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Brownlow form guide

All Australian: Tom Mitchell Tom Mitchell has been named in the All Australian for 2018.

The Crows are expected to poll 62 votes overall, shared among 16 players. Bryce Gibbs is tipped to be the leading contender with 11, ahead of Matt Crouch (10) and Rory Laird (eight). Traditional vote-getter Rory Sloane missed a large chunk of the season with a foot injury.

Best chance: Bryce Gibbs
The experienced midfielder had a consistent first season with the Crows after crossing from Carlton at the end of last year. Gibbs should poll well in the first half of the season. His form – like that of the team – tailed off in the middle part of the season before turning in a big performance in the round 20 Showdown win against Port Adelaide. Gibbs played every game this season, averaging 25.9 disposals and 5.4 tackles per game. 

Fast starter: Bryce Gibbs
Gibbs made a strong first impression at his new club, having 35 disposals and eight inside 50s in the round one loss to Essendon, followed by 26 touches and 10 tackles in the round three win over St Kilda. He should poll five votes in the first three rounds. 

One-vote wonder: Eddie Betts
It was a quiet season by the veteran small forward's lofty standards, but his outstanding four-goal performance in a low-scoring 37-point win against the Western Bulldogs in round nine should have caught the attention of the umpires. - Lee Gaskin

Their team finished in the bottom four, but Lions fans have a genuine chance of supporting a winner on Brownlow night. Our predictor expects former skipper Dayne Beams to be right in contention entering the final month, with an outside chance of pinching the win. Despite winning just five games, Brisbane is predicted to have 11 players grabbing votes, including nine matches in which a Lion polls three votes.

Best chance: Dayne Beams
The dynamic midfielder is a proven vote-getter and should be right in the hunt. After a slow beginning to his season Beams gets a real hurry-on between rounds nine and 17. In that eight-game span, AFL.com.au predicts the former skipper to poll 15 votes, including best-on-grounds against Sydney in round 10 and in wins over Carlton and Hawthorn in rounds 16 and 17. Expect him to be in the thick of the action at that stage.

Fast starter: Stefan Martin
The mobile ruckman had another terrific season after starting like a house on fire. He is expected to grab a vote in the opening-round loss to St Kilda and then another three when almost single-handedly giving the Lions the chance of an upset win over Port Adelaide. Martin had 49 hit-outs and 30 disposals in the five-point loss.

One-vote wonder: Luke Hodge
After coming out of retirement the 34-year-old had a fine season and might be a chance to add to his 131 career votes in round 14 against Greater Western Sydney. Hodge had 30 disposals and kicked a goal in the 27-point loss. - Michael Whiting

Carlton's Brownlow Medal night will be all about Patrick Cripps. The Blues youngster is tipped to poll 23 votes in AFL.com.au's Brownlow Predictor, finishing third overall and just two from anticipated winner Dustin Martin. He's the only Carlton player expected to poll frequently, with only six Blues slated to earn votes.

Best chance: Patrick Cripps
Cripps is undoubtedly Carlton's best – and only – Brownlow chance. He's tipped to poll 23 votes, which includes five best-on-ground performances. Remarkably, four of those were in defeats. Cripps' chances will be hindered by Carlton's two-win season, but his immense contested and clearance work meant he was still able to influence games. Should he claim the Brownlow, he would become just the third player to do so in a last-placed side.

Fast starter: Charlie Curnow
Curnow kicked five goals against Richmond in Carlton's season opener and could be one of few Blues to steal votes from Cripps throughout the night. He's one of only two Carlton players, besides Cripps, tipped to poll votes in a loss.

One-vote wonder: Sam Petrevski-Seton
Petrevski-Seton gave a promising glimpse of his potential in Carlton's round 19 victory over Gold Coast. He had 26 disposals and two goal assists, with his polish by foot making him one of his side's most effective players. - Riley Beveridge

Top-four teams generally go well in the Brownlow but the Magpies had such an even spread of contributors that they will probably pinch votes off each other. Jordan De Goey can captivate like few others in the AFL, Brodie Grundy is almost as hard to miss, and numerous onballers have performed brilliantly.  

