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4. Lance Franklin
Sydney Swans
Last year's ranking: 8 (+4)
Official AFL Player Rating: 8
Debut: 2005
Games: 204
NAB AFL Fantasy value: $536,000

Franklin is a genuine match-winner at his best, with his size, strength, speed and ability to kick freakish goals making him one of the toughest players in the business to match.

He enjoyed an outstanding first season in Sydney after crossing from Hawthorn, winning the Coleman Medal (for the third time) with 79 goals, leading the Swans in total and contested marks and finishing third in the best and fairest. He polled a club-best 22 votes in the Brownlow Medal and was named All Australian (for the fifth time).

Franklin booted four goals in the Grand Final, but couldn't get the Swans across the line against his former club.

His ability to turn a game was best exemplified against Port Adelaide at the SCG in round 13, when he kicked two stunning long-range goals in the fourth quarter.

In a warning for the rest of the competition, Swans coach John Longmire said Franklin was still improving, particularly with his contested marking.

"He's no different to any one else as far as working on areas of his game he needs to get better at. He's worked on that part of his game (contested marking) pretty heavily," Longmire said.

The 28-year-old's pre-season training has been modified to help him manage his troublesome right knee. He was carried off the ground in the last NAB Challenge game after a heavy collision, but the Swans expect him to be ready for the round one match against Essendon at ANZ Stadium.

Franklin joined the Swans as a free agent at the end of 2013 on a massive nine-year contract.

The two-time premiership player, one of the game's biggest names, played junior football for Dowerin Junior Football Club in Western Australia. He also played for Perth in the WAFL before joining the elite ranks as the fifth pick in the 2004 NAB AFL Draft.

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