And the big guns just keep on firing!

Over the most recent fortnight of Mongrel Player Power Rankings, the cream has risen to the top… and some cream has stayed there.

We’ve seen a young Cat make his big move. We’ve seen the Little Master solidify his spot near the top, and we’ve seen one of last year’s dominant big men start to move into contention, with a Queen’s Birthday showdown on the horizon.

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Now, if you’re new to this, please give yourself a refresher. We compile these rankings fortnightly. 100% weighting is given to players over the previous four rounds, with previous amounts weighted at 50%.

1st Rankings – published after R4

2nd Rankings – published after R6

3rd Rankings – published after R8

The weighting reflects players who are both surging, and have a good body of work behind them. It allows for a lot of movement within the rankings, and can see players make huge runs based on four weeks of really good footy.

The four positions are rated differently. Defenders are assessed on things like Rebound 50s, Intercept Possessions, and One-Percenters, amongst other things. Mids for Inside 50s, clearances and both number and quality of disposals. Forwards for tackles inside 50, contested marks, and score involvements. And Rucks are scored on his outs, clearances and sneaking forward to snag a couple of goals. Disposal efficiency is a big factor for the backs, who can accumulate easily, and also for outside mids. There are heaps more criteria used, but I’m not here to give it all away. This is outs, damn it!

I’m not saying this is the definitive system for ranking players – it has some flaws I’m already looking to adjust in the off-season, but this is where we’re starting, and I reckon we’re getting a great picture of who is in red hot form, who is starting to slip, and who never really got going this season.

So let’s start with the defenders.
















Hurn has been immense for the Eagles this season. It’s hard to fathom anyone benefitting from the absence of Tom Barrass, but Hurn has accepted the extra responsibility that has come with McGovern having to be more accountable. He is one of the best kicks in the business, and to see him having 25+ disposals and consistently running at over 80% efficiency gives a great indication as to why he is the number one defender on this list.

Bachar Houli has made a huge leap in the last four weeks, and while I am expecting his run to slow a little, his ascension is indicative of the nature of these rankings. Four good weeks of footy see you catapulted up the list, but a couple of ordinary weeks, or weeks missed due to injury can see you plummet quickly.

Jake Lloyd gets so much outside ball in the Swans backline, and knows how to use it. The other defenders look for him constantly due to his ability to hit targets, and I reckon he may refuse to wear deodorant, because there are some games were no one goes near him!

Zac Williams makes the top ten, but given his hamstring injury, I cN all but guarantee we won’t see him back there in two weeks’ time. It will be interesting to see if his absence triggers a resurgence in Heath Shaw’s numbers over the next month.


I get the feeling Jeremy McGovern is not knocking, but about to kick the door down. Rory Laird and Harris Andrews are one good game away from making the jump back into contention, while Daniel Rich, Jamie Macmillan, Dan Houston, Dylan Grimes, and Brodie Smith are all close by. Nathan Brown isn’t far away of the back of consistent spoils numbers, and had he not been dropped a few weeks ago, may have been in the top ten.

I’d put a little on Darcy Byrne-Jones to make a run as well if current form continues. He has had a few good weeks on the trot and his scores are increasing commensurate with them.

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Holy Crap… Patrick Cripps has dropped out of the top ten!

I suppose a bit of an explanation is in order? Cripps has been shut down the last two weeks, and in Round Nine, with Matt de Boer all over him, scored his first goose egg for the season. This week was better, but his scoring was still minimal. I’ve said in a previous ranking that this is very much a “what have you done for me lately?” kind of system, and with Cripps basically getting no additional points due to his team never winning, it is very difficult for him to maintain a top spot. Two weeks with virtually no points awarded will knock anyone down the list. Just ask Patrick Dangerfield.

More on Cripps below, and I am happy to answer any queries related to his ranking, but I think his last two weeks have really dragged him back to the pack.