Best chance: Brodie Grundy
In a team loaded with star midfielders, it would take a special season from anyone else to lead the Magpies' voting on Brownlow night, but Grundy has had a special season. Despite standing at 203cm, the ruckman moves and kicks like a smaller man, as exemplified by his magnificent running goal in the Pies' round four victory over Adelaide. He's tipped to finish equal-third on 23 votes in the predictor, behind Richmond superstar Dustin Martin on 25.

Fast starter: Steele Sidebottom
An undoubted jet, Sidebottom spent more time inside the contest in 2018, rather than on a wing, and has thrived. He is tipped to pick up seven votes in the opening five rounds, and 10 in the first nine games. 

One-vote wonder: Mason Cox
The big American will be in the reckoning for at least one vote, if not two, when he bagged a career-high five goals in Collingwood's Queen's Birthday victory over Melbourne, with De Goey likely to be considered best-on-ground. – Dinny Navaratnam 

Essendon won't have a player who challenges for the Brownlow Medal this year after an indifferent season that saw the Bombers fail to reach the top eight. The predictor suggests the Bombers will poll 68 votes this season across 13 players, which would be quite an even spread. 

Best chance: Dyson Heppell
The Bombers captain helped turn around the club's season at the mid-point of the year and had some stellar games. He leads the red and black for predictor votes with 15, which would be a career-high season tally for the midfielder after previously registering 14 votes last year and in 2014. Heppell averaged 27 disposals a game this season, including an excellent 35-disposal effort in round one.

Fast starter: David Zaharakis
The midfielder could snag an early vote or two for his round one performance against Adelaide. Zaharakis had 35 disposals that night in Essendon's win over last year's grand finalists. But he won't be a big vote-getter given he missed seven weeks with a shoulder injury in the second half of the year.

One-vote wonder: Shaun McKernan
McKernan's four-goal effort against North Melbourne in round 15 could see the versatile big man win a Brownlow Medal vote for the first time. He also played well against Geelong in round nine with four goals and the following week against Greater Western Sydney, so is a good chance to get off the mark after nearly a decade in the system. – Callum Twomey

The main interest for the Dockers will be to see how many votes superstar skipper Nat Fyfe racked up when he was back to his domineering best before his round 12 suspension ruled him ineligible. Apart from Fyfe and Lachie Neale, it is expected to be slim pickings for Freo.

Best chance: Lachie Neale
The nuggety onballer's consistency shows why Fremantle is desperate to keep him from Brisbane's clutches. Neale played every game and only picked up fewer than 26 disposals twice. He should poll in the round six Western Derby after sharing best-afield honours. Was at his best late in the year when Fyfe was sidelined by a hamstring. Should poll well in round 17 against Port and the round 21 win over Carlton, and is expected to finish with around 11 votes.

Fast starter: Nat Fyfe
The 2015 Brownlow medallist was the raging favourite early in the year after a barnstorming start to his season. Fyfe could poll top votes in a stretch of five games in seven weeks between rounds two to eight. 

One-vote wonder: Alex Pearce
Will be interesting to see if umpires reward Pearce for keeping Gold Coast star Tom Lynch to one major in round three, a week after he bagged eight goals against Carlton. - Travis King

It's hard to fathom that come Monday night, Geelong could have three current players in the top 10 of all-time vote-getters – Gary Ablett, Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood. With 19 Cats polling coaches' votes this year, Chris Scott's men could be in for an open count. Tipped to land 89 votes as a collective.

Best chance: Patrick Dangerfield
Far from the heights of his 2016 Brownlow Medal-winning season, Dangerfield should still give umpires something to think about in the back half of the season. Tipped to poll 17 votes on the AFL.com.au predictor, Dangerfield is expected to net 12 votes in the Cats' final nine games after the mid-season bye. Spending more time in attack earlier this season will hurt his chances, however if predicted two-vote games in rounds two and five turn into threes, he may put some pressure on the leaders in the latter rounds. 

Fast starter: Tim Kelly
The rest of the competition was just trying to catch up on who this former electrical apprentice was when he was starring in early proceedings. Picking up 27 disposals in each of his first two games, Kelly should get the three votes in round seven, and is tipped to poll 13 overall.

