Andy Otten
The runner-up in the 2009 NAB AFL Rising Star Award has played every game this season and proved his versatility by kicking three goals against Carlton in the absence of Taylor Walker. Like the rest of his teammates Otten has been down on form at times, reflected by his ranking in the Official AFL Player Ratings (247), but he's taken a significant step forward from last year. His ability to read the ball in flight and consequently spoil or mark makes him a concerning match-up for most opposition coaches and he has the running ability to provide great rebound out of the back line. - Harry Thring

Mitch Golby
After knee injuries dogged his first couple of seasons at the Gabba, Golby has quickly made himself one of the Lions' most valuable assets. The 21-year-old has played just 31 career games but has struck a nice balance between the defence-first mentality required to play half-back, and the running creative ball-user we are now seeing more of. Although his left foot is not as penetrating as Josh Drummond's, Golby is finding a place in the Lions' outfit not dissimilar to the retired superboot. This country Victorian will be finding his way on to opposition scouting reports before too long. - Michael Whiting

Dennis Armfield
Any discussion about Carlton's bevy of speedy small forwards naturally revolves around Eddie Betts, Jeff Garlett and Chris Yarran. One Blue who doesn’t immediately come to mind, but who is also important to his club, is Armfield. Though not as skilled as the aforementioned trio, he is just as quick and kicks goals, while usually blanketing opposition playmakers like Adelaide's Patrick Dangerfield and West Coast's Shannon Hurn. Armfield, the 232nd-ranked player in the Official AFL Player Ratings, has kicked a goal in eight of the Blues' past 10 games and has contributed seven goal assists (equal with Chris Judd). Little wonder Carlton recently secured the 26-year-old to a new two-year contract. - Ben Collins
Tyson Goldsack
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley recently spoke of his desire to have a 'third tall' in his preferred line-up. A player that can either float forward to cause match-up problems for the opposition, or, shift back to man a vital post in defence. At 193cm, Goldsack is that man at Collingwood. The 26-year-old has managed just five games this season as he struggles to overcome a hip complaint and the team's versatility has suffered accordingly. Ranked as the third best forward at Collingwood according to the Official AFL Player Ratings, Goldsack has pace, pressure skills and he competes strongly. The club is hopeful he will return within a fortnight. - Ben Guthrie

Brent Stanton
David Zaharakis said recently that, despite Essendon's growth through the midfield, one player still generally cops the opposition's tag each week: Stanton. It says much about his standing through the competition. Sometimes the attention can get him down but invariably the experienced midfielder works his way into games and by the end has collected 25 or more disposals. Fans sometimes underappreciate Stanton but he is a vitally important cog in how Essendon sets up and how it spreads from contests. It's no surprise that when Stanton plays a really good game, the Bombers usually win. He has finished in the top three of the club's best and fairest four times and is again averaging almost 25 disposals this year. - Callum Twomey

Chris Mayne
There are few players in the competition who could kick 60 goals from their past 73 shots and remain relatively anonymous. Mayne, 24, finished second in the Dockers' best and fairest last season and he's continued that form in 2013, this time without Matthew Pavlich in the line-up. Mayne has kicked 21 goals in 12 matches this year, including goals in every game, as well as averaging six marks and nearly four tackles per week. He is an integral part of the Dockers' success so far this season. - Alex Malcolm

Chris Mayne's goalscoring record in recent times far outstrips his public profile. Picture: AFL Media

James Kelly
The Official AFL Player Ratings don't underrate James Kelly. He is the third-highest Geelong player and sits at 26 on the overall ratings ladder. But there is a feeling down at the Cattery that the three-time premiership winning midfielder is overlooked by people outside the club. Maybe it's because Kelly started his career as a no-fuss back pocket. These days, however, the 29-year-old, who has played 220 games since making his debut in 2002, is a crucial member of Geelong's engine room. His accurate disposal, hard tackling and ability to read the play are the keys to his game. - Adam McNicol

Adam Tomlinson
Taken at pick No.9 in the 2011 draft, Tomlinson took time settling into life in the AFL. He made nine appearances in his first year, bouncing in and out of the side as he failed to settle on a position. But he has taken a significant step forward this season. Forcing his way into the side in round five, the key position prospect has played every game since, with the highlight so far being a club-record 14 marks against Adelaide in round seven. Only ranked 24th at the Giants overall in the Official AFL Player Ratings, Tomlinson is filling a variety of roles and is sure to rise up that list as his consistency improves. - James Dampney

Matt Shaw
Buried amongst the likes of captain Gary Ablett and young stars Jaeger O'Meara, David Swallow, Harley Bennell and Trent McKenzie, it's easy to overlook Shaw. On the surface he's skinny and has an erratic kick, but he offers so much more to the Gold Coast. One of coach Guy McKenna's favourites, Shaw has blossomed in 2013 as a hard-working, hard-running, hard-tackling half-back/winger. Averaging 19 disposals per game this season, Shaw along with Jarrod Harbrow are often responsible for launching Suns' back-half attacks with their run-and-carry. Shaw is only 21 and still has so much upside. - Michael Whiting

