Ahhh, my favourite time of the footy fortnight… outside of the actual games, and discussing footy with you all, of course.
Yes, of course.
It’s Mongrel Player Power Rankings Time, and we’ve had a bit of movement at the station. Some big performances from old warhorses has catapulted them up the rankings over the past two weeks as we start to get a good look at the individual players that are having the biggest impact for their teams.
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Right, so I don’t want to run down the whole system (and not only because I am incredibly lazy… I just don’t want to be passing around how we’ve worked this out), but if you peruse the previous version – located here you’ll find a pretty vivid rundown of how we’re calculating things.
But I know we’re all pretty lazy, so I’ll help you out a bit here as well.
Updated every two weeks, players are rated differently depending on the position they play. Jeremy Cameron isn’t going to get a lot of intercept possessions or rebound 50s. As such, we don’t factor those stats into his rating. He is assessed on defensive pressure inside 50, and score involvements amongst other things. Gary Ablett isn’t going to take four contested grabs a game (though he did manage a nice one against the Hawks, huh?) so we don’t assess him on that. Likewise, James Sicily isn’t going to lay many tackles inside attacking 50, so having that stat as part of the assessment tool for him would be pointless. We prefer to concentrate on things that matter to his position, such as intercept possessions and rebound 50s.
So, in a nutshell, players are assessed on how well they’re performing in their designated roles. Rucks are rated as rucks and not expected to do what a small backman does. Conversey, we don’t expect to see Rory Laird notching 40 hit outs. We rate the players on their best attributes and look for what they do - not what they don’t. I find it gives a clearer indication of whether someone is achieving, or failing their team for the season.
There is also bonus points for those who score points in wins. I want this list to be the best players on the best teams. I don’t want good stats/bad team guys on it. Some don’t like that I have included this as part of the ratings, but winners are grinners, and if you look at the list overall, those teams languishing at the bottom of the ladder have scant few players around the top. Winning is always important in any sport – it is important in the formulation of these rankings as well.
The other important factor, I suppose, is that with a power rankings system, we employ a weighting toward the most recent games. In our case, the last four rounds maintain a 100% weighting, whilst rounds that have occurred prior to that incur a penalty. Your basic 3-2-1, or 5-4-3-2-1 voting system gives the general overview of an entire season. Power Rankings capture the players who are surging, but also have a decent body of work behind them.
It means that players who were good in Rounds 1-2, but excellent in Rounds 3-6 will score heavily, but should they fall away in the next few weeks, so will their ratings.
With that in mind, let’s check out the players who are dominating at each position in the season to date before heading to the overall list.
1 – BRODIE GRUNDY
2 – BEN MCEVOY
3 – MAX GAWN
4 – RHYS STANLEY
5 – JARROD WITTS
6 – ROWAN MARSHALL
7 – TODD GOLDSTEIN
8 – SHANE MUMFORD
9 – MATTHEW KREUZER
10 – SCOTT LYCETT
WHO’S KNOCKING ON THE DOOR?
TOBY NANKERVIS, TOM HICKEY, REILLY O’BRIEN, STEF MARTIN, CALLUM SINCLAIR
Grundy’s Round Four game was monstrous, with him hitting triggers in multiple categories as he smashed Tim English and the Bulldogs. It has held him in good stead to remain top of the ruck division this rankings period. It is the highest ranked game of the season to date among all players.
McEvoy has been consistently good, but has not had a high-scoring game since R3, which places his spot in jeopardy unless he can produce something great in rounds 7-8.
Rhys Stanley is the surprise packet, and he continues to take it up to much bigger, stronger rucks. His ability to win his own clearances, hitting the trigger point in two of the last four games, sees him moving toward the top.
Gawn’s year seemingly reflects that of Melbourne. Whilst he is still serviceable, he is nowhere near the level he was at in 2018.
Witts continues to hit the trigger point in hit outs, scoring in that category in all but one game this season.
