Infotainment Factory: Who will claim Charlie this year?

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Sunday, 23 September 2018

Who will claim Charlie this year?


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The AFL's most prestigious individual honour is up for grabs again. There's an impressive list of contenders for the Charlie this year, but who will win it?

Tom Mitchell is the overwhelming favourite to win the 2018 Brownlow Medal on Monday evening, but he would also be the least fashionable winner since West Coast's Matt Priddis claimed the 2014 medal in a major upset.

The three most recent victors - Richmond's Dustin Martin, Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield and Fremantle's Nat Fyfe - were dynamic and eye-catching hybrids with the size and strength to out-muscle opponents in the midfield and up forward.

Bookmakers have Mitchell a near certainty to win, rating him about a $1.50 chance - the next best is Tigers megastar Dustin Martin, who's listed about $8.

Martin's barnstorming finish to the home-and-away season means he's a chance to go back-to-back after taking last year's medal with a record 36 votes.

Dangerfield polled 35 votes in 2016 and Fyfe 31 in 2015 but this year's count is forecast to be a tighter contest, with the winner likely to poll in the mid to high 20s.

Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn and Collingwood ruck Brodie Grundy are expected to poll well but would need to defy recent history to claim the "midfielders medal".

Here's the full list of the players most likely to win it this year.

2018 BROWLOW MEDAL CONTENDERS

TOM MITCHELL

The Hawthorn midfielder finished third last year, polling 25 votes, and has turned in a better season this year. He had in excess of 100 disposals more than the next-best in the home-and-away season, averaging 36 a game. Mitchell would be a deserved champion after a stunning season in which he was fifth for tackles laid. The 182cm onballer does his best work at the bottom of packs and is about as likely to be cast forward as he is to be thrown into the ruck. A clear favourite with the bookies and pundits.

DUSTIN MARTIN

The Richmond ace won last year's medal with a record 36 votes. Hasn't entirely recaptured that form but still produced at least four standout games and a number when if not best-afield, close to it. Averaged about 25 disposals a game and topped the league for inside 50s. Various form guides have Martin polling maximum votes at least four times and being in the votes in numerous other matches.

MAX GAWN

A specialist ruckman hasn't won the Brownlow since Scott Wynd in 1992 but if anyone can end that streak it's the Melbourne star. Dominated the rucks with almost 150 more hit-outs than the next best in the home-and-away season. Second in the competition for contested marks, averaged 16 disposals a game.

PATRICK CRIPPS

The Carlton gun was fifth in the competition for disposals, averaging 30 a game, and led the league average for contested possessions while also in the top-10 for tackles laid. Was simply outstanding in a number of games but how much will playing in a side that won just two games hurt his chances?

CLAYTON OLIVER

The Melbourne midfielder has been sensational, averaging 30 disposals, seven tackles and five inside 50s a game. Is also top-10 for clearances. Rated a near-certainty to poll maximum votes in at least three games but will his teammate Gawn's excellence deny him full votes, or visa versa?

BRODIE GRUNDY

The Collingwood ruck averaged 39 hit-outs a game, behind only Gawn, who averaged 45. But the Magpies star has arguably been the most influential big man around the ground, averaging 21 disposals a game including 12 contested possessions. Also top-20 for tackles laid in the league.

ELLIOT YEO

The West Coast on-baller averaged 25 touches a game and plays with a flair that should catch the eye of umpires. Was behind only Martin for inside 50s and part of a winning side more often than not. But his suspended teammate Andrew Gaff could pinch votes.

DAYNE BEAMS

The Brisbane star averaged 29 disposals a game and is rated a solid chance of at least four best-on-grounds. Polled 17 votes last season when the Lions won five games, the same as this season. A slowish start but will power home towards the end of the season.

The AFL's most prestigious individual honour is up for grabs again. There's an impressive list of contenders for the Charlie this year, but who will win it?

Tom Mitchell is the overwhelming favourite to win the 2018 Brownlow Medal on Monday evening, but he would also be the least fashionable winner since West Coast's Matt Priddis claimed the 2014 medal in a major upset.

The three most recent victors - Richmond's Dustin Martin, Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield and Fremantle's Nat Fyfe - were dynamic and eye-catching hybrids with the size and strength to out-muscle opponents in the midfield and up forward.

Bookmakers have Mitchell a near certainty to win, rating him about a $1.50 chance - the next best is Tigers megastar Dustin Martin, who's listed about $8.

Martin's barnstorming finish to the home-and-away season means he's a chance to go back-to-back after taking last year's medal with a record 36 votes.

Dangerfield polled 35 votes in 2016 and Fyfe 31 in 2015 but this year's count is forecast to be a tighter contest, with the winner likely to poll in the mid to high 20s.

Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn and Collingwood ruck Brodie Grundy are expected to poll well but would need to defy recent history to claim the "midfielders medal".

Here's the full list of the players most likely to win it this year.

2018 BROWLOW MEDAL CONTENDERS

TOM MITCHELL

The Hawthorn midfielder finished third last year, polling 25 votes, and has turned in a better season this year. He had in excess of 100 disposals more than the next-best in the home-and-away season, averaging 36 a game. Mitchell would be a deserved champion after a stunning season in which he was fifth for tackles laid. The 182cm onballer does his best work at the bottom of packs and is about as likely to be cast forward as he is to be thrown into the ruck. A clear favourite with the bookies and pundits.

DUSTIN MARTIN

The Richmond ace won last year's medal with a record 36 votes. Hasn't entirely recaptured that form but still produced at least four standout games and a number when if not best-afield, close to it. Averaged about 25 disposals a game and topped the league for inside 50s. Various form guides have Martin polling maximum votes at least four times and being in the votes in numerous other matches.

MAX GAWN

A specialist ruckman hasn't won the Brownlow since Scott Wynd in 1992 but if anyone can end that streak it's the Melbourne star. Dominated the rucks with almost 150 more hit-outs than the next best in the home-and-away season. Second in the competition for contested marks, averaged 16 disposals a game.

PATRICK CRIPPS

The Carlton gun was fifth in the competition for disposals, averaging 30 a game, and led the league average for contested possessions while also in the top-10 for tackles laid. Was simply outstanding in a number of games but how much will playing in a side that won just two games hurt his chances?

CLAYTON OLIVER

The Melbourne midfielder has been sensational, averaging 30 disposals, seven tackles and five inside 50s a game. Is also top-10 for clearances. Rated a near-certainty to poll maximum votes in at least three games but will his teammate Gawn's excellence deny him full votes, or visa versa?

BRODIE GRUNDY

The Collingwood ruck averaged 39 hit-outs a game, behind only Gawn, who averaged 45. But the Magpies star has arguably been the most influential big man around the ground, averaging 21 disposals a game including 12 contested possessions. Also top-20 for tackles laid in the league.

ELLIOT YEO

The West Coast on-baller averaged 25 touches a game and plays with a flair that should catch the eye of umpires. Was behind only Martin for inside 50s and part of a winning side more often than not. But his suspended teammate Andrew Gaff could pinch votes.

DAYNE BEAMS

The Brisbane star averaged 29 disposals a game and is rated a solid chance of at least four best-on-grounds. Polled 17 votes last season when the Lions won five games, the same as this season. A slowish start but will power home towards the end of the season.

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