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".

Thursday, 15 January 2015 11:00

RFS Preview: FRF rookies and returning players

It has been a busy off-season at RFS headquarters. Since the season finished last September we moved straight onto preparing for the 2015 fantasy season. One of the things we've been working on is a complete preview that covers every player likely to get a run in the NRL this season. A large number of players won't play much of a factor in 2015 Fantasy as a cash cow or a gun but you never know who is set to fill those roles so we thought we'd at least through some numbers and some comments at you that might help you identify who is what.

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.

Here are the FRF players that didn't play in 2014 but could be a factor in 2015, including a player who has been out of the NRL for five years.

Sam Mataora

2015 Team

Knights

Position

FRF/2RF

Bye weeks

14, 17

Price

137,000

Mataora was brought to Newcastle by Wayne Bennett mid way through the season in 2014. Mataora is a very promising young talent, and given Newcastle's distinct lack of props at the club for season 2015 he could very well see some minutes. Mataora is a good chance to make a fair amount of coin at some part of the season, and is advised to be on fantasy players' watch lists if he is not named in teamlists week 1.

 

Addin Fonua-Blake

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

FRF

Bye weeks

11, 14

Price

128,000

CASH COW ALERT! Fonua-Blake is a huge prospect for the Dragons club. The Junior Kiwis prop will be in prime position to grab a position in the forward pack after starting in both the Holden Cup and NSW Cup last year for the Dragons and Cutters respectively. A hard worker, the big young front rower will bend the line all day with plenty of something the St George forward pack has been missing – attitude.

 

Mitchell Dodds

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

FRF

Bye weeks

14, 17

Price

128,000

Dodds is like so many promising forwards at the Broncos; not playing in the NRL. He’ll need a few injuries to the top squad to be a fantasy option.

 

Joe Ofahengaue

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

FRF/2RF

Bye weeks

14, 17

Price

128,000

This kid has huge wraps, and is an absolute monster. But, in a forward pack dominated by representative stars, he is unlikely to get the minutes to be a fantasy option.

 

Andy Saunders

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

FRF

Bye weeks

11, 14

Price

128,000

Saunders got some game time with the NSW Cup side at the end of 2014 after being the skipper of the NYC side. He comes with some big wraps and represented the Junior Kangaroos in 2014. Could have a big future but maybe not in 2015.

 

Rory O’Brien

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

FRF

Bye weeks

11, 14

Price

128,000

After partnering Trent Merrin in the Dragons u20s front row some six years ago, Rory O’Brien has taken a very different path to the top squad. While Merrin was knocking up over 100 games for the club, O’Brien fell out of love with the game, looking for a job and sticking to park football. The lure of the big time was too strong, with O’Brien coming back in a big way for the Illawarra Cutters last season. The big prop forward may be an answer to the Dragons' lack of impact forwards off the bench sometime next year.

 

Richie Fa’aoso

2015 Team

Eels

Position

FRF

Bye weeks

11, 14

Price

152,000

After suffering an apparently career ending broken neck in 2013 Fa’aoso has received clearance to join a number of his old pals at Parramatta. The 31 year-old should be a good shot to fill an interchange role.

 

Danny Wicks

2015 Team

Eels

Position

FRF

Bye weeks

11, 14

Price

186,000

Most people probably know that Wicks is back in the NRL following a drug related conviction that saw him serve 18 months in prison. What none of us know and we probably care more about is how will he go in NRL Fantasy? The first thing is that he has been out of league for five years, which is a very long time. Secondly, he’s playing in a side stacked with forward talent, which will limit his game time. Offsetting this is that Wicks does have a game well suited to being a mid-range fantasy talent so keep an eye on his starting price.

 

James Taylor

2015 Team

Knights

Position

FRF

Bye weeks

14, 17

Price

128,000

James Taylor was signed from the Warriors mid-season to add depth to Newcastle's front row stocks. One of the few players competing for a bench spot, Taylor could make decent coin if granted the chance to play in first grade. Taylor is earmarked as a future Lillyman style player, and will see minutes in first grade eventually.

 

Chris Grevsmuhl

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

FRF

Bye weeks

15, 18

Price

128,000

At this stage he is just a guy with a last name that is difficult to spell but the former junior Kangaroo could push for a bench utility spot in 2015. He’s a big guy that was able to find the try line in Under 20s with 31 tries in 53 games.

 

Jake Trbojevic

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

FRF

Bye weeks

11, 14

Price

136,000

After making his debut at the end of 2013 Trbojevic was expected to breakout in 2014 but he ended up not playing another first grade game. Long term, don’t be shocked to see Trbojevic and David Klemmer combine as a future NSW Origin pairing but in 2015 he will need to force his way past a number of other players to make an impact. Don’t be surprised if he does it though, the Eagles extended his contract for another two years so they still see him having a role. Also look at for younger brother Tom who is a dynamic fullback.

 

Tom Learoyd-Lahrs

2015 Team

Storm

Position

FRF

Bye weeks

11, 17

Price

132,000

The former Australia and NSW player joins the Storm hoping to revitalise a flagging career. TLL didn’t see any first grade games in 2014 with the Raiders, a pair of injuries didn’t help but in between those he was stuck playing reserve grade. Signing him was a good move by the Storm as it is a low risk/high reward sort of move.

 

Dallas Graham

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

FRF

Bye weeks

12, 18

Price

128,000

Graham is a hard working prop who will probably see some game time as injury or Origin cover in 2014. He played for the Junior Kiwis at the end of the season and is capable of playing decent minutes with big tackle counts.

 

Sam Lisone

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

FRF

Bye weeks

11, 17

Price

128,000

Lisone was named the NYC player of the year in 2014 and he should get a run in the top grade at some point in 2015. He’s a skilful big man with a big motor and could be a useful cash cow if he gets a run but you’ll need to remember that Warriors coaches can be very fickle with how they play their forwards.

 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 11:00

RFS Preview: FRF cheapies

Following on from our articles on the FRF guns and mid-rangers we move onto the cheapies. There is a good chance that some of the better cash cows will emerge from this group of players. However, there will also be a large group of guys that do nothing for fantasy purposes. These articles might help sort the wheat from the chaff.

A few things as a reminder.

We have divided each position up into four sections: guns (players over $300k), mid-range players ($200k-300k), cheapies (under $200k) and rookies and other players that didn't see any first grade in 2014. We will have one article covering each of these four areas, for each of the positions. If you can't find the player you are looking for he's either priced somewhere else or he is a dual position player that we have included in his other position.

The prices are just a prediction based on a player's 2014 fantasy average, the salary cap might change the actual price a bit but this will give you a good feel for how players will be valued compared to others. Players that played less than seven games can be subjected to price discounts from as high as 50% for players who played one or two games to as low as 5% for someone that played six games. Just keep that in mind. 

This article looks at the FRF players under $200k to find some players who'll make you cold hard cash 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 need to know a players actual price then you can find them at this link.

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

Keith Galloway

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

FRF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

42

Fantasy average

25.58

PPM

0.60

Consistency

0.26

Price

226,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 18

I don’t know for sure but I’m pretty sure Phil Gould is the type of person who stacks his fantasy side with players he likes. Every year he picks Keith Galloway and makes him captain and every year he wonders why he’s ranked around 20k. Don’t play fantasy like Phil Gould.

 

Martin Kennedy

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

FRF

Games played

15

Ave Minutes

27

Fantasy average

25.53

PPM

0.94

Consistency

0.28

Price

226,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

After an unhappy season in Brisbane Kennedy is back with the Roosters for 2015. He averaged almost 10 points less in 2014 than he did in 2013 and that is predominantly due to his lack of minutes, as he often got the garbage man 20-30 minute role, leaving his average for the season at 27. Depending on how the Roosters’ second row shakes out, Kennedy should be the third prop in the rotation and a good chance to average somewhere between 40 and 50 minutes a game. So he should be in line for a decent increase in value but probably not enough to justify having a $190k player.

 

Issac Liu

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

FRF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

32

Fantasy average

23.75

PPM

0.74

Consistency

0.37

Price

210,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Liu should have a similar role to 2014 in the Roosters prop rotation, although he could lose some time to Martin Kennedy. Liu’s fantasy scoring is basically all base stats but he does accumulate them at a decent rate, making one tackle for every two minutes he spent on the field in 2014. Can play both front and second row.

 

Sam Anderson

2015 Team

Eels

Position

 

Games played

2

Ave Minutes

33

Fantasy average

25.50

PPM

0.77

Consistency

0.42

Price

172,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Anderson played a handful of nondescript games in 2013 and another handful of nondescript games in 2014. He made the NSW Cup team of the year last year but will probably need to bide his time in NSW Cup again in 2015.

 

Peni Terepo

2015 Team

Eels

Position

FRF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

35

Fantasy average

24.24

PPM

0.69

Consistency

0.48

Price

215,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Terepo has had epilepsy since he was 13, a condition he can control with medication , but after forgetting to take his medication he had a seizure just before halftime of the Round 9 game with the Eels. When Terepo regained his state of consciousness his first thought was frustration at having let his teammates down. If that doesn’t make you respect Terepo I don’t know what will.

 

Junior Roqica

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

FRF

Games played

6

Ave Minutes

43

Fantasy average

22.50

PPM

0.52

Consistency

0.25

Price

175,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

The 2014 Sharks are well summarised by the fact their groundsman played six games for them. Roqica has good size and is still young but there wasn’t much to suggest he will finish his first grade career with a lot of games.

 

Dunamis Lui

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

FRF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

33

Fantasy average

23.05

PPM

0.71

Consistency

0.39

Price

204,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Lui had a decent first season with Manly, enough so that he is back on contract for 2015. He managed to start five games at mid-season but is still not a good fantasy player.

 

Ben Spina

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

FRF

Games played

1

Ave Minutes

13

Fantasy average

9.00

PPM

0.69

Consistency

N/A

Price

136,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

The 26 year-old Spina made a debut for the Cowboys in 2014. He’s following in the footsteps of Dad Laurie who I have a Rugby League card of from 1995. Laurie played 169 first grade games, Ben will need some things to fall his way to add to his total of one.

 

Siosasia Vave

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

FRF

Games played

15

Ave Minutes

31

Fantasy average

25.40

PPM

0.81

Consistency

0.27

Price

225,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Vave joins Willie Mason to bolster Manly’s front row stocks. Vave made 15 appearances for the Sharks last season with five starts and ten appearances from the bench. He is a low minute impact player regardless of whether he starts or not that is probably down the Sea Eagles peaking order.

 

Sam Rapira

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

FRF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

39

Fantasy average

26.22

PPM

0.67

Consistency

0.44

Price

232,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

After a couple of injury plagued seasons, Sam needs to show that he can still lay the platform as a dominant prop in the NRL. At his best he represented New Zealand, he now finds himself fighting to make the starting line up for the Warriors. With a starting price probably under $200k, if he could play uninjured and find his best form he could make some reasonable coin. Averaging a mere 26.2 I don’t think he justifies the punt.

 

Charlie Gubb

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

FRF

Games played

5

Ave Minutes

22

Fantasy average

15.60

PPM

0.72

Consistency

0.38

Price

137,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

Only getting five opportunities in 2014, he failed to inspire in any of these. On a positive is the fact in those limited opportunities he was ticking boxes that fantasy coaches like - tackle busts, try assists and offloads. Props are unattractive at the best of time and props that average 22 minutes are hideous.

