5. Scott Pendlebury
Last Year's Ranking: 2 (-3)
Official AFL Player Rating: 2
NAB AFL Fantasy value: $614,000
The Collingwood skipper is considered one of the most damaging players in the AFL. He wins the ball frequently, distributes it, and generally picks the right option for his team.
Pendlebury reads the play beautifully and has an uncanny ability to detect when a teammate is in space. He is very rarely rushed with ball in hand and he can be counted on in a critical situations.
The 27-year-old Pendlebury won his third club best and fairest award (and second straight) last season after finishing first for handballs, handballs received, tackles and hard-ball gets, second for kicks, inside 50s and loose-ball gets and fourth for rebounds from defensive 50.
He booted 13 goals, led the Pies’ Brownlow Medal tally with 16 votes and was the sole Collingwood representative in the All Australian team.
The second-year captain, now a five-time All Australian, will carry even more responsibility into this season after the departures of Dayne Beams and Heritier Lumumba and the injury to recruit Levi Greenwood in the NAB Challenge.
Pendlebury was raised in Gippsland in Victoria’s east. He played his junior football for Sale and the Gipplsand Power in the TAC Cup competition and was the fifth pick in the 2005 NAB AFL Draft. He won the Norm Smith Medal in the 2010 Grand Final replay and was the AFL Coaches’ Association Player of the Year in 2013.