Josh Dunkley has taken his game to another level in 2019. Picture: AAP
Josh Dunkley has taken his game to another level in 2019. Picture: AAP

Who will be this year’s Brownlow breakout?

A BROWNLOW night dominated by the same old names gets a bit dull.

The obvious selections dominate the conversation, but it always gets more exciting when a roughie bursts out of the blocks.

Last year it was Melbourne midfielder Angus Brayshaw who came from nowhere, posting 21 votes to finish in third place. He notched more votes than superstars Max Gawn, Patrick Cripps and Dustin Martin.

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It was a career-best season for the Demon, and his finish was even more impressive considering he had never polled a Brownlow vote before 2018.

Who could reach these lofty heights this season?

Which players will smash their previous best Brownlow haul out of the park, and which proven stars could exceed expectations?

 

SURPRISE PACKETS

Josh Dunkley (Western Bulldogs)

SuperFooty predicts: 18 votes

Highest previous tally: 4 votes (2018)

Dunkley's chances of knocking off teammates Marcus Bontempelli and Jack Macrae on Brownlow night were non-existent after Round 5, but a move into the midfield saw the young Bulldog thrive. The SuperFooty Brownlow predictor expects Dunkley to poll 18 votes next Monday, including five three-vote games from Round 7. While you could argue the fresh-faced Dunkley might not be recognised by the umpires, some of his performances were absolutely dominant - his 39 disposals, 15 tackles, two goals and 202 SuperCoach points in Round 17 springs to mind. The 22-year-old could be closer to his midfield counterparts than you might think.

Jarryd Lyons (Brisbane)

SuperFooty predicts: 15 votes

Highest previous tally: 6 votes (2017)

We're predicting Lyons to poll in just six games across the season, but his potential vote-getting games are big. The inside midfielder could register four best-on-ground performances - a fantastic effort for someone who was axed by the lowly Suns last year. Lyons is a shoe-in to achieve his personal-best Brownlow tally, having polled in just two previous seasons. Remains a sneaky chance to topple Dayne Zorko as Brisbane's second-highest vote getter.

Jarryd Lyons has had a brilliant first season for the Lions.
Jarryd Lyons has had a brilliant first season for the Lions.

Jack Billings (St Kilda)

SuperFooty predicts: 14 votes

Highest previous tally: 11 votes (2017)

The Saints wingman has polled more than two votes in just one season, but 2019 looms as his best Brownlow result yet. A fast start in the opening five rounds of the season should see Billings top the St Kilda count, with four potential vote-getting games. He is fourth favourite to lead all comers after Round 5 at $5. SuperFooty predicts the midfielder to register 14 votes for the year, which will be the highest tally of his career.

Dion Prestia (Richmond)

SuperFooty predicts: 14 votes

Highest previous tally: 13 votes (2014)

It has been a career-best season for Prestia which should see him take out Richmond's best-and-fairest. The midfielder has notched 10-plus votes just once - back in 2014 when he played for the Suns - and polled just three in 2018. However, he is expected to have a promising night next Monday with SuperFooty forecasting him to net 14 votes - with eight of those coming between Rounds 18-21. It certainly is his best chance considering the star power that was absent from the Tiger line-up this season.

Michael Walters (Fremantle)

SuperFooty predicts: 15 votes

Highest previous tally: 10 votes (2017)

Walters' stocks have spiked in 2019 with some match-winning performances set to bring him a career-best Brownlow haul. The dynamic forward is predicted to poll three votes in four games, with Nat Fyfe also polling in two of those. This includes a whopping 25 disposal, six goal display in the Dockers' Round 13 win over Port Adelaide. SuperFooty expects "Son Son" to finish second on Freo's tally, behind Fyfe, and post 10-plus votes for the second time in his career.

Dion Prestia has had a career-best season for the Tigers. Picture: AAP
Dion Prestia has had a career-best season for the Tigers. Picture: AAP

 

STARS WHO COULD SURPRISE

Dustin Martin (Richmond)

SuperFooty predicts: 26 votes

Highest previous tally: 36 votes (2017)

Yes, he is a previous winner, but his impact this year pales in comparison to his illustrious 2017 season. His slow start to the season had many scrambling to trade him out of their SuperCoach teams, but he came home with a wet sail. SuperFooty has the superstar polling a whopping 17 votes from Round 15 onwards, predicting five three-vote games and one two-vote performance. Don't be surprised to see Dusty in the top five on the night, but he remains ineligible for the Brownlow after his suspension for striking Giant Adam Kennedy in Round 3.

Jack Macrae (Western Bulldogs)

SuperFooty predicts: 24 votes

Highest previous tally: 14 votes (2018)

Macrae has never tallied more than 15 votes in a season, but that appears set to change. Macrae is tipped to finish in the top 10 by SuperFooty - but will Bontempelli and Dunkley steal his thunder? The ball magnet finished the season with a bang, amassing 36.8 disposals per game after the bye. The Bulldog is $26 to take out Charlie.

Jack Macrae was prolific across the back half of the season. Picture: Michael Klein
Jack Macrae was prolific across the back half of the season. Picture: Michael Klein

Andrew Gaff (West Coast)

SuperFooty predicts: 23 votes

Highest previous tally: 21 votes (2016)

Gaff has polled well in the past - including an equal-fifth place finish in 2016 - and the star wingman should be around the mark again this year despite missing the first two games of the season for his brutal hit on Andrew Brayshaw last season. Our predictor sees Gaff finishing in 10th spot overall and polling more votes than teammates Luke Shuey and Elliot Yeo.

Rory Sloane (Adelaide)

SuperFooty predicts: 15 votes

Highest previous tally: 24 votes (2016)

Sloane is unlikely to poll in his last eight games, but remains a smokie to be Adelaide's top vote-winner. The Crows skipper has faired well on football's night of nights, registering 20-plus votes in 2016 and 2017. He is unlikely to reach those heights this year, but is predicted to notch 15 votes - around the same as Matt (16) and Brad Crouch (15). Betting agencies have Sloane at $13 to finish as the Crows' top vote-getter, which presents plenty of value considering the Crouch brothers have never polled more than 11 votes in a season.

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News Corp Australia


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