The former world number one returns to Melbourne Park next week for only her second grand slam event since losing in the quarter-finals two years ago.
Sharapova, currently ranked 47th in the world, will face Germany's Tatjana Maria - who sits one place above her on the rankings list, in the first round.
Should she progress, she could face 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova in round two and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber after that.
Her path to the quarter-finals would then be blocked by Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, who is seeded three for the tournament.
Venus Williams, the sister of defending champion Serena - who does not take part, has arguably been given a tougher first round assigment after being paired with Belinda Bencic.
The 20-year-old, who was ranked seven in the world almost two years ago, teamed up with Roger Federer in their victorious Hopman Cup run for Switzerland last week.
Williams has beaten Bencic in their four previous meetings, however, including a straight sets victory at the US Open in 2015.