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The Mongrel's Player Power Rankings - Vol 5

Hey Ma… the byes are here!

And haven’t they screwed with the idea of doing Power Rankings, ostensibly giving those who played in Round 12 a nice leg up on those who didn’t. However, but the time the next one rolls around, we should have a nice, level playing field once again. So to nip in the bud those potential complaints, yes it was poor planning by me, and I’m aware of that. It is what it is, and I’m sure we’ll all be fine in two weeks.

Does it make a huge deal to the rankings overall? Well, it means that some players will get a zero for this week, which impacts their totals for this period, and others won’t. But that will be the same for players with byes in the next two rounds, so I reckon it all comes out in the wash. Well… I hope so, anyway.

Before we continue, I must give a huge shout out to our friends at Vinyl Media, without whom this article would not be possible. If you need a decal or wrap on your car, some signage for your business, or a large printing job done, Vinyl Media are your guys. Tell them The Mongrel sent you, and hopefully they won’t charge you double. I think they like me…

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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

4th Rankings - published after R10

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.

 

DEFENDERS

 

10 – MARK BLICAVS

9 – RORY LAIRD

8 – TOM STEWART

7 – JAKE LLOYD

6 – NATHAN WILSON

5 – BACHAR HOULI

4 – HARRIS ANDREWS

3 – JAMES SICILY

2 – SHANNON HURN

1 – DANE RAMPE

 

ANALYSIS

Here’s Rampe’s last month. 24.25 disposals, 9.75 Rebound 50s, and 9.75 intercept possessions. He has been amazing. Forget the post-climbing, 50 metre penalty-giving antics. Look at what he’s contributing to the team as a whole and then judge him. One of the best months from a defender you’ll see.

Harris Andrews makes the list as a pure defender, with spoils, 1%ers and intercept possessions his forte. I was worried that this system would disadvantage pure defenders, but seeing Andrews sit fourth here, and crack the top 25 overall warms the cockles of my heart. Or warms the hearltes of my… yeah look, I’m not sure how the rest of that goes.

Tom Stewart is probably unlucky in the wash up, having missed trigger points several times by one stat over the journey. He could easily be top three if just a couple of things go his way.

 

WHO’S KNOCKING ON THE DOOR?

There are a few. Jeremy McGovern is salivating at the door… you can see his drool running under and onto the tiles as though he knows we have a packet of chips in here. Heath Shaw is trending up, whilst Jacob Weitering, Jack Crisp and Brodie Smith are all lurking just outside the top ten.

Luke Ryan is the one I could see jumping in. He has some good early season numbers underpinning any big game he has currently, and as he’s demonstrated, when he has a big game, it can be mammoth.

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MIDFIELDERS

 

10 – TIM TARANTO

9 – LUKE SHUEY

8 – NAT FYFE

7 – LACHIE NEALE

6 – PATRICK CRIPPS

5 – TRAVIS BOAK

4 – BRAD CROUCH

3 – ADAM TRELOAR

2 – BEN CUNNINGTON

1 – TIM KELLY

 

ANALYSIS

Choc-full of talent, this top ten is basically the who’s who of the best mids in the game this season. Sure there’s no Dusty, no Pendles, no Danger and no Sidebottom, but look at who is in there and ask if any of these blokes’ form warrants anything but a top ten place?

Brad Crouch has had an outstanding comeback, continually ticking over the 30-disposal mark, and picking up the slack in lieu if his brother’s absence.

Ben Cunnington’s last two weeks have returned the sort of numbers we’d refer to as “video-game numbers” if there was such a thing as a good AFL video game. Then again, if there were, I’d probably pay too much attention to it and screw up this thing we’ve got going at The Mongrel. He has averaged 31 touches, 12 clearances and 21.5 contested possessions over the last fortnight.

Treloar is another who has been around the mark all year due to his consistency. He is sitting right at 33.25 touches per game for the past four weeks. That should give an indication as to why he is so high on this list.

And then there’s the Million Dollar Man, Ted Dibia… err, Tim Kelly. What a season the second year star is having. It would not surprise me at all if he’s leading the Brownlow at the halfway point. He’s the sort of player that gets noticed, and his numbers underpin the eye-test.

