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Opinion

The AFL MVP race ahead of Round 5

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Roar Guru
14th April, 2021
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This is part two of our “Following Football” article tracking the teams and players of the 2021 AFL season. In part one, we shared both the overall ratings and the vote totals for each team and compared them to show the likelihood of making finals for six or seven clubs in particular (West Coast, perhaps Richmond, and the five with at least three wins).

Every four weeks, we like to provide a full run-down of the individual standings in some form, and to keep these articles within a reasonable size range, we’ve put those individual standings in this part of the article.

Let’s check how the top 20 looks right now:

1. Taylor Walker, Adelaide – 200.5 points (1st after Round 2)
2. Jack Macrae, Western BD – 128.5 points (8th)
3. Toby Greene, GWS – 123 points (unranked)
4. Dustin Martin, Richmond – 121.5 points (2nd)
5. Travis Boak, Port Adelaide – 120 points (7th)
6. Clayton Oliver, Melbourne – 118 points (3rd)
7. Max Gawn, Melbourne – 117.5 points (54th)
8. Callum Mills, Sydney – 110 points (12th)
9. Christian Petracca, Melbourne – 106.5 points (29th)
10. Tom Mitchell, Hawthorn – 102 points (9th)
11. Jordan Ridley, Essendon – 101 points (43rd)
12. Cam Guthrie, Geelong – 95.5 points (unranked)
13. Jack Steele, St Kilda – 95 points (48th)
14. Harry McKay, Carlton – 91 points (unranked)
15. Darcy Moore, Collingwood – 90.5 points (4th)
16. Zak Butters, Port Adelaide – 90 points (6th)
17. (16=) Luke Parker, Sydney – 90 points (unranked)
18. (16=) Josh Bruce, Western BD – 90 points (unranked)
19. Rory Laird, Adelaide – 89 points (23rd)
20. David Mundy, Fremantle – 88.5 points (22nd)

As the season progresses, of course, the ladder will stabilise more and more each round – even here, you might notice how many of the top twenty from two rounds ago are still there. (The highest rated player to fall out of the top twenty isn’t far away – former #5 Errol Gulden of Sydney is still at number 22.)

Possibly more important for most fans will be the top vote-getters from your specific team of interest. Let’s take a quick look at the top ten for each club:

Adelaide Crows
1. Taylor Walker – 200.5 points (1st overall)
2. Rory Laird – 89 (19th overall)
3. Rory Sloane – 74 (32nd)
4. Lachie Sholl – 65 (44th)
5. Reilly O’Brien – 56 (76th)
6. Tom Doedee – 39.5 (98th)
7. Ben Keays – 39 (99th)
8. Paul Seedsman – 34.5 (111th)
9. Brodie Smith – 30 (136th)
10. James Rowe – 25.5 (158th)

Brisbane Lions
1. Daniel Rich – 72.5 points (33rd overall)
2. Hugh McCluggage – 69 (37th overall)
3. Jarryd Lyons – 49 (69th)
4. Eric Hipwood – 40.5 (93rd)
5. Harris Andrews – 37 (103rd)
6. Dayne Zorko – 31 (126th)
7. Zac Barley – 24 (163rd)
8. Joe Daniher – 21 (179th)
9. Lincoln McCarthy – 20 (194th)
10. (9=) Lachie Neale – 20 (194th)

Carlton
1. Harry McKay – 91 points (14th overall)
2. Sam Walsh – 80.5 (26th overall)
3. Liam Jones – 80 (27th)
4. Patrick Cripps – 65.5 (42nd)
5. Ed Curnow – 45.5 (78th)
6. Lachie Fogerty – 40.5 (93rd)
7. Jacob Weitering – 34.5 (111th)
8. Sam Docherty – 31.5 (123rd)
9. Adam Saad – 30 (136th)
10. Michael Gibbons – 22 (171st)

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Collingwood
1. Darcy Moore – 90.5 points (15th overall)
2. Brodie Grundy – 80.5 (24th overall)
3. Taylor Adams – 57.5 (56th)
4. Jeremy Howe – 48.5 (70th)
5. Jack Crisp – 44.5 (80th)
6. Scott Pendlebury – 40 (96th)
7. Jordan deGoey – 38 (100th)
8. Will Hoskin-Elliot – 21 (179th)
9. Branden Maynard – 20 (194th)
10. Brody Mihocek – 19 (201st)