 

Ava Seumanufagai

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

FRF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

31

Fantasy average

21.48

PPM

0.69

Consistency

0.41

Price

190,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 18

Ava made 382 tackles in 2014 while missing just 21. This makes him one of the rare breed of Tigers that could actually tackle effectively. He played in 23 games and only once played more than 47 minutes, he’s an impact player that doesn’t make much impact (PPM of 0.69).

 

Kenny Bromwich

2015 Team

Storm

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

32

Fantasy average

26.22

PPM

0.81

Consistency

0.41

Price

232,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

Kenny isn’t quite the same player brother Jesse is but he is nearing the same age Jesse was when he started to make the leap. The Storm have a vacant front row spot across from Jesse but even if Kenny doesn’t grab that role he could see a bump in minutes. He has more versatility than Jesse and with Ryan Hoffman gone and Tohu Harris likely into the starting line-up Kenny could see his minutes rise from the low 30’s into the 50’s. One to watch.

 

Suaia Matagi

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

FRF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

34

Fantasy average

21.13

PPM

0.61

Consistency

0.26

Price

187,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

One certainty when Matagi plays is that the commentator will mention his past time in incarceration. Matagi burst onto the scene with his leg pumping, hard and fast running style. Playing all 24 Warrior games last season, he appeared in need of a rest by the end of the season. With a maximum of 46 minutes in any game in 2014 he only managed a measly 32 as his best haul in fantasy. A disappointing average of 21.1 means that, unless you can hack a mate’s account, Suaia Matagi won’t be in any fantasy line-ups this year.

 

Ryan James

2015 Team

Titans

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

4

Ave Minutes

34

Fantasy average

26.50

PPM

0.79

Consistency

0.53

Price

192,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

If Ryan James gets a starting job in round one he is in my side. There was nothing in his 2014 performance that would suggest that is a good idea but in 2013 his position splits showed that he was a gun when he started in the front row. I’m convinced he can do that again if he has Neil Henry’s confidence and stays healthy. Not giving away so many penalties would help too.

 

Jack Buchanan

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

FRF

Games played

4

Ave Minutes

20

Fantasy average

16.00

PPM

0.81

Consistency

0.59

Price

144,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 18

Buchanan was a promising looking player in 2013 but he mostly disappeared in 2014, making just four interchange apperances. It is unclear how he fits in with the Tigers considering Aaron Woods, Martin Taupau and Keith Galloway are entrenched while Matt Lodge has replaced Buchanan as the prospect.

 

Tim Grant

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

FRF

Games played

11

Ave Minutes

32

Fantasy average

26.18

PPM

0.82

Consistency

0.38

Price

232,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Phased out at the Panthers, Grant joins the Rabbitohs with the hope of re-establishing himself as a first grade starter. He’s battling Dave Tyrrell for the spot but they’ll likely play a similar amount of minutes. Grant’s PPM was 0.82 in 2014 while playing 32 minutes a game. If he can get those minutes up close to 50 he could make some fantasy dollars but if you do the math splitting 160 by Gurgess, Turgess and Tyrrell doesn’t seem to leave that many minutes for Grant.

 

Luke Burgess

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

FRF

Games played

17

Ave Minutes

31

Fantasy average

25.47

PPM

0.82

Consistency

0.42

Price

225,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

15, 18

The Daniel Baldwin of the Burgess brothers. He played 17 games where he would have been anonymous unless you were trying to spot if all four brothers were on the field at the same time.

 

Jack Stockwell

2015 Team

Knights

Position

FRF

Games played

12

Ave Minutes

29

Fantasy average

24.25

PPM

0.85

Consistency

0.29

Price

215,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Stockwell, signed from the Dragons this season, will be looking to make his mark on the Knight's forward pack this year. Seen as a strong potential young talent, and even a cash cow in previous years, Stockwell could be of use in NRL Fantasy 2015. Stockwell will most likely see decent minutes in 2015, and is one to watch out for.

 

Dan Hunt

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

FRF

Games played

11

Ave Minutes

33

Fantasy average

24.82

PPM

0.76

Consistency

0.25

Price

220,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

It’s a surprise to many that Dan Hunt is still at the Dragons for 2015. Since Peter Doust paraded Hunt as a marquee player re-signing two years ago at $400k a year, he has done very little for the side on the field. In Hunt’s defence, he throws his body into every run and every tackle. The problem being his body looks to be around 10-15kgs short of where a prop forward should be. The Dragons reportedly shopped Hunt around to clubs over the off-season, and with his price-tag, it’s no surprise another club didn’t take him on.

 

James Gavet

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

12

Ave Minutes

33

Fantasy average

15.25

PPM

0.46

Consistency

0.58

Price

135,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Gavet has played 13 NRL games, for the Bulldogs and West Tigers. He was recruited to Bennett’s new-look Broncos to add some size and aggression to the Broncos pack. But, where will he figure in an already crowded pack? Depending on Bennett’s use of Parker and Thaiday at prop, Gavet could see some improvement in Brisbane.

 

Tim Glasby

2015 Team

Storm

Position

FRF

Games played

12

Ave Minutes

25

Fantasy average

22.92

PPM

0.91

Consistency

0.57

Price

203,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Glasby was one of those anonymous interchange players the Storm have. They are there but they don’t do anything memorable. Glasby had seven games where he got less than 20 minutes but he also had four games with more than 30 minutes where he averaged 36.5. There are more minutes on offer in the Storm forward pack so watch this space.

 

Tim Browne

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

FRF

Games played

17

Ave Minutes

29

Fantasy average

23.12

PPM

0.80

Consistency

0.40

Price

205,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 17

Browne was a valuable change of pace player for the Bulldogs until he suffered a skull fracture in round 19, but he did manage to get back and play for the Bulldogs in the Preliminary and Grand Finals. The Bulldogs have great depth in the front row but Browne will probably snag a spot as a 30 minute interchange forward.

 

Darcy Lussick

2015 Team

Eels

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

14

Ave Minutes

31

Fantasy average

18.43

PPM

0.60

Consistency

0.43

Price

163,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

What Cronulla is to the West Tigers so Parramatta is becoming to the Manly Sea Eagles. The number of ex-Sea Eagles continues to swell and Parramatta fans will be hoping a certain half might boost those ranks further but that won’t happen for another year. Lussick is just an impact player and didn’t play more than 50 minutes in any of his 14 games. Lussick made starts at prop, second row and lock while also playing from the interchange. Nothing about his stats suggest he is ever going to have a breakout fantasy season.

 

Shannon Boyd

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

FRF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

26

Fantasy average

23.19

PPM

0.88

Consistency

0.38

Price

205,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14,17

Boyd is a poor man’s David Klemmer but at least he got to play some proper minutes in 2014, finishing the season with 41, 38, 38, 34, 43 and 38 whereas Klemmer only got that amount of minutes twice all year. For such a huge man Boyd needs to be delivering more than 0.9 tackle breaks per game.

 

George Rose

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

FRF

Games played

9

Ave Minutes

25

Fantasy average

15.11

PPM

0.61

Consistency

0.38

Price

142,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

The butt of everyone’s jokes for years, the ageing front rower will be out to prove he still has it in 2015 after a failed move to Melbourne last year. The former Manly crowd favourite will be out to secure the Red V fans' hearts in a last ditch effort to play first grade at the end of his career. In a side that has been screaming for size, the 120kg big man has plenty of it.

 

David Hala

2015 Team

Titans

Position

FRF

Games played

7

Ave Minutes

19

Fantasy average

18.14

PPM

0.93

Consistency

0.73

Price

146,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Hala played seven games last year and averaged less than 20 minutes per game. That average is down around the Jarrod Wallace/James Hasson zone of "it's probably not worth cleaning the jersey after every game". Hala should get more opportunities at the Titans, and in fact he could be a sneaky cash cow if he secures a starting role at the Gold Coast.

 

David Klemmer

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

FRF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

22

Fantasy average

21.58

PPM

0.99

Consistency

0.42

Price

191,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

12, 17

Klemmer had a huge season for a guy that only averaged 22 minutes a game. He consistently made a lot out of those 22 minutes, delivering big hits and wearing teams down with his charges. If he is to be a useful fantasy player he really needs to deliver that same sort of output over 40 minutes but Des Hasler doesn’t care about your fantasy side so he’s probably content letting Klemmer develop with limited minutes.

 

Kane Evans

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

FRF

Games played

8

Ave Minutes

23

Fantasy average

18.50

PPM

0.79

Consistency

0.22

Price

154,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

For the third year in a row Evans will attract some buzz as being a potential cash cow. He’s been on an NYC team of the year, played under 20s for NSW and the Junior Kangaroos, been on the NSW Cup team of the year and played international league for Fiji, so he certainly ticks a lot of boxes. He debuted for the Roosters in 2014 and played sporadically throughout the season in the low minute fourth front row role and with three first choice front rowers and Martin Kennedy re-joining it is difficult to see Evans getting an expanded role in 2015, although Issac Liu could play more second row than front row which will help.

 

Jarrod Wallace

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

FRF

Games played

15

Ave Minutes

18

Fantasy average

12.80

PPM

0.72

Consistency

0.58

Price

137,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Wallace is like so many promising forwards at the Broncos; not playing in the NRL. He’ll need a few injuries to the top squad to be a fantasy option.

 

Lloyd Perrett

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

FRF

Games played

8

Ave Minutes

18

Fantasy average

14.88

PPM

0.83

Consistency

0.49

Price

137,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 17

Although David Klemmer gets most of the headlines as a future front row boss Lloyd Perrett has a massive future in front of him too. The Bulldogs saw enough in him to extend his contract out to 2018 which is a huge sign of faith. He’s eligible for Queensland and his mate versus mate battles with Klemmer could be one of the highlights of Origin battles in the next decade.

 

Dayne Weston

2015 Team

Storm

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

6

Ave Minutes

18

Fantasy average

12.67

PPM

0.70

Consistency

0.64

Price

137,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

In 2014 Dayne Weston was one of those incredibly cheap players that people got in their fantasy team so they had an extra $20k to spend elsewhere. His minutes played during the year were 11, 10, 4, 10, 28 and 13, and considering he’s 28 there’s no reason to think he’s the next great cash cow.

 

Tyson Andrews

2015 Team

Titans

Position

FRF

Games played

4

Ave Minutes

8

Fantasy average

7.00

PPM

0.88

Consistency

0.58

Price

136,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the player with the lowest value at year end…..TYSON ANDREWS! Andrews finished worth just $73,468 after averaging 7 in his four games.

Monday, 12 January 2015 11:00

RFS Preview: FRF mid-rangers

Yesterday we started our series covering over 450 players that are likely to have role in the 2015 NRL season. You can find the FRF guns here. Today we take a look at the mid-range FRF's to see if there is a gem hidden in the rough.

But first a quick refresher. 

We have divided each position up into four sections: guns (players over $300k), mid-range players ($200k-300k), cheapies (under $200k) and rookies and other players that didn't see any first grade in 2014. We will have one article covering each of these four areas, for each of the positions. If you can't find the player you are looking for he's either priced somewhere else or he is a dual position player that we have included in his other position.