 

WHO’S KNOCKING ON THE DOOR?

Talk about having quality nipping at your heels… get a load of this names sitting outside the top ten, but looming dangerously. Dangerfield, Coniglio, Oliver and Gaff. We could almost make a list of the players ranked 11-20, match them against those ranked 1-10 and have opinion divided on which is a better list.

Sadly, ranks 11-20 house Lachie Whitfield and Shaun Higgins, who will both spend time on the sidelines with injury. Had Whitfield gone injury-free to this stage, he may very well have been top five.

 

FORWARDS

 

10 – CHARLIE CAMERON

9 – CONNOR ROZEE

8 – BRODY MIHOCEK

7 – JEREMY FINLAYSON

6 – TOM PAPLEY

5 – TOM LYNCH

4 – LUKE DAHLHAUS

3 – TOM HAWKINS

2 – GARY ABLETT

1 – JEREMY CAMERON

 

ANALYSIS

Look at these damn Cats. Three in the top four!

Again, Luke Dahlhaus is the sand in my vaseline in terms of this list. He just keeps racking up disposals, laying tackles, and with Geelong continually winning, collects points almost every week.  Even with Gaz taking a week off for forgetting his immunity idol only had two uses, his overall season efforts have been outstanding.

Tom Hawkins has been amazing – second in goals, second in score involvements and second in goal assists, he is playing the unselfish full forward perfectly.

Tom Lynch missing for the second time in three weeks should’ve really hurt, but his form either side of those misses has been excellent. He has hit 20+ disposals in eight of his ten games for the year, and has re-established himself as one of the premier running forwards in the game.

Papley makes a huge leap into the top ten on the back of his five-goal blast against the Pies – one of the highest scoring games of the year in total. He’ll need to back that performance up with another solid outing, as we’ve seen some players make huge leaps on basis of one brilliant game, and just as sharp a fall when they can’t reproduce that form.

 

WHO’S KNOCKING ON THE DOOR?

Looking at those outside the top ten, Gunston, Ben Brown and Stephenson look as though they could muscle their way into the top ten with one big week. Mason wood’s star is starting to rise, but he is still a good nine positions back in the rankings. He’s need two consistently good weeks, scoring points in a couple of categories (and the Roos winning) if he were to make some headway.

 

RUCKS

 

10 – RHYS STANLEY

9 – MATTHEW KREUZER

8 – JONATHON CEGLAR

7 – BEN MCEVOY

6 – REILLY O’BRIEN

5 – JARROD WITTS

4 – ROWAN MARSHALL

3 – TODD GOLDSTEIN

2 – MAX GAWN

1 – BRODIE GRUNDY

 

ANALYSIS

For the second year in a row, we have a race in two in the ruck division. After Gawn’s demolition of Grundy (yeah, yeah… I heard he was not right, but that should not diminish how good Gawn was), he closes the gap on his nemesis.

Great to see Rowan Marshall continuing to develop. He has become quite adept at winning his own clearances, which really benefits in this system.

Speaking of winning your own clearances, Reilly O’Brien grabbed nine of them this weekend to move into the top six. Interestingly, McEvoy still hangs onto seventh for now, perhaps highlighting the lack of top tier rucks in the game at the moment.

 

WHO’S KNOCKING ON THE DOOR?

To be honest…not many. Rhys Stanley would be the one who move to a higher ranking over the next month or so. Stef Martin could muscle his way in, but with Rory Lobb now gone for the season, the most likely ruck to make a move is now gone.

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THE TOP 50

(Previous ranking in parenthesis)

 

E50 – BRODIE SMITH (50+)

Has returned to his running best this season. He sits fourth in total metres gained, and when he gets off the chain, the Crows look very good going forward. Opening up the game with his run and carry, it’s no surprise that Smith’s return to form sees the Crows looking likely as well.

E50 – JEREMY MCGOVERN (50+)

Has had a steady, if unspectacular season to date. Was roasted by Garry Lyon for playing unaccountable defence against the Swans, but the realist in me believes it was what he was instructed to do. How he responds after this week’s rest will be very interesting. Still sitting second in marks, and third in intercepts… not bad for a quiet year. Anyone else with those results would be hailed as a defensive maestro.

