AS IF Thursday night's clash between Fremantle and Collingwood did not have enough riding on it, the title as the king of the Official AFL Player Ratings could also be up for grabs.

Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury leads the competition with 672.3 points, but Fremantle star Nat Fyfe (656) is closing fast. 

Pendlebury is 16.3 points ahead of Fyfe as the No.1 player heading into the match.

But under the complexities of the system – which involves players 'defending' points accrued in past matches – the Freo star only needs to outscore the Magpie by 11 points to become the top player in the League.

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To put Fyfe's difficult pursuit in context, the star Docker has outscored Pendlebury by 11 or more points in the same round only six times across their careers.

However, four of those occasions have been since round 17 last season, including three times this year (see tables below).

The last time Fyfe achieved this was in round nine, when he scored 35.3 ratings points against Adelaide. Pendlebury managed 12.3 points against North Melbourne.

That was also Fyfe's season-high points tally, as he went head-to-head with Patrick Dangerfield in gathering 40 disposals (26 contested) and also gaining 958 metres.

Pendlebury recorded 25 touches (13 contested) and 231 metres gained against the Kangaroos.

The midfield battle between Fyfe and Pendlebury will have a significant bearing on Thursday night's result.

Match preview: Dockers v Magpies

Fyfe has clearly been the most dominant player in the competition in 2015. The 23-year-old is the runaway leader in the AFL Coaches Award, an incredible 29 votes clear of Sydney Swans midfielder Dan Hannebery.

"He's polled 90 votes out of a possible 110 - that's fairly significant," Magpies coach Nathan Buckley said of Fyfe. 

"Even in the Gold Coast game a couple of weeks ago (round 11), he was the standout player on the ground and he didn't play at his best.

"He's a tough match-up. He's a big unit. He loves getting momentum at stoppages. He's dominant in the air. He's a smart player and he knows where and when to use his energy."

Pendlebury also features in the AFLCA leaderboard, placing equal fifth with North Melbourne ruckman Todd Goldstein on 45 votes.

Even with Jack Crisp and Taylor Adams doing the bulk of the heavy lifting, Pendlebury is Collingwood's midfield conductor.

He has been battling an ankle injury in recent weeks, but the bye round – which, a quick glance at his Twitter page tells you he spent on holidays in Bali – should allow him to attack the second half of the season full of vigour.

Round 2


Round 7


Round 9


LEGEND: D = disposals; K = kicks; KE% = kicking efficiency; CP = contested possessions; MG = metres gained; G = goals; SA = score assists