Ben Stratton
The 24-year-old doesn't get the plaudits of some of Hawthorn's other defenders, but he's just as important. Whether the opponent is tall or small, he is rarely beaten. Totally fearless in the air, the West Australian spoils, takes intercept marks, and helps his teammates as a third man up. He's also working on adding a more attacking edge to his game. A real favourite among Hawthorn players and fans. - Mark Macgugan

Colin Garland
The typical quiet achiever has had his best season to date in a team that has been smashed almost every week. Garland, the Demons' top ranked defender according to the Official AFL Player Ratings, has averaged 16.5 disposals per game and comes in at equal sixth in the competition for rebound 50s (46). His versatility is a key feature, allowing him to play on talls or smalls depending on the team's needs or the situation in the game. Garland's leadership also goes largely unnoticed. He organises his teammates into position and holds his own in one-on-one exchanges. - Ben Guthrie

Colin Garland's ability to defend and attack has been a rare highlight for the Demons. Picture: AFL Media
Scott McMahon
McMahon has been an integral part of North Melbourne's defence for the past few seasons. His sure kicking, courage, positioning and ability to read the play make him one of the Roos' most dependable backmen, while at 184cm he can play on opponents ranging from third talls to speedy smalls. McMahon's importance to North was underlined when he missed six games with a debilitating virus from rounds five to 10 last season. The Roos won just two of those games, with McMahon's composure under pressure sorely missed. - Nick Bowen

Dom Cassisi
Injury has kept the former skipper to just five games this season but the Power have looked a much more complete unit when he's in the side. The 30-year-old veteran is past his prime in terms of absolute output, but he makes up for that with an enviable hardness at the contest and his leadership. Travis Boak might have taken the reins as captain, but Cassisi leads from the front each time he plays. The experience gained from his 208 games, which includes a significant mix of highs and lows, is invaluable to a young squad. Cassisi's ranking of 224 in the Official AFL Player Ratings on the rise, highlighting his recent good form. - Harry Thring

Shane Edwards
A move back into the midfield has paid dividends for Edwards. He's averaging nearly 20 disposals a game and is second in clearances at the club behind Trent Cotchin. He's equal second in tackles with Brett Deledio and has racked up the second-highest number of contested possessions (behind Cotchin) at Tigerland this year. In the Official AFL Player Ratings, he's ranked seventh overall at Richmond and is 100th in the League – an increase of 25 positions since round one with his consistency becoming a positive factor this season. - Jennifer Phelan

Dylan Roberton
There was some scepticism around Roberton when the Saints signed him as a delisted free agent, but it's fair to say he has silenced the doubters and quickly won over the faithful this season. The 22-year-old has played every game and become the team's primary avenue out of defence, ranking No.7 in the competition for rebound 50s (50) and averaging a career-high 17.7 disposals. The versatile backman has also climbed in the Official AFL Player Ratings, moving from No.414 overall to No.332. As he prepares to play his 50th game in round 14, it's a trend that should continue. - Nathan Schmook 

Luke Parker 
In a midfield boasting All Australians Josh Kennedy and Ryan O'Keefe, as well as fellow guns Dan Hannebery, Kieren Jack and Jarrad McVeigh, it's not always easy to get noticed. That's the predicament Luke Parker often finds himself in. Parker has played every game this season, averaging more than 21 disposals and kicking 10 goals in taking his game to a new level this season. But his performances are being reflected in the Official AFL Ratings, with the 20-year-old rising to 12th overall for the premiers. - James Dampney

Luke Parker has rapidly established himself as a key part of the Swans' midfield. Picture: AFL Media

Ryan Griffen
A surprise candidate given Griffen is the Bulldogs' best midfielder by a considerable margin and, as such, is tagged virtually every week. However, Dogs fans reckon 'Griff' was stiff to miss selection in's mid-season All Australian team – and they might have a point. Ranked No. 13 in the Official AFL Player Ratings, Griffen has averaged 29 disposals in his 10 appearances this season, including six efforts of at least 30 touches and a high of 40 in the round 10 win over Port Adelaide. In recent seasons he has transformed himself from an inconsistent outside runner into a tough-to-tag inside midfielder while retaining his ability to explode away from packs. A common refrain is that if he played in a better team he might receive more recognition, but he should receive his dues regardless. - Ben Collins

Eric Mackenzie
Skipper Darren Glass is a four-time All Australian and last year's AA captain, yet inside the walls of West Coast Eric Mackenzie is touted as an equally important defender. Mackenzie signed a four-year deal with the Eagles two weeks ago and has shown with his performances against St Kilda and Hawthorn in the last two matches what a shrewd investment that is. Mackenzie is always assigned the opposition's best key forward and he continues to match it with the likes of Lance Franklin, Jack Riewoldt, and Jonathan Brown. - Alex Malcolm