The prices are just a prediction based on a player's 2014 fantasy average, the salary cap might change the actual price a bit but this will give you a good feel for how players will be valued compared to others. Players that played less than seven games can be subjected to price discounts from as high as 50% for players who played one or two games to as low as 5% for someone that played six games. Just keep that in mind. 

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 Tamou

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

FRF

Games played

19

Ave Minutes

47

Fantasy average

38.79

PPM

0.82

Consistency

0.26

Price

343,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

14, 17

Tamou is out with injury for the start of the 2015 NRL season. His return date is not yet known, but coaches should pay attention, as Tamou’s return will see a reshuffle to Green’s forward pack.

 

Ben Creagh

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

FRF

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

55

Fantasy average

36.68

PPM

0.67

Consistency

0.28

Price

325,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

One of the only Dragons forwards to play consistently all through the year, Creagh shoots into fantasy relevancy if he continues the transition to prop he has been making over the past two seasons. With the club captaincy guaranteeing higher than usual front row minutes and a much improved PPM than his play on the edge, Creagh could be an interesting option moving forward.

 

Adam Blair

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

FRF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

62

Fantasy average

33.75

PPM

0.54

Consistency

0.32

Price

298,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

14, 17

Adam Blair was a fantasy spud at the Tigers, despite being a 60 minute forward. But, any player coming into a new team can be undervalued, as their role and impact may change. If Blair does lift his terrible PPM above 0.5, expect Tigers’ fans to go into conniptions.

 

Will Matthews

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

15

Ave Minutes

37

Fantasy average

28.40

PPM

0.77

Consistency

0.39

Price

251,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Matthews role has grown at the Dragons every year since moving down from the Titans in 2012. A common face in NSW Cup teams of the year, Matthews always seems to be one or two injuries away from a permanent spot in the 17, he has only managed 25 games over the previous three seasons with the club.

 

Ben Matulino

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

50

Fantasy average

35.60

PPM

0.71

Consistency

0.30

Price

315,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

Big Ben was stymied in his attempt to become a fantasy stud in 2014. With niggly injuries and an overabundance of second rowers, his morphing into an offloading back rower was often hidden behind his role as a hard hitting work horse front rower. Despite limited opportunities he topped the Warriors offload totals with an impressive 38 from 20 games; almost double any other Warrior. Bukuya and Mateo’s departures will hopefully help complete his ball playing transformation. Could be a bolter - watch closely, might be a nice little POD!

 

Jacob Lillyman

2015 Team

Warriors

Position

FRF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

47

Fantasy average

33.08

PPM

0.71

Consistency

0.25

Price

293,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

11, 17

The Bull continues to grow as a leader and aspirations of Origin are still realistic so expect another raging season. With the Warriors having a strong prop rotation no Warrior props are worth considering as serious fantasy options. An increase in minutes could be a red flag, offset by his Origin possibilities it’s likely that he will be of little interest to fantasy owners in 2015.

 

Sam Moa

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

FRF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

47

Fantasy average

37.92

PPM

0.80

Consistency

0.26

Price

336,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

Moa is an unsung hero of the Roosters forward pack. Tough, uncompromising and super consistent he’s certainly become a success in the NRL via a long and tortuous path – Cronulla and Hull. Here’s a classic old school shoulder charge from Moa’s days at Hull. You’re welcome.

 

Ben Hannant

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

FRF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

40

Fantasy average

36.75

PPM

0.91

Consistency

0.39

Price

325,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Ben Hannant comes from the Broncos after a disappointing season. A representative prop a few years ago, Ben seemed to be on the outer at Brisbane and did not get the minutes or scores he may manage in Townsville. The injury to Tamou also elevates him to starting prop, so he might be a good early season option.

 

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

2015 Team

Roosters

Position

FRF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

51

Fantasy average

35.74

PPM

0.69

Consistency

0.22

Price

316,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

JWH withdrew from the Kiwis Four Nation squad citing burnout but it smelt a lot more like put out after his ANZAC test snub by Steve Kearney. You were better off snubbing JWH from your 2014 fantasy side as he was a big disappointment after a promising 2013 campaign. Both his minutes and scoring were down on his numbers from 2013 and he didn’t appear quite as committed as he had during the Roosters Grand Final win. He is still only 25 years-old so it could just be a glitch rather than the start of his downfall and reports are he has been a beast in pre-season training lifting an incredible 160 kg powerclean. If you think JWH can return to form and past minutes he’s fairly cheap.

 

Martin Taupau

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

FRF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

36

Fantasy average

33.21

PPM

0.93

Consistency

0.29

Price

294,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

12, 18

Marty Kapow made huge strides in 2014 and his status was cemented by a massive display in the Four Nations final. He’s the sort of player that will have hundreds of youtube clips of him blowing up ball carriers by the time his career is done. As a fantasy player he is not getting enough minutes to be useful, he averaged 39 minutes a game starting and 35 from the interchange, but his PPM should hold if he does get more minutes, making him a 40-45 point player if he could play 50 minute games.

 

Luke Douglas

2015 Team

Titans

Position

FRF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

44

Fantasy average

32.76

PPM

0.74

Consistency

0.27

Price

290,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Douglas set a record for the longest streak of games during 2014 and he extended the streak to 215 before accepting his ASADA ban. That sort of ability to remain injury free would be great for fantasy but Douglas doesn’t play enough minutes to be a viable option, he averaged just 44 minutes a game in 2014.

 

Matthew White

2015 Team

Titans

Position

FRF

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

41

Fantasy average

32.18

PPM

0.78

Consistency

0.24

Price

285,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

White had a really solid 2014, he had the lowest missed tackle percentage on the Titans at just 2%, and had only two errors and six penalties in his 22 games. White doesn’t have much explosiveness but a player who can avoid negative plays can easily find a niche. White’s value increased by $88k over the year but he still wouldn't have been a good cash cow as he didn’t peak in price until round 26.

 

Matt Lodge

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

FRF

Games played

4

Ave Minutes

31

Fantasy average

29.50

PPM

0.95

Consistency

0.26

Price

214,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

12, 18

If you have heard of Matt Lodge there is a good chance you have done so because he was the player suspended for three weeks for writing “c*nt” on his wrist taping during the under 20's Origin game. Lodge ended up finishing runner up to the Hound in the Webster’s Dictionary Man of the year awards but he is also an outstanding rugby league prospect. Lodge was released from his contract with the Storm at mid-season and was swiftly grabbed by the Tigers in what could end up a real steal. He debuted in round 17 and managed 21 tackles and three tackle breaks in just 26 minutes of game time and started three further games at the end of the year, managing a PPM of 0.95. He will be the fourth prop behind Aaron Woods, Martin Taupau and Keith Galloway but expect him to make the most of any opportunity. Also expect his price to be discounted as he only played four games. One to watch.

 

Jeremy Latimore

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

FRF

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

43

Fantasy average

36.36

PPM

0.85

Consistency

0.21

Price

322,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 14

Latimore was one of the unheralded players in the Panthers’ finals run. He was very consistent from the bench and did a lot of the unrecognised work. His fantasy scores reflect his consistency, he had a coefficient of variation score of 0.21 which means his fantasy scores had very little variation compared to his average. His 2014 PPM points towards a player capable of averaging 45-50 points per game if he was to get 55 to 60 minutes but I am not sure he has those sort of minutes in him on a regular basis.

 

Mitch Garbutt

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

FRF

Games played

6

Ave Minutes

26

Fantasy average

27.83

PPM

1.07

Consistency

0.37

Price

217,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Mitch played nine games for the Storm in 2014, before arriving at the Brisbane Broncos for 2015. It’s hard to know if Garbutt will be in the top 17, but he is probably close. However, even if he does make it, he is competing with a star-studded forward pack, so minutes will be limited. With the uncertainty around the Broncos forward pack, watch this space.

 

Tim Mannah

2015 Team

Eels

Position

FRF

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

44

Fantasy average

35.91

PPM

0.81

Consistency

0.19

Price

318,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Mannah only averaged 44 minutes a game last season which was easily the lowest average of any of the NRL captains (Ben Creagh was the closest with 55 minutes per game). His low minutes and consistent scoring rate meant that Mannah was second only to Cam Smith in his fantasy points consistency. That’s probably not relevant to you because Mannah only averaged 35.9 points.

 

Thomas Burgess

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

FRF

Games played

14

Ave Minutes

43

Fantasy average

32.79

PPM

0.77

Consistency

0.27

Price

290,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

15, 18

A sure fire way to tell George and Tom apart is that George is the one breaking tackles. George broke 3.3 tackles per game in 2014 compared to Tom who could only manage 1.1 per game. Tom finished the season averaging 43 minutes per game which is only eight minutes less than George but he was a massive 16.6 fantasy points behind his twin brother. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Tom can do what George can just because they look the same.

 

Kade Snowden

2015 Team

Knights

Position

FRF

Games played

17

Ave Minutes

44

Fantasy average

37.18

PPM

0.85

Consistency

0.26

Price

329,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

Kade Snowden had a very underwhelming season in 2014 and will be looking to reconcile that in a big way in 2015. In previous years Snowden has been able to reach an average of low 40s and will be looking to hit that again in 2015. Snowden is an option that could be taken as a POD if his price tag is low enough to be considered value.

 

Willie Mason

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

FRF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

41

Fantasy average

31.19

PPM

0.76

Consistency

0.21

Price

276,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

After three years with Newcastle big Willie makes his way to Manly. He turns 35 early in the season, and although his retirement is approaching fast he will add some toughness to the Sea Eagles forward pack. He averaged fairly consistently between 35 and 50 minutes at Newcastle and he will be similar at the Sea Eagles, so don’t see a change of scenery as a boost to his fantasy prospects.

 

David Tyrrell

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

FRF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

37

Fantasy average

28.04

PPM

0.76

Consistency

0.33

Price

248,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

Tyrrell managed to start 20 games for the Rabbitohs last season which is quite the effort in a forward pack stuffed with rep players. He played less than 40 minutes per game but he was a reliable player who could beat out Tim Grant for the right to start in 2015.

 

Jordan McLean

2015 Team

Storm

Position

FRF

Games played

15

Ave Minutes

35

Fantasy average

31.67

PPM

0.90

Consistency

0.35

Price

280,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Jordan McLean got seven weeks for his tackle on Alex McKinnon. It was an outcome that had significantly more to do with bad luck than anything malicious by McLean. Subsequent to this suspension Greg Bird (two weeks), Tariq Sims (two weeks), Ngani Laumape (three weeks) and Johnathan Wright (three weeks) all did much worse lifting tackles for much smaller suspension lengths. Basing a suspension length on outcome rather than the tackle itself is ridiculous and inconsistent when the outcome, whether a player gets injured or not, is completely random. The NRL continues to pay lip service to player safety unless they get serious on all lifting tackles, not just those that result in an injury.

 

Josh Starling

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

FRF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

44

Fantasy average

28.21

PPM

0.64

Consistency

0.24

Price

250,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Starling was the surprise package in the Sea Eagles' forward pack in 2014 and ended up starting every game at prop. As a cash cow Starling's price moved about as fast as he does on the field, he peaked in round 17 which is far too long to wait for a player that only goes up $100k. Even with the addition of Willie Mason, Starling likely has a similar role in 2014 unless highly touted prospect Jake Trbojevic gets his long awaited opportunity.