Essendon
1. Jordan Ridley – 101 points (11th overall)
2. Zach Merrett – 86.5 (21st overall)
3. Darcy Parish – 67 (39th)
4. Jake Stringer – 46.5 (75th)
5. Andrew McGrath – 42.5 (86th)
6. Cale Hooker – 40.5 (93rd)
7. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti – 33 (117th)
8. Nick Hind – 25 (159th)
9. Will Snelling – 21 (179th)
10. Devon Smith – 20 (194th)

Fremantle
1. David Mundy – 88.5 points (20th overall)
2. Andrew Brayshaw – 71 (35th overall)
3. Nat Fyfe – 51 (64th)
4. Sean Darcy – 47.5 (72nd)
5. Adam Cerra – 44.5 (80th)
6. Sam Switkowski – 34 (113th)
7. Luke Ryan – 31 (126th)
8. Lachie Schulz – 30.5 (130th)
9. Matt Tabiner – 28 (147th)
10. Caleb Serong – 18 (210th)

Geelong Cats
1. Cam Guthrie – 95.5 points (12th overall)
2. Joel Selwood – 75 (30th overall)
3. Tom Stewart – 55 (60th)
4. Tom Hawkins – 37 (103rd)
5. Isaac Smith – 35.5 (108th)
6. Mark O’Connor – 31.5 (123rd)
7. Mitch Duncan – 28.5 (145th)
8. (7=) Zach Tuohy – 28.5 (145th)
9. Tom Atkins – 21 (179th)
10. Mark Blicavs – 19 (201st)

Gold Coast
1. Jack Bowes – 69 points (37th overall)
2. Noah Anderson – 65.5 (42nd overall)
3. Hugh Greenwood – 60.5 (51st)
4. Touk Miller – 55 (60th)
5. Brandon Ellis – 40 (96th)
6. Jack Lukosius – 30.5 (130th)
7. David Swallow – 30 (136th)
8. Sam Collins – 29 (142nd)
9. Ben King – 26 (153rd)
10. Lachie Weller – 23 (166th)

GWS Giants
1. Toby Greene – 123 points (3rd overall)
2. Callan Ward – 49.5 (68th overall)
3. Tim Taranto – 47.5 (72nd)
4. Jacob Hopper – 41.5 (88th)
5. Lachlan Ash – 33 (117th)
6. Josh Kelly – 29.5 (140th)
7. Matt Flynn – 29 (142nd)
8. Isaac Cumming – 28 (147th)
9. Jeremy Finlayson – 27 (150th)
10. Harry Perryman – 26 (153rd)

Hawthorn
1. Tom Mitchell – 102 points (10th overall)
2. Changkioth Jiath – 64 (46th overall)
3. Jaeger O’Meara – 51 (64th)
4. Blake Hardwick – 38 (100th)
5. Will Day – 34 (113th)
6. Dylan Moore – 32.5 (119th)
7. Jarman Impey – 26.5 (152nd)
8. Tom Phillips – 22 (171st)
9. Harry Morrison – 21 (179th)
10. (9=) Sam Frost – 21 (179th)

Melbourne
1. Clayton Oliver – 118 points (6th overall)
2. Max Gawn – 117.5 (7th overall)
3. Christian Petracca – 106.5 (9th)
4. Ed Langdon – 59.5 (53rd)
5. Steven May – 57 (57th)
6. Jake Lever – 53 (63rd)
7. Christian Salem – 50.5 (66th)
8. Kozzy Pickett – 47.5 (72nd)
9. Bayley Fritsch – 36 (106th)
10. Tom McDonald – 33.5 (116th)

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North Melbourne
1. Jayden Stephenson – 45.5 points (78th overall)
2. Jack Ziebell – 35 (109th overall)
3. Todd Goldstein – 31 (126th)
4. Aaron Hall – 29.5 (140th)
5. Luke Davis-Uniacke – 20.5 (192nd)
6. Ben McKay – 19 (201st)
7. Shawn Atley – 18 (210th)
8. (7=) Tarryn Thomas – 18 (210th)
9. Tom Powell – 17 (218th)
10. Jed Anderson – 15.5 (240th)

