As the regular season approaches, Fantasy coaches are putting the final touches on their teams until the official team lists are released on Tuesday.
A high number of ‘cheapies’ and fill-ins are expected to be named due to the staggering quantity of players that are currently either injured or suspended. Anyway, let’s take a look at my selections and why I’ve decided to pick these players.
Hooker: Jake Granville
The explosive hooker looked outstanding in 2015 playing in his premier season at the Cowboys. He’s around 90k cheaper than Cameron Smith and should be more settled in his second season in Townsville. Granville may only play 60-65 minutes, although his price and proven attacking potential is very attractive.
Front Row Forwards: Paul Gallen & Aaron Woods
To be honest Gallen makes me a bit nervous, especially with a price tag of half a million bucks. He’s also injury prone and at the back end of his career. While fit, Gallen will provide base stats that outweigh most player’s total score which makes him a safety pick and reliable captain choice each round. Aaron Woods was a very attractive purchase due to his price tag of 369k and been given the captaincy of the Tigers. He supplies good base stats and I’m hoping he slightly improves on his 2015 average of 58.
2nd Row Forwards: Corey Parker, Trent Merrin & Sam Burgess
Parker was an easy choice for me. He looked excellent while playing in the UK over the weekend and he has the bonus of being the goal kicker in a strong team. His consistent off-loading on top of his good tackle and hit-up stats have earned him the SuperCoach name ‘God’. Merrin will be playing for his new club the Panthers. At this point he’s either playing at lock or even prop, but Merrin has said it won’t bother him as he’ll be doing a similar role either way. He’s a proven SuperCoach performer with a reasonable price tag of 385k. ‘Surgess’ was also an easy pick for me. The 2014 SuperCoach gun has a discounted price due to missing a year of NRL last season, which means Super Coaches can grab him without worry that he’ll lose any cash, even if it takes a few rounds to find his feet again. He also has the added bonus of not being eligible for State of Origin.
Halves: Johnathan Thurston & Jackson Hastings
Originally I decided to run with Cherry-Evans and spend the money elsewhere, but I soon came to my senses and chose Thurston. JT offers plenty of attacking stats and averaged 77 PPG last season. Lock him in and expect some scattered 100+ games throughout the season. Hastings is currently the most selected player in 2016 SuperCoach and I’ve decided to make him my starting five-eighth. Spending bottom dollar on an on-field position has given me some extra cash to spend elsewhere. Additionally, there are a range of bottom dollar halves to choose from this season, so why not take advantage of that by throwing three of them in there? Hastings has had a solid pre-season and should show some leadership while being the most experienced halves while Pearce is absent.
Centres/Wings: Josh Mansour, Konrad Hurrell, Kyle Feldt & Kirisome Auva’a
Mansour is a very attractive buy. He’s under-priced due to his injuries last season and is usually considered one of the best centres in SuperCoach. Hurrell is in a similar circumstance, only priced at 266k and is usually up there with the best centres. An alternative to Hurrell is his team mate Kata who is also priced around the same. Feldt is my POD. He plays for the club I support and is priced really well due to playing only a handful of games last season. For me, he’ll be a stepping stone to a gun centre/wing unless he has a monster season. Auva’a is a great value pick at 170k and has shown great form during the pre-season. If named, he’s almost certain to make a good amount of cash and can also be used as a stepping stone to a gun centre/wing later in the season.
Fullback: James Tedesco
Slightly cheaper than Tuivasa-Sheck and had a 2015 average of 74. Although he has earned the name ‘Glass Man’ due to his frequent injuries, ‘Teddy’ played more minutes than any other player last season. The Tigers also have an attractive run of home games at the start of the season which is potentially great for his points, although price irrelevant if you’re going to hold him for the entire season. Set and forget.
Bench: Kane Evans, Russell Packer, Agnatius Paasi & Pauli Pauli
Evans should be the beneficiary from the Waerea-Hargreaves injury. He has looked great in the pre-season and should make the extra cash needed to upgrade once JWH returns. Paasi is priced at 244k but he’ll need to be monitored as there’s a chance he could be moved to bench after a few rounds. He has shown excellent pre-season form which if he continues should hopefully secure the starting spot. Along with Paasi, Pauli and Packer will need to be closely monitored. Pauli is very cheap so there’s not too much risk involved, but Packer is 214k and the money could be spent better elsewhere if he doesn’t perform.
- Jayden Nikorima (Hooker) – possible replacement for Mitchell Pearce
- Ben Henry (2nd Row Forward) – starting from the bench
- Ashley Taylor (Half Back) – front runner Titans half
- Jaelen Feeney (Five-Eighth) – possible full back at the Knights
- Dale Copley (CTW) – replaces Jennings as starting centre
- Brad Abbey (CTW) – possible inclusion due to injuries to Hopoate and Morris
- Curtis Scott (CTW) – possible Storm winger
- Latrelle Mitchell (Fullback) – possible starter for the Roosters
Like most coaches I’ve filled my final eight spots with cheapies that I’m expecting will play. Come ‘Team List Tuesday’ I’ll be making sure these players are named while checking the latest injury report to ensure that those covering injuries and suspensions will play enough time for my cheapies to make a decent amount of cash. In the worst case scenario I’ll swap out those who aren’t named with those who are. If there aren’t enough cheapies to cover the vacant positions in my team, I’ll have to find alternatives and possibly downgrade my other selections.
Over to you community – what are your thoughts?