It’s been four weeks since we last visited the Mongrel 50, and with good reason.

As much as I would like to do this every fortnight, the bye rounds really seem to cock things up, so given that, I opted to wait until they were finished before compiling the fifth version of the season…

… and like teenagers in most unrealistic movies I watched growing up, I am so glad I waited.

Defenders often get a raw deal in player ratings. Looking at the current AFL player ratings via supercoach or dreamteam points, you find it flooded with midfielders. Same goes for every media award out there – mids, mids, mids.

I’m rapt this has turned out to be the point of difference, even if it ends up being a fleeting point. I’ll dive deeper into how we came to this situation below, but as of this period, having a defender as the number one man in the game feels… satisfying.

Now, onto our regular spiel.

What makes The Mongrel 50 different from every other set of player ratings is that it is fluent in nature, placing a strong emphasis on the last four weeks of footy to capture those in the best form, currently.

How does it work? Here’s the motto I work on.

Reward the present and respect the past.

This system gives 100% weighting to any points scored over the last four weeks and anything before that gets hit with a 50% reduction. It greatly benefits the present without completely disregarding the past.

But how does that look in practice?

Here’s an example – Jordan Ridley

The first four weeks of 2021 saw Ridley on absolute fire. He racked up 120 points in that period and found himself slotting in at number four overall – a wonderful start for the reigning Essendon B&F. However, with a head knock and subsequent week off, Ridley’s form fell away. The next two weeks saw him notch two goose eggs, and in that period, his scores from the first two weeks took a 50% hit.

Fast forward another two weeks, all of his initial 120 points took a 50% hit, and he added just ten points in that period – down the list he went, all the way to 69 (dude!) a fortnight ago. Leading up to the previous rating period (up until R10), he has started to find form again, collecting 31 points. As such, his climb back into the 50 began, and now he finds himself nestled back in the 40s.

His first four rounds still count, but half as much as his most recent four weeks. This allows plenty of movement in the rankings, capturing those who are surging in form, but also those who have a solid body of work underneath to support them.

So really, all you’ve got to do is perform well to begin with and continually top up your score every couple of weeks. Do that, and you’ll be up toward the top of the rankings.

Sounds easy, right?

My aim for this rankings is to have a great mix of players from all roles – not just another system designed to reward midfielders who rack them up. As such, players are only assessed on things pertinent to their roles – it’s no use scoring a back pocket rebounder on his tackles inside 50, is it? I’m sure you get the gist of it.

One more thing – our Inner Circle Members get weekly updates on these rankings as part of their membership, and the weekly section at the end of this column is restricted for them… they’re good people. You could be one of them if you wanted to…

On with the fifth Mongrel 50 of the 2021 season.

Round Ten ranks in parenthesis

 

50 – BRODIE SMITH (NA)

49 – JACOB WEITERING (34)

48 – LUKE RYAN (NA)

47 – JORDAN DE GOEY (NA)

46 – ISAAC HEENEY (88)

45 – JACOB HOPPER (49)

44 – DAYNE ZORKO (NA)

43 – CHRISTIAN SALEM (22)

42 – ANDREW GAFF (10)

41 – JORDAN RIDLEY (46)

40 – SHANNON HURN (NA)

39 – DOM SHEED (60)

38 – AARON NAUGHTON (31)

37 – DYSON HEPPELL (NA)

36 – BEN CUNNINGTON (35)

35 – DUSTIN MARTIN (50)

34 – TOM MCDONALD (23)

33 – HUGH MCCLUGGAGE (12)

32 – TOM MITCHELL (26)

31 – JAKE LEVER (25)

30 – SAM WALSH (18)

29 – DOUGAL HOWARD (NA)

28 – JACK RIEWOLDT (NA)

27 – BEN KEAYS (NA)

26 – JAKE LLOYD (42)

25 – TOM HICKEY (19)

24 – SEAN DARCY (NA)

23 – JAYDEN SHORT (29)

22 – CHRISTIAN PETRACCA (27)

21 – TOM LIBERATORE (14)

20 – JARRYD LYONS (9)

19 – HARRY MCKAY (20)

18 – TOBY GREENE (30)

17 – TOM HAWKINS (37)

16 – TOUK MILLER (NA)

15 – AARON HALL (32)

14 – JACK ZIEBELL (38)

13 – DANIEL RICH (7)

12 – JACK STEELE (NA)

11 – RORY LAIRD (24)

10 – ZACH MERRETT (5)

9 – DARCY PARISH (11)

8 – CLAYTON OLIVER (2)

7 – OLLIE WINES (47)

6 – NIC NAITANUI (16)

5 – JACK MACRAE (3)

4 – TAYLOR WALKER (4)

3 – MAX GAWN (6)

2 – MARCUS BONTEMPELLI (1)

1 – TOM STEWART (21)

 

So, we’ll no doubt get the “Oh, but where is *enter favourite player’s name* in this ranking? You guys don’t know what you’re talking about, everything sucks and you’re biased.”

