle v Geelong
Now is a good time to complete your teams for any other MatchDay formats for Round 1.
@ 6:20pm: Final team sheets are lodged for Collingwood v Western Bulldogs.
@ 7:50pm: Collingwood v Western Bulldogs begins. AFL Fantasy is now locked out & its season has begun in earnest. Any format with a full rolling lockout for Round 1 (eg SuperCoach and Real Dream Team) will incrementally lock out once each of the remaining AFL matches begin.
Saturday, 25 March
@ 3.05pm: Final team sheets are lodged for St Kilda v Melbourne & for Sydney v Port Adelaide.
@ 4.35pm: St Kilda v Melbourne & Sydney v Port Adelaide begins.
@ 5.55pm: Final team sheets are lodged for Essendon v Hawthorn.
@ 6:35pm: Final team sheets are lodged for Gold Coast v Brisbane.
@ 7.25pm: Essendon v Hawthorn begins.
@ 8:05pm: Gold Coast v Brisbane begins.
Sunday, 26 March
@ 11.40: Final team sheets are lodged for North Melbourne v West coast.
@ 1.10pm: North Melbourne v West Coast begins.
@ 1.50pm: Final team sheets are lodged for Adelaide v GWS.
@ 3.20pm: Adelaide v GWS begins.
@ 6.10pm: Final team sheets are lodged for Fremantle v Geelong.
@ 7.40pm: Fremantle v Geelong begins.
@ Late evening – Sometime on Monday (approx.): The various formats finish processing all teams and scores and the game is unlocked in preparation for Round 2.
Monday, 27 March
@ 10:20pm (approx.): AFL Fantasy draft leagues that are purported to have a 1-day waiting period on free agents tend to unlock around 24 hours after the end of the round so if things stay as they were last year then they should be available around this time.
@ 11.59pm (approx.): Draft leagues that have a 1-day waiting period on Restricted Free Agents during the round will unlock and all waiver wire requests will be processed.
Tuesday, 28 March
@ 11.59pm (approx.): Draft leagues that have a 2-day waiting period on Restricted Free Agents during the round will unlock and all waiver wire requests will be processed.
Thursday, 30 March
@ 7.20pm: Beginning of Round 2.
And then, we’re away…
Depending how many, and which formats you’re involved in this year, make sure that you’ve got everything ready to go and that you don’t miss any important deadlines. Hopefully the above is enough to keep everything in line for you – it does pay to double-check for yourself if at all unsure about anything too.