We’re starting to see ominous West Coast signs here. Though the team is not performing beautifully, they’re at 7-3, and the engine room is starting to hum nicely. Shuey, Sheed and Yeo have all had big months, and not just on the offensive side. Yeo in particular, has been a tackling machine, and “ching ching” Shuey has been turning up the heat at clearances as well as pumping his team inside 50. As someone on the periphery, this bodes very well for a team with a lot of improvement in it.

Quickly addressing Lachie Neale; on numbers alone he is outstanding, but in this system he seems to have missed the cut off by a small margin in several categories. He has had three games where he’s missed the trigger point by one or two in a category, and if he just earned those touches, would probably be right at the pointy end.

Treloar’s consistency is paying off. He has slowly moved through the rankings and now sits second in mids due to his unbelievable ability to win the ball with regularity. He has been below 30 touches in a game on just two occasions this season.



So it’s not all doom and gloom. Despite two ordinary weeks, Cripps is 0.5 points outside the top ten, and even though that number doesn’t mean a lot to you, it is pretty miniscule in the scheme of these rankings.

Rory Sloane, Ricky Henderson, Brad Crouch, Lachie Whitfield and Tom Rockliff are all more than capable of making the leap into the top ten with just one more good outing in the next couple of weeks.

If I’m picking one on the outer that I think might start to make his presence felt, I’d have my eye on either Dayne Zorko, who scores in a number of categories, or Mitch Duncan, who is pulling a Stella and is really getting his midfield groove back.















Such has been the consistency of Ablett this season that despite a couple of leaner weeks, he has retained the number one slot. Impressive. I’m not sure how the additional week off will impact him.

This’ll be Matt Taberner’s last appearance, obviously, with injury ending his season.

Hawkins’ leap into the top three has come on in a hurry. Perhaps the last of the potent big, mark-kick forwards, Hawkins has also added a real unselfishness to his game and still manages to sit second in the Coleman race.

Luke Dahlhaus continues to confound me… this is one of the areas I will have to address in the off-season. Whilst he has been very good for the Cats, and is obviously ticking a heap of boxes as a small forward, having him so highly rated – continuously – is troubling. I really expected him to fall away in these ratings by now, but he does so many of the things I’m looking for… he can’t be denied! So maybe the system does work and he’s just been outstanding? Interested to hear from Geelong supporters around this situation.

Three Cats in the top four… must be something in the water in Geelong huh? The 9-1 record really helps, for what it’s worth. Best players on the best teams get rewarded in this system, remember?

Love watching Charlie Cameron play, but I’d love it more if he kicked a little better on his set shots. His ranking would probably be better as well, as I reckon he would’ve hit triggers for goals a couple more times.



Sam Gray was agonisingly close this time round, and I kind of really wanted him to make it… being the lesser Gray and all that influencing me.

Brandan Parfitt, Connor Rozee and Jeremy Finlayson were very close, and with recent form good for Finlayson, you’d think he may sneak in soon. Tim Membrey is edging closer, as are Tom Papley, Gary Rohan and Liam Baker. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ben Reid make an appearance, and if I was picking one to hit a bit of a vein of form, I’d probably throw Josh Caddy in there as well, based on his ability to accumulate, but also get involved in both finishing and setting up scoring chances.















Love, love, love seeing my man, Rowan Marshall doing so well. He has all but cemented his role as the number one option in the Saints’ ruck division, and he is picking up clearances like a seasoned veteran. Throw in that he’s missed two games, and St Kilda could have a real pillar to build around.

Gawn has made his move, and has definitely established himself as the second best ruckman in the game this season, swapping places with his nemesis Grundy.

Witts is in again based on almost his hit out stats alone, whilst a big Round 10 for Jonathon Ceglar has helped catapult him into the leaders. This has been at the expense of Ben McEvoy to an extent, who was great through the first six to seven weeks.



Rhys Stanley sits just outside the top ten, having had a bit of a fall in production, and a week off. He has been joined by Rory Lobb, who has split time as a ruck and forward this season.

