Pre-Season Rankings: Halves

27 February 2017
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Blah blah blah, here are the rankings...

Shaun Johnson, $484,000
While owning Johnson can sometimes be a roller-coaster, he was also the highest scoring half last year. Many will tell you that he didn’t play that well in 2016 and with the arrival of Kieran Foran, I only see his scores increasing.

2. Adam Reynolds, $458,000
Another who had a quiet 2016, many are picking Reynolds to bounce back in 2017. Of course this was before he had been ruled out for the first 3 rounds (atleast) with appendicitis. With Inglis seemingly fully fit, Sam Burgess hopefully completely back in Rugby League mode and a strong halves partner in Cody Walker, I would expect Reynolds to get back above a 50 point average in 2017

3. Nathan Cleary, $502,000
Cleary burst onto the scene last year in what can only be described as one of the best debut seasons for a young half since the likes of DCE. Finishing with an average of 53 from 13 games, I would expect Cleary to continue where he left off. Likely to be partnered in the halves with Te Maire Martin (who kicked a total of 8m in 6 NRL games last year), Cleary should be a base stats monster.       

4. Johnathon Thurston, $458,000
‘JT’ was yet another who had a quiet 2016 (Halves were crap last year), especially by his standards. He finished with an average of just 48.3. That ranks him 10th amongst all halves who played more than 1 game. As pointed out in the Renegades Prospectus, Thurston had a much higher missed tackle rate than in previous years. Being that he is one of the greatest halves to ever play the game, his numbers can only go in one direction this season.       

5. Daly Cherry-Evans, $471,000 
Another gun half that had a quiet year. Should Manly get some of their attacking flair back (and with Stewart and Matai out of the team they should), DCE will go back to being a 50-55pt half in no time.       

6. Corey Norman, $460,000
Norman finally showed off some of his potential in 2016. After captaining the Eels to their Nines win over the Warriors (which was then stripped coz the Eels are dirty rotten scoundrels… just kidding RT…PARRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAA), Norman almost became a gun half. With a settled halves partner in Gutherson (whom Norman didn’t play with in 2016), I’d be more incline to wait and see rather than to expect the world from day one.       

7. Bryce Cartwright, $483,000
In my eyes, Cartwright is a great set and forget player, similar to SJ. You should expect to have some great games and some not so great games (maybe not quite to SJ’s level though). He averaged higher in the halves than in the second row last year and was wildly inconsistent. There is also the danger that he is selected in the NSW Oranges team which would probably do that side a world of good.       

8. Mitchell Pearce, $502,000
For once in his life, Mitchell Pearce finished with the highest fantasy average among halves that played more than one game. With crappy little halves partners like Jayden Nikorima, Jackson Hastings and Ryan Matterson (ok he’s good but he’s really a backrower), Pearce shouldered the load. I would expect him to do well this year but Luke Keary can actually play so he might steal some KM and playmaking duties. At the end of the day, I think Pearce is probably slightly over-valued.       

9. Ben Hunt, $468,000
Okay, look. If you were a half in 2016, you probably weren’t great for fantasy (other than SJ, Cleary and Pearce). The problem with Ben Hunt isn’t his average (a reasonably respectable 49.46), but more the fact that he always seems to fail the eye test. I don’t remember anyone saying anything good about the way he played in 2016. Another that has potential to push that 55 barrier but I feel he’ll stick right around the 50.  

10. Kane Elgey, $197,000
Priced at under 200k after a season off, Elgey should be in most teams (currently 43.53%). He is expected to produce good things alongside Ash Taylor this season and having someone like Jarryd Hayne in your team isn’t horrible either.  

11. Jai Field, $138,000
This guy is in a lot of teams because he’s cheap and he should see the field. But lets think about this for a second… he’s likely to lose out on a spot to JOSH. MCCRONE. But that’s ok, he’s cheap and he will get game time at some point.  

12. Brock Lamb, $282,000
Lamb was actually the Knights best half last year, averaging 37.67. With Jarrod Mullen in the naughty corner, Lamb is all but guaranteed to start alongside Trent Hodkinson. Yes, the Knights are rubbish but Lamb will likely be the playmaker of the team while Hodko plods along doing Hodko things. If he can crack an average of 40, Lamb will make some decent cash.

The Hotshot

The Hotshot is a foundation member of Renegades and a fantasy veteran across a wide variety of sports. Known for letting his hair down a little too far at times, he still seems to be able to produce the goods at the right time of year.