With the opening game of the season just days away, fantasy coaches will be locking in their team structure for 2013.

Your team structure is based on the number of premiums, mid-pricers and rookies you have across the defence, midfield, rucks and forwards. There is no set definition for a premium but a simple way is identifying any player that should rank inside the top five positions for rucks, top 10 for defenders or forwards and top 15 for midfielders. A rookie is generally any player that is priced under $200,000.

There are an abundance of reliable defender rookies in 2013 with as many as nine players offering good job security and solid scoring potential. Brett Goodes and Nick Vlastuin also have midfield eligibility, so placing one in the midfield will give you a link through both lines.

Going with as little as three premiums is a risky option but it could pay off if the defender rookies deliver on their potential. With the high number of defender rookies available, a maximum of four defence ‘keepers’ appears an appropriate number.

Kane Lucas and Brent Moloney present the best value in regards to mid-pricers in the midfield. Both would be good selections in your fantasy teams but no more than two mid-pricers should be considered. Selecting more than two mid-pricers restricts the amount of cash you can generate and limits your scoring potential.

The midfield is where the majority of your points will be generated so a minimum of three premiums should be considered. Try and have a viable captain option in your team every week that you know you can rely on. You don’t have to have all these players in your side but its best to select at least one of Dane Swan, Gary Ablett or Scott Pendlebury. Ablett is excellent in both Fantasy and SuperCoach, Swan is more suited to Fantasy whilst Pendlebury is a SuperCoach specialist. All three players are quality selections in both competitions.

The majority of the quality rookies are in the defence and midfield so limiting your exposure to the forward rookies is important. A maximum of three forward rookies is ideal.

Patrick Karnezis, Josh J. Kennedy and Mark LeCras all present good value so you could be running as many as three mid-pricers in your forward line. This will leave you with a structure of three premiums, three mid-pricers and two rookies. If you don’t feel you have enough scoring power playing three mid-pricers in the forwards or aren’t confident in their keeper status, having as little as none or one mid-pricer is also a legitimate option for your side.

The rucks spots been a hot talking point in 2013 with ruck structure having a significant effect on the rest of your line-up. With Mark Blicavs gaining ruck eligibility, selecting Matthew Leuenberger becomes a viable option again. Blicavs appears likely to play the early rounds of the season due to injuries to Hamish McIntosh, Nathan Vardy and Dawson Simpson, giving you enough time to cover Leuenberger’s short absence. With Blicavs the only rookie at this stage to have some sort of job security, having a premium or keeper plus three rookies isn’t a viable option.

With Aaron Sandilands aggravating his hamstring at training, Jonathon Griffin comes into calculations as a potential starting ruck for your side. Dean Cox, Patrick Ryder and Jarryd Roughead all provide flexibility with ruckman/forward status whilst Todd Goldstein and Matthew Kreuzer also present value.

Your structure should also take into account the byes during Rounds 11, 12 and 13, but it also shouldn’t completely compromise your starting line-up. With your round score being restricted to your best 18 scores during the bye rounds, bye structure isn’t as important as it was in 2012. When upgrading your side during the season, consider the byes when choosing your upgrade targets.

The structure that you take into Round 1 will have significant impact on where you finish this year. What structure you take in is personal choice but it has to have basis and thought taken into account.