Daw's injury woes were only part of what prevented him thriving at AFL level before this year. There was doubt about whether he was more than just a tease capable of the odd good performance among several underwhelming ones. But North hatched a pre-Christmas plan to transform the forward-ruck into a defender – and the results are impressive. Daw is on track to play double the number of games as in any of his other seasons, and his overhead marking has complemented Robbie Tarrant and Scott Thompson down back. He ranks equal-18th in the competition and No.1 at the Roos for average intercept marks (2.4) among those to play double-digit games in 2018.
Daw's best game in 2018
R19 v West Coast. Daw was telling late against the Bulldogs in round 14 and booted nine goals in 10 quarters up forward through rounds 16 and 18, but it was his return to defence against the Eagles that stands out. Daw won a season-high 17 disposals, took seven marks, including four off opposition kicks, and had 10 spoils.
Jed Anderson, Jy Simpkin, Cameron Zurhaar. – Marc McGowan