Only 6 players have gone back to back since 1924, but that won’t stop Dustin Martin from being the top favourite in 2018. Read through our preview of the top favourites and a few outsiders to watch.
Favourites in the betting
Dustin Martin ($4.50)
Dustin Martin is the favourite to win the Brownlow after collecting 36 votes last season. He had an outstanding season for the Tigers as they won the Grand Final. History will be against him but Dusty is in his prime and if Richmond make the top four again, he’ll comfortably finish in the top three.
Patrick Dangerfield ($6)
Patrick Dangerfield has suffered a slight hamstring in the preseason which puts his Brownlow medal chances in some doubt. However, Dangerfield is arguably the best player in the AFL and has dominated the Brownlow in the last three seasons. He averages 30 votes per season since 2015 and with Geelong in finals contention, he should poll 30 or more in 2018. If he can stay away from suspensions and injuries, Dangerfield is the best value bet in the field.
Nat Fyfe ($6.50)
Nat Fyfe is looking really strong in 2018 and should finish in the top five. He won the award in 2015 and he’s the best player at the Dockers. However, his chances of winning the medal will take a blow as the Dockers probably won’t make the finals. He won the medal in 2015 when the Dockers finished first and I can’t see them even making the top 8.
Tom Mitchell ($13)
Tom Mitchell raced home in the count last year to finish second. He is a ball magnet and is starting to get the attention of the umpires. The only problem I see with Mitchell is the Hawks are going to struggle to make finals and it’s very rare for a player to win the medal from outside the top 8.
Josh Kelly ($13)
Josh Kelly reached 21 votes last season and will likely improve even more in 2018. But his chances of winning the medal are pretty low since he plays in a strong midfield. The likes of Shiel, Coniglio and Whitfield all take votes off him which hurts his medal winning ability.
Rory Sloane ($15)
Rory Sloane has collected 20 or more votes in back to back seasons and will be up there again. The Crows are expecting a top four finish and Sloane will be one of the key factors. He probably won’t win the medal but top 5 is realistic.
Marcus Bontempelli ($15)
The Bont has finished 7th in the medal count in back to back seasons. It will mostly rely on the Bulldogs making the finals if he can move up the medal count in 2018. Which isn’t a huge possibility.
The Outsiders to watch
Zach Merrett ($21)
Despite a very solid season, Zach Merrett failed to finish in the top 10 last season. So it’s hard to see any different this season with a number of other Bombers playing through the midfield.
Josh Kennedy ($21)
Josh Kennedy of the Swans is a real dark-horse in this race. He finished 3rd in 2017 and 4th in 2015. The main issue is he loses votes against Parker, Hannebery and Franklin. But I wouldn’t rule out another top 5 finish for the Swans skipper.
Luke Parker ($21)
After finishing 2nd in 2016, Luke Parker had a down season in 2017. He struggled with a few injuries so if he can play fit in 2018, he’s another value bet at the Swans. Dayne Beams ($26)
At $26, Dayne Beams is huge value. In 2017, he polled 17 votes in just 19 matches. He has shoulder issues but if he can play every match in 2018, he’s worth a shot as an outsider.
Lance Franklin ($34)
Lance Franklin polled 22 votes last year (4th) and is looking strong in 2018. He had a few offseason surgeries and should poll well again.
Adam Treloar ($34)
Adam Treloar is a very consistent player for the Pies as he’s played in 20 or more games in 5 of 6 seasons. He also finished 4th in 2016 and could be a surprise pick for the top 10.
This is really Dangerfield’s medal to lose. He’s received the most consistent votes over the last 3 seasons. I can’t see his hamstring being an issue because the addition of Gary Ablett and a strong midfield will help him stay forward and kick goals during the early rounds.
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