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The top five players in the best and fairest for each team (Part 2)

There are three weeks of bye rounds, so it’s a good time to assess who is in the top five for the best and fairest for the six teams in the second of the three bye rounds: the Adelaide Crows, Geelong Cats, Gold Coast Suns, Sydney Swans, West Coast Eagles and Western Bulldogs.

Adelaide Crows
5. Tom Doedee has averaged the fifth most intercepts of any player in the AFL with an average of 8.92 intercepts per game. He has been the most important key defender for the Crows and he also has leadership qualities. They rely on him to lead from the front in the back half.

4. Reilly O’Brien has played ten of 12 games in season 2022, having been dropped for two games, but he responded well and slotted back into the team well. He has averaged the third most hit-outs of any player in the AFL with an average of 34.90 hit-outs per game. He has averaged the most contested marks of any Crows player with an average of 1.50 contested marks per game. Along with that, he has averaged the fourth most contested possessions of any Crows player with an average of 9.50 contested possessions per game.

3. Jordan Dawson has been one of the recruits of the year in season 2022. He has averaged the fifth most metres gained of any player in the AFL with an average of 572.58 metres gained per game. A watershed moment for him was when he kicked the winning goal in the Showdown, after the final siren in Round 3. He hasn’t looked back since that moment as he has averaged 24.00 disposals per game and has been a pivotal part of the Crows team.

Players surround Jordan Dawson of the Crows after kicking the winning goal during Showdown 51.

(Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

2. Ben Keays has been a stand-out for the Crows. He has consistently been one of the Crows’ best performers. He has averaged the 13th most contested possessions of any player in the AFL with an average of 12.83 contested possessions per game. Along with that he has averaged 5.08 tackles per game. He has averaged the most inside 50s of any Crows player with an average of 5.33 inside 50s per game. He has stepped up from a leadership perspective in the absence of Rory Sloane due to injury. The story of Keays’ career is inspirational as he was delisted by the Lions at the end of 2019 after just 30 games. In season 2022, he has been a revelation.

1. Rory Laird has been extremely consistent as he has averaged the fourth most disposals of any player in the AFL with an average of 34.00 disposals per game in ten games. He has averaged the 12th most score involvements of any player in the AFL with an average of 7.40 score involvements per game. He has only had less than 30 disposals in two games. Along with that he has averaged the fourth most contested possessions with an average of 14.70 contested possessions per game. He has also worked hard defensively as he has averaged the second most tackles of any player in the AFL with an average of 7.10 tackles per game.

Geelong Cats
5. Tyson Stengle has averaged the fourth most score involvements of any Cats player with an average of 6.50 score involvements per game. He has kicked the third most goals of any Cats player with a total of 23 goals in 12 games. He has had the fourth most inside 50s of any Cats player with 43 inside 50s.

4. Cameron Guthrie has featured in all 12 games for the Cats. He has averaged the most disposals of any Cats player with an average of 25.83 disposals per game. He has averaged 4.83 tackles per game and 6.08 score involvements per game. He has been an extremely consistent performer and a player that doesn’t get the recognition he deserves as he has often been one of the Cats’ best performers.

3. Tom Hawkins has the third most goals of anyone in the AFL with 33 goals after Round 12. Along with that he has the second most score involvements of any player in the AFL with 95 after Round 12. He is such an important part of the Cats’ team structurally, as he even pinch hits in the ruck. He would probably be in the mid-season AFL All Australian team.

Tom Hawkins of the Cats celebrates kicking a goal

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

2. Jeremy Cameron has kicked the most goals of any player in the AFL after Round 12 with 38 goals. He has been extremely pivotal for the Cats in big moments, which he displayed in the Cats’ 13-point win in Round 12 when he kicked six goals when the game was in the balance. He has the third most score involvements after Round 12 with 94 score involvements. He would be in the conversation for the mid-season AFL All Australian team.

1. Tom Stewart has had the fourth most intercepts of any player in the AFL after Round 12 with 98. That’s despite the fact he missed Round 4 with illness and he was subbed out in the second quarter of Round 12 due to concussion. Despite that he has averaged the second most disposals of any Cats player with an average 25.82 disposals per game in the 11 games that he has featured in. He has averaged the most metres gained of any Cats player with an average of 514.09 metres gained per game. There’s no disputing that he would be in the mid-season AFL All Australian team.

