YOU COULD mount a case for about half a dozen different Greater Western Sydney players as their best player, but Dylan Shiel ticks some significant boxes.

The powerful, hard-running 24-year-old midfielder would seem to be in the prime of his career and is now one of the most reliable performers in the AFL.

Voted by his fellow players as the No.24 player in this year's AFL Players' Top 50, Shiel is among the competition leaders in consistency for disposals, contested possessions and uncontested possessions.

Who's next? Check out the rest of the AFL Players' Top 50 as they are revealed

He is also a critical part of the Giants' centre bounce set-up, and is the second-most influential player in the AFL for attendances at centre clearances (that is, when he is present in the square, the Giants tend to get the footy).

Dylan Shiel's 2016

23 games27.8 average disposals
Seven Brownlow votesSixth in club best and fairest
Most consistent ballwinner in the AFL*Sixth in AFL for metres gained

*According to Champion Data's consistency ranking for the top 20 ball-winners.

But let's not be blinded just by the rankings, as impressive as they are. Shiel brings a swagger to the way he plays. He has been with the Giants from the very start. Heck, he even played those pre-season games in 2011 when the Giants were 12 months away from entering the AFL.

He lined up on fellow Caulfield Grammarian Chris Judd and he did well.

Powerful and consistent, Dylan Shiel could be set to explode in 2017. Picture: AFL Photos

But Shiel was there for the early days of the routine beltings from the likes of Hawthorn and others. It smarted at the time, but they were parked in the memory bank and as the Giants continue to grow and evolve and become a harder, more experienced unit, they're relishing dishing out a few thrashings of their own.

GWS now bats incredibly deep and have stars across every line, but Shiel has become a leading barometer of the side. When he plays well, they win. And the Giants win most weeks.

- Ashley Browne

25. Nick Riewoldt

St Kilda
Last year's ranking: 25

Official AFL Player Rating: 157

Debut: 2001

Games: 319

AFL Fantasy value: $667,000

It's hard to comprehend what this man is still able to do on the football field. He looked shot a few years ago after knee troubles but they are no longer apparent. A move to the wing last year proved successful, with Riewoldt leading the AFL in marks. His aerial prowess, combined with his size and elite tank, make it almost impossible for opposing coaches to quell his influence. Despite the positional change, the former captain did plenty of damage on the scoreboard in 2016, with 41 goals to his name.

24. Dylan Shiel

Last year's ranking:
Official AFL Player Rating: 19
Debut: 2012
Games: 87
AFL Fantasy value: $591,000

23. Todd Goldstein

North Melbourne
Last year's ranking: 12

Official AFL Player Rating: 6

Debut: 2008

Games: 171

AFL Fantasy value: $582,000

Last year was something of a disappointment for Goldstein, based on his own lofty standards. He carried a knee injury through the second half of the season and it hampered his play. When the 2015 All Australian is in top form, he is probably the best ruckman in the game. He wins the ball around the ground, was second in the competition for hit-outs last year and can take a mark as well. An ankle injury has hampered his preparation but there is no doubt Goldstein will continue to be one of North's most important players.

22. Callan Ward

Last year's ranking:
Official AFL Player Rating: 21
Debut: 2008
Games: 167
AFL Fantasy value: $579,000

Renowned as one of the competition's toughest players, the GWS co-captain has continued his steady climb up the top 50 rankings following another consistent campaign. Ward failed to finish in the Giants' top three in the best and fairest for the first time last year – a sign of the developing talent around him – but led from the front with his uncompromising attack on the ball. He ranked second at the club for contested possessions (11.4) and clearances (5.5), and third for tackles (4.5). Many expect the inspirational skipper to be hoisting the premiership cup on the last Saturday in September.

21. Matt Priddis

West Coast
Last year's ranking:
Official AFL Player Rating: 16
Debut: 2006
Games: 219
AFL Fantasy value: $623,000

Others struggled around him, but the midfield warrior just kept on keeping on last season – despite playing with two bulging discs in his back late in the campaign. Priddis averaged 27 disposals, only slightly fewer than during his 2014 Brownlow Medal year (28.5), while his clearance work remained elite and he led the AFL for tackles. West Coast fans are salivating at the prospect of seeing how Priddis' chemistry with former Hawthorn champion Sam Mitchell develops throughout 2017.

Catch up

50-41: Tough-as-nail Demon's time arrives

40-36: Magpie Treloar soars in the spotlight

35-31: What rising Blue Patrick Cripps still needs to improve

 30-26: Baby Bomber Zach Merrett's next challenge

Who's next?

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

• Breakout stars: The players name the seven most likely to explode

Who topped the count in 2016?