As we draw closer to the start of the 2019 NRL season, we take a look at the players that you’re going to want in your NRL Fantasy team come the Round 1 clash against the Sea Eagles.
Position-by-position, we’ll break down each player available from Wests Tigers with reasons why they’re certainly worth picking up in your squad for the year ahead.
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Esan Marsters (CTR — $617,000)
A breakout star of NRL Fantasy in 2018, Esan Marsters starts north above $600K in price which might put off plenty of coaches for selection in their Round 1 teams, particularly given the number of cheapie outside backs that are likely to be on offer across the board. But Marsters is certainly worth considering when you think about the attacking upside that could be there for the start of the year. Keep in mind that this is a player who averaged over 40 points last year despite only scoring three tries — numbers that could well improve with a new attacking style under Michael Maguire in 2019. Points on the board should also mean more goal-kicking opportunities for the Kiwi international, which simple gives him the chance to put on even more attacking stats. His base numbers are so good that Marsters is an option regardless, but should he start the year with a good start in attack, don't be surprised to see his price rocket north of $650K in a hurry — which could price him out of your team before you've even had a chance to own him. And if that's not enough, his first three games come against opponents that he's produced career averages of 42.2 (Sea Eagles), 43.5 (Warriors) and 55 (Bulldogs) against respectively!
NRL.com preview Wests Tigers chances in 2019
Paul Momirovski (CTR — $472,000)
Coming over from the Sydney Roosters for the 2019 season, Paul Momirovski provides an intriguing prospect for NRL Fantasy owners in the year ahead with a centre position seemingly open at the club this year. It looks like the Preliminary Final hero for the Tricolours is battling Robert Jennings for that final spot in the Wests Tigers backline, but after missing the team's only trial game with a minor quad injury, we're none-the-wiser as to who Maguire will lean to come Round 1. Should it be Momirovski, there's plenty of reason to suggest he'll be able to hit the ground running with a good base and defensive platform to grow his price tag over the first few rounds of the year. In his only NRL game outside of the finals series, Momirovski chalked up 34 points on debut so we don't have a lot of information in regards to his potential average, but with an opportunity there on the left edge for his new club and having trained there all pre-season, he is definitely worth a look.
Michael Chee Kam (2RF/CTR — $452,000)
Playing in the back row but listed as an option in the centres, Michael Chee Kam could be a great option for Wests Tigers if he can nab the starting left edge spot following Chris Lawrence's nasty injury in the lead up to last week's trial. With Lawrence unavailable for the first few months of the year, Chee Kam could be an option for Maguire to turn to on that side — a position he started in each of the final seven games of the season. Chee Kam's career average at Leichhardt and Campbelltown is north of 30 points in his 14 combined career starts there, so with three home games to start the year, is certainly an option to watch out for.
Play like Tarzan: Fonua ready to fire after pre-season
Mahe Fonua (WFB/CTR — $452,000)
Mahe Fonua ticks all but one box for Fantasy coaches. His damaging runs chalk up points en masse, he's got dual position flexibility across the backline and is not priced out of range at $452K. His attacking numbers could increase, and the upside is certainly there for the Wests Tigers fan favourite to chalk up some huge scores for fans — as he did on several occasions last year. The only question mark is whether or not he'll be there in the team come Round 1. Fonua came off the bench in last week's trial so he's certainly in the plans of Coach Maguire, but Jennings and Momirovski do look to have claims on the left centre position as well, making it a very intriguing battle to keep an eye on. The 26-year-old can play on either wing too so he's certainly not far from featuring in the team should he miss out on Round 1 selection, but it's going to be very interesting to see if he is listed for the season opener against Manly. If he is, expect to see plenty of coaches pick him up.
Sam McIntyre (2RF/CTR — $212,000)
The only other Wests Tigers player available at centre this year is young gun Sam McIntyre, who joins the top squad after spending last year on a Development contract. McIntyre will be very popular amongst coaches this year with his bottom-dollar value and flexibility between the centres and back row, and he's certainly worth picking up because he's every chance of cracking the top grade this year. McIntyre has quickly risen through the ranks of the Jersey Flegg and Intrust Super Premiership teams over the course of the 2018 season, and will certainly fancy his chances at taking the next step forward this year off the back of a good pre-season.