Best chance: Rory Laird
With All Australian midfielder Rory Sloane ineligible, it’s another of Adelaide’s Rory’s who is expected to lead the Crows with 15 votes. Laird had a fantastic year rebounding off the halfback line, averaging 27.4 possessions per game and he was second in the League for effective possessions. Laird is expected to receive maximum votes in Adelaide’s round 15, round 16 and round 19 victories, but he also missed five games through injury.
Fast starter: Scott Thompson
The veteran midfielder averaged 29.5 possessions in the first six games of the season, with the Crows winning four of those. However, the Brownlow Medal predictor surprisingly only has him polling three votes out of a possible 18 in that period.
One-vote wonder: Jake Lever
A consistent season for the second-year defender. Had a couple of standout games where he could pinch a vote or two from the usual suspects.
With a 16-6 win/loss record, the Crows should have plenty of games where they collect the maximum three votes. They also had several big victories where they would dominate the minor places. Suspended star Sloane is expected to snare 23 of the club’s 93 votes.
Best chance: Tom Rockliff
A real mixed bag for the Lions skipper in 2016, with back and hamstring problems costing him five of the first 10 games on the sidelines. However, as the season wore on, Rockliff got better. He averaged 34 touches and eight tackles over the final 12 weeks and was highly influential in the Lions’ wins over Essendon and Carlton. Our predictor has him polling just five votes, but Rockliff has shown in the past he’s an umpires’ favourite.
Fast starter: Pearce Hanley
When your team wins just one of its first 16 matches, there’s no such thing as a fast starter, but Hanley won the Marcus Ashcroft Medal for best afield against Gold Coast in round four and should get the three votes.
One-vote wonder: Allen Christensen
The former Cat missed the second half of the season with a dislocated collarbone, but put in an exceptional performance against Hawthorn in round 10. The Hawks ran out easy winners, but Christensen’s 31 disposals might be enough to steal him a vote.
A nightmare season with just three wins should be reflected with a paltry vote tally for the Lions. We predict them to finish with just 20 votes, including three best on grounds.
Best chance: Patrick Cripps
The powerful midfielder played a key role in Carlton’s victories against Fremantle (round five), Collingwood (round seven) and the Brisbane Lions (round 11). Cripps, who was unlucky not to make the 40-man All-Australian squad, was the leading clearance player in the AFL this season with 185 and led the Blues in contested possessions with 354. AFL.com.au‘s Brownlow predictor gives him 16 votes to be the leading Blue, three ahead of Bryce Gibbs.
Fast starter: Marc Murphy
Despite an interrupted lead-up the Blues skipper started the premiership season well, starring in the opening round against Richmond and was a key contributor in his team’s first win in round five against the Dockers. AFL.com.au‘s Brownlow predictor gives him five votes from those matches.
One-vote wonder: Dale Thomas
The veteran struggled for form and fitness in the second half of the season, but he probably played his best game for Carlton in the round six victory over Essendon, finishing with 31 disposals, seven tackles, six marks and a goal.
The Blues will not be among the top teams in the Brownlow and are expected to poll only 54 votes, according to AFL.com.au‘s Brownlow predictor. They should provide the top vote-winner in their seven wins, and maybe one or two other games.
Best chance: Adam Treloar
The former Giant joined the Magpies amid much hype and some controversy but exceeded the massive expectations in his first season at the Holden Centre and should comfortably win the Copeland Trophy. Ultra-consistent, Treloar didn’t play a bad game and was particularly damaging in the second half of the season. He’s hard to miss with his distinctive blond hair and we expect him to poll 15 votes, topping his career tally of 12.
Fast starter: Steele Sidebottom
The ineligible midfielder actually started the season slowly, courtesy of a two-game suspension arising from an incident in round one, but he returned to earn votes from AFL Media reporters in three of his next six games, including best-afield efforts against Essendon on Anzac Day and Geelong in round nine. We gave him 11 votes overall.
One-vote wonder: Jesse White
Most of us had put a line through the big forward’s name early in the season, but he managed to confound the critics by playing serviceably and earning another contract. He was terrific in the big round 22 win over Gold Coast and only his poor conversion (3.4) will cost him votes.
