There is no surprise that Sydney are dominating the AFL competition in 2024.

They have plenty of stars across all three areas of the ground and have one of the most successful coaches in the modern era leading them.

However, when it comes down to the most valuable commodity of a side's premiership chances, the answer is its health.

In the 18-team competition (since 2012), eight premiership sides have been ranked third or higher in the least amount of players used, hinting at the stability on the ground.

Richmond's 2017 flag was an outlier (according to their 15th-placed ranking), with the club utilising 38 players from their list as they stormed to a 37-year drought-breaking premiership against Adelaide.

The Western Bulldogs the year before sat 13th after using 39 players while Collingwood in 2023 sat in the middle-tier (9th).

Using the general rule of consistency on the field to forecast what might happen in 2024, Sydney is the only club to use fewer than 30 players so far in 2024 and thus find themselves outright favourites for their sixth V/AFL premiership.

Miraculously, coach John Longmire has also made the least changes (11) across the first 15 Rounds of the season amid a competition-wide injury crisis.

Clubs like the Tigers, Pies and Geelong have been forced into many changes due to the unavailability of personnel while Gold Coast coach Damien Hardwick has shown he's not afraid to swing the axe at the selection table.

(players used) Injured Omitted
Total Changes
ADE (36) 15 18 33
BRIS (34) 11 12 23
CARL (33) 15 12 27
COLL (35) 23 10 33
ESS (33) 16 9 25
FRE (34) 13 10 23
GEEL (32) 32 10 42
GC (36) 18 21 39
GWS (31) 15 9 24
HAW (34) 12 16 28
MELB (34) 13 14 27
NM (37) 17 16 33
PORT (33) 19 14 33
RICH (40) 31 15 46
StK (37) 15 18 33
SYD (28) 5 6 11
WCE(38) 19 15 34
WB (35) 16 14 30

(Data following Round 15.)

Following Hardwick's dropping of a quartet of players in Round 15 against Fremantle, compounded by his massive seven unforced changes in Gather Round against GWS, the Suns have been most brutal with 21 omissions so far this year.

As we know, the Tigers have been hit with the bad-luck injury stick and have been forced into 31 changes in the side (and 15 unforced), which is ironically topped by the Cats' 32, whose "management" of players falls under the category of injury rather than omission.

It is also made apparent that due to the introduction of Opening Round and the subsequent second bye eight clubs received, they, on average, have used two more players (33.5 v 31.8) across the season but have made slightly fewer changes (28.75 v 29.9) than the rest of the competition.