I was a little shocked to see Mongrel favourite, Scott Lycett coming in tenth. He is a brute and I expected his numbers to be a little better. I think his combination with Ryder, as effective as it is in practice, is hampering both guys’ ability to rack up numbers. That said, they lowered their collective colours to Todd Goldstein in Round Six as Goldy had his best outing of the year.
1 – PATRICK CRIPPS
2 – STEPHEN CONIGLIO
3 – PATRICK DANGERFIELD
4 – LACHIE NEALE
5 – TRAVIS BOAK
6 – JAEGER 0’MEARA
7 – NAT FYFE
8 – DYLAN SHIEL
9 – TIM TARANTO
10 – BEN CUNNINGTON
WHO’S KNOCKING ON THE DOOR?
CLAYTON OLIVER, SCOTT PENDLEBURY, TOM ROCKLIFF, CALEB DANIEL, MATT CROUCH, SEB ROSS
Hmmmm, I may have found a flaw in the system, as I think Travis Boak has been close to the best, if not THE best midfielder in the game this season. What has let him down here is “only” getting 23 touches against the Eagles, due to the second half attention paid to him by Mark Hutchings.
The problem with that is that I still gave him three votes in that game! Arghhhhhh.
Ah well, this is stat-based, and if Boak continues on in this fashion, it’ll be hard to keep him from the top. He may have the company of Levi Greenwood this week against Collingwood, and if he can beat that tag… anything is possible.
O’Meara and Fyfe sit at six and seven despite missing a game each, which is quite remarkable. O’Meara’s game against the Blues was one out of the box, racking up points in multiple categories.
And Stephen Coniglio continues to fly under the radar. Two bags of 3+ goals in six games, and four games over 30 disposals have seen him rewarded for continued excellence.
Tim Taranto is the leading tackler in the comp at the moment, and with 10 tackles on two occasions this season, he is in here largely on the back of his hard defensive work.
1 – JEREMY CAMERON
2 – GARY ABLETT
3 – LUKE DAHLHAUS
4 – MATT TABERNER
5 – BRAD EBERT
6 – ANTHONY MCDONALD-TIPUNGWUTI
7 – HARRY MCKAY
8 – JACK MARTIN
9 – CHARLIE CAMERON
10 – MITCH BROWN
WHO’S KNOCKING ON THE DOOR?
ISAAC HEENEY, TOM LYNCH (R), ERIC HIPWOOD, MICHAEL WALTERS
Dahlhaus continues to be the biggest surprise of these rankings. I am sure that his position will be a bone of contention, and perhaps even cause for some to scoff at the list as a whole. That’s fine.
It’s fine if you ignore the fact he has had only one game below 20 touches this season, playing as a small forward in the same forward line as ball-dominant Gary Ablett. It’s fine if you ignore that he had 24 tackles in the first three rounds. And it’s fine if you ignore that he’s averaging 6.5 score assists per game.
But you ignore it at your peril. As great as Ablett has been… and he has been particularly amazing the last two weeks, Dahlhaus’ efforts should not be dismissed because he doesn’t have as big a name.
Another surprise is Brad Ebert, who has had three really strong games, and has had 20+ disposals four times in a role at half forward that often sees players get lost. A strong tackler, he has 35 through to this point at the season. He can also take a good overhead mark, with 1.5 contested grabs per game.
Both Matt Taberner and Harry McKay are starting to make moves on the back of their contested marking exploits. If these blokes had a better accuracy at goal (McKay at 48% and Tabs at 46%) we might see them a fair bit higher.
1 – SHANNON HURN
2 – JAMES SICILY
3 – TOM STEWART
4 – ZAC WILLIAMS
5 – BRODIE SMITH
6 – NATHAN BROWN
7 – JAKE LLOYD
8 – DANIEL RICH
9 – ALEX PEARCE
10 – NICK VLASTUIN
WHO’S KNOCKING ON THE DOOR?
ALEX KEATH, MICHAEL HURLEY, LUKE RYAN, ALEX WITHERDEN, BACHAR HOULI, NATHAN WILSON
We’ll cover Hurn below, but let’s take a look at James Sicily. At this point, he has had more negative press than positive. Hopefully this swings it just a fraction.
