1. Hawthorn

48 points (12 wins, three losses) 120.1 per cent

The Hawks took care of their own business against Port Adelaide on Thursday night and would have been pleased to see Geelong and the Giants lose within the next 48 hours. Massive game on Thursday night – win and they'll pull two games clear of two big rivals for the flag, the Swans and Cats, and put further claims on a top-two finish. They're also running into some form as well, having won their last six games. History beckons. 

The run home
Rd 17: Sydney Swans (SCG)
Rd 18: Richmond (MCG)
Rd 19: Carlton (Aurora Stadium)
Rd 20: Melbourne (MCG)
Rd 21: North Melbourne (MCG)
Rd 22: West Coast (Domain Stadium)
Rd 23: Collingwood (MCG)

• Nine things we learned from round 16

2. Sydney Swans

44 points (11 wins, four losses), 138.5 per cent

Not even sure the supreme optimists thought the Swans would knock over the Cats on the road, but it was as complete a performance as you could hope for. They'll go top with a win over the Hawks on Thursday night in a blockbuster at the SCG. They beat them earlier this year after a fine defensive effort so will be brimming with confidence, but three games in 12 days is a huge ask against a team having played once in two and a half weeks. 

The run home
Rd 17: Hawthorn (SCG)
Rd 18: Carlton (SCG)
Rd 19: Fremantle (Domain Stadium)
Rd 20: Port Adelaide (SCG)
Rd 21: St Kilda (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 22: North Melbourne (Blundstone Arena)
Rd 23: Richmond (SCG)

3. Adelaide

44 points (11 wins, four losses), 132.3 per cent

Now into third favouritism for the premiership after seven straight wins. The Crows took care of business against the Blues, boosted their percentage and further familiarised themselves with the MCG. Collingwood will be a test at home on Saturday night but the big one comes after that away to the Cats at Simonds Stadium, which is one of just two remaining games they have against top eight teams. 

The run home
Rd 17: Collingwood (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 18: Geelong (Simonds Stadium)
Rd 19: Essendon (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 20: Brisbane Lions (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 21: Fremantle (Domain Stadium)
Rd 22: Port Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 23: West Coast (Adelaide Oval)

4. Western Bulldogs

44 points (11 wins, four losses), 118.3 per cent

A disastrous slip-up was looming against Richmond until Jake Stringer came to the rescue. The worry for the Dogs is that they're not kicking particularly high scores, but the wins keep coming nonetheless. They face a challenge on Saturday against Gold Coast, curbing the aerial powers of Tom Lynch and Peter Wright. Tom Liberatore surely won't be risked after hurting his ribs on Saturday night.

The run home
Rd 17: Gold Coast (Cazalys Stadium)
Rd 18: St Kilda (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 19: Geelong (Simonds Stadium)
Rd 20: North Melbourne (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 21: Collingwood (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 22: Essendon (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 23: Fremantle (Domain Stadium)

5. West Coast

40 points (10 wins, five losses), 135.4 per cent

The Eagles finally have a win over a fellow top-eight side to their name after a comfortable 32-point win over North Melbourne. They played in fits and spurts, but given how tight the competition is, they're now a game off fourth place. They should win their next two, but it gets tricky after that. Collingwood seems in the mood to play the spoiler and the derby clashes are never straightforward. 

The run home
Rd 17: Carlton (MCG)
Rd 18: Melbourne (Domain Stadium)
Rd 19: Collingwood (MCG)
Rd 20: Fremantle (Domain Stadium)
Rd 21: GWS (Spotless Stadium)
Rd 22: Hawthorn (Domain Stadium)
Rd 23: Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)

6. Geelong

40 points (10 wins, five losses), 132.4 per cent

All eyes on team selection this week with the likes of Steven Motlop in the gun after a down few weeks and Chris Scott still searching for the right mix of tall forwards. The Dockers likely don't have the cattle up and running to worry the Cats too much but the Adelaide game the week after that shapes as huge in the bid to get back in the top four and the race for a top-two berth. 

The run home
Rd 17: Fremantle (Domain Stadium)
Rd 18: Adelaide (Simonds Stadium)
Rd 19: Western Bulldogs (Simonds Stadium)
Rd 20: Essendon (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 21: Richmond (MCG)
Rd 22: Brisbane Lions (Gabba)
Rd 23: Melbourne (Simonds Stadium)

7. Greater Western Sydney

40 points (10 wins, five losses), 132.1 per cent

The Giants were clearly the disappointment of the weekend, squandering a four-goal lead at quarter-time before being hammered by Collingwood. The Giants are good, but they're young and what this result confirmed is they're not premiership material just yet. And it raises issues about a run home that looked straightforward.  Perhaps only the Brisbane Lions next week and Fremantle in round 22 appear slam-dunks from here. 

