The Bulldogs finished seventh in the 2016 regular season but were knocked out in their second match of the finals.
Despite making the final eight, they find themselves among the favourites to finish in the bottom four of the 2017 season. I find this extremely bizarre considering the structure of their team should remain similar to the one that finished two wins clear of missing a 2016 finals birth.
The notable absentees are among their outside backs with Curtis Rona signing with the Western Force and Sam Perrett announcing his retirement. These two should be replaced by Richard Kennar (Storm) and Brenko Lee (Raiders) although Kerrod Holland could also make an appearance should Will Hopoate unexpectedly finds himself on the wing (unlikely).
Canterbury Bulldogs 2017 Draw
Here’s how I think they will line up:
- Brett Morris ($363.6k) played just ten games in 2016 after missing the opening fifteen rounds through injury. He averaged 54.4 PPG but spend most of the time playing on the wing. His base stats should improve while playing at fullback but it’s hard to consider him as a starting option with so many other attractive buys on offer.
- Richard Kennar ($252.7k) has signed with the Bulldogs after a two year stint with the Melbourne Storm. He played just nine first grade games over the two seasons but he looks to be the front runner to fill one of the two vacant wing spots. I’d like to see how he gels with his new team before considering him as an option in my CTWs. He may be one of the cheaper options for your backs but he’s the sort of player that’s capable of producing single digit games.
- Josh Morris ($300.2k) averaged 44.9 points during the 2016 season and finished with a price tag under $230k. There doesn’t seem to be many positives with getting J-Moz into your side. He’s expected to miss four games throughout the Origin period and he scores way too many games in the thirties and forties for my liking. His 2016 ownership percentage never surpassed 3.5% and I’m expecting the same next season.
- Will Hopoate ($339.3k) is slightly more expensive than Morris but this is partly due to playing most of the 2016 season at fullback. Fullbacks are generally more involved in the run of play and hence score base stats more frequently. I’d like to see how Hopoate performs before considering him for my side.
- Brenko Lee ($338.7k) doesn’t offer much in the way of base stats and will need to be involved in attacking plays to produce a respectable score. I can’t see him being a beneficial choice for your starting side at his price.
- Josh Reynolds (349k) had a pretty good season in 2016 and even had a four round average over 80 PPG prior to the Origin period commencing. My issue with Reynolds is his inconsistency and his ability to score below 40 on a regular basis. It’s hard to consider him for your 2017 starting side when there are other attractive options at five-eighth. I’d be looking at the likes of Jarryd Hayne, Kane Elgey (if he starts) or even Mitchell Moses.
- Moses Mbye ($394.1k) is way too expensive to be considered as one of your starting halves. He couldn’t crack the 60 point season average in 2016 despite starting with a four round average of 96. Mbye is almost guaranteed to drop in price after the opening rounds of the season so keep an eye on his break even in the event he becomes a potential stepping stone to a keeper.
- James Graham ($428.4k) is the closest you’ll come to a SuperCoach relevant player when looking at the Bulldogs’ line up. A very large portion of his 64 point average in 2016 was base stats and he normally plays anywhere between 50 and 70 minutes per game. I really like his consistency and the fact he remains out of Origin contention (being a pom) so he’ll usually be in my side from day dot.
- Michael Lichaa ($352.4k) played 80 minutes for most of the 2016 season but produced an average of just 52.7 PPG. It’s uncertain whether or not he’ll play the full eighty or share hooking duties with Zac Woolford or Craig Garvey, but I don’t see him as a SuperCoach candidate at this point.
- Aiden Tolman ($376.6k) may be considered the ‘lesser’ of the two props but he could be a good POD to begin the season with. Unlike Graham, he may play the occasional 80 minute game but you’ll need him to get a running average of around 65+ to make him a beneficial choice. Tolman averaged 56.3 PPG in 2016 and he’s good for a 50+ game most of the time.
- Josh Jackson ($381.6k) can be a good point of difference option if you’re looking for consistency in the second row. He doesn’t average well enough to be considered in your run home team but he may become a stepping stone if he strings together some attacking stats (which he’s no stranger to). Keep in mind that he’s likely to be selected for State of Origin so he’ll miss a minimum of three games.
- Greg Eastwood ($298.1k) is deceiving a first glance with his middie price tag while playing in the starting forward pack. He might make a little coin at some point but he’s way too inconsistent for my liking.
- David Klemmer ($379.4k) hasn’t received DPP status at this point but I’m expecting Vapour (the blokes who determine prices and positions) to make him a 2RF/FRF before the 2017 kicks off. Klemmer plays around 50 to 60 minutes per game and normally maintains a 1.0 point per minute average throughout the season. It wouldn’t be considered a bad move to give him a crack in your starting side although you may want to upgrade him before the Orgin period commences.
- Sam Kasiano ($248.8k) is one of the more expensive bench options in SuperCoach and shouldn’t be considered as a viable option. He usually plays between 20 and 30 minutes per game and his price doesn’t normally change too much.
- Zac Woolford ($122.6k)/Danny Fualalo ($143.6k) are two of the more likely options to appear on the bench. Woolford plays at hooker and would provide coverage for Michael Lichaa while Fualalo can play in the second row or at prop. Craig Garvey played a handful of games in 2016 and could also be an option.
- Raymond Faitala-Mariner ($198.3k) averaged just 29.7 PPG in 2016 and is expected to do the same next season. The big downfall with Faitala-Mariner is the uncertain minutes he plays but he usually racks up somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes per game. Not SuperCoach relevant at this stage.
- Adam Elliott ($143.6k) appeared seven times for the Bulldogs in 2016 and never produced a score over 30. Don’t let the cheap price tag fool you! He’ll hover around that value if he continues to score similar to his 2016 figures.