Sic has been the metres-gained king this year, using that penetrating boot to drive the Hawks out of defence. He has only Jake Lloyd for company in going over 600 metres gained three times this year, but he is near the top of several categories as he expands his repertoire to include rebound 50s, intercepts and high disposal counts with high disposal efficiency.
It’s quite amazing that he is getting that sort of distance per game whilst maintaining such a high level of accuracy.
Brodie Smith is finding a bit of his 2017 form, whilst the inclusion of Nathan Brown indicates that pure, negating defenders can score well enough in this system to make an impact. Brown has had double figures in 1%ers (mainly spoils) in five of the six games this season. He is a defensive monster, and has been severely underrated by most this season.
Jake Lloyd continues to rack up touches, plenty coming in an uncontested fashion. He has one game in the teens for uncontested touches, but in the other five, he is averaging 25.6 uncontested possessions per game. That goes a long way to contributing to his 84% disposal efficiency.
THE TOP 50 OVERALL
(Previous ranking in parenthesis – please note, in the first rankings, we only went to 25, hence the plethora of 25+ players)
1 – BRODIE GRUNDY (1)
3rd in Total Hit outs
2 – JEREMY CAMERON (9)
1st in Total Goals Scored
3 – GARY ABLETT (19)
3rd in Total Score Involvements
4 – SHANNON HURN (25+)
2nd in Total Intercepts
5 – PATRICK CRIPPS (2)
1st in Contested Possessions per game
6 – JAMES SICILY (E10)
1st Total Rebound 50s
7 – STEPHEN CONIGLIO (E10)
5th in Centre Clearances per game
8 – PATRICK DANGERFIELD (3)
1st in Total Inside 50s
9 – LUKE DAHLHAUS (7)
8th in Tackles Inside 50
10 – LACHIE NEALE (4)
1st in Disposals per game
11 – MATT TABERNER (20)
3rd in Total Contested Marks
12 – TRAVIS BOAK (16)
4th in Disposals per game
13 – JAEGER O’MEARA (25+)
3rd in Centre Clearances per game
14 – BEN MCEVOY (17)
2nd in Total Contested Marks
E15 – BRAD EBERT (E14)
2nd in Total Tackles Inside 50
E15 – MAX GAWN (13)
2nd in Total Hitouts
17 – NAT FYFE (18)
3rd in Clearances per game
18 – DYLAN SHIEL (25+)
2nd in total Inside 50s
19 – TOM STEWART (5)
2nd in Total Rebounds
20 – RHYS STANLEY (25)
6th in Total Hitouts
21- TIM TARANTO (25+)
2nd in Tackles per game
E22 – DION PRESTIA (25+)
14th Total Inside 50s
E22 – BEN CUNNINGTON (25+)
1st in Total Handballs
E24 – LACHIE WHITFIELD (6)
1st in Total Marks
E24 – ANTHONY MCDONALD-TIPUNGWUTI (12)
5th in Tackles Inside 50 per game
E26 – ADAM TRELOAR (25+)
3rd in Effective Disposals per game
E26 – JARROD WITTS (25+)
1st in Hitouts
28 – BRAD CROUCH (25+)
12th in Total Disposals
E29 – HARRY MCKAY (25+)
1st in Contested marks per game
E29 – ZAC WILLIAMS (25+)
16th in Total Intercepts
31 – TIM KELLY (8)
10th in Total tackles
32 – JACK MARTIN (25+)
No top 20 stats
E33 – JACK BILLINGS (22)
6th in Uncontested Possessions per game
E33 – BRODIE SMITH (25+)
4th in Metres Gained per game
35 – ZACH MERRETT (25+)
14th in Total Disposals
E36 – JACOB HOPPER (25+)
7th in Total Contested Possessions
E36 – MICHAEL WALTERS (25+)
8th in Total Score Involvements
38 – NATHAN BROWN (25+)
1st in Total 1%ers
39 – DAVID MUNDY (25+)
2nd in Total Centre Clearances
40 – JAKE LLOYD (25+)
1st in Effective Disposals per game
41 – ANDREW GAFF (25+)
3rd in Disposals per game
42 – DANIEL RICH (25+)
4th in Total Kicks
43 – RORY SLOANE (25+)
5th in Total Tackles
44 – JOSH P KENNEDY (25+)
5th in Clearances per game
E45 – SHAUN HIGGINS (25+)
5th in Disposals per game
E45 – ALEX PEARCE (25+)
7th in Total Intercepts
E47 – BRAYDEN FIORINI (25+)
9th in Total Goal Assists
E47 – MITCH BROWN (25+)
No Top 20 Stats
E49 – CHARLIE CAMERON (25+)
