Only 6 rounds of football remain for the 2023 'Home & Away' season, and I'm willing to call this year's Brownlow race FINISHED should the leader not be injured or suspended by season's end. Since we last updated you all at the conclusion of Round 13, the AFL's most decorated award was on a knife's edge with many legitimate candidates still in the race for the top honour. Nick Daicos, Zak Butters, Tim Taranto, Christian Petracca, and Marcus Bontempelli, all crossed the halfway point with a shot at being crowned the Brownlow Medalist for 2023.
But as has been the case for his entire 42-game career, Nick Daicos has once again exceeded expectations for a second year player to become the overwhelming betting favourite. These effects have now been felt within the trading card community, with Nick Daicos Brownlow Predictors vanishing from the market, with the few remaining being listed at exorbitant prices! So how have we landed in this position? I think Jordan De Goey's suspension was the catalyst for Daicos' latest form spike. Since JDG was handed a 3-week suspension, the Pies turned to the youngest Daicos to assist around the midfield, with Nicks centre-bounce attendances increasing by 40% during that period.
Accumulating more possessions in the forward-half, and featuring heavily in Collingwood's score involvements, Daicos has turned even more heads even though his output has remained consistent. It just further proves the point that 'level of impact' is the key driver in swaying public opinion, as opposed to solely possession accumulating, The Pies have won all 4 games since this role switch, and now with De Goey back and Daicos' centre-bounce numbers remaining unchanged, I can't see this trend ending anytime soon (if ever!). Given all this information, unsurprisingly Daicos is expected to poll prominently across this stretch of games, making his case as Brownlow-leader insurmountable. And that's where I currently sit. Unless Daicos gets injured for his remaining games, or he's suspended, I can't really see an outcome which doesn't end with: Nick Daicos, 2023 Brownlow Medalist.
With that being said, what's happened to the rest of the competition? As I opened with, at the end of Round 13, it was of my opinion that this Brownlow race could go any which way. But since then, the main chasing pack went a combined 10 wins, 7 losses, with those players only projected to poll a handful of times. Zak Butters prospects have taken the biggest hit, with the prodigious Port talent unlikely to poll a vote in the last month. Now playing through a groin-injury, Butters' fortunes are unlikely to turn for his remaining games.
Marcus Bontempelli has put together an inspired season, but the lack of consistency from the Bulldogs has proven costly to the 'Bont's' chances, but surely one of these years all the stars will align come Brownlow night (surely!). Tim Taranto, much like Butters, has been unable to replicate the form which shot him into 5:1 odds, causing a mad rush amongst Richmond collectors who were yet to acquire their season predictors. If you're still yet to purchase them, I think you might be entering a nice buying period.
While Lachie Neale has put together a very handy month of footy, the only REAL remaining threat to Daicos' reign is Christian Petracca, which if you previously read "When's The Right Time To SELL Your Predictors?", was the top selling priority only a few weeks ago. Since then Clayton Oliver has suffered yet another setback, with Petracca continuing to be the main beneficiary of his absence. However Melbourne's gameplan has tweaked slightly in recent times, with Petracca playing mainly as a pseudo key-forward, which potentially messes with his output, and opens the door for the Demons other on-ballers. All roads lead back to Nick Daicos however, as his main competition playing mostly 'inside 50', should fill Daicos predictor holders with further confidence.
If Daicos is firming as a shoe-in, why are all his competitors' predictor prices still relatively high? Don't let the numbers fool you, the data provided in the table above indicates Predictors that are currently available on the market, as opposed to sold listings. We are already starting to see it on Facebook groups, but I think that if Daicos plays another stellar game this weekend against Port Adelaide, the dam wall is going to break on almost all opposing 'Brownlow Predictors' (maybe not Petracca), which could be an indicator to get out of all your non-Daicos speculative predictor purchases while they still hold somewhat of a currency.
This leads us to our final conversation.... What should you be doing with your Nick Daicos Brownlow Predictors? At the point of writing this article, there are NO Gold Predictors on the market, which is quite telling given the state of affairs. I'm not going to try convince anyone either way in deciding whether to keep or sell, but here's some factors to keep in mind:
6-games remaining in the season where absolutely ANYTHING can happen
The price of a successful Daicos 'Brownlow Predictor', both Gold & Platinum
How many people holding Daicos Predictors will be redeeming to keep or redeeming to sell
Is the current value of Daicos Brownlow Predictors worth more to me NOW, versus 2 months time?
Hopefully those factors can help you decipher your way through what would be a very nice problem to have! We will again provide a 'predictor update' at the conclusion of Round 24, which will recap how Predictor prices have fluctuated across the course of the season. Who knows, maybe we'll be surprised with a narrative not Daicos-centric and further questions will need to be answered to best determine who will take out the Brownlow Medal in 2023!