The skippers of all 18 clubs were asked to nominate the club other than their own most likely to reach the grand final.
The Hawks and Eagles were the only two clubs to poll multiple votes, receiving seven each.
Reigning premiers Sydney didn't get much love, with only one rival captain tipping them to make it.
Collingwood, Fremantle and Geelong were the other picks.
But the Swans are no strangers to defying expectations.
In the same poll last year, not a single captain tipped them to make it.
Every rival skipper tipped the Swans to make this year's finals, making them the only club to receive maximum votes.
The Hawks, Eagles and Magpies were each nominated by all but one club.
Richmond's Trent Cotchin was the stand-out Brownlow Medal tip, after being joint runner-up last year.
No one tipped Essendon skipper Jobe Watson to make it back-to-back Brownlows, but no one tipped him last year either.
Few fancy the Bombers as likely finalists, as they enter the season facing an ongoing anti-doping investigation, with only two captains predicting they'll make the eight.
AFL CAPTAINS' TIPS FOR THE 2013 SEASON
* Finalists: Sydney
* Grand finalists: Hawthorn, West Coast
* Brownlow Medallist: Trent Cotchin (Richmond)
* Coleman Medallist: Lance Franklin (Hawthorn)
* Rising Star: Jaeger O'Meara (Gold Coast)
The full voting was:
Which seven other clubs do you think can make this year's top eight? (18 times seven selections. In 2012, the captains correctly nominated Sydney, Hawthorn, the Adelaide Crows, Collingwood, Fremantle, West Coast and the Geelong Cats to play finals, but missed North Melbourne)
Sydney Swans (17), Collingwood (16), Hawthorn (16), West Coast (16), Fremantle (15), Geelong (15), Adelaide Crows (14), Carlton (11), Essendon (2), North Melbourne (2), Richmond (2).
Which other club is most likely to reach the Grand Final?
(Captains overwhelmingly endorsed Grand Finalist Hawthorn in 2012, but no captain picked eventual premier the Sydney Swans).
Hawthorn (7), West Coast (7), Collingwood, Fremantle, Geelong, Sydney Swans.
Who do you think will win the 2013 Brownlow Medal? (No captain correctly nominated Jobe Watson in 2012).
Trent Cotchin (6), Gary Ablett (3), Patrick Dangerfield (3), Josh Kennedy (2), Sam Mitchell, Scott Pendlebury, Joel Selwood, Dane Swan.
Who do you think will win the 2013 Coleman Medal? (Two Captains correctly nominated Jack Riewoldt in 2012).
Lance Franklin (8), Taylor Walker (4), Jack Riewoldt (3), Tom Hawkins (2), Drew Petrie.
Who do you think will win the 2013 NAB AFL Rising Star? (No captain correctly nominated Daniel Talia in 2012)
Jaeger O’Meara (9), Lachie Whitfield (2), Ollie Wines (2), Brandon Hill, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Jono O’Rourke, Jake Stringer, Jack Viney.