THE WESTERN Bulldogs have the second-best list in the competition, according to Champion Data's 2020 List Ratings.

North Melbourne is also predicted to have a bumper season with its list ranked sixth overall, helped by its hard-nosed midfield unit that is ranked second.

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Boosted by the off-season additions of key forward Josh Bruce and defender Alex Keath, the Bulldogs – who finished seventh last year and lost to Greater Western Sydney in the first week of the finals – are ranked behind only reigning premiers Richmond.

New Western Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce (r) wrestles with Josh Schache at training. Picture: AFL Photos

The Bulldogs have the second-best defence in the competition, trailing only the Tigers, who have the best backline despite the sudden retirement of All-Australian defender Alex Rance.

The stats gurus have taken a liking to the list the Kangaroos have assembled, especially a midfield brigade featuring the likes of Ben Cunnington, Jack Ziebell, Shaun Higgins, Trent Dumont, Jared Polec and former Gold Coast livewire Aaron Hall.

 

However, the boffins don't have the same fondness for a Geelong backline that conceded the fewest points in the competition last year.

The Cats have been ranked a lowly 16th for defence, ahead only of Carlton and wooden spooners Gold Coast.

Greater Western Sydney has the top forward line in the competition, led by Coleman medallist Jeremy Cameron, fellow talls Jeremy Finlayson and Harry Himmelberg and dangerous forward Toby Greene.

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Brisbane's midfield is ranked the best in the League, having added big-bodied on-baller Cam Ellis-Yolmen to provide more depth to an on-ball unit featuring Lachie Neale, Dayne Zorko, Jarryd Lyons, Hugh McCluggage and Mitch Robinson.

However, the Lions are ranked 10th overall with question marks over their forward line, which is rated the second-worst in the competition ahead of only the Suns.

Port Adelaide's backline has been rated the third-best in the League despite conceding 10 goals to North Melbourne spearhead Ben Brown in round 22 last year.

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New Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks has a tough job on his hands according to the stats gurus. The Crows are ranked 15th overall with their forwards (16th) and midfield (17th) lacking in quality and depth.

CHAMPION DATA'S 2020 LIST RANKINGS
  Defenders Forwards Midfield Overall
Richmond 1 2 7 1
W. Bulldogs 2 3 6 2
Collingwood 4 5 3 3
GWS 14 1 12 4
West Coast 13 6 4 5
North Melbourne 7 12 2 6
Geelong 16 4 5 7
Port Adelaide 3 9 10 8
Essendon 6 8 11 9
Brisbane 11 17 1 10
Hawthorn 10 10 8 11
St Kilda 12 11 13 12
Melbourne 9 15 9 13
Sydney 5 7 16 14
Adelaide 8 16 17 15
Fremantle 15 14 15 16
Carlton 17 13 18 17
Gold Coast 18 18 14 18