 

David Shillington

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

FRF

Games played

17

Ave Minutes

49

Fantasy average

35.82

PPM

0.74

Consistency

0.25

Price

317,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

14,17

Shillington was solid but unspectacular in 17 games before a pec injury ended his year. Shillo’s representative days appear over and it will take a stellar first ten rounds to push him back into the frame. It’s also interesting he didn’t get much consideration as the captaincy successor to Terry Campese although that could be more of a positive reflection on Jarrod Croker than a negative on Shillington who ended up the VC. As a fantasy player he is a base stat warrior with limited upside, not unlike about ten other Raiders forwards.

 

Junior Paulo

2015 Team

Eels

Position

FRF

Games played

16

Ave Minutes

44

Fantasy average

33.19

PPM

0.76

Consistency

0.31

Price

294,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

I took a calculated gamble on Junior Paulo in round 14. He was coming off a three game run averaging 48 points while increasing his minutes each week. Paulo collected on my gamble by scoring 24, 22 and 43 at which point I ditched him. Just a terrible decision on my part, I take full accountability for that.

 

David Fa'alogo

2015 Team

Knights

Position

2RF/FRF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

40

Fantasy average

27.56

PPM

0.69

Consistency

0.22

Price

244,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14, 17

The veteran prop enters what may very well be his final season in the NRL. While he is almost assured a starting position, his minutes and fantasy scoring potential in 2015 are questionable at best. There isn't much competition in the front row at the Knights at the moment however, with a distinct lack of props at the club.

 

Dane Tilse

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

FRF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

41

Fantasy average

32.71

PPM

0.79

Consistency

0.29

Price

289,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14,17

The lanky Dane Tilse spent most of the year on the interchange bench, although his six games starting he played basically the same minutes. One of the many mid-range players you have never considered and will never consider having in your fantasy team.

 

Sam Tagataese

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

FRF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

36

Fantasy average

29.06

PPM

0.81

Consistency

0.31

Price

254,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

Tagataese split his 18 games in 2014 evenly between time starting and on the interchange. He passed the eyeball test making some strong runs throughout the year but he never played more than 45 minutes in a game so his fantasy value is capped.

 

David Gower

2015 Team

Eels

Position

FRF

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

46

Fantasy average

30.36

PPM

0.66

Consistency

0.32

Price

269,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

15, 18

I know that Gower wasn’t a popular fantasy player last year because he played 10 games at second row or lock and yet was never made a dual position player. If he was popular the pressure to correct this would have been immense. Anyway Gower is a versatile player who should suit 45-60 minutes spurts from the bench covering the front and second row.

 

Sam McKendry

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

FRF

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

40

Fantasy average

30.18

PPM

0.76

Consistency

0.23

Price

267,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 14

McKendry returned from a scary neck injury in 2013 to get a starting role and a three year contract extension with the Panthers. McKendry was part of Penrith’s unheralded front row rotation along with Jeremy Latimore, Brett Kite and Nigel Plum. None of them are flashy but they all do a job for the Panthers. McKendry should start again in 2015 but he’d play basically the same minutes from the bench anyway.

 

Mark Ioane

2015 Team

Titans

Position

FRF

Games played

11

Ave Minutes

32

Fantasy average

30.55

PPM

0.96

Consistency

0.36

Price

270,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Ioane played 11 games from the interchange bench but it wasn’t until round 25 and 26 that he made a noticeable fantasy impact. After averaging 26 points a game in 27 minutes over his first nine games he got a bump to 46 and 57 minutes and came up with 54 and 49 fantasy points. Being able to maintain his PPM in greater minutes is a pretty encouraging sign and it isn’t like there were any fluke elements to his scores as he was almost all base stats. I’m not sure he will get good minutes in 2015 but he could be worth keeping on the radar.

 

David Fifita

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

FRF

Games played

3

Ave Minutes

22

Fantasy average

27.33

PPM

1.26

Consistency

0.18

Price

191,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

If David Fifita and Andrew Fifita share 100% of their DNA then how come Andrew has at least 120% of the football ability of brother David? These are the sort of questions that keep me awake at night. David saw spot duty in three games last season and will struggle to break into first grade in 2015 if he does that PPM is actually really good and his price will probably be discounted by 20-30% which will make him intriguing.

 

Caleb Binge

2015 Team

Titans

Position

FRF

Games played

2

Ave Minutes

37

Fantasy average

34.50

PPM

0.95

Consistency

0.10

Price

232,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 17

Binge is more well known as being the recipient of alleged racial abuse from Timana Tahu than for anything he has done in the NRL. He did make a long awaited debut in 2014 for the Gold Coast, in round 14, and made one further appearance in the Titan’s round 26 game. Binge had a very good PPM in his limited minutes but it is hard to see him having much of an impact in 2014 unless there is an injury crisis at the Titans.

 

Mike Cooper

2015 Team

Dragons

Position

FRF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

44

Fantasy average

36.83

PPM

0.84

Consistency

0.26

Price

326,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 14

The UK import was the real surprise packet for the Dragons in his first year at the club. The only forward in the pack to bend the line, Cooper forced his way into to starting lineup for the second half of the season. A PPM machine, the Dragons will be relying on the Englishman if they want to improve their much maligned under-sized pack.

 

Sam Kasiano

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

FRF

Games played

14

Ave Minutes

34

Fantasy average

28.64

PPM

0.85

Consistency

0.32

Price

253,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

12, 17

Kaisano is off contract at the end of the season and rumours have often circulated about his unhappiness at Belmore. The Bulldogs have a solid front row nucleus developing even if Kasiano left so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him take up a role with a front row needy team like the Dragons or Knights, but that’s a concern for next season. An impact player who only averaged 34 minutes a game last season it was surprising to see Kasiano have just 16 tackle breaks in the entire season although he was second on the team with 31 offloads.

 

Nigel Plum

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

FRF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

42

Fantasy average

31.48

PPM

0.74

Consistency

0.22

Price

266,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 14

If someone asked me who the most average fantasy prop was I would say Nigel Plum. He’s not good, he’s not bad, he’s just Nigel Plum. He was also super consistent at being average with a consistency rating that places him 20th of players who played more than 15 games. A further boon to his prospects is the fact he has officially retired from rep footy which puts his risk of missing Origin games at zero rather than the previous status of very low. That’ll increase his ownership by at least 3% so get on board.

 

Brent Kite

2015 Team

Panthers

Position

FRF

Games played

17

Ave Minutes

42

Fantasy average

27.59

PPM

0.66

Consistency

0.30

Price

244,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

11, 14

If you have read the profiles of Jeremy Latimore, Nigel Plum or Sam McKendry you’ll know that the Panthers front row was unheralded. If you haven’t read any of those profiles then the Panthers’ front row was unheralded in 2015, they did a good job with not much press time.

Monday, 12 January 2015 11:00

RFS preview: FRF Guns

It has been a busy off-season at RFS headquarters. Once the season finished last September we moved straight onto preparing for the 2015 fantasy season. One of the things we've been working on is a complete preview that covers every player likely to get a run in the NRL this season. A large number of players won't play much of a factor in 2015 Fantasy as a cash cow or a gun but you never know who is set to fill those roles so we thought we'd at least throw some numbers and some comments at you that might help you identify who is what.

We have divided each position up into four sections: guns (players over $300k), mid-range players ($200k-300k), cheapies (under $200k) and rookies and other players that didn't see any first grade in 2014. We will have one article covering each of these four areas, for each of the positions. If you can't find the player you are looking for he's either priced somewhere else or he is a dual position player that we have included in his other position.

The prices are just a prediction based on a player's 2014 fantasy average, the salary cap might change the actual price a bit but this will give you a good feel for how players will be valued compared to others. Players that played less than seven games can be subjected to price discounts from as high as 50% for players who played one or two games to as low as 5% for someone that played six games. Just keep that in mind. 

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.

Here are your FRF guns led off by a pair of injury riddled Sharks....

Paul Gallen

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

9

Ave Minutes

71

Fantasy average

64.56

PPM

0.91

Consistency

0.34

Price

554,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

11, 14

These days it feels like Gallen plays more games for New South Wales than he does for Cronulla. For that reason he has entered a lot of people’s “never again” list but what if he does the unthinkable and plays 24 games? In the nine games Gallen decided to grace the Sharks with his presence he averaged 64.6 fantasy points and scored over 70 on four occasions and that average comes without any adjustment for the two games he got injured. Just imagine if he stays fit.....

 

Andrew Fifita

2015 Team

Sharks

Position

FRF

Games played

12

Ave Minutes

54

Fantasy average

60.50

PPM

1.11

Consistency

0.27

Price

535,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

11, 14

Fifita is a fantasy boss but he was cursed by injuries in 2014 which forced him to miss ten games while a suspension cost him another two. When he is on the field Fifita can do it all. He breaks tackles, makes tackles and has a great work rate. Fifita had one injury impacted score of 23 but every other performance he scored at least 48, that’s really good, and if you throw that injury out his consistency level rivals that of Cam Smith. If you are going to pay the big bucks it is comforting to know you’ll get a weekly return.

 

Jesse Bromwich

2015 Team

Storm

Position

FRF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

56

Fantasy average

50.22

PPM

0.90

Consistency

0.27

Price

444,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

11, 17

Bromwich established himself as an elite talent in 2014, at both international and club level Bromwich was influential. He has missed just one game for the Storm in the past two years and has thrived with the game time. He has good footwork, strong ball skills and is a reliable tackler (missed tackle rate of just 4% last year). He looks primed to join James Graham and Matt Scott at the top of the front row pile.

 

James Graham

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

FRF

Games played

24

Ave Minutes

63

Fantasy average

50.63

PPM

0.80

Consistency

0.23

Price

448,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

12, 17

Graham has long lived in the shadow of fellow Englishman Sam Burgess, who managed to add a Grand Final win to his resume while Graham now has two losses, so you can expect Graham to be fully motivated for 2015. With the Bulldogs playing round 11 and 14 James Graham is going to a very popular fantasy player. He doesn’t have the big splash games of Andrew Fifita or George Burgess but he still scored over 70 on three occasions while only having one sub-35 game. As safe as fantasy players get.

 

George Burgess

2015 Team

Rabbitohs

Position

FRF

Games played

20

Ave Minutes

51

Fantasy average

49.35

PPM

0.96

Consistency

0.27

Price

437,000

Origin

Zero

Bye weeks

15, 18

George Burgess wasn’t quite as explosive in 2014 as he was in 2013; his tries dropped from seven to two while he had just one try assist and three line breaks. Those numbers could easily bounce back in 2015 as George looks to replace part of the production of big brother Sam and he could even be in line for a slight bump to his minutes. George very rarely lost any effectiveness playing longer minutes and after averaging 51 minutes per game last year someone between 55 and 60 is a realistic proposition in 2015. He is probably slightly undervalued but he can be a bit streaky so don’t be shocked if he throws together a three or four game run scoring under 45 points.

 

Aaron Woods

2015 Team

Tigers

Position

FRF

Games played

21

Ave Minutes

57

Fantasy average

48.19

PPM

0.84

Consistency

0.24

Price

426,000

Origin

High

Bye weeks

12, 18

Woods was a huge fantasy bust at the start of the 2014 season. Over the first four games he averaged just 38.75 which wasn’t good enough for a player worth $380k. But Woods got things back on track and averaged 50.4 over the course of the rest of the season. Woods doesn’t have the high ceiling of some of the other front rowers, he only passed 65 on one occasion, but his lack of big scores does mean that he is amongst the most consistent front rowers around. Woods should be in the Blues squad for Origin but that couldn’t be considered a certainty quite yet.

 

Josh McGuire

2015 Team

Broncos

Position

FRF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

59

Fantasy average

50.30

PPM

0.85

Consistency

0.20

Price

445,000

Origin

Moderate

Bye weeks

14, 17

McGuire promised so much in 2013, and seemed to never reach his fantasy potential. 2014 was the same with unreliable minutes and poor discipline harming his scores. McGuire has potential to be a fantasy gun with a big motor and ability to break tackles, but he is still just potential. Will he finally break out in 2015?

 

Matthew Scott

2015 Team

Cowboys

Position

FRF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

56

Fantasy average

53.17

PPM

0.95

Consistency

0.27

Price

471,000

Origin

Certain

Bye weeks

14, 17

Matt Scott is a gun FRF, when fit. Unfortunately, he often struggles with undisclosed injuries, which lead to unexpected drops in scores, normally when you need him most. After some surgery and a proper offseason, 2015 should see him injury free and back to his barnstorming best.

 

Aiden Tolman

2015 Team

Bulldogs

Position

FRF

Games played

18

Ave Minutes

52

Fantasy average

46.39

PPM

0.90

Consistency

0.35

Price

411,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

12, 17

Tolman started and finished the season really strong, he averaged 54.75 in the first four weeks and 56.2 on the last five. In between he wasn’t so good, averaging 37.2 while getting injured and ruining the bye preparations of countless fantasy owners. At about $350k you probably need a much higher level of consistency.

 

Paul Vaughan

2015 Team

Raiders

Position

FRF/2RF

Games played

23

Ave Minutes

47

Fantasy average

41.65

PPM

0.89

Consistency

0.25

Price

369,000

Origin

Low

Bye weeks

14,17

Vaughan had a very good season in 2014. He spent most of his time coming off the interchange bench but he really made his minutes count averaging 41.7 fantasy points a game. He’s a grinder who scores almost entirely due to tackles and metres gained with the occasional tackle bust. He could be in line for expanded game time while Shaun Fensom is out and in the two games he played more than 70 minutes he scored 53 and 45 points.

 

Brenton Lawrence

2015 Team

Sea Eagles

Position

FRF

Games played

22

Ave Minutes

46

Fantasy average

41.23

PPM

0.90

Consistency

0.21

Price

365,000

Origin

Medium

Bye weeks

11, 14

Lawrence failed to kick on after a promising first campaign with the Sea Eagles had people thinking he was an outside shot for the Maroons. Lawrence is a late bloomer with his NRL debut not arriving until he was 25 years-old but now 30 his representative window is almost closed. In 2014 Lawrence was seen as an intriguing fantasy prospect because there was a wide belief he would get an increase in minutes as the Sea Eagles front row depth was almost non-existent, unfortunately it was Lawrence’s increase in minutes that was non-existent. Lawrence has a PPM similar to fantasy guns Paul Gallen and Jesse Bromwich but it is worth noting that in the two games Lawrence played more than 60 minutes he had his worst and third worst PPM’s of the year suggesting that he may not be able to maintain his PPM with greater minutes.

Thursday, 18 December 2014 11:00

RFS Holiday Viewing Guide

At RFS we recognise that Christmas isn’t just about presents and lunch. It is also about relaxing on the couch and watching sport and with that in mind the RFS team bring you a guide to help you get your relax on.

Note: Dates are intended to reflect the Aust/NZ timezone. Consult your broadcast partner for more details.

Cricket - Big Bash

The Big Bash is under way and features games almost every day until the end of January.

Darts – World Darts Championship (19th December-5th January)

With Michael van Gerwen (11/4 odds) capturing his first world title last year, it looked like he would start in pursuit of Phil Taylor’s record 16 titles. Like many a sportsman before, marriage seems to have taken the edge that gave MVG the dominance over fields. Phil Taylor (2/1 favourite) also has got his groove back and is comfortable with his darts, thus making him favourite. Other strong contenders include the in-form Gary Anderson (13/2 odds), who if he starts hitting doubles could go deep. The flamboyant Peter Wright (40/1 odds) emerged from the pack last year and will look to replicate. James Wade (16/1 odds) loves the format and look for him to lose to Taylor in the semi. Mervyn King (80/1 odds) and Stephen Bunting (22/1 odds) could be this year’s long shots. However it pans out, there is something quite cathartic watching darts with your bacon and eggs. If you don’t think darts is a big deal check out these darts WAGS and think again.

Football – A-League (19th December-6th January)

There is plenty of A-League action across the holiday period, with some sides looking to consolidate their place atop the competition, and some unlikely customers in the cellar looking to begin to play catch up. With 20 games from the 19th December to the 6th January, there is plenty of action, highlighted by the Melbourne derby on the 20th, to keep you entertained.

Football – English Premier League (20th, 21st, 22nd, 26th, 28th, 29th December and 1st January)

The English Premier League continues over the holiday period, with even more games than usual. There are story lines across the competition at the moment. Will Chelsea maintain their dominance despite recently suffering their first loss? Will City keep touch with the leaders after Aguero's injury, and can United continue their impressive run of results despite injuries to what seems like the majority of their playing roster? There is also of the issue of what clubs will keep in touch with the top four and qualification for Europe, and as always the feisty relegation scrap at the other end of the table holds much mystery. To go along with regular fixtures across the holiday period, there is a full game week (10 matches) on Boxing Day night, along with another during the night following New Year's Day.

American Football – College Bowl Games and Playoffs (21st December-13th January)

For the first time the College Football National Championship will be determined by a play-off with Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State in the running. Ohio State feels out of their depth but there is something to like about all of the other three sides. The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl are both played on the 2nd of January with the winners through to the National Championship game on the 13th of January.  On top if this there are another 36 Bowl Games throughout the holiday period.

Sports Documentaries – ESPN 30 for 30 series (21st December)

If you love sport ESPN’s 30 for 30 series is a must. They’ll likely screen on ESPN throughout the time period but there are three scheduled next week. On the 21st (also replayed on the 23rd) there is Two points, one title which tells the story of the crucial decision by Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne in 1984, and this is followed by the Myth of Garrincha about Brazillian soccer player Mane Garrincha. The next day sees The Fab Five shown which is about Michigan Basketball’s loaded freshmen class of 1991. If you want something more bite sized there is also the 30 for 30 shorts series over at Grantland.

American Football – National Football League Regular Season (22nd, 23rd and 28th December)

The NFL season is in crunch time with play-off spots, seedings and the important race to the first overall draft pick up for grabs over the final two weeks. If you haven’t caught NFL Redzone, make the most of the earlier hours of Monday morning and do so. The big clashes over the next two weeks will involve the Falcons v Saints, Chiefs v Steelers, Seahawks v Cardinals and Broncos v Bengals in Week 16 and Lions v Packers, Chargers v Chiefs and Bengals v Steelers in Week 17. If you need a long odds play to pay off your credit card lay a few bucks on the Bills to make the play-offs. They’ll need some help, ok a lot of help, but they are playing really well and could give the Patriots a scare in their Week 17 match-up.

Basketball – Christmas Day NBA (26th December)

The Americans don’t let Christmas Day interrupt their sport, in fact the NBA embrace the opportunity with a dedicated Christmas Day schedule. This year they have five games headlined by the Warriors v Clippers and Cavaliers v Heat. The Warriors and Clippers are in a two way race to win the Pacific Division while the schedule makers have cleverly scheduled LeBron’s first match-up against his old team in a money making TV slot. New Zealand fans will have something to follow with Steven Adams’ Thunder taking on the defending champion Spurs. Finally the many fans of the Lakers and Knicks can see their miserable seasons continue with likely loses to the Bulls and Wizards.

Cricket – Boxing Day Test India v Australia (26th-30th December)

The Australians will look to retake the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on the hallowed grounds of the MCG. If you want some easy money bet on a result and an Australian win. There hasn’t been a draw at the MCG since 1997 and in that time Australia has won 13 and lost 3. Meanwhile the Indians haven’t tasted victory at the MCG since 1981 and have lost their last five there. With the belligerent David Warner looking to extend his lead as the best opening batsman in the world Australia seem very likely to take this game.

Cricket - Boxing Day Test New Zealand v Sri Lanka (26th-30th December)

Test cricket returns to Christchurch for the first time in eight years. Hagley Oval is likely to offer a bit to the bowlers on the first day before flattening into a wicket that takes just a touch of turn. The two first class fixtures there this season have both got to a result with the side batting first winning once and the side batting second winning once. A number of New Zealand batsman are in great form with the middle order of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum being stellar over the past year. On the bowling front Tim Southee and Trent Boult will be well rested and Boult especially could be a handful back in familiar conditions. A Sri Lankan top order missing Mahela Jayawardene looks fragile but they still have the outstanding Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews while Rengana Herath could find conditions to his liking if he is available to play.

Sailing - Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (26th-28th December)

The 2014 Sydney- Hobart could be one of the most hotly contested in recent years. Defending line honours champion Wild Oats XI will be there, as will a host of other 100 footers. Ragamuffin 100 and Perpetual Loyal return to challenge the 7-time winner, and will be joined by new American Supermaxi 'Comanche' and refurbished Bakewell-White 100 (formerly 98) 'Rio 100'. Don't discount the smaller guys though, NZ Wine Magnate Jim Delegat's Volvo 70 'Giacomo' is back for a second bite at the apple. After finishing 6th on line last year, the race between them and fellow 70 footer 'Black Jack' will be a tight one. Black Jack showed what they are capable of earlier this month by finishing 3rd in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour behind Wild Oats XI and Comanche.

Horse Racing – Perth Cup (1st January)

Western Australia kicks off the year in fine style with the running of the time honoured Perth Cup. Dating back to 1887 the 2400mtr race is sure to draw a large crowd on the public holiday. The early favourite ($3) is Real Love trained by Adam Durrant and ridden by William Pike.

Ice Hockey – 2015 NHL Winter Classic (2nd January)

The annual Winter Classic is Ice Hockey returning to its roots by playing outdoors. This year’s classic sees the Washington Capitals host the Chicago Blackhawks at National Park. The Capitals are led by Russian phenom Alexander Ovechkin while the 2010 and 2013 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks have a ton of firepower in Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, the two 26 year-olds are both locked into identical long term contracts that see them paid $10.5m a season. Chicago will enter the game as favourites as they are currently a front runner in the Western Conference, while the Capitals are on the cusp of the play-off race in the East.