Is that you? Please don’t let that be you – I don’t know if you’re aware, but when you do that, you come across as a complete knob. I’m happy with constructive criticism/discussion – it’s what we’re all about, but… the world has enough dicks – don’t add to the number on our page.

 

DEFENCE IS KING!

For the first time in forever… thanks Elsa.

Seriously though, for the first time, a defender leads our Mongrel 50, and really, I cannot see anyone who has watched Tom Stewart play make the argument that he is not having one of the best seasons in the league.

A lock for an AA selection (it’ll be his third) and coming off a very nice last three games to bolster his previous work in 2021, Stewart displaces Bont at the top by a very slim margin.

It may not happen again for a while, so celebrate it while you can. Highlight plays get you on Instagram clips, but defence wins flags, and Tom Stewart is the number one player for this version of The Mongrel 50.

 

A DECENT MIX?

A 10-4-4-2 split when we look at mids/forwards/defenders/rucks in the top 20. Not ideal, but given the overall number one, I am feeling pretty content. When you factor in we have one from each category in the top four, that is sitting pretty well with me

 

YOU EVER HEARD OF TRAVIS BOAK?

Yeah… dark hair, wears black, white and teal a fair bit…

Look, Boak is a star, but his last four weeks have not helped him at all. Everyone has copped a bye, but Boak has managed just 21 points over the last month. Compare that to, say… Bont, who has 73 points in that period, and perhaps you can see why he has faded?

Or perhaps you don’t want to see? That’s okay as well.

The good news is that Ollie Wines has been playing out of his skin, and picked up 110 points over the last four weeks to solidify a spot in the top ten… and maybe put himself in the box seat fro a Brownlow?

 

WHO’S OUT?

A few to get through, here… (ranks from last month in parenthesis)

Jordan Dawson (50)

Hugh Greenwood (45)

Nat Fyfe (44)

Tom Lynch – R (43)

Travis Boak (41)

Mitch Duncan (40)

Josh Bruce (39)

Harris Andrews (36)

Bailey Dale (33)

Sam Docherty (28)

Brodie Grundy (17)

Jack Darling (15)

Cam Guthrie (16)

Tim Kelly (8)

Monster fall from TK. He currently sits in 67th after scoring goose eggs over the last month due to injury. The same reason is attributed to the decline of Brodie Grundy (all zeroes), whilst Jack Darling… well, that is more due to average form.

Guthrie, at 58, is also packing a fistful of zeroes over the last month of footy.

 

STILL TOP HEAVY?

13 of the top 50 come from the top three sides, with the Dees having six, the Dogs having four, and the Cats notching just the two, so I reckon this has balanced out a lot better now, after the last period saw 12 players from the top two sides.

Still, even if things blow out and we end up with 12 of the top fifty from the top two sides again, I don’t think I’ll mind too much.

The best players on the best teams… I like that.

 

THE BIG NAMES MISSING?

Shai Bolton is down at 61

Trav Boak is at 64

Harris Andrews is at 76

Oscar Allen was in the top ten earlier in the year and is now at 79

Lance Franklin is at 85

Lachie Neale at 93

Jeremy Cameron at 96

Charlie Dixon is at 106

Patrick Cripps at 116

And the big recruit, who Jonathon Brown called the laziest footballer in the league, Zac Williams slots in at 131… money well spent!

Anyone else you want to know, fire me off a message and I’ll get back to you.

 

WEIGHTING REMOVED?

I get asked this a but. How would it look if you removed the weighting to benefit players performing in the last four weeks? Ok, just this once…

1 – JACK MACRAE

2 – TAYLOR WALKER

3 – MARCUS BONTEMPELLI

4 – MAX GAWN

5 – CLAYTON OLIVER

6 – TOM STEWART

7 – ZACH MERRETT

8 – NIC NAITANUI

9 – DANIEL RICH

10 – DARCY PARISH

Which version do you like better? I’m guessing Cats fans like the weighted version and Dogs fans like this one? Cats and Dogs… can’t you just all get along?

 

New Mongrel 50 will be out after R16, and for our Inner Circle Members, the Weekly Player Ratings that feed our Mongrel 50 are listed below for you to peruse.

 

This content is for our Inner Circle Members – it is a weekly column for them that also allows them access to our weekly player rankings, the X-Factor rankings as well as all the tier one content as well – wingman rankings, Midfielder championship belt, early access to Good, Bad and Ugly reviews, plus standalone columns. Wanna join them?

JOIN NOW/UPGRADE
 

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