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Uncanny X-men: The 20 players best suited to AFLX

AFLX will return next month in a new format, with a one-night tournament between four teams selected by some of the League’s biggest names.

Geelong gun Patrick Dangerfield, Adelaide’s Eddie Betts, Fremantle superstar Nat Fyfe and Richmond premiership forward Jack Riewoldt will spearhead the four teams and fill them by picking from a pool of 100 players from around the competition.

The live draft of the four teams is expected to happen early next month ahead of the event on Friday, February 22, at Marvel Stadium.

The captains can’t choose more than four players from a single AFL club for their team, with each line-up to have 14 players – eight on the field and six on the bench.

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The matches will be two 10-minute halves, with 10-point goals for majors kicked outside the 50m line to be awarded. Games are played on a rectangle field.

With all that in mind, we’ve scoured the AFL and found 20 of the players who will best suit the quick, high-scoring, and end-to-end nature of AFLX.

Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)

The captain of the Bolts line-up is a marquee choice given his power, explosiveness and ability to find the ball. An obvious key player in the AFLX format.

Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)

The Dockers skipper will lead the Flyers side in the tournament. Athletically gifted enough to play any position, Fyfe’s leap means he could take on the ruck role in middle and also be a threat in attack in the air.

Flyers skipper Nat Fyfe is athletically gifted enough to play any position. Picture: AFL Photos

Jack Riewoldt (Richmond)

A proven goalkicker and someone who will be able to score from outside 50 as well, giving his team an extra weapon. Riewoldt is captain of team Rampage.

Eddie Betts (Adelaide)

Betts might be the best small forward in the game, and his tricks around goal will be a handful for defenders in the fast-paced AFLX competition. Betts will captain the all-indigenous side, the Deadlys.

Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)

Bontempelli is the prototype modern player: tall, athletic, agile, strong, versatile and a match-winner. He would likely be one of the first players picked in the AFLX draft if available.

Josh Kelly (GWS)

A run-and-carry player with quality skills and the ability to find the ball. Kelly will sweep the ball forward in a flash, making the GWS star a valuable option.

Josh Kelly’s run and carry would be perfect in the AFLX format. Picture: AFL Photos

Luke Shuey (West Coast)

Hot from his Norm Smith Medal performance in last year’s Grand Final win, the West Coast midfielder has the pace and burst to be a damaging player in all formats.

Jaidyn Stephenson (Collingwood)

With his lightning pace and brilliant goal sense, Stephenson shapes as a nice selection for the AFLX game. Last year’s NAB AFL Rising Star has all the skills to be left close to goal to do his business.

Dylan Shiel (Essendon)

The new Bombers midfielder can cut the lines with his speed and is a centre-clearance specialist, meaning if he can get it out of the middle in AFLX his side will be well on the way to a score.

Jordan De Goey (Collingwood)

De Goey was hot property last year for a reason: he can be just as impactful around goal as in the midfield, and that versatility will be of benefit in AFLX. Also a booming kick who can score from outside 50, as was on show in the Pies’ Grand Final loss.

Jordan De Goey has as much impact around the goals as in the midfield. Picture: AFL Photos

Orazio Fantasia (Essendon)

A sharpshooter around goal, Fantasia has shown in his time in the red and black how creative and classy he can be with the ball. Rarely wastes a shot at goal and has genuine line-breaking speed.

Patrick Ryder (Port Adelaide)

Ryder would be the first-choice ruckman. Besides his ability in the centre, he can also move around the ground and has experience in attack.

Lance Franklin (Sydney)

Franklin is still so good that he would suit any form of AFL footy. The superstar forward would enjoy the open spaces of AFLX around goal.

Buddy Franklin’s sublime skills would suit any football format. Picture: AFL Photos

Mark Blicavs (Geelong)

Of the key defenders who would take the eye for AFLX, Blicavs fits the bill. His athleticism is well documented by now, but he can also play all over the ground.

Adam Saad (Essendon)

Is there a player more suited to the frenetic nature of AFLX than Saad? Arguably the competition’s quickest player, he can zip from end to end and enjoys nailing long goals.

Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)

A big name given his credentials as Collingwood skipper, but Pendlebury’s class and precision by foot would make him a top choice. With the shorter playing field, it is vital not to miss a target in AFLX or the ball will swing to the other end in a flash.

Jason Johannisen (Western Bulldogs)

The Bulldogs premiership star is another player who suits the AFLX format perfectly given his explosive speed. He likes to take the game on and also score from long range.

Jason Johannisen’s blistering speed and long-range goalkicking can pay AFLX dividends. Picture: AFL Photos

Jack Higgins (Richmond)

Higgins is a master of the Sherrin – we saw that last year with his goal of the year and a series of other clever majors, whether it be off the ground or crafty snaps. Would bring those skills to the table in the short-form AFLX.

Chad Wingard (Hawthorn)

Great overhead, brilliant at his feet and capable of miracles around goal, the best elements of footy flow through Wingard.

Tom Stewart (Geelong)

Another Cats defender who appeals given his ability to not just tie down an opponent but also kick-start plays from the back half.

Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS