There is no two ways about it, I am a Harry Grant “stan” and I make no apologies. When Grant came onto the scene at the Tigers, I was very comfortable projecting him for a 60+ average and I was not disappointed. Grant averaged 61.4 in 73.9 minutes in an 11th placed Tigers team, and made Tigers faithful say things like “Robbie who?”.
Predictably, Grants return to the Storm yielded even more output, with him adding another 20 metres and 1 tackle bust per game despite playing almost 15 less minutes. Many of these performances came off the interchange, with Grant only starting on 3 occasions, leading to a frankly unfair advantage of fresh legs against a tired defense.
But all of this is in the past now, and we need to look forward to 2022.
With the departure of Dale Finucane, and likely unavailability of both Tui Kamikamika (grub) and Nelson Asofa-Solomona (jab), combined with the impending departures in 2023 of Jesse and Kenny Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi and Brandon Smith, it is likely that the Storm will want to solidify the Papenhuyzen/Grant/Munster/Hughes connection for the future.
It is my projection that in 2022, Grant basically plays the role that we saw minutes wise at the Tigers, with Brandon Smith soaking the occasional 15 minute stint at Hooker if/when the Storm get in front, but more often than not Grant will play 80. I believe the average minutes will be closer to 75, but I will use 70 minutes and Tigers numbers as the low end.
|RATE||LOW END||HIGH END||FANTASY PROJ|
|LINE BREAK ASSIST||40%||60%||1|
|MISSED TACKLE||2.5||3||-5- -6|
I have intentionally given a pretty big range here, being what I see to be the worst and best case scenarios respectively.
As you can see, Grant playing 70 (ish) minutes per game with a reduced attacking output would yield the low end average of 57.5, and frankly that would be a poor season for Grant and the Storm based on his play style. I rate this average to be far less likely than the high end, where Grant and the Storm go nuclear in one last hurrah and set the competition alight again.
More than likely, I think the actual result is the midway point between these two figures, which is about 63 points per game. For context, Cameron McInnes averaged 75 across 10 starts of 70+ minutes in 2020, so this is absolutely a realistic figure, and now that I think about it potentially underselling the ability of Grant. In truth, the ceiling of Grant may yet be unknown to us. His combination of raw running ability with elite play making and deception make him a cheat code at the position and the clear best option.
Grant will miss week 1, which is a mark in the “against” column, but when you have a player whose “disaster” season is 1.5 points of value and the upside of 12+ points (up to an unknown ceiling) it is too hard to ignore and frankly irresponsible to start with anyone else at the hooker position.
The next best option is Damien Cook, who looks to project about 5 points per game less than Grant. When you factor in the week 1 AE, Grant will start about 30 points behind Cook, meaning by week 7 or so you will be making a profit with Grant all going to plan. Both options will play Origin, with Grant more likely to be rested through the break, but by then hopefully you have a capable 18th man and it only costs you 10-15 points on Cook.
If the combination of elite scoring upside and value of Grant doesn’t interest you, the safe route of Cook is available, but in my (not so) humble opinion it is a mistake to go that way. Grant is currently only in 10% of teams, more than likely because many coaches are paying up for Cleary and Trbojevic. Honestly, its entirely possible Grant is the 2nd highest scorer in 2022, and the $300k saving from Turbo down to Grant is an obvious move.
Hopefully I have done a good enough job of swaying the non believers, if not then more Harry Grant for me!