The Titans made some impressive leaps in recruitment and on the field in 2016. No side benefited more from the Eels salary cap drama than the Titans. The Titans were gifted a place in the finals and also Nathan Peats and Jarryd Hayne thanks primarily to the Eels’ woes. To be fair for a long time the Titans had been on the other end of the stick so it was only fair that they’d cash in.
Last season the NRL was split into two pretty clear groups: 9 good teams and 7 bad teams. The Titans were one of the good teams so it wasn’t like they were undeserving of the finals. The Titans had the 9th best Pythagorean win prediction with 12.30 but they were a long way ahead of the 10th placed Rabbits who had a 9.96 win prediction. The Titans will need to be better though because sides like the Roosters and Rabbits aren’t going to be as bad as they were in 2017.
The Titans certainly have reason to be optimistic. They have an exciting young halves combo in Kane Elgey and Ashley Taylor who were back to back NYC best players in 2014 and 2015, they have Ryan James who has become one of the best front rowers in the competition and they will have a full season of Jarryd Hayne who was one the NRL’s best players when he left for the NRL, furthermore players like Peats, Jarrod Wallace, Chris McQueen, Kevin Proctor and Konrad Hurrell can be massively influential. They do still have Anthony Don and William Zillman but you can’t get everything you want.
The Titans were the second best opponent for your fantasy players’ last season and the reason why is quite interesting. The Titans had a huge gap in the number of tackle breaks they had themselves compared to their own missed tackles which means opponents didn’t have many missed tackles against the Titans while they did have lots of their own tackle breaks.
The Titans had the second highest number of missed tackles in the competition with 799 and this isn’t unusual as the Titans were the worst tacklers in 2014 and 2015 as well. To go with this they had the least number of tackle breaks in the NRL with just 551, the Knights were the only other side under 620. When you’re in the conversation with the Knights for tackle breaks and missed tackles this probably isn’t a good sign, and yet the Titans had a point differential 506 points better than the Titans. I don’t know what to make of it but it’s interesting. Here’s that full table:
Jarryd Hayne will line up from Round 1, hopefully at fullback, I say hopefully because the Titans always seem desperate to fit Will Zillman in the side even when he’s not the best option. English recruit Dan Sarginson will start at either wing or centre. There’s also 2015 rookie Kane Elgey coming back from injury. I’m not sure he plays straight out of the gate. Finally Greg Bird needs to be replaced at lock, maybe Paasi or Taia and either might come into fantasy consideration if they get the 13.
2016 Positional Minute Splits
It’ll be interesting to see if the starting hooker will get more minutes, Nathan Peats only had one 80 minute effort at the Titans but he’s capable. A bigger issue than his capability will be fitting three halves into two spots and the chance one of them lands on the bench.
Kevin Proctor and Jarrod Wallace are the main acquisitions while David Mead and Greg Bird the only losses. I’d take that. Back line depth is really lacking but the forward pack looks solid.
Average Fantasy Points Allowed Per Position
The Titans still leaked fantasy points to basically every position last season, which is no different to previous years.
Key Fantasy Changes
Kane Elgey’s return from an ACL injury last pre-season will have some potential consequences to Ashley Taylor, Tyrone Roberts and Nathan Peats.