As followers of all things football, we constantly hear about the league's favourite sons.
The players we know get the job done for our sides.
However, it's the players who aren't spotlighted as much, whether that be internally or externally despite their equally-crucial importance to our clubs, who we plan to shine a light on here.
We've compiled a list consisting of each AFL team's most underrated asset, regardless of position, heading into the 2023 season.
Brodie Smith, seemingly for the longest time imaginable, has been one of Adelaide's most reliable and consistent contributors among its back six, always displaying classy disposal use and running prowess off a half-back flank.
Smith's 530.6 average metres gained per game in 2022 ranked as elite, illustrating the veteran's importance to the Crows when exiting defensive 50 and kick-starting offensive movements.
While Smith, preparing to enter his age-31 season playing for a rebuilding Crows outfit, may only have a handful of years left at the professional level, Adelaide fans will still feel at ease with the leather in Smith's capable hands.
Certainly one of the more unheralded Lions among a growing pack of quality players, Keidean Coleman broke out last season for Brisbane across half-back, showcasing his pace and trademark smooth left boot.
The Lions, already boasting the penetrating left foot of Daniel Rich and the pace of promising youngster Darcy Wilmot exiting the defensive 50, were able to also flaunt the poised but damaging Coleman.
The 22-year-old averaged 18 disposals per game last season, with his best performance coming in a Round 20 nail-biter against Richmond when he notched an astonishing 30 possessions and 742 metres gained.
With a long and rewarding career likely ahead, Coleman, while still underrated in terms of the attention he receives, has been receiving a lot of praise from AFL tipsters and undoubtedly enters 2023 as one of Brisbane's most prized assets.
Lost among their well-documented trades for Adam Cerra and George Hewett last off-season was the Blues' acquisition of ex-Bulldog Lewis Young, who has quietly proven to be a splendid addition to Carlton's tall stocks, teaming up nicely with household key back Jacob Weitering and pinch-hitting in the ruck if required.
Over the course of his six-year AFL journey, Young's 2022 per-game averages of 13.4 disposals and 5.4 marks stood as career-bests, with the 24-year-old's 10.1 spoils per game viewed as elite by AFL Stats.
Until proven otherwise, Young enters 2023 as a mainstay in Michael Voss' best side.
Nathan Murphy seemingly came from nowhere to suddenly become a near-lock in Craig McRae's best 22 last season, quickly displaying his one-on-one prowess and poise in defence alongside now-skipper Darcy Moore.
While the 23-year-old's statistics don't necessarily jump off the page (he is league-average in spoils and intercept marks), there is clearly a reason why Murphy played the most games in a season in his career (16) during a year his club played on preliminary final weekend.
Not only an unheralded asset for the Magpies, but one that could enjoy a breakout season in 2023.
Mason Redman has irrefutably made a name for himself as a hard-nosed defender and walk-up starter in Essendon's best side.
The 25-year-old had a stellar ball-winning season for a defender, managing a personal-best 21.2 disposals per game in 2022, including a career-best 34 possessions against the Gold Coast Suns in Round 18.
A vocal leader in addition to his obvious footballing talents, Redman has quickly become a trusted option among Essendon's back six.
Luke Ryan was the most recent unheralded Dockers defender to finally receive deserved recognition, and now it might be time to heap some praise on Brennan Cox's name.
Cox, not exactly blessed with natural athleticism or speed for a fellow of his towering height, is a rock-solid piece of Justin Longmuir's defensive puzzle and often outsmarts his opponents in marking duels.
The 24-year-old had a career year in Cockburn in 2022, averaging highs in disposals (16.5) and marks (6.3) per game, managing to play 23 games for the Purple Haze last season, as well as being recognised as above average in spoils and intercept marks..
Although it has become a near-impossible task to remain 'underrated' among this prominent Cats premiership-winning side, Jed Bews' name is not often found among the best players post-game, however, there are plenty of reasons why his name is among the first on Brad Scott's team sheet each week.
A loyal Geelong stalwart, Bews' effort and commitment to the contest is unquestioned, despite being a low-possession player, while the defensive pressure he puts on opponents is always evident.
Now a premiership Cat, Bews' name will not be forgotten in Geelong folklore.
Gold Coast Suns
Despite an overall lack of success since their inception, a lot of the Gold Coast Suns' success forward of the ball is courtesy of the work of medium forward Ben Ainsworth, and yet he receives little credit.
Ainsworth's averages of 16 disposals and 5.8 per game in 2022 were categorised as elite, with the 24-year-old's best game coming in a season-defining win against Richmond during which he dominated by way of 26 possessions and 14 marks.
While the Suns' forward line will be irrefutably bolstered by the return of key forward Ben King, the continued improvement of the unheralded Ainsworth will be just as damaging to opposition defences.
Harry Perryman, since his Giants debut, has slotted in and become a stable utility option for the Orange Army, with the ability to play predominantly in either defence or midfield due to his physical frame and ferocity at the contest.
