The Renegades Writers combine passion for the game, with a lack of editorial oversight. When they aren't next to the water cooler bitching about that try assist the stats guys missed, they are churning out sports articles that have been widely touted as "readable".
For all the Fantasy pertinent information, look no further!
Broncos vs Bulldogs
* Kodi Nikorima named in jersey #21
* Mbye suspended
* Matt Frawley named at halfback
Roosters vs Manly
* Jake Friend returns
* Ferguson named in jersey #20
Cowboys vs Rabbitohs
* Taumalolo returns at lock
* Hess back to jersey #16
* Coote returns at fullback
* Ponga back to jersey #19
* Braidon Burns returns on the wing
Sharks vs Knights
* Lamb named
* Feeney on standby
* Holmes named at fullback
* Brailey named at hooker
* Segeyaro named in jersey #17
* Brendon Elliot returns
* Sione Mata'utia returns to second row
Raiders vs Eels
* Whitehead suspended
* Soliola starts a second row.
* Moeroa returns
Storm vs Panthers
* McLean returns
* Cartwright not named
* Corey Harawira-Naera starts at second row
* James Fisher-Harris on extended bench with fractured cheekbone
Warriors vs Titans
* Foran named at 5/8
* Lolohea not named
* Ayshford named on the wing
* Chris Grevsmuhl named in jersey #16
* Ryan James named despite shoulder charge
* Ryan Simpkins starts at hooker
Tigers vs Dragons
* Idris named to start at centre
* Littlejohn replaces injured Luke brooks
All the fantasy relevant information from Team-List Tuesday for Round Four
Rabbitohs vs Roosters
* Cody Walker drops back to fullback
* Talakai returns at centre
* Sutton named at 5/8
* Joseph Manu starts at centre
* Ferguson named in jersey #20
Panthers vs Knights
* Cartwright named
* Mata'utia named
*Anthony Tupou named in jersey #21
Broncos vs Raiders
* TPJ returns
* Marshall named in jersey #18
Manly vs Bulldogs
* Martin Taupau returns
* Fonua-Blake returns
* Abbey named at fullback
Eels vs Sharks
* Corey Norman returns
* Robson named in jersey #21
* Kirisome Auva'a named in jersey #19
* Cameron King named in jersey #18
* Holmes named on the wing
* SEGEYARO named in jersey #20
* Kurt Capwell retains his spot in the centres
* Gerard Beale named in jersey #19
Titans vs Cowboys
* Copley named at centre
* Daniel Vidot named on the wing
* Gela-Mosby named on the wing
* Fensom named in jersey #16
Tigers vs Storm
*Taylor returns at lock
* Matt Ballin named in jersey #17
* Slater returns to run on at fullback
* Jacks named at 5/8
* Brodie Croft named in jersey #21
Dragons vs Warriors
* RTS returns
* Foran named in jersey #21
* Jai field is a trade to Ryley Jacks if you don't already have him
When you are new to fantasy understanding what you need to be looking for in a good fantasy player is hard. People can get carried away early in the season by scores that contain a lot of inconsistent elements. Take for example Jack de Belin who busted out a 92 point score in round 1 which lead some people to claim he’s a legitimate captaincy option, which he isn’t. JDB scored a try that featured five tackle breaks, take that out and his score is a more moderate 65 points. Still a great output, but higher than you can expect week to week.
What we will do throughout this article is examine each position bread and butter stats and some general rules of thumb you can use to assess any given player’s performance.
Hookers tend to make all their points from tackling in the middle of the park, an example of this is Jake Friend. So, you need to be paying close attention to their tackle count and their missed tackle count. You’re aiming for any given hooker to be making 40+ tackles a game with less than 2 missed. You will also have hookers who are play makers these include players like CS9 and McInnes, who not only make 40+ tackles a game but compliment these stats with 1-2TA, and a few tackle breaks. To identify a gun hooker, you need to find hookers who have solid base stats, and who have demonstrated they are a playmaking hooker.
Base stats: tackle count (45+),
Gun stats: TA (1-2).
Negative stats: Missed tackles (less than 2).
Front row forwards/ second row forwards:
Forwards tend to make their points through run meters and tackles and the generation of these is tied strongly to minutes. This can be seen in PG13 who will often make 30+ tackles a game and run for 150+ meters in 80 minutes. However, the difference between a gun forward and mediocre forward is in the missed tackles, and penalty department. You ideally don’t want a Paul Carter who makes 50 tackles a game but misses 10, in an 80 minute stint. Your goal forward should include people make 45+ tackles a game, who can offload and break tackles. These players include the likes of Simon Mannering, Andrew Fifita, and James Graham.
