TWO OF the game's most promising key forwards are leading the pack of 2017 breakout contenders, with players predicting Joe Daniher and Paddy McCartin will join the game's elite this season.

As part of the fourth annual AFL Players' Top 50, players were asked to nominate the youngster 'most likely to have a breakout season and become elite in 2017'.

Essendon forward Daniher, who is entering his fourth season, has been on an upward curve and was tipped by 14 per cent of players to step into the elite category.

The 22-year-old kicked a career-high 43 goals in 2016 and will benefit from a stronger Essendon midfield this season with the return of new captain Dyson Heppell and star Jobe Watson.

There is also an expectation that a pre-season spent refining his goalkicking technique could see a sharp rise in Daniher's accuracy, making him a more damaging proposition.

Young St Kilda tall McCartin, the No.1 pick in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft, is entering just his third season and came in second with 10 per cent of the vote.

The 20-year-old has impressed in his third pre-season, particularly in the Saints' intra-club hit-out, and shapes as a focal point in the club's forward line this season.

McCartin was restricted by multiple concussions in 2016 and finished the season with 14 goals from 11 games, adding to his three goals and six games in 2015.

Which player will make the leap to stardom in 2017?

Joe DaniherESS14 per cent
Paddy McCartinSTK10 per cent
Jack MartinGCFC7 per cent
Brad CrouchADEL5 per cent
Darcy MooreCOLL5 per cent
Rory LobbGWS5 per cent
Christian PetraccaMELB5 per cent

Gold Coast midfielder Jack Martin polled third in the vote, having played 44 games in his first three seasons.

Brad Crouch (Adelaide), Darcy Moore (Collingwood), Rory Lobb (Greater Western Sydney) and Christian Petracca (Melbourne) were among the other prominent vote-winners.

Who do the players rate?

The 2017 AFL Players' Top 50 will be revealed on and the Official AFL Live App from Tuesday, February 28.