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2016's form guide: The risers and the fallers

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 16: Mitch Wallis of the Bulldogs celebrates after kicking a goal during the 2016 AFL Round 04 match between the Carlton Blues and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on April 16, 2016. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media)
Mitch Wallis has rocketed up the charts from 146 to 77

AFTER six rounds, trends are emerging in the Schick AFL Player Ratings and the big movers are revealing themselves.

There have been shifts in the top 10, such as Nic Naitanui's significant move from No.8 to No.5.

At the same time players such as Taylor Adams (No.223 to No.133) have been rocketing up through the lower ranks.

Climbing the Player Ratings becomes harder the higher you get, while players can drop quickly once they're out of the top 100 and trending down. We track the major climbers and fallers at your club and identify the top dog of every team six rounds into 2016.

Biggest climb: Half-forward Tom Lynch is a key cog in moving the Crows from defence to attack. He's ranked second at the club in marks, third in goals and top five in kicks, uncontested possessions and marks inside 50. Lynch has improved 46 spots in the player ratings.

Falling down: The hit-out numbers of ruckman Sam Jacobs are slightly down this year. Jacobs has gone from averaging 37.4 hit-outs last year to 34.8 in the opening six rounds. He's also averaging fewer marks (4.2 to 2.8) and kicks (8.9 to 6.2), although his disposals are up. Jacobs has moved down 10 spots overall, from No.12 to No.22.

Highest rated: Midfielder Rory Sloane has regained the No.1 mantle at the Crows after Patrick Dangerfield's move to Geelong. Sloane has slipped one place overall from No.5 down to No.6. Sloane is fifth in goal assists, 10th in tackles in the competition and is the barometer of the Crows' engine room. - Lee Gaskin

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Tom Lynch 130 176 46
Rory Laird 160 188 28
Daniel Talia 252 294 42

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Sam Jacobs 22 12 10
Brodie Smith 55 45 10
taylor walker
127
116 11

Biggest climb: By his lofty 2015 standards, ruckman Stefan Martin has actually started quite slowly this season, but has still climbed 61 places to 70th overall. Martin didn't play in the first half of 2014, so anything in the first 11 rounds this year is cream on the cake. The 29-year-old has still been solid though, averaging 16 disposals and 23 hitouts.

Falling down: Much like last year, injuries have curtailed the early season form of Tom Rockliff and seen him slide 11 places. A calf niggle cost the skipper two matches and in the other four he is averaging just 22 disposals. With 32 touches and 10 tackles at the weekend, watch for him to start climbing again though.

Highest rated: Dayne Zorko assumed the Lions' top spot last year and has continued to climb. He is now a permanent midfielder, finds plenty of the ball (25 touches a game), continues tackling (seven a game) and kicks one goal a game. He was brilliant against the Swans on Sunday. - Michael Whiting 

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
stefan martin 70 131 61
dayne zorko 14 19 5
allen christensen 168 226 58

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
tom rockliff 72 61 11
sam mayes 355 315 40
josh green 108 99 9

 

Biggest climb: Matthew Wright is Carlton’s leading goalkicker after six rounds with 7.3. He is equal second at the club for inside 50s (23) and third for score involvements (30), but has added value at stoppages with the occasional run in the midfield. Since leaving the Crows at the end of last season he has risen 29 spots.

Falling down: Marc Murphy topped the Blues for disposals last season, averaging almost 27 a game, and was No.1 for kicks with 15. This year his numbers have dropped considerably, with his average disposals just below 22, although his figures were not helped by an injury against the Bulldogs in round four. He is at No.48 overall, down from No.35 at the end of last season.

Highest rated: Murphy is clearly rated as the Blues' No. 1 player and with good reason. The skipper provides much-needed polish with his disposals and has stepped up in key moments in the past two games with crucial last-quarter goals to help guide his team over the line. - Howard Kotton 

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Matthew wright 151 180 29
ed curnow 178 204 26
sam docherty 218 244 26

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
marc murphy 48 35 13
kade simpson 132 100 32
zach tuohy 216 198 18

 

Biggest climb: Hard-nosed midfielder Taylor Adams' standing at Collingwood continues to rise, with the new leadership group member elevating himself 90 spots this year to No.133. Third at the club for possessions, averaging 27.6 in his five games, the tough nut they call 'Tay' is also second in clearances and rebounds, and third in inside 50s.

Falling down: In this instance skipper Scott Pendlebury is a victim of both his courage to play with injury and his phenomenally high standards. The brilliant left-footer has dropped five places from No.2 to No.7 while playing basically all six games under duress. Sore ribs necessitated a move to half-back, limiting his clearance and contested-ball numbers, along with his influence.

Highest rated: Pendlebury is still 22 places clear of his nearest teammate, boom recruit Adam Treloar (No.29), who has been the Pies' best and most consistent performer this year. - Ben Collins 

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
taylor adams 133 223 90
jack crisp 114 170 56
alex fasolo 195 275 80

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
scott pendlebury 7 2 5
jesse white 269 214 55
jarryd blair 152 125 27

 

Biggest climb: Zach Merrett's more permanent move into the midfield has resulted in a jump up the ratings board. The classy left-footer has averaged 28 disposals a game so far this year and has become one of Essendon's most important players.

Falling down: Despite his strong form in his new colours as an Essendon top-up player, Mathew Stokes has plummeted down the Schick AFL Player Ratings tables. He started the season placed at No.135 but has dropped to 177 after six rounds.

Highest rated: The highest-ranked Bomber is suspended midfielder Dyson Heppell, who comes in at No.28. Next best is Brendon Goddard at No.62, who has taken over the Essendon captaincy this year with skipper Jobe Watson and vice-captain Heppell out all season. - Callum Twomey 

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
zach merrett 134 162 28
courtenay dempsey 261 304 43
david zaharakis 118 134 16

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
mathew stokes 177 135 42
craig bird 278 266 12
Joe daniher 291 282 9

 

Zach Merrett's move to the midfield has paid dividends. Picture: AFL Media

Biggest climb: Michael Walters has spent more time in the midfield this year and has climbed from outside the top 100 to No.63 overall as a result. He has still spent a fair amount of time forward and is the Dockers' leading goalkicker with 13. But he's averaging more disposals and more clearances per game this season. He has jumped 60 spots overall since the end of last season.

Falling down: An unfortunate one-game suspension and a sickening rib/lung injury means Aaron Sandilands has only played five quarters of football this season and he has dropped from 15 to 21 as a result. He will fall even further as the Dockers won't risk bringing him back any earlier than he needs to.

Highest rated: Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe is the No.1 player in the competition at the moment. But he may not play again this season after suffering his second left fibula fracture in eight months in round five. - Alex Malcolm

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
michael walters 63 123 60
lachie neale 88 101 13
garrick ibbotson 210 235 25

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
aaron sandilands 21 15 6
michael johnson 203 154 49
tendai mzungu 302 233 69

 

Biggest climb: Josh Caddy has leapt 45 places as he benefits from being the third best inside player at the Cats. The 23-year-old has been a consistent performer since the start of 2014 and finished seventh in the Cats best and fairest last year. He has not missed a game in 2016 and has already kicked eight goals as a midfielder. 

Falling down: To say Joel Selwood has fallen doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but such was the standard he set in 2014 it's hard for him to maintain his rating. Selwood, however, has consolidated his position in the top 10 players in the competition in recent weeks and it's hard to argue he will lose that status anytime soon.

Highest rated: Patrick Dangerfield has been in super form after joining Geelong and is threatening to take over top spot soon. He wins the ball inside and outside the contest and makes his teammates better. - Peter Ryan

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
josh caddy 67 112 45
mark blicavs 93 122 29
zac smith 274 354 80

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
joel selwood 9 6 3
mitch duncan 59 42 17
corey enright 126 102 24

 

Biggest climb: It's no surprise that forward Tom Lynch has made the biggest jump to 37th overall. Lynch has been the Suns' best player through six rounds and is leading the Coleman Medal race with 24 goals. He has also taken the most contested marks in the competition (19).

Falling down: His form is up on last season's disappointment, but former Swan Nick Malceski has still taken the biggest dive, down 41 spots to 119th overall. This largely comes down to the first six weeks of Malceski's All Australian season in 2014 no longer counting. He is still finding the ball, with 20 touches a game.

Highest rated: Reigning best and fairest Tom Lynch took over from skipper Gary Ablett as the Suns' number one man in the opening round of the season. Ablett has missed a stack of footy in the past two years and will undoubtedly climb again later in 2016. - Michael Whiting 

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
tom lynch 37 58 21
aaron hall 129 171 42
alex sexton 286 374 88

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
nick malceski 119 78 41
brandon matera 220 157 63
jarrod harbrow 241 202 39

 

Biggest climb: A knee injury cost Dylan Shiel the last eight games of 2015 but he's started this season in stunning form, and has jumped up 53 spots to 26th on the list. The 23-year-old midfielder leads the Giants in disposals and clearances in 2016.

Falling down: A four-game suspension was a less than ideal way to start the season and it saw Jeremy Cameron fall to 224th on the rankings. The star forward is unlikely to keep falling though after booting eight goals in his first two games back.

Highest rated: Co-captain Callan Ward is the number one player at the Giants and has moved inside the top 20 from 22nd to number 18. He's the club's contested ball king and is one of many GWS midfielders in brilliant form this year. - Adam Curley 

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
dylan shiel 26 79 53
shane mumford 96 142 46
rhys palmer 162 220 58

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Jeremy cameron 224 197 27
joel patfull 228 211 17
devon smith 62 66 4

 

Biggest climb: Speedster Billy Hartung has risen from 393 to 313, a jump of 80 places in the rankings. He is averaging 22 disposals a game, up from an average of 15 before that, and his tackle count has doubled to three per game. What is interesting is that he remains a fringe player at the Hawks and was dropped for last week's clash with Greater Western Sydney.

Falling down: Isaac Smith is one of a number of Hawks whose form has dipped this year, and his ranking has tumbled from 107 to 149. His stats are similar to previous years, but other midfielders throughout the AFL have lifted their output, which explains his decline.

Highest rated: Cyril Rioli is enjoying a great season and his ranking through six games has improved from 18 to 12. His average disposals have increased by 2.5 a game and he is laying almost two more tackles a game. - Ashley Browne

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
cyril rioli 12 18 6
sam mitchell 27 40 13
billy hartung 313 393 80

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
jordan lewis 89 48 41
luke hodge 44 31 13
isaac smith 149 107 42

 

Isaac Smith's ranking has been on the slide this season. Picture: AFL Media

Biggest climb: Jack Viney has had an outstanding start to the season and would be vying with Max Gawn for the club's best and fairest award. The tough midfielder leads the team for disposals (29.2 per game), contested possessions (15.8), clearances (7.7) and tackles (5.8).

Falling down: Running defender Heritier Lumumba. Lumumba had off-season surgery on both of his ankles at the end of 2015, capping a disappointing first season in Melbourne colours. After missing round one, Lumumba has come back into the side and has added leadership and experience to a more hardened Melbourne side.

Highest rated: Demons skipper Nathan Jones has long held the top ranking at the club (68th overall) and has made a solid start to the season. Jones and Tom McDonald are the only Demons players to rank inside the competition's top 100. - Ben Guthrie

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
jack viney 113 173 60
neville jetta 231 285 54
tomas bugg 338 382 44

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Heritier lumumba 233 200 33
lynden dunn 209 199 10
N/A - - -

 

Biggest climb: In the form of his life, it's no surprise to see Jarrad Waite scaling the player rankings to 73rd from 129th at the start of the year. The reborn key forward is dominating in the Kangaroos' forward line and his 22 majors (and only six behinds) see him just two goals off Coleman Medal pace. Waite has improved disposal, marks, contested marks and tackle numbers too.

Falling down: Nick Dal Santo was quiet against the Western Bulldogs, which harmed his ratings, but, like many of his elder statesmen teammates, the classy veteran is enjoying a fine season. Dal Santo is averaging 21 touches – the second most of any Roo. In terms of ratings (down to 47), he's a victim of his own excellent form in 2015, which saw him climb to 16th overall.

Highest rated: Todd Goldstein's player ratings chart resembles a climb up L'Alpe D'Huez in the Tour de France, with the star Roo consistently moving up the charts since he was rated 85th overall in 2012. Goldstein is now No.3 in the competition and without peer as the best all-round ruckman in the game. - Travis King

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
jarrad waite 73 129 56
ben brown 204 290 86
jack ziebell 98 127 29

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
nick dal santo 47 33 14
drew petrie 163 124 39
brent harvey 13 10 3

 

Biggest climb: Midfielder Robbie Gray is one of the League's best at winning the ball at ground level. He's fourth in clearances and top 10 for contested possessions and inside 50s. Gray has moved up three spots to No.4 overall, demonstrating why the Power desperately need him to return from a hamstring injury.

Falling down: It's been a tough start to the season for Hamish Hartlett. He's gone from averaging 22.2 disposals a game in 2015 to 18 through the first six rounds this year and has struggled to make an impact. Hartlett has dropped 14 places from No.29 to No.43 overall.

Highest rated: Gray is not only the biggest improver in terms of percentage, but also the highest overall at Port, sitting in the No.4 spot. The reigning two-time best and fairest is one of the elite midfielders in the competition. - Lee Gaskin

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Robbie Gray 4 7 3
Ollie Wines 54 76 22
Charlie Dixon 144 195 51

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Hamish Hartlett 43 29 14
travis boak
24 17 7
Matt White 176 137 39

 

Biggest climb: Key forward Jack Riewoldt has impressed this season despite poor supply, and he has climbed to No.36 overall as a result. He leads the Tigers with marks inside 50 (17) and contested marks (14), and ranks equal sixth in the AFL with 16 goals. He has jumped 10 spots overall since the end of last season.