49 – CONNOR ROZEE (50+)

Continues to do the little things, and look great in the process. Not that I want to highlight an injury, but lost amidst the Jarryn Geary injury was the ferocity of the Connor Rozee chase and tackle. Watch him do the hard stuff each week, and enjoy the spectacular while you’re at it.

48 – BRAD HILL (50+)

I’ve always smiled when people talk about Hill’s speed. It’s not the pace that kills you – it’s the endurance. He runs the same pace in the last five minutes as he does in the first. He is an aerobic monster, and this was on full display against the Magpies in Round 11, following on from an excellent day out in Round 10 against the Lions. Not a bad couple of weeks for him, building on some quality early season form.

E46 – REILLY O’BRIEN (50+)

This is a great story. Almost the forgotten man in Adelaide, an injury to Sam Jacobs opened the door, and O’Brien walked right on through. Wins big clearances, and his last two weeks, including a big win over Shane Mumford, have really solidified his claim on the number one ruck spot for the Crows.

E46 – MARK BLICAVS (44)

Rarely beaten, Blicavs ranks fourth overall in total one-percenters. And it’s the little things he does so well that sees him earn his spot here. The bodywork, the spoils, the ability to stick with his man on the lead, and keep running late into the last quarter. The Cats have many stars, and being a 2x best and fairest with such quality around you is testament to how good a player Blicavs is.

45 – RORY LAIRD (50+)

He’s now starting to warm into the season. Ninth in both disposals and intercepts, his combination with Keath, Talia and Smith in the Adelaide defence is a nightmare. Has had 30+ disposals in five of the last nine games.

44 – RORY SLOANE (21)

Was beaten this past week by Matt de Boer, but bobbed up to kick two vital goals late in the game. His Round 10 outing against the West Coast Eagles has him hanging in there on this list, as a tweaked hamstring in Round 11 limited him in terms of scoring.

43 – RICKY HENDERSON (23)

Probably a victim of this week’s bye, Henderson is having a career-season. At just on 27 touches a game as a legitimate wingman, Henderson might be a good value bet for Hawthorn’s best and fairest. It would be an amazing result for him, having been picked up as a delisted free agent.

42 – JEREMY FINLAYSON (50+)

The second fiddle has really had some time as the number one man this season. Two five-goal hauls, and a 27 disposal, 12 mark outing against the Suns stamped him as a star of 2019. Amazing that just eight months ago, he could’ve gone anywhere for not much in return.

41 – DION PRESTIA (50+)

The most consistent of the embattled Tiger midfield, Prestia continues to accrue impressive numbers whilst his teammates drop like flies. Averaging just on 25 touches per game, he has registered double figures in clearances and inside 50s twice each in 2019.

40 – JARROD WITTS (50+)

Hit outs, hit outs, and more hit outs. Then a few clearances. Witts has started to look more and more like a player comfortable in his own skin. He is the number one ranked player in hit outs, but has had 5+ clearances on four occasions this season as well.

39 – ROWAN MARSHALL (45)

I love watching this guy go to work, and I reckon he is the blueprint for future rucks. Runs all day and contests everything. He has had 5+ clearances in six of the nine games he’s played. Imagine if he’d played them all?

38 – MITCH DUNCAN (32)

Has really been able to be more effective as the Cats shook up their centre square. Working in a more prominent midfield role with the redeployment of both Selwood and Ablett, Duncan has responded brilliantly. Has had 10+ marks on four occasions, and surprisingly, leads the league in total marks this season.

37 – TOM PAPLEY (50+)

I’ve been waiting for Papley to start to do what he’s doing this year. I may have been impatient, but the Swans weren’t. now, he’s delivering. A hard runner, with great goal nous, Papley has one of the highest scoring games of the year to his credit in this system.

E33 – TODD GOLDSTEIN (30)

He’s had a career renaissance over the past 18 months, and is getting his hands on plenty of taps, as well as working hard around the ground. While his 57 hit outs were a far cry from his 80 taps (yep, he had 80 in a game once), he is providing his mids with some perfect taps at stoppages around the ground.

