Rugby league fans around the globe will rejoice as one when the 2020 NRL season officially returns on Thursday night with the Brisbane Broncos taking on the Parramatta Eels.
After a two-month hiatus, the return of live rugby league — even without fans — will be a huge sigh of relief for all footy-depraved supporters, but perhaps none more so than NRL Fantasy Coaches who have had two months to mull over their team and think about what changes they'd like to make.
With new trades and several new tactics coming as a result of the revised season, it's time to start planning again which players you should target for the weeks ahead.
And with team lists officially confirmed for this weekend's games, here's three players to keep an eye on and potentially look to bring in your side...
Harry Grant, Wests Tigers (HOK, $246K)
Harry Grant's ownership has almost doubled in recent weeks to 15.3% and it's hard not to see that number rising further after the Wests Tigers new recruit was named to start at hooker in Round 3. After settling in to his new colours over the break, Grant has earned his way in to the starting side with his impressive work-ethic and approach to the game — making him one to keep an eye on moving forward.
Press Conference: Harry Grant
Billy Walters has been named on the interchange bench so it's unlikely we'll see Grant churn out 80 minutes in his first NRL start of the year, but there's certainly a big chance for him to grow in to the number nine jersey at Wests Tigers — driving his points total and price up very quickly along the way.
Scott Drinkwater, Cowboys (WFB/HLF, $470K)
After scoring 45 and 52 in the first two weeks of the season, Cowboys playmaker Scott Drinkwater has already risen in price by $65K this season — making him a great reward for those that took the plunge at the start of the year — but he's still got some money and value to be made for those thinking about jumping on now.
An injury to Michael Morgan sees talented youngster Jake Clifford slot in alongside Drinkwater in the halves, which could see his influence in the side rise further while Morgan is out, while his dual-position flexibility is also an appealing factor.
With the likes of Nathan Cleary and Cody Walker suspended, Drinkwater could be a great money-making option for the next fortnight or so before moving on to a bonafide gun that you can set and forget throughout the remainder of the season.
It's game on for 2020!
Sauaso Sue, Bulldogs (FRF/2RF, $397K)
Selected by just 0.28% of Fantasy coaches, Sauaso Sue completely flies under the radar this week and could well be worth picking up for less than $400K — a price he certainly won't be at for much longer once he plays this weekend.
Injury limited Sue's opportunities earlier this year, but the COVID-19 break meant he only missed the first two matches, and he's certainly got the trust of Coach Dean Pay after he was named to start in place of Aiden Tolman — who misses the 17-man squad all together and is instead named in the reserves.
Who did you support as a kid?
Sue has a great workrate for a big man and if the game does open up late on as we expect with a shortened pre-season plus new rules in the ruck, the Bulldogs prop could well find himself playing good minutes and points as a result.
There's plenty of great options in the forwards, but having someone with front row and second flexibility is always a good thing and when you combine it with Sue's incredibly low ownership, he could well be worth a speculative add.
It's not too late to sign up for your official NRL Fantasy team in 2020 — visit fantasy.nrl.com to pick your team for the year ahead!