Noah Balta’s move into the ruck to cover for the injured Toby Nankervis is looking as though it’s paying some small dividends to start here, but with Nank out for a little while yet, Balta could be into the top ten in a couple of weeks’ time.

And go Reilly O’Brien! Into sixth in the absence of Sam Jacobs… sometimes all a player needs is a shot.

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(Previous ranking in parenthesis)


E50 – NICK HAYNES (50+)

So glad to see this guy make the cut, just ahead of Jeremy McGovern. Not much fanfare about Haynes, but he’s averaging a career-high 18.6 touches per game and has coupled that with a career-high in Rebound 50 disposals.


There’s been twice in the last month where Vlastuin has wandered around the half back flank and it’s seemed as though the opposition has decided to kick the ball directly to either him or Bachar Houli all game. Vlastuin had 24 intercepts between rounds seven and eight.

49 – DAVID SWALLOW (50+)

Completely underrated season by the Suns’ captain. He is ticking over at a career-high rate for disposals and is leading by example. He has had two games in the last month where he’s had 12+ clearances, vaulting him onto this list.

E47 – JACK GUNSTON (50+)

Obviously on the list on the back of his six goal blast against the Power in Round 10, but he is also fifth in the league in total score involvements.

E47 – JOSH KELLY (50+)

He’s missed three games this season, and it’s pretty safe to say that if he had those games under his belt, he’d be significantly higher on this list. He has had 30+ touches in four of his seven games and is fifth in the league in score involvements per game.

46 – DANE RAMPE (50+)

Yes, he’s  done some silly things, but what’s been lost amid the furore surround post-climbing and giving away silly 50 metre penalties is the amount of intercepts, spoils and rebound 50s this bloke has compiled. But for two dumb incidents, he is having a blindingly good year.


Big surprise packet, but the versatile Marshall is a bit of a clearance machine, averaging over five per game, but compiling three games of 7+.

44 – MARK BLICAVS (41)

Averaging 6.9 genuine spoils per game, and 6.1 intercepts, Blicavs is the forward’s nightmare. His pace, and ability to run all day has given forwards no respite.

43 – TOM STEWART (21)

A bit of a tumble down the rankings, but I am backing him to rebound. Did someone say rebound? Because after the first four rounds, Stewart had double-figure Rebound 50 numbers in three games. He has not added to that since, which is why he has started to descend.

42 – LUKE BREUST (50+)

A quieter season than last, Breust sneaks in here on the back of very good tackling stats. He finished with 99 last season, falling one short of becoming the first man to ever have 50 goals and 100 tackles in a season. Look it up… it’s never been done. Unless he has a couple of big games, it looks unlikely it’ll happen this season, either.

41 – ZAC WILLIAMS (12)

Was pushing for the top ten until a hamstring injury killed his ranking here. Was on track for a career-year, but will now be spending time on the sidelines, and sadly, probably won’t feature here again.

E39 – DAVID MUNDY (50+)

Can someone please tell David Mundy he’s supposed to be slowing down? At 300+ games, he is averaging career-high disposals per game and is matching it with clearances.

E39 – LUKE RYAN (50+)

Ranked first in the league in total intercepts, Ryan has emerged from the shadow of Alex Pearce and Joel Hamling to create one of the best three-headed defensive monsters in the caper. He is +5.1 disposals on his 2018 numbers and is also averaging career-highs in Metres Gained and Rebound 50s.

38 – NATHAN WILSON (50+)

He’s either really, really hot, or really, really cold. There is probably too much between his best and worst at the moment, but when he is on, his run and carry from defensive 50 are very important to the Dockers. Currently fifth in Metres Gained, and eighth in Rebound 50s.

37 – JACK CRISP (50+)

Solid all year (and last year, actually), Crisp is sitting at a career high of 25.4 touches per game, and has strung together a four week stretch averaging 26.75 disposals per game.

