1. Joseph Leilua, $464,000
Leilua busted out last year and formed a deadly combination with Jordan Rapana. If they can continue their try scoring feats (I think the tackle busts are just part of his game) from last season, I see no reason why he can’t maintain his 49pt average. You are paying an absolute mint though.
2. Tom Trbojevic, $391,000
With a permanent switch to fullback following the ‘reitrement’ of Brett Stewart, we should finally get to see what ‘Turbo’ was famous for in the NYC. He averaged 41 at fullback last season and is priced around that average but he was playing with a slight injury. I can’t see any downside to this pick and there should be some upside if he forms a good combination with DCE.
3. Euan Aitken, $410,000
Since making his debut, Aitken has showed he is one of the better fantasy centres in the game, averaging at least 42 in both seasons. Another that is likely to stay around his current price, he is probably better viewed as an upgrade option later in the year
4. Jamal Idris, $148,000
With averages over 40 in both 2014 and 2015, I see no reason why Idris can’t be a season long keeper. He has been out of the game for a while and that could hurt him so anything above 35 would be a bonus. By all reports (yeah I know, training the house down etc etc) he is as fit as ever and raring to go. I’d be shocked if less than 75% of teams had him to start the season so there is no real reason not to.
5. Dylan Walker, $317,000
In 2014, Walker averaged 43.67 at centre for the Rabbitohs. If he can get back to that level - without all the position shuffles – he is a cut price option with great potential. With Trbojevic at the back and Blake Green at five-eighth, the Manly attack should improve greatly compared with 2016.
6. Sione Mata’utia, $299,000
Personally, the fact that Mata’utia has played 6 different positions in 45 NRL matches is the main reason I have avoided him this season. He averaged 42 in the back row and should get a decent chunk of minutes but if there are some injuries he could quite easily find himself in the centres or on the wing (where he played for Australia).
7. Curtis Scott, $143,000
What seemed like a certainty, Scott has now been named on an extended bench and looks to have missed out on his spot the extremely impressive Cheyse Blair (please note the sarcasm). I would hope that he eventually wins the spot back but until that happens he is probably safe enough to leave out of your team.
8. Konrad Hurrell, $311,000
Hurrell averaged 11.5 last year, when he played with the Warriors. His switch to the Gold Coast (and a starting spot) saw him bump that up to over 43. With Hayne assumingly back to some semblance of an NRL player, I see Hurrell as a great under-valued option.
9. James Roberts, $390,000
I don’t see a lot of upside to Roberts. He’s always hung around that 40 average and I can’t see that changing much. There are some interesting stats to consider which you can find in the Renegades Prospectus but if I had to choose someone around this price, I’d go with the rankings and take Trbojevic.
10. Siosifa Talakai, $177,000
Talakai has beaten out Robert Jennings and Braidon Burns for the vacant spot in the back line. I would assume that this battle will be going on all year so there is definitely risk involved in picking him but the Rabbitohs have a decent schedule to start the year and he should go ok.
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.