Another stellar season for the midfielder gives Sloane a huge chance to add to his 2013 best and fairest. His work at contested ball situations, both when the Crows do and don't have the ball, is elite. The Crouch brothers have missed games and Scott Thompson is slowing down a little with age but Sloane has kept Adelaide's midfield in good stead. 

Anyone else?
The highest-scoring team in the competition is led byJosh Jenkins and Eddie Betts, who rank fourth and fifth in the Coleman Medal respectively. Daniel Talia has been extremely solid down back andBrodie Smith's run and kicking skills are critical to Adelaide's ball movement. 

How they vote
The five coaches judge every player's performance on a scale of zero to five, with 25 the most votes an individual can receive in a week - Dinny Navaratnam


One of four joint winners of last year's Merrett Murray Medal, Zorko is on pace to go back-to-back this season. His 262 disposals trails only Pearce Hanley (266), but with 6.5 tackles a game and a total of 15 goals, the busy midfielder has been a standout in a tough season. He rarely has a down game and is almost always amongst the best no matter the result. 

Anyone else?
One of Zorko's joint winners last year, Mitch Robinson, would be pushing hard to challenge again. Generally playing a run-with role, Robinson has still averaged 23 disposals and six tackles. It's slim pickings elsewhere at the moment. 

How they vote
The senior coach and his assistants collaborate to score players based on their overall performance, influence on the game, team contribution/role, and compliance with team values and core areas of the game plan. The most votes a player can receive for a game is 12. - Michael Whiting

Danye Zorko has been a rare shining light for the Lions this season. Picture: AFL Media


Despite being subdued in the past two games, the 2014 John Nicholls medallist has been instrumental in most Carlton victories. The leading Blue in's Brownlow Medal predictor with 11 votes, he has been a driving force in the midfield, winning plenty of the ball, being influential at the stoppages and hitting the scoreboard regularly.

Anyone else?
Sam Docherty is not far behind Gibbs with his consistency and flair off half-back and is a candidate for All Australian selection. Last year’s winner Patrick Cripps and 2013 champion Kade Simpson have been solid performers and will poll well again, as will top draft pick Jacob Weitering.

How they vote
Five members of the match committee independently submit votes after each round. Each may award a maximum of 20 votes, to be shared among the players of their choice. Match committee members are not compelled to award any or all of their votes. - Howard Kotton


Behind only Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield as recruit of the year, the speedy midfielder would comfortably lead the Copeland Trophy count and appears primed to eclipse his previous best effort of runner-up last year at Greater Western Sydney. After a delayed start to the pre-season following hip surgery, the 23-year-old is a club-high fifth in the AFL in possessions, averaging 30.7 a game. Has this season lifted himself from No.28 to No.18 in the Schick AFL Player Ratings.

Anyone else?
Scott Pendlebury has been on slow burn, cracked ribs necessitating an early-season move to half-back, but since regaining full fitness the skipper has returned to something resembling his best. Fellow midfielder Steele Sidebottom missed two early games through suspension but his only poor game was in the loss to Melbourne on Monday.

How they vote
Each coach can award up to 22 votes for each game. If, at the end of the count, two or more players tally the same number of votes, the player who has featured in fewer games will finish higher. However, if these players have played the same number of games, the player who has polled the most 'high value' votes will finish higher. - Ben Collins


Merrett was on track for a top-three finish in last year's Crichton Medal before a foot injury cut short his season, but he looks set for some significant recognition in just his third year in the AFL. The 20-year-old midfielder has stepped up incredibly well under pressure as one of the Bombers' leading ball-winners this season, and is averaging 29 disposals a game across the first 12 rounds. His lowest number of disposals for the year was 20 in round five against Collingwood. Merrett's smarts, consistency and ball use should make him the leader of the club's best and fairest at this stage of the season.

