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Players' Top 50: From carefree mid to Giant killer

Toby Greene: the good, the bad and the ugly The uber-talented Giant comes in at No. 21 in the Players' Top 50 countdown

TOBY Greene has always been a prodigious talent, but he's now rightly regarded as one of the competition's best players.

Gone is the carefree onballer chasing kicks, with Greene now a match-winning forward who has become Greater Western Sydney's most important player and one of its biggest stars.

Given his numbers over the past two years, it's little wonder the 24-year-old was this week given a six-year contract extension by the Giants.

He was also named in the starting 18 of the 2016 All Australian side.

Comment: Why sign Toby for six?

And it's no surprise that he's been recognised by his peers as an AFL star.

After not making the cut in 2017, the Giant has been ranked 21st in the fifth annual AFL Players' Top 50.

Players 30-21 are revealed below, and you can click here to see the full Players' Top 50 as they are revealed

Greene has booted 89 goals in his past two seasons, with 2016 his standout campaign.

Toby Greene is increasingly letting his boots do the talking. Picture: AFL Photos

The former midfielder relished his new role across half-forward when moved inside 50 by coach Leon Cameron, kicking 44 goals at an average of 2.4 per game, breaking the club record for goal assists and inside 50s on his way to winning the Kevin Sheedy Medal for best and fairest at GWS.

Toby Greene's honour roll
117 games 123 goals
2016 All Australian, 2017 All Australian nominee 24 career Brownlow votes
2016 club best and fairest 2017 club leading goalkicker (equal)

Close friend and Giants vice-captain Stephen Coniglio told he's not surprised by Greene's rise to elite status.

"I think he thrives on the big moments, he loves the backs-against-the-wall type of games … it's in-built in him," Coniglio said.

"I remember the first year we were at the club and he stated that he wanted to be the best one-on-one player in the competition, and for his size he's definitely right up there.

"He's got that real killer instinct and wants to be the man for us in those big moments."

- Adam Curley

30. Callan Ward

Last year's ranking: 22
Official AFL Player Rating: 28
Debut: 2008
Games: 192
AFL Fantasy value: $659,000

Greater Western Sydney's co-captain (along with Phil Davis) adds hardness to a midfield loaded with talent. Few attack the contest harder than Ward and he tackles with intensity. A durable player, he has notched at least 20 games every season since 2011 and has finished in the top-three of the club's best and fairest in five of the past six seasons.

29. Matt Crouch

Last year's ranking: -
Official AFL Player Rating: 27
Debut: 2014
Games: 72
AFL Fantasy value: $752,000

Crouch was the only Adelaide midfielder to make the All Australian team last year, which says a fair bit about the left-footer's rise to prominence. Crouch's kicking has improved from his early days and he ranked No.2 for disposals in the AFL last year, second to Hawthorn's Tom Mitchell.

28. Cyril Rioli

Last year's ranking: 18
Official AFL Player Rating: 125
Debut: 2008
Games: 185
AFL Fantasy value: $543,000

It's been a tumultuous 12 months for the premiership hero. A left knee injury ruined his 2017 season, while Rioli missed a chunk of the pre-season to spend time with his ill father in the Northern Territory. He deserves to be backed in to have a great season because of what he has achieved and at his best, Rioli is close to the most electric player in the competition.

27. Patrick Cripps

Last year's ranking: 32
Official AFL Player Rating: 30
Debut: 2014
Games: 59
AFL Fantasy value: $692,000

The big-bodied onballer did not deliver on the high expectations placed on him last year but is set to go to another level in 2018. A broken leg suffered in round 16 ended his 2017 season prematurely. At 195cm, Cripps is almost unstoppable at stoppages and has shown in the JLT Community Series he can take marks and have an impact up forward. Cripps is just 22, so there should be plenty of improvement left in him yet.

26. Dayne Beams

Last year's ranking: 46
Official AFL Player Rating: 271
Debut: 2009
Games: 147
AFL Fantasy value: $736,000

Playing in Brisbane keeps Beams out of the limelight but he constantly helps carry the Lions' midfield. The captain can win the football, deliver it well and hit the scoreboard. With another year of development into the club's young on-ball brigade, Beams should have more support and be able to thrive.

25. Max Gawn

Last year's ranking: 17
Official AFL Player Rating: 17
Debut: 2011
Games: 74
AFL Fantasy value: $605,000

It will be a slimmer Gawn who takes to the field in 2018 and his weight loss should help him cover the ground even better. The big man dealt with a serious hamstring injury last year but in 2016 was widely considered the premier ruckman in the AFL, so Gawn will be keen to reclaim that crown.

24. Luke Parker

Last year's ranking: 26
Official AFL Player Rating: 16
Debut: 2011
Games: 151
AFL Fantasy value: $693,000

The 25-year-old's since being drafted at No.40 in 2010 are impressive. He has twice been named best and fairest at the Swans and was a member of their 2012 premiership. Few thrive at contests as much as Parker and that attribute, along with his impressive aerial abilities, could be used up forward more often this season.

23. Trent Cotchin

Last year's ranking: 9
Official AFL Player Rating: 15
Debut: 2008
Games: 198
AFL Fantasy value: $673,000

There have been doubts around how good the Richmond captain is but he dispelled those last year, adding premiership captain to his list of accolades, alongside the 2012 Brownlow Medal. Cotchin's physicality in the finals set the standard for the Tigers and they followed his example. If he spends more time in attack as has been mooted, averaging a goal a game is conceivable.

22. Dylan Shiel

Last year's ranking: 48
Official AFL Player Rating: 25
Debut: 2012
Games: 112
AFL Fantasy value: $666,000

Earned his maiden All Australian berth last year and it was not hard to see why. Shiel averaged 26 disposals and six clearances last season. His large frame is an asset in congestion but he can also explode away from the contest, and he's an integral part of one of the most dangerous midfields in the competition.

21. Toby Greene

Last year's ranking: 24
Official AFL Player Rating: 14
Debut: 2012
Games: 117
AFL Fantasy value: $644,000

Catch up

50-41: The man who must carry the Suns

40-31: Why McGovern is a million-a-year defender

• Players tip 2018's top five breakout stars

Who's next?

• Check out the rest of the 2018 Players' Top 50 as they are revealed