Golf - Hyundai Tournament of Champions (8th-12th January)

The Hyundai Tournament of Champions is the first PGA Tour event for 2015. The field consists of those players that won a tournament on the tour the previous year. Held at the Kapalua Resort in Hawaii from 9th-12th Jan it can be watched live on Foxtel. Aussies in the field will be Adam Scott, Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy, Matt Jones, John Senden and Steven Bowditch.

 

It is the question more than 10% of coaches are asking and the answer is far from simple. Starting the year as the second most expensive player behind superstar David Villa, Koren was destined for big things. This, however, has not been the case. Separate soft tissue injuries have kept him out of the first two matches and his most recent calf injury is almost certainly keeping him out this weekend’s match against cross town rivals, Melbourne Victory. So what do we do with him? The Renagdes team gives their thoughts below.

Matt Robbins – Well, this is a tough one. On one hand, Koren will surely come back in the near future and more than likely will get off to a flying start providing Melbourne City with the much needed boost to finally get them on a roll. With reports of David Villa possibly spending only two more games with City, it means that all eyes will be focussing on Koren and I believe he’ll shine bright accordingly. On the other hand, having that much cash on the bench is a risky idea and no one knows how Koren will play when he returns from injury. There is a chance that he’ll lack the match fitness needed to go a full game and may lose price rapidly over his first few weeks. In summary, if you have Koren, I’d hold strong and KEEP him as there’s no point in wasting a trade on someone who could come back then next week and make you pay. If you don’t have him, however, I’d wait until he plays at least one game before you bring him in.

 JWarrior - KEEP. It’s an unfortunate situation not having team lists. The word coming out is that he will miss one more game. Assuming you have a midfielder scoring on the bench, you have held Koren this long so you are committed to holding on. If you don't, then buy the best you don't have and get the Koren voodoo doll out and hope you make enough ground whist he is out.

 Dan KellyKEEP. Despite being a non owner Koren is a beast and despite missing the first two rounds and being rumoured to be missing the third. When he comes back he will chime into the all star City team and while he may be quiet for his first game or 2 (which could lead to a big price decrease) he will get into his stride and will take over when Villa leaves.

 Brett Papworth - Rumours have surfaced surrounded the "injury" status of Melbourne City's star signing Robert Koren. There have been murmurs that his lack of form and poor attitude on the training pitch have put Koren out of favour with Manager Schip. He is likely to ease his way back onto the bench in the coming weeks, but looks almost certain to miss Round 3. SELL! If he comes back and starts scoring like his price tag suggests you should then bring him back. But for now he is burning a massive hole in my boots!

 BB - I am split; part of me is thinking of dropping Koren to free up cash and pick up Keogh. McGlinchey has shown himself to be a viable starter for fantasy teams and therefore you could downgrade Koren to someone cheap who plays week in week out and use them as an auto emergency player on your bench. 
The other part of me thinks it could be a mistake leading to wasted trades to get him back in when he plays (which surely must be getting closer and closer now.) I genuinely believe he will be a gun and score really well once he plays. Watching Melbourne City, what they are missing so far is exactly what he will offer. 
I also think Keogh may be a price trap. He has undoubtedly done well but the price he is at means that in a couple weeks his breakeven will be so high that he will have to fall (they do it to regulate prices.) If he has one or two barren weeks (which he is bound to at some point) he could easily drop 100k over a couple weeks. I also think that while Villa is here he is a must have. Therefore I am thinking I will KEEP Koren and Villa and then trade Villa to Keogh when he leaves.

 

So there’s the writers’ opinions on Koren, but in the end the decision comes down to you and what you feel is best for your team.

 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 10:00

The halfback and forth - it was time

This article originally appeared here on the BWTF website, we liked it and got permission to reproduce it on RFS.

I must apologise for the lack of blogs in recent times. I had visions of doing my blogs on a more regular basis, however, as our season fell apart, so did my enthusiasm to write. One of the things I always try and deliver in my content is a rational perspective on any situation Rugby League related and in times like this, it’s very easy for misgivings and negativity to seep into anything we voice in a social media environment. Anyway, on to my point for this week.

When the Potter/Farah saga started some seven weeks ago, I was actually very surprised at the amount of fans that were showing and voicing their support for Mick. Let me preface this by saying that I think that Mick is a good man. He has acted with integrity despite the many turmoils and trials that he faced in his stint as coach of our beloved club. However, while being of ‘Good Character’ means you’re a good person, it does not necessarily mean you're a good coach.

Cold hard facts are damning, and simply put finishing 15th (2013) and 13th (2014) is not something you can consider a success in a two year tenure. I can already hear the defence's case, “What of our injury toll?”. No doubt it has impacted our performance over the course of the years, however, other clubs have had their fair share of injuries over the last two years too. The Panthers are a prime example of this. For a fairly large chunk of this season they have been without their first and second choice halves partners to Jamie Soward. While Segeyaro has been a great buy for them, at the start of the year Kevin Kingston was their first choice hooker before succumbing to injury. Add to that the likes of Elijah Taylor, Tyrone Peachy and Bryce Cartwright who have all been a major part of the Panthers forward pack and you can see that we’re not the only ones that have fought injury demons. Does that mean we should dismiss the impact of injuries on the Tiges? Not by a long shot, however, we have to acknowledge that we’re not the only ones.

We had some great wins this year, but we slid in a big, big way and had some horrid losses. To go from 5/7 to finish with 10/24 is pretty frightening and what concerned me personally was that we never saw Potter really unleash hell and bring out the inner mongrel, which is something I think is needed when coaching today’s personalities within the game. All of the top coaches in today’s game have it too – Bellamy, Hasler, Toovey, Madge, even Trent Robinson. Sometimes you do need the softly softly approach, and at other times you need a rocket right up your arse. Unfortunately, the latter was missing when it was probably needed most under Mick.

I’ve seen a lot of people say that Mick should’ve received another year, to me this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I stated a few months ago that any team that fired a coach in today’s environment ran a pretty big risk in their coaching selections. We’ve all seen the names thrown around for our next coach and I know you all have your own perspectives on who we should select and why, but it can not be denied that any club recruiting a coach this year or next is taking a risk. The coaches that I mentioned previously are all tied to their current clubs on either big money, or long term deals. But you need to look past that. Our current roster offers plenty of potential with what I consider to be a very delicate balance of young, promising stars and experienced players and to me, our best shot at a Premiership is going to be in 2016, or maybe 2017 at a stretch.

A lot of our current roster will either be seeking upgrades or extensions at that time and some tough decisions will have to be made. What happens to Manaia Cherrington, Tim Simona, David Nofoaluma etc etc? I accept that we will have to have other things fall into place for this to happen but to me, that will be our best possible chance for our next Premiership. Let’s throw a hypothetical out there. Imagine we give Mick one more year. 2015 season is done and dusted and we finish 11th, or 10th, or anywhere outside the 8. What do you think happens then? We try and introduce a new coach with the expectation that they deliver us a Premership in their first year? It’s an incredible expectation to put on anyone. The way I saw it, we either needed to offer Mick a two or three year extention and place all our hopes with him in delivering us a Premiership or we cut him loose now.

While Mick delivered a lot of good things to the club, of which I won’t go into detail in listing, I was still to be convinced that he had the ability to make the cut throat decisions required to be a truly top NRL coach. There were times this year where our attack was lacking any real threat or variety at all which to me was deeply alarming, as that was our greatest asset at other times, and especially given Mick’s playing history and knowledge of the game.

I could go on and on about the back office needing a shake up, or how the Board failed to support Mick when it mattered, or how certain players in our team let us as fans down. Simply put, that’s been talked about enough between various blogs, media articles etc. At the end of the day my point is this, I thank Mick for his time at the Wests Tigers, and despite the fact that his sacking was disappointing for a lot of people, it was a tough decision that had to be made now. Sometimes in a professional environment, being a ‘Good Person’ does not make you the ‘Right Person’ for a role.

All other problems aside, I’m at least glad that this issue didn’t carry on well into the off season. Now we can move forward.

Sladie

Thursday, 04 September 2014 10:00

MATA’UTIA BROTHERS SETTLING THE FAMILY SCORE

Move over Burgess brothers – the Mata’utia boys are taking the NRL by storm, and this weekend loyalties will be divided when Knights pair Sione and Chanel take on Dragons sibling Peter.

All three are tryscoring machines but online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au has priced the youngest of the trio Sione at $2.15 to score the most tries, with Chanel at $2.30 and big brother Peter at $4.50.

Incredibly, there are 4 sets of brothers in action in round 26….the mighty Mata’utia boys are $1.90 favourites to score the most ‘family’ tries ahead of the Morris twins ($2.80), the Minichiellos ($6.50) and the less fleet-footed Burgess lads ($9.00).

“They could’ve sold tickets to watch the backyard games at the Mata’utia household back in the day. There are 7 brothers in all – 3 have played first grade, and younger brother Pat is also destined for big things in the Knights system,” said sportsbet.com.au’s Christian Jantzen.

Markets courtesy of sportsbet.com.au

Most Mata’utia Tries

$2.15   Sione  

$2.30   Chanel

$4.50   Peter

Most Family tries

$1.90   Mata’utia brothers

$2.80   Morris brothers

$6.50   Minichiello brothers

$9.00   Burgess brothers  

Don't forget to take advantage of the exclusive Renegades sign-up offer of a free bet of up to $150.

Renegades remind you to bet responsibly and within your means.

Friday, 15 August 2014 10:00

Writers’ NFL Predictions and Preview

NFC East

The NFC East is probably the weakest division in football which also makes it highly competitive. The writers were perfectly split between the Redskins, Cowboys and Eagles with the only team to have any real recent success, the Giants, the only team getting no love at all.

Dallas Cowboys (33% of writers predict the Cowboys to win the division) - It has been four years since the Cowboys saw play-off football which is their second longest drought ever. The Cowboys roster is not strong and they are only a contender in the NFC East by virtue of none of the other teams being particularly strong. Ending that drought will largely be on much maligned QB Tony Romo and his star receiver Dez Bryant as the defense was catastrophic last year and unlikely to significantly improve.

New York Giants - There was no love for the Giants but this is no reason to think they are really any less competitive than their rivals. The defense was solid last season and if the Giants can get serviceable play Eli Manning, who was terrible last year, they could put themselves into the position to win the division.

Philadelphia Eagles (33%) - Coach Chip Kelly’s offensive schemes were one of the highlights of the 2013 season as he brought an aggressive, up tempo attack usually reserved for College Football into the NFL. Kelly also made Nick Foles into a very serviceable quarterback but make no mistake the offense is driven by running back LeSean “Shady” McCoy. The Eagles’ defense was below average last year but should be improved this year in the second year of their transition to the 3-4 formation.

Washington Redskins (33%) - The Redskins have been a yo-yo team over the past three seasons; from worst in the division to first and back to worst. By that logic they are making a play-off run this year. The family Shanahan (dad Mike and son Kyle) completely torpedoed quarterback Robert Griffin III’s confidence last year and new coach Jay Gruden is tasked with getting it back. Off-season acquisition, DeSean Jackson will certainly help as he will be the most dynamic receiver the Redskins have had since Santana Moss declined.

 

NFC North

The Black and Blue division contains four teams with storied rivalries but the writers think this season it is down to the Packers and Bears. The NFC North has out of division games against the AFC East, who they should walkover, and the NFC South, which could be a big factor in what sides make the wildcard play-off spots.