E33 – ELLIOT YEO (15)

The tackling machine! Registered 12+ tackles in three out of four weeks between Rounds 7-10, which tells us what we already knew – he is the most effective two way player in the game. Sitting right at 24 touches per game, Yeo is a coach’s dream.

E33 – LACHIE WHITFIELD (24)

What a pity he’s hurt again. He is one of two players to “Drop 50” this season, that rare stat coming in his mammoth outing in Round Nine against The Blues. Always running to space, Whitfield has taken 10+ marks in five of the nine games he’s played this season.

E33 – DUSTIN MARTIN (30)

We had a bit of a flash of Dusty brilliance there. I’m hoping it’s a sign of things to come. Back to back 35+ possession games had Tiger fans September dreaming again. If Dusty can recapture that sort of form on a regular basis, they’ll be doing more than just dreaming at the pointy end of the season.

32 – DOM SHEED (13)

Putting this out there – a hugely underrated season so far. Four 30+ disposal games have been highlighted by two 10+ clearance efforts as he continues to shape a perfect preparatory season for an assault on September… where he kind of plays a bit of okay, huh?

31 – TOM LYNCH (ADEL) (35)

There’s a bloke who had all this hype about him pre-season, signed with a new club and huge things were expected of him. Then there’s this other guy who is delivering quietly without the hype. They just happen to share the same name. Despite missing games, Lynch has been great for the Crows. Averaging 21.7 touches per game as a high half forward, he works his backside off for the club.

30 – SHAUN HIGGINS (25)

Getting a mountain of it again this season, and was improving on his 2018 average until a shoulder injury stopped him at three touches in Round 12. Has had 30+ disposals in eight of the 11 games he’s played, but personally, I think he wastes it a little too much heading inside 50. Still, when I floated he’d top 30 touches per game this season, people had a go at me. Prior to his injury, he was over that mark.

29 – TOM STEWART (43)

Has missed triggers by one stat so often, but has still pieced together what should be his second consecutive All-Australian year. Has had 10+ Rebound 50 games on four occasions, with two more falling just one short, and reads the ball brilliantly, with three nine-intercept games.

28 – JAKE LLOYD (27)

The reigning Swans best and fairest has lifted it another gear this season. Now sitting at 32.08 touches per game, making the most of the new kick-in rules, Lloyd delivers the ball with surgical precision, traveling at over 84% efficiency. Though some will say he is reliant on Rampe or Aliir to get the ball to ground, Lloyd is playing his assigned role as well, if not better than anyone in the game currently.

27 – NATHAN WILSON (38)

Great to see him finally ‘get it’ and use put that cannon of a leg to good use. In a day and age where going long isn’t the done thing, Wilson’s booming kick is an advantage few can match. Ninth in Rebound 50s and fourth in metres gained per game, Freo knows the value of Wilson is with the ball in hand, and they’re making sure he gets it as often as possible in recent weeks. His back to back performances in Rounds 10-11 were game-breaking.

26 – ANDREW GAFF (28)

He’s getting a mountain of it, but only in recent weeks is he starting to get the time to use the ball better. That has been my criticism of him in the first half of the year – too much slamming the ball on the boot and hoping. This is evidenced by his efficiency down approximately five percent on 2018. Still, when you’re getting it over 32 times per game, that’s probably nit-picking.

25 – STEPHEN CONIGLIO (50+)

A welcome return to the best goal-kicking midfielder in the caper this season. Cogs clocks in averaging 27.73 touches per game and has three bags of 3+ goals. His 29 disposal, three  goal and two four direct goal assists against the Suns were part of an absolute masterful game of footy.

24 – CLAYTON OLIVER (14)

He’s taking some heat by those out for Melbourne blood. Apparently he handballs too quickly. Is that like running too fast? Or kicking too straight? Career-highs in disposals per game and likewise for contested possessions, it is definitely not his fault that Melbourne had faltered this season.

