• The Brownlow Lowdown

Post COVID Lowdown

Wow, no one could have predicted 2020 would involve a pandemic that caused the literal shutdown of the world, including sports.  Not the best year to start a football based web site, no games, no content.  Well footy is back at this stage as of the 11th June, so let’s get stuck into another blog!

This week I’ll reassess my outlook on Brownlow 2020 factoring in the changes to the season and I’ll make it as simple as possible without overthinking it.  Firstly, there will be fewer games played during the regular season.  Secondly quarters will be reduced to 16 minutes not including time on.  I feel these are the main changes that may affect Brownlow voting, home ground advantage is another factor that may affect teams who have had to move to hubs interstate, but we’re not sure how that will play out in the long run. 

Next I’ll break it down into types of players.  The two main types of players that consistently get votes are impact players and accumulators. 

Accumulators: Reduced games means less chance to rack up those 1-2 vote games.  With reduced quarters the accumulators have less time to rack up their possession numbers and exploit their elite fitness levels.  Players in this bracket include Lachie Neale, Andrew Gaff, Tom Mitchell, and Jack Macrae etc.

Impact Players: These types of players usually leave a bit of reserve in the tank to explode and entertain us with impactful efforts on the football field.  I don’t feel that the changes in games and quarters will have effect their ability to impact the game, but I do feel the negative effect on the accumulators does in turn give the impact players the edge.  Players in this bracket include Dustin Martin, Patrick Dangerfield, and Nathan Fyfe etc.

For this year I’ve made the decision to go all in towards the impact player, not saying an accumulator can’t win, but I feel the impact players have a greater chance of being given the 3 votes as the accumulators won’t be racking up their 40+ touches. Let’s look at the bookies top 10 prospects and I’ll put my thoughts to each player.

Patrick Cripps $5.50 – I’m surprised to see Cripps here at the #1 spot, however that means there is value elsewhere.  I wouldn’t put a line through him as he is an impact player, but I feel he has less impact than some of the other players on this list.  I’d be a fool to disregard his chances, but his odds are too short in my opinion. Nathan Fyfe $7.50 – In the mix and probably should still be favourite like the preseason odds suggested.  A high impact player who has a polling history, not much talent around him to steal the votes, and a likely improvement to the Freo side overall.  First month away from home. Dustin Martin $8 – Like Fyfe another high impact player and even with such a balanced side he still seems to stand out in the reigning premiership team.  Great value. Patrick Dangerfield $10 – At even better value and the same traits as Fyfe and Dusty, and playing a bunch of games at home to start the season could set Danger up for another early run at the medal.  Tom Mitchell $11 – The first of the accumulators, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mitchell rack up 40 touches even in the reduced game length every now and then.  He shouldn’t have any teammates stealing his votes, but hard to say how he will perform week in and week out after the injury from last season.  I’d wait to watch at least a game or 2. Lachie Neale $11 – Another accumulator who had a great season last year.  Starts the year off at home which helps his chances, if taggers are still a thing then he will cop it each week, another watch and see. Marcus Bontempelli $12 – I wasn’t keen on the Bont for the Brownlow previously, but now I think he’s as good a chance as any other impact player.  If he can consistently be that guy then he’ll be up there, but he’s shown to go missing in some games each year. Brodie Grundy $12 – Grundy is my new dark horse for the medal, not a typical accumulator of impact player, but for a ruckman he does cover both types.  It’s been a crazy year so far, why not add to it by crowning a ruckman as the Brownlow winner. Tim Kelly $17 – A new team, playing away from home for the first month, and an all-star midfield to compete with.  I don’t like his chances. Josh Kelly $17 – I see the shortened season benefitting GWS the most out of any team, a lot of their star players constantly miss games due to injury, now with less games and less game time to get injured they are in the prime position to do some damage this season.  Kelly is more of an accumulator and with other players like Greene, Coniglio, Cameron and Whitfield, I think it will be hard this year for Kelly to stand out. Well there you have it, a pretty disjointed blog in a pretty disjointed world at the moment.  I’ll be looking forward to footy season starting if more for some normalcy than anything.  Play Up (sign up here)

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