Perryman's average marks (4.1) and tackles (4.8) per game last season were graded as above average, with the 24-year-old's season highlight coming in Round 10 against the Eagles when he notched 30 disposals and seven clearances.
With Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper now firmly in the rear-view mirror, additional midfield minutes should have Perryman's name all over them.
Conor Nash has swiftly developed into a hugely versatile option for Sam Mitchell's Hawks over the course of the past season, at times playing forward of the ball and through the middle of the ground both as a pure midfielder and also, incredibly, as a ruckman.
Nash's 15.5 disposals, 4.1 tackles and 3 clearances per contest in 2022 all represented career highs for the Dublin native as he gradually established himself as a weekly mainstay in Hawthorn's best side, playing 21 games.
Positional flexibility is invaluable in today's AFL, therefore Nash is likely to feature prominently for the brown and gold in season 2023.
Since becoming a best-22 regular during the Demons' 2021 premiership season, Harrison Petty has fit in Simon Goodwin's defence seamlessly, displaying his one-on-one capabilities as well as his impressive disposal effectiveness for a man of his height.
Petty's finest hour in 2022 came during Melbourne's crunch semi-final against Brisbane when he registered 18 disposals and five intercept marks.
Alongside stars Steven May and Jake Lever, as well as highly-regarded up-and-comer Jacob van Rooyen, Petty is in the right company to go again in 2023.
Despite North Melbourne's acquisition of ruck-forward Callum Coleman-Jones from Richmond during the 2021 trade period, Tristan Xerri was able to gradually establish himself as the clear number two rucking option behind stalwart Todd Goldstein.
Xerri's 10 possessions, 2.2 marks, 3.5 tackles, and 21.8 hit-outs per game last season were all career-highs, as were his 12 league appearances.
The 23-year-old shapes as an important piece of the Roos' rebuild, particularly following the imminent retirement of Goldstein and the uncertain prospects of Coleman-Jones going into the season.
Dan Houston has been a steady hand in Port Adelaide's defence for a number of years now and also possesses the ability to move into the midfield and win his own ball.
Houston's 2022 season averages of 23.1 disposals, 6.2 marks, and 391.4 metres gained were viewed as above average, while his 2.6 tackles were seen as elite, with his 36 possessions, 12 marks and 775 metres gained in Round 1 against the Lions serving as the highlight of his year.
With Karl Amon headed back to Victoria, Houston's role across half-back for the Power becomes all the more pivotal in 2023.
Kamdyn McIntosh has been the literal epitome of underrated throughout his storied tenure at Tigerland.
Despite falling out of favour with Richmond's match committee during the Tigers' 2019 premiership year, McIntosh fought his way back into Damien Hardwick's best side in 2020 to eventually win his second flag with the yellow and black that year, continually demonstrating his durability, two-way running and relentless defensive pressure.
McIntosh's 16.1 disposals per game last season ranked as the second-best of his eight-year career, while he also managed a career-high 14.1 pressure acts per contest in 2022.
Health permitting, McIntosh is highly likely to feature weekly for Hardwick's men in 2023.
Daniel McKenzie's career theme has been continual improvement.
Initially a fringe best-22 player at Moorabbin, the 26-year-old has made the leap to senior regular and now owns a wing spot with St Kilda.
McKenzie's 2022 averages of 16.5 possessions and 4.8 marks represented career-best numbers, with a 23-disposal, eight-mark outing against the Gold Coast Suns in Round 5 undoubtedly a highlight performance.
Among a midfield group that includes Callum Mills, Luke Parker and Chad Warner, James Rowbottom doesn't often receive recognition for his valuable contributions, most notably his tagging roles.
His career-best 6.8 tackles per game last season were seen as elite, and his disposal efficiency is another strong trait for the young midfielder.
The 22-year-old also averaged 18.5 disposals and 4.9 clearances per game, the best numbers of his AFL tenure.
West Coast Eagles
Tom Barrass, lining up alongside superstar Jeremy McGovern, hadn't received the plaudits he deserved up until the end of last year when he was crowned Eagles club champion after a career year.
While the 27-year-old was particularly stellar in 2022, Barrass' career spoils (7.5) and intercept marks (2.9) per-game averages ranked as elite.
With McGovern's best years gradually winding to a close, Barrass' role among West Coast's back six is as important as it has ever been.
Ryan Gardner, a lesser-known name among a Bulldogs defensive unit that includes names such as Bailey Dale, Alex Keath, Tim O'Brien, and now Liam Jones, has been immensely impressive in a low-key role at the Kennel.
Taken at the 2019 Mid-Season Draft by the Dogs, Gardner averaged career-bests in disposals (11) and marks (5.3) per game last season, while his 8.5 spoils per game were categorised as elite.
Gardner will look to continue on his upward trajectory in 2023.