Port Adelaide
1. Travis Boak – 120 points (5th overall)
2. Zak Butters – 90 (16th overall)
3. Dan Houston – 75 (30th)
4. Ollie Wines – 71 (35th)
5. Orazio Fantasia – 56 (59th)
6. Aliir Aliir – 46 (76th)
7. Robbie Gray – 36 (106th)
8. Charlie Dixon – 32 (121st)
9. Scott Lycett – 30.5 (130th)
10. Mitch Georgiades – 24.5 (161st)

Richmond
1. Dustin Martin – 121.5 points (4th overall)
2. Jack Riewoldt – 60 (52nd overall)
3. Jayden Short – 59.5 (53rd)
4. Kane Lambert – 41 (89th)
5. Jack Graham – 37.5 (102nd)
6. Dion Prestia – 31.5 (123rd)
7. Shai Bolton – 30.5 (130th)
8. Trent Cotchin – 23 (166th)
9. Noah Balta – 21.5 (175th)
10. Jason Castagna / Shane Edwards – 21 (179th)

St Kilda
1. Jack Steele – 95.5 points (12th overall)
2. Tim Membrey – 66 (40th overall)
3. Jack Billings – 64.5 (45th)
4. Dougal Howard – 48.5 (70th)
5. Max King – 43 (85th)
6. Brad Crouch – 32.5 (119th)
7. Jack Graham – 30 (136th)
8. Hunter Clark – 25 (159th)
9. Dan Butler – 24.5 (161st)
10. Brad Hill / Seb Ross – 21 (179th)

Sydney Swans
1. Callum Mills – 110 points (8th overall)
2. Luke Parker – 90 (16th overall)
3. Errol Gulden – 86 (22nd)
4. Isaac Heeney – 66 (40th)
5. Sam Wicks – 64 (46th)
6. Tom Hickey – 63.5 (48th)
7. Tom Papley – 54 (62nd)
8. Chad Warner – 44.5 (80th)
9. Braeden Campbell – 42.5 (86th)
10. Jake Lloyd – 35 (109th)

West Coast Eagles
1. Nic Naitanui – 80.5 points (24th overall)
2. Tim Kelly – 62.5 (49th overall)
3. Oscar Allen – 61 (50th)
4. Shannon Hurn – 56.5 (58th)
5. Andrew Gaff – 50.5 (66th)
6. Dom Sheed – 43.5 (83rd)
7. Luke Shuey – 41 (89th)
8. (7=) Tom Barrass – 41 (89th)
9. (7=) Jack Darling – 41 (89th)
10. Josh Kennedy – 36.5 (105th)

Western Bulldogs
1. Jack Macrae – 128.5 points (2nd overall)
2. Josh Bruce – 90 (16th overall)
3. Adam Treloar – 81 (23rd)
4. Marcus Bontempelli – 79.5 (28th)
5. Josh Dunkley – 76 (29th)
6. Bailey Smith – 72.5 (33rd)
7. Tim English – 59.5 (53rd)
8. Aaron Naughton – 43.5 (83rd)
9. Bailey Williams – 30.5 (130th)
10. Bailey Dale – 29 (142nd)

It’s the chicken and egg debate: do the successful teams give their good players more opportunities to shine for voters (and statisticians?), or do good players with shining performances make their teams more successful? Presumably the answer is in between in this case: certainly Melbourne has more players playing well than North does right now, but it’s also hard to impress Team of the Week or 3-2-1 votes when your team is getting smashed every week, too. It is fascinating to note that Jack Ziebell, a fine player and the second-highest performing Kangaroo so far, would only be tenth on Melbourne’s list – smack dab in the middle – tied for tenth with Sydney, or out of the top ten entirely with West Coast right now.

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Later in the season, we’ll take the time to compare rosters to previous seasons to notice how much some of them have been transformed – and how little some of them have changed. Until then, thanks for reading!

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