Such a tough and interesting team to nail down, I suspect a fair bit will rest with injuries to key players through the year.
Backline - 7 : You'd think the backline was never going to be premiership worthy until names like Dawson & Silvagni were purged, both solid contributors but they need to look elsewhere from the 'players fighting above their weight' class range. Silvagni being gone is a good step for both him and club, and other players will be looking to fill the Dawson breach who can get the job done without fanfare. Micheal Johnson is a name that could certainly improve them immediately, he struggled big time with back injuries last year as he has most of his career, and his off-season hasn't got off to the best of starts, that being said if he gets on the park he's a vital contributor down back for them and they need him on the park if their backline is to hold. Hamling is a good recruit, a strong reliable back who's probably made the most of his premiership credentials to earn himself a better deal than what he's probably worth. Collins is another who will be looking to form a partnership with Hamling, he had time on some big forwards last year and did OK but he'll be looking for a step up this year. Its natural improvement from guys like him that could send the side up the ladder. Alex Pearce was one of the success stories for them last year, looking composed down back in bad situations for them before a leg injury ruined his year before it got going in the second half of the year. Sheridan is becoming a good tagging option but needs time, he took a few scalps such as Sloane but needs to do better with the ball and stop padding his stats. Lee Spur too can play a range of roles be it in stopping roles or being a playmaker, definitely not externally rated elsewhere in the AFL world but certainly by Fremantle and they need him to have a good year and is a Lyon favourite. Ibbotson had a shocking year for his standards, was in the 40 man AA squad in 2015 and struggled to piece together consistent form in 2016 and is someone they need back to their best and quick. Sutcliffe is another who needs to stop padding his stats and make himself useful, had a good previous 2 years but had a poor 2016 and struggled regularly for impact, Crozier stepped up in his place after being Mr Sub. I think the backline isn't as bad as some think and will be better than last year, remember this is still basically the backline that carried them to a top of the ladder finish.
Midfield - 7 : With Fyfe back it's a whole new ball game, even half fit he still was leading the Brownlow. He's going to give Lachie Neale a much needed break, and together both of them are a very good first two midfield options, it's more the rest of the midfield that needs to step up. I think Blakely is someone that will have a good year this year, he showed signs with a rising star and reminds me of another Priddis and Fremantle would be wise to put games to him quickly an not be too worried with finals. Lachie Weller very much had a development year last year and looks the goods, with more midfield time he should become apart of their first string midfield for years to come. Brad Hill was an interesting inclusion, joins Stephen Hill who was like a yo-yo throughout and perhaps both can start playing consistent classy games although Brad doesn't fulfill any real needs on the outside so perhaps moving Brad Hill to the half back line might be a better option. Mundy is starting to show signs of age, still racks it up but will be 32 soon and might be resigned to a side role as opposed to his usual starring role, I'm feeling Weller is about to take the main role. Danyle Pearce continues to play his role but surely they can't have both Hill's and Pearce in the same midfield. Otherwise Darcy Tucker showed really good signs in the last few games but few other youngsters stepped up when they needed to, perhaps Griffin Logue the bolter for pick 8 who can play anywhere might get an opportunity.
Rucks - 5 : Sandilands is still the man, and I'd dare say finals rest on his bulgy shoulders because Griffin is about as average as they get and Clarke hasn't done anything much despite showing talent, he's like a poor mans Ryder.
Forwardline - 5.5: With Pav gone they still lack a key forward which is what makes McCarthy's inclusion vital for the team, after a year out with "personal" issues he was finally traded. He'has a ton of talent kicking nearly 40 goals in just his second season and so Fremantle will look to him to match Pav's goal total from last year. Taberner finally started paying back some of the faith but still needs a lot of work, working himself into good form by mid year and then dropping off again late and being dropped. If he can get some support from McCarthy and Kersten, who started to kick some handy goals at Geelong then they'll have a competent forwadline. Kersten like Taberner found some nice form with some bags of 3 mid year and like Taberner got dropped late, they need each to fire if they're to challenge the better teams. Harley Bennell has Freo fans salivating but he still can't get on the park and again has injured himself in the off season, talented yes, but talent doesn't mean much if you can't get on the park. i feel Shane Yarran is actually a blow because he was in good form and kicking goals for them in a poor team last year so they need Ballantyne to give something as he was shocking last year. Walters is pure class and Langdon ended the year fantastically so the smalls aren't an issue, it's having someone tall that can mark which will be problem. Apeness is a tall that could have an impact but he looks too raw to have too much of an impact. Kicking goals will be a big issue for them in 2017, Fyfe will probably spend time up forward but they'll be robbing the midfield.
Predicted Finish: 8th-9th - I'm taking a punt and thinking they'll be right on the mark for finals. I don't think they're anywhere near a bottom 4 side and they basically put the cue in the rack after Round 3. If injuries give them a good crack with Bennell, Sandilands, Johnson and a few others I have them making finals which might surprise a few, but they have too much talent. Their backline looks good enough, midfield with Fyfe, Neale, Mundy and a few talented kids will give them a run on and they just need their forwardline to kick enough goals.