36 – DAYNE ZORKO (50+)

Has had a couple of monstrous games over the last month. His 29 disposal, 11 tackle, 11 inside 50 and 11 clearance effort against the Swans was one of the highest game totals for the season. His Round Nine effort against the Crows, with 20 touches, 12 tackles and 10 inside 50s wasn’t far behind.


Has had 20+ disposals in seven of his nine games this season, and missing Round 10 hurt his ranking here.


A little wayward when kicking at goal, Cameron is in everything in the Lions forward half. Has had 10+ score involvements on two occasions, and I’ve been loving his forward pressure.


The Rolls Royce rolls on. Back to the sort of numbers that injury prevented last year, he is having a great year, capped by a career high number for inside 50s per game (6.1) which is +1.0 on his previous best.

32 – MITCH DUNCAN (50+)

Such an unsung hero. Made way for the holy trinity last year and is now back in a big way. His last four weeks have seen him average over 25 touches per game, 2.3 goals and 10.25 marks.


He’s baaaa-aaack. Well, not quite, but with 36.5 disposals, nine clearances and 6.5 marks per game over the last two weeks, Dusty is looming large.


Back to the form that had him being hailed as one of the best big men in the game, Goldy is averaging a career-high in disposals at age 30.


An absolute beast – too hard to ignore this bloke. Third in clearances and sixth in effective disposals, Cunnington is a nightmare to d
eal with. Has had 20+ contested possessions three times this season.

E28 – ANDREW GAFF (50+)

Finding plenty of it, but disposal efficiency has hurt him in a few games. Still, he is at career high numbers of 32.4 disposals per game, and if the Eagles can work him free, that disposal percentage will only go up.

27 – JAKE LLOYD (50+)

When will someone play a defensive forward role on this bloke? Has increased his disposal per game numbers each year for six years, and currently sits at 30.9 touches per game whilst running at 83.8% efficiency.

26 – TOM ROCKLIFF (23)

Had a huge 41 disposal game in Round Eight, and added 23 contested touches, 12 inside 50s and 10 clearances to his CV. Was a nice day out, and helped maintain this ranking. Has also gone over 30 disposals on six occasions this season.


Career-high disposal numbers for Higgins for the third straight year. He now sits at 31.3 touches per game. On a side note, when I floated him averaging 30 per game during the off-season, several North fans said I was dreaming.


That corked thigh hurt his ranking a bit, but he bounced back in a big way in Round Nine with a monstrous 40 disposal, 18 mark game. Also leads the league in total marks.


A career-best year from him, with +5.6 possessions per game on his previous best season. Is arguably Hawthorn’s front runner for the Peter Crimmins Medal.

22 – BRAD CROUCH (13)

Has gone over 30 disposals in the last six games, with a season-high 39 coming in Round 10.

21 – RORY SLOANE (15)

A great two-way midfielder, Sloane sits in the top ten for clearances per game, contested touches per game, and is second overall in tackles.


A slight fall from grace, as explained below. First in clearances and sixth in tackles, has had a couple of weeks where taggers have finally worked out how to limit his influence.

19 – LACHIE NEALE (28)

Steady on the back of a huge 39 disposal, 12 clearance effort in Round Nine, he also sits second overall in clearances.

18 – TIM TARANTO (31)

He is making plenty of Giants fans forget about Dylan Shiel. Ranked seventh in tackles, he is the hardworking mid GWS needed.

17 – TRAVIS BOAK (16)

Fell back slightly this month, but remains in the top ten for disposals, contested possessions, Inside 50s per game, and clearances. Career year, to date.


I kind of feel like he is my glitch in the matrix, but when I look at his numbers as a small forward, he’s gone 20+ disposals seven times, and had 5+ tackles seven times. That’s exactly what you want from a pressure forward.

15 – ELLIOT YEO (50+)

Huge last month for the dual B&F winner, averaging 26 touches and a whopping 12.25 tackles per game.