Chicago Bears (46%) - After years of being considered a defensive team the Bears flipped the script last year with a dynamic offense led by running back Matt Forte and wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey. It doesn’t get mentioned much but the Bears also have a really good offense line who ranked 5th in the Football Outsiders passing stats last season. The defense was a problem, with the unit finishing amongst the worst in the league. I’m not convinced that have done enough to make it better but even a slight improvement and a similar effort from the offense will push this side into the play-offs.

Detroit Lions - New coach Jim Caldwell was amongst the worst coaches in the league during his tenure with the Colts, he is another person benefiting from the Ravens flukey play-off run two seasons ago, because really there is no way he should be a head coach. The Lions possess possibly the worst secondary group in the league. On the bright side wide receiver Calvin Johnson is the best receiver in the league and is next to impossible to keep out of a game while Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley make for a fierce defensive tackle combo.

Green Bay Packers (54%) - I like the Packers this season, if they get a fully fit season from Aaron Rodgers that alone jumps them to a 10 or 11 win team. The Packers defense was porous last season and provided no help while Rodgers was out with his broken collarbone, improvement there will be the difference between a division winner and a team that can compete with the 49ers and Seahawks. They have added some interesting pieces to the defense with veteran DE Julius Peppers and first round S Ha Ha Clinton Dix.

Minnesota Vikings - The 2013 Vikings offense would have been pretty good 30 years ago, it relied on Adrian Peterson running the ball and that was about it, that used to work but not so much in a pass oriented league. Christian Ponder was a predictable bust at quarterback and although he is still on the roster he has been usurped by new signing Matt Cassell and draft pick Teddy Bridgewater. I am a big fan of Bridgewater who dropped in the draft based on dumb scouting logic not how good he was on the field during college but he’ll be eased into the line-up. Unfortunately this will be another year of AP’s prime wasted in a losing team.

 

NFC South

The Panthers surprisingly stole the division last season on the back of really good defense and bold, aggressive tactics on offense. This allowed them to slip past the Saints while the other two teams in the division crated to 4-12 records. But with the Panthers likely to decline it would take a massive jump from the Falcons or Bucs to make this division race competitive.

Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons had a season to forget in 2013, entering with Super Bowl dreams their season snow balled to 4-12 on the back of injuries and bad luck. They didn’t panic in the off-season, largely writing the season off for what it was, so some bounce back is to me expected but there are still some issues, namely the lack of pass rush. I think they could find themselves in the wildcard race but will ultimately fall just short.

Carolina Panthers - The Panthers avoided the hangover from former general manager Marty Hurney last year but this year they won’t be so lucky. The Panthers are the best candidate in the league to go from first to worst. After winning the division last year the Panthers find themselves with a weaker roster while all the other teams have got stronger.

New Orleans Saints (100%) - The Saints have been a force since the arrival of quarterback Drew Brees making the play-offs in five of his eight seasons and there is no reason to think 2014 will be any different. Safety Kenny Vaccaro is one of the best young players in the league and is poised to be the next great safety after Troy Polomalu and Ed Reed.

Tampa Bay Bucs - The Bucs hired long time Bears coach Lovie Smith as their new head coach and he brought quarterback Josh McCown with him who was good in relief of Jay Cutler last season. But McCown is old and if he doesn’t get injured he’ll have lots of time to prove that QB’s don’t magically improve with age. The defense could be a top five unit and they will need to be if the Bucs want to be any sort of play-off threat.

 

NFC West

The NFC West has risen from the worst division in the league to a juggernaut in the space of a few years. The though face of the division is the Seahawks and 49ers rivalry the Cardinals and Rams have ever improving rosters and should steal games from their more favoured foes. Still the writers think that won’t be enough with the division likely to come down to the Seahawks and 49ers. The NFC West plays out of division with the AFC West which means fascinating games between potential Super Bowl opponents the Broncos and Seahawks and Broncos and 49ers.

Arizona Cardinals - The Cardinals were the best team left out of the play-offs last season. Their strength was the defense led by exciting cornerback Patrick Peterson but that defense has lost two key players in inside linebackers Karlos Dansby (free agent) and Daryl Washington (suspension) and that should hold them back from taking further strides forward. Apart from aging wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and his young sidekick Michael Floyd the offense is uninspired, which isn’t always a bad thing.

San Francisco 49ers (17%) - The 49ers are one of the NFL’s elite sides but unfortunately they are stuck in a division with another one. The battles against the Seahawks and the improving Rams and Cardinals should be epic contests that will either wear the 49ers down or make them battle hardened for the play-offs. The primary concern for the 49ers is how long 31 year old running back Frank Gore can hold on when the traditional brick wall year is 30, and if he can’t hold on is there anyone good enough to replace him.

Seattle Seahawks (83%) - The defending Super Bowl champions are in an excellent position to capitalise on the most valuable commodity in the NFL, a cheap quarterback playing well beyond his pay scale. Russell Wilson is a very good QB getting paid less in a season than what many starting QB’s get paid in a game, this is really helpful because all that salary cap money can be spent on other areas of the team, and that shows because the Seahawks are stacked. That sort of advantage will disappear when Wilson signs a huge extension in a year or two so the Seahawks need to make the most of it.

St Louis Rams - The Rams would probably be a division winner if they were in the NFC East, instead they are stuck at the bottom of the NFC West. The Rams were so good last season that Football Outsiders’ advanced stats had them as the 14th best team in the league, sadly the other teams in the division were first, seventh and tenth. The Rams continue to develop a formidable defense behind the most underrated star in the league, Robert Quinn.

 

AFC East

The AFC East can be a bit of a mess, the Patriots are normally the cream of the division and every year or so the Dolphins or Jets join them but hardly ever sustain success, while the Bills reel of losing season after losing season. This season it seems likely that the Pats will sit upon the division on their own with the three other sides all starting young, inexperienced quarterbacks who are much below the Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, RG3 level. The AFC East has out of division games against the NFC North and AFC West so things could easily get ugly for the Bills, Dolphins and Jets.

Buffalo Bills - The Bills have the longest active play-off drought in the NFL. It has been 14 years and about ten 8-8 seasons since the Bills lost the Music City Miracle wildcard game to the Titans. The Bills have some potentially exciting pieces in running back C.J Spiller, second year quarterback E.J Manuel and rookie receiver S.J Watkins (he’s actually just Sammy but I didn’t want him to feel left out) while the defense looks good on paper but shows up as average on the field. This could be the year the drought ends but it will take a lot of things to go right.

Miami Dolphins - The Dolphins had to endure an embarrassing bully scandal last season and still managed to get to 8-8. General Manager Jeff Ireland was fired which was a good move but then the Dolphins kept on making Jeff Ireland type moves by over paying for an outlier year, in an excellent offense, by running back Knowshon Moreno. It is still unclear if quarterback Ryan Tannehill is the answer but with Jeff Ireland gone at least the Dolphins now understand the question.

New England Patriots (92%) - Considering the angst you’d think the Patriots offense was terrible last year but Football Outsiders still had them ranked fourth. The main difference was that in 2013 the running game took away a lot of the passing game yardage giving the illusion of decline by Tom Brady. That being said Brady did take a statistical dip but a lot of that had to do with him missing his former key targets and the failure of younger talent to emerge. Wes Welker is still in Denver and Aaron Hernandez still in prison but tight end Rob Gronkowski is back and fit. Improvement in the defense is required but the Patriots should take the division.

New York Jets (8%) - The good news for Jets fans is Mr Butt Fumble Mark Sanchez has moved on. Sanchez provides an interesting case study on why fans shouldn’t read too much into a quarterbacks win percentage and play-off record. Sanchez started his career with consecutive winning seasons and deep play-off runs that created the idea Sanchez was good, the reality was he was terrible and the Jets efforts were inspite of him not because of him, when that help dried up the Jets were left with just Mark Sanchez. Now they have Geno Smith who threw for 21 interceptions last season. Have fun Jets fans.

 

AFC North

The defending division champion Cincinnati Bengals enter the season with the highest expectations but the reality is the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers are all about the same and none of them are likely to make a deep play-off run.

Baltimore Ravens - I hate the Ravens. Now that is out of the way they are in a really bad situation due to quarterback Joe Flacco’s ridiculously big contract. After a stunning play-off run the Ravens were forced into re-signing Flacco to a massive contract, this starts an exodus of other players as they get more money elsewhere. This impact isn’t necessarily about losing starts but losing depth, and this depth was almost as important to the Ravens Super Bowl as Flacco was. The main off season signing was receiver Steve Smith who will help fill Flacco’s Anquan Boldin size hole.

Cleveland Browns - Just as the Browns were putting the finishing touches on a surprisingly solid draft news filters through that star receiver Josh Gordon was getting suspended for the year. So goes live in Cleveland, apart from absurd luck in the NBA lottery and the return of LeBron James nothing good has happened to Cleveland since they won an NFL championship in 1964. The Browns aren’t ending that run any time soon. Brian Hoyer is not a starting calibre QB and I have no idea what Jonny Manziel is. The defense should work and that’ll keep them in some games but I don’t see much joy for the Browns this year.

Cincinnati Bengals (50%) - The Bengals haven’t won a play-off game since 1990, my math isn’t great but we can agree that is a super long time. After two consecutive play-off appearances the pressure is mounting on QB Andy Dalton to get it done, he has been average to good the last two years but come play-off time he has wilted. Focusing on one play-off game over 16 regular season games is not a very fair way to judge a player but still it is the way this thing works. Dalton gets A-grade help from receiver A.J Green, while second year running back Gio Bernard provided one of the most electrifying plays of 2013.

Pittsburgh Steelers (50%) - As a Steeler fan I don’t enter the season with high expectations. We could make a play-off run but a 7-9, 8-8 or 9-7 season wouldn’t shock me either. The Steelers are in a slow re-building phase, they never bottom out but have now had two consecutive 8-8 seasons. Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are the cogs of the offense and Le’Veon Bell looks the part in the running game nut questions remain around the rest of the receiving cast and whether the offensive line can stay injury free. The defense too has some nice parts in place with DE Cameron Heyward and ILB Lawrence Timmons but they develop of Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones will be crucial if the Steelers are to maintain their identity.

 

AFC South

The Colts ran away with this division in 2013 with none of the other teams cracking a .500 win record, their former sparring partners the Texans had an epic collapse going from 12-4 in 2012 to 2-14 in 2013. The Jags are a bad side, while the Titans are middling. It would take a lot for the Colts to not win this division.

Houston Texans - Like the Falcons the Texans entered the season with Super Bowl dreams and finished up with the first overall draft pick, which they used on Jadeveon Clowney.  After such a big decline the Texans will inevitably bounce back again but with Ryan Fitzpatrick under centre they aren’t going to bounce back far. No Houston Texans section can go by without mentioning that J.J Watt is an outstanding player.

Jacksonville Jaguars - Sadly Blaine Gabbert was not a real American (listen with volume on), he was in fact the worst starting quarterback in the modern era and I don’t make such claims lightly. However, rookie Blake Bortles does look a lot better than Gabbert ever did and that is without playing a game. If the Jags are to get out of their funk Bortles will have to take the lead role because after many butchered draft picks the Jags are light on talent. Success for the Jags this season would be winning six games.

