AFL 2 years ago

Alex Docherty's Top 50 AFL Players Post-2016 Part 4: 20-11

  • Alex Docherty's Top 50 AFL Players Post-2016 Part 4: 20-11

    MELBOURNE, VICTORIA - AUGUST 08: Robbie Gray of Port Adelaide and Caleb Daniel of the Western Bulldogs compete for the ball during the round 19 AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide Power at Etihad Stadium on August 8, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images)

We're nearing the the end of the Top 50 players of the 2016 season as we go through players 20-11 today.

There were a number of players I would've loved to have put in the top 10, but I just couldn't find the room for.

If you missed any of the other parts, click below

Part One:
Part Two:
Part Three:

20. Zach Merrett – Essendon
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 59
Career Goals: 22

Some will question whether or not he deserves to be this high on the list, but Merrett's stats suggest that he starred in a team that  was second-rate for most of the year. Averaged nearly 30 disposals per game as well as averaging six tackles, five inside 50s and four clearances per game. Took out Essendon's best and fairest this year by a landslide and only turned 21 last month, that's pretty impressive if you ask me.

19. Dale Morris – Western Bulldogs
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 230
Career Goals: 3

This one I know won't sit well with many outside of the Bulldogs, but his form as a defender as he gets older is still a pleasure to watch. Morris gives it his all every game, is extraordinarily consistent and usually makes a difference in the defensive half, whether it be playing blokes bigger than him or on the small forwards. His outstanding finals campaign made even better when he revealed that he played with a fractured vertabrae. Morris finished second in the Bulldogs best and fairest.

18. Dylan Shiel – Greater Western Sydney
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 87
Career Goals: 46

In a midfield that is loaded on talent, Shiel is the guy that probably oozes the most class out of any, and continues to get better with every game. Nearly averaged 28 disposals per game to go along with five clearances per game and four tackles per game. I was a little surprised to see him finish outside of the top five in the Giants' best and fairest count. His season has been superb to say the least.

17. Lachie Neale – Fremantle
Pre-Season Ranking: 39
Career Games: 92
Career Goals: 43

After averaging 27 disposals a game last season, Neale has gone to heights that I never thought was possible for him. Not only did he average a career-high in disposals, he broke the record for most disposals during the home and away season, averaging 33.5 disposals a game. He also averaged seven clearances and four tackles per game, which is a credit to his workrate. Deserved Freo's best and fairest after a stunning fall from grace this year from the 'Purple Army'.

16. Scott Pendlebury – Collingwood
Pre-Season Ranking: 8
Career Games: 236
Career Goals: 152

Another great year from the Collingwood captain that saw him average 27 disposals or more for the sixth consecutive year, averaging 28 disposals, five tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s per game. Won his fifth best and fairest this year as well – his fourth one in a row – as he continues to cement his legacy as one of Collingwood's greatest players.

15. Robbie Gray – Port Adelaide
Pre-Season Ranking: 10
Career Games: 155
Career Goals: 211

Gray continued to play some brilliant footy in 2016, where as most of his team mates at the Power floundered for virtually most of the year, averaging 26 disposals, six clearances, five tackles and four inside 50s per game, en route to his third consecutive best and fairest win at Port Adelaide. Has also proved to be a handy goal-kicker at times too, kicking 25 goals from 19 appearances this year.

14. Joel Selwood – Geelong
Pre-Season Ranking: 11
Career Games: 228
Career Goals: 138

One that was extremely unlucky not to make the top 10, Selwood's relished the inclusion of Patrick Dangerfield at the Cattery, averaging 28 disposals per game for the first time since 2010, as well six  clearances per game, six tackles per game and five inside 50s per game. His brilliant year was capped off when he was named the captain of the All-Australian team.

13. Dan Hannebery – Sydney
Pre-Season Ranking: 19
Career Games: 170
Career Goals: 82

One of Sydney's 'Big 3' in the midfield, Hannebery averaged 30 disposals a game for the second straight year and played every game for the Swans in 2016, he also veraged career-highs in inside 50s (five per game) and contested possessions (13 per game). He was extremely unlucky not to win Sydney's best and fairest but was named All-Australian for the third time in four years.

12. Max Gawn – Melbourne
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 61
Career Goals: 34

Big Maxy broke through to play every game for Melbourne this year, averaged career-highs in hitouts (42 per game), disposals (14 per game), tackles (nearly four per game) and clearances (three per game) and kicked 16 goals for the year. No doubt in my mind he was the obvious choice for All-Australian ruckman this year, and pretty stiff not to win a best and fairest at Melbourne this year, finishing third behind Jack Viney and Nathan Jones.

11. Tom Lynch – Gold Coast
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 102
Career Goals: 190

Words can't describe how close Tom Lynch was from breaking the top 10. I've enjoyed watching him flourish under a team wrecked by injuries. He finished fourth in the Coleman Medal, kicking 66 goals, averaged nearly three contested marks per game – a statistic in which he led the AFL in this year. Topped the year off by winning his second straight best and fairest award. Having just turned 24 years of age, this guy will only get better.

Tomorrow, Bulldogs Centre reveals the Top 10 players of the 2016 AFL season.

Photos Courtesy of Getty Images

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