Falling down: It has been a difficult season for captain Trent Cotchin, and his fall down the Player Ratings is more a reflection of his team's problems. Cotchin has fought a lone battle in the midfield at times but can't lift his rating in a struggling 1-5 team.

Highest rated:
It took vice-captain Brett Deledio one match to take back his No.1 mantle at the Tigers from All-Australian teammate Alex Rance. Ranked No.31 overall, he regularly holds top billing at Tigerland when playing. - Nathan Schmook   

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Jack riewoldt 36 46 10
shane edwards 34 43 9
anthony miles 99 117 18

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
trent cotchin 81 73 8
bachar houli 194 179 15
troy chaplin 173 161 8

 

Jack Riewoldt has impressed despite often poor supply. Picture: AFL Media

Biggest climb: Jack Steven has jumped 27 spots since the end of 2015, up to No. 45. He is continuing on from the form that saw him win best and fairests in 2013 and 2015. He sits 15th in the competition for clearances per game and works hard defensively as well, ranking fifth for tackles per game.

Falling down: Midfielder Leigh Montagna has dropped 12 spots, despite providing plenty of run this season playing at half-back. However, that positional change means his tackles have dropped by more than two per game, while his inside-50s have fallen by just over one per match.

Highest rated: David Armitage is the man at St Kilda, ranked No. 25 in the competition. His work at contested ball situations is excellent, and he is ranked ninth for clearances per game this season. His consistency over the past two years is significant, as that is the period in which Schick AFL Player Ratings are calculated. - Dinny Navaratnam

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
jack Steven 45 72 27
David Armitage 25 38 13
Shane Savage 91 133 42

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Leigh Montagna 95 83 12
Luke Dunstan 192 182 10
N/A - - -



Biggest climb: Midfielder Luke Parker is one of the early Brownlow Medal favourites after his extraordinary start to the year and has moved from 37th to number 20 in the ratings. Parker has averaged almost 30 touches per game in 2016 and kicked seven goals from six games.

Falling down: There's not too many out-of-form Swans this season but co-captain Jarrad McVeigh's off-season knee surgery cost him some early games, and he's dropped to number 60 on the list. McVeigh has played the past three matches and is slowly working his way back to his best.

Highest rated: Star midfielder Josh Kennedy has fallen one spot to number 10 in the ratings but he's been in outstanding touch. After a quiet round one – by his standards – Kennedy has picked up 27-plus possessions in his next five matches. - Adam Curley 

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
luke Parker 20 37 17
dan Hannebery 30 39 9
Dane Rampe 135 174 39

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Jarrad McVEIGH 60 52 8
Josh Kennedy 10 9 1
N/A - - -

 

 

Biggest climb: Scott Lycett has made the most of his opportunity as West Coast's second ruckman behind Nic Naitanui this season. Lycett has averaged almost 16 hitouts, 12 disposals, four marks and a goal. He has really hit his straps as a resting forward in his past three Domain Stadium games, booting a total of five goals. 

Falling down: Star forward Mark LeCras has had an uncharacteristically poor start to the season. He had three goalless games in the first five rounds and averaged just 18 disposals, but he did respond in fine style last week with 27 touches and three goals.

Highest rated: Naitanui is rising with a bullet given his early season form. He's 10 spots clear of 2014 Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis, who has dropped from 14 to 15 after six rounds. - Alex Malcolm

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
scott lycett 350 421 71
Josh Hill 137 203 66
Jeremy McGovern 74 90 16

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Mark LeCras 102 80 22
Elliot Yeo 136 118 18
Sharrod Wellingham 161 140 21

 

Eagles ruckman Nic Naitanui has vaulted into the top five. Picture: AFL Media

Biggest climb: Before badly injuring his hamstring in round four, defensive playmaker Jason Johannisen was in career-best form that saw him jump from a rank of 219 to 147. He was averaging 24 disposals a game and hurting the opposition with his elite speed and sharp skills. 

Falling down: A move from the midfield to defence sees evergreen veteran Matthew Boyd as the Dogs' biggest slider. Despite being a key part of the backline, the 34-year-old has slid from a rank of 81 to 110.

Highest rated: After taking a while to cement himself in the Dogs' midfield, Mitch Wallis has become a vital part of the rotation by averaging 24 disposals. The 23-year-old's ranking has skyrocketed from 146 to 77 as a result. - Ryan Davidson

On The Up

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Mitch Wallis 77 146 69
Luke Dahlhaus 39 63 24
Jason Johannisen 147 219 72

On The Slide

PLAYERRatingLast YearDifference
Matthew Boyd 110 81 29
Easton Wood 42 34 8
Jack Macrae 101 92 9