Indianapolis Colts (100%) - Andrew Luck is unquestioned as the best quarterback talent since Peyton Manning and this is the season I think he starts to statistically show that. Receiver Reggie Wayne is healthy, T.Y Hilton has worked out how to stay motivated and new recruit Hakeem Nicks could be an absolute steal if he can turn the clock back a couple of seasons. They do need to run the ball more effectively with Trent Richardson looking like an absolute trade bust last year as he is more interested in group sex than running the ball. Excellent defensive end Robert Mathis has been suspended for four games for a performance enhancing drug suspension related to a fertility drug which seems terribly heavy handed.

Tennessee Titans - On paper the Titans side inspires very little confidence. The offensive line could be decent if they can get on the same page, wide receiver Kendall Wright is good and I have no idea what else to say. Quarterback Jake Locker isn’t terrible but he also isn’t good, this is probably his last season to show he is a starting level quarterback.

 

AFC West

After a year of breaking records the Broncos are back for one more tilt. They should run through the division with the Chargers the best chance to create an upset, although that seems unlikely. The Chiefs were pretty good last season but they were overachievers while the Raiders haven’t achieved anything of note in a decade.

Denver Broncos (100%) - Could this be Peyton Manning’s last chance to equal brother Eli’s Super Bowl total? It really feels like it. The Broncos parted ways with contributors RB Knowshon Moreno, CB Dominique Rodgers Cromartie and WR Eric Decker but they have the pieces, RB Montee Ball, or the replacements, CB Aqib Talib and Emmanuel Sanders, in place so no concern there. They also added sack master DeMarcus Ware who could be a dangerous when combined with linebacker Von Miller.

Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs weren’t’ as bad as their 2-14 record in 2012 but they weren’t as good as their 11-5 record last season. All things being equal they’d end up with around 7 or 8 wins as that is the team they really are. Running back Jamaal Charles and safety Eric Berry are the side’s best players.

Oakland Raiders - The Raiders are a team of misfits and cast-offs, free agency has brought them QB Matt Schaub (cut by the Texans), Maurice Jones Drew (unwanted by the Jags), DE Justin Tuck (only offered a “disrespectful” contract by the Giants) and Lamarr Woodley (cut by the Steelers) which is a lacklustre group. They did get James Jones from the Packers who was good when Aaron Rodgers was throwing him passes but Matt Schaub is not Aaron Rodgers. Not a good team and a likely candidate for a top five draft pick.

San Diego Chargers - The Chargers could be in with a good shot for a wildcard berth. It is unlikely a team from the AFC East or AFC South is going to get it so if the Chargers can get ahead of the Chiefs they should have a good run to it. Quarterback Phillip Rivers and receiver Keenan Allen made sweet music last season while defensive end Melvin Ingram is a gun but missed a chunk of last year with a torn ACL. 

 

The play-offs

NFC Division winners - Seahawks, Saints, Packers, Eagles

NFC Wildcards - 49ers (50%), Bears (25%), Bucs, Lions, Giants, Panthers (17%)

The writers liked the 49ers and Bears to grab the wildcard spots in the NFC. This is five of the six play-off teams from 2013 with the Bears replacing the Panthers, I’d be pretty surprised if there was at least one more change.

AFC Division winners - Broncos, Patriots, Colts, Bengals

AFC Wildcards - Chargers (50%), Steelers (33%), Chiefs (25%), Texans and Ravens (17%), Jets (8%)

The writers liked the Chargers and Steelers to join the Broncos, Patriots, Colts and Bengals. Similar to the NFC this represented just one change from last season, the Steelers in for the Chiefs. The lack of play-off turnover hasn’t been seen for years.

 

The Super Bowl

NFC representative - Saints (50%), 49ers (33%), Packers (17%)

AFC representative - Broncos (83%), Patriots (17%)

The champion - Broncos 67%, Patriots and Saints (17%)

In a slightly surprising result the Saints get past the 49ers, Packers and Seahawks to win the NFC. Drew Brees and Peyton Manning go at it for a Super Bowl for the second time with Peyton Manning taking a championship off into the sunset.

 

First draft pick

Raiders (50%), Browns and Jaguars (25%)

Probably no surprise there, all three of these teams suck. The Browns probably have the best chance to get out of the first ten picks but why would you want to?

 

Monday, 24 February 2014 00:00

Terms & Abbreviations

138k – This is the basement price for a player. Occasionally, coaches will refer to a position they haven’t yet filled as being a 138k. Basically, some rookie cash cow they haven’t found yet.

Auto-Emergency (AE) – If you have a player in your 17 (13 on field and 4 reserves) who doesn’t take the field for his club (this includes staying on the bench for the whole game), you get an AE to cover that player’s position. The AE is the lowest scoring player (greater than 0) who you have in your remaining NPRs. Also, you only get one!

Booted: Getting removed from the group. Crimes include, blocking a fellow Renegade, deleting posts/comments, making up shit about last minute team list changes, and sharing Renegades info with other groups.

Break Even (BE) – the approximate score required for a player to hold his value. If he scores less, his value will drop. More, and it increases. Approximate BEs are kindly provided right here at RFS.

Byes – Because the NRL insists on putting State of Origin over many weeks in the middle of the season, the competition has an 8 week period where some clubs have a bye. Every club gets two byes over this period, during which time your players in those clubs will not score you points. For H2H teams, this isn’t a big problem as most of these rounds are also H2H byes. For Overall players, this 8 week period is the most import part of the season. You will need to work hard to keep 17 players on the field over this time to keep the points rolling in. On top of the byes, State of Origin will make certain Fantasy guns unavailable. It’s the toughest part of the season, requiring spreadsheets, post-it notes and a lot of booze. But, it’s also the most exciting time of the season.

Captain (C or Cap) – Your captain scores double points. Choose him wisely. If you need to make up ground you can take the high-risk winger playing against a weak club, and then watch him get rested by the coach when his club builds up a big lead…

Cash Cow – a player who starts very cheap and increases in price over the course of the season. Cash cows are normally players you wouldn’t run in your scoring 17 if you had a choice.

Dual Position Player (DPP) – A player who can be placed in two different positions. Common examples are players who can fill both CTR and WFB. This is useful for DPP trades. For example, you could trade a WFB out, bring one of your CTRs into WFB, and then purchase a new CTR. You can do multiple DPP switches per trade.

Ghost Cow (also, MCK) – A cash cow with great potential who never plays.

Gun – A non-stop fantasy point-scoring machine. Gun status is often argued about, but players like Cam Smith, Corey Parker, Daly Cherry-Evans and Greg Inglis are undeniable fantasy gods. Importantly, a gun in a position like WFB and CTR doesn’t need to average as much as a gun in a high point scoring position like HOK or 2RF. It’s all about what players are available.

Head-to-head (H2H) – By getting your mates together you can play head to head matches over the season, with a final series at the end. The bye rounds are mostly unimportant with personal matchups and rivalry the source of the fun. It’s entry level stuff and all the glory is in playing overall.

Keeper – a player who is good enough to not trade out of your team by the end of the season. The definition of a Keeper is unique to every team, as the number or trades, available cash, and other problem positions may lower or raise standards.

Loophole – Made available by the introduction of rolling lockout in 2013, the loophole (or, Captain’s Loophole) was a strategic maneuver to get two bites at the captain cherry. Unfortunately, because some people didn’t understand how to use it, it is lost in the past…

Mid-ranger – A player who’s not a cash cow and not a keeper. He’s scoring mid-30s and if you listen to your mate, he’s about to go huge. Normally your mate is wrong, as 70% of players are mid-rangers, and stay that way for their entire careers. But, you have to pick a few…so they better be the ones that turn into keepers…

Non-playing Reserve (NPR) – A NPR is a player who is in your 25, but not selected in your scoring 17.

Nuffie (occasionally, 138k nuffie) – At the end of the season, coaches will trade out their cash cows to make cash for big upgrades. However, to avoid bringing in potentially shit AEs, they bring in basement price (i.e., 138k) players who will never play. Maximum cash, minimum risk. In the injury crisis of 2013, this strategy left many teams with less than 17 players.

Overall – Overall coaches are those that are aiming to accumulate as many points during the season. Initially, this is to win the major prize. Most overall coaches realize they cannot win the prize from very early on. But, this isn’t an excuse to give up. Your end of year rank is a badge of honor (or shame) that will give you cred in Renegades and will need to be beaten next season.

Points-per-minute (PPM) – The average scoring rate of a player.

Reverse Trade – Before the first game of the round starts, you can trade and then reverse that trade.

Rolling Lockout – Because Tuesday team lists tend to be a bit unreliable, NRL Fantasy gives you the opportunity to keep trading and adjusting your team through the round. As a player starts a game, they get locked in and you can’t change them. NOTE: if you want to trade during rolling lockout you cannot reverse trade.

Sideways Trade: a trade where the player being taken out is likely to have the same net benefit on your team’s weekly scores over the whole season. For example, trading Tolman to Graham (assuming both are fit and getting similar scores). As they both play for the Dogs, their byes are identical, and are FRFs, they are equivalent. Trading one to the other (other than in the case of injury, or if Tolman is selected for Origin) is a wasted trade. It is often difficult to identify a sideways trade as many features have to be weighed up, including; bye cover, average, price, position, injury/suspension prone-ness, and job security.

Smokey or Point of Difference (POD) – A player, who most other coaches haven’t selected, that may score well. This is a good strategy if you need to play catch-up. But remember, there is often a reason that most coaches haven’t selected that player.

Source (or sauce) – One of the great benefits of belonging to the Renegades family is the access to information. People who find articles online, or tweets will normally share them in the group. But, occasionally, someone will share some gossip without acknowledging where it came from. Not sharing the source can be because there is no source and it’s just someone trolling. Otherwise, it could be privileged inside information. Get to know the insiders, they are important people.

Trolls who lie about team changes just before lockout will be abused and booted.

Team List Tuesday (TLT) – Every Tuesday, clubs will release their team lists, which will be progressively posted up in Renegades through the day. Take them with a grain of salt, they are just a guide. The NRL Fantasy website will also show which players are selected to play with green lights next to player names. These are based on Tuesday team lists, and may not reflect who actually takes the field.

Trade Rage – Many coaches will follow a bad round by making rash, ill-considered trades in an attempt to improve their team. This will normally leave rookie coaches with no trades well before the finals. Patience is the most important skill in NRL Fantasy.

Troll – A complex term. Some trolls will get booted (people making up shit about last minute team list changes), while some will get applause (baiting an origin fan into a rage). See here for some background – http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll

NOTE: Saying “I was just trolling” or “hook, line and sinker” after someone publicly humiliates you in an argument is not cool. Real trolls never admit to being trolls. So, just take it on the chin, accept you were wrong, and slink away.

Vice-Captain (VC) – If your captain fails to take the field for his club, your VC scores double.

Some common player abbreviations
DCE – Daly Cherry Evans
CS9 – Cameron Smith
CP13 – Corey Parker
PG13 – Paul Gallen
JWH – Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
RTS – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
SKD – Shaun Kenny Dowall
SBW (SBW OMG, $BW, Money Bill) – Sonny Bill Williams

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