AFL Media casts its eye over the Western Bulldogs’ season to date, including the star performers and big moments.

Best and fairest

1. Marcus Bontempelli – The brilliant playmaker has been the Dogs' most damaging player, averaging 27 possessions (12 contested), six clearances, a goal and a goal assist. Started particularly strongly and his only blemish has been his conversion.

2. Caleb Daniel – The diminutive runner has been a superb ball user in the back half where opponents have been forced to pay him considerable attention.

3. Jack Macrae – The Bulldogs' other tall left-footed midfielder has been his club's most prolific ball-winner, averaging 29 touches enjoying several standout performances.

Recruit of the year: Sam Lloyd – The former Richmond opportunist, 29, has enjoyed an impressive first season at Whitten Oval, tallying 17 goals (equal-best at the club), including six multiple-goal efforts, and being held goalless just once.

Most improved: Aaron Naughton – The teenage sensation from Western Australia finished fourth in the Dog's best and fairest last year as a key defender and this season has showcased his tremendous versatility and marking ability in attack.

Rookie of the Year: Bailey Smith – The uber-professional draftee seems set for stardom. Already nominated for the NAB AFL Rising Star award, the hard-running midfielder has played every game and averaged 18 possessions.

Goal of the year: Bailey Smith, round four v Collingwood – The youngster's first career goal was one to savour – a banana on the run while under pressure.

Mark of the year: Hayden Crozier, round four v Collingwood – The defender launched himself onto the shoulders of fellow high-flyer Jamie Elliott to take a sensational grab.