PATRICK Dangerfield's status as the best player in the game has been endorsed by the fans, with the Geelong Brownlow medallist motoring past Sydney superstar Lance Franklin in the annual fan survey.
Dangerfield, who has not missed a beat this year after a glittering 2016 season, was emphatically voted the AFL's best player in the expansive survey conducted for AFL.com.au and the AFL Record.
The superstar midfielder was a clear standout ahead of last year's winner Franklin, Richmond midfielder Dustin Martin and Adelaide on-baller Rory Sloane.
Previous winners Nat Fyfe and Gary Ablett were among those to top three per cent of the vote, with rising Bomber Zach Merrett and Swan-turned-Hawk Tom Mitchell among those nipping at their heels.
Dangerfield took all before him in 2016, winning the player of the year awards voted on by the players and coaches and setting several records in his Brownlow Medal victory.
He has picked up where he left off in 2017, leading the AFL for overall contested possessions (17.5 a game) and clearances (7.4), and ranking No.2 for inside 50s (5.5) and centre clearances (3.9).
Dangerfield, 27, is also the player fans would most want at their club, topping a close vote ahead of Marcus Bontempelli (12), Martin (10), Fyfe (eight) and Franklin (eight).
Gold Coast captain Tom Lynch did not figure in the votes for the best player in the game, but seven per cent of fans nominated him as the player they would most want at their club.
Almost 40,000 fans voted in this year's survey, giving their views on the game's players, coaches, clubs and rules, as well as their football viewing habits.
They identified in-demand Greater Western Sydney midfielder Josh Kelly as the young player most likely to take out the game's greatest individual prize, ahead of Melbourne's Clayton Oliver and Sydney's Isaac Heeney.
When it came to free agent Martin, a majority of fans (65 per cent) expected the Tiger superstar to stay at Punt Road Oval in 2018.
North Melbourne was the front-runner to poach Dusty from the Tiges.
Fremantle is also in the box seat to secure captain Fyfe, according to the fans.
However, over a fifth of voters tipped Fyfe to take up a big-money offer to play with the Saints next season.
We'll have more results from the fan survey on AFL.com.au and the Official AFL App on Thursday. The full survey results will be published in the round 12 edition of the AFL Record, available at all venues.