Not much joy here, Collingwood fans, with Treloar the only Pie with any chance of breaking the 20-vote barrier. Skipper Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom and Brodie Grundy could reach double figures. We’ve given them 61 votes overall, including 11 three-voters, five of them to Treloar.
Best chance: Zach Merrett
Essendon’s best and fairest winner had an exceptional breakout season for the club, playing every game and averaging 30 disposals. Merrett’s ability to find the ball at the stoppages and tackle ferociously when he didn’t have it himself should win the plaudits of the umpires, but there will be many times he misses out on votes because he played in Essendon’s wooden-spoon winning side. According to AFL.com.au‘s Brownlow predictor, Merrett will poll 12 votes – nine of which will come in the last eight weeks of the season, including a best-on-ground showing against Carlton in round 23.
Fast starter: David Zaharakis
Zaharakis started the season in top form before taggers begun clamping down on him. The midfielder averaged 32 disposals in the opening month of the season, including an excellent 34-disposal and one-goal game against Geelong in round four.
One-vote wonder: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
The first-year revelation had some impressive games across half-back for the Bombers this season but his chance to register his first Brownlow vote may come as a forward. McDonald-Tipungwuti kicked four goals in Essendon’s round 23 win over the Blues and was terrific in attack.
It shapes as a lean night for the Bombers at this year’s Brownlow Medal count, which is probably no surprise given their three-win season and the fact a large chunk of their regular vote getters were suspended for the season. AFL.com.au has Essendon collecting just 28 votes in total. –
Best chance: Lachie Neale
The Dockers had a dismal season and won’t produce another winner to follow on from Nat Fyfe’s triumph in 2015. But Neale had an outstanding season and was rewarded with a place in the 40-man All Australian squad. He was ultra consistent, leading the AFL for total disposals this season. He is not predicted to poll in any of the Dockers’ 10-straight losses to start the season but he is projected to poll 10 votes in the last 12 games of the season, including a best on ground performance in round 23.
Fast starter: Nat Fyfe
The reigning Brownlow medallist only played five matches and broke his leg in in the fifth but he is predicted to poll four votes in the Dockers’ first four matches of the season. He had 34 disposals, 10 clearances and kicked three goals in the loss to Gold Coast in round two and then gathered 27 disposals and kicked four goals in the loss to North Melbourne in round four.
One-vote wonder: Matthew Pavlich
The retired great has only polled two votes in his previous four seasons and none last year but he is predicted to poll one vote for his four-goal haul against Port Adelaide in the round 13 win at Domain Stadium.
The Dockers have dominated recent counts given how well the team has performed in recent seasons. But the club’s horrendous 2016 campaign is predicted to yield just 34 votes with Neale predicted to be the only Docker to reach double figures.
Best chance: Patrick Dangerfield
Few players will sit down at a Brownlow Medal count as strong a favourite as Patrick Dangerfield. The Brownlow predictor allocated Dangerfield 29 votes but that seems stingy. He dominated in round one against Hawthorn before playing two of the best games seen by a midfielder in round 12 and 13 against North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs. Not only did Dangerfield accumulate the ball, he was dynamic, sprinting from clearances, taking big marks and kicking goals.
Fast starter: Zac Smith
Zac Smith was excellent early in the season, leaping high and feeding his midfield stars in Dangerfield and Joel Selwood. He kicked three goals in the opening round and set the agenda for the Cats. His form has trailed off late in the season but he will be vying with Cam Guthrie for the second-best Cat by round six.
One-vote wonder: Sam Menegola
Excellent on debut, he looks the classic one-vote wonder. He picked up 33 touches against the Brisbane Lions and will have come under the umpires’ notice by that stage, given it was his fifth game for the Cats.
Dangerfield and Joel Selwood will keep racking up votes with the likes of Steve Motlop, Guthrie, Corey Enright, Zac Smith, Lachie Henderson and Daniel Menzel all chipping in from time to time to boost the total to around the 90-vote mark.
Best chance: Tom Lynch
A brilliant season for Lynch was reflected with his first All Australian selection and a second successive club champion award. Lynch emerged as one of the game’s premier forwards and regularly helped the Suns either win, or stay competitive in many games. Third on the Coleman Medal table with 66 goals and taking the most contested marks in the competition, Lynch is predicted to finish with 14 votes.