One-vote wonder: George Horlin-Smith
Appears on his way to the Gold Coast but could steal a vote from his round five cameo against Port Adelaide. A late inclusion for one of only four games this season, the 25-year-old had 26 disposals and booted two goals. – Mitch Cleary   

With just four wins and on the receiving end of plenty of beltings, don't expect to see too many votes for the Suns. In fact, our predictor has Gold Coast players receiving a total of just 32 votes, spread across 13 players. Most of the fun comes in the first five weeks where the Suns won three games – it might be time to tune out after that.

Best chance: Aaron Young
It's slim pickings in a tough season but the former Port Adelaide utility made a good fist of things in his first season in Queensland. Young is expected to poll two votes in the opening round against North Melbourne and another three for his four-goal outing in the monumental upset of Sydney in round 18.

Fast starter: Touk Miller
The young midfield leader was instrumental in beating North Melbourne in the torrential rain in the opening round in Cairns and then completely shut down Brisbane star Dayne Zorko in a QClash win at the Gabba in round five.

One-vote wonder: Lachie Weller
The prized recruit from Fremantle took a while to find his feet at half-back but had an excellent finish to the season. His 23-disposal, two-goal showing in the upset win over Sydney might be enough to grab him a solitary Brownlow vote. - Michael Whiting

The Giants' biggest hopes once again rest with gun midfielders Stephen Coniglio, Callan Ward and Josh Kelly, but wingman-turned-running defender Lachie Whitfield should also attract plenty of votes after his All Australian season. Kelly missed seven games with injury so probably can't win it, but the middle of his season was outstanding.

Best chance: Stephen Coniglio
The West Australian was somehow left out of the All Australian squad, but once again put up some big numbers, similar to his 2016 season in which he polled 17 votes. The difference with Coniglio this season was his impact while playing forward, kicking 21 goals. The tough nut is always under the umpire's nose and his presence won't be missed.

Fast starter: Stephen Coniglio
Stared the year with 32 touches, 10 inside 50s, seven tackles, five clearances and two goals against the Western Bulldogs, then followed that up with 27 and three important majors against Collingwood. Huge opening month.

One-vote wonder: Toby Greene
The star forward came off virtually no pre-season to kick four goals from 25 possessions and 10 marks against the Dogs and looked ready for a big year. It wasn't to be. - Adam Curley  

Expect the star midfield duo of Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O'Meara to dominate Hawthorn's voting. O'Meara is expected to be on two at the end of round 12, according to the predictor, but could pick up 10 in his following six matches. Forward pair Luke Breust and Jack Gunston notched up a combined 17 votes in the predictor after both had fantastic seasons.

Best chance: Tom Mitchell
Widely considered the raging favourite to take the Brownlow home but the Hawk ball-magnet is tipped to finish equal-fifth in the predictor, behind Richmond superstar Dustin Martin. He averaged 35 disposals to easily lead the competition in that stat and will be hard for the umpires to ignore. The 25-year-old is expected to have a blistering start to the season, with three straight best-on-ground performances in the opening three weeks, on his way to finishing with 21 votes.

Fast starter: James Sicily
Mitchell started well, but not many other Hawks did. Sicily is tipped to poll five votes in the first seven rounds, an impressive effort for a backman, especially considering he missed a couple of games in that time because of separate suspensions. His disposal count dropped out of the 20s in just two of 14 home and away matches.

One-vote wonder: Jarryd Roughead
The Hawthorn captain may not be the star he once was, but he might sneak a vote in his side's Round 7 win over Essendon. That night, Roughead bagged three goals and amassed 16 disposals. - Dinny Navaratnam

The Demons will poll plenty of votes this season, with All Australians Max Gawn and Clayton Oliver set to feature near the top of the leaderboard. Gawn is considered a legitimate chance of winning the award, while Oliver may surprise a few and compile plenty of votes. Melbourne has not had a Brownlow winner since Shane Woewodin triumphed in 2000, but 2018 could be the closest they have come to breaking that drought.

Best chance: Max Gawn
Could the bearded fan favourite actually have a shot at winning this year's Brownlow? He has to be a chance, based upon an outstanding 2018 season in which he led the AFL for hit-outs (45.1 per game) and was second in the competition for contested marks. Underlining his impact on his side's success, 35.5 per cent of his hit-outs were classed as "to advantage". Gawn is projected to poll 24 according to AFL.com.au's Brownlow predictor, which would see him finish as runner-up to Dustin Martin.

