Renegades Team

Renegades Team

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".

Tuesday, 20 January 2015 11:00

RFS Preview: HLF mid-rangers

Every year a half or five-eighth emerges from this group to be a bona fide fantasy star. Who's it going to be this year?

Note: Since this series of articles started the first fantasy prices of 2015 have been announced. They appear to represent a 16% increase in player value while the salary cap, if they continue to match it with the actual NRL salary cap, will see just a 4% increase in value. That means it will be harder to build a team of guns in 2015 than it was in 2014. This will be a response to complaints in 2014 when the cap went up higher than player values did. It's a good thing, it makes for more differentiation and increases the importance of developing a good team rather than just starting with one. 

 

If you have missed any articles in the series you can find the links here.

Jeff Robson

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

HLF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

34.94

PPM

0.44

Consistency

0.44

Price

309,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Robson played with four different halves partners in 2014; Todd Carney (six games), Fa’amanu Brown (eight games), Daniel Holdsworth (three games) and Luke Lewis (one game). What’s interesting is he had very different fantasy point averages with each partner; with Holdsworth it was 23, with Carney 34, with Brown 39 and Lewis 40. The difference between Robson’s scores playing with Brown and Lewis compared to the other two was mostly due to kick metres and the difference between Carney and Holdsworth was that Robson didn’t manage any attacking stats playing with Holdsworth. So what will new halves partner Benny Barba mean for Robson? He should look a lot more like the fantasy player who was paired with Brown than the others. At five eight Barba averaged just 71 kick metres per game so Robson will do almost all the kicking. But before you start thinking Robson is a great fantasy option for 2015 you have to remember he is priced as a player that averaged 35 points and nudging that average up five points isn’t going to make you a lot of money.

 

Aidan Sezer

2015 Team

Titans

Position

HLF

Games played

13

Ave Minutes

76

Fantasy average

38.08

PPM

0.50

Consistency

0.31

Price

337,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

11, 17

Sezer destroyed TDC’s season in 2014 which was hilarious for us but devastating for the bearded one. Going into the season the bye focused fantasy players had their eye on two halfback options; Adam Reynolds or Aidan Sezer. It was a 50/50 call and sadly for those that went with /50 it did not work out well. Reynolds wasn’t great early but he still managed to average 15 points better than Sezer while avoiding injuries. Sezer didn’t avoid injuries, he was banged up from round 1 and ended up missing 11 games including the entire bye period. It doesn’t help TDC but the blessing is Sezer could represent outstanding value at his sub $300k price tag.

 

Blake Austin

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

HLF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

66

Fantasy average

36.05

PPM

0.55

Consistency

0.39

Price

319,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14,17

Last season Austin played fullback, five eighth, halfback, centre and second row which are all positions the Raiders have a vacancy, and he could probably also play hooker as well. There is a lot of uncertainty on where Austin will play this season but five eighth with young Mitch Cornish is looking like it would make a lot of sense.  Austin is far too expensive to think of as a cash cow but he played six games at five eighth last season and averaged 45 fantasy points a game which is very solid. He’s a good ball runner able to regularly break tackles.

 

Chad Townsend

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

HLF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

35.95

PPM

0.45

Consistency

0.31

Price

318,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Chad cemented his journeyman status in 2014. After leading the 2013 Cronulla-Sutherland NSW Cup team to the premiership fantasy owners may have thought they had a point of difference. Playing second fiddle to SJ, Chad didn’t provide attacking statistics needed for a half to make him a keeper. If he does remain in the role he will need to shore up his defence, accept his role and be the best journeyman he can be. Honest toiler, prefer others.

 

Tyrone Roberts

2015 Team

Knights

Position

HLF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

74

Fantasy average

33.71

PPM

0.46

Consistency

0.44

Price

298,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

14, 17

Tyrone Roberts had a huge chance to stamp his spot as a genuine fantasy gun in the early stages of 2014, being the lone playmaker. However, he ultimately failed to provide the goods as Newcastle ran out to three losses on the trot to start the season. His position in the Newcastle squad still remains to be seen. While he is likely to start the season at halfback, Roberts impressed coming off the bench to play hooker at stages and may find himself in that position again at some point in 2015.

 

Benji Marshall

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

HLF

Games played

15

Ave Minutes

78

Fantasy average

35.33

PPM

0.45

Consistency

0.49

Price

313,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 14

Benji was gone. After his relationship with the Wests Tigers soured and his form hit an all-time low, Marshall left rugby league for union. After struggling to find his feet in his new sport the Dragons threw the former Kiwi captain a lifeline. A nightmare return against the Eels quickly faded from memory as the halfback put together consistently improving performances towards the end of the season. After a full off-season under his belt Benji is ready to keep building in the new year.

 

Chris Sandow

2015 Team

Eels

Position

HLF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

39.19

PPM

0.49

Consistency

0.38

Price

347,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Like he does every year Sandow had people salivating early in the year when he scored 45 and 68 in his first two games. He managed to retain a solid level of scoring across his first ten games averaging 45.6 but over the next 11 games he only averaged 33.3. At Sandow’s price point he is only a worthwhile proposition if he turns into a fantasy gun but that doesn’t look like it will happen. Sandow finished the year with 296 points in negative plays which was the most in the NRL and until he can rid his game of some of those he’ll never be a reliable fantasy option.

 

Peter Wallace

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

HLF

Games played

14

Ave Minutes

75

Fantasy average

31.50

PPM

0.42

Consistency

0.44

Price

279,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Wallace returned to the Panthers after spending six years with the Broncos. Unfortunately injuries cost him ten games and he missed the Panthers finals run. He’s very much the second playmaker behind Jamie Soward. Wallace was part of Scotland’s quarter final run at the RLWC, a tournament that will probably represent the last of his representative duties.

 

Fa’amanu Brown

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

HLF

Games played

11

Ave Minutes

76

Fantasy average

28.00

PPM

0.37

Consistency

0.35

Price

248,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

A touching video was circulated during 2014 of Nu Brown telling his parents he had been selected to play for Samoa. Unfortunately injury ruled him out of that game but he’ll likely get another chance with them some time soon. He’s a solid but unspectacular fantasy option.

 

Ben Hampton

2015 Team

Storm

Position

HLF

Games played

11

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

32.91

PPM

0.41

Consistency

0.60

Price

291,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

After a sensational round one performance it looked like Ben Hampton was primed to replace Gareth Widdop as the final piece of the Storm spine but he stuttered over subsequent weeks and lost his place. He’ll have every opportunity to re-assert himself as the Storm 6 now that Ben Roberts is gone and Joel Romelo is still a Hobbit but the way is not completely clear with the Storm also adding Blake Green. As a fantasy player he is substantially better when Cooper Cronk doesn’t play, averaging 44.8 without him and 23 with him.

 

Robert Lui

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

HLF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

73

Fantasy average

37.43

PPM

0.51

Consistency

0.38

Price

331,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Lui is the reliable foil to the brilliance of Thurston. But, despite doing his job in 2014, he may be pushed out of the team for the return of Coote. In any case, he is not a great fantasy option, and will keep averaging in the mid-30s.

 

Daniel Mortimer

2015 Team

Titans

Position

HLF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

54

Fantasy average

28.05

PPM

0.52

Consistency

0.56

Price

248,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Morts was a godsend for many fantasy players last year. He transferred from the Roosters to the Titans to start in the halves, he was ridiculously cheap, he played the big byes and he delivered with an average just shy of 40. Mortimer also comes into 2015 under-valued, if his price was based just on his time at the Titans he would be valued at around $292k. It is also worth noting that while he was paired with his 2015 halves partner, Aiden Sezer, he averaged 38 so he should make a bit of money.

 

Sam Williams

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

HLF

Games played

4

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

33.75

PPM

0.42

Consistency

0.43

Price

245,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14,17

Williams returns to the Raiders after an aborted stay with the Dragons in 2014, along with a stint with Catalans where he played okay but still played second fiddle to Thomas Bosc. He managed to play four games for St George-Illawarra, averaging 33.8 fantasy points which isn’t dissimilar to the 36.67 he averaged in nine games with the Raiders in 2013. His main weapon is his big boot but if he gets paired with Cornish that’s a role Cornish can handle just fine.

 

Kieran Foran

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

HLF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

32.95

PPM

0.41

Consistency

0.50

Price

292,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 14

Foran is the epitome of a great player that makes for a mediocre fantasy player and just because he has name recognition you shouldn’t think he has value. Foran consistently averages in the low 30’s and you can be pretty sure he’ll do that again in 2015. Foran’s value to the Sea Eagles is significantly more than his value to your fantasy team. Like his halves partner, Daly Cherry-Evans, Foran will be signing a big new contract in 2015 and if that contract isn’t with the Sea Eagles then expect dark times on the Northern beaches.

 

Will Smith

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

HLF

Games played

6

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

26.83

PPM

0.34

Consistency

0.29

Price

209,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Insert Fresh Prince of Bel Air joke here. Hilarious right? You’re welcome.

 

Ben Barba

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

HLF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

30.42

PPM

0.38

Consistency

0.45

Price

269,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Broncos’ fans have a bad tendency to lust after any and every top Queensland player available, and sometimes not available, on the market so there is something deeply satisfying about seeing Ben Barba become a spectacular bust. One of Barba’s strengths with the Bulldogs was his ability to run off blockbusting forwards but the Broncos just didn’t have those sort of players, sure Corey Parker offloads a lot but he only had five line break assists all year. That makes the Sharks a pretty interesting destination for Barba because the Sharks do have some forwards that could help Barba rediscover his abilities. Barba sounds like he will be playing five eighth and his splits with the Broncos suggest he’s got the same fantasy value regardless of position, he averaged 30 at five eighth and 31 at fullback.

 

Corey Norman

2015 Team

Eels

Position

HLF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

32.21

PPM

0.40

Consistency

0.39

Price

285,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

For a player that played every minute of the Eels’ season Corey Norman was pretty anonymous, he just does his job and keeps out of your consciousness. I literally can’t think of a thing to say about him.

 

Moses Mbye

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

HLF/HOK

Games played

8

Ave Minutes

77

Fantasy average

26.88

PPM

0.35

Consistency

0.29

Price

224,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 17

Mbye burned the bye prepared fantasy owners with an injury in round 11. That was a real shame because he looked really good in the game scoring 42 points. He ended up starting games at centre, halfback, five eighth and the grand final at hooker while also coming off the interchange once. He’ll be expected to be Origin cover for Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds this year but he could also find his versatility rewarded with a bench spot. That’ll be a tragedy for the fantasy prospects of Michael Lichaa.

 

Beau Henry

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

HLF

Games played

3

Ave Minutes

56

Fantasy average

29.00

PPM

0.52

Consistency

0.64

Price

203,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

What an unfortunate story Beau Henry is, heralded as the ‘next big thing’ after a Holden Cup season that won him player of the year for the Dragons in 2009. After almost signing with the Cowboys, Wayne Bennett convinced Henry to stay, only to punt him 12 months later. Henry signed on with the Newcastle Knights and made his debut the next year; Bennett followed, and punted him again. After an unsuccessful stint at the Titans, Henry has returned to where it all started.

Monday, 19 January 2015 11:00

RFS Preview: HLF Guns

Similar to the gun hookers the gun halves have lots of quality options. A Dally M winner or a Golden Boot winner. A premiership winner or an Origin star. Lots of choices to sort through.

Note: Since this series of articles started the first fantasy prices of 2015 have been announced. They appear to represent a 16% increase in player value while the salary cap, if they continue to match it with the actual NRL salary cap, will see just a 4% increase in value. That means it will be harder to build a team of guns in 2015 than it was in 2014. This will be a response to complaints in 2014 when the cap went up higher than player values did. It's a good thing, it makes for more differentiation and increases the importance of developing a good team rather than just starting with one. 

If you have missed any articles in the series you can find the links here.

Shaun Johnson

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

HLF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

54.81

PPM

0.69

Consistency

0.32

Price

485,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

His undeniable talent has often not added up to fantasy dominance. 2014 proved to be a breakthrough year with him averaging 54.8 points and leading the Kiwis to a dominant end of year Four Nations tournament. Most people will be locking him in as a fantasy must! With improved goal kicking, less missed tackles and taking the role of dominant half while not having to worry about origin you should consider seriously having the fleet of foot SJ as one of your starting halves. A constant complaint in the past is his lack of consistency, however, in a six week spell he never scored less than 55 and over a 10 week spell only once dipped below 52. Myth Busted!

 

Ben Hunt

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

HLF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

57.79

PPM

0.72

Consistency

0.28

Price

511,000

Origin

Moderate

Bye weeks

14, 17

Ben Hunt was the best buy of 2014, but won’t start 2015 at such an attractive price. In 2014 he was the only playmaking option, and dominated the kicking. A new look Broncos spine means the equation has changed. Will he reach the same heights?

 

Daly Cherry-Evans

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

HLF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

78

Fantasy average

51.52

PPM

0.66

Consistency

0.30

Price

456,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

11, 14

DCE’s 2015 season could easily end up being over shadowed by the breathless speculation over his contract status and that’ll only get worse the deeper into the season it remains unresolved. The contract will likely be the richest in NRL history and the lucky suitor will be getting a 25 year-old player ready to enter his prime. His fantasy status wasn’t quite so rosy as he dropped from the number one HLF in 2013 down to seventh in 2014. His range of scores were far more inconsistent in 2014 but that can at least in part be explained by the number of injuries he carried throughout the year.  

