In a game in which getting a return on your investment is paramount, having a player that losses cash is disastrous. I’ve come up with a list of ten players I think are prime suspects to lose fantasy owners cash this season, some are obvious and some are controversial, but regardless of whether you agree or disagree, at least forewarned is forearmed.

 

Mitchell Aubusson

Our nemesis the Black Widow can start things rolling. Aubusson had his uses in fantasy last season but to start 2017 at least, he’s poison. Amazingly he started every game he played last season at either back row or centre. His games at centre keep his average down (he averaged 26.4 at centre and 42.6 in the second row). This season Aubusson should be back on the bench and that’s a role he’s only averaged 24.85 in the last couple of years. 

 

Cameron Munster

Munster’s likely switch to five-eighth isn’t going to be good for his fantasy scores. There is just no way Munster will average the 51 points he is priced at. Anthony Milford is the highest averaging running half and his best season average is 45.83. I can’t see Munster averaging better than the low 40s. 

 

Latrell Mitchell

Mitchell only averaged 32.46 last season but his best stuff came at fullback where he averaged 38. This year he seems set to play on the wing, something he did last year on eight occasions and averaged 21.38. I’d be more interested if Mitchell was at centre but that could still be a wait and see thing, you don’t need him from day one. 

 

Tyrone Peachey

Peachey is an incredibly fun player but his versatility makes him really hard to trust. Over the past two years he has started 23 games in positions as varied as hooker, five-eighth, second row and centre, in those games he’s averaged 51. He’s also come off the bench 21 times to average 37. Although he’s averaged 44 in each of the last two years I wouldn’t want to be sweating his role every week. If he looks to have a position bolted down, then by all means take a look but until then keep away.

 

Jordan Rapana

Josh Mansour: 50.85 to 34.25. Semi Radradra: 50.56 to 39.42. If Jordan Rapana backs up his 47.17 he’ll be the first winger I’ve seen with back to back 45 averages. Why bother with the risk, what’s the upside? Don’t do it. 

 

Joey Leilua

Pretty similar to Jordan Rapana really. Centres just aren’t consistent enough to score as high as Leilua did last season across multiple years. Mark Gasnier had five straight seasons in which he averaged over 45, I couldn’t find any other centres do it in two consecutive years. I don’t think Leilua is the second coming of Mark Gasnier. Just like with Rapana what’s the upside compared to the risk?

 

Mitchell Barnett

This could be the one I’m most unsure of but here we go. Barnett received a $15,000 discount for only playing nine games. Perhaps he has a few more dollars in him if he goes from 74.56 to 80 minutes (at his PPM that is worth $35,000). That’s helpful but I think it is pretty much his only upside and there is a lot of risk. His game sample size is small and he plays for the Knights, those are the two biggest issues. If there was more upside to it, I’d be more interested but I’m concerned you could pay a lot of money for a guy that under delivers and best case scenario he makes you $50k. Meh. 

 

Bodene Thompson

His price isn’t going much if any higher, in fact the most likely scenario is it goes down. Edge back rowers have a hard time sustaining a 50 average, let alone a 54-point average. If you are paying this much for a player you have to be super confident they aren’t going to lose you money, I don’t think you can be that confident in Thompson.

 

Nathan Cleary

Cleary was sensational last season. Absolutely brilliant. But what’s the best scenario for him this season? Let’s say he averages 60 and increases his price by $70k, is that what you’re looking for? Well, two halves (Jamie Soward in 2009 and DCE in 2011) have averaged 60 or more in a season so what are the real chances Cleary does it? Now compare that to the chances he averages 50 and loses $25k. What if he averages 45 and loses $75k? This is just another case of the upside not being high enough to justify the risk.

 

Boyd Cordner

See Bodene Thompson. Cordner is an even bigger concern than Thompson because his average came in a smaller sample. Both guys, using a bigger sample have a smaller average score.