Base stats: tackles (30+), run meters (150+)
Gun stats: Tackle breaks (2+), and offloads (2+).
Negative stats: Missed tackles (less than 3) and penalties (less than 2)
Your halves revolve around kick meters and tackles. You ideally want a half that is kicking no less than 300m per game and making 12+ tackles a game, while missing no more than 2, I’m looking at you Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks. To identify a gun half, you need a half that has over 80 run meters and 1-2 TA per game and goal kicking. Run meters combined with KM indicate the half will take on the line and is more likely to create something out nothing. These players include the likes of Johnson, Norman, Cleary and JT.
Base stats: Kick meters (300+), Tackles (12+)
Gun stats: Run meters (80+), and Try assists(1+), Goal kicking (optional see Norman)
Negative stats: Missed tackles (less than 3)
The backs are the hardest players to pick. Your backs rely on run meters and tackle breaks. Where tackle breaks are one of the least consistent stats in the game, I swear sometimes they award tackle breaks through flipping coins. So, you are looking for a back who averages 150+ run meters per game, and who bust 1-3 tackles a game. The likes of Tedesco, Munster and RTS all fit this mould. However, the likes of Moylan, who is a great player but he simply doesn’t have the run meters or the tackle breaks.
Base stats: Run meters (150+), tackle breaks (2+) tackles ( 10+)
Gun stats: Goal kicking (wouldn’t it be nice, see Croker)
Negative: less than 150 run meters, and no tackle breaks. (this indicates he is a ball playing back, not a barnstorming fantasy gun).
When you finally think, you have spotted a potential player make sure you check the players history for example if you see a bloke that has suddenly started playing 80 minutes in the 2nd row and is pumping out gun like stats, ask yourself why has he suddenly started playing 80. If you see a bloke that pumped out 92 on the weekend when he normally averages 45-55 when not playing 80 ask yourself why? Don’t get caught in the minefields that is NRL fantasy. Best of luck
Signing out RNGD Eeyore
1. Jurbo’s growing ‘gun’ status
Jake Trbojevic is a shining light in an ordinary team. He hits hard and frequently, and has great ‘flop’ potential which is an added bonus for the NRLF coaches who have him. With a 52 point effort in 70 mins (made up mainly of base stats), Jurbo’s effort today showed that his rapid elevation to gun status last season was no fluke. If he could rid himself of the negative stats (-10 from 3 missed tackles and 2 penalties conceded), he would further cement himself as an able replacement for the departed guns of yester year. #RIPCP13 #RIPFensom (just about)
2. Sironen still loves a missed tackle
At a starting price of $244k, selecting Curtis Sironen (a player who doesn’t have a great history of turning out great fantasy performances) in your initial squad, represented a real risk. However, 20% of NRLF coaches took the plunge, presumably as a result of a dearth of other attractive lower priced options in the second row. While the end result from today’s game was a pleasing 42 point effort, those coaches who picked him up will be lamenting the 14 lost points (6 missed tackles and an error) that could have elevated his performance to ‘outstanding’. Someone needs to remind Siro that he’s no longer playing in the halves at the Tigers where missing tackles is par for the course.
3. Kelly to the bench
If you’re one of the 40% of NRLF coaches that went with Brian Kelly as one of the 4 CTRs in your initial squad, chances are you rigorously debated with yourself over whether or not to start him in your scoring 17 this week. Give yourself a ‘high 5’ if you left him as an NPR. While today’s score of 29 isn’t disastrous for a base price player, the fact that he scored 19 of those points in one play in scoring a try in the 7th minute, and then scored jack squat in the remaining 73 minutes, can only mean that Talakai, Moga, Cotric and Suli are probably better options as scoring players next week. Four missed tackles don’t help his cause.
4. Norman a premier half
At an initial cost of $460k, Corey Norman played at times like a player priced $50k higher. While you can’t be disappointed with his output of 69 points, it could have been even higher were it not for 4 missed tackles. Assuming he doesn’t score a try every game like he did today, you can lock in 45-55 points for Norman most weeks. And given that the Eels have a favourable bye draw, you’ll want to ensure he’s in your team by the time origin rolls around.
5. Disappointing first up
- Semi Radradra – Semi is capable of a lot more than the 32 points he delivered. However, those planning on stacking their sides with Eels players for bye coverage won’t be too disappointed as his price will drop significantly from the $373k it started at. You’d want to ensure he comes into some form before selecting him though.
- Bevan French – French is one of those unfortunates whose fantasy points never seem to quite match his ‘real life’ contribution to a game. 39 points isn’t the worst effort, but having scored a try, those NRLF coaches that picked him up are entitled to have expected a bit more.
1. Mitchell Barnett is the business
With 71 points in 64 mins (60+ in base stats) at a PPM of 1.11, Barnett’s status as a gun is as near to confirmed as you can get. Given their inexperienced forward pack, the Knights’ opponents will likely target the middle third of the park, which will mean plenty of work for Barnett in 2017. With the added benefit of a previously unknown short kicking game, Barnett is shaping as a must have and the Jesse Bromwich to Barnett trade (using some dpp magic), will be a popular move this week.
2. Sweatin’ on Manners
Simon Mannering is a perennial gun and his work during the 49 mins he was on the field was much of the same. On 36 points at the time, he was on course for a 50-60 point effort before leaving the field with a neck injury. Manners’ owners will be sweating on word of the seriousness of his injury this week. Anything longer than a three week lay-off will likely mean a trade.
3. Phythian is a trade
Dylan Phythian lasted 50 mins before being carted off with a serious lower leg injury. The outlook looks grim for his immediate playing future, but that aside his total of 11 points during his time on the field (including a 5 point 40/20) wouldn’t have endeared him to the 39% of NRLF coaches who own him, meaning he would have been a popular trade candidate this week regardless.
4. Fusitua the trap
With a 64 point effort, chances are David Fusitua will snare a few points chasing coaches this week. However, the more experienced NRLF coaches know that that his tally was boosted by a three try effort that won’t be repeated week to week. While it’s possible that playing outside a confident Shaun Johnson in a settled position will result in more opportunities for him this season, at a price tag of $322k (prior to his increase from today’s effort) he’s definitely not cheap. Approach the Fus with caution.
5. Keep an eye on..
- Charlie Gubb – 43 points in 45 mins made up almost entirely of base stats. At $200k (pre- increase), he will surely come into consideration for many coaches should he repeat the effort in round 2. With Ben Matulino on the sidelines for a while, Gubb will, on today’s effort, likely get similar game time for the next few games.
- Luke Yates – 33 points in 48 mins (all base stats). At base price, he is a decent pick up for the 39% of NRLF coaches who own him. If you’re one of the 61% who don’t, then it’s not too late.
After being marginalised early this season ET finds himself at the Tigers, a team that could certainly use his presence. His first two games have returned scores of 45 and 61 and he’s finally stopped dropping in price. He has decent byes and plays this weekend. Is ET the 2RF of your dreams or will you be singing Why, Why, Why Elijah? Is ET a close to 50 point keeper or is he Zeb Taia? Fluke or For Real?
This one is purely for Huey and Steve. Fluke he will be back to his missed tackle best soon enough. This will lead to reduced minutes and more misery for old ET owners. No chance of averaging 50 for rest of the season. FLUKE
Purely because of the parameters set. He will average CLOSE TO 50 but not over it. If you need an 18th man on the cheap then he is a great option, otherwise there are better players out there. FOR REAL
May not average 50 plus, but essential for this round in my opinion. As long as he makes 45 tackles this week, IDC he's in my team. FLEAL
He will average closer to 40 than 50. He is a tackle machine but he also goes through Paul Carter type brain snaps where he racks up a ridiculous amount of negative points. He is good coverage for the bye rounds but I would not have him in my starting 17 post Origin. This weekend against a depleted Broncos outfit will be the real test to see what type of player he is this year. Also Sue is back so there is that too. FLUKE
Elijah and I have a complicated history. He caught my eye one day from the other side of my excel spreadsheet. We talked a bit (mostly me, he just listened). We got together. Things were great. Then he missed some tackles and committed some penalties. Then he got injured. Then we argued. Then we broke up. Then we got back together. Then he got hurt. Then we argued. Then we broke up. But you’re not here for the romance, you’re here for a rational analysis so let’s go. I think ET is a great selection that should be able to average somewhere in the high 40’s. I have a small concern that his minutes might be inflated by other people’s injuries but other than that he’s still a sound tackler and showed some decent ball playing ability last week. My other concerns is the Tigers byes aren’t as good as you think and if you’ve got a couple of Raiders in your backrow you are going to have some real issues in Round 15 and Round 19. I also don’t think Taylor will be a top level keeper. There’s currently 15 2RF that average over 50 and you probably don’t want to be overstocked with players that fall short of that. So if you have Cartwright, Fensom, Ma’u, Mooper etc do you really want to add another player who might not quite be good enough? Still he’s a great price. FOR REAL
Jake Friend is the current captain for the Sydney Roosters, where he has played 170 odd games. He was born on February 1st, 1990, making him 26 years old. In the fantasy world he is considered to be the third best hooker available. Just behind rule number 1, CS9 and Farah.
Trent Robinson has a tendency to run a backup hooker on the Roosters bench. This is the primary reason why Friend is considered to be the third best option at hooker. That has meant Friend has averaged 65 minutes and scoring between 45- 60 points per game. In recent times we have seen Friend move to an 80 minute role, which have seen a stark improvement in his output increasing his range to 60-70 per game. However, will this be short lived?
Here's some of his key stats over the past three years:
TCK Per Min
The increased minutes are certainly playing their part in Friend's improved performance, he's up over ten points a game BUT the minutes don't explain everything as his PPM is also up, despite the fact his base stats, primarily tackles, are coming at a slower rate then previous years. So his PPM is up but his base stats per minute are down, the reason for this is try assists. Friend already has six try assists this season after managing five in 2015 and six in 2014. With the Roosters losing a number of key playmakers Friend has had to pick up some slack, but with one of those playmakers back shortly it might not continue.
For all those who are wondering the main reason why Robinson is playing Friend as an 80 minute hooker at the present is because their only back up hooker Henderson has his leg snapped in half in round 3. The lack of depth has resulted in this anomaly.
The answer to this question has been on the mind of many coaches. It is the opinion held by many that his 80 minute stints will cease once we see the return of Cordner, JWH, and Pearce. It is believed that Nikorima, or Aubusson will start to eat into his minutes. This means for any prospective coaches eyeing Friend after his monster 107 points over the weekend, I would advise against it. This is because at most he has two weeks left as an 80 minute hooker, in which he should reach a mammoth price of $580k, only to start losing value immediately. We will see him move back down to sub $500k by no later than round 18.
So if you consider Friend to be a player you must have in your final 17 I would be holding off for a little longer, even if I am wrong, he has reached what is close to the ceiling for players in fantasy world and it seems very unlikely that Friend will be able to sustain his current average.
RNGD Eeyore out.
Ryan James and potential go together like Steve Matai and missed tackle. Over the past three years we’ve often seen glittering of this potential but in 2016 it appears to have legitimately metamorphosed into a very good rugby league player but does this make him a very good fantasy player?
Is Ryan James really a keeper you can build around? Fluke or For Real?
He was a great pod a couple of seasons back. But sadly I think fluke, there’s so many good options in 2RF. FLUKE
He might be For Real but I'm not going to touch him. He is one of those players that suck you in with some boss scores only to burn you sooner rather than later. You need to ask yourself whether he has changed his ways or not? Has he finally got a haircut and a got real job? Keep in mind that Titans miss Round 12 and 18 as well. With the byes in mind I'm going to say a big no thank you. FLUKE
With Pettybourne injured in game and Bird not playing, James received 80mins in the middle of the field, which is unlikely to happen again this season. His other big scores have featured tries. FLUKE
Not every week will James be playing an 80 minute lock role. This week was simply because a bird flew the coop. The week he got his shitty score he missed three tackles and gave away one penalty and even if he didn’t he still would have only scored 38 which is what you should be expecting from R James. His inflated scores make it harder for people who hold him to trade, and far too tempting for those who don't to trade him in. Just don’t. At 55-60 minute prop there are better options like James Graham, Tolman, Bromwich and even Cooper. FLUKE
He's started the season off with a bang, however, he probably showed his true self in his 28 against the Sharks. Go all the way back to round 1 and he scored a similar 33 against the Knights. Although he's gone boom in between and again this week, I feel these scores are more indicative of a perfect storm of coincidences and opportunities presenting themselves to him: scoring rare tries, getting try saves, Greg Bird's inevitable suspension this week (coupled with in game injuries to boost his minutes), and racking up some huge tackle counts, including a monster 61 this week. All of these have served to skew his average a fair bit, and as the season progresses, he'll probably trend towards the lower end of the scale and average somewhere in the high 40s. FLUKE
There’s a real risk that James’ best scores this season are already in the books. I love James playing in the middle of the field but his role seems to be constantly changing it can be hard to know what his role actually is. In his 45-65 minute games James has averaged 43 points in base stats and lost an average of four points a game in negative plays. That’s a pretty solid platform and means when he booms he really booms. I think James is going to end up doing the same sort of thing as Martin Taupau for fantasy purposes: he’ll boom, he’ll bust and he’ll finish up averaging somewhere around 50. With his lack of quality byes and current high price I think there are better options. FLUKE
Tuimoala Lolohea was an interesting selection last week as a move to the halves aroused interest in many fantasy coaches. That move lasted about 17 minutes and now he’s likely to find himself the heir apparent to the injured Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Available as a CTR (and HLF) can Tui average 40? Fluke or For Real?
Looking to get involved and will hopefully slot into the vacant FB position with RTS out the season. Should grab more running metres, bomb defusals and try saves. Looking forward to grabbing him for the rubbish Pat Mat. FOR REAL
Got him last week. Available in the problematic CTR position. Now at fullback he should score good base stats and is talented enough to get great attacking stats too. FOR REAL
In the problematic centre position he will be a nice purchase. Playing at fullback he won’t score as highly as he would have at stand-off but he won’t be losing money either. Get him in now as he is as cheap as he will be, yet will finish the season as a reliable centre. FOR REAL
CTR is shit house this year and Lolohea could be a big help. FOR REAL
Hopefully he slots in at FB again (so I can turf that useless RTS) and hits some big scores. Looked dynamic at the back, breaks tackles with ease with his fancy footwork, and has the opportunity to rack up some easy try assists when passing to the Warriors' powerful outside backs. Remember though, his points are essentially all attacking stats, but this is the same for any boom/bust fullback. Just don't be surprised if he has a quiet game or two when versing quality opponents. FOR REAL
I always feel like I have to be the messenger of doom and gloom because the rest of the writers have a problem with unbridled optimism. Perhaps people are only looking for confirmation of a decision they’ve already made but I feel I am doing people a disservice if I don’t point out the risks involved with Lolohea. First Lolohea had 11 games at fullback last year and averaged 35. Last season in Lolohea’s 11 games at fullback he had a high of 72 and a low of 9 with a consistency score of 0.56 which represents a very inconsistent player. But that was last year you say, Lolohea looks like a much better player this year. He has looked good at times this season but people have also glossed over some of his bad games, he’s cheap because he has scores of 16, 11 and 18 to his credit. His average on the wing this season is actually worse than his average on the wing last year. He also has useless bye weeks. If you are in the position of having to make a move you could consider Tui, he’s more than likely undervalued but people seem to have visions of his overtime try running through their head like he’s 2012 Ben Barba. He’s not. And he's definitely not unanimous for real. FLUKE
Last week we looked at one cheap centre with good byes coming off a decent score. This week we’ll look at another. Is Kerrod Holland worth a trade this week?
Ideally you would have him already obviously but if you don't I think it’s still worth it. He should cover Morris on the byes, Hoppa isn’t playing Sundays I believe? And plus he looks the goods and may end up pushing someone like Stanley out of the team. Besides what better cheapies are out there? FOR REAL
In his first game, he did nothing and scored a very respectable 37 points. With the likelihood of covering Morris and Hopoate before and over the Origin period, he'll get plenty more opportunity to make money and score decent points. You should have bought him last week but he's still worth a purchase. FOR REAL
Buy buy buy. Don't worry about missing him last week, worry about not getting him this week. FOR REAL
He is a mirage, for one trade in and one trade out you will get a guaranteed two weeks so let’s say he makes $80k. It’s not worth it. Yes Hopoate will miss some games but last I checked Holland is a centre it is more likely that Brad Abbey will get his shot. Ok so I don't have him and I am wishing this and many other bad things on him. FLUKE
Next week will be too late. FOR REAL
The Defensive Centre
You need to start building depth coming into the byes. In the best case, Holland keeps Stanley out. In the worst, he plays the next couple of weeks and then comes in over Origin when Morris is out. He also has the chance of playing in the backline when Hopoate is out for Sunday games. He's obviously got a first grade temperament, which the coach can see giving him the kicking tee on debut. Get him in now. FOR REAL
Unable to tell; but I’ll lean to real. I do not expect him to keep Stanley out, 2nd tier salary cap etc, but at the same stage he should make some decent coin and potentially offer some cover in the bye rounds. Purchase now or forever hold your peace. FOR REAL
I think he looks like a very solid fantasy player that makes tackles and breaks tackles. Exactly what you want in a CTR. Just don’t downplay the risk associated with getting a $188k player with no job certainty. He will play this weekend and that will make you between $28-40k if he scores between 25-40. He will probably play Round 12 and Round 18 with Josh Morris playing Origin but you know how long this season has felt? Double it and that is Round 12, triple it and you have Round 18. Can you even imagine that far away? He might play in Round 10 and Round 11 when Will Hopoate sits Sundays out but the Bulldogs have other options too. There is a chance he replaces Chase Stanley in the line-up fulltime but only a small chance. If you were just to factor in playing this week and the two byes then his upside is 50-80 points in Origin and $70-120k of price increases. When I weigh all these factors up I think this is a bad trade and you might be better off forgoing a price rise to mitigate some of these risks and get him later on if he still looks like a solid bye round play. FLUKE