 

Adam Reynolds

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

HLF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

78

Fantasy average

53.83

PPM

0.69

Consistency

0.25

Price

476,000

Origin

Moderate

Bye weeks

15, 18

Reynolds will likely be a popular fantasy player as the Rabbitohs again get favourable fantasy bye weeks. His fantasy scores were a touch inconsistent and he had a knack for getting banged up but he still finished ranked as the fourth highest scoring fantasy HLF and two of the players ahead of him won’t be available in 2015 (Cam Smith who surely won’t be DPP and Jarryd Hayne who’ll be entering an NFL training camp). Reynolds will probably be paired up with Luke Keary all season after seeing some time with Dylan Walker and John Sutton in 2014. Reynolds averaged 44 in four games with Reynolds, 53 in 14 games with Sutton and 61 in six games with Keary. The difference between Reynolds’ average and playing with Keary was almost entirely down to kick metres, he had 304m per game without Keary and 390m per game with him.

 

Johnathan Thurston

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

HLF

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

79

Fantasy average

54.64

PPM

0.69

Consistency

0.29

Price

484,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

14, 17

JT is a god, and we should just be thankful that we can hang out in his world. Many coaches will be locking JT into their team as a gun half. But, only the smart coaches will know that JT is a volatile player, and once bought, must be kept. Small scores will be followed by mammoth efforts, and it is always just after you sell him that he tears the Raiders apart. In 2013, his opening score was 2 points, and not hampered by injury. 2014 saw a much more reliable JT take the field, with only 3 scores below 40. But, a round 26 score of 20 must have pissed off some H2H coaches.

 

Jarrod Mullen

2015 Team

Knights

Position

HLF

Games played

16

Ave Minutes

78

Fantasy average

49.31

PPM

0.64

Consistency

0.33

Price

436,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

14, 17

Coming off a fantastic season both form and fantasy wise in 2013, Mullen was unable to reach the same heights in 2014. After being injured at the Nines, Mullen, who was predicted to be one of the highest scoring halves never truly recovered from that injury. With a whole off season under his belt, Mullen should be back to his high scoring ways of 2013, with the addition of being undervalued in comparison to his scoring ability.

 

Cooper Cronk

2015 Team

Storm

Position

HLF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

48.11

PPM

0.61

Consistency

0.28

Price

426,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

11, 17

Cronk averaged 53.7 points prior to round 21, I got him in round 22 and from that point he averaged just 37 *sigh*. Pretty much everything about his post Origin game was worse than pre Origin; he averaged five less tackles per game, kicked for 100m less per game, had less try assists per game….. This post-Origin decline wasn’t something Cronk experienced in 2013, in fact he finished that year quite strong, so it isn’t clear if this is the start of something or just a one year fluke, keep it at the back of your mind.

 

James Maloney

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

HLF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

43.00

PPM

0.54

Consistency

0.33

Price

381,000

Origin

Moderate

Bye weeks

11, 17

Maloney had a down season in 2014, as if losing his Origin place to Josh Reynolds wasn’t bad enough he also dropped from fantasy HLF elite into a level occupied be Chris Sandow and Jamie Soward. Not a good year. He could be a nice risky/high upside play but if you were feeling like that sort of move you might be better off going with Aiden Sezer. He’s probably just an injury or two away from an Origin recall.

 

Mitchell Pearce

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

HLF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

42.43

PPM

0.53

Consistency

0.38

Price

375,000

Origin

Moderate

Bye weeks

11, 17

The much reviled Mitchell Pearce finally relinquished his hold on the Blues number 7 jersey and lo and behold the Blues win an Origin series. People are never going to be fair to Pearce but he actually played pretty well once he lost his Origin place scoring five tries, setting up 14 and committing just seven errors in the 14 games after he was dumped. Josh Reynolds is always on the cusp of doing something stupid so Pearce’s Origin days may not be over.

 

Jack Littlejohn

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

HLF

Games played

5

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

45.60

PPM

0.57

Consistency

0.16

Price

343,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

I was not on board with Littlejohn’s cash cow prospects because I felt his first up score wasn’t sustainable and his playing window would close quickly. He was quick to prove that score was sustainable and injuries gave him another couple of games to really rub it in. This year he is over-priced while sitting behind the best halves combo in the NRL so he shouldn’t be on your fantasy radar.

 

Trent Hodkinson

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

HLF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

43.14

PPM

0.54

Consistency

0.34

Price

382,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

12, 17

Hodkinson had a breakout season in 2014 being a part of the Blues Origin series win while also being integral to the Bulldogs Grand Final run. He was a much less effective fantasy and real life player after Origin, part of that was niggly injuries but that is what you get when you’re an Origin player. Hodkinson is actually off contract after this season but to date his contract status hasn’t attracted anywhere near the chatter of Cherry-Evans, Foran or Adam Reynolds. Hodkinson is a professional and off the field so it seems unlikely he’ll have a dramatic fall off in 2015 but his year will be judged on whether the Blues can repeat and whether the Bulldogs can go one better.

 

Josh Reynolds

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

HLF

Games played

15

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

40.80

PPM

0.51

Consistency

0.30

Price

361,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

12, 17

Yes, Josh Reynolds is a massive grub but grubs are part of the essence of rugby league. We all need players to hate and that is what Josh Reynolds is. He’s the heir apparent in grubbiness to Michael Ennis which is a big responsibility, but one he can probably live up to. Reynolds injured his shoulder during the Grand Final and is likely to miss big chunks of the pre-season, he had the same injury last year and was ready to go for round 1 so expect him to be good to go this year too.

 

Gareth Widdop

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

HLF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

80

Fantasy average

41.96

PPM

0.52

Consistency

0.38

Price

371,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 14

The England international had arguably his best year in the Red V last season. Finishing fourth in Dally M voting and taking the lead role in the halves after previously living in the shadow of Melbourne Storms ‘big three’. With four different halves partners for the season, Widdop will be looking forward to some consistency since Benji Marshall joined to club halfway through 2014.

 

Jamie Soward

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

HLF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

78

Fantasy average

41.22

PPM

0.53

Consistency

0.42

Price

365,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Soward was inspirational for the Panthers in 2014 putting his messy divorce with the Dragons behind him. Coach Ivan Cleary released Soward in ways that Steve Price never could at the Dragons and it led to Soward recapturing vintage form. Soward carried a huge playmaking burden with the Panthers and that increased once Peter Wallace got injured and the youngster Will Smith came into the side, Soward revelled in that burden and took the Panthers to the brink of the Grand Final. He’s a polarising figure but his value in 2014 can’t be denied.

Monday, 19 January 2015 11:00

RFS Preview: HOK Rookies and Cheapies

With the salary cap situation as it is, Fantasy owners will have to find real value, and they might be able to find it among this group of players. 

Note: Since this series of articles started the first fantasy prices of 2015 have been announced. They appear to represent a 16% increase in player value while the salary cap, if they continue to match it with the actual NRL salary cap, will see just a 4% increase in value. That means it will be harder to build a team of guns in 2015 than it was in 2014. This will be a response to complaints in 2014 when the cap went up higher than player values did. It's a good thing, it makes for more differentiation and increases the importance of developing a good team rather than just starting with one. 

If you have missed any articles in the series you can find the links here.

Matt McIlwrick

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

HOK

Games played

7

Ave Minutes

40

Fantasy average

24.71

PPM

0.62

Consistency

0.41

Price

199,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

With Jake Friend likely to miss the start of the season, Matt McIlwrick could shape as a decent early season cash cow. Playing around 60 minutes a game he should be able to average around 40 points, which if Friend is out long enough, will net you about $115k. McIlwrick played a bit of hooker and a bit of second row and like many before struggled to develop under the super coach Ricky Stuart. It’ll be very interesting to see what he can do with his opportunity in 2015.

 

Cameron King

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

HOK

Games played

2

Ave Minutes

34

Fantasy average

16.50

PPM

0.49

Consistency

0.47

Price

146,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

King is one of three hookers competing for a starting role. The kid is immensely talented, and would be a great option if he locks down the 60 minute starting hooker role. Fantasy coaches will be watching the trials and team lists closely to see how King, Kostjasyn and Granville fit into one or two hooker positions.  

 

Adam Clydsdale

2015 Team

Knights

Position

HOK

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

39

Fantasy average

26.14

PPM

0.68

Consistency

0.40

Price

231,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

One of the game’s most promising young talents should see a definite increase in minutes in season 2015. After spending much of 2014 coming off the bench, he secured a starting position for much of the end of the season as the Knights finished off a poor season strongly. There's a definite potential if he starts getting big minutes as he is a Cameron Smith style work horse with plenty of attacking prowess.

 

Jake Granville 

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

HOK

Games played

8

Ave Minutes

24

Fantasy average

22.75

PPM

0.93

Consistency

1.11

Price

189,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Every fantasy coach with hopes of performing well will be hoping that A) Granville will be an 80 minute player B) He takes his form from the Broncos with him C) Fanhub give him dual position WFB again. With a points per minute of an off the charts 0.933, his prospects for owners are juicy. In the two games McCullough was injured he played 58 and 65 minutes, and scored a healthy 61 and 63 points. Jake Granville could potentially be the 2015 version of James Segeyaro. The main concern for Granville will be staying out of bars and not going for late night drives with James Tamou. You heard it here first; he will be a cash cow special!

 

Matt Srama

2015 Team

Titans

Position

HOK

Games played

6

Ave Minutes

42

Fantasy average

26.17

PPM

0.63

Consistency

0.31

Price

204,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Srama has had an interesting off-season. First he was devastated to be unwanted by the Titans just a few months after signing a contract extension. Then he signed for the Roosters with the intention to fill in for Jake Friend who isn’t going to be ready for the start of the season. Then he had a contract dispute with the Titans who were refusing to make a pay-out. Then he backed out of his deal with the Roosters. Then he went back to the Titans. So Srama is the real life embodiment of TDC’s Paul Gallen related fantasy moves.

 

Siliva Havili

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

HOK

Games played

6

Ave Minutes

21

Fantasy average

15.17

PPM

0.72

Consistency

0.26

Price

137,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

At 21 years of age and with an international cap under his belt, Havili possesses a bright future. With Nathan Friend acting as the teacher, Siliva will be an attentive pupil. Unfortunately his chances will be limited. If a major injury were to strike Friend, then fantasy coaches will be working out if the $100-160k profit is worth a trade or two. Keep a sneaky eye on him.

 

Kurt Baptiste

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

HOK

Games played

5

Ave Minutes

30

Fantasy average

14.40

PPM

0.48

Consistency

0.78

Price

137,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14,17

The Raiders started about seven different hookers last season but Baptiste could only get five games from the bench. He did re-sign for another two years so maybe he could get a run if Ricky Stuart can finally see that Josh McCrone offers negative value.

 

Damien Cook

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

HOK

Games played

2

Ave Minutes

44

Fantasy average

24.50

PPM

0.56

Consistency

1.36

Price

165,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 17

Cook had the second worst consistency rating in 2014 with his two games returning 1 and 48 fantasy points. That’ll happen when you get 80 minutes one game and 7 in the other.  He’s reserve grade fodder unless something ill happens to Michael Lichaa.

 

Heath L’estrange

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

HOK

Games played

5

Ave Minutes

23

Fantasy average

14.60

PPM

0.63

Consistency

0.31

Price

137,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Another interesting off-season acquisition by the Saints, the journeyman L’estrange made a name for himself in the NRL after debuting with the Roosters and getting a premiership at Manly before a successful stint in the UK with the Bradford Bulls. The third specialist hooker at the Dragons may struggle to get a run in the NRL, but brings a lot of experience to the position with youngsters Rein and Garvey.  

 

Kaysa Pritchard

2015 Team

Eels

Position

HOK

Games played

1

Ave Minutes

12

Fantasy average

1.00

PPM

0.08

Consistency

N/A

Price (2014 $’s)

107,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Injury cost Pritchard a big opportunity during 2014. When Nathan Peats went down injured at mid-season Pritchard would have been primed to slip into his starting role, but unfortunately Pritchard was himself already injured forcing the Eels to look to Isaac de Gois. It is unclear how Peats, Pritchard and IDG will co-exist in 2015 but you would have to think Pritchard is at the bottom of the pecking order. Pritchard is still young, he got injured playing for the NSW U20 Origin side, so he’ll get another opportunity sometime but it might need to happen someplace else. 

 

Kierran Moseley

2015 Team

Titans

Position

HOK

Games played

1

Ave Minutes

46

Fantasy average

~32

PPM

0.69

Consistency

N/A

Price

186,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Moseley made his NRL debut with the Panthers in round 25. He wasn’t even included in NRL Fantasy but if he was he would have scored about 32 points in 46 minutes of play starting at hooker. Matt Srama coming back to the Titans after appearing to defect to the Roosters will hurt Moseley’s opportunities.

 

Kris Keating

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

HOK/HLF

Bye weeks

11, 14

Price

239,000

Keating is a very interesting signing for the Dragons after coming home from an ill-fated stint for UK Super League club Hull KR. After previous three year stints with Parramatta and Canterbury, the ‘energy ball’ half will be in competition with Henry for the backup half role. If anything, Keating will be a big part of a formidable Illawarra Cutters line up for 2015.

 

Chad Redman

2015 Team

Knights

Position

HOK

Bye weeks

14, 17

Price

128,000

Chad Redman impressed for Newcastle in the 2014 preseason, however was not given adequate time to perform in first grade in the actual NRL season. Redman, if he manages to grab a starting spot may be worth a look at in your fantasy team.

