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Who can break into your club's Best and Fairest top 10? Part 3

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Roar Rookie
25th January, 2023
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1149 Reads

Time for part three! Ahead of the 2023 AFL season I wanted to look at which players could crack into the top 10 of their club’s Best and Fairest who weren’t in there last year. Perhaps they were injured during the 2022 season or their form didn’t quite stack up.

I will be exploring this by examining the league in three groups of six teams. The last six teams are Port Adelaide, Richmond, St Kilda, Sydney, West Coast Eagles and Western Bulldogs.

Port Adelaide
2022 Best and Fairest: Connor Rozee, 132 votes

2. Travis Boak
3. Dan Houston
4. Ollie Wines
5. Sam Powell- Pepper
6. Todd Marshall
7. Zac Butters
8. Karl Amon
9. Ryan Burton
10. Jeremy Finlayson

Willem Drew played every game in a second successive season. He performed the lockdown role on occasions alongside the other big-bodied midfielders at Port Adelaide such as Travis Boak, Ollie Wines and Samuel Powell-Pepper.

Drew did it to great effect also, winning himself plenty of the ball. He was first for tackles, third in total clearances, and ninth for score involvements. Probably one thing he could work on is hitting the scoreboard more, with only four goals for the season. He’s definitely a strong contender to finish inside the top 10.

Richmond
2022 Best and Fairest: Tom Lynch, 60 votes

2. Daniel Rioli
3. Dion Prestia
=4. Liam Baker
=4. Shai Bolton
=6. Trent Cotchin
=6. Jayden Short
=8. Toby Nankervis
=8. Marlion Pickett
10. Nathan Broad

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The Richmond one is difficult to think about, until you remember the shadow of the No.4 hanging over the competition. That of course being Dustin Martin, who has had his fair share of setbacks including suffering that painful injury to his kidneys during the 2021 season. Last season he also endured the passing of his father and ongoing hamstring complications.

Dustin Martin

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

He injured his hamstring against West Coast in Round 16, going down early in the third quarter. Up until he went off he was the best player on the ground with that spring in his step and that power back in his kicking. Whether we can still see those performances a year on is the question. I think we can.

St Kilda
2022 Best and Fairest: Jack Sinclair, 174 votes

2. Callum Wilkie
3. Jack Steele
4. Tim Membrey
5. Seb Ross
6. Brad Crouch
=7. Jade Gresham
=7. Bradley Hill
=7. Max King
10. Josh Battle

Rowan Marshall has a big role to fill now without the help and guidance of Paddy Ryder. He’s ready to take that next step. He played the most games he’s ever played in a season 21. He was good this season without being great, ranking eighth in score involvements, fifth for total clearances and fifth for tackles for St Kilda. In the competition he was ranked ninth in hit outs.

Marshall can be one of the best ruckmen in the game. The Saints believe so too, signing him on till 2026. This year would be the perfect time to show what he can do.

Sydney
2022 Best and Fairest: Callum Mills, 662 votes

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2. Chad Warner
3. James Rowbottom
4. Luke Parker
5. Isaac Heeney
6. Tom McCartin
7. Errol Gulden
8. Jake Lloyd
9. Dane Rampe
10. Oliver Florent

The little livewire Tom Papley missed the first seven games of the 2022 season due to a hamstring injury. Once he was back, he didn’t miss a beat. He scored in 17 of his 19 games and had multiple goals in 12 of those games. He was good at providing goals to others as well.

He was ranked sixth at Sydney for score involvements, he had 129 at an average of 6.8 – only beaten by Chad Warner who had 169 at 7.0. The electricity that Papley provides to the Swans is evident regardless of stats, however. If he stays injury-free, he’s certainly going to be up there.

West Coast
2022 Best and Fairest: Tom Barrass, 182 votes

2. Shannon Hurn
3. Tim Kelly
4. Jack Darling
5. Liam Duggan
6. Jack Redden
7. Luke Shuey
8. Jamie Cripps
9. Jamaine Jones
10. Liam Ryan

Elliot Yeo holds the very high prestige of winning a Best and Fairest in a premiership year in 2018. His tackling and tackle-breaking ability are outstanding. Who can forget those tackles against Dustin Martin at Optus Stadium in 2018? Those feats made him a unique player, but we haven’t seen those traits for a few years now.

Yeo will only be 29 years old this season so there’s still plenty of his career left. He had a very interrupted year last season, only managing five games. If he can have a full pre-season and get himself super fit, it will only benefit the West Coast Eagles.

Western Bulldogs
2022 Best and Fairest: Josh Dunkley, 231 votes

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2. Tom Liberatore
3. Aaron Naughton
4. Marcus Bontempelli
5. Jackson Macrae
6. Caleb Daniel
7. Ryan Gardiner
8. Adam Treloar
9. Bailey Dale
10. Ed Richards

Bailey Smith, the dynamic midfielder, had a good season. He did miss four games during the middle of year due to on-field and off-field indiscretions. Although, when he was on the park, he was lethal. He averaged 29 disposals.

Perhaps the one weakness in his game was ranked seventh for score involvements and he only kicked six goals for the year. If he can get that number of goals up to 10 or 15, he becomes an even harder player to stop.

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