Anyone else?
A couple of quieter games in the past month might have seen David Zaharakis slip behind Merrett in the best and fairest race at Essendon, but the 2011 Crichton medallist will have racked up plenty of votes after a brilliant start to the season. James Kelly might also be a chance to be up there for the Bombers given his consistency off half-back, along with stand-in skipper Brendon Goddard.

How they vote
Votes are cast by four members of Essendon's match committee, with each giving a maximum of 10 votes for up to eight players in each game. - Callum Twomey 


Neale is the warm favourite to take out the Doig Medal at the halfway stage of the season. Nat Fyfe and Aaron Sandilands have claimed the last three medals between them, but both have hardly played. Neale finished sixth last year but he has been the standout in a difficult season. He is number one in the AFL for total disposals and equal first for contested possessions. Neale is also equal eighth on the AFL Coaches Association's Brownlow Medal predictor with nine votes. 

Anyone else?
Michael Walters would be a chance to threaten Neale. He is the Dockers' leading goalkicker in a side that has performed poorly, and has moved into the midfield this season with success. Lee Spurr has also been consistent in defence. 

How they vote
Five members of the coaching staff each award players votes from 0-5 for each game. A player can receive a maximum of 25 votes and a minimum of zero for any game. Top votes are awarded for an outstanding elite performance. - Alex Malcolm 

Lachie Neale has flown the flag for Fremantle's midfield in a difficult year. Picture: AFL Media


Despite strong competition among teammates, he has sizzled throughout the first half of the season. At his best, he takes the game to another level. He averages the most disposals (30.8 per game), most contested possessions (15.8) and uncontested (15.5) possessions and averages 606 metres gained a game. He looks to be relishing the tandem act with skipper Joel Selwood and is intent on bringing a premiership to Geelong.

Anyone else?
Joel Selwood and Cam Guthrie have been exceptional in the midfield and would sit on the podium. Selwood leads the Cats in clearances (86), centre clearances (48) and free kicks (41) and Guthrie is filling whatever gap arises. Evergreen defender Corey Enright is having another brilliant season and will poll well.

How they vote
The coaches rate each player out of 15 after each game. To ensure players are not disadvantaged by injuries, being rested or being the substitute, each player's highest scoring 19 games count towards the final tally. - Peter Ryan

Gold Coast

A brilliant season so far for the Suns' vice-captain, Lynch would be a runaway favourite to win his second successive Club Champion award. Is third in the race for the Coleman Medal with 39 goals and second in the competition for contested marks (29). All this in a team that is 16th for forward 50 entries. Lynch is entering his prime and has almost single-handedly kept his team competitive in some games. 

Anyone else?
While not having the astronomical numbers we're accustomed to, Gary Ablett is quietly putting together a very solid season. He's missed one game, but is averaging 27 disposals and seven clearances – good enough for top-10 in the league. 

How they vote
The Suns' match committee of five can award votes to an unlimited number of players per match. A player can receive a maximum of five votes, from each member of the match committee, meaning a maximum of 25 votes can be attained each round. - Michael Whiting


Last year's Kevin Sheedy medallist might go back to back after continuing his brilliant 2015 form this season. The attacking defender leads the competition for kicks and rebound 50s just as he did last year, and last week won the Brett Kirk Medal for a best on ground effort in the 10th Sydney derby against the Swans. 

Anyone else?
Midfielders Stephen Coniglio, Dylan Shiel and Callan Ward, plus wingman Tom Scully would also be up the top of the leaderboard after 12 rounds. They're all ranked top five for disposals at the club. 

How they vote
Senior coach Leon Cameron and three of his assistants vote on the Kevin Sheedy Medal, with up to four votes able to be awarded to a player by each coach every round. - Adam Curley 

Heath Shaw is showing no signs of slowing down. Picture: AFL Media


Defender Josh Gibson was the surprise winner of the Peter Crimmins Medal last year despite Sam Mitchell coming off what many considered a career-best season. Defenders poll well at Hawthorn and it has been an even season to date with no stand-out contributors, so Stratton, ultra-consistent and rarely beaten all year might be leading the Peter Crimmins Medal.  

Anyone else?
Jack Gunston and Cyril Rioli would also be in contention. Gunston has been the mainstay in the forward line in the absence of Jarryd Roughead, while Rioli ran second last year and is playing at the same elite, manic level in 2016. 

How they vote
Have you got an hour? In summary, all the coaches vote and they can vote for as many – or as few – players as they wish depending on how they performed. In a resounding team effort, most players might get votes. The mantra is 'play your role' and those that do get the votes. - Ashley Browne 


The big man has been in scintillating touch this season and has laid solid claims to being the best ruckman in the AFL. Gawn leads the competition in hit-outs (40.7 per game) and is averaging eight contested possessions per game. More to that, his impact on games has gone unmatched at Melbourne this year. Gawn was sensational in games against North Melbourne, Richmond and Collingwood and the fact the Demons are ranked second in the League in both clearances and centre clearances is a direct by-product of his dominance. At the mid-way point of the year, Gawn is in the box seat to take home his first Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Medal.

Anyone else?
Gawn and Jack Viney have become one of the best ruck/rover combinations in the AFL, with the young midfielder taking his game to a new level in 2016. However, Viney missed two games (one through suspension) with a broken hand and that could be costly come the end of the year. Reigning best and fairest winner Bernie Vince and three-time champion Nathan Jones are also enjoying fine seasons.

How they vote
The votes are cast by four members of Melbourne's match committee who give players a score from 0-10 for each game. - Ben Guthrie

North Melbourne

The star ruckman missed one match with a knee injury and was below his best upon his return last round against Geelong, but is otherwise enjoying another fine season. Although his hit-outs are slightly down on last year's record-breaking tally, the 27-year-old is averaging slightly more disposals (15.1) than 2015 – when he was named All Australian and won his first Syd Barker Medal - and has already equalled his career-best goal tally (13). Goldstein is also currently fifth overall on the AFL Coaches Association's leaderboard. 

Anyone else?
Jack Ziebell has always impacted matches, however this year he's doing it more often and for longer. The vice-captain is tied for seventh in the AFLCA award and averaging career-best disposals (23.3) and clearances (5.8). Robbie Tarrant is in the midst of a breakout season holding down a key defensive post, while Ben Cunnington, Andrew Swallow and Jarrad Waite – who started the season on fire – would all be in the mix.

How they vote
Under a new system introduced last year for the Syd Barker Medal, all players can earn up to 20 votes per match, with votes from their best 20 matches and finals counting towards their total. - Travis King

Port Adelaide

Once maligned, the Power half-back has become one of the team's most reliable players this season and leads the club for rebound 50s with a career-high 5.1 a game, twice as many as any teammate. It is Pittard's seventh season and his development has taken time, but his brave take-the-game-on style is finally able to be fully appreciated with more consistency. An All Australian contender at this point of the year, the 25-year-old is also a smart pick for his first John Cahill Medal, averaging career-high disposals (24.3), inside 50s (3.8) and contested possessions (5.2).     

Anyone else?
Hard nut midfielder Ollie Wines has been the Power's most consistent onballer, but Robbie Gray has been excellent either side of a flat spell and injury between rounds 5-8. Jackson Trengove has adapted to play a valuable role in the ruck, while goalkicker Aaron Young (27.11) and classy user Hamish Hartlett deserve credit. 

How they vote
All Port Adelaide coaches – Ken Hinkley, Michael Voss, Matthew Nicks, Garry Hocking, Shaun Hart and Nathan Bassett – vote on their top players on a 0-5 basis for each game. This means a player can be awarded a maximum of 30 and a minimum of zero votes for a match. – Nathan Schmook 

Jasper Pittard has stepped up in the Port backline as others have struggled. Picture: AFL Media


Dustin Martin is well placed to improve on his second place finish in last year's Jack Dyer Medal after playing every game in the first half of the season and hitting career-best form as a full-time midfielder. No.1 at Richmond for overall disposals (335) and contested possessions (144), he has a two-game edge on last year's winner, Alex Rance. He's been among his team's best three players eight times this season and has finished top three in the Tigers' best and fairest four times. He goes into the bye in blistering form after a career best 38 possessions in round 12.  

Anyone else?
Rance would still be polling exceptionally in the 10 games he's played. Trent Cotchin has been recognised internally for his resilience, while Shaun Grigg has been among the most consistent and committed Tigers. Jack Riewoldt has battled in attack all year.  

How they vote
All players receive a 0-5 rating based on their performance, with the match committee assessing each player’s offensive, defensive, and contest impacts on the game. The 0-5 rating is given as a joint match committee decision. - Nathan Schmook 

St Kilda

The dual club champion might be in the best form of his career, averaging a tick under 29 disposals. His ability to break away from stoppages is crucial in a team that can lack speed through the middle. Having played one more game than Nick Riewoldt is crucial when it comes to the count, as the 33-year-old captain is relishing the advantage to run through the midfield.

Anyone else?
Riewoldt would almost certainly be in the top-two, while Sean Dempster was critical in defence before he went down with a knee injury. Tom Hickey and Seb Ross are having career-best seasons while Leigh Montagna and David Armitage would be pushing for spots in the top-five.

How they vote
The coaches vote independently of each other after every match, giving between one and four votes to players. There is no minimum or maximum amount of players that can be voted for. - Dinny Navaratnam

Sydney Swans

Last year's runner-up to Josh Kennedy in the Bob Skilton Medal, Hannebery has again been a consistent performer in 2016. The hard runner is ranked second in the AFL for disposals and sixth for contested possessions, an area of his game that has improved greatly over the past two seasons.

Anyone else?
Lance Franklin's 43 goals has him on track for a fourth Coleman Medal, while midfielders Luke Parker, Josh Kennedy and Tom Mitchell have been outstanding. Ruckman Kurt Tippett, and defenders Heath Grundy and Dane Rampe have also been very good. 

How they vote
Votes are awarded by five of the Swans' coaches, who can allocate up to 10 points for as many or as few players as they deem appropriate, per match. - Adam Curley 

Dan Hannebery has taken his game to another level in 2016. Picture: AFL Media

West Coast

Shuey is probably leading at the halfway stage but perennial contender Matt Priddis is coming with a rush after a slow start. Shuey is in the top-10 on the AFLCA's player of the year leaderboard and is equal fourth on the Brownlow predictor. He finished fourth last year in the best and fairest, but he's averaging one more disposal per game and one more contested possession a game this season. 

Anyone else?
Matt Priddis has a ridiculous record in the Eagles' best and fairest, having finished second four times yet only winning once. He’s had a slow start to the year, but has been very consistent in recent weeks and is equal first in the AFL for contested possessions and third for tackles. Jeremy McGovern may also be an outside chance. 

How they vote
Five members of the match committee rate every player on a scale of 0-3 for each game. The most votes a player can receive each match is 15 votes and players can receive zero. The winner receives the John Worsfold Medal. – Alex Malcolm

Western Bulldogs

With reigning champion Easton Wood and the super consistent Luke Dahlhaus succumbing to injury, it could be a two-horse race between young and prolific midfielders Bontempelli and Lachie Hunter for the 2016 Charles Sutton Medal. Bontempelli has barely had a bad game this season, averaging 24 touches and a goal a game while Hunter is third for total possessions across the League with 373.

Anyone else?
You wouldn't find an unhappy Bulldog supporter if veteran Dale Morris were crowned this year's champion. Whether he's been matched against a key forward like Jesse Hogan or a goalsneak like Eddie Betts, the ultra-dependable defender is yet to lower his colours this season.

How they vote
Each member of the Dogs' coaching staff give votes each round ranging from five for the best player, through to one for the fifth best. - Ryan Davidson