 

Manaia Cherrington

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

HOK

Bye weeks

12, 18

Price

128,000

The Captain of the Tigers’ NYC side, Cherrington was named to the NYC team of the year in 2014. He’s a possibility for some game time when Robbie Farah is on Origin duties.

Sunday, 18 January 2015 11:00

RFS Preview: HOK mid-rangers

Lots of mid-range players are mid-range for a reason - they aren't very good. But there is at least one pretty good prospect in this group. I'll give you a clue; it isn't Glen Buttriss.

Note: Since this series of articles started the first fantasy prices of 2015 have been announced. They appear to represent a 16% increase in player value while the salary cap, if they continue to match it with the actual NRL salary cap, will see just a 4% increase in value. That means it will be harder to build a team of guns in 2015 than it was in 2014. This will be a response to complaints in 2014 when the cap went up higher than player values did. It's a good thing, it makes for more differentiation and increases the importance of developing a good team rather than just starting with one. 

If you have missed any articles in the series you can find the links here.

Isaac de Gois

2015 Team

Eels

Position

HOK

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

62

Fantasy average

30.75

PPM

0.49

Consistency

0.43

Price

259,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

IDG made a mid-season switch to the Eels from the Sharks when Nathan Peats went down injured. He proved to be capable of big minutes when the opportunity presented itself but the return of Peats likely pushed him to the bench or back down to NSW Cup.

 

Kurt Gidley

2015 Team

Knights

Position

HOK/WFB

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

65

Fantasy average

38.13

PPM

0.59

Consistency

0.40

Price

337,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

On his day Gidley was one of the more consistent and high scoring fantasy players in the game. With the increasing likelihood of Gidley to capture the starting fullback for 2015, he is actually a legitimate prospect. The only risk you run with having Gidley in your side is the injury crisis he seems to experience every year. It's a risk that could pay off however, as Gidley will be underpriced for a fullback with great upside should he manage to stay fit.

 

Apisai Koroisau

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

HOK

Games played

13

Ave Minutes

38

Fantasy average

32.85

PPM

0.87

Consistency

0.36

Price

291,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Koroisau was an automatic choice for all the poor suckers that started the season with Isaac Luke at hooker, and he did the business by making over $100k. Moving to the Panthers he finds himself behind James Segeyaro with the real intrigue being does behind me behind on the interchange or behind in reserve grade?

 

Michael Lichaa

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

HOK

Games played

15

Ave Minutes

42

Fantasy average

29.47

PPM

0.70

Consistency

0.29

Price

261,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 17

Lichaa will find himself on a lot of fantasy teams come round 1. As the replacement for Michael Ennis he has the opportunity to play big minutes provided he can keep Moses Mbye off the interchange bench. Including Mbye on the bench would lead to a change in Des Hasler’s bench composition and with the Bulldogs army of hulking forwards that could be something Des is loathe to do. Though it is a little tricky to judge Lichaa’s ceiling people shouldn’t presume he will be a gun hooker, his PPM looks more like Mitch Rein and Nathan Friend than Andrew McCullough and Jake Friend. He’ll definitely make you some money though.

 

Josh Hodgson

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

HOK

Bye weeks

14,17

Price

336,000

Fresh off smashing the door down in a student flat in Dunedin (and making his international) debut Hodgson joins the Raiders as the probably starting hooker unless Ricky Stuart wants to continue with the spine wackiness. His 123 games for Hull in the SuperLeague are probably enough to make his price much to high to be worth looking at for fantasy, remember Scott Moore?

 

Jayden Hodges

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

HOK

Games played

2

Ave Minutes

44

Fantasy average

30.00

PPM

0.68

Consistency

1.04

Price

202,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Sea Eagles’ fans got a taste of life after Matt Ballin thanks to a late season injury and it actually tasted pretty good. Hodges was a solid defender who was capable of adding spark from dummy half. Hodges might be a good cash cow if something were to befall Ballin in 2015, although it is hard to establish what minutes Geoff Toovey would give him. He was good in 80 minutes in round 26 but saw his minutes slashed in half in both the finals losses and Toovey favoured second rower Justin Horo to start at hooker in the Bulldogs game.

 

Cameron McInnes

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

HOK

Games played

7

Ave Minutes

39

Fantasy average

27.57

PPM

0.70

Consistency

0.28

Price

222,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

The Junior Kangaroo played well in 2014 when he was part of the package to replace an injured Isaac Luke. With Api Koroisau now in Penrith McInnes moves to number two on the depth chart.

 

Craig Garvey

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

HOK

Games played

1

Ave Minutes

57

Fantasy average

32.00

PPM

0.56

Consistency

N/A

Price

207,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

After a controversial year following some trouble in the courts, Garvey will be out to prove a point in 2015. Shane Pumipi and Kyle Stanley are no longer with the club, leaving the former U20s NSW representative to fight it out with Heath L’estrange for the bench utility role. An injury to incumbent Mitch Rein will throw Garvey in the deep end and turn him into a very handy cash cow for anything long term.

 

Glen Buttriss

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

HOK

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

52

Fantasy average

36.88

PPM

0.71

Consistency

0.23

Price

326,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14,17

The biggest achievement by Glen Buttriss in 2014 was providing the inspiration to the 10th overall fantasy team, RNGD In The Buttriss.

 

Beau Falloon

2015 Team

Titans

Position

HOK

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

57

Fantasy average

28.65

PPM

0.50

Consistency

0.35

Price

254,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

I am against scraping the City v Country rep game. I don’t think I could bear to live in a world where journalists use a few crappy quotes from a mediocre city or country player to spin a story around how close they are to playing Origin when we all know they don’t have a shit show. Here’s the Beau Falloon version from last year. But I’ll save you the click and take you straight to the punch line, “City hookerBeau Falloon says the Titans saved him from park football and now he is ready to press his claims for a NSW jersey.” Don’t ever change City v Country.

 

Rory Kostjasyn

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

HOK

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

51

Fantasy average

28.43

PPM

0.56

Consistency

0.34

Price

252,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Kostjasyn is a utility player, which means he should not be in your fantasy team. If he locks down the starting hooker or half spot, then you should think about it, and then probably pass.

 

Travis Waddell

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

HOK

Games played

10

Ave Minutes

38

Fantasy average

27.10

PPM

0.71

Consistency

0.38

Price

240,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

The only reason you should care about Waddell is if he is selected on the bench. In which case, you still don’t buy him, but you should be wary of buying McCullough.

 

Joel Luani

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

HOK

Games played

6

Ave Minutes

49

Fantasy average

28.00

PPM

0.57

Consistency

0.23

Price

218,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 18

Luani filled in for Robbie Farah on six occasions although he never played more than 63 minutes in any of those games. He was serviceable, but he isn’t going to be pushing for an expanded role anytime soon.

 

Ray Thompson

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

HOK/HLF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

46

Fantasy average

29.45

PPM

0.63

Consistency

0.44

Price

261,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Thompson played 20 games last year, at half, hooker and off the interchange. Low minutes and a PPM of 0.6 left him with an average less than 30. Fundamentally, Thompson needs a major change in role to be viable in NRL fantasy, and with the purchase of Granville and return of Coote, he will be getting that role change soon…in QLD Cup.

 

Josh McCrone

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

HOK/HLF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

60

Fantasy average

29.33

PPM

0.49

Consistency

0.42

Price

260,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14,17

Resident Raiders fan Matthew Duggan is not a fan of McCrone’s but I think he’s too close to the situation. Sure McCrone is a liability in defence but he also commits a lot of errors. And yes I acknowledge he provides next to no threat running the ball but he’s also a mediocre distributor. And although I admit he gives away too many penalties he also keeps talented young players in NSW Cup so they can flee to better teams at the first opportunity. Duggan sees the swings but entirely misses the swings.  

 

Pat Politoni

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

HOK

Games played

10

Ave Minutes

39

Fantasy average

30.00

PPM

0.77

Consistency

0.57

Price

265,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Coming into the season as the Sharks fourth string hooker Politoni wouldn’t have expected to play 10 games let alone start four of them. He’ll find himself as the number two hooker to start 2015 but will need an injury to 80 minute man Michael Ennis to get game time. 

Sunday, 18 January 2015 11:00

RFS Preview: HOK Guns

In past years the common strategy was to load up on a pair of gun hookers, ideally Cam Smith and Robbie Farah, and ride them to victory. With the changes in the pricing and cap structure this year (see below) and the apparent number of under valued hookers that strategy could change this year. Even with a possibly injured CS9 there is no shortage of gun hookers; from the established greatness of Robbie Farah, to the dynamic play of James Segeyaro, the consistency of Andrew McCullough or the potential value in Isaac Luke or Nathan Peats. Let's take a look.

Note: Since this series of articles started the first fantasy prices of 2015 have been announced. They appear to represent a 16% increase in player value while the salary cap, if they continue to match it with the actual NRL salary cap, will see just a 4% increase in value. That means it will be harder to build a team of guns in 2015 than it was in 2014. This will be a response to complaints in 2014 when the cap went up higher than player values did. It's a good thing, it makes for more differentiation and increases the importance of developing a good team rather than just starting with one.

If you have missed any articles in the series you can find the links here.

James Segeyaro

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

HOK

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

66

Fantasy average

50.59

PPM

0.76

Consistency

0.38

Price

448,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

11, 14

Segeyaro really broke out in 2015. In round 9 he emerged as the 80 minute starter in Penrith and from that point on he was the hottest player in fantasy averaging 60.36 points a game. He’s underpriced due to his time on the bench so if he can keep the newly acquired Api Koroisau in reserve grade he will be fantasy gold.

 

Robbie Farah

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

HOK

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

79

Fantasy average

66.39

PPM

0.84

Consistency

0.21

Price

588,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

12, 18

Farah was the highest averaging fantasy player in 2014 averaging 66.4 in his 18 games, but despite holding the number one ranking his season had three distinct phases. Phase one was the first six weeks of the season when Farah came out of the blocks hot averaging 76 points a game while passing 75 three times, including a high of 104. At the end of this 100 point game Farah got injured. He came back for round 10 to prove his fitness for Origin, he was fit, but he was no help for fantasy players as during the bye period he played just three games and averaged 64.7. After Origin Farah played all nine games and averaged just 60.6 with a high of 75 and a low of 42. Farah being a fast starter and slow finisher goes beyond just 2014 as he displayed a similar trend in 2013. The question on Farah probably isn’t should you get him it is should you get him back after Origin? 

 

Andrew McCullough

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

HOK

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

75

Fantasy average

59.05

PPM

0.78

Consistency

0.22

Price

523,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

14, 17

Macca is the third best fantasy hooker, behind Smith and Farah. In 2014, good coaches predicted a breakout year and were rewarded. However, 2015 sees a new coach and new roster. When Macca plays 80 he is a beast, when he doesn’t he is solid, but not exceptional. His ability to sniff out a try can get him big scores. Pay close attention to the Broncos bench to see if Macca will continue his rise in 2015.

 

Cameron Smith

2015 Team

Storm

Position

HOK

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

79

Fantasy average

65.77

PPM

0.84

Consistency

0.15

Price

582,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

11, 17

CS9 is a first ballot fantasy immortal. He has been one of the best players in fantasy since fantasy was invented and that was no different last season where he once again finished with more points than anyone else. What is really incredible is his week to week consistency. He has a co-efficient of variation score of 0.15 which puts him as easily the most consistent gun in fantasy. You know when you have CS9 he’s going to deliver. However, he’s likely to miss the start of 2015 following surgery and his scheduled return of round four could cause fantasy owners some headaches on when to get the legend back in; immediately or after Origin?

 

Jake Friend

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

HOK

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

66

Fantasy average

53.86

PPM

0.81

Consistency

0.26

Price

477,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

11, 17

Jake Friend was a bit of a tease in 2014, just as you think he’s setting himself up to be an 80 minute hooker he has a 60 minute game and disappoints everyone. He ended up playing 80 minutes on six occasions, averaging 68.7 fantasy points compared to 47.9 in the games he didn’t play 80 minutes. It was almost like Trent Robinson added a back-up hooker to the bench because he couldn’t find any better ideas on how to fill the last interchange spot. Former Raider Matt McIlwrick will be the threat to Friend becoming an elite fantasy player in 2015. Friend will miss the start of the season as he recovers from injury but could be good as Origin cover.

 

Nathan Friend

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

HOK

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

71

Fantasy average

44.71

PPM

0.63

Consistency

0.27

Price

396,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

A player who plays tough, and has the heart of a warrior, he averaged 44.7, seemingly all made from his 1,073 tackles. His output will be limited with future planning taking place, seeing him playing reduced minutes. His career appeared done mid-2014, averaging single digits in running meters and being a one dimensional tackling machine. He rallied late in the season using the element of surprise to score a try or two and, unbelievably, having a try assist from a cross field bomb.  In horse racing parlance he would be summed up as an honest toiler, prefer others. With that said he did out average Matt Ballin and Nathan Peats!

 

Nathan Peats

2015 Team

Eels

Position

HOK

Games played

10

Ave Minutes

76

Fantasy average

41.80

PPM

0.55

Consistency

0.46

Price

370,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

15, 18

Peats had a very good first season with the Eels until injuries finished his year in round 12. He got a lot of Origin chatter early in the year when it looked like Robbie Farah would miss game one, and although he isn’t going to push Farah he’ll continue to be mentioned as a potential understudy. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Peats and another 24 year-old, Andrew McCullough, filling the Origin rake roles whenever Farah and Smith hang up the boots. For fantasy he won’t come cheaply and people should be mindful of that fact he had three crapper games in his ten appearances, one of which was injury impacted, but it also wouldn’t be a shock to see him push himself into keeper territory.

 

Isaac Luke

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

HOK

Games played

16

Ave Minutes

72

Fantasy average

45.25

PPM

0.63

Consistency

0.33

Price

400,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

15, 18

Luke put a lot of fantasy seasons into turmoil with his 18 in round 2, followed by an injury in round 3. Once he returned from injury and got his old role back he actually produced at the level many expected, averaging 52.6 over the last eight weeks. He should be able to have similar production in 2015 and at about $340k this means he is over $50k under-valued making him an intriguing prospect. He does have a bit of risk with the developing Cameron McInnes waiting in the wings and the capability to score an 18 at any time but it would be silly not to have him on your radar.

 

Matt Ballin

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

HOK

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

78

Fantasy average

43.43

PPM

0.56

Consistency

0.22

Price

384,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Ballin had the third highest tackle count finishing just short of 1,000 tackles on the year. The fact that his fantasy points also finished just short of 1,000 are a good illustration of how he does his fantasy scoring. You can expect the same in 2015, he will be consistent but safely in the second tier of hooking options. His contract is up at the end of the 2015 season and whether he gets an extension will give us a good feel for how the Sea Eagles feel about potential cash cow Jayden Hodges.

 

Michael Ennis

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

HOK

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

78

Fantasy average

42.17

PPM

0.54

Consistency

0.27

Price

373,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

The writing was on the wall for Ennis when Michael Lichaa signed with the Bulldogs and after a brief flirtation with the Raiders (never do anything more than flirt with Ricky Stuart), Ennis joined the Sharks. He’s a really interesting signing and joins Andrew Fifita, Paui Gallen, Luke Lewis and Wade Graham in forming one of the better forward packs around, a pack which if healthy, could see the Sharks make a push for the top eight in 2015. Good luck with staying healthy though.

 

Mitch Rein

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

HOK

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

68

Fantasy average

47.45

PPM

0.70

Consistency

0.20

Price

420,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

11, 14

Rein simply did not live up to expectations in 2014. While his fantasy numbers continue to impress when he plays 80 minutes, lingering injuries, a lack of spark out of acting half and some poor middle defensive plays meant the Dragons persisted with a bench hooker for the main part of the year. With young gun Craig Garvey back on deck this year, Rein will be pushed all the way for his minutes in 2015. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 11:00

RFS preview: 2RF rookies and returning players

After a few massive articles to cover the 2RF guns, mid-rangers and cheapies we have a much more manageable group; the 2RF rookies and other player that didn't play in 2015. This group feels too small, and there are no doubts that other 2RF rookies will emerge out of the woodwork as the season progresses, it happens every year.

Note: Since this series of articles started the first fantasy prices of 2015 have been announced. They appear to represent a 16% increase in player value while the salary cap, if they continue to match it with the actual NRL salary cap, will see just a 4% increase in value. That means it will be harder to build a team of guns in 2015 than it was in 2014. This will be a response to complaints in 2014 when the cap went up higher than player values did. It's a good thing, it makes for more differentiation and increases the importance of developing a good team rather than just starting with one. 

If you need to know a players actual price then you can find them at this link. Most of the players in this article are rookies and will come in at $128,000.

Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

2RF

Bye weeks

11, 14

Price (2014 values)

128,000

Tuimavave-Gerrard was a understated signing for the Dragons this year, but he may be a player with a big future. With the ability to play both centre and in the backrow, Adam plied his trade with the Warriors Holden Cup and NSW Cup sides last year and also featured in the Junior Kiwi’s side at the end of the season. He will have to prove himself in the NSW Cup before forcing his way into a packed back row rotation.

 

Marvin Filipo

2015 Team

Knights

Position

2RF

Bye weeks

14, 17

Price

128,000

Marvin has been a part of the Knights for some time now, despite a short stint in France. He returned to the Knights in late 2014 and played out the entirety of his season in the NSW Cup. A second rower by trade, there is little chance that he will gain many if any minutes in 2015, given Newcastle's current abundance of back row talent.

 

Luke Bateman

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

2RF

Bye weeks

14, 17

Price

128,000

Luke Bateman has showed plenty of promise in the junior ranks, looking like a carbon copy of Shaun Fensom. He is also a f*cking gay c*nt, although the only verification of this fact came from the mouth of an irrational Matthew Lodge, so take that as you will. It is unlikely that we will see Bateman early in the season, but don’t forget his coach is Ricky Stuart, so don’t be surprised to see him play the last five games to ruin his 2016 cash cow potential.

 

Jack Siejka

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

2RF

Bye weeks

11, 17

Price

128,000

Because he is white, blonde, plays second row and has a name I can’t spell right I’m just going to assume Siejka is the spawn of the Black Widow Mitch Aubusson.

 

Abraham Papalii

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

2RF

Bye weeks

11, 17

Price

128,000

The Warriors junior joined the Roosters on a two year deal. The prop/second rower could be a chance to nab a bench spot following the shake-up to the Roosters forward pack with the departures of SBW and FPN.

 

Lagi Setu

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

2RF

Bye weeks

11, 17

Price

137,000

Setu is a journeyman who has had stints at the Dragons, Broncos, Storm and Raiders, playing 71 first grade games. He didn’t make any appearances for the Raiders last season despite them being terrible so it seems unlikely he’ll be in the forward pack rotation for a team like the Roosters.

 

Lachlan Burr 

2015 Team

Titans

Position

2RF

Bye weeks

11, 17

Price

128,000

Burr played a solitary game for the Bulldogs in 2013 but failed to add to that tally in 2014. He moves to the Titans in search of greater opportunities which he might find considering he’ll no longer be backing up players of the quality of James Graham, Aiden Tolman and David Klemmer.

 

Salesi Funaki

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

2RF

Bye weeks

12, 18

Price

128,000

With the Tigers’ second row stocks being what they are don’t be surprised to see Funaki get a run at some point. He’ll turn 20 during the season and is already a big guy capable of breaking tackles and slipping offloads.

 

Lamar Liolevave

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

2RF

Bye weeks

12, 18

Price

128,000

Liolevave is a young second rower who could be in a good position to make an impact in 2015. He has been part of the Junior Kiwis set-up and received a two year contract extension in December 2014 which signifies a certain level of confidence. Courtesy of RLW “Liolevave scored 10 tries, gained six try-assists and 15 linebreaks on the left edge for the Tigers NYC team in 2014. He also averaged 22.5 tackles per game plus 109 metres per game.” That’s a pretty interesting fantasy player if he gets a decent run.

 

Ryan Simpkins

2015 Team

Titans

Position

2RF

Bye weeks

11, 17

Price

204,000

Simpkins played 27 games for the Panthers in 2012 and 2013 but didn’t suit up once in the top grade in 2014 despite the Panthers horrific injury toll. That did give him the opportunity to make the NSW Cup team of the year. Will probably see some time during Origin.

 

David Bhana

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

2RF

Bye weeks

11, 17

Price

128,000

Bhana is a great role model for young league players, he managed to get a Bachelor of Science while playing for the Junior Warriors and he gives 100% every weekend. The Warriors have a lot of talented back rowers but Bhana must be close to making his NRL debut, if he gets the minutes he’ll be a tackling machine cash cow.

Saturday, 17 January 2015 11:00

RFS Preview: 2RF cheapies

The cheap 2RF players are the guys that'll fill your bench and probably even be counted on to score early in the season too, so you need to get them right. Thankfully RFS are here to help.

Note: Since this series of articles started the first fantasy prices of 2015 have been announced. They appear to represent a 16% increase in player value while the salary cap, if they continue to match it with the actual NRL salary cap, will see just a 4% increase in value. That means it will be harder to build a team of guns in 2015 than it was in 2014. This will be a response to complaints in 2014 when the cap went up higher than player values did. It's a good thing, it makes for more differentiation and increases the importance of developing a good team rather than just starting with one. 

Joel Edwards

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

2RF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

55

Fantasy average

26.35

PPM

0.48

Consistency

0.51

Price

233,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14,17

Not since Michael Neil was suiting up for the Magpies, Tigers and Steelers in the 1980’s and 90’s has a fiery red head captured the imaginations of a population like Joel Edwards. Sure Keith Galloway has the attention of Phil Gould but he’s yesterday’s man, the cool kids favour Joel Edwards now. Despite that status he’s not an option for your fantasy side because Ricky Stuart has no idea how many minutes he should be playing, it could be 26, it might be 80 or 47 or 68. Nobody knows.

 

Patrick O’Hanlon

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

2RF

Games played

11

Ave Minutes

28

Fantasy average

26.00

PPM

0.92

Consistency

0.45

Price

230,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 17

O’Hanlon’s broken ankle was a contender for the prestigious "I don’t need to watch that again" injury of 2014. The diagnosis was compound fracture and ankle dislocation and he’s likely to spend a very big chunk of 2015 on the sidelines. Devastating news for a 23 year old trying to make his way in the NRL.

 

Kyle O’Donnell

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

2RF

Games played

5

Ave Minutes

28

Fantasy average

25.60

PPM

0.92

Consistency

0.40

Price

193,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14,17

O’Donnell rode Ricky Stuart’s in and out of the side rollercoaster in 2014 with just two of his five games coming in consecutive weeks. He worked really hard with the minutes he got, racking up a tackle every one and a half minutes he was on the field. Might be an interesting player in an expanded role but you’d need to collect more evidence.

 

Frank-Paul Nu’uausala

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

2RF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

41

Fantasy average

24.96

PPM

0.60

Consistency

0.34

Price

221,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

14,17

After 153 first grade games and one premiership Nu’uausala leaves the Roosters for the Raiders in 2015. He’s more help to the Raiders on the field than he is to your fantasy team. He’ll be a useful addition while the Raiders wait for Shaun Fensom to come back from injury although he only plays half the minutes of Fensom.

 

Paul Carter

2015 Team

Out of NRL

Position

HOK/2RF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

45

Fantasy average

24.48

PPM

0.54

Consistency

0.50

Price

183,571

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

#N/A

Carter’s missed tackle percentage of 16% puts him second in the list of forwards with more than 200 tackles (James Gavet is first with 19%). This is an unflattering stat but it is part of what makes Carter a decent prospect, he is a big effort player but he sometimes makes too much effort getting to a player that he doesn’t have much chance to tackle and being on the smallish side doesn’t help either. I’m not quite sure what to make of Paul Carter as a fantasy prospect but he’ll need to improve his PPM or his minutes or both quite a lot to be viable. Oh yeah, all this is irrelevant because the idiot got sacked for drink driving.

 

Glenn Stewart

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

2RF

Games played

6

Ave Minutes

61

Fantasy average

25.83

PPM

0.42

Consistency

0.53

Price

201,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Stewart suited up for just six games in his last season at Manly and joins the Rabbitohs with the unenviable task of replacing the great Sam Burgess. Stewart’s price is likely to be appealing but he’s not the tackling work horse he used to be and has a PPM of just 0.42 which is not very good. Regardless of what I’ve just said there will be people around who think he’s a bargain.

 

Jason Clark

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

2RF/HOK

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

35

Fantasy average

25.37

PPM

0.72

Consistency

0.47

Price

225,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Clark is a specialist interchange player who has just five starts in 92 first grade appearances. The belies the fact that he is a good player who would be capable of greater things if the opportunity was ever to present itself. That opportunity probably won’t present itself at Souths which is a shame because he’ll be 28 before he finishes his next contract.

 

Sauaso Sue

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

2RF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

39

Fantasy average

24.61

PPM

0.64

Consistency

0.37

Price

218,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 18

Sue was one of our favourite cash cows of 2013 but he did almost nothing in 2014. Even in the injury hit Tigers he struggled to get much game time, averaging just 39 minutes a game in his 18 appearances. He’ll be battling with a plethora of average players for one of two available second row spots but even if he gets one he probably caps out at around $250k.

 

Dene Halatau

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

2RF

Games played

7

Ave Minutes

60

Fantasy average

22.86

PPM

0.38

Consistency

0.71

Price

184,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

12, 18

Halatau made it into a lot of fantasy teams in 2014 because he was so cheap after a concussion induced -1 in his first appearance. He didn’t offer a whole lot but when you remove that -1 he averaged 27 points in his other six games which could have been quite handy if you were struggling to field 17 healthy players. With the Tigers’ second row stocks looking weaker than Tim Moltzen’s bones and ligaments Halatau could be in the mix to start at lock but remember he’s not a workhorse defender so his fantasy ceiling is low.

 

David Stagg

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

2RF

Games played

4

Ave Minutes

35

Fantasy average

24.25

PPM

0.70

Consistency

0.41

Price

176,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Stagg was a fantasy gun in the good ol’ days, when a fantasy team was packed with as many no nonsense, 80-minute second rowers as possible. Now he is predominantly Origin cover in the Broncs pack. Under no circumstances should Stagg be in your team.

 

Jesse Sene Lefao

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

2RF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

32

Fantasy average

24.39

PPM

0.75

Consistency

0.39

Price

216,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

At the start of 2014 JSL was a cautionary tale about the risk associated with a rookie player named on the bench in round 1, he ended up playing just two minutes for three fantasy points in that game and was never heard from again. But during 2014 JSL emerged as a viable real life player and one that even had some fantasy usefulness. JSL played all of his 23 games off the interchange and from round 12 established a role as a 30-40 minute player that would tackle everything that moved. The Sea Eagles thought enough of him that they re-signed him for a further two years so he could be part of filling the hole left by Anthony Watmough but the signing of Feleti Mateo provide competition while Dunamis Lui and Tom Symonds were always preferred ahead of JSL in Watmough’s absence last year. Worth monitoring for fantasy purposes as with expanded minutes he could be a viable mid-range cash cow but that competition makes him high risk.

 

Sione Lousi

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

2RF

Games played

11

Ave Minutes

37

Fantasy average

25.00

PPM

0.67

Consistency

0.30

Price

221,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

A popular figure with coaching staff at the Warriors, he provides frustration and despair for fans and fantasy owners alike. Having the massive frame and big gangly arms, he looks like Tarzan yet often plays like Jane. In a make or break season Sione will be another that will fight for a bench position and need to make the most of his chances when they come along. If he played to the potential he has, would be a handy pick up for fantasy owners.

 

Frank Pritchard

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

2RF

Games played

6

Ave Minutes

39

Fantasy average

18.50

PPM

0.47

Consistency

0.59

Price

144,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

12, 17

Pritchard missed most of the season with a torn pectoral muscle but he was back for the Bulldogs Grand Final run. In the six games he did play Frank the Tank averaged 18.5 points after averaging 27.5 the year before. That might give just a touch of optimism he can make $80k but there will probably end up being better options about.

 

Joseph Tapine

2015 Team

Knights

Position

2RF

Games played

7

Ave Minutes

25

Fantasy average

20.57

PPM

0.83

Consistency

0.51

Price

166,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Joseph Tapine impressed in the little time the young talent was given in 2014, and is considered one of the rising talents at the club. A second rower by trade, it's unlikely that 2015 will be the year he's given the minutes needed to establish himself as a regular first grader but rest assured that Tapine is one to watch out for in the next few years.

 

John Asiata

2015 Team

Knights

Position

2RF

Games played

6

Ave Minutes

33

Fantasy average

20.83

PPM

0.63

Consistency

0.43

Price

162,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Asiata has only played 6 games in the top grade, with limited minute and opportunities. He did produce a solid PPM of 0.63, and predominantly did that through base stats. If he gets minutes, he could be a great fantasy player.

 

 

Cody Nelson

2015 Team

Eels

Position

2RF

Games played

8

Ave Minutes

45

Fantasy average

22.00

PPM

0.49

Consistency

0.42

Price

183,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Nelson’s debut with the Titans was a long time coming. He originally signed with the club as a 16 year-old but had to wait nine years before he made his first grade debut. Now at Parramatta he will probably struggle to crack the first grade line-up without some assistance from injuries but if he does you can be sure he’ll work hard.

 

James Hasson

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

2RF

Games played

17

Ave Minutes

19

Fantasy average

13.53

PPM

0.73

Consistency

0.34

Price

137,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Hasson played 17 games in 2014 but he only received garbage minutes averaging under 20 minutes per game which placed him behind only Jarrod Wallace for the lowest average minutes per game for players with over ten games. Will struggle to justify that sort of role in 2015.

 

Todd Lowrie

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

2RF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

27

Fantasy average

16.56

PPM

0.61

Consistency

0.54

Price

147,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Todd Lowrie has a reputation as a tackle machine, which is amazing considering how many he misses. He is simply unable to bust a tackle as he weighs 60kg and looks like he’s running in treacle. Don’t be fooled, Lowrie will play very few minutes in 2015, except as cover during Origin, and when he does he’ll probably get knocked out.

 

John Palavi

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

2RF

Games played

2

Ave Minutes

26

Fantasy average

18.00

PPM

0.71

Consistency

0.47

Price

144,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

After a successful NYC career the transition to NRL has proved harder than hoped for. Named in round 1 he proved to be a ghost cow. Playing just two games and getting 51 minutes, he may be coming to the realisation that continuing his medical studies might have been a better option. Will have to prove himself in NSW Cup and hope for injuries to get another crack.

 

Sitaleki Akauola

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

2RF

Games played

10

Ave Minutes

55

Fantasy average

17.30

PPM

0.32

Consistency

0.55

Price

153,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 18

Last season Akauola played front row, second row, interchange and during the worst of the Tigers’ injury crisis he played on the wing. As a fantasy player he was most successful as a wing though by successful I mean that comparatively as he still averaged a paltry 24 but compared to 18 points in the second row, 8.5 on the interchange and 6 at prop 24 is a fantasy bonanza. Some speculation he will be a starting second rower for the Tigers. In related news the Tigers are really weak in the second row.

 

Brenden Santi

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

2RF

Games played

1

Ave Minutes

18

Fantasy average

8.00

PPM

0.44

Consistency

N/A

Price

136,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 18

Santi was released to the Tigers at mid-season from the Eels. The Eels seemed to find serviceable second rowers under the cushions so dumping one on the Tigers made sense. Could be a nice smokey to nab the vacant lock position as he comes with decent wraps and is a hard working tackler, a trait not commonly exhibited by Tigers’ second rowers since Liam Fulton roamed the field. He’s definitely a prospect to monitor in the pre-season.

 

Corey Oates

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

2RF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

28

Fantasy average

17.60

PPM

0.64

Consistency

0.82

Price

164,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Oates is a genuine utility, able to play in all positions except the spine. As such, he should not be in your team. If he locked down a starting second row spot, maybe he is viable.

 

Matt Robinson

2015 Team

Titans

Position

2RF

Games played

7

Ave Minutes

52

Fantasy average

19.86

PPM

0.38

Consistency

0.33

Price

160,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Robinson has escaped the second row clutter at the Panthers to join the Titans. He comes very cheaply but it is unclear how he fits in at the Titans either.

 

Sika Manu

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

2RF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

45

Fantasy average

22.19

PPM

0.49

Consistency

0.29

Price

196,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 14

Manu’s move from the Storm to the Panthers has not been a stellar success and it would not be a surprise to see the former Kiwi international squeezed out by the plethora of resources available to Ivan Cleary. For fantasy purposes he’s cheap but he doesn’t offer a whole lot of returns.

 

Ben Murdoch-Masila

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

4

Ave Minutes

24

Fantasy average

17.50

PPM

0.74

Consistency

0.24

Price

142,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Fantasy players love abbreviating names, it saves us time and the time of fantasy players is incredibly valuable. Ben Murdoch-Masila abbreviates as BMM. Now that you know that you know more than enough about BMM, he’s not going near your team this season.

 

Kelepi Tanginoa

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

2RF

Games played

4

Ave Minutes

20

Fantasy average

9.75

PPM

0.48

Consistency

0.76

Price

136,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Tanginoa joins the Cowboys from the Eels, where he had very few opportunities. He is capable of being a tackle breaking, try scoring back rower, and has been compared to Taumalolo. Basically, if he can get minutes on the park he’ll be a fantasy gun, but at 20 years old, he could struggle to get said minutes in the Cows’ experienced pack.

 

Clint Newton

2015 Team

Knights

Position

2RF

Games played

2

Ave Minutes

35

Fantasy average

23.50

PPM

0.68

Consistency

0.15

Price

158,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Clint Newton is entering what should be his final season in the NRL. Even last season, Newton was used extremely sparingly by Newcastle, and most likely won't play any minutes at all in season 2015. You shouldn't even be considering placing Newton in your fantasy squad at any point.

 

Willis Meehan

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

2RF

Games played

1

Ave Minutes

28

Fantasy average

17.00

PPM

0.61

Consistency

N/A

Price

142,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

There are a lot of professional football/boxers but Willis Meehan is probably the most legit of the lot. The 19 year-old made both his NRL and professional boxing debuts in 2014, while also being selected to the Holden Cup team of the year, and he has the right sort of tools to be successful at both. He’s massive, tipping the scales at over 115 kg and is an outside chance to snag an interchange role.

 

Michael Chee Kam

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

2RF/CTR

Games played

1

Ave Minutes

9

Fantasy average

6.00

PPM

0.67

Consistency

N/A

Price

136,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

MCK was finally confirmed to be an actual, real person when he stepped on to the field for nine minutes against the Cowboys in round 26. Injuries have been a large contributor to him not being the player the fantasy community expected but he is still only 22 and will find inspiration in what Jesse Sene Lefao managed in 2014. MCK will be an outside shot for the vacant second row berth but if he grabs it he is in your fantasy team.

 

Friday, 16 January 2015 11:00

RFS preview: 2RF mid-rangers

The 2RF mid-rangers is a huge group of players so expect to set some time aside to read this article. It is a really important group to get right because there are likely one or two players here capable of averaging over 45 fantasy points a game.

Note: Since this series of articles started the first fantasy prices of 2015 have been announced. They appear to represent a 16% increase in player value while the salary cap, if they continue to match it with the actual NRL salary cap, will see just a 4% increase in value. That means it will be harder to build a team of guns in 2015 than it was in 2014. This will be a response to complaints in 2014 when the cap went up higher than player values did. It's a good thing, it makes for more differentiation and increases the importance of developing a good team rather than just starting with one. 

If you have missed any articles in the series you can find the links here.

Greg Bird

2015 Team

Titans

Position

2RF

Games played

17

Ave Minutes

75

Fantasy average

37.65

PPM

0.50

Consistency

0.40

Price (2014 values)

333,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

11, 17

What to say about the long and controversial career of Greg Bird? Inappropriate text messages were once sent from Bird’s phone to Lara Bingle. It’s just a shame for Bird that his youth pre-dated tinder because he would have done well on tinder. For fantasy purposes what you see is what you get, Bird has been valued between $250k and $300k for an eternity now, 2015 will be no different.

 

Nate Myles

2015 Team

Titans

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

54

Fantasy average

37.06

PPM

0.68

Consistency

0.35

Price

328,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

11, 17

Myles’ acting efforts alongside Paul Gallen was one of the highlights of 2014. He was dynamic, believable and all man. Hopefully it was an ad campaign that was effective. Myles has limited upside as a fantasy player and he will be a lock for the Maroons but if you have some self-imposed rules that your fantasy team can only feature players with facial hair then Nate Myles is your captain.

 

Kevin Proctor

2015 Team

Storm

Position

2RF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

60

Fantasy average

38.38

PPM

0.64

Consistency

0.27

Price

340,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

With Ryan Hoffman departing to the Warriors the Storm will need to work out how to replace his 77 minutes per game. There will be scope for increases to Kevin Proctor (60 minutes), Ryan Hinchcliffe (53 minutes) and Tohu Harris (52 minutes) and the addition of Dale Finucane will take some too but it feels like someone will be close to an 80 minute player. Proctor’s fantasy appeal probably isn’t much better with increased minutes as his PPM has a general decline the more minutes he plays, when he plays more than 70 minutes his PPM dropped right down to 0.55.

 

Ryan Hinchcliffe

2015 Team

Storm

Position

HOK/2RF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

53

Fantasy average

38.17

PPM

0.71

Consistency

0.24

Price

338,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

11, 17

Hinchcliffe will likely start the season at hooker with Cameron Smith out injured. He had five starts at hooker last year and averaged just 34.6. In 2014 Hinchcliffe had a PPM of 0.71 while averaging 53 minutes per game and although he might be in line for more minutes following Ryan Hoffman’s departure he was definitively less effective in greater minutes with a PPM of 0.62 in games in which he played more than 60 minutes.

 

Tyson Frizell

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

2RF

Games played

15

Ave Minutes

42

Fantasy average

34.07

PPM

0.82

Consistency

0.44

Price

302,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

The Dragons have high hopes for the Welsh international, contracted up to and including the 2018 season with the club. Another player who was forced to play out of position last year, the hard working second rower suffered as a result of the clubs lack of front rowers, playing half of his 16 games there.

 

Scott Bolton

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

2RF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

37

Fantasy average

27.83

PPM

0.75

Consistency

0.31

Price

246,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Like many a forward, Bolton could be a great fantasy player but he never seems to get the minutes to make him viable. Every year an injury seems to remind people about Bolton and he becomes the flavor of the month. But then, he gets the same minutes as always and everyone who bought him looks a bit stupid. Expect the same again this year.

 

David Taylor

2015 Team

Titans

Position

2RF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

64

Fantasy average

34.00

PPM

0.53

Consistency

0.40

Price

301,000

Origin

Moderate

Bye weeks

11, 17

On a number of levels Dave Taylor is one of the largest disappointments in league. He shows us all this potential but the next week he can’t bust through a man half his size, he is a non-entity at rep level and most important of all he steals our fantasy souls. Considering his ability it is criminal that Taylor ranked just 73rd in tackle breaks on the year. His average fantasy points at each position are worth noting; second row 33.62, interchange 31 and centre 36.75. So he’s a better fantasy scorer at centre at an average that would have put him as the 15th best centre. Worth thinking about, but not too hard.

 

Ben Ridge

2015 Team

Titans

Position

2RF

Games played

5

Ave Minutes

45

Fantasy average

30.40

PPM

0.67

Consistency

0.36

Price

229,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Ridge debuted in 2010 and played four games that season, in 2011 he made 11 appearances and in 2012 and 2013 he made 17 in each. However, 2014 saw him make just five appearances with injuries once again stalling his development. Five games is a pretty small sample size but it is interesting to note that Ridge had 152 fantasy points and 137 tackles so it is pretty obvious where he does his scoring.

 

Chris Heighington

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

2RF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

49

Fantasy average

39.89

PPM

0.81

Consistency

0.26

Price

353,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Heighington could be a fantasy gun if he had the right opportunity but he’s stuck behind big minutes players at the Sharks and even when they were all injured he seemed to lack opportunities. He had a very good PPM in 2014 that showed no signs of dropping when he played greater minutes but he’ll struggle to see enough minutes to justify that starting price.

 

Tinirau Arona

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

55

Fantasy average

38.52

PPM

0.70

Consistency

0.33

Price

341,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Arona was one of 2014’s best cash cows. He came into the Sharks round one side as a late change to the Sharks’ second row so most people missed his week one performance but they were rewarded for trading him in as he averaged 42 over his next ten games and peaking at $279k. He wasn’t so good over his final ten games averaging 33 as he struggled to get big minutes, expect something similar or even less if the Sharks forwards are at full strength.

 

Ryan Hoffman

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

2RF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

77

Fantasy average

33.39

PPM

0.43

Consistency

0.29

Price

295,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

11, 17

A great signing for the Warriors, adding experience and professionalism. Let’s hope he’s better than the last player the Warriors recruited from Melbourne. Hoffman averaged a mediocre 33.4 last year. It is unlikely that this will increase even with opportunities to make a few extra tackles and steal minutes off other potential options at the Warriors.  Fantasy owners should give him the wide berth.

 

Beau Scott

2015 Team

Knights

Position

2RF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

76

Fantasy average

39.85

PPM

0.53

Consistency

0.24

Price

353,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

14, 17

Beau Scott had a fantastic 2014 season on the field in an otherwise failing Newcastle outfit. He managed to post a number of scores in the mid 40's, however it is not advised to pick him up in your fantasy squad for 2015. While he will most likely be playing big minutes, there's a huge chance that he'll make the Blues squad again and miss out on a few games over the origin period.

 

Tohu Harris

2015 Team

Storm

Position

2RF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

52

Fantasy average

34.00

PPM

0.65

Consistency

0.32

Price

301,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

Mid-range alert! Harris will come into the season priced around $255k but he could offer substantially more output than that price would indicate. He’ll probably be a starter in 2015 and the evidence from the past two years would indicate he is substantially better as a starter. Last year he started four games in the second row and returned scores of 50, 62, 36 and 51 with a further two games at lock where he scored 33 and 39. That 45 point average as a starter is 15 points higher than what he was doing from the bench. The only caution is the off-season addition of Dale Finucane who could eat up minutes.

 

Tyrone Peachey

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

2RF

Games played

14

Ave Minutes

56

Fantasy average

35.71

PPM

0.64

Consistency

0.58

Price

316,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

For two weeks during the bye period Tyrone Peachey was the hottest fantasy player in the NRL. He reeled off 82 against the Eels and then the next week hit a 77 against the Titans. However, when you take out those two weeks Peachey’s average dips from 35.7 down to 28.4. To some extent that is an unfair way to measure a boom or bust player like Peachey but it does highlight that he is much more bust than he is boom.

 

Tariq Sims

2015 Team

Knights

Position

2RF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

68

Fantasy average

42.15

PPM

0.62

Consistency

0.29

Price

373,000

Origin

Moderate

Bye weeks

14, 17

Tariq Sims will unfortunately start season 2015 on the sidelines due to a suspension he picked up in the 2014 finals series. Tariq Sims is a star signing for Newcastle and is all but assured of big minutes in what many would consider a weak Newcastle pack. Sims is one to watch out for in 2015 as he will be called upon to take charge and prove that he can be a leader in a Newcastle pack that will be saying goodbye to a few of its players come seasons end and in the next few years.

 

Alex Glenn

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

2RF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

76

Fantasy average

38.17

PPM

0.50

Consistency

0.23

Price

338,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

14, 17

Glenn is super reliable, but has little upside. His occasional shifts to CTR make him fantasy poison. Added to this is the backrow conundrum of Parker v Thiaday v Gillett v Glenn. Buyer beware.

 

Ben Henry

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

2RF/CTR

Games played

16

Ave Minutes

70

Fantasy average

37.38

PPM

0.54

Consistency

0.57

Price

331,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

Will be dual position 2RF/CTR, however, he is also an international hooker (first tri-position fantasy player?). Henry will benefit from the departures of Mateo and Bukuya. Could be an 80 minute player but with team dynamics will range from 60-80 minutes, primarily in the second row. An ongoing concern with Ben Henry is injuries; he only managed 16 games last year and it wasn’t his first injury impacted year. A healthy Ben Henry could be one to watch carefully.

 

Bryce Cartwright

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

2RF

Games played

7

Ave Minutes

46

Fantasy average

35.86

PPM

0.79

Consistency

0.51

Price

289,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

11, 14

Everybody knows that Cartwright is a gun in waiting but will that status be conferred in 2015? The big stumbling block is the depth in the Panthers second row. Cartwright will be battling with Elijah Taylor, Adam Docker, Tyrone Peachey, Lewis Brown, Isaah Yeo, Sika Manu and the newly acquired Tupou Sopoaga for minutes so something will have to give. Cartwright showed in 2014 that he doesn’t need a lot of minutes to be a fantasy contributor and even though it is a small sample size it is easy to see him average about 50 if he was to get 60 to 65 minutes a week, to do that he needs a 11, 12 or 13 on his back.

 

Joel Thompson

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

2RF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

70

Fantasy average

35.35

PPM

0.51

Consistency

0.39

Price

313,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

The big hole-running backrower struggled in his first year at the club. After a poorly executed move to the centres by a desperate coach, Thompson moved back into his favoured left edge back row position and thrived under new coach Paul McGregor (hopefully this does enough to hold his DPP status for fantasy fans). ‘Mary’ will hope to see the performance from Thompson continue to trend upwards.

 

Joseph Paulo

2015 Team

Eels

Position

2RF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

61

Fantasy average

36.60

PPM

0.60

Consistency

0.21

Price

324,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Paulo secured himself a two year extension with the Eels after a strong season for the Eels which was recognised with him being the Nations Player of the Year for the USA at the RLIF Player of the Year awards. Paulo was very consistent throughout the year and that was reflected in his fantasy scores with 23 of his 24 games falling between a points scoring range of 30 to 49. Paulo will likely join Watmough and Ma’u in the starting second row in 2015.

 

Jack De Belin

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

42

Fantasy average

35.52

PPM

0.85

Consistency

0.31

Price

314,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

De Belin, like Frizell, has been hurt by his ability to play any role in the forward pack over the past two years. The grandson of former Australian Kangaroo Fred and 2011Holden Cup player of the year at lock forward only played seven games in his preferred position last year. If Trent Merrin was to move back to prop, De Belin would shoot in fantasy relevancy with a very handy PPM of 0.85.

 

Chris Houston

2015 Team

Knights

Position

2RF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

55

Fantasy average

37.33

PPM

0.67

Consistency

0.23

Price

330,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Houston has been around for a long time now, as a former New South Wales 18th man he is one to keep an eye on. Houston's fantasy scoring has always been in the low-mid 40 range when given appropriate minutes but the likelihood of that happening is slim. Houston saw a lot of play off the bench in 2014, with Bennett preferring Rochow over him in the back row. Houston should only be considered if he finds a starting berth.

 

Matt Prior

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

2RF

Games played

10

Ave Minutes

58

Fantasy average

37.40

PPM

0.64

Consistency

0.23

Price

331,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Prior should be a DPP FRF/2RF after finishing the year starting four games at prop. In a healthy Sharks line-up he’ll struggle to make any sort of impact but he’s serviceable.

 

Anthony Tupou

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

2RF

Games played

9

Ave Minutes

60

Fantasy average

37.22

PPM

0.62

Consistency

0.35

Price

320,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Tupou once played for NSW and Australia but 2008 is a long time ago. In 2014 Tupou was just another Shark player to have a season ruined by injuries and ASADA. This is highlighted by the fact that the Sharks gun forwards (Fifita, Gallen, Lewis, Graham and Tupou) all appeared at the same time in just two games all season, not that they helped in those two games in which the Sharks were outscored by 73 points to 42. Tupou is long past his best but he still has value to the Sharks as a 60 minute player that’ll make a lot of tackles while not missing many.

 

Sebastine Ikhihifio

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

2RF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

46

Fantasy average

26.72

PPM

0.59

Consistency

0.32

Price

236,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

Statistics often do not tell the full story. Sebastine’s very unflattering 0 tries, 0 try assists, 0 line breaks, and 6 offloads, mask the fact that his high work rate and bustling style will have him competing for the starting lock position. Unfortunately with the make up of the Warriors back row it’s more probable that he will have to make his impact from the bench and limited opportunities that arise through attrition in the season. Even if Sebastine was to get the starting roll, with his lack of output in key fantasy statistical columns he would still be a non factor for fantasy owners.

 

Mitchell Aubusson

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

2RF/CTR

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

55

Fantasy average

30.43

PPM

0.55

Consistency

0.54

Price

269,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

The black widow of thousands of fantasy teams, Aubusson has a knack for sucking the life from fantasy sides. He can promise much but his versatility makes him an incredibly inconsistent fantasy option. Aubusson’s consistency rating of 0.542 puts him in the company of wingers and centres (and Luke Brooks….), in fact for forwards that played more than 15 games the only player less consistent was Todd Lowrie. All of that sounds pretty bad but Aubusson would be a fantasy gun if he just played in the second row, he started four games there last season and averaged 53 while never scoring less than 46 points. The problem is can you count on him being locked in as SBW’s replacement in the second row even if he gets named there in round 1? I get the feeling Dylan Napa will probably emerge ahead of him at some point but I’m not Trent Robinson.

 

Jeremy Smith

2015 Team

Knights

Position

2RF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

50

Fantasy average

31.67

PPM

0.63

Consistency

0.25

Price

280,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

14, 17

Jeremy Smith has proven time and time again that he's one of the toughest players on the rugby league field. Sadly, this doesn't always translate into fantasy scoring potential, as his is case. Smith spent much of season 2014 on the sidelines, and with his growing age is one to avoid when it comes to looking for fantasy talent.

 

Tepai Moeroa

2015 Team

Eels

Position

2RF

Games played

9

Ave Minutes

57

Fantasy average

31.33

PPM

0.55

Consistency

0.58

Price

269,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Moeroa managed to start seven games and added another two appearances from the bench in 2014. He is probably back to the bench in 2015 but nonetheless it was an impressive debut for the youngster who is still learning his craft after being a Australian schoolboys representative in Rugby Union. Moeroa hopes to put the shot in the 2016 Olympic Games.

 

Tupou Sopoaga

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

2RF

Games played

15

Ave Minutes

60

Fantasy average

32.13

PPM

0.54

Consistency

0.44

Price

284,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Sopoaga joins the Panthers from the Sharks and will be part of second row interchange/reserve grade rotation. With Jason Bukuya returning to the Sharks he would have had the same sort of limited opportunities at Cronulla but he would have to play for the Sharks so the move is a no brainer. He’s the younger brother of Highlanders rugby union player Lima.

 

Dylan Napa

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

42

Fantasy average

29.48

PPM

0.69

Consistency

0.25

Price

261,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

11, 17

Napa will continue his development in 2015 with a good chance he replaces SBW in the second row. Nobody will ever mistake him for SBW, he had five offloads all season whereas SBW had six in one game alone, but he has a fiery, aggressive streak to his game which is often associated with higher honours. As a fantasy player Napa had a stark decline in PPM playing more than 80 minutes, though it is a small sample size of just three games, so a starting role doesn’t confer gun status on him. He feels like a player that will max out at around 40 points a game due to his lack of attacking stats.

 

Ben Lowe

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

2RF

Games played

17

Ave Minutes

41

Fantasy average

30.35

PPM

0.75

Consistency

0.49

Price

269,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Lowe is a valuable cog in the Rabbitohs machine. He is a limited ball player but a tackling machine who had a missed tackle rate of just 3% in 2014. Chris McQueen, John Sutton, Glenn Stewart and Kyle Turner will be the Rabbitohs first options at second row but Lowe will have an interchange role with the potential for the odd spot start when necessary.

 

Sione Masima

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

2RF

Games played

3

Ave Minutes

38

Fantasy average

29.00

PPM

0.77

Consistency

0.18

Price

203,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Masima made an under the radar NRL debut for the hapless Sharks in 2014. He ended up playing the last three games of the season and actually looked pretty solid with the minutes he got. He can tackle, break tackles and offload which are useful traits in an interchange forward. He’s now stuck in a logjam at the Rabbitohs second row but don’t be shocked to see him get some game time at some point in the season.

 

Tony Williams

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

2RF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

77

Fantasy average

37.70

PPM

0.49

Consistency

0.34

Price

334,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

12, 17

The 1.92m, 118 kg T-Rex become the largest halfback in recorded history when he took the field in round 17. The next week he became the largest ever five-eighth. Sure he didn’t play the role in a traditional sense but he did manage 140 kick metres in that round 17 game so he did try. Williams play improved significantly after a lacklustre campaign in 2013, he was the leading forward with 82 tackle breaks and was 14th in offloads. He also scored three tries and though there was no official measurement my estimate is that none of them were longer than 5 metres.

 

Jayson Bukuya

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

2RF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

60

Fantasy average

30.39

PPM

0.50

Consistency

0.41

Price

269,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

After a failed stint with the Warriors Bukuya returns to the Shire, where he’ll find the second row situation just as difficult to crack as he did last time round.  Bukuya’s minutes were all over the place with the Warriors, he played 80 minutes in five games but he also 30 minutes on three occasions. If he had stayed with the Sharks he would likely have been a useful fantasy player in 2014 but he’ll need injuries to clear the path in 2015.

 

Kyle Turner

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

2RF/CTR

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

55

Fantasy average

28.86

PPM

0.53

Consistency

0.42

Price

255,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Turner has a concussion problem. A human being is not designed to suffer six concussions in the span of 365 days but that is what Kyle Turner has managed. The NRL’s concussion protocols introduced in 2014 are a major step in the right direction but it defies believe that Turner managed to rack up such a significant number of concussions in such a short period of time. Liam Fulton’s career ended after four concussions in six games, this was the only reaction to a problem with long term consequences. We can only hope that Turner can come to a similar decision should his issues persist in 2015.

 

Jarrad Kennedy

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

2RF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

73

Fantasy average

32.75

PPM

0.45

Consistency

0.38

Price

290,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14,17

Kennedy established himself as a Ricky Stuart favourite in 2014, a bit of versatility has that effect on a coach. He ended up starting 18 games at second row, lock and centre while averaging 78.6 minutes a game. That makes him less appealing as a fantasy option because he has probably already reached his fantasy ceiling. He probably gets DPP status for those three games at centre.

 

Chris McQueen

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

2RF

Games played

17

Ave Minutes

59

Fantasy average

28.59

PPM

0.48

Consistency

0.38

Price

253,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

15, 18

McQueen spent most of the season as an impact player from the interchange bench after Kyle Turner nicked his spot. He’s probably back in the starting line-up following the departure of Ben Te’o although the Rabbits will also have Glenn Stewart to go with the returning John Sutton and Kyle Turner. His PPM of 0.48 is terrible and should tell you all you need to know about his fantasy prospects.

 

Tom Symonds

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

2RF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

53

Fantasy average

29.33

PPM

0.55

Consistency

0.48

Price

260,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Tom Symonds will compete with Dunamis Lui, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Feleti Mateo and perhaps even the myth Michael Chee Kam for the opportunity to replace Anthony Watmough. Symonds got an extended audition at the end of 2014 and made a good impression making him the likely front runner at this early stage. His 29 point average is deflated by his time on the interchange, as a starter he averaged a touch over 37 points a game but that probably won’t be enough to make him a worthwhile fantasy mid ranger.

 

Isaah Yeo

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

2RF

Games played

10

Ave Minutes

66

Fantasy average

32.30

PPM

0.49

Consistency

0.35

Price

286,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Yeo is the son of former 1990’s North Sydney and Balmain player Justin Yeo who must not have ever been in a rugby league card set because I have no recollection of him. Isaah will feature in a number of rugby league card sets because at just 20 he has a big future in front of him. Stuck in the Panthers logjam at second row he could also see some time at centre if injury hits Jamal Idris or Dean Whare.

 

Korbin Sims

2015 Team

Knights

Position

2RF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

37

Fantasy average

27.90

PPM

0.75

Consistency

0.40

Price

247,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

The youngest of the Sims brothers, Korbin has a chance to stamp his mark on the Knight's squad in 2015. Newcastle are struggling for props, and with brother Tariq being suspended for the first few rounds Korbin has a chance to step up and prove that he's worthy of a first grade spot. While only playing small minutes under Bennett, Korbin showed he had a knack for big hits and finding the line. One to watch out for, probably not one to have in your starting team however.

 

Feleti Mateo

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

2RF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

40

Fantasy average

27.37

PPM

0.69

Consistency

0.40

Price

242,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

The enigmatic Mateo ended his tenure with the Warriors in incredibly disappointing fashion. Over his last three games he managed zero offloads, a trait which was once the hallmark of his game, while getting the sort of minutes reserved for George Rose and anonymous prospects. Now Mateo is with the Sea Eagles and joins the dark fight to replace Anthomy Watmough in the back row. At his best Mateo would have no issues beating out the likes of Tom Symonds or Dunamis Lui for a starting role but it has been a long time since Mateo has been at his best. If he does grab a starting role Mateo will be an interesting boom or bust mid-range prospect capable of defining or destroying a team’s early season efforts.

 

Justin Horo

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

2RF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

71

Fantasy average

27.14

PPM

0.38

Consistency

0.36

Price

240,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 14

Horo had the lowest fantasy points per minute for all second rowers who played more than 15 games. Horo achieves this by having minimal attacking game, not being an active defender and missing too many tackles (sixth in missed tackle percentage for qualifying second rowers). In a season that will see a lot of transition in the Manly forward pack Horo’s place is safe for now but getting his signature for 2016 isn’t going to be a high priority for Manly’s new owners.

 

Glenn Hall

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

2RF

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

34

Fantasy average

27.55

PPM

0.81

Consistency

0.38

Price

244,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Like many a forward, Hall is a great fantasy player who never seems to get the minutes to make him viable. Every year an injury seems to remind people about Hall and he becomes the flavor of the month. But then, he gets the same minutes as always and everyone who bought him looks a bit stupid. Expect the same again this year.

 

Robbie Rochow

2015 Team

Knights

Position

2RF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

77

Fantasy average

34.00

PPM

0.44

Consistency

0.31

Price

301,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Robbie Rochow in 2013 was a solid consistent low 40's fantasy scorer while he played big minutes in the second row. In 2014, Rochow struggled to hang on to his starting position and found his minutes altering from game to game. If Rochow can establish himself as a starting second rower at the club (which is unlikely) then there may be some value in owning him at some point of the season.

 

Curtis Sironen

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

2RF

Games played

13

Ave Minutes

72

Fantasy average

27.00

PPM

0.38

Consistency

0.41

Price

239,00

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 18

The Tigers’ second row is going to hold them back in 2015 unless they can work the same sort of magic on unheard of players that Parramatta did in 2014. Sironen is the only second rower you could consider to be bolted on and even then he could end up back at stand-off. It probably comes as a surprise to nobody that the Tigers had the worst missed tackle percentage in the league at 10.33%, Sironen’s missed tackle rate of 11.1% puts him near the top for worst rates of second rowers. If he wants to be a replacement for Liam Fulton he needs to tackle a lot better.

 

Luke Lewis

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

2RF

Games played

8

Ave Minutes

58

Fantasy average

28.00

PPM

0.48

Consistency

0.41

Price

233,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

11, 14

Lewis is a starting second rower in the Kieran Foran all-star team. The Kieran Foran all-star team is a side of great players/crap fantasy players and looks a lot like the fantasy team picked by someone ranked outside the top 20,000 in fantasy or TDC 2014 team.

 

Greg Eastwood

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

2RF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

51

Fantasy average

33.85

PPM

0.66

Consistency

0.23

Price

300,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

12, 17

Greg Eastwood’s 112 kg frame is almost small compared to some of the other behemoths in the Bulldogs forward pack, but he’s still a big unit and being a big unit limits the amount of minutes he sees. He averages about 51 minutes a game with a PPM that would only be useful if he was playing 80. He’s another member of the Kieran Foran all-stars (better real player than fantasy player).

 

Lewis Brown

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

2RF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

57

Fantasy average

31.45

PPM

0.55

Consistency

0.26

Price

278,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 14

Lewis Brown cranks out seasons like 2014 on a routine basis now. Sometime starting, sometime on the bench, it doesn’t matter he’ll average in the low 30’s.

 

Pauli Pauli

2015 Team

Eels

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

17

Ave Minutes

41

Fantasy average

26.82

PPM

0.65

Consistency

0.45

Price

237,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Pauli x2 turned into a very useful cash cow/contributor during the bye weeks averaging 39 points between round 10 and 18. For some unknown reason he just started making far more tackles per game than he had been despite only playing slightly more minutes. For people that like to deeply research their decisions this sort of unexplained turnaround is infuriating but so it goes. His role this season is most likely as a 40-50 minute impact player.

 

Leeson Ah Mau

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

66

Fantasy average

39.61

PPM

0.60

Consistency

0.31

Price

351,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

After a big outing in the Charity Shield prior to the season kicking off, Ah Mau made an appearance in a lot of fantasy sides. The big bustling back rower has the ability to hit holes and break tackles for the occasional try. His one-on-one defence became a big worry though, with the big man targeted out wide by opposition halves and fullbacks closer to his own try line. The competition for backrow spots will heat up next year, with the incumbent no sure thing to hold his own down.

 

Dale Finucane

2015 Team

Storm

Position

2RF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

41

Fantasy average

32.35

PPM

0.78

Consistency

0.32

Price (

286,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

Though it seems likely Finucane will increase in value you will have to be betting he becomes an 80 minute player to get the sort of price increases to justify owning him. The Storm second row is a bit unsettled but with Ryan Hinchcliffe being a possibility of starting the year at hooker Finucane, Proctor and Harris could all start with Finucane or Harris the best option to play big minutes. Of course then with CS9 comes back the second row gets a reshuffle so there is some risk.

 

Adam Docker

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

2RF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

55

Fantasy average

28.50

PPM

0.52

Consistency

0.38

Price

252,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens compared Docker to Paul Gallen in 2014. Sheens knows lots more about rugby league then me so I will differ to him but I will say the obvious glaring difference between Docker and Gallen is that Docker does not have anything near Gallen’s work rate. The Panthers’ depth at second row suits Docker fine as he’s at his most effective playing limited minutes. 

Friday, 16 January 2015 11:00

RFS Preview: 2RF Guns

Now that FRF players have been covered we move on to the biggest position group of all; the 2RF. Starting with the 20 players whose averages make them guns or near guns. With injury and potential role changes it could be a tricky group to get a handle on in 2015.

Note: Since this series of articles started the first fantasy prices of 2015 have been announced. They appear to represent a 16% increase in player value while the salary cap, if they continue to match it with the actual NRL salary cap, will see just a 4% increase in value. That means it will be harder to build a team of guns in 2015 than it was in 2014. This will be a response to complaints in 2014 when the cap went up higher than player values did. It's a good thing, it makes for more differentiation and increases the importance of developing a good team rather than just starting with one.

If you have missed any articles in the series you can find the links here.

Corey Parker

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

65

Fantasy average

54.71

PPM

0.84

Consistency

0.24

Price

484,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

14, 17

Parker (or CP13) was a fantasy gun before 2014. Then he started playing prop (CP10), and his minutes and points began to tail off. Under Bennett, Parker may move back to lock, where he plays all his representative football, in which case, he may be resurrected. But, Parker still needs minutes on the park, so Bennett’s forward rotation will be a hot topic in the 2015 pre-season.

 

Shaun Fensom

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

2RF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

73

Fantasy average

58.61

PPM

0.80

Consistency

0.31

Price

519,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

14,17

Fensom did his ACL in round 21, ending his season and casting doubts over his ability to be ready for the start of 2015. Reports say that his rehab has progressed well and he should play early in the season and is an outside chance to be ready for round 1. Fensom makes over 45 tackles a game while having a stellar missed tackle percentage of just 3%. He always generates some chatter around Origin time but the reality is that he is behind a host of other NSW second row options. Even if he is healthy from round 1 he’s a risky option based on his high starting price and the uncertainty over whether he will be an immediate 80 minute player. Look to upgrade to him during the season.

 

Simon Mannering

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

2RF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

79

Fantasy average

44.46

PPM

0.56

Consistency

0.33

Price

393,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

Captain Reliable. The main interest for fantasy owners will be whether Mannering will continue to retain his dual position status. Considering he hasn’t started at centre for almost three years and only ever covers mid game it is a bit of a joke. That being said it is also the only way he would make it into most people’s fantasy teams. With an average of 44.5 at centre that will solve a lot of headaches. Buyers beware: after another long season including a taxing international schedule Mannering started the 2014 slowly, scaring most who’d bought him into jumping off before he hit his purple patch that saw him score a career best nine tries. Yes he will be a viable option but be prepared for a slow start to the season or pick up after the first four weeks.

 

Trent Merrin

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

2RF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

55

Fantasy average

50.81

PPM

0.92

Consistency

0.24

Price

450,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

11, 14

The name that has been on everyone’s lips this off season, the Dragons star forward has been in the middle of a very public contract negotiation between the club and his manager, Wayne Beavis. In the past managers have come out in the press to drive up their players price, though one would wonder how much more than the Dragons history breaking $1.8 million dollar contract Merrin will demand on the open market. On the field ‘Mez’ will be looking to eliminate the errors that have been creeping into his game. Known for his work-rate and offloading abilities, the big middle forward will have to learn to pick his moment more in the future.

 

Elijah Taylor

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

2RF

Games played

17

Ave Minutes

70

Fantasy average

41.00

PPM

0.59

Consistency

0.35

Price

363,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 14

I take it all back Elijah. If you’ll let me I am ready to rekindle our fantasy relationship. In a season with depleted second row options a fit Elijah Taylor could be the sort of player who can really make a difference. His season was ruined by injuries and negative plays. The injuries were just bad luck but I am not sure what to make of the negative plays. His missed tackle percentage was 5% but he missed tackles in bunches missing at least three tackles in a game on six occasions. In the games where he wasn’t missing tackles he was committing penalties or making errors. He even got sin binned once as well. This trend for negative plays wasn’t an issue with the Warriors so I’m hopeful he can get back to manageable numbers and be one of the better second row options going. There is one last sticking point for ET, the plethora of options the Panthers have in the back row. Still every relationship is a risk…

 

Josh Papalii

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

2RF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

70

Fantasy average

44.79

PPM

0.64

Consistency

0.31

Price

396,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

14,17

Ricky Stuart didn’t trust Papalii to play 80 minutes at the start of last season. He did it once in round 1 but then wouldn’t do it again until round 18. As an 80 minute player he is an elite fantasy option averaging just over 50 but when he doesn’t play 80 his average falls all the way to 39.2. A coach of just average intelligence would probably see the void created by the loss of 80 minute man Shaun Fensom and plug it with his best second rower but Ricky Stuart is not a coach that approaches average intelligence. I’m always left feeling queasy when I stake my fantasy team on the whims of Ricky Stuart.

 

Anthony Watmough

2015 Team

Eels

Position

2RF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

67

Fantasy average

48.79

PPM

0.73

Consistency

0.26

Price

432,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

15, 18

After 286 first grade games for the Manly Sea Eagles and Northern Eagles Watmough joins the Eels in the twilight of his career. The Eels second row stocks are young and talented but they’ll get a lot out of seeing how a leader and winner operates. Watmough only averaged 67 minutes a game last year so the depth in the Eels second row shouldn’t impact his game time a lot, so he’ll continue to be a low end gun fantasy scorer.

 

Matt Gillett

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

2RF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

70

Fantasy average

46.90

PPM

0.67

Consistency

0.39

Price

415,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

14, 17

Gillett has all the elements to be a fantasy gun, except he isn’t. Like many young players he fades in and out of games. When he’s on, he can easily go large. When he’s not, you will be throwing beers at the TV as he misses tackles and drops the ball. The real threat is to his minutes. Under Bennett and the acquisition of Blair, Parker may return to lock, leaving Thiaday, Glenn and Gillett to share two starting positions. The bottom line is that Gillett may get fewer minutes, and start off the bench.

 

Josh Jackson

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

2RF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

71

Fantasy average

43.21

PPM

0.61

Consistency

0.46

Price

382,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

12, 17

Jackson and Boyd Cordner represent the future of the Blues second row once Paul Gallen, Greg Bird and Anthony Watmough hang up the boots and the risk for fantasy owners is whether that future starts in 2015 or later. Even if he does get picked for Origin he’s under-priced so at least he could increase in value before you have to kick him to the curb. There’s some speculation he might be available as a DPP 2RF/CTR but that seems unlikely considering he didn’t officially play centre in 2014, he did play three games at five eighth though.

 

Ethan Lowe

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

2RF

Games played

9

Ave Minutes

64

Fantasy average

41.67

PPM

0.65

Consistency

0.37

Price

358,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Ethan Lowe is a great fantasy talent, but who still hasn’t locked down a spot. He played 9 games in 2014, and played 80 minutes in four of them. Unfortunately, his solid 2014 average may price him out of many teams for 2015, but an 80 minute Lowe would still be worthwhile.

 

Boyd Cordner

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

2RF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

75

Fantasy average

47.37

PPM

0.63

Consistency

0.30

Price

419,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

11, 17

Cordner made his second State of Origin appearance in the game 3 dead rubber and it was only the dreaded ankle syndesmosis that kept him out of the first two games. Cordner has been a slow starter, fast finisher for the last two fantasy seasons (although he got injured at the end of 2013). In 2014 he averaged 42.8 in his first ten games and 52.4 over his last nine, so he’s probably not a wonderful pre-Origin fantasy option but will be worth a look afterwards.

 

Wade Graham

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

2RF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

78

Fantasy average

47.37

PPM

0.60

Consistency

0.26

Price

419,000

Origin

Moderate

Bye weeks

11, 14

Graham had to carry a big burden for the injury ravaged Sharks in 2014 and he did a really good job of it before ASADA caught up in round 22. Graham’s versatility has been a burden for him in the past but during 2014 he was able to lock down a role as an 80 minute second rower and he really thrived with the added responsibility. Graham made his first grade debut back in 2008 but he’s still only 24 and an Origin spot will be beckoning him in the coming years.

 

Jamie Buhrer

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

2RF/HOK

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

66

Fantasy average

40.74

PPM

0.61

Consistency

0.38

Price

361,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Buhrer had an excellent 2014 and is well placed to replace club legend Glenn Stewart in the second row in 2015. Still only 25 the Sea Eagles have Buhrer under contract for the next two season and it isn’t hard to envisage him establishing himself as an invaluable contributor to a Sea Eagles side in transition. For fantasy purposes he could have some value, his starting price is deflated by averaging 27 in six games from the bench which compares to his average of 46 as a starter but be aware that average as a starter isn’t that much greater than his overall average. Is under an injury cloud but is still hopeful to play in round 1.

 

Jason Taumalolo

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

2RF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

69

Fantasy average

41.87

PPM

0.61

Consistency

0.39

Price

371,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

14, 17

Lolo had his breakout year in 2014, but was a painful experience for many coaches. He played 80 minutes for 12 games, but his three biggest scores (74, 67 and 65) did not come off those games. Rather, his lowest score of 16 did. So, with no obvious relationship between minutes and scores, coaches were left to make it up on the fly. Back-to-back bad games in the middle of the season saw many coaches jump off and miss his late season improvement. What will he do in 2015?

 

Bodene Thompson

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

2RF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

78

Fantasy average

40.52

PPM

0.52

Consistency

0.26

Price

359,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

Averaging a respectable 40.6  in 2014 for the Tigers, it’s almost impossible to see him performing at these heights for the Warriors due to congestion in his preferred roles of second rower and centre. Bodene will have less minutes and less opportunities with Mannering and Hoffman likely to be 80 minute players. Watch his price plummet, although a major injury to Mannering or Hoffman would mean that his chances and minutes would suddenly increase.

 

John Sutton

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

2RF/HLF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

73

Fantasy average

41.68

PPM

0.57

Consistency

0.34

Price

369,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

15, 18

After flirting with elite fantasy status in 2013 Sutton declined in 2014. He finished up averaging 41.7 with basically the same average at five-eighth and at lock. Will be expected to play lock in 2015, replacing Sam Burgess, so he will need to improve his fitness as he was frequently gassed or ineffective in the forwards last season.

 

Aiden Guerra

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

2RF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

58

Fantasy average

45.00

PPM

0.78

Consistency

0.25

Price (2014 values)

337,500

Origin

High

Bye weeks

11, 17

Guerra would be a terrific low priced gun if it wasn’t for the high likelihood he’ll be involved in Queensland’s Origin quest. With SBW and FPN gone the way will be clear for Guerra to play 80 minutes after averaging just 58 last season. We saw a glimpse of what Guerra was capable of with 80 minutes near the end of last year and it was an impressive 55.2 points. In fact even with Origin duties Guerra could be someone worth considering.

 

Sam Thaiday

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

2RF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

55

Fantasy average

42.89

PPM

0.78

Consistency

0.22

Price

398,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

14, 17

Thiaday is a good mid-range 2RF/FRF, who’ll keep pumping out mid-40s all season. But, he will play Origin, and is unlikely to improve. Unless 2RF/FRF becomes decimated by injury, Thiaday is probably not the best option.

 

Manu Ma’u

2015 Team

Eels

Position

2RF

Games played

13

Ave Minutes

68

Fantasy average

40.62

PPM

0.60

Consistency

0.34

Price

359,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

15, 18

Ma’u was a 26 year-old rookie in 2014 thanks to a career stalled by a three year prison sentence for his part in a brawl and he made up for lost time until an injury took him down in round 14. Ma’u tackled hard, ran harder and was one of the real feel good stories of the early part of the season. He should retain his position across from Anthony Watmough in what could be a very formidable second row partnership.

 

Gavin Cooper

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

2RF

Games played

15

Ave Minutes

69

Fantasy average

40.60

PPM

0.59

Consistency

0.36

Price

359,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Cooper gets the minutes that we want Bolton and Hall to get, and has the PPM that makes him a midrange fantasy meh. He is a placeholder at best and is unlikely to improve. 

Monday, 12 January 2015 11:00

RFS Preseason Bible

Just to make sure you haven't missed any of our great RFS preseason content here are all the links to the articles released so far. We'll continue to update this every time something comes out.

General fantasy articles

Fantasy 101 - a guide to how NRL Fantasy is played and why you should do it.

Setting up your fantasy team - Struggling to work out how to pick a side? This article gives you some help.

Top 10 Tips for picking a team, and winning - the things you need to know if you want to finish high in the overall rankings.

Ten tips for dominating your H2H league - ten tips that'll help you beat up on those chumps from the office.

Terms and abbreviations - all the fantasy terms and abbreviations so you won't look like a rookie.

The Real Cash Cows - A look at the 2015 crop of cash cows.

Undervalued players - A look at one player from each team that has some value in them.

Lessons from fantasy in 2014 - a reminder of the things we learnt about playing fantasy in 2014.

Guns, duds and fantasy cows - a look at how each club's new signings will impact fantasy.

2015 bye weeks - a look at how bye weeks will impact fantasy.

Popular bye week players - an early look at who the popular bye week players will be.

2015 Player prices - a listing of player prices for the upcoming season.

2015 Discounted players - a list of all the players who have a discounted price in 2015.

The lies we tell - A look at some popular lies we've told each other this pre-season.

Boom or Bust - the players that could hold that fate our fantasy seasons in their hands.

The Kieran Foran All-Stars - players who excel at NRL, but shouldn't come near your NRL Fantasy team

Fantasy impact on the Gold Coast - who benefits from the Coco

Twas the night before teamlists...

Team List Tuesday Preview - a rundown on all the selections that good fantasy coaches will be watching

The Renegade

Fantasy Hotline I - Q&A with the fans

Fantasy Hotline II - Q&A with the fans

Adding the Renegade to your H2H league

Preseason Trials and Matches

Warriors vs Panthers

Nines recap: Round one - recap of the NRL Nines with a slant towards players with some fantasy relevance. 

Nines recap: Round two - recap of the NRL Nines with a slant towards players with some fantasy relevance.

NRL All Stars Preview - a look at the NRL All Stars game.

Fantasy player's guide to the Nines - all the players you need to keep an eye on at the Nines.

The importance of the World Club Series - our resident international league expert explains why the World Club series concept is important.

Specific subjects

Players we think will improve with the new NRL ruck rules

Teams and hookers who will benefit from the new ruck rules

Comparing stats providers - with a new stats provider in 2015, how will player's scores vary?

A look at the DPP options

First five round draw analysis - A look at where the draw might give potential gains to fantasy players.

Changing perspectives on player pricing structures - An analytical look at the real player price structure.

Player Previews

To Aubo or not to Aubo - a look at whether Mitchell Aubusson is the real deal or another fantasy heart break.

Ryan "The Penalty Man" James

Lichaa, Granville or Clydsdale - a detailed look at the three good mid-range hooking options.

The Cash Cow Conundrum: Points per minute - a look at how increased minutes could impact the PPMs of Lichaa, Granville and Clydsdale.

Cash cow alert - a look at Cowboys juggernaut Kelepi Tanginoa

The Renegade Analytics Department Prediction Series

How to predict the future - An introduction to three predictive stats

Is JT a choker? - A look at the Cowboys terrible record in close games and some other anomalies.

Who will bend - A look at the team's the Analytics Department thinks will compete for the wooden spoon in 2015.

Who will depend - A look at the team's the Analytics Department thinks could do anything in 2015.

Who will pretend - A look at the team's the Analytics Department thinks should be finalists but not quite contenders for the top of the pile.

Who will contend - A look at the  team's the Analytics Department thinks should be the class of 2015.

Position previews

WFB

HOK

HLF

CTR

FRF

2RF 

Team previews

Melbourne Storm

South Sydney Rabbitohs

Parramatta Eels

Manly Sea Eagles

Vodafone Warriors

Wests Tigers

Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs

Canberra Raiders

Sydney Roosters

Newcastle Knights

Brisbane Broncos

St George Illawarra Dragons

Cronulla Sharks

North Queensland Cowboys

Penrith Panthers

Position deep dives

FRF guns - profiles on every FRF gun.

FRF mid-rangers - profiles on every mid-range FRF.

FRF cheapies - profiles on all the cheap FRF.

FRF rookies and returning players - profiles on the FRF rookies and other players who didn't play in 2014.

2RF guns - profiles on every 2RF gun.

2RF mid-rangers - profiles on every mid-range 2RF.

2RF cheapies - profiles on all the cheap 2RF.

2RF rookies and returning players - profiles on the FRF rookies and other players who didn't play in 2014.

HOK guns - profiles on every HOK gun.

HOK mid-rangers - profiles on every mid-range 2RF.

HOK rookies and cheapies - profiles on all the cheapies, rookies and other HOK that didn't play in 2014.

HLF guns - profiles on every HLF gun.

HLF mid-rangers - profiles on every mid-range HLF.

HLF rookies and cheapies - profiles on all the cheap HLF.

CTR guns - profiles on every CTR gun.

CTR mid-rangers - profiles on every mid-range CTR.

CTR cheapies - profiles on every cheap CTR.

CTR rookies - profiles on every rookie CTR.

WFB guns - profiles on every WFB gun.

WFB mid-rangers - profiles on every mid-range WFB.

WFB cheapies - profiles on every cheap WFB.

WFB rookies - profiles on every rookie WFB.

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