The run home
Rd 17: Brisbane Lions (Gabba)
Rd 18: Port Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 19: Richmond (Manuka Oval)
Rd 20: Gold Coast (Metricon Stadium)
Rd 21: West Coast (Spotless Stadium)
Rd 22: Fremantle (Spotless Stadium)
Rd 23: North Melbourne (Etihad Stadium)

8. North Melbourne

40 points (10 wins, five losses), 112.7 per cent

The results speak for themselves. When it was time for the Kangas to test themselves against five fellow top-eight sides, they lost all five. Injuries haven't helped, but they have squandered their great 9-0 start and they really don't get a respite from here until the end of the season. They'll be happy to be back at Etihad for the Power and the Pies, but neither will be a gimme. Not counting a home game in Hobart, they don't travel again, which is a positive, but the draw itself is brutal.

The run home
Rd 17: Port Adelaide (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 18: Collingwood (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 19: St Kilda (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 20: Western Bulldogs (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 21: Hawthorn (MCG)
Rd 22: Sydney Swans (Blundstone Arena)
Rd 23: GWS (Etihad Stadium)

• After the siren: The real Kangas revealed

9. Port Adelaide

28 points (seven wins, eight losses) 108.4 per cent

The intent was there from Port against Hawthorn, but not the talent and the trendy flag pick of less than 18 months ago is now facing successive seasons without making the finals. They're three games adrift now, but until the finals become a mathematical impossibility, look for the Power to keep pressing, and their pace could cause North some issues in an entertaining Saturday twilight game next week. They go OK at Etihad.

The run home
Rd 17: North Melbourne (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 18: GWS (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 19: Brisbane Lions (Gabba)
Rd 20: Sydney Swans (SCG)
Rd 21: Melbourne (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 22: Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 23: Gold Coast (Metricon Stadium)

• Who fired for your club in this weekend's state leagues? 

10. Melbourne

28 points (seven wins, eight losses) 104 per cent

Melbourne has equalled last year's win tally and could yet finish the year with 10 wins – its best return in a decade. The Demons will set themselves for the Saints next week, not having beaten them since the 2006 elimination final and will then chase their first win in Perth for 12 years. So there's plenty to play for as Paul Roos winds down his coaching career.

The run home
Rd 17: St Kilda (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 18: West Coast (Domain Stadium)
Rd 19: Gold Coast (MCG)
Rd 20: Hawthorn (MCG)
Rd 21: Port Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 22: Carlton (MCG)
Rd 23: Geelong (Simonds Stadium)

11. Collingwood

24 points (seven wins, eight losses) 93.3 per cent

The Pies remain alive after their slashing win over the Giants, but they need seven more weeks of footy at that level – and some luck – to make an unlikely charge to the finals. Saturday night against the Crows should be fun. Beat the form team of the competition and then we'll sit up and take notice and start crunching the numbers.

The run home
Rd 17: Adelaide (Adelaide Oval)
Rd 18: North Melbourne (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 19: West Coast (MCG)
Rd 20: Richmond (MCG)
Rd 21: Western Bulldogs (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 22: Gold Coast (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 23: Hawthorn (MCG)

12. St Kilda

28 points (seven wins, eight losses) 87.5 per cent

Struggled to overcome Essendon on Sunday, needing three late goals to get past the competition stragglers. The Saints have struggled to back up since the mighty defeat of the Cats a fortnight ago, but if they can beat Melbourne on Sunday, as they have done continuously since 2007, they remain a mathematical chance. Their next three are at Etihad where they have won six of their last seven.

The run home
Rd 17: Melbourne (Etihad Stadium) 
Rd 18: Western Bulldogs (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 19: North Melbourne (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 20: Carlton (MCG)
Rd 21: Sydney Swans (Etihad Stadium)
Rd 22: Richmond (MCG)
Rd 23: Brisbane Lions (Etihad Stadium)

13. Richmond

24 points (six wins, nine losses) 86.9 per cent

The figures say the Tigers could make it. The logic says no. But with so many fringe Tigers playing for their careers, there will be no shortage of desperation over the remaining seven weeks.

The run home
Rd 17: Essendon (MCG)
Rd 18: Hawthorn (MCG)
Rd 19: GWS (Manuka Oval)
Rd 20: Collingwood (MCG)
Rd 21: Geelong (MCG)
Rd 22: St Kilda (MCG)
Rd 23: Sydney Swans (SCG)

• Fantasy form watch: round 16

14. Carlton

24 points (six wins, nine losses) 78.1 per cent

The Blues might just about be shot for the year. Their herculean effort to win games and regain some respectability in the middle of the season was enormous, but they're paying a price now, as witnessed by their one goal after half-time against the Crows on Sunday. West Coast on Sunday should make it curtains for good.

The run home
Rd 17: West Coast (MCG)
Rd 18: Sydney Swans (SCG)
Rd 19: Hawthorn (Aurora Stadium)
Rd 20: St Kilda (MCG)
Rd 21: Brisbane Lions (Gabba)
Rd 22: Melbourne (MCG)
Rd 23: Essendon (MCG)