CAPTAINS have backed Richmond to return to the summit in 2019, with the Tigers also one of four teams unanimously picked to make finals.
West Coast, Melbourne, Collingwood are also seen as certainties to make the top eight in the annual captains survey released on Friday.
Asked to name the opposition side most likely to play in the decider, eight skippers voted for the Tigers ahead of the Magpies (five), West Coast (two), GWS, Adelaide and Melbourne (one).
>> Full survey results below
The Crows are seen as the big improvers this season, receiving 15 of a possible 17 votes to return to the eight after last year's 12th-placed finish.
While Richmond is seen as the most likely to taste team success, captains believe West Coast spearhead Josh Kennedy will edge past Tiger Jack Riewoldt for the Coleman Medal.
Kennedy received seven votes to claim his third Coleman and level Riewoldt's mark with the Tiger following closely with four nominations.
Patrick Cripps (three votes) and Jaeger O'Meara (two) have emerged as Brownlow Medal fancies, prominent in voting with Patrick Dangerfield (four) and Nat Fyfe (three).
Carlton No.1 pick Sam Walsh (11 votes) was the overwhelming choice to win the NAB AFL Rising Star after an impressive pre-season campaign.
The captains will convene at the MCG on Friday afternoon for the annual Captains Day, with six club's holding co-captains and Sydney with a three-pronged captaincy system.
Which seven other clubs do you think can make this year's top eight?
17 – Melbourne, West Coast Eagles, Richmond, Collingwood
15 – Adelaide Crows
12 – GWS GIANTS
7 – Geelong Cats
6 – Sydney Swans
5 – Essendon
4 – Hawthorn, Port Adelaide
3 – Brisbane Lions
2 – North Melbourne
Which other club is most likely to reach the Grand Final?
8 – Richmond
5 – Collingwood
2 – West Coast Eagles
1 – GWS GIANTS, Adelaide Crows, Melbourne
Who do you think will win the 2019 Brownlow Medal?
4 – Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong Cats)
3 – Nathan Fyfe (Fremantle), Patrick Cripps (Carlton)
2 – Dustin Martin (Richmond), Jaeger O’Meara (Hawthorn)
1 – Rory Sloane (Adelaide Crows), Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood), Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs), Max Gawn (Melbourne)
Who do you think will win the 2019 Coleman Medal?
7 – Josh Kennedy (West Coast Eagles)
4 – Jack Riewoldt (Richmond)
1 – Ben Brown (North Melbourne), Joe Daniher (Essendon), Tom Hawkins (Geelong Cats), Tom McDonald (Melbourne), Lance Franklin (Sydney Swans), Jeremy Cameron (GWS GIANTS), Jack Gunston (Hawthorn)
Who do you think will win the 2019 NAB AFL Rising Star?
11 – Sam Walsh (Carlton)
1 – Jack Lukosius (Gold Coast SUNS), Zak Butters (Port Adelaide), Jye Caldwell (GWS GIANTS), Luke Valente (Fremantle), Bailey Smith (Western Bulldogs), Chase Jones (Adelaide Crows), Matt Walker (Hawthorn)