23 – PATRICK DANGERFIELD (50+)

Another welcome back. Danger found himself in the unfamiliar position of being outside our top 50 last time around, but he has seemingly either put his injury worries behind him, or has decided to play with them – if it’s the latter, he is not allowing it to affect him much. Is sitting at 29.25 touches per game over the last four weeks. Cane we say welcome back if he was never really gone?

22 – BACHAR HOULI (11)

Had a real purple patch from Round 8-11, notching 30+ disposals in four straight games, and helping to push his season average into career-high realms, with 29.33 touches per game easily eclipsing his previous best.

21 – JOSH KELLY (47)

The newer model Rolls Royce is starting to roll now. After re-committing to the Giants, his past month has been off the charts, averaging 34 touches per game over the past four weeks. But it is more than numbers with Kelly – his decision making, and ability to change his mind and direction are reminiscent of another smooth mover. That one has a Norm Smith Medal to his name and is still a club captain.

20 – HARRIS ANDREWS (50+)

Great to see a big defender make the top 20. Harris Andrews’ fist should have to be licensed – it’s deadly. He is the only man in the game averaging double figures in spoils, having five games with 10+. He has also added three double figure intercept games along the way. All-Australian defender, in my book.

19 – TIM TARANTO (18)

He continues to impress, and when he is not racking up 30+ touches, which he’s  done six times, he is dragging opponents down in hard tackles. He has had seven games where he’s laid 6+ tackles, and is one of the elite tacklers in the game already. For context, this is just season three.

18 – LUKE SHUEY (7)

A bit of a quieter week this week, but jump back to Round 10 with me to get a feel for what Shuey is bringing in 2019. 33 touches, 10 tackles, 10 clearances… doing it all! He is sitting agonizingly close to career-high disposals, with 26.25 per game (just 0.05 behind his 2017 numbers).

17 – NAT FYFE (10)

Line up all the players against the wall in the schoolyard and there could be a very strong case that you’d pick Fyfe first. He simply does it all. With seven games exceeding 30+ disposals and three games with 20+ contested touches, Fyfe is back to his brilliant best in 2019.

E15 – LACHIE NEALE (19)

I’d like to say he’s tapered off a little, but that just wouldn’t be true. He’s sitting right at 32.67 touches per game, and is coming off back-to-back 30+ disposal games. I think my expectations of Neale are so high now, that when he’s not getting closer to 40 touches (three times this season) I feel as though there’s been a drop off. There hasn’t – he’s a gun.

E15 – PATRICK CRIPPS (20)

Speaking of guns, Cripps fired back with possibly his best game ever against the Lions, picking up 38 touches and kicking four goals. This came on the heels of two ordinary performances in the three weeks prior. He was held to 11 and 12 touches in those outings, but any reports of Cripps’ demise were slightly exaggerated.

14 – TRAVIS BOAK (17)

I love that he is having this kind of season. Played out of position for a couple of years (how much of that do the Power regret now?), Boak has charged into 2019 like my mate Joe Ganino into the Blue Oyster Bar. Best on ground in at least four games, Boak has topped 30 disposals in eight games this season. For context, he has never had that many 30+ games in an entire season before.

13 – JAMES SICILY (8)

Look, I barrack for the Hawks, and sometimes I’d like to punch him, so I can understand how people don’t like him, but you know what? You’ve got to respect his game. He ticks just about every box as a defender – intercept marks, rebound 50s, marks, metres gained… Sic does it all. He’s also good at shitty punches to the chest that prove nothing.

12 – BRAD CROUCH (22)

He has been a driving force at Adelaide this season, and is basically like a new recruit  - a brilliant, prolific new recruit. He hasn’t  missed a game this season, averaging a career-high 30.83 touches, and has had eight games topping 30 disposals.

11 – LUKE DAHLHAUS (16)

He’s still hanging around the upper parts of this list, and I am waiting for him to drop off… and he just doesn’t!!!

He tackles, runs hard defensively, lays tackles, has score involvements, and picks up disposals as though he’s having a kick in the local league. Complementing the influence of Ablett perfectly, he has had 20+ disposals on nine occasions this season, and has had 5+ tackles on eight occasions, which is exactly what you want from a small. He also gets ZERO love in the media, mainly because they’re not looking for the things he’d doing – they’re looking for the things his teammates are doing.

