AFL 1 year ago

Alex Docherty's Top 50 AFL Players Post-2016 Part 1: 50-41

At the start of the year, I did a top 50 of the best AFL players leading up to the 2016 season, and with the season all done for another year, AFL experts and outsiders have begun to reveal who they believe made the top 50 players for this year.

To see who made the pre-season top 50, click here:

Today I begin revealing my top 50 for the 2016 season in a five-part series. So many questions have been asked. How many Bulldogs made the list after such a stunning year? Did Patrick Dangerfield get number one after a career year? And if this player or that player made the top 10?

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All is going to be revealed over the next five days, but for today, I give you the first part of this five-part series and reveal players 50-41.

50. Jason Johannisen – Western Bulldogs
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 64
Career Goals: 18

Johannisen started 2016 with a career-best 35 disposals against Fremantle and went on his way to average career-highs in disposals, rebound 50s and contested possessions, with his ability to run and break the lines crucial to the Dogs' year. Johannisen missed nine games with a hamstring injury early in the year, but came back to kick a winning goal on Sydney in round 15 this year, and then win the Norm Smith Medal on Grand Final day with a terrific game, again at the expense of Sydney.

49. Dayne Zorko – Brisbane Lions
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 101
Career Goals: 101


You don't need me to tell you that Brisbane were rubbish this year, so why did one of their players make the top 50? Dayne Zorko was the Lions' best player by a country mile this year, winning Brisbane's best and fairest this year, averaging 23 disposals, six tackles, five inside 50s and three clearances a game, and was one of two players that led the club in goals, kicking 23 goals for the season.

48. Jack Viney – Melbourne
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 70
Career Goals: 19

2016 was a coming of age year for the young Demons midfielder. He missed only one game this year and averaged 26 disposals, seven tackles and six clearances a game this season, and was rewarded by Melbourne accordingly, taking home his maiden best and fairest for the red and the blue.

47. Luke Dahlhaus – Western Bulldogs
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 115
Career Goals: 95

A lot of people underestimate Luke Dahlhaus as he's in such an unbelievable midfield group, and he often makes those who do underestimate pay the price. He averaged 26 disposals, five tackles, four inside 50s and three clearances a game in 2016. Had it not been for a knee injury he suffered midway through the year, there is no doubt in my mind he'd be in at least the All-Australian squad of 40. 

46. Lachie Hunter – Western Bulldogs
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 62
Career Goals: 26

After a magnificent end to 2015, Lachie Hunter enjoyed a career-best season at the Doggies, playing every game and averaged 27 disposals per game. Hunter is firmly establishing himself as one of the game's best outside players today. Critics will say that his disposals don't hurt opposition, but he's only 21 years of age, like most of his team mates will only grow as the years go by.

45. Robbie Tarrant – North Melbourne
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 84
Career Goals: 41

Deserved his best and fairest this year for North and was extremely unlucky not to get a spot in the All-Australian team, as he was consistent in the blue and white all-year long, even when North faced that downward spiral after starting the season 9-0. Tarrant was the rock in their defensive half, playing every game this season and averaged six marks and four rebound 50s a game.

44. Josh Jenkins – Adelaide
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 93
Career Goals: 183


Another one unlucky to get a look in the All-Australian side, Jenkins broke through in 2016 with a 62-goal season after kicking 86 goals in the previous two seasons, this included a bag of eight goals against the Bulldogs and a bag of seven against St. Kilda. People have criticised Jenkins for his knack of kicking cheap goals in the goal-square, but if you watch him closely, he works as hard as anyone to get into that position. 

43. Kade Simpson – Carlton
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 264
Career Goals: 127

Admittedly, I didn't watch a lot of Carlton games this year, but when I did, Simpson's name had been thrown around a lot. His ability to not only get his hands on the ball and show run and carry from half-back but to show courage and play a true defensive role at times this year was top-notch. He averaged 27 disposals, seven marks and four rebound 50s in 22 games this season.

42. Matt Priddis – West Coast
Pre-Season Ranking: 9
Career Games: 219
Career Goals: 67

His numbers in 2016 might have dropped just slightly but I feel he's had less of an impact on games this year as opposed to 2015 and his Brownlow year of 2014. Regardless of this, Priddis is too good not to leave out of the top 50 and his numbers dictate this – averaging 27 disposals, eight tackles and nearly seven clearances a game.

41. Corey Enright – Geelong
Pre-Season Ranking: N/A
Career Games: 332
Career Goals: 66

Even though I don't agree with Enright's spot in the All-Australian team, I can't deny how phenomenal he's been for Geelong not just this season, but over the past decade. Enright broke Geelong's all-time games record and still managed to post good numbers for a defender, averaging 23 disposals, five marks and three rebound 50s per game, he retires as a premiership player, All-Australian and a much-loved figure of Geelong.

Stick around on Bulldogs Centre as Tuesday we go through players 40-31


Photos Courtesy Of Getty Images

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