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Champion Data's best players

Two Brisbane Lions players are considered in the top 10 of the country’s best AFL players, according to Champion Data’s rankings ahead of the 2019 season. 

Captain Dayne Zorko is in ninth place, with new recruit Lachie Neale just below him in tenth. The rankings are determined by Champion Data on assessment of performances over the past two years using a weighted system. 

In 2018 both players played all 22 AFL games.

Zorko averaged 20.8 disposals a game, which for a midfielder is rated average, but his impact on those disposals is what sets him apart.

Compared to other midfielders he is rated as elite for his kicking efficiency (+4.9% above expected), elite for inside 50s (five per game), elite for score involvements (6.7 per game) and elite for goals kicked per game (1.2 per game).

His tackling pressure is also second to none with 29 pressure acts and 7.2 tackles per game, which rates him as elite. 

Neale will compliment Zorko’s strengths as his lie in other aspects.

His class is shown in his ball winning numbers. Compared to other midfielders in the AFL he is rated elite for contested possessions (15 per game) and clearances (7.1 per game.)

Neale was ranked fifth in the competition for average clearances per game. He is in elite company as one of only seven players to average more than 30 disposals per game.

Neale is yet to pull on a Lions guernsey after seven seasons at Fremantle, but the thought of his pairing with Zorko in the midfield will have supporters counting down the days until Round 1.

Both Neale and Zorko, along with Harris Andrew and Dan Rich, were rated elite at their positions by Champion Data. 

Champion Data's top 10 is as follow:

1. Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)
2. Dustin Martin (Richmond)
3. Lance Franklin (Sydney)
4. Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
5. Clayton Oliver (Melbourne)
6. Jack Riewoldt (Richmond)
7. Tom Hawkins (Geelong)
8. Jeremy McGovern (West Coast)
9. Dayne Zorko
10. Lachie Neale

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs