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Grand Final player ratings

Dinny Navaratnam and Sarah Black, AFL Media  September 29, 2017 1:49 PM

AFL 2017 First Preliminary Final - Adelaide v Geelong

Eddie Betts will be the highest-ranked forward on the ground on Saturday according to the League's official Player Ratings system

AFL Media has taken a final look at the Schick AFL Player Ratings for the 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final.

Determining the AFL's best player has always been tricky. Whether it be umpires, coaches, media or fans, judgements about top players have always contained a large slice of opinion.

Now, using the most sophisticated algorithm ever applied to our game, we are assessing every single action of every player, determining the impact of that action, and providing points – either positive or negative – toward that player's rating compared to his peers.

Along with the obvious acts such as goals, marks and disposals, we've included intercepts, spoils, kicking to a contest, smothers, chasing, corralling and many other 'one-percenters' - along with where and when they occurred - to paint a complete picture of ever player's impact on a game.

And the Player Ratings are based on a player's past 40 games, which delivers a long-term view of a player's standing within the AFL.

Team Game ranking (Overall ranking) Player Comments
RICH 1 (2) Dustin Martin The 2017 Brownlow Medallist is in career-best form and has dominated like few others before him. Could turn the Grand Final on its head with one don't argue.
ADEL 2 (5) Rory Sloane Another stellar season for the tough midfielder. Struggled through a quiet patch mid-season when taggers were able to nullify him, but has since thrived. His huge clash with Patrick Dangerfield last week epitomised the way Sloane plays footy.  
RICH 3 (13)  Trent Cotchin  The Richmond captain has taken his game to a new level this year, rising from No.39 in the Player Ratings at the start of the season. Has employed a ferocity around the ball which nearly saw him suspended for the Grand Final. 
ADEL 4 (22)  Eddie Betts Has waited 13 years to play on this stage and the superstar could turn the match with his brilliance in front of goal. Set the tone in last week's comprehensive preliminary final win against Geelong. 
RICH 5 (23) Alex Rance A champion defender, Rance was named the Virgin Australia All Australian captain in recognition of another excellent season. Undoubtedly the best backman in the game.
ADEL 6 (25)  Matt Crouch The hard nut has taken his game to a new level this season, after having started the year ranked at No.134 in the Player Ratings. Averaged 33 disposals this year.
ADEL 7 (55) Sam Jacobs It's been a tough time off-field for the ruckman, following the death of his elder brother Aaron last month, but he has put together an impressive finals campaign.
ADEL 8 (57) Richard Douglas One of the most underrated players in the competition. Consistently performs his role in the midfield and can be relied upon to do so in the decider. 
RICH 9 (64) Shane Edwards A quiet achiever who has been on Richmond's list for 11 years. Doesn't get a ton of the ball, but brings teammates into the game with creative disposal. 
ADEL 10 (74) Tom Lynch Lining up among other more eye-catching forwards means Lynch can go under the radar, but his role as the link man is critical to the Crows.
ADEL 11 (75) Taylor Walker Since being appointed as captain in 2015, 'Tex' has shown himself to be a brilliant leader. A premiership medal would be fitting reward, considering how he has led this group through adversity. 
ADEL 12 (81) Rory Laird With Brodie Smith having suffered a season-ending right knee injury in the qualifying final, more responsibility has fallen on to the gun backman, but his prowess meant he handled it with aplomb in the preliminary final.
ADEL 13 (86) Brad Crouch The elder Crouch brother has enhanced his reputation during the finals. Can be counted on to compete as hard as possible and can break away from the contest as well. 
ADEL 14 (91) Jake Lever It looms as his last game in Crows colours, with a move to Melbourne on the cards, but the intercepting defender has been professional in dealing with speculation all year and should have the maturity to deliver once again. 
ADEL 15 (112) Josh Jenkins Few talls have the mobility to match the former Essendon rookie in the running department. Richmond will have to keep a close on him, or Jenkins could easily end up with three or four goals.  
ADEL 16 (118) Rory Atkins With his precise disposal and speed, the wingman could cut the Tigers open on the large expanses of the MCG. 
RICH 17 (124) Dion Prestia It's been a massive turnaround for the previously injury-stricken Gold Coast midfielder. Provides the grunt to Cotchin and Martin's class. 
RICH 18 (125) Jack Riewoldt Has had to be the sacrificial big man in the latter half of the year. Admitted he was beaten by Phil Davis last week, but he continually brought the ball to ground so the smalls could flourish.