10 – ADAM TRELOAR (6)

A if he didn’t get enough of the ball last season, Treloar has raised his game again, averaging 32.67 touches this season, to establish himself as Collingwood’s number one ball winner. He can be a little wasteful at times, but I would put that down to having the ball so often and trying to hit targets whilst running at top pace.

From Round 5-10, Treloar was able to maintain an average of 35.16 as he simply ran harder than anyone else on the park. As long as he doesn’t blow a couple of tyres like last season, he may be closer to the top as the season wears on.

9 – SHANNON HURN (3)

I think the Eagles captain might drop from the top ten in the next ratings period. Already having a zero in this one, he’ll cop another zero for the bye in the next couple of weeks, and it’s a damn shame, because he was having a blinder, and I loved seeing his name up the top here.

Career-high numbers in disposals and rebound 50s indicate that Hurn has been master of the Eagles’ defensive domain in 2019. I hope he’s back straight after the bye to pick up where he left off.

8 – TOM HAWKINS (11)

Personal opinion – Hawkins is the number one forward in the game right now. However, this system is based on numbers, and as such he is relegated to the third best. I love the way he’s developed into this unselfish monster… which is the exact opposite of every movie monster-villain ever. He doesn’t want all the gold and glory for himself – he wants it for those around him, and when the opportunity presents to get them involved, he does not hesitate.

Add to the fact he can still manhandle 90% of players in the game, and you have one difficult to stop full forward on your hands.

7 – GARY ABLETT (5)

He had a week off and still slots into the top ten. Unbelievable. Did we expect this from Gaz? Geelong fans may have hoped for it, but did they truly think this would be happening?

He has had seven games of 20+ disposals working as a small forward and getting up to the wing, and his ball use in a pinch has been sublime. He feeds teammates, runs to the right spots, and is even working hard to lay tackles inside 50. I think he might play on next season… and the game will better off for it.

E5 – JEREMY CAMERON (9)

Five goals and 20 touches against the Suns in Round 11 punctuated the GWS forward retaining a top five spot this fortnight. His ability to have a poor game and still bob up and kick three is the sort of thing that harks back to full forwards of the 80s and 90s. How many did Lockett kick? Oh he had a bad day… he kicked five.

That’s what Cameron is starting to become, albeit with a modern focus and numbers to match. Three is now considered an average day. Four or five goals are the expectation, and if not those amounts, then 20+ touches working higher up the ground.

E5 – DANE RAMPE (46)

Forget post-gate, and the 50 metre penalty he gave away late in the game the following week – Rampe has been a star this season, and he has made a huge run at the top over the past couple of weeks. A career-high 32 touches helped feed into his career-high average disposals (19.58) as he has gone about his business, under-sized in the Sydney backline, yet pulling out win after win in contested situations.

Rampe is edging closer to All-Australian consideration, and would surely be in the squad of 40 at this stage.

4 – BEN CUNNINGTON (28)

I’m so sick of copping it from North fans about how we don’t respect Cunnington at The Mongrel. The fact is, we respect the hell out of him, and the way he goes about it. I love that he is media-averse, and just goes about his business. I love that he’s a contested ball beast, and one of the best clearance players in the game. Add to that how deceptively good he is overhead and you have the complete midfielder.

He’s at a career-high 29.17 disposals and 17.67 contested touches per game. If anything, he is a classic Mongrel player – tough, uncompromising, and without the bells and whistles. If the system we designed rewards him with the overall #4 spot, how can we hate him?

3 – MAX GAWN (4)

He’s coming. Gawn’s slow start has some fooled into thinking he isn’t at the same level as last season. It’s easy to fool a fool.

Here’s Gawn’s numbers over the last three weeks. 28 disposals, 6.7 clearances, 15 contested touches and 32.3 hit outs. In short, he has been a monster. Where would the Dees be without him?

2 – TIM KELLY (2)

I see the Tom Kelly contract stories are starting to surface… nice timing for him. He could sign a mega deal in Geelong right now, but the fact he hasn’t basically means he’s going home. If you’re the Cats, I wouldn’t settle for anything less than a top ten pick and a young player with big potential (Brander? Cerra?) to send him home.