11th in Total Marks Inside 50
E49 – MARCUS BONTEMPELLI (E14)
4th in Total Inside 50s
E49 – CONNOR ROZEE (25+)
1st among Rising Stars in Score Involvements
So, who dropped right out? Jack Macrae went from 21st overall to outside the top 50. Rowan Marshall was 23rd and Clayton Oliver sat in 24th after four rounds. They’re both now outside the top 50 as well.
They’re dramatic falls from grace, though Marshall has now missed two games, so his omission is more understandable.
Ablett has made the big move to sit third overall, and with midfield numbers in a forward role, and his ability to hit targets in the forward half, he looks set for a huge year.
Despite one win from the first five games, Paddy Cripps still sits comfortably in the top five. Again, the Blues’ losses prevent his further ascension, but he failed to reach a number of trigger points in Round Six, which saw him stagnate a little.
Shannon Hurn is the highest-rated defender of the bunch, and boasts an incredible average over the past month. This is where the 100% weighting for the last four rounds really comes to the fore.
From rounds 3-6, Hurn has averaged 29.75 disposals with his worst disposal efficiency clocking in at 84%. That’s right, his WORST. Add in 7.75 marks, eight rebound 50s and 10.25 intercept possessions per game and you have a backman who is on top of his game.
We’ve got two blokes in this list who can’t crack the top 20 in any stat category. Strange huh? Well, I can explain the Jack Martin situation, and I’ll certainly try the Mitch Brown one.
Martin has played dual positions this season – forward and midfield. As such, he has been rated as a forward a couple of times, and a midfielder the other times. As such, he's picked up points in both categories but he has a really even spread across several stat layers.
Whilst the amount of points Martin has picked up as a mid are substantially less than his totals as a forward, it could allow him to vault over several forwards in the overall ratings. Other players to fall into this category are Tom McDonald (though he probably won’t be troubling this list for a while), Jack Ziebell and Michael Walters, the last being able to vault several on the top forwards list in the main ranking despite not appearing in any specified positional top ten. Who says the days of the utility are dead?
The other “no top stats” guy is Mitch Brown, who has used two excellent weeks in the last three weeks to elevate him onto the list. After being dropped early in the season, Brown rebounded with consecutive 20+ disposals and three goal games. The fact he got them in wins helps immensely as well.
And the number one man – how has he maintained the top spot as players from all positions start pressing. Grundy possesses an all-round game. It’s not just hit outs. He has had 20+ disposals on four occasions, has laid 5+ tackles three times, and had 6+ clearances four times. He is the perfect modern ruck, and though the distance between him and second has tightened up considerably, Grundy’s consistency has been the key to his year thus far.
So, no de Goey. No Tom Lynch. No Jeremy McGovern. No Dustin Martin. No Buddy.
This isn't the All-Australian team. You don’t make this list on reputation. You make it on legitimate powerful performances, and to this point of the season, those blokes haven’t done enough, or haven’t done it often enough to make the cut.
It may change, but as of now, they’re on the outer.
So what’d we get right, and what’d we get wrong? Who deserves to be higher, and who doesn’t belong. Hit us up on our social media accounts below, or scroll down to the comments and let us know.
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