Had a huge game in Round Nine, followed by an ordinary Round 10. Had 27 tackles in two weeks over Rounds 8/9.

13 – DOM SHEED (50+)

After a brilliant start, Sheed had a lull, but recent weeks indicate he may be finding form again, averaging 31 touches per game over the last four weeks.

E11 – TOM HAWKINS (50+)

He doesn’t just kick goals, he dishes them off as well. Second in the Coleman race, and first in goal assists.


Career high disposals per game, +7.36 on last year. Currently ranked fourth in the league in effective disposals, if you allow him space, he will hurt you.

10 – NAT FYFE (4)

So, what if I told you that Nat Fyfe is having a better statistical year than his Brownlow Year? If not better, then at least on par, and with Freo winning their share of games… anything is possible.


Was on track for 100 goals but that is probably off the table. Was goalless against the Blues, yet still managed 27 touches as a high half forward.


Intercepting and rebounding rate highly in this system, and Sicily has been great at both, adding to the fact he consistently notches 20+ disposals at over 80% efficiency.

7 – LUKE SHUEY (50)

Has slowly gone about building a solid year, up in both inside 50s and clearances, both of which are now sitting in career-high range. Monstrous game in Round 10 really pushed him toward the top here.


Ultra consistent, and the leader in disposals in the league. Can be wayward, but is crushing his career best numbers in disposals, with 33.5 touches per game.


Numbers have dropped a little in the past two weeks, but hits the scoreboard, feeds others and regularly notches 20+ touches.

4 – MAX GAWN (11)

After a slow start, has rocketed up this list. Basically carried the entire side against both West Coast and GWS in the last two weeks.


Career high numbers in disposals (+5.56 on 2018) as well as rebound 50s sees Hurn enjoying perhaps his finest year ever at age 31.

2 – TIM KELLY (3)

+3.33 in disposals after an excellent 2018, and is also +3.14 clearances per game as he has hit double figures four times this season.


Fourth straight period at the top for Grundy, and is compiling a monstrous season. Career-high numbers in disposals, hit outs
and clearances.



And there we go. Tim Kelly has made his move – this is as close as a rival has been to Grundy in the overall points since we commenced the rankings. Yes, yes… there were others sitting second, but the gap was substantial. Tim Kelly is well within striking distance right now. One big week could make a difference – that hasn’t been the case since the first rankings.

The continued presence of Shannon Hurn in defence has been a real highlight for West Coast. With Tom Barrass out and roles constantly in a state of flux, Hurn’s steady hand has held the Eagles’ defence together as others adjusted.

Max Gawn has leapt into contention with an excellent month of footy. Despite tasting Liam Ryan’s boot, his tap work and efforts around the ground have been sterling, second only to his main ruck rival.

A bit more on how can Patrick Cripps be rated so lowly. How can that happen? Good question – happy to entertain it… and well done me, for asking it! As explained above, and in every other article about the Rankings, you are awarded additional points when you score on a winning team. This has hurt Cripps badly, but when I started this, I wanted it to represent the best players on the best teams, and I think it’s hurting Cripps right now.

How does Max Gawn get so high, then? Good question again… and what he does in his spare time isn’t my concern. Seriously though, Gawn has put together a great month of footy. Here’s his numbers for the past four games. 16.75 disposals, 45.75 hitouts and 5.25 clearances per game. He is also taking contested marks around the ground, which have hit trigger points for points in this system.

Looking at Cripps, his output has fallen on the back of some tight run-with jobs by de Boer and Steele. In the first six weeks, he averaged 31.67 disposals, 9.83 clearances and 19.83 contested touches. In the last four weeks, he averaged 25 disposals, eight clearances, 15.25 contested touches. Still great numbers, but in a losing team, he needs to be exceptional to retain a top ten spot, particularly with his best work now carrying a 50% rating from the first part of the year.