But enough about next year – let’s talk about now! He’s had six games at 30+ disposals, had double figure clearances in three consecutive games from Round 7-9, and can play either game style, which is validated by games of both 20+ contested, and 20+ uncontested possessions. Has had one truly poor outing all year against Matt de Boer, which has no shame attached.

1 – BRODIE GRUNDY (1)

They just can’t knock him off. The gap has reduced again, and with the bye upcoming, anything could happen. However, for the time being, Grundy remains the number one man for the fifth consecutive rating period. How did he manage it?

Well prior to what will be known as “the Gawn game” until they meet again, Grundy had been on a tear, racking up points in disposals, clearances and tackles. People say he’s a midfielder in a ruckman’s body, and maybe they’re right. But… he’s still a ruckman, and his 64 hit outs against Sydney laid waste to Cal Sinclair. Like it or not, Brodie Grundy is the man.

But for how long?

 

ANALYSIS

I smell trouble brewing here… or maybe I forgot to shower again (it is my day off… gimme a break!).

You see, Brodie Grundy has been ranked number one since our first ranking period, but this week against Melbourne was his first score of zero. As this is a system that is weighted to reflect the surges in the last four weeks, combined with a body of work underpinning it, it means that by next period, Grundy will have also had the bye, which’ll mean two zeroes in that four-week, 100% weighting, rating period.

Perhaps his dominance could end?

Shannon Hurn is in a similar situation, having missed a game. He is now headed into the bye and will have two goose eggs in the prime scoring weeks when next we visit.

Dane Rampe is the exact result I wanted with this system. After a solid year, he has exploded in the last month, and as a result, with a good body of work behind him, has rocketed up the ranks to become the highest-rated defender.

Similar story for Cunnington, who has had a great year but has destroyed games in the past fortnight, and that was enough to catapult him into the top five. Winning kind of helped a bit as well. This system does not reward good stats/bad team players.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Gawn. He has slowly built into the year, and with the Dees faltering, has consistently missed additional points for the team wins. If the Dees can pinch a few, and Gawn can play like he did against Grundy (which was amazing, by the way), he may legitimately challenge for the top spot.

Other big leapers include Dangerfield, who had a great start to the season. With those points banked at 50% weighting, big recent games made his re-entry a formality. Brad Crouch climbed ten spots, continuing an excellent run of form, and Josh Kelly has started making a move into the upper echelon of the competition.

Slight improvement from Patrick Cripps this period, after an abrupt fall. His game against the Lions was fantastic, but mediocre outings against GWS and Essendon caused his star to fall slightly.

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WHO’S OUT? (PREVIOUS RANK LISTED)

E50 – NICK HAYNES

E50 – NICK VLASTUIN

49 – DAVID SWALLOW

E47 – JACK GUNSTON

42 – LUKE BREUST

41 – ZAC WILLIAMS

E39 – DAVID MUNDY

E39 – LUKE RYAN

37 – JACK CRISP

36 – DAYNE ZORKO

E33 – CHARLIE CAMERON

E33 – SCOTT PENDLEBURY

26 – TOM ROCKLIFF

 

From 30+ onwards, our four recent rating periods indicate it is very easy to slip from the top 50 if you do not have a big game to move you up. This is definitely a system that does not reward middling-type efforts.

Zac Williams’ hamstring halted his ascension, whilst the bye really prevented Gunston and Breust from solidifying their claims on a spot.

Pendles is probably most unlucky to miss, having just missed the trigger point for points on a couple of occasions.

Rockliff sitting out against the saints, and having the bye this past weekend really hurt him.

WHO’S KNOCKING ON THE DOOR?

Charlie Cameron may have dropped out, but he is half a point behind Brodie Smith for position 50. Tom Rockliff is not far away, and the recent form of Ben Brown and Heath Shaw will likely see them crack the top 50 in two weeks with just one more quality outing.

Scott Pendlebury isn’t far off the mark, and is probably very unlucky, having missed the cut off to trigger points awarded by narrow margins several times.

 

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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