Fast starter: Tom Lynch
No surprise that Lynch is again the man here. Gold Coast won its first three games, with Lynch earning best on ground honours in wins over Fremantle and Carlton. We also predict him to grab a vote in a round four loss against the Lions, giving him seven votes in the first month.
One-vote wonder: Matt Rosa
Rosa could go closest here, with his 32-touch season opener against Essendon expected to snare him one or two votes.
A difficult season for the Suns with just six wins, but they were highly competitive in the second half of the year and are expected to poll 45 votes. Lynch (two), Alex Sexton, Michael Rischitelli, Jack Martin, Aaron Hall and the ineligible Steven May are all expected to poll three-vote games.
Best chance: Callan Ward
The co-captain is a proven vote-getter and has had another consistently outstanding season in 2016, so it’s no surprise that the Brownlow predictor has him leading the Giants’ tally. Ward led the club for contested possessions and clearances in the regular season as part of a dominant midfield, is always under the umpire’s nose with his fierce attack on the footy, and averaged almost 24 possessions per game.
Fast starter: Stephen Coniglio
The gun midfielder missed round one after an interrupted lead up, but slotted straight into the side and was in stunning form early. It would be no surprise if the West Australian had eight votes, possibly more after round seven.
One-vote wonder: Steve Johnson
Star forward Steve Johnson kicked 43 goals for the season and many of them were gems. The veteran kicked five goals from 25 possessions in the Giants’ big win over Hawthorn in round six.
Ward is expected to lead the Giants to a record 94-vote haul this season, with the co-captain, Coniglio and Dylan Shiel all in double figures. They, along with Heath Shaw, Tom Scully, Jonathon Patton, Toby Greene and Ryan Griffen are all predicted to score best-on-ground honours.
Best chance: Sam Mitchell
Age is not a factor with Mitchell. At 33, the star midfielder barely missed a beat in 2016, continuing on from where he left off last year. He averaged 29.6 disposals this season, but failed to hit the scoreboard, registering his first goalless season since debuting in 2002. A consistent performer, it’s no surprise the Brownlow predictor has him polling 20 votes, five clear of teammate Jordan Lewis. He should finish in the top 10 at this year’s count.
Fast starter: Sam Mitchell
Mitchell got off to a flying start in season 2016, averaging 36 disposals per game in the opening four games. He was best on ground against St Kilda with a whopping 44 possessions and will be at the top of the leaderboard early.
One-vote wonder: Ben Stratton
Internally Ben Stratton is one of the highest-rated Hawks. Unfortunately for defenders, traditionally they don’t poll well on football’s night of nights. Stratton however, might steal a vote or two for his performance against the Bulldogs in round three.
By the Hawks’ lofty standards, 2016 didn’t pan out how they had hoped but to finish in the top four for the sixth year in a row is nothing to be scoffed at. The Hawks didn’t have enough consistent contributors across the year with Mitchell the standout. Lewis and Cyril Rioli will also poll well for the Hawks with several best on ground performances. The predictor estimates Hawthorn will finish with a total of 71 votes.
Best chance: Max Gawn
Gawn was the All Australian ruckman – Melbourne’s only representative – and no doubt deserves his place at the top of the list. The big man led the League in hit-outs (averaging 42.2) and was particularly influential considering the success the Demons enjoyed through 2016. Gawn is expected to poll 17 votes according to AFL.com.au’s Brownlow predictor, placing him equal-11th (alongside Marcus Bontempelli) on the leaderboard.
Fast starter: Jack Viney
The best and fairest winner is slated to poll eight votes (including two games with maximum votes) in the first five rounds of the season. However the tough midfielder falls by the wayside from there and is ineligible to win the award after accepting a one-game suspension for striking Port Adelaide’s Brad Ebert in round 10.
One-vote wonder: Billy Stretch
Youngster Billy Stretch played the best game of his career against the Brisbane Lions in round nine, racking up a personal-best 31 disposals. He also earned special praise from coach Paul Roos for his performance. Will it be enough for him to earn his first career Brownlow vote?
