AFL 21 days ago

Alex Docherty's Top 50 AFL Players Post-2017 Part Two: 40-31

  • Alex Docherty's Top 50 AFL Players Post-2017 Part Two: 40-31

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 16: Marc Murphy of the Blues handballs whilst being tackled by Tom Liberatore of the Bulldogs during the round 17 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Western Bulldogs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

My top 50 AFL players of the 2017 season continues today with the second part of this five part series, with players I have ranked from spots 40-31. 

In case you have just joined us or you have missed the players 50-41, click the link below:

Part One - 50-41

So without further ado, let's get stuck into part two of my top 50.

40. Mitch Duncan – Geelong
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 159
Career Goals: 119

Undoubtedly, Mitch Duncan fails to get the overall recognition he deserves because of the fact that he plays alongside Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood, but week in and week out, he quietly got the job done as a midfielder. Averages career-highs in disposals (29 disposals per game), marks (6.5 per game), tackles (five per game) and clearances (four per game). Finished second in Geelong's best and fairest count behind only Patrick Dangerfield, which shows how highly rated he is internally.

39. Jack Riewoldt – Richmond
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 225
Career Goals: 537

After a down year in 2016, which saw him kick less than 50 goals for the first time since 2009, Jack Riewoldt enjoyed a small return to form in 2017 as he kicked over 50 goals for seventh time in his career. He led the 2017 premiers in goals kicked with 54.37 for the year and averaged 13 disposals, six marks, three inside 50s and 2.5 tackles per game. Working with an abundance of small forwards, Riewoldt led everyone in the league for marks inside 50, averaging over three marks inside the arc per game.

38. Toby Greene – Greater Western Sydney
Pre-Season Ranking: 26
Career Games: 117
Career Goals: 123

Say what you must about Toby Greene, but this kid has a hell of a lot of talent. But the huge problem is his lack of discipline. He missed six games this year, four of them were through suspensions because of silly brain fades. Despite this, he still managed to better his goal tally from last year from fewer games. In 2016 he kicked 44.27 from 23 games, this year he managed to snag 45.28 from 19 games, and just like last year, was named in the All-Australian squad of 40 in 2017. He is a star that will only get better once he starts pulling his head in.

37. Dylan Roberton – St. Kilda
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 124
Career Goals: 19

One of many players to enjoy a breakout year as the former Docker Dylan Roberton enjoyed a greatly improved season in defence. Roberton played every game for St. Kilda in 2017, averaging career-highs in disposals (23 per game), marks (six per game) and rebound 50s (five per game). A member of the All-Australian squad of 40 this season, Roberton sits in the top five in the league for rebound 50s and kicks.

36. Joel Selwood – Geelong
Pre-Season Ranking: 12
Career Games: 249
Career Goals: 145

I agree that Joel Selwood is a top 50 player. I agree that Joel Selwood is a very important piece in Geelong's premiership puzzle, but I feel that his impact in games this year, at times, hasn't mirrored his impact in games in years gone by, which is why I have him this low. His Finals Series wasn't the greatest and his spot in the All-Australian team has question marks, but he still found a way to average 25 disposals, six clearances and five tackles per game across 21 games in 2017. 

35. Steele Sidebottom – Collingwood
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 185
Career Goals: 139


Started off the season by recording 35 disposals and two goals against the Western Bulldogs and finished it off by claiming his maiden best and fairest win at Collingwood, beating Taylor Adams by a solitary vote. Sidebottom has been tremendously consistent for years and continued to show class in the Pies' on-ball brigade, averaging 27 disposals, five marks, four tackles, four inside 50s and 3.5 clearances per game. In my honest opinion, I thought he got a little bit overlooked at times this year, but he gets the recognition he thoroughly deserves here.

34. Elliot Yeo – West Coast
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 107
Career Goals: 45

The last couple of years has seen Yeo plagued with inconsistency, but 2017 was the year we finally saw the former Brisbane Lion breakthrough for a fantastic year playing largely in defence. He averaged 23 disposals, seven marks, three rebound 50s and 10 contested possessions per game – all of these being career-highs, and whilst his form began to wither a little bit in the second half of the year, Yeo was still rewarded accordingly with his first All-Australian selection and won the John Worsfold medal as West Coast's best and fairest.

33. Marc Murphy – Carlton
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 236
Career Goals: 168

Injuries and indifferent form have been key reasons as to why this former number one draft pick hasn't really starred in this Carlton side over the past few years, but in 2017, he reminded us why people did rate him so highly with a stunning 2017 campaign. The 30-year old Carlton captain played every game for the Blues for the first time since 2011 and averaged 30 disposals, six marks, four clearances, four inside 50s and four tackles per game, and whilst he didn't earn a spot in the All-Australian squad of 40, he did take home Carlton's best and fairest award. 

32. Dayne Beams – Brisbane Lions
Pre-Season Ranking: 38
Career Games: 147
Career Goals: 149

A great year from Beams in his first year as Brisbane captain. Largely free of injury, he played the most games in a season for the Lions since his arrival from Collingwood – playing 19 of a possible 22 games and averaged 27 disposals, five clearances, four tackles, four marks and a goal per game to finish in the top-two in Brisbane's best and fairest count. Unquestionably, he is a star of the game, and if he can get some luck with injury, he could very well be a top 20 player.

31. Seb Ross – St. Kilda
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 81
Career Goals: 13


Ross had a much-improved 2016 season which saw him average 26 disposals and four clearances per game, but backed it up with an even better 2017 season which saw him average 30 disposals, five clearances, four tackles and four inside 50s per game. Ross' is amongst one of the game's elite gut-runners and was rewarded well for putting together a fine year in which he was named in the All-Australian squad of 40, winning his maiden Trevor Barker Medal as St. Kilda's best and fairest and at 24, it could be the first of many to come.

Wednesday on Bulldogs Centre looms to be a big one as we roll past the midway point of my top 50, with players 30-21 named on Wednesday.

Pictures Courtesy Of Getty Images

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