ADEL 19 (134) Daniel Talia Almost certain to be given the job on Jack Riewoldt. Forwards are rarely able to have much impact when the close-checking Crow comes their way.
RICH 20 (152) Toby Nankervis Instantly christened 'Nank the Tank' on his arrival from Sydney, the ruckman's biggest strength is his aggression around the ball. A vital player, especially considering he is one of the Tigers' few talls. 
RICH 21 (153) Josh Caddy The former Cat has played predominantly as a forward this year, where his strong body has proven invaluable in a small attack.
RICH 22 (160) Kane Lambert Hard-running and versatile, Lambert is in career-best form. Uses his speed to break away on a forward or back flank. Missed only one game this season. 
ADEL 23 (176) Charlie Cameron Electrifying in last week's domination against Geelong. Can take a big grab, is clean at ground level and when he puts on the afterburners, few can catch him.
ADEL 24 (186) David Mackay A line-breaker who can make an impact if not paid attention to. 
RICH 25 (212) Brandon Ellis Rebounded from a poor 2016, but has had an uncharacteristically quiet finals series. Extremely lucky he wasn't cited by the MRP for a bump on Lachie Whitfield last week.
RICH 26 (224) Nick Vlastuin Missed two months with a right shoulder injury, but has come into his own during the finals series. A reliable intercept mark and a calming presence in defence. 
ADEL 27 (239) Luke Brown Doesn't always receive the attention he deserves. Usually takes the opposition's best small – likely to be Daniel Rioli on Saturday -  and often does the job. 
RICH 28 (242) Daniel Rioli Coming off a career-best four-goal haul last week, Rioli does what Riolis do best. Starting to put together more consistent games, and causes panic wherever he goes.
RICH 29 (246) David Astbury The key defender takes the opposition's biggest and best forward, and doesn't often have his colours lowered. Never flustered, Astbury allows Rance to roam freely.
RICH 30 (252) Shaun Grigg Has added in a surprising new element to his game this season – second ruck. The usual winger uses his smarts around the ball to nullify opponents' hit-outs. 
RICH 31 (257) Bachar Houli Missed four games in the middle of the year through suspension, but came back into the side with a point to prove. Provides great dash off half-back.  
RICH 32 (262) Dylan Grimes A high-quality third defender, Grimes can play tall or small and is very rarely beaten. Traditionally does well on Adelaide speedster Eddie Betts.
ADEL 33 (279) Kyle Hartigan A mid-season left hamstring injury threatened to cost the dour defender's spot for the finals but he has fought his way back. Performs well in one-on-one contests.
RICH 34 (312) Kamdyn McIntosh Can be prone to the occasional error. A tall runner who has had a comparatively quiet finals series, he is capable of a match-turning break down the wing.
RICH 35 (324) Dan Butler Broke through for his debut in his third year on the list and has missed just two games. Bobbed up to kick the sealer last week, sending the Tiger faithful into a frenzy.
ADEL 36 (393) Andy Otten One of the feel-good stories of the Grand Final, having suffered two knee reconstructions earlier in his career. Brought back into the team with Mitch McGovern having suffered a left hamstring injury. Knows his limitations and plays to them. 
ADEL 37 (396) Paul Seedsman Has strung three straight games together after having just one in the preceding 12 months. Peaking at the right time, as evidenced by a prominent role in the preliminary final.
RICH 38 (422) Jason Castagna Butler's housemate and partner-in-crime up forward, Castagna's pressure was outstanding against the Giants after a poor qualifying final.
ADEL 39 (426) Hugh Greenwood  Concerns the former basketballer is hampered by a calf injury, but Crows coach Don Pyke has placed his faith in the big-bodied onballer. Has added depth to the club's midfield.
ADEL 40 (449) Jake Kelly  Passed over by Collingwood as a potential father-son selection but has made that call look foolish in hindsight. Seriously valuable down back and will probably be assigned Dustin Martin, when the Brownlow medallist drifts forward. 
ADEL 41 (458) Riley Knight Showed when given the task of stopping Joel Selwood last week that he won't hold back. Could have the all-important job on Trent Cotchin. 
RICH 42 (538) Nathan Broad The mature-age recruit has cemented a spot in defence in his second season at the club. Does have his shaky moments with disposal, but his courage can't be questioned.
RICH 43 (549) Jacob Townsend Has been a late-season revelation playing as a defensive forward, kicking 14 goals with 28 kicks across his four matches. 
RICH 44 (594) Jack Graham The South Australian teenager will be playing in a Grand Final in just his fifth game. Has impressed with his tackling and composure.