AFL Players to Watch 2018

2018 AFL Players To Watch

This page is dedicated to some of the key Aussie Rules players to keep a keen eye on this 2018 AFL Premiership season. Who are the star young recruits tipped to make a big impact on their AFL club this year? What greats of the game will dominate the AFL statistics again with a Brownlow Medal to be won?

See below for all the AFL footy facts and stats on some of the likely 2018 standouts and then head over for all the top odds in our 2018 AFL Season Pricing markets.

  • Dustin Martin – Richmond Tigers
  • Garry Ablett Jr. – Geelong Cats
  • Nat Fyfe – Fremantle Dockers
  • Bryce Gibbs – Adelaide Crows
  • Jake Lever – Melbourne Demons
  • Patrick Dangerfield – Geelong Cats
  • Josh Kelly – GWS Giants
  • Alex Rance – Richmond Tigers
  • Lance Franklin – Sydney Swans

Dustin Martin

AFL Player odds at Ladbrokes

Dustin Martin is a key Tigers AFL Player. Photo: AFL.

  • AFL Team: Richmond Tigers
  • DOB: 26/06/1991
  • Height: 187cm
  • Weight: 92kg
  • Position/s: Midfielder / Forward
  • Debut: 2010

The predominant superstar of the AFL, Martin blitzed it in season 2017 winning the Brownlow (and every other individual player award), Norm Smith Medal, Richmond’s best and fairest and more importantly a premiership with Richmond. With explosive bursts of play from the midfield, Dusty has the ability to have the game played on his terms and his trademark “don’t argue” has become an iconic part of the game.

What’s scary for opposition fans and a delight for the Tiger Army is that Dusty can only improve from here.

Patrick Dangerfield

AFL Geelong odds at Ladbrokes

Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield. Photo: AFL.

  • AFL Team: Geelong Cats
  • DOB: 05/04/1990
  • Height: 189cm
  • Weight: 92kg
  • Position/s: Midfielder / Forward
  • Debut: 2008

Dangerfield had another standout season in 2017 and looked on track to win back to back Brownlows but after a tackle that left Carlton’s Matthew Kreuzer with concussion after Round 19, he was suspended leaving him ineligible.

He would come second in the count to Richmond’s Dustin Martin.

With an average of 30 disposals a game last season and known for his speed and elite skill, he will be a vital part of the Cats campaign to go one better after back to back losses in preliminary finals.

Gary Ablett Jr.

The Prodigal Son Returns to Geelong. Photo by abc.net.au

  • AFL Team: Geelong Cats
  • DOB: 14/05/1984
  • Height: 182cm
  • Weight: 87kg
  • Position/s: Midfielder / Forward
  • Debut: 2002

Much to the delight of the Geelong faithful the prodigal son returns home to the Cats after seven years at the Gold Coast Suns.

His past four seasons have been interrupted by injury, missed eight games of the 2017 season with shoulder and hamstring issues but was still able to win the Gold Coast Suns best and fairest for the fourth time in his career.

The prospect of a Geelong midfield consisting of Ablett, Selwood and Dangerfield has Cats fans believing another flag is heading to Kardinina Park.

Ablett has signed a two year contract with the Cats and if he can avoid injury, the 34 year old could have a few more years left in his stellar two time Brownlow and premiership winning career.

Nat Fyfe

Nat Fyfe looks to regain his stellar form from 2015. Photo by PerthNow

  • AFL Team: Fremantle Dockers
  • DOB: 18/09/1991
  • Height: 190cm
  • Weight: 92kg
  • Position/s: Midfielder / Forward
  • Debut: 2010

Came back from a broken leg in season 2016 and was able to regain some of his 2015 Brownlow medal winning form towards the later of last year. A ball magnet, Fyfe averaged 26 disposals a game last season.

Fyfe, who was also named captain at the start of 2017 played the majority games last season and was subject to much speculation about his contract under free agency. He eventually signed a six year contract with the Dockers which will see him there until 2023 much to the delight and relief of the Freo faithful.

Bryce Gibbs

adelaide crows odds

Bryce Gibbs could be the boost Adelaide needs to go one better in 2018. Photo by AFL.com

  • AFL Team: Adelaide Crows
  • DOB: 15/03/1989
  • Height: 188cm
  • Weight: 84kg
  • Position/s: Midfielder / Halfback
  • Debut: 2007

Gibbs finally gets to return home to Adelaide and joins the Crows on a four year contract after a decade at Carlton.

Gibbs was consistent for Carlton last year, finished fourth in the best and fairest and polled 11 votes in the Brownlow.

In what will be a boost for the Crows midfield, Gibbs arrival at Football Park keeps Adelaide’s hopes for a premiership well and truly alive.

Jake Lever

jake lever melbourne demons

Lever makes his move to Melbourne for 2018. Photo by Zimbio.

  • AFL Team: Melbourne Demons
  • DOB: 05/03/1996
  • Height: 195cm
  • Weight: 92kg
  • Position/s: Half Back
  • Debut: 2015

Declaring he wanted to leave the Crows for a Victorian club just under 48 hours after their Grand Final loss to Richmond, the Demons gave up their first round pick from the 2017 national draft and a future first round and fourth round pick for him.

The Demons clearly have a lot of faith in Lever, who was nominated for the All-Australian team last year and has signed a four year contract with the club.

Josh Kelly

Josh Kelly GWS

Kelly looks to continue his hot form from 2017 being his breakout year. Photo by DT Talk.

  • AFL Team: GWS Giants
  • DOB: 12/02/1995
  • Height: 184cm
  • Weight: 82kg
  • Position/s: Midfielder
  • Debut: 2014

Highly sought after by Victorian clubs in 2017, Kelly signed a two year contract to stay at GWS during last year’s finals series.

An absolute ball magnet in the highly impressive Giants lineup, Kelly averaged 25+ possessions a game and set a club record of 43 disposals in a game against West Coat in Round 22 of last year.

Kelly is now a staple of the GWS midfield and expect him to get even better after his breakout 2017 season.

Alex Rance

Alex Rance Richmond Tigers

Rance almost won the Norm Smith Medal last season. Photo by Flickered.

  • AFL Team: Richmond Tigers
  • DOB: 9/10/1989
  • Height: 194cm
  • Weight: 88kg
  • Position/s: Full Back
  • Debut: 2009

Named captain of the 2017 All-Australian team, Rance is the best defender in the game and was arguably the best on ground in the Grand Final last year.

When it comes to a one on one contest, he is rarely beaten and his dominance in the backline can be a match winner for the Tigers.

Number one for interecept possessions in the League and one of the games more colorful characters, Rance will be vital in Richmond’s quest to go back to back in season 2018.

Lance “Buddy” Franklin

Lance Franklin Sydney Swans

Buddy won his Fourth Coleman Medal last season. Photo by News.com.au

  • AFL Team: Sydney Swans
  • DOB: 30/01/1987
  • Height: 199cm
  • Weight: 107kg
  • Position/s: Forward
  • Debut: 2005

Leading the goalkicking with 73 goals, Franklin went on to win the Coleman Medal for the fourth time in his career last season.

At age 31, Buddy still has the speed, skill and smarts to dominate up forward and will be a nightmare for any defender that plays on him.

He’s currently 10th on the all-time goal kickers list with 860 goals and if he has another solid year he’ll be set to overtake the likes of Matthew Lloyd (926), Leigh Matthews (915) and Peter McKenna (874).

It’s been a decade since Buddy kicked the last tonne (100) of goals in a season and football fans can only hope this is replicated sooner rather than later.