Get ready for the start of the 2016 NRL Fantasy season with our Fantasy Files!
NRL Fantasy coaches will be using the last few hours before kick-off tonight to finalise their squads, so here are a few tips to help you make some final decisions.
What is NRL Fantasy?
NRL Fantasy is an online virtual game where coaches (you) pick a squad of 25 players and based on real-life performances in the National Rugby League, earn points each week and compete against each other in pools and leagues. To make things more challenging, a salary cap of 6.8 million is used, a limited number of trade options per week.
Sign up for NRL Fantasy
Sign up for NRL Fantasy now, select your team and set up a league with your mates.
You can join Wests Tigers' OFFICIAL NRL Fantasy League — use code 7CNWJZVE.
Big Guns You Must Have
Gun players are those who perform consistently each week and average high points for your Fantasy side. Origin and bye schedules affect most of the big guns; however, these players should be considered in your team come the finals at the end of the year.
Corey Parker, 2RF (Brisbane Broncos) — $559,000
Like a fine wine, he gets better with age. One of the best Fantasy players in history, he is an absolute must have him in your side at some point.
He kicks goals, he offloads and he has 15+ carries per game, and makes over 30 tackles.
Despite spending some time at hooker last year during games, and fewer minutes, the workhorse still managed to average 62.5 — the highest of any forward in the competition.
Paul Gallen, 2RF or FRF (Cronulla Sharks) — $536,000
Put him in the Corey Parker category as well. The New South Wales Origin skipper leads a Sharks pack from the front with strong carries and ability to offload.
With the reduction of interchanges, the 34-year old will be hoping to improve on his 16-match appearance last season — his only real downfall in Fantasy football.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, WFB (New Zealand Warriors) — $505,000
A change of club over the off-season should do nothing to hamper the scores of the fullback, especially with a Warriors spine consisting of Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke. Averaging 56.5 (the highest of any other fullback) the former Rooster starts high at over 500k however given recent history, isn’t going to let any coach down.
James Tedesco, WFB (Wests Tigers) — $482,000
Along with RTS, the Wests Tigers fullback was one of the form players in the competition last season, and his Fantasy scores matched his efforts.
Tedesco’s ball playing ability at the back and his growing combination with the Wests Tigers spine will only see his scores improve in 2016.
Johnathan Thurston, HLF (North Queensland Cowboys) — $528,000
The halfback finished 2015 with a premiership, and a clear favourite amongst Fantasy coaches simply because he rarely has an off game. He averaged a respectable 59.1 in 2015, kicking goals and setting up tries, and is primed for a big year following his World Club Challenge efforts and the Cowboys aim to go back-to-back.
James Segeyaro, HOK (Penrith Panthers) — $479,000
After a disruptive 2015 due to injury, Segeyaro returns after dominating the NRL Fantasy competition in 2014 averaging 63 points per game (higher than any hooker in 2015). Named by new Panthers coach Anthony Griffin as the sole hooker in the side, the Papua New Guinea native is seemingly 80 minutes with no other hooker named in the team.
He is $70,000 cheaper than Storm captain Cameron Smith, whose scores and game time may be affected during Origin period — giving Segeyaro the edge in our opinion!
Other Guns to Consider
Andrew Fifita (Cronulla Sharks), Simon Mannering (New Zealand Warriors), Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Semi Radradra (Parramatta Eels), Trent Merrin (Penrith Panthers), Shaun Fensom (Canberra Raiders), Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), Shaun Johnson (New Zealand Warriors), Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers)
Cash Cows to Get in Your Team
Cash Cows are players who start at low-price or base-price that is expected to rise pending the performance and game time a player endures.
Once a player has reaches a high price, they can be sold for a cheaper player on the market – effectively creating a Fantasy coach cash to spend on upgrading other players.
Based on Round 1 teams, here are our top cash cows to start 2016!
Ashley Taylor, HLF, 5/8 (Gold Coast Titans) — $130,000
The departure of Aiden Sezer to Canberra has opened up an opportunity for Taylor to cement a permanent position for 2016. He has been named at five-eighth and with injury to half Kane Elgey that has ruled him out for the year, his position is all but secure.
Jackson Hastings ($149,000) and/or Jayden Nikorima, HLF/HOK (Roosters) — $130,000
Both young halves will fill the voids of Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney (Cronulla) to start 2016. Hastings is an absolute must-have at base price with his position all but secure and will also kick goals for the tri-colours. Similar to Hastings, former Bronco Nikorima showed plenty of promise in the Roosters win over St Helens in the World Club series and is an option at either halfback or hooker, making him a great player to get in your team.
Latrell Mitchell, WFB (Sydney Roosters) — $130,000
Named on the wing, the 18-year old will make his NRL debut against South Sydney and is a strong cheapie option in the backline. The rookie received huge raps following an impressive World Club series performance and is set to light up the NRL in 2016.
Ben Henry, 2RF, CTR (New Zealand Warriors) — $134,000
The back-rower has been named to start for the Warriors and if history is anything to go by, he is certainly a player to consider. During 2014 he was averaging 50 points however was cruelled with injury throughout 2015 and his price plummeted as a result.
Nathan Green, 2RF, CTR (Manly Sea Eagles) — $170,000
A surprise selection by Manly coach Trent Barrett in the starting back-row after a strong pre-season and Auckland Nines campaign. Green is slightly more expensive than others however his price will rise pending his performances.
Jordan Rankin, HLF, WFB (Wests Tigers) — $179,000
The former half has been named on the wing for the Wests Tigers and going off the trial against Cronulla, he is a huge chance at kicking goals as well. With the form of James Tedesco setting up his outside men last season, Rankin could be a cash cow option. He starts $40,000 higher than the base price, however it could prove to be a gamble worth taking.
Other Cash Cows to Consider
Jaelan Feeney (Knights), Adam Elliot (Bulldogs), Josh Aloiai (Wests Tigers), Pauli Pauli (Knights), Nathan Davis (Titans), Greg Eden (Broncos), Jacob Saifiti (Knights)
Wests Tigers Fantasy Files: Week 1
1. James Tedesco — $482,000
2. David Nofoaluma — $347,000
3. Kevin Naiqama — $238,000
4. Tim Simona — $280,000
5. Jordan Rankin — $179,000
6. Mitchell Moses — $290,000
7. Jack Littlejohn — $134,000
8. Aaron Woods — $440,000
9. Manaia Cherrington — $157,000
10. Tim Grant — $282,000
11. Curtis Sironen — $284,000
12. Chris Lawrence — $279,000
13. Sauaso Sue — $325,000
14. Kyle Lovett — $332,000
15. Josh Aloiai — $130,000
16. Ava Seumanufagai — $270,000
17. Jack Buchanan — $217,000