Gold Coast Suns
5. Noah Anderson has played 11 games in season 2022. He has averaged the second most disposals of any Suns player with an average of 25.09 disposals per game. Along with that, he has averaged the third most metres gained of any Suns player with an average of 497.18 metres gained per game. He is a player that’s underrated as he is consistent. It’s rare that he has had a poor game in season 2022.

4. Matt Rowell doesn’t have to accumulate 30 disposals every game to have an impact on the contest. He hasn’t had less than four tackles per game and has been a fairly consistent performer. He has the most tackles of any player in the AFL after Round 12 with 82 tackles. He has averaged the tenth most contested possessions of any player in the AFL with an average of 13.75 contested possessions per game. He plays his role for the team.

Matt Rowell of the Suns is tackled by Luke Parker of the Swans.

(Photo by Matt King/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

3. Touk Miller has led from the front in season 2022 in his first season as a co-captain. He has averaged the most metres gained of any Suns player with an average of 526.75 metres gained per game. He has averaged the third most contested possessions of any player in the AFL with an average of 15.08 contested possessions per game. He has led by example.

2. Sam Collins has the 11th most intercepts on average of any AFL player with an average of 7.92 intercepts per game. He does a great job of negating the opposition’s best key forwards. If the AFL All Australian team was named midway through the season in season 2022 then he would be in the mix. He is a player that’s underrated as the recognition often goes to other players in the team. The main function he has is preventing the opposition’s key forwards from taking contested marks, which appears to be second nature to him.

1. Jarrod Witts is in contention for the AFL All Australian team if he can replicate his form in the next ten games that the Suns have to play in season 2022. He has had the most hit-outs of anyone in the AFL as he has 452 hit-outs, which is 103 more hit-outs than the next best. There’s no disputing that he has been one of the reasons why the Suns have had such a consistent season in season 2022, as he played just three games in season 2021 and the Suns finished 16th on the AFL ladder.

Sydney Swans
5. Patrick McCartin has averaged the eighth most intercepts per game of any player in the AFL with an average of 8.09 intercepts per game. He was subbed out of the Swans’ Round 6 game against the Hawks in the third quarter due to a head knock, so his intercepts stats could be even higher. Along with that, he missed the Swans’ Round 7 game when the Swans conceded 113 points to the Lions, which showed he is a player that they need playing in form. His story of how he has come back from a career-threatening concussion problem is inspirational and one of the highlights of season 2022.

4. Lance Franklin has featured in ten games and has kicked 28 goals, as he has missed one game through injury and another due to suspension. He has been consistent as he has kicked at least one goal in each game. He has averaged the second most score involvements of any of the Swans players with an average of 6.90 score involvements per game.

3. Isaac Heeney kicked 18 of his 21 goals in the opening seven games of season 2022. In that period the Swans won five out of seven games. He has the third most score involvements of any Swans player with 71 in the 12 games that he has featured in. In the first few rounds of the season, he was a lock for the mid-season AFL All Australian team. Unfortunately, he has only kicked three goals in his last five games. He has averaged 4.50 tackles per game, which is remarkable for a player that is predominantly known as an attacking one. He has stayed injury free, which has been important and his stats have probably dropped off as opposition teams are paying more attention to negating him, which frees up the likes of Chad Warner and Errol Gulden.

Isaac Heeney

(Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

2. Luke Parker has averaged the most contested possessions of any Swans player with an average of 10.92 contested possessions per game. He has also averaged a more than respectable number of score involvements with an average of 6.50 score involvements per game. In Round 1 he played a pivotal role, kicking five goals against the Swans’ rivals the Giants and he hasn’t looked back since then.

1. Callum Mills would be in contention for the AFL All Australian best 22 if it was named now. He has averaged the equal eighth most tackles in the AFL, along with Andrew Brayshaw of the Dockers, who could win the Brownlow Medal. Both players have averaged 6.08 tackles per game after Round 12. Mills has averaged the most inside 50s of any Swans player with an average of 4.92 inside 50s per game. He averages the most disposals of any Swans player with an average of 25.92 disposals per game. His lowest disposal tally has been 20, so he has been extremely consistent.

