AFL Top 25 Prospects, Numbers 11-25 – July 2017


In December 2016 we released our top 25 prospects of the AFL. Just past the midway point of the 2017 season, we have now updated our rankings to reflect the progression of the AFL’s youngest and brightest.

We posted the players ranked 1-10 earlier in the week, and now it’s time to confirm numbers 11-25.

How it works

To be eligible, a player:

  • must have played 30 games or less; and
  • be under 22 years old at the start of the year.

Note, if a player has played more than 30 games but is still under 22 years old, he will not be considered in this ranking

July 2017 Rankings:

Players 1-10 – Full Article:

  1. Andrew McGrath
  2. Eric Hipwood
  3. Clayton Oliver
  4. Ryan Burton
  5. Sam Powell Pepper
  6. Tim Taranto
  7. Caleb Marchbank
  8. Sam Petrevski-Seton
  9. Hugh McCluggage
  10. Jacob Hopper

Players 11- 25

  1. Matthew Kennedy

Previous ranking: 20

Movement: +9

Games played: 15

Average fantasy score: 71

Strengths: contested disposal, courage and strength

The number 13 draft pick of the 2015 AFL Draft, the 188cm Kennedy has averaged 71 AFL fantasy points at 17.6 disposals for the season.

He has just about locked down his spot in the star studded Giants midfield, however in saying that he has struggled over the past couple of games meaning that if he continues to trend downwards then he may just be overlooked come finals. Given his talent though, he is more than likely to return to form.

  1. Josh Schache

Previous ranking: 7

Movement: -5

Games played: 23

Average fantasy score: 40

Strengths: contested marking, goal kicking and agility

Schache makes the list courtesy of his potential and high-ceiling rather than his performance this year, the lowlight of which was him being dropped to the NEAFL and an extended midseason break due to questions surrounding his loyalty to the club.

Playing only 7 games for an average of 9 disposals and 1.1 goals per game in 2017, Schache will be hoping for a big finish to the year, particularly now that he has recommitted to the club for a further two seasons to remove any possible thoughts of returning home at the end of the season.

  1. Ben Ainsworth

Previous ranking: 18

Movement: +5

Games played: 7

Average fantasy score: 62

Strengths: X-factor, clean hands and goal kicking accuracy

Ainsworth has had a bright start to his career, in which he can now be said to consistently impacting on games. Unlucky to not have been given a Rising Star nomination for his round 15 performance against North Melbourne which saw him kick four goals, Ainsworth is averaging 1.2 goals, 12.5 disposals and 3.3 tackles per game this season.

A classy ball user with an eye for goal, Ainsworth will likely rise up the rankings before the seasons end.

  1. Charlie Curnow

Previous ranking: 21

Movement: +7

Games played: 20

Average fantasy score: 68

Strengths: contested marking, competitiveness and stamina

Curnow has developed nicely this year for the Blues, kicking 10 goals and earning a Rising Star nomination for round 16 for his performance against Melbourne where he recorded 19 disposals, two goals and a game-high 10 score involvements.

Averaging 13.6 disposals and 6 marks, Curnow will be looking to impact the scoreboard more for the remainder of the year so as to compliment his all-round performances to date, however the Blues will be very happy with what they have seen so far from their number 12 pick in the 2015 AFL Draft. Has also joined Petrevski-Seton and Harry McKay in inking two year contract extensions to remain at the Blues until the end of 2019.

  1. Jack Bowes

Previous ranking: 26

Movement: +1

Games played: 8

Average fantasy score: 56

Strengths: elite skills, contested disposal, tackling

Bowes has played 8 games this year for an average of 13 disposals and 56 AFL fantasy points. He has done enough without having yet to impact a game in a meaningful way, save perhaps for his game against North Melbourne where he averaged collected 21 disposals and 5 marks.

A player with elite skills and composure, Bowes was earmarked for a role in the defence at the start to the season and is slowly developing under the watchful eye of Rodney Eade. Like many on this list, Bowes will be hoping for a strong finish to the season.

  1. Will Setterfield

Previous ranking: 10

Movement: -6

Games played: N/A

Average fantasy score: N/A

Strengths: clean hands, agility and tackling

A significant ankle injury has curtailed last year’s number 5 pick, with Setterfield yet to play a single game for the Giants. That though did not stop the Giants from re-signing him for a further two years, along with Tim Taranto and Harry Perryman, showing that the Giants have high hopes for the tall midfielder.

Setterfield has played two games in the NEAFL, with his last game his best where he collected 31 touches, two goals and a whopping 18 tackles. If he can clean up his ball use, the 190cm prototype midfielder will be playing in the seniors before long, regardless of the star-studded midfield the Giants have.

  1. Wayne Milera

Previous ranking: N/A

Movement: At least +8

Games played: 22

Average fantasy score: 60

Strengths: speed, skills and evasiveness

The dashing midfielder, who was selected at pick 11 in the 2015 AFL Draft, picked up a Rising Star nomination in round 10 after collecting 16 disposals and three goals at 88% efficiency in Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round.

