<
>

AFL 2023: ESPN's way-too-early predictions - Can the Cats go again? Is it Carlton's year?

play
The AFL's next big stat ... revealed? (1:30)

Christian Joly from Champion Data discusses the stats that AFL clubs are keen to measure more, a new one being ubbed 'intercept... returns from... stoppages'. (1:30)

Do the Cats squeeze one more year out of their champions? Can the Swans avoid a 25-year curse? Will Carlton finally make finals again? While so much can happen through the trade and draft periods, ESPN's AFL experts have nevertheless turned their attention to 2023 for their way-too-early predictions.

Below are their ladder predictions, expected grand finalists, biggest risers and biggest sliders, as well as Brownlow and Coleman Medal winners.


Jake Michaels

Melbourne
Geelong
Sydney
Port Adelaide
Carlton
Brisbane
Richmond
Collingwood

Fremantle
Gold Coast
Western Bulldogs
St Kilda
Adelaide
Essendon
GWS
Hawthorn
North Melbourne
West Coast

Premier: Melbourne - It's easy to forget how good the Dees were during their 17-game winning streak, which landed a premiership. I expect Simon Goodwin's side to bounce back from their disappointing end to the year by winning a second flag in three years.

Runner up: Geelong - I'm sick of doubting this team and being proven wrong. They're not going anywhere.

Brownlow Medal: Chad Warner - It might be a long shot at $51, but the young Swan has gone from strength to strength in 2021, showing his class as an inside midfielder who has exceptional foot skills, and kicks goals. I reckon he has a monster year in 2023.

Coleman Medal: Jeremy Cameron - He probably wins the last two if not for injuries. If he stays fit next season, I think he's a big chance to win it again.

Biggest riser: Many footy pundits has the Power going all the way this year, suddenly nobody wants to buy stocks in them. With a fit Charlie Dixon, natural development from their youngsters, and a softer draw, I think they can challenge for the double chance.

Biggest slider: I hate to say it, but it might be the Magpies. They exceeded everyone's expectations this season, but with a tougher draw, and reversion to the mean (they can't keep winning every tight game), I can see a bit of a drop off happening.

Biggest storyline: Four more clubs come under fire for racism during the 2000s, leading to further sackings.

Rohan Connolly

Sydney
Collingwood
Geelong
Melbourne
Carlton
Brisbane
Fremantle
Richmond

Hawthorn
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Port Adelaide
St Kilda
Gold Coast
Essendon
GWS
North Melbourne
West Coast

Premier: Sydney - Smashed in the grand final but a youngish side very much on the rise and now with extra motivation.

Runner up: Collingwood - More experience now and with huge self-belief.

Brownlow Medal: Chad Warner - 'The Chad' is going to become a superstar in 2023, if he isn't already.

Coleman Medal: Jeremy Cameron - At the peak of his powers and with a still-great team giving him every opportunity.

Biggest riser: Hawthorn. Weren't that far off the pace in 2022, Sam Mitchell's second year as coach will be exciting.

Biggest slider: St Kilda. Holes in the list, replacements not coming through, Saints in a bit of strife I reckon.

Biggest storyline: AFL clubs continue to be called out on cultural issues as the 'boys club' and 1980s thinking is exposed.

Matt Walsh

Melbourne
Carlton
Port Adelaide
Richmond
Collingwood
Sydney
Brisbane
Gold Coast

Western Bulldogs
Geelong
Fremantle
Hawthorn
St Kilda
Adelaide
Essendon
GWS
North Melbourne
West Coast

Premier: Melbourne - I think with a full and solid offseason -- and some luck in the injury department -- the Dees should again be a top four contender. They aren't going away easily.

Runner up: Carlton - The Blues are surely primed to not only make finals, but go deep. Their list is good (after all, they have the last two Coleman Medal winners and the reigning Brownlow winner on their list), and with the heartbreak of 2022 in their minds, they'll give 2023 a big shake.

Brownlow Medal: Chad Warner. He'll become Sydney's No. 1 midfielder in 2023, and his ability to provide match-winning moments will mean he'll pull some three-vote games and top the list on Brownlow night.

Coleman Medal: Tom Lynch is Richmond's best forward, and if he can play every game (or even the majority of games), he should do enough to kick the most goals in 2023.

Biggest riser: Carlton have to make the top four next year. They looked a top four quality team for most of 2022, and injury and some poor late form cost them finals. They're talented enough to make it, so I'll back them in.

Biggest slider: Fremantle and Geelong will both slide in 2023. I can't trust Fremantle's forward line or their forward structure to be good enough, and the Cats, well, I think there'll be an exodus of older players that will leave the side imbalanced for next season.

Biggest storyline: 'Geelong's 'old man' exodus causes unprecedented tumble down the ladder'.

Jarryd Barca

Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Carlton
Sydney
Collingwood
Brisbane
Richmond
Port Adelaide

Gold Coast
Geelong
Fremantle
Essendon
St Kilda
Adelaide
Hawthorn
GWS
North Melbourne
West Coast

Premier: Melbourne should fancy their chances in 2023, and I do too. Don't understate what a fully fit Tom McDonald does for that forward line, and Brodie Grundy? Well if the rumours are true and they land the Magpie ruck, then beware the Demons.

Runner up: In a rematch of the 2021 decider, the Doggies will skyrocket back into premiership contention and again face the Dees, and again probably fall short...

Brownlow Medal: Patrick Cripps - the Blues will win more games next season, he's their best midfielder, and has already proven to be able to poll heavily even in losses. I can smell back-to-back 'Charlies' for the skipper.

Coleman Medal: Tom Lynch for me, he's clearly in the top handful of key forwards in the league and I don't think the Tigers are going anywhere, so expecting another solid return from the spearhead.

Biggest riser: An 'easier' draw after underachieving in 2022, the Blues have a list that should be contending, and I think from 2023 they absolutely will be. Confident they can host a prelim, and from there, who knows?

Biggest slider: Geelong. They've been near the top and contending for several years and eventually, they'll have to lose that hunger and concede ground to the chasing pack. I'm assuming there'll be some veterans on the way out for different reasons, too.

Biggest storyline: Nathan Buckley returns to the coaching fold, taking over St Kilda who part ways with Brett Ratten after yet another underwhelming season.