MOE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 10: Sam Murray of the Magpies looks upfield during the JLT Community Series AFL match between Collingwood Magpies and the Western Bulldogs at Ted Summerton Recreational Reserve on March 10, 2018 in Moe, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

It is almost D-Day for AFL Fantasy/SuperCoach coaches aspiring to win their leagues and maybe even the major prize in 2018.

The first lockout will take affect Thursday night at 7:25pm, when the Richmond-Carlton clash gets underway.

The name of the game is all about getting bang for your buck. The amount you spend on each player should equate to how much you expect them to score for your team.

Ideally, your players would surpass the scoring average they are priced at (their breakeven). This increases their value and allows you to improve your team.

Below are the best picks for your AFL Fantasy/Supercoach for the upcoming 2018 AFL Season.

DEFENDERS

Rory Laird – Adelaide

AFL Fantasy price – $707,000

SC price – $550,800

Rory Laird took his game to another level in 2017 and is a ball magnet off half back. He appears in almost 50 percent of teams in both formats for a reason – he is the clear-cut number one premium defender.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 102

Predicted SC ave – 100

James Sicily – Hawthorn

AFL Fantasy price – $523,000

SC price – $402,800

A mid-season move to half back last year saw James Sicily flourish in his new role for the Hawks. He averaged 89.8 in AFL Fantasy and 91.4 in SC between rounds 14-23 last year but is priced at around the 70 mark in both formats. Poised for a real breakout year playing a real fantasy friendly role.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 85

Predicted SC ave – 88

Alex Witherden – Brisbane

AFL Fantasy price – $604,000

SC price – $478,900

Alex Witherden does not come as dear as some of the other premium defenders but can score with the best of them and has serious upside. Averaged over 85 in both formats last year from just nine games and loves to chip it around in the defensive half. Just think what he could do this year after another pre season and under Luke Hodge’s guidance. A slight risk but worth the punt with limited defensive options.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 92

Predicted SC ave – 90

PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA – JULY 30: Alex Witherden of the Lions looks to pass the ball during the round 19 AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Brisbane Lions at Domain Stadium on July 30, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Nick Coffield – St Kilda

AFL Fantasy price – $256,000

SC price – $171,300

The Saints pick eight looked cool, calm and collected off half back during the JLT Community Series and looks set to debut early in the season. You will have to pay a little bit more than the basement rookie price for Coffield, but his job security and role both seem promising.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 68

Predicted SC ave – 75

Sam Murray – Collingwood

AFL Fantasy price – $170,000

SC price – $123,900

Collingwood traded a second-round pick for this guy and he can play an important role across half back for that that is extremely fantasy fruitful. Is cheap as chips and has a razor sharp boot. Was massive in their JLT clash with the Bulldogs.

Predicted AFL Fantast ave – 73

Predicted SC ave – 78

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MIDFIELDERS

Tom Mitchell – Hawthorn

AFL Fantasy price – $896,000

SC price – $653,500

More suited to AFL Fantasy, Tom Mitchell will cost you an arm and a leg but is worth every penny. He averaged 127.2 points last year and is a walk-in captain. A ball magnet that is basically untaggable. Anyone genuine about winning their league will pick this bloke.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 128

Predicted SC ave – 120

Lachie Neale – Fremantle

AFL Fantasy price – $706,00

SC price – $599,300

Lachie Neale is seriously underpriced for what he is capable of doing. He averaged over 110 points in both formats two seasons ago. Neale spent more time up forward last year and was tagged a bit with Nathan Fyfe out, but expect him to return to a permanent inside midfield gig this season. Dominated the JLT too.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 107

Predicted SC ave – 110

Lachie Whitfield – GWS

AFL Fantasy price – $690,000

SC price – $536,600

With Nathan Wilson’s defection to Fremantle and Zac Williams set for a lengthy stint on the sidelines, Lachie Whitfield will move back to a fantasy friendly half-back role for the Giants. He is an elite runner that will be tough to tag and is every chance to receive defender eligibility at some point.  It is only a matter of time before the former pick one has a breakout year.