West Coast Eagles
5. Liam Duggan has averaged 18.80 disposals per game in the ten games that he has featured in. He has been an important part of the Eagles’ back six. He is a player that has had an average season in season 2022, but sneaks into the top five of the best and fairest due to showing a decent amount of endeavour, in what has been a trying season for the Eagles.

4. Alex Witherden has featured in ten games in season 2022. He has averaged the most metres gained of any Eagles player with an average of 430.20 metres gained per game. He uses the ball well as he has averaged the third highest disposal efficiency of any Eagles player with an average of 84.81 per cent disposal efficiency per game.

3. Jeremy McGovern may have only played nine games in season 2022, but he has averaged the third most intercepts with an average of any player in the AFL with an average of 9.11 intercepts per game. In one of those nine games he was subbed out, which was in Round 11 when the Eagles lost by 101 points. What that means is that had he not suffered that injury, then he would average the most intercepts per game of any player in the AFL.

Jeremy McGovern

(Paul Kane/Getty Images)

2. Jack Redden would probably be leading the Eagles’ best and fairest after Round 12. He has featured in 11 games and has been consistent. In the game that he didn’t play in Round 2 due to health and safety protocol, the Eagles lost to the Kangaroos, in a game that was the Kangaroos’ only win of season 2022 up until Round 12. He has averaged 22.18 disposals per game along with 4.73 tackles per game and has been in the Eagles’ best players on a consistent basis.

1. Tim Kelly has had a reasonable season in season 2022 up until Round 12. He has averaged the second most inside 50s of any Eagles player with an average of 11.33 contested possessions per game. He may have only featured in nine games, but he has been extremely consistent. He has averaged the most disposals of any Eagles player with an average of 25.00 disposals per game. Along with that he has averaged 4.33 tackles per game. He has had the second most metres gained of any Eagles player with an average of 429.11 metres gained per game.

Western Bulldogs
5. Josh Dunkley has averaged the most tackles of any Bulldogs player with an average of 5.83 tackles per game. He has averaged the fourth most score involvements with an average of 7.33 score involvements per game. He has kicked ten goals in 12 games and has often been one of the Bulldogs’ main contributors in almost every game.

4. Aaron Naughton has kicked 30 goals in season 2022 thus far, which is almost double the next highest goal kicker, Cody Weightman, who has kicked 16 goals. He has kicked a goal in 11 of the 12 games that he has featured in with the goalless game coming against the Bombers in Round 7, which they won by 32 points. That shows he doesn’t only have to kick goals to contribute to the system. Aaron Naughton has taken double the number of contested marks compared to any other Bulldogs player, with a total of 24, as the next best is 12 for Marcus Bontempelli.

3. Bailey Smith has averaged the second most metes gained of any Bulldogs player with an average of 587.00 metres gained per game. He has only featured in ten games, as he has been unavailable to play due to injury and illness. Along with that, he has averaged the sixth most disposals of any player in the AFL with an average of 31.60. He has averaged the second most inside 50s of any player in the AFL with an average of 6.70 inside 50s per game.

Bailey Smith of the Bulldogs celebrates a goal

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

2. Marcus Bontempelli has averaged the equal fifth most score involvements of any player in the AFL along with Charlie Curnow and Darcy Parish, with an average of 7.82 score involvements per game. He has averaged the most goal assists of any Bulldogs player with an average of 1.27 score involvements per game. He has averaged the third most goals of any Bulldogs player with an average of 1.36 goals per game. Along with that, he has worked hard defensively with an average of 4.73 tackles per game.

1. Jack Macrae was a consistent performer and has averaged the seventh most disposals of any player with an average of 31.58 disposals per game. He also averaged the most contested possessions with an average of 12.58 contested possessions per game. An impressive stat is that he has averaged the third most stoppage clearances of any player in the AFL with an average of 4.67 stoppage clearances per game. He also averaged 4.00 tackles per game and has featured in all 12 games that the Bulldogs have played in season 2022.



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