Melbourne is projected to almost double the amount of votes (42 votes) it received in 2015. This year, AFL.com.au’sreporters are forecasting the Demons will be awarded 70 votes. Gawn is the clear standout, but Dom Tyson, Jack Watts and Jesse Hogan are also expected to feature prominently.
Best chance: Daniel Wells
Fears that the smooth-moving midfielder’s career might be over after two seasons wrecked by injury were proven off the mark as Wells bounced back to form in 2016. The 31-year-old played 18 games and should poll top votes against Richmond (29 disposals, three goals) in round 11 and Collingwood in round 18, when he overcame breathing problems pre-game to blitz the Pies. Wells is predicted to finish with 10 votes in a lean count for North Melbourne.
Fast starter: Jarrad Waite
The veteran forward was on All Australian pace in the first half of the campaign before he was struck down by a hip issue. Waite kicked 22 goals in the opening six rounds and should lead North’s count with about seven votes.
One-vote wonder: Jamie Macmillan
Macmillan hit a rich vein of form late in the season and should be among the votes for his 31-disposal, one-goal effort in the round 19 victory over St Kilda in Brent Harvey’s record-breaking game.
There aren’t many of North Melbourne’s predicted 67 votes expected to head the Kangas’ way after they hit the wall mid-season. Todd Goldstein should be best-on-ground in three games, ahead of Ben Cunnington, Brent Harvey and Wells (two each).
Best chance: Robbie Gray
The two-time All Australian is once again expected to lead the Power with 16 votes. Gray had another strong season in a disappointing year overall for the Power, averaging 26.3 possessions per game to go with 25 goals. Gray missed three games from rounds six to eight with a hamstring injury. While playing the majority of his time in the midfield, Gray also impressed as a creative half-forward.
Fast starter: Robbie Gray
Gray burst out of the blocks with big games for the Power in their round one win against St Kilda and in round three with Essendon. He’s expected to poll maximum votes in both of those games.
One-vote wonder: Justin Westhoff
Whether playing up forward or down back, Westhoff performs whatever role the Power require of him. Westhoff (19 possessions and three goals) is a chance of jagging a vote in the Power’s 77-point victory against the Brisbane Lions in round seven.
The Power are expected to poll 66 votes for the season after finishing with a 10-12 record. Robbie Gray (16) and Ollie Wines (12) are tipped to be the only Power players in double figures. Gray is expected to have four of the Power’s best-on-ground performances.
Best chance: Dustin Martin
Rewarded for his career-best season with All Australian selection for the first time, the Tigers’ club champion is seen as one of the main challengers to Patrick Dangerfield. A cluster of five best-on-ground performances mid-season should see him rocket into contention by round 17. A proven vote getter with his eye-catching style, Martin has played a full season in the midfield and is predicted to finish on 22 votes, topping his 2015 tally by one.
Fast starter: Kane Lambert
The crafty forward is likely to be the first Tiger to poll votes after leading his team in round one with 28 possessions and eight marks. A huge final term from Lambert sealed the nine-point win over Carlton, but he’s unlikely to figure in the votes thereafter.
One-vote wonder: Nick Vlastuin
Vlastuin doesn’t have a lot of opportunities to poll, but the defender was thrown into the midfield at stages this season and was terrific against the Brisbane Lions in round 14, pressing forward to kick two goals.
Martin is expected to poll almost half of the team’s 49 votes in 2016, having carried the team on his back in a number of games with key defender Alex Rance. Ben Griffiths and captain Trent Cotchin are the only other Tigers predicted to notch three-vote games, with one each.
Best chance: Jack Steven
After a season that saw the midfielder win his third best and fairest, the 26-year-old is expected to poll 21 votes, according to our Brownlow predictor. His best was scintillating and with the way he explodes from stoppages, he is sure to catch the umpires’ eyes. The most votes Steven has had in a season was the 12 he picked up last year, but with the Saints having doubled their win tally, he should have more opportunities to poll.
Fast starter: Nick Riewoldt
The skipper for the 2016 season is tipped to be on eight votes after seven matches. That includes back-to-back best on ground performances against Melbourne and North Melbourne, when he took a combined 30 marks.
