Taylor Walker and Dustin Martin are the key movers in Coleman and Brownlow Medal markets after two rounds of the AFL season.

They’re the market movers who’ve already made AFL punters sit up. Taylor Walker, who some had even thought finished at the elite level, has started the season with a bang, bagging 5+ goals in each of first two rounds. In fact, he became the first player since Jonathan Brown in 2010 to do so. Quite incredibly, ‘Tex’ started the season at an eye-watering $81 for the Coleman Medal with Palmerbet. And in just two games, he has smashed that price into $8.

The other is Dustin Martin. What more can we say about the Tigers star, who is without doubt the competition’s most impactful player? Some said his $9 pre-season Brownlow Medal price might be a tad generous. And they were right. In just two games, Martin has already halved it into $4.50.

So, will they be taking home the respective awards come September?

Taylor Walker (Coleman Medal: $81 into $8)

The Adelaide spearhead kicked just 15 goals in 2020, and could feasibly equal (or pass) that mark on Good Friday against the Gold Coast Suns. Without doubt, the free-flowing footy that’s emerging in 2021 via rule changes has helped Tex. AFL great Tim Watson has said congestion footy simply didn’t work for him. “The more you watch him play now, the more you understand the way the game was going and being played, of all the forwards in the game, it was suiting him the least,” Watson said this week on SEN Radio. “He doesn’t like that congestion. He doesn’t like that uncertainty about the way the ball is coming into the forward line. He’s as smart as any forward going around, and found the ball again at the weekend. I reckon we owe an apology to Tex.”

It’s not just his goal kicking that’s improved in 2021. Against the Swans he had an incredible four tackles inside-50, three of which resulted in goals. It’s an indicator of his fitness and willingness to hunt the ball, and is a great signs for Crows fans and the gutsy punters who may have backed him early this AFL season.

Nevertheless, to win the Coleman he’ll have to do a lot by himself. Adelaide are likely to be a bottom-six side this season. That means, they won’t give him the service the likes of Charlie Dixon ($5 Coleman Medal favourite), Tom Hawkins ($6.50) and Josh Kennedy/Tom Lynch ($7) will almost certainly receive.

Dustin Martin (Brownlow Medal: $9 into $4.50)

It’s feasible Dusty already has five (or so) votes in the bag. Sure, his performance on Sunday against the Hawks (28 disposals, 1 goal) wasn’t as eye-catching as Round 1 (which was a locked-in three-voter). But a closer look at the stats reveal his true influence. He lead the ground in inside-50s (9) and score involvements (11). He also gave away two straightforward shots for goal to Jack Riewoldt, who was more than happy to oblige.

Martin looks lean, fit and hungry for a fourth AFL premiership. And given that, at his best, there is none better, is now the chance to extract some (diminishing) value? That is, will the Tigers star keep coming in in the Brownlow market? An Easter Saturday clash at a sun-bathed MCG against the Swans awaits this week.

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