Fast starter: Jesse Hogan
Hogan was one of the in-form forwards of the competition in the first six weeks of the season, with the predictor expecting Hogan to poll 11 of his 12 possible votes before the club's bye in round 13.

One-vote wonder: Jake Lever
Lever took a while to get adjusted to his new surroundings but saved his best performance for a game in round 10 against his old team Adelaide. The Demons recorded a 91-point victory and Lever played an influential role with his physicality and aggression. A week later Lever ruptured his ACL and was out for the season. - Ben Guthrie

Shaun Higgins is the Roos' leading chance to win this year's Brownlow Medal, but clearance specialist Ben Cunnington should join him with 10-plus votes. Ben Brown, Jarrad Waite and Jack Ziebell are others to watch, while Trent Dumont finished strongly. Paul Ahern might cap his long journey to his AFL debut with maximum votes for his 37-disposal haul against West Coast in round 19.

Best chance: Shaun Higgins
The silky midfielder averaged 27.4 disposals (23.5 in 2017), 10.6 contested possessions (8.7), 7.2 score involvements (7.2), 5.1 clearances (4.4) and 5.9 inside 50s (5.7). Book Higgins in for a second straight Syd Barker Medal – this time in a near-finals side – and he is an outside chance to become the first Kangaroo to take home 'Charlie' since Ross Glendinning in 1983. Our Brownlow Predictor has him polling 17 votes, but he'll need more to win the medal.

Fast starter: Ben Brown
Brown was scoreless in the Cairns deluge in round one, but followed up with 23 goals in the next five weeks, with no fewer than four in any one match. He should pick up five votes in that period, according to the Brownlow Predictor.

One-vote wonder: Billy Hartung
Hartung capped his impressive start to the season with 24 disposals, one goal, five inside 50s, four clearances and 509m gained in North's 86-point thumping of Carlton in round four. If he snags a vote, it will almost certainly be this one. - Marc McGowan

The Power aren't expected to have anyone in double figures. Tough inside midfielder Ollie Wines is tipped to lead the way with nine votes, ahead of Robbie Gray and Chad Wingard on eight. The Power are tipped to poll 63 votes across 13 players. They should start well having won 11 of their first 15 games before dropping off dramatically in the back-end of the season. 

Best chance: Ollie Wines
It was another solid season from the 23-year-old vice-captain, averaging 26.1 disposals and five tackles per game. Wines is tipped to poll nine votes – with six of those coming in three successive games from rounds 12-14. A huge 35-disposal game in the Power's round two upset of Sydney should deliver him the three votes, while he should also get the maximum for his 29 touches, 12 tackles and 10 inside 50s in the Power's round 12 win over reigning premier Richmond. But while Wines was consistent, he only had three games of 30 or more disposals, the type of standout games that grab the attention of the umpires.

Fast starter: Jared Polec
Ironically, Polec – off to the Kangaroos next year on a lucrative five-year deal – had an absolute blinder in the Power's round six win over North Melbourne, amassing 34 disposals and 12 tackles. He should also poll votes in the Power's round three victory against his old side, Brisbane. 

One-vote wonder: Sam Gray
The small forward had an up and down season but turned it on with a four-goal haul in the Power's round six win over North Melbourne. Should be enough to snag at least a vote. - Lee Gaskin

The Tigers are a realistic chance to produce a back-to-back winner for the first time in club history, with Dustin Martin roaring into late contention. The team's 18 victories will produce a swag of three-vote winners, with Martin, Trent Cotchin, Jack Riewoldt and the ineligible Josh Caddy to be prolific.

Best chance: Dustin Martin
We've got him polling 25, which is 11 short of what he racked up in 2017 to win it but could still be enough. He'll bookend his season with a strong start and then thunder home with a trio of potential three-vote games after the bye. He'll go quiet mid-season around the time he missed a game with a calf injury, but expect to see him rack them up from round 16 onwards.

Fast starter: Trent Cotchin
Martin will figure in the early votes, but so will the skipper. His best form came early in the season with his strongest performance against Collingwood (29 possessions, 18 contested) in round six.

One-vote wonder: Reece Conca
Tackled hard and won plenty of the ball in the Tigers' easy round four win over Brisbane, which might be enough to earn him his fourth career vote. - Jennifer Phelan

The predictor suggests just eight St Kilda players will poll on Brownlow night, and that makes sense after a year that brought only four wins and a draw. With only two losses by fewer than 23 points, the umpires probably won't pay much attention to the Saints who performed well in games that weren't particularly close.