One-vote wonder: Jack Billings
It was a disappointing season for Billings and he wasn’t able to have a great impact after a promising first month. However, the umpires could give him a vote for his 30-disposal effort in the round three win over Collingwood.
St Kilda is expected to have 72 votes in a year it just missed finals, after 46 last season. All up, the Saints are predicted to have had the best player on the ground 13 times, with Steven responsible for five of those.
Best chance: Luke Parker
The star midfielder set a new personal record for disposals this season and averaged almost 28 per match, while also booting 21 goals for the minor premiers. Parker formed part of the league’s best onball division and gathered fewer than 25 touches in a game just six times throughout the season, while also leading the Swans for tackles, his best effort an incredible 17 against Melbourne in round 13.
Fast starter: Luke Parker
Parker’s early stretch started with 40 possessions and a goal against Collingwood, and ended with 29 touches, three goals and nine tackles in round six. The 23-year-old could have up to 12 votes and lead the count at that stage.
One-vote wonder: Ted Richards
The veteran turned back the clock with 22 possessions, a goal, and an old-fashioned hanger against West Coast at the SCG in round five. Unfortunately he suffered a broken cheekbone in the same game and his season never really recovered.
Parker and fellow All Australians Lance Franklin, Josh Kennedy and Dan Hannebery should lead the Swans to 104 votes according to the predictor, with that quartet expected to dominate the three-vote games, while Tom Mitchell, Isaac Heeney, Jarrad McVeigh, Kurt Tippett, Dane Rampe and Richards are also expected to poll best-afield votes.
Best chance: Luke Shuey
Matt Priddis has finished first and second in the past two counts but Shuey is predicted for a top-five finish with 22 votes this season after a stellar 2016. He was named in the 40-man All Australian squad and is expected to be a big chance to win the Eagles’ best and fairest. He had some electric games and is predicted to poll five best on grounds including top votes in the Eagles’ epic come from behind win against the Giants in round 21. Shuey had 38 disposals and kicked two goals.
Fast starter: Matt Priddis
The 2014 Brownlow medallist is not expected beat Shuey but is predicted to poll 18 votes including five in the first three rounds. He gathered 43 disposals in round one but is predicted to only poll two votes given Josh Kennedy kicked eight goals. He won the Ross Glendinning Medal as best afield in the round three Western Derby and should poll the top votes.
One-vote wonder: Jeremy McGovern
The talented key defender had an outstanding season and earned his first All Australian honour. He polled two Brownlow votes last season but is only predicted to poll one in 2016. He is projected to poll in the round five loss to the Sydney Swans. He had 23 disposals, 19 contested and four contested marks in the wet at the SCG.
The Eagles polled more votes than any other club last season and are predicted to poll 89 total votes in 2016. Shuey, Priddis, Kennedy and Andrew Gaff are expected to poll 68 between them. The Eagles will have a decent spread with Elliot Yeo and Mark LeCras predicted to poll in two games each while eight other players are expected to poll votes.
Best chance: Marcus Bontempelli
Freshly named as an All Australian for the first time, Marcus Bontempelli is clearly the Bulldogs’ best Brownlow chance. CrownBet has the 20-year-old third in the betting behind red-hot favourite Patrick Dangerfield, after the midfielder averaged 24 disposals, five tackles and a goal a game while being routinely tagged. Just as proficient inside as on the outside, The Bont’s elite vision, decision-making and skills were constantly on show in all 22 home and away games this season.
Fast starter: Jason Johannisen
Defensive playmaker Jason Johannisen could have maximum votes from the opening two rounds of the season after his blistering speed carved up Fremantle and St Kilda. A serious hamstring injury in round four sidelined him for two months.
One-vote wonder: Marcus Adams
Mature-aged draftee Marcus Adams battled injuries in his first season at Whitten Oval, but had a few standout games that could catch the eye of the umpires. He was nearly impassable in round two against the Saints
With the Dogs a very even team that has battled injuries at different times throughout the season, it’s hard to read how many votes they’ll poll. They earned only 78 last year and a similar total this season should be expected.
|Josh P Kennedy (Syd)|