Collingwood Magpies Training Session
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 11: Finlay Macrae of the Magpies in action during a Collingwood Magpies AFL training session at The Holden Centre on December 11, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

With salary caps set at $10 million and $13 million across the SuperCoach and AFL Fantasy platforms respectively, filling every position with a premium player is simply not possible.

In order to field a team that both keeps you under the cap and allows you to be competitive, selecting a smattering of rookies is essential.

Obviously, these young names won’t make up the bulk of your weekly totals, but should you select the right ones early, your bottom line and your win/loss column will look healthy.

Although we don’t know whether any of these names will break through the banner in round one just yet, their pre-season track work has piqued our interest.

These are each club’s rated rookies that look primed for early debuts.

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Adelaide

James Rowe (FWD)

SuperCoach price – $117,300
AFL Fantasy price – $196,000

As a mature-aged recruit, Rowe’s frame is already primed to compete at AFL level.

Following a stellar season for SANFL premiers Woodville-West Torrens, Rowe averaged 96 Supercoach points in each of his appearances and also managed 35 goals to share the competition’s leading goalkicker title.

It is his accuracy and ability to assist others in scoring that could see him line up in Matthew Nicks’ forward fifty right from the get-go.

Luke Pedlar (MID)

SuperCoach price – $162,300
AFL Fantasy price – $250,000

After being taken with the 11th pick of the 2020 draft, it is clear that the Crows have high hopes for Pedlar.

With a whopping average of 101.5 fantasy points from just four SANFL under-18 appearances, it is not hard to see why.

With almost every one of Adelaide’s starting 22 up for grabs, keep an eye on Pedlar’s pre-season form to see whether the left-footer snares one or not.

Sam Berry (MID)

SuperCoach price – $117,300
AFL Fantasy price – $216,000

Another of the Crows’ midfield chicks to keep in mind is Sam Berry.

The former Gippsland Power product proved adept both with the football and without it, as evidenced by his 20 disposal, 18 tackle and 220 supercoach points against the Geelong Falcons.

Berry also finished fifth in the club’s 2km time trail, so his endurance is without question.

Riley Thilthorpe (RUC/FWD)

SuperCoach price – $202,800
AFL Fantasy price – $268,000

Thilthorpe is already being seen as ‘the great white hope’ by the Crows faithful.

At 201cm and 102kg, the local product is primed to hit the ground running. His ability to play in multiple positions including the ruck, up forward and even on a wing should stand him in good stead for an early inclusion.

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