Hawthorn's Luke Breust and Isaac Smith have become the latest players to bail on the AFLX mini-tournament, with further withdrawals likely before the four squads are finalised.
The premiership duo join teammate Chad Wingard, as well as several other big-name players, in being scratched from Friday night's event in Melbourne.
Unlike Wingard, who is unavailable to play in the Deadly team captained by Eddie Betts as he recovers from a calf injury, neither Breust nor Smith have fitness concerns.
The pair will play in Hawthorn's practice match against Carlton on Thursday and have then chosen to take advantage of an AFL-mandated four-day break.
Their withdrawal from Jack Riewoldt's Rampage squad leaves Deadly vice-captain Shaun Burgoyne as the only Hawks player set to take part in AFLX.
Melbourne's Steven May (hamstring) and Fremantle's Joel Hamling (calf) also withdrew from the Deadly squad, while Patrick Dangerfield's Bolts have lost Port Adelaide dynamo Robbie Gray (knee) and North Melbourne's Robbie Tarrant (shoulder).
League officials are bracing for the possibility of more players pulling out before the four squads are finalised on Wednesday.
AFL clubs are again taking no risks with their players after a spate of withdrawals during last year's inaugural tournament.
The concept has been revamped this year after the debut had attracted only lukewarm interest from fans and players alike.
Four all-star teams, captained by Dangerfield, Betts, Riewoldt and Nat Fyfe, will compete at Marvel Stadium.
A maximum of four players from each AFL team can be selected across the tournament.
No injuries were reported during last year's three-day exhibition in which every AFL club was required to field a team.
West Coast named 11 debutants, Adelaide ruled out almost their entire 2017 grand final side and Fyfe and Gray were among last-minute scratchings.
The calibre of players named for this year's tournament is undoubtedly higher but AFL clubs remain wary of the concept.
The hit-and-giggle competition this year features a designated "game changer" with the power to earn double points for the final five minutes of each game.
Australian Associated Press