Averaging 15.5 disposals a game, Milera will be looking to impact the scoreboard more in the latter half of the season as he seeks to further cement his name in an Adelaide side destined for a top 2 finish.

  1. Jy Simpkin

Previous ranking: N/A

Movement: At Least +7

 Games played: 7

Average fantasy score: 45

Strengths: agility and decision making

Pick number 12 in the 2016 AFL Draft, Simpkin has made the most of retirements and injuries at North Melbourne to have a strong start to his career. Although only averaging 10 disposals and 45 AFL fantasy points, Simpkin has done enough to show North Melbourne fans that he has a promising career, with his ability to twist and turn out of danger a highlight.

Had a promising last game against Port Adelaide (15 disposals and 4 marks), with Simpkin likely to be given more of a run in the midfield before the end of the season to showcase his class.

  1. Jack Scrimshaw

Previous ranking: 15

Movement: -4

Games played: N/A

Average fantasy score: N/A

Strengths: high-disposal, agility and intercepting skills

Picked at number 7 in the 2016 AFL Draft by the Gold Coast Suns, the 193cm prototype midfielder who plays in the mould of Marcus Bontempelli will hopefully push for selection in round 17. Indifferent form in the NEAFL has meant that Scrimshaw has yet to debut, whereas fellow Suns first-rounders have, however collected 26 disposals at 92% efficiency across half-back in his last NEAFL game which has the Suns salivating at what is to come for the dashing back-flanker.

  1. Sam Weideman

Previous ranking: 22

Movement: +2

Games played: 9

Average fantasy score: 35

Strengths: contested marking and goal kicking

The number 9 pick in the 2015 AFL Draft, Weideman has perhaps not had as strong a season as he or the club would have liked, playing 6 games for only 3 goals.

However, Weideman remains a work in progress and as a developing young tall, will not be at his best for at least another 2-3 years. The Demons will be hoping he can halve that development time though, with Jesse Hogan in need of assistance and Tom McDonald best-suited to defence then forward (although that may soon change).

  1. Jack Silvagni

Previous ranking: N/A

Movement: At least +5

Games played: 23

Average fantasy score: 59

Strengths: football intelligence and marking

A father-son selection (53 overall) for the Blues at the 2015 AFL Draft, Silvagni has surprised many with his performances to date, although suspect few of those inside the walls of Ikon Park are similarly surprised, considering the amount of research went into drafting the son of a club legend.

Silvagni was named the Round 13 AFL Rising Star nominee after the young forward had a strong game in the Blues’ 10-point win over God Coast where he kicked 2 goals from 13 disposals. With the rise of Levi Casboult, Silvagni has been able to play the role as a second forward to considerable effect, however he would be hoping to build upon his 1 goal average for the rest of the season.

  1. Rhys Mathieson

Previous ranking: 23

Movement: +1

Games played: 17

Average fantasy score: 78

Strengths: high-disposal and competitiveness 

Has not come on in 2017 as many may have thought, although that can mostly be attributed to a delayed start to the season due to injury. Mathieson’s strong 2016 still means though that he makes this list.

The number 39 pick of the 2015 AFL Draft, Mathieson is averaging 78 AFL fantasy points and 19 disposals this year in a weak Brisbane side. Had 16 disposals against the Tigers in round 17 in a subdued performance and like many, will be hoping a strong finish will set him up perfectly for 2018.

  1. Will Hayward

Previous ranking: N?A

Movement: At least + 3

Games played: 12

Average fantasy score: 52

Strengths: decision making and kicking

Injury to key players and a strong pre-season meant that Hayward was afforded an opportunity early in the season in which he kicked 13 goals from 12 games playing across the forward line.

Returned to the NEAFL last week where he performed strongly in the Sydney Swans reserve team’s win over the Giants. Will be hoping he can force his way back into a strong senior team as the Swans push for a top four spot.

  1. Brayden Fiorini

Previous ranking: N?A

Movement: At least +2

Games played: 11

Average fantasy score: 83

Strengths: high disposal and contested possession

Has played 9 games at an average of 21 disposals this season at an AFL fantasy average of 83. Although his averages appear strong, Fiorini was dropped from the senior side in round 17 and will be hoping for a quick return to the senior side.

If he works on his disposal efficiency and is able to have more of an impact on the scoreboard, then don’t be surprised to see him in the top 10 of this list before long.

  1. Tom Phillips

Previous ranking: N?A

Movement: At Least 1

Games played: 19

Average fantasy score: 79

Strengths: speed and endurance

A pre-season running across India allowed Phillips to hit the year running, culminating in playing 13 games for a 79 AFL fantasy average. Phillips won a Rising Star nomination for his performance against Hawthorn which saw him have 24 disposals to compliment his season average of 20.6.

Missed round 16 due to illness and returned last week via the reserves, Phillips will be looking to build upon an impressive start to the season with a return to the seniors in a bid to cement his spot on the wing moving forward.

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