And the Hawks believe they can pierce Fremantle's tight defence even if Franklin and fellow star forwards Jarryd Roughead and Cyril Rioli don't lift after quiet preliminary finals.
Franklin did nothing to dispel indications he's about to take up a huge-money long-term offer to move from the premiership favourites to the wooden spooners.
"I've obviously been at the footy club for a long time and I love the Hawthorn supporters to bits," Franklin told the AFL website at Friday's grand final parade through the Melbourne CBD.
"But I'll come to a decision (on my future) early next week and see what happens from there."
The fact that Franklin is so close to announcing his decision, but unwilling to declare his intentions before the grand final, suggests he might be leaving.
Either way, skipper Luke Hodge said Franklin had performed all season without letting the decision distract him.
"We expect him to do exactly the same tomorrow," Hodge said.
Coach Alastair Clarkson isn't worried that Franklin managed just one soccered goal against the Cats and Roughead and Rioli both went goal-less.
They face a Fremantle side which has set the pace defensively all season and smothered Sydney in brutally effective fashion in their preliminary final.
But Clarkson said the Hawks didn't necessarily need anything more from their star trio.
"No. As long as they perform their role," he told reporters.
"People look at Franklin's game last week and they love the excitement and electricity that he can bring to a game of footy.
"But he played a really important role.
"We don't measure the game and just look at it and say 'I hope Franklin has a big game because that will help us win the game of footy'.
"If he plays to the role that we set him, that's all we ask him for.
"That might not excite the general public who want the electricity, but it excites us."
But Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said Hawthorn's height and talent in attack, with David Hale and Jack Gunston backing Franklin and Roughead, was a major strength.
"That's clearly why they're a threat. They're a powerful team, we get that," Lyon said.
He backed Michael Johnson, Luke McPharlin, Zac Dawson and Paul Duffield to do the job on the quartet, but only if the Dockers could pressure Hawthorn further upfield.
"If you don't pressure the ball carrier, with their elite skills they'll just slice and dice you," Lyon said.
The Dockers coach admitted Johnson, who returned from a calf injury for the preliminary final, had been under a selection cloud, but was expected to play.
"He's certainly in the 22, I'd be very very surprised if he doesn't play," he said.