I know, it’s only October 2023 so, with Trade Week and Free Agency this month, the National Rookie Draft in November, AFL Fixture Release, the pre-season Supplemental Selection Period in February, and Pre-Season matches in March, everything here could all change significantly. As a result, we will be updating this list after all of these important events so, stay tuned. This is a list on who we believe will be the break-out contenders in the AFL for the 2024 season and so, great picks for SuperCoach next year.
Some would think that 2023 was Rowell’s “break-out” year, but I doubt this will be his best. The former Number 1 National Draft Pick from 2019, went on to average 102.3 SuperCoach points in 2023 and played 23 AFL games. Finally, Rowell has been able to piece together two injury-free seasons after being hampered by constant problems in his first two years in the competition. Rowell was able to show us glimpses of what he can do with scores of 165 against West Coast, 159 over the Western Bulldogs and 135 to finish the year off against North Melbourne. Now, Rowell is entering his 5th AFL season with, hopefully, a third uninterrupted pre-season under his belt. Furthermore, we are about to see him playing under a new system with triple premiership coach, Damien Hardwick, taking the reins at the Suns in 2024. Hardwick loves high-pressure tackling footy, and that could really benefit a player like Rowell.
There will be some that may have taken a shot with Hayden Young last year or in 2023. Young finished the season averaging 94 SuperCoach points, which doesn’t scream “pick me!” However, the 22-year-old former number 7 National Draft Pick, has shown us his scoring ceiling, especially in the last four games of the 2023 AFL season. Young finished the year with scores of 123, 118, 113 and 111, after being moved into Fremantle’s midfield. We expect Young to retain that position in 2024, and really build on his consistency. Expect a big year from Hayden Young coming up and he will be a defender in SuperCoach.
It’s time to shine for Alex Witherden, as West Coast Eagles veteran Shannon Hurn, hangs up the boost for the final time in 2023. The 25-year-old has played 103 AFL games and looks to be the Eagle’s main distributor in defence, a position that’s likely to receive a lot of footy next year. The former number 23 National Draft pick from 2016, finished 2023 averaging 84.5 SuperCoach points, which doesn’t sound too impressive but that’s with Hurn in the side as well. Witherden’s second half of the year, without Hurn, resulted in some impressive scores. Between rounds 16 and 23, Witherden averaged 103.25 points, which included scores of 133 against Essendon and 123 over Carlton. Witherden is a solid kick, will have the majority of the kick-outs and is playing in defence for West Coast, who may be looking at a back-to-back bottom finish. Priced at only an 84.5 average, Witherden could be a SuperCoach steal at the start of 2024 and a keeper as D6.
That last name should sound very familiar to SuperCoach players and that’s because this young Pie is the brother of a popular SuperCoach player. Finlay Macrae has been starved of opportunities since arriving at Collingwood due to their side’s strong midfield. However, the 21-year-old has enjoyed a dominant VFL season. Macrae is a natural at gathering contestant possessions and tackles hard. Expect the former number 19 National Draft Pick should add to his 12 AFL games in 2024, and hopefully make a big impact. Priced at only $123,000 this year with DDP MID/FWD status, his value could be huge if given the opportunity and he will likely be cheaper.
I know, this one is a bit of a weird selection and yes, Schultz does play in a position that’s typically inconsistent for SuperCoach. However, I believe that he’s ready to take a big step in 2024 and could be a massive POD or at a minimum, someone you can pick up very late in your Draft/Keeper League. The Fremantle FWD finished his 5th AFL season averaging 79.1 SuperCoach points in 2023, but it was his finish to the year that caught my eye, and should catch yours too. Schultz’s last 6 games resulted in scores of 100, 115, 53, 135, 99 & 80. Outside of the massive score against West Coast, the rest were against quality defensive opponents such as Sydney, Geelong, Port Adelaide and Brisbane. Schultz will have an awkward starting price, but the 25-year-old is primed to be one of Fremantle’s main goal-kickers yet again, alongside teammate Jye Amiss, in what’s likely to be an improved season for the club.
The Hawthorn midfielder will be entering his third AFL season after being taken with pick 7 in the 2021 National Draft. The 20-year-old had an improved 2022, averaging 72.9 SuperCoach points across the season. Ward was able to string together some impressive games, averaging 85 points between rounds 1-4 and 92.67 between rounds 16-18. With another preseason under Ward’s belt, likely improved performances from the Hawks and a potential increase in CBA activity, it’s possible Ward could significantly increase his SuperCoach average. I’m keeping a close eye on Ward for the latter stages of my SuperCoach Draft Day, but I also think we should see how he plays this preseason and consider him for our classic teams as well.
It wasn’t too long ago that teammate Patrick Dangerfield stated that he could see Max Holmes developing into Geelong’s best midfielder. Holmes will be entering his fourth AFL season after being taken with pick 20 overall in the 2020 National Draft. Holmes is a serious contender for a breakout season, after finishing 2023 averaging 79.8 SuperCoach points. This was a decent jump after averaging 65.5 the season prior, where he sadly missed out on premiership success due to injury. The Cats have had a few midfield retirements over the past couple of years. While Cameron Guthrie and Dangerfield’s bodies are slowly starting to fail them in the latter stages of their careers. It will be up to players like Holmes to take the Cats into their next finals campaign. Holmes started the 2023 season in beautiful fashion, averaging 94.9 SuperCoach points in the first 8 rounds. Sadly, Holmes dropped off after that but the signs of a future premium player were there. Four 100+ scores and two in the late 90’s is enough to spark some interest. Keep an eye out on his preseason and his role leading into round 1.
Tristan Xerri will enter 2024 as North Melbourne’s number 1 ruckman, and potentially their sole ruckman as well. The Kangaroos will be without club legendary ruckman Todd Goldstein, as he announced earlier this month, that he wishes to explore his options elsewhere. This means that we could see a break-out 2024 from the 24-year-old Xerri. The ruckman had a disappointing 2023 season, playing only 9 AFL games and averaging 72.9 SuperCoach points. However, in 2022, when Goldstein was out of the side, Xerri managed an 85.8 average across the opening 5 rounds, which included scores of 103 and 120. Yes, Callum Coleman-Jones is still at the club, but he isn’t guaranteed to play every week. Xerri will be a mid-pricer in 2024 and he could make you some cash, as well as have some decent scoring on-field. This is all determined on Xerri’s fitness, pre-season form and of course, if North Melbourne pick up another ruckman in the trade period.