Bachar Houli made a huge leap, but if you look at his last month, you can easily see why. He has racked up 30 touches per game, whilst gathering over 440 metres per contest and travelling at 81.7% efficiency. Someone needs to put a defensive forward on this bloke – he’s killing teams!

Basically, anyone ranked 30-50 is one bad week away from falling out of the 50. That’s the beauty of these rankings, and also its downfall. Those in the top ten right now would get a reprieve of sorts due to their body of work, but as their recent form falls to 50% weighting (after four weeks), a lack of form could see them fall from their lofty perches.

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Quite a few, actually. Missing games is a huge detriment, and we saw with Lachie Whitfield falling right out of the top 50 last time, that even a couple of games on the sidelines can derail a high ranking.

Let’s run down who fell out.

48 – Gryan Miers

46 – Jamie Cripps

45 – Aaron Naughton

44 – Jarrod Witts

43 – Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti

42 – Matt Crouch (inj)

40 – Stefan Martin

39 – Dion Prestia

38 – Marcus Bontempelli (I’ll explain this below)

37 – Josh P Kennedy

36 – Jaeger O’Meara

35 – Alex Keath

34 – Rhys Stanley

32 – Dylan Shiel (inj)

30 – Harry McKay

29 – Stephen Coniglio (inj)

27 – Patrick Dangerfield (inj)

26 – Brodie Smith

25 – Brad Ebert (inj)

24 – Matt Taberner (inj)

22 – Ben McEvoy (inj)

20 – Rory Laird


Some big names falling out. Some you can put down to injury, but let’s talk about a glaring one that is not due to injury – Marcus Bontempelli.

Not that it is any consolation, but Bont was 52nd… yay, time to celebrate, huh? Not really.

This is a stat-driven formula, and despite being big at certain points of a game, Bont hasn’t really ticked off any of the key stats we’re compiling on a weekly basis since about Round Four. Frustratingly, he has missed triggers by one in a category several times, but when you have a line that determines whether someone scores or not, you can’t cross it just because the bloke is a star.

He is currently sitting on a career-high 26.9 touches per game, and adds career-highs in clearances, marks, score involvements and metres gained, yet can’t crack the top 50? I agree he’s been great, but he is not having the stand-out statistical games. He is getting the 25/26/27 touches, when the watermark for points to be allocated is higher. He is getting seven clearances ridiculously often, but never has the truly huge game where he has double figures. He is getting contested ball but nowhere near the level of Cripps, Neale or even Tim Kelly in individual games. I’d love to have him in there, but given this is statistically-based, numbers don’t lie, and others are hitting targets that Bont isn’t in this regard.

Others to drop out? Dangerfield… whoa. After a flying start, his last four rounds have been average, mainly due to being banged up. He sat out Round 10 (that hurts) and had an injury-plagued Round Seven. The two in between were run-of-the-mill by his standards. As soon as he plays, I reckon he jumps back in, but for now, he’s on the outer.

Coniglio, Taberner… their injuries sent them spiralling down the ranks, but Rory Laird seemed to be on the charge as we ended Round Eight. Whilst no means terrible, he failed to fit any trigger points for scoring in either Round Nine or Ten, and fell away dramatically. That’s the thing with a lot of players – they may not be scoring big, but they continue to score.


Looking at the last two weeks in particular, and the body of work in addition, Josh Kelly would be looking likely to make a move up the ranks, even if he scores minimally. Those 30-50 spots are tenuous, and the most prone to significant movement. I’d add that one more big game from Kelly could see him jump into the top 20 depending on the performances of those already there.

Jeremy McGovern finished 51st this ranking period. He is definitely starting to warm into the season, and with other Eagles starting to rack up insane numbers, I can’t see him too far behind.


So there we go – another fortnight; another Mongrel Player Power Rankings. Again, big thanks go to Vinyl Media for their continued support. Without them, this column doesn’t happen.  If you could give them a like on their Facebook Page, which would be a real help for both them, and us, I’d really appreciate it.

See ya in two weeks. Stay Mongrel.

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