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES – FEBRUARY 23: Lachie Whitfield of the Giants runs with the ball during the AFL Inter Club match between the Sydney Swans and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Henson Park on February 23, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 107

Predicted SC ave – 110

Jaeger O’Meara – Hawthorn

AFL Fantasy price – $438,000

SC price – $315,800

There is an element of risk picking Jaeger O’Meara after he flopped last year and comes with an injury prone history, but his upside is too good to resist. Priced at a mid-60 average in both formats but is capable of scoring in 90s, O’Meara was arguably the most promising player in the league in his first couple of seasons.

Pedicted AFL Fantasy ave – 85

Predicted SC ave – 90

Andrew Brayshaw – Fremantle

AFL Fantasy price – $268,000

SC price – $198,300

The recent pick two looks set for a permanent inside mid position and looks like the pick of all the rookies this season. Has a ready-made AFL footballers’ body and should have instant impact at the Dockers.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 77

Predicted SC ave – 80

RUCKS

Max Gawn – Melbourne

AFL Fantasy price – $605,000

SC price – $503,700

The 2016 All Australian ruckman is severely discounted after an injury plagued year last year. Averaged 118.5 in SC two years ago therefore could average over 20 points more than what he is priced at. The biggest no brainer pick of this season.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 103

Predicted SC ave – 110

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 02: Max Gawn of the Demons celebrates kicking a goal during the round two AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Carlton Blues at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 2, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Stefan Martin – Brisbane

AFL Fantasy price – $703,000

SC price – $540,000

Stefan Martin was an absolute beast in both formats two seasons ago, where he averaged 114. His scoring demise since can largely be put down to sharing the ruck duties, and this year he looks set to be rucking by himself again. If this is the case, expect Martin to return to his lofty 2015 standards.

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Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 105

Predicted SC ave – 105

Darcy Cameron – Sydney

AFL Fantasy price – $170,000

SC price – $123,900

This is more so an insurance/cash cow pick as Darcy Cameron will probably not play round one or much throughout the year at all. But he nearly got his opportunity last year and with Sam Naismith out for the season and Kurt Tippet retired he will get his opportunity at some stage. Do not expect much, but Cameron is the clear number one bench ruckman to select.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 45

Predicted SC ave – 45

FORWARDS

Isaac Heeney – Sydney

AFL Fantasy price – $649,000

SC price – $536,300

Isaac Heeney has always possessed an insane amount of talent and now he is turning that into consistent AFL Fantasy/SC scoring. Heeney could well be the number one scoring forward in both formats and could average triple figures this season. Increased time in the midfield adds to his value.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 100

Predicted SC ave – 105

Toby McLean – Western Bulldogs

AFL Fantasy price – $603,000

SC price – $470,200

Entering his fourth season in the league, Toby McLean is every chance to break out in a true midfielders role (yet can be selected as a forward). Between rounds 14-23 last year, McLean averaged 95.3 in AFL Fantasy and 97.2 in SC. This kid has star potential and is worth the punt with limited options up forward.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 93

Predicted SC ave – 97

Devon Smith – Essendon

AFL Fantasy price – $575,000

SC price – $439,100

Devon Smith has trained with the Bombers’ midfielders all pre season and looks set to spend the majority of his time on the ball in 2018. What does that mean? More points! Smith is a proven scorer that has averaged over 90 before in both formats.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 94

Predicted SC ave – 88

Devon Smith, Essendon (Getty Images)

Christian Petracca – Melbourne

AFL Fantasy price – $500,000

SC price – $433,300

Every AFL fan knows how talented Christian Petracca is, now it is time for him to translate those skills into fantasy points. Set to spend more time in the midfield in 2018, Petracca is a third-year breakout candidate which is traditionally when young guns have taken their games to new levels in the past.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 85

Predicted SC ave – 90

Allen Christensen – Brisbane

AFL Fantasy price – $331,000

SC price – $267,300

Allen Christensen is priced as an inflated rookie due to injuries yet has averaged over 85 before in both formats. Was added to the Lions’ leadership group and should be solid if he can put his injury troubles behind him.

Predicted AFL Fantasy ave – 75

Predicted SC ave – 82