Best chance: Jack Steven
St Kilda had three best-on-ground performances this season, the predictor says, and all of them were from Steven. They came in victories over Brisbane, Gold Coast and Carlton, while Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn was handed top votes when his side fell by two points to the Saints in round 15. Steven averaged 27 disposals in 2018 and took the fourth-most bounces in the competition, and he has accumulated 39 votes in the last three years.

Fast starter: Jack Billings
It's necessary to take a careful approach when considering fast starters at St Kilda, because the team fell into a mire after its round one win over Brisbane. In that match, Billings picked up 26 disposals and slotted two goals, and was tipped to notch up a couple of votes. However, his form dropped away after that.

One-vote wonder: Blake Acres
A persistent groin injury kept Acres to 12 games but the athletic midfielder showed his talent with 30 disposals and a goal in that victory over the Lions. He didn't pick up a vote in the predictor but is a chance to have nabbed one from the umpires. - Dinny Navaratnam

The usual suspects in Lance Franklin, Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker will be the leading Swans again, with Isaac Heeney, Jake Lloyd and Zak Jones the other main hopes. Kennedy and Parker had good seasons without being as dominant as they have been, but Franklin's impact as a match-winner – despite missing four games – is hard to ignore.

Best chance: Lance Franklin
The superstar forward booted 57.43 from 18 matches and as a proven vote-getter – he's polled 39 votes over the past two seasons – and he'll probably be in the top 10 again. Failed to kick a goal just once for the year and despite his niggles, ended the season as well as he started it.

Fast starter: Lance Franklin
Kicked eight goals to ruin the official AFL opening of Optus Stadium for the locals in round one against West Coast and had 17 after four rounds, while averaging 18.5 disposals and 8.5 marks.

One-vote wonder: Callum Mills
Won the Brett Kirk Medal for best on ground when he gathered 26 possessions against the Giants in round three in a dominant performance across half-back. - Adam Curley  

Gun onballer Andrew Gaff was a leading contender for the Brownlow before his round 20 suspension, however big-bodied midfielder Elliot Yeo snuck up in the second half of the year and looks a smoky for the award. Jack Redden could also poll well after an impressive campaign in the engine room.

Best chance: Elliot Yeo
The All Australian defender has transformed into an elite onballer in the space of 12 months, and Yeo has all the attributes to catch umpires' eyes. The midfield brute enjoyed an outstanding finish to the campaign, averaging 25 touches and nearly a goal in the last eight games. He is tipped to finish equal fourth overall on 21 votes, with 11 of those coming between rounds 16 to 21, including two best-on-ground performances.

Fast starter: Jack Darling
Could be the leading Eagle after nine rounds following his purple patch when he was the AFL's dominant key forward. Tipped to have polled nine votes after terrorising Richmond with six majors and 15 marks in round nine. 

One-vote wonder: Mark Hutchings
Was in and out of the side early in the year before a brilliant 27-disposal, 10-tackle and one goal performance against Port Adelaide in round seven. Cemented his spot as a run-with mid since. - Travis King

After another underwhelming season, the Bulldogs won't have had the umpires clamouring to award them too many votes. The Brownlow predictor estimates they'll receive 44 votes, with star midfielders Jack Macrae and Marcus Bontempelli taking home the lions' share. While the system only has him collecting four votes, a breakout season could see young gun Toby McLean receive a few more.

Best chance: Jack Macrae 
The ball magnet was among the favourites until a hamstring injury cost the 24-year-old three weeks on the sidelines mid-season. Apart from the game in which he got injured, Macrae only dipped under the 30-possession mark in two other games and he racked up 40 touches or more on four occasions. The Brownlow predictor has him collecting a club-high 15 votes.

Fast starter: Jack Macrae 
He started the season strongly and could have 11 votes by the end of round nine. The Brownlow predictor estimates he could be in for maximum votes from rounds seven to nine.

One-vote wonder: Billy Gowers
For a player who started the season as a rookie, the hard-running forward impressed with a club-best 26 goals in his debut year. The predictor has him collecting a vote for a two-goal performance in the round 14 win over Geelong. - Ryan Davidson 

  

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs