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".
Raiders demolished at home.
When the biggest talking point from the match is the temperature, you know it's a real bludger. A game that we would've expected to be deciding Top 4 spots is more likely to be deciding if these teams still have a season ahead of them.
2. Rubbish Raiders
Already going into this game (& season) without a single half in the side, they've had to front up against the Cowboys without their spiritual leader Josh Hodgson, leaving the Raiders with less creative skills than a Rugby League Game Developer. Only a matter of time before Ricky's coaching ability comes under scrutiny in the Rugby League community.
3. No JT, No Problem
2 matches since JT declared his season was officially over and 2 wins to the Cowboys. Michael Morgan remains star of the show while leading around a new halves partner in Te Maire Martin*
*We still aren't sure if TMM has signed a contract to play in NQ or if he's on some kind of Wife Swap TV show.
4. Michael Fantasy Gun Morgan
Need a discount half for the run home? Need to make up some points in the back half of the season? Michael Morgan could be your guy! Averaging a very handsome 55 in games without JT this year, it could be worth a roll of the dice.
5. The curse of JT.
First Jonathan Thurston goes down in origin. Second James Tedesco misses back to back matches and in doubt for origin. And to complete the holy trinity, the highest averaging player in fantasy Jason Taumalolo has a stinker with 37 points although a longer break than usual too. Should we panic?
Manly mow down weak Warriors.
Stupid. Bloody. Warriors. Only one team I know could be up 16-0 at the 18th minute and lose. New Zealand, maybe they'll blame the 5343km trip to Perth, maybe they'll blame the weather. But the facts are this club lets their fans down on the regular so we don't need an explanation.
2. Manly the real deal?
Manly have slotted themselves into 3rd place with this win today and led by captain and Origin hopeful DCE they are looking red hot, excuse the 18 minute late start to this match (they are playing in Perth) but this team was tipped to finish bottom 4 and that is certainly not looking like happening.
3. Trent Barrett let's chat...
Martin Taupau, the 550k DPP forward with no byes left. 5 round average of 63.8... all owners excited and salivating at the thoughts of him running right through the middle of this powderpuff warrior pack. Then, Barrett goes in dry and benches him at the 19th minute not to return until the 55th before leaving the field again, does he not enjoy the wet track or is there an injury we aren't aware of.
4. Lewis Brown!!!
Lewis gets a pass mark with a respectable 29 in the wet in his first start of the season. Good cash out option that will help you in R18 and can ever fill in at CTR for you for the run home, with Curtis Sironen not due back until finals time. Shows that you can't learn everything about fantasy reading a spreadsheet on the lounge.
5. SJ reigns supreme.
He may come under constant criticism by fans and commentators for going missing during games (and seasons), but his high energy hot and cold style certainly suits NRL fantasy, because when he's hot, he's hot. 84 points today outstanding!!
Sneaky Sharks destroy Rascally Roosters
1. Sharks win battle of the heavyweights.
With today likely being a preview of a match you'll see deep into September, Cronulla have made a statement and given us something to look forward to. James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce putting in typical origin performances was a key factor in the Sharkies getting the points today.
2. K5 grabs another beast.
Jake Friend has now scored 82, 70, 67 and 56, since the origin period started (if you leave out his HIA 0). Proving once again if K5 is blowing smoke, there is usually fire. Definitely one to watch with McInnes and McCullough not living up to earlier season hopes. Notching up 65 tackles today, with 50 of them coming in the first 50 minutes.
3. Ryan Matterson - Fluke or For Real?
Ryan Matterson could be pushing to secure an edge second row spot for 2018 when Aiden Guerra departs the club. With a few starts during the origin period he has shown he has fantasy pedigree and is keen to show us. Averaging 57 over the last 3 weeks; starting and scoring 79 today, albeit attacking stats assisted with his mid 30s average could see him as a well priced pick up next season.
4. Fifita was a trade through origin.
This has been discussed at lengths over the past couple months and it looks like the points are with the TRADE camp. With another lacklustre score of 45 today, pairing with his other scores of 45 and 43 since origin started, your 550k+ could've definitely been better invested in somebody that would've played more than 3 games in this 6 game period.
5. G-Train stops short.
Don't stress this one. Gal has carried this Sharks side through a tough Origin period where his team has been without up to 5 stars in some matches. Much to the dismay of many Gal owners he has earned this break and this won't happen every week, we hope.
Suck it Grubby Roosters @Nick Gibbs.
A game that whilst may have looked exciting from the scoreline, in reality it flattered to deceive.
Matt Gillett upheld the trend of origin stars backing up who have absolutely crushed it. He bagged a double and 75* points after spotting birthday boy Aidan Sezer between himself and the try line on a couple of occasions.
Jordan Rapana was able to get busy and grabbed 46* despite not scoring a try. The comp's leading try-scorer is a viable option at WFB, albeit he can be quite a rollercoaster and around $535k is not necessarily cheap.
The owners of Joseph Leilua (31*) and Nick Cotric (29*) would've been hoping for more given both crossed the stripe. Both players are just below the top-tier outside backs this seasons but have three home consecutive home games coming up which might be enough rope for you to grasp onto.
Finally, Andrew McCullough played the full 80 minutes and notched a respectable 51*. If he can continue to play 80 minutes until the end of the season he could be a good option priced around $485k this week.
*scores noted are prior to any updates and were accurate at the time of writing
Simon Says - 60 tackles, zero misses; that's the Mannering we all know and love. 80pts is a just reward for anyone who has kept the faith.
Steady Shaun - SJ keeps ticking along with a tidy 61. 590 kick metres is no surprise given no player has put foot to ball more often this season than the Kiwi sneaky boy. Non-owners could consider him over a second hooker should they not be keen on anyone but CS9.
Mammoth Maumalo; Big Ken put on a dominant display of wing play, amassing 69 points of which 36 came from a barnstorming run from his own 30. Despite a 5RA of 47.6, there's better options at WFB.
Roger to the Rescue - On 12 at HT, and only on 25 before snaring a try from dummy-half to finish on 41. Given he was inches off clutching a SJ snap-kick in the first half for a try, I wouldn't be rushing to trade out RTS given his ability to create something from nothing.
G'Day Graham - Owners of the English Prop would be relieved for the Bulldogs Captain to make it through the game. 41 in 53 minutes isn't anything to write home about, but hopefully for coaches who held him he can finish out the season.
Lastly, round 18 can't come soon enough for Adam Elliot owners. After getting clocked by Gavet in the 46th minute, Elliot did not return and only churned out 24 points for his owners
For all the Fantasy pertinent information, look no further!
Broncos vs Bulldogs
* Kodi Nikorima named in jersey #21
* Mbye suspended
* Matt Frawley named at halfback
Roosters vs Manly
* Jake Friend returns
* Ferguson named in jersey #20
Cowboys vs Rabbitohs
* Taumalolo returns at lock
* Hess back to jersey #16
* Coote returns at fullback
* Ponga back to jersey #19
* Braidon Burns returns on the wing
Sharks vs Knights
* Lamb named
* Feeney on standby
* Holmes named at fullback
* Brailey named at hooker
* Segeyaro named in jersey #17
* Brendon Elliot returns
* Sione Mata'utia returns to second row
Raiders vs Eels
* Whitehead suspended
* Soliola starts a second row.
* Moeroa returns
Storm vs Panthers
* McLean returns
* Cartwright not named
* Corey Harawira-Naera starts at second row
* James Fisher-Harris on extended bench with fractured cheekbone
Warriors vs Titans
* Foran named at 5/8
* Lolohea not named
* Ayshford named on the wing
* Chris Grevsmuhl named in jersey #16
* Ryan James named despite shoulder charge
* Ryan Simpkins starts at hooker
Tigers vs Dragons
* Idris named to start at centre
* Littlejohn replaces injured Luke brooks
All the fantasy relevant information from Team-List Tuesday for Round Four
Rabbitohs vs Roosters
* Cody Walker drops back to fullback
* Talakai returns at centre
* Sutton named at 5/8
* Joseph Manu starts at centre
* Ferguson named in jersey #20
Panthers vs Knights
* Cartwright named
* Mata'utia named
*Anthony Tupou named in jersey #21
Broncos vs Raiders
* TPJ returns
* Marshall named in jersey #18
Manly vs Bulldogs
* Martin Taupau returns
* Fonua-Blake returns
* Abbey named at fullback
Eels vs Sharks
* Corey Norman returns
* Robson named in jersey #21
* Kirisome Auva'a named in jersey #19
* Cameron King named in jersey #18
* Holmes named on the wing
* SEGEYARO named in jersey #20
* Kurt Capwell retains his spot in the centres
* Gerard Beale named in jersey #19
Titans vs Cowboys
* Copley named at centre
* Daniel Vidot named on the wing
* Gela-Mosby named on the wing
* Fensom named in jersey #16
Tigers vs Storm
*Taylor returns at lock
* Matt Ballin named in jersey #17
* Slater returns to run on at fullback
* Jacks named at 5/8
* Brodie Croft named in jersey #21
Dragons vs Warriors
* RTS returns
* Foran named in jersey #21
* Jai field is a trade to Ryley Jacks if you don't already have him
When you are new to fantasy understanding what you need to be looking for in a good fantasy player is hard. People can get carried away early in the season by scores that contain a lot of inconsistent elements. Take for example Jack de Belin who busted out a 92 point score in round 1 which lead some people to claim he’s a legitimate captaincy option, which he isn’t. JDB scored a try that featured five tackle breaks, take that out and his score is a more moderate 65 points. Still a great output, but higher than you can expect week to week.
What we will do throughout this article is examine each position bread and butter stats and some general rules of thumb you can use to assess any given player’s performance.
Hookers tend to make all their points from tackling in the middle of the park, an example of this is Jake Friend. So, you need to be paying close attention to their tackle count and their missed tackle count. You’re aiming for any given hooker to be making 40+ tackles a game with less than 2 missed. You will also have hookers who are play makers these include players like CS9 and McInnes, who not only make 40+ tackles a game but compliment these stats with 1-2TA, and a few tackle breaks. To identify a gun hooker, you need to find hookers who have solid base stats, and who have demonstrated they are a playmaking hooker.
Base stats: tackle count (45+),
Gun stats: TA (1-2).
Negative stats: Missed tackles (less than 2).
Front row forwards/ second row forwards:
Forwards tend to make their points through run meters and tackles and the generation of these is tied strongly to minutes. This can be seen in PG13 who will often make 30+ tackles a game and run for 150+ meters in 80 minutes. However, the difference between a gun forward and mediocre forward is in the missed tackles, and penalty department. You ideally don’t want a Paul Carter who makes 50 tackles a game but misses 10, in an 80 minute stint. Your goal forward should include people make 45+ tackles a game, who can offload and break tackles. These players include the likes of Simon Mannering, Andrew Fifita, and James Graham.
Base stats: tackles (30+), run meters (150+)
Gun stats: Tackle breaks (2+), and offloads (2+).
Negative stats: Missed tackles (less than 3) and penalties (less than 2)
Your halves revolve around kick meters and tackles. You ideally want a half that is kicking no less than 300m per game and making 12+ tackles a game, while missing no more than 2, I’m looking at you Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks. To identify a gun half, you need a half that has over 80 run meters and 1-2 TA per game and goal kicking. Run meters combined with KM indicate the half will take on the line and is more likely to create something out nothing. These players include the likes of Johnson, Norman, Cleary and JT.
Base stats: Kick meters (300+), Tackles (12+)
Gun stats: Run meters (80+), and Try assists(1+), Goal kicking (optional see Norman)
Negative stats: Missed tackles (less than 3)
The backs are the hardest players to pick. Your backs rely on run meters and tackle breaks. Where tackle breaks are one of the least consistent stats in the game, I swear sometimes they award tackle breaks through flipping coins. So, you are looking for a back who averages 150+ run meters per game, and who bust 1-3 tackles a game. The likes of Tedesco, Munster and RTS all fit this mould. However, the likes of Moylan, who is a great player but he simply doesn’t have the run meters or the tackle breaks.
Base stats: Run meters (150+), tackle breaks (2+) tackles ( 10+)
Gun stats: Goal kicking (wouldn’t it be nice, see Croker)
Negative: less than 150 run meters, and no tackle breaks. (this indicates he is a ball playing back, not a barnstorming fantasy gun).
When you finally think, you have spotted a potential player make sure you check the players history for example if you see a bloke that has suddenly started playing 80 minutes in the 2nd row and is pumping out gun like stats, ask yourself why has he suddenly started playing 80. If you see a bloke that pumped out 92 on the weekend when he normally averages 45-55 when not playing 80 ask yourself why? Don’t get caught in the minefields that is NRL fantasy. Best of luck
Signing out RNGD Eeyore
1. Jurbo’s growing ‘gun’ status
Jake Trbojevic is a shining light in an ordinary team. He hits hard and frequently, and has great ‘flop’ potential which is an added bonus for the NRLF coaches who have him. With a 52 point effort in 70 mins (made up mainly of base stats), Jurbo’s effort today showed that his rapid elevation to gun status last season was no fluke. If he could rid himself of the negative stats (-10 from 3 missed tackles and 2 penalties conceded), he would further cement himself as an able replacement for the departed guns of yester year. #RIPCP13 #RIPFensom (just about)
2. Sironen still loves a missed tackle
At a starting price of $244k, selecting Curtis Sironen (a player who doesn’t have a great history of turning out great fantasy performances) in your initial squad, represented a real risk. However, 20% of NRLF coaches took the plunge, presumably as a result of a dearth of other attractive lower priced options in the second row. While the end result from today’s game was a pleasing 42 point effort, those coaches who picked him up will be lamenting the 14 lost points (6 missed tackles and an error) that could have elevated his performance to ‘outstanding’. Someone needs to remind Siro that he’s no longer playing in the halves at the Tigers where missing tackles is par for the course.
3. Kelly to the bench
If you’re one of the 40% of NRLF coaches that went with Brian Kelly as one of the 4 CTRs in your initial squad, chances are you rigorously debated with yourself over whether or not to start him in your scoring 17 this week. Give yourself a ‘high 5’ if you left him as an NPR. While today’s score of 29 isn’t disastrous for a base price player, the fact that he scored 19 of those points in one play in scoring a try in the 7th minute, and then scored jack squat in the remaining 73 minutes, can only mean that Talakai, Moga, Cotric and Suli are probably better options as scoring players next week. Four missed tackles don’t help his cause.
4. Norman a premier half
At an initial cost of $460k, Corey Norman played at times like a player priced $50k higher. While you can’t be disappointed with his output of 69 points, it could have been even higher were it not for 4 missed tackles. Assuming he doesn’t score a try every game like he did today, you can lock in 45-55 points for Norman most weeks. And given that the Eels have a favourable bye draw, you’ll want to ensure he’s in your team by the time origin rolls around.
5. Disappointing first up
- Semi Radradra – Semi is capable of a lot more than the 32 points he delivered. However, those planning on stacking their sides with Eels players for bye coverage won’t be too disappointed as his price will drop significantly from the $373k it started at. You’d want to ensure he comes into some form before selecting him though.
- Bevan French – French is one of those unfortunates whose fantasy points never seem to quite match his ‘real life’ contribution to a game. 39 points isn’t the worst effort, but having scored a try, those NRLF coaches that picked him up are entitled to have expected a bit more.
1. Mitchell Barnett is the business
With 71 points in 64 mins (60+ in base stats) at a PPM of 1.11, Barnett’s status as a gun is as near to confirmed as you can get. Given their inexperienced forward pack, the Knights’ opponents will likely target the middle third of the park, which will mean plenty of work for Barnett in 2017. With the added benefit of a previously unknown short kicking game, Barnett is shaping as a must have and the Jesse Bromwich to Barnett trade (using some dpp magic), will be a popular move this week.
2. Sweatin’ on Manners
Simon Mannering is a perennial gun and his work during the 49 mins he was on the field was much of the same. On 36 points at the time, he was on course for a 50-60 point effort before leaving the field with a neck injury. Manners’ owners will be sweating on word of the seriousness of his injury this week. Anything longer than a three week lay-off will likely mean a trade.
3. Phythian is a trade
Dylan Phythian lasted 50 mins before being carted off with a serious lower leg injury. The outlook looks grim for his immediate playing future, but that aside his total of 11 points during his time on the field (including a 5 point 40/20) wouldn’t have endeared him to the 39% of NRLF coaches who own him, meaning he would have been a popular trade candidate this week regardless.
4. Fusitua the trap
With a 64 point effort, chances are David Fusitua will snare a few points chasing coaches this week. However, the more experienced NRLF coaches know that that his tally was boosted by a three try effort that won’t be repeated week to week. While it’s possible that playing outside a confident Shaun Johnson in a settled position will result in more opportunities for him this season, at a price tag of $322k (prior to his increase from today’s effort) he’s definitely not cheap. Approach the Fus with caution.
5. Keep an eye on..
- Charlie Gubb – 43 points in 45 mins made up almost entirely of base stats. At $200k (pre- increase), he will surely come into consideration for many coaches should he repeat the effort in round 2. With Ben Matulino on the sidelines for a while, Gubb will, on today’s effort, likely get similar game time for the next few games.
- Luke Yates – 33 points in 48 mins (all base stats). At base price, he is a decent pick up for the 39% of NRLF coaches who own him. If you’re one of the 61% who don’t, then it’s not too late.