Only about 4 months late. Keep in mind that some of the responses were collected last year while others only a month ago with the additional knowledge of the trade period, positional changes and preseason. The responses to the following section was all anonymous.

Best in Each Line

Defence Midfield Rucks Forwards
6 – Wolverines

2 – Ducks

1 – Gators

1 – Outlaws

4 – Gators

3 – Jackals

1 – Ducks

1 – Outlaws

1 – Titanss

8 – Vipers

1 – Barbarians

1 – Gators (?!)

6 – Barbarians

2 – Gators

1 – Scorpions

1 – Vipers

Appropriately Dubbed by Faz last year the “Yanet Garcia Best Backline Award” is also pretty appropriately awarded to the Wolverines for the second year running. The ‘Rine’s veteran backline only got stronger in 2016 with the addition of Bartel and the breakout of Johannisen. Probably the only thing they are going to win for some time however…

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The only image this article needs.

Usurping the Outlaws for best midfield of 2016 are the Gators with their young and potent onball brigade. Spare a thought for the Outlaws who saw the demise of Redden and Greenwood in 2016 as well as missing both Stanton and Beams for most of the year. Any midfield with the likes of Dangerfield, Sidebottom and Sloane has to be pretty good so it’s no surprise to see Jackals as runners up.

Almost unanimously the league voted the Vipers’ ruck division as the strongest with the legend Max Gawn creating an insurmountable point of difference almost every week. Barbarians managed to pinch one vote while someone gave the Gators a pity vote. 2015’s winners, the Titans, failed to poll a vote in 2016.

The Barbarians take out the best forward award on the back of Merrett’s huge season and it only got stronger with the addition of Hogan. In a similar scenario to the rucks, the Jackals failed to poll a vote showing that it doesn’t take much more than one player to change a team’s fortunes.

Predictions

2017 Premiers 2017 Wooden Spooners 2017 Sliders

(Multiple nominations allowed)

2017 Climbers

(Multiple nominations allowed)

4 – Jackals

3 – Vipers

2 – Ducks

1 – Scorpions

4 – Badgers

3 – Wolverines

1 – Barbarians

1 – Outlaws

1 – Scorpions

9 – Wolverines

5 – Titans

2 – Vipers

1 – Scorpions

6 – Gators

5 – Jackals

4 – Outlaws

1 – Badgers

If the predictions are anything to go by then we should see a very even competition in 2017. The league expects the Jackals to claim their first premiership but the Vipers are only one vote behind. The Ducks experienced plenty of injuries and surprise retirements in 2016 and are also viewed by the league as a serious threat.

The Badgers are expected to win their second wooden spoon of the league in 2017 because, hey, they need to win something. The Wolverines also received multiple votes. Moving on.

The most widely tipped sliders of 2017 are the Wolverines with almost every coach awarding them a vote. The league also expects the Titans to slide down the ladder. Coaches were allowed to nominate multiple teams for this category.

The Gators are the most heavily backed team to improve their 2016 finish of 8th which shouldn’t be surprising considering their young side and the healthy amount of points they scored in 2016. The Jackals are also tipped to bounce back from an injury riddled 2016. Outlaws will benefit from the return of 3 Essendon players in 2017 which a few coaches expect will see them bounce back from their 2016 wooden spoon.

Most Desired Player Most Desired Team Least Desired Team Best Coach 2016 Strongest Team 2016
2 – Grundy

2 – Bont

1 – Dusty

1 – Dunkley

1 – Gawn

1 – Dangerfield

1 – T. Mitchell

1 – Merrett

3 – Gators

3 – Jackals

2 – Vipers

1 – Barbarians

1 – Ducks

4 – Wolverines

2 – Badgers

2 – Outlaws

1 – Jackals

1 – Scorpions

8 – Vipers

1 – Ducks

1 – Jackals

4 – Ducks

4 – Vipers

1 – Jackals

1 – Wolverines

A very even mix of players nominated for most desired likely due to a mix of team needs. Young guns Grundy and Bontempelli both received multiple nominations while it’s no surprise to see names like Gawn, Merrett, Dangerfield and Dusty poll individual votes. Note: Most of the votes were received before 2017 positions were revealed.

The league picked the Gators and the Jackals as the teams they’d most like to have obviously seeing potential to build a dynasty with their core group of players. Vipers also received multiple votes reflecting the strength of their side.

Several in the league must see the age of the Wolverines’ list as a headache they’d rather not deal with and so they take out the coveted Least Desired Team award for 2016. Cellar dwellers Badgers and Outlaws also received multiple votes showing both teams require a lot of work before they can compete for a premiership.

Best coach of 2016 goes to the Vipers who struck while the iron was hot and weren’t afraid to sell young talent in order to bring in the consistent players required to get them over the line. Good to see they obeyed the rule of not voting for themselves while one other coach holds a different opinion.

Strongest Team 2016 is shared between the Ducks and Vipers which seems fair considering one was a minor premier while the other took home the cup.

Personal Choice

Most Hated Secret Admirer Best / Worst Trade
5 – Wolverines

3 – Scorpions

2 – Gators

4 – Jackals

3 – Ducks

2 – Outlaws

1 –Gators

5 – Riewoldt + Birchall / Heeney + R1P1 2017 (10)

2 – Hogan / Libba + R2W9 2017

2 – J Martin / R1P1 2017 (9) + R1P1 2018

1 – Goddard / R1P1 2016 (9)

1 – Lobb / R3P1 2016 (25)

1 – Polec / R2P1 2016 (17)

Most Hated / Biggest Rival / Team You Least Want to See Win award of 2016 goes to the Wolverines. A few coaches in the league must have pictures of Adam’s face on dart boards as well. What’s most surprising is the lack of spread in the voting for this award. The only other team to feature are the Gators with a couple of coaches in the league hoping they remain towards the bottom end of the ladder.

Secret Admirer / 2nd Favourite Team / Western Bulldogs award is awarded to the Jackals. The Ducks also managed 3 votes proving that I guess we’re not all a heartless bunch and feel some sympathy for the injuries and poor timed form that both teams have received.

Plenty of trades were nominated for Best / Worst Trade of 2016 with the award going to the Riewoldt+Birchall / Heeney trade between Vipers and Scorpions. This trade signified the Viper’s intent to really push their claim for the 2016 premiership and it reaped immediate rewards for them. This trade might be a win for both parties down the line depending on the longevity of Roo, Scorpions selection at 10 and how long Heeney remains forward eligible. The Hogan/Libba trade also earned multiple votes. One coach answered “Barbarians raping rines for hogan was sensational” and I’m not sure I could have phrased it any better. Libba is a champ though. Jack Martin for two first round picks also earned multiple nominations but the use of the future picks and how long Martin remains a defender will determine who comes out on top. I had actually forgotten that Polec was traded for pick 17 at the start of 2016. It would have been funnier had Titans used the pick on someone other than Bastinac. Some pretty funny trades there even without the benefit of hindsight.

Part 2 with the Coaches own takes on the season to follow.

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