2022 CASH COW RANKINGS

Everyone loves a cash cow, and with the salary cap being reduced and expensive players on the shopping list, finding the right cheapies is going to be absolutely essential. We break down the cheapies ahead of week 1, and give you our honest opinions on their fantasy prospects two weeks out from TLT.

BILLY WALTERS – BRISBANE BRONCOS ($240K – 19BE)

Seems locked into the #6 jersey after a Stephen Bradbury-esque ascension to the top of the Broncos halves depth chart alongside Adam Reynolds. Averages 45+ in the halves in a 66 game sample of reserve grade games, looks a no brainer.

Mark: 10/10 Ryan: 10/10

CHRIS RANDALL – NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS ($350K – 28BE)

He is a $350K hooker, don’t overthink this one. 6 games over 30 mins for an average of 46.7 points in 63.5 minutes. Even a 50 minute role will see him make the 10 points of value.

Mark: 10/10 Ryan: 9/10

IZACK TAGO – PENRITH PANTHERS ($334K – 27BE)

The likely replacement for Matt Burton at left centre, Tago has the size and speed combination along with the workrate to make a fist of the opportunity and be an absolute weapon for Fantasy. Will not be shocked if he averages 40+.

Mark: 9/10 Ryan: 7/10

LACHLAN ILIAS – SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS ($300K – 24BE)

The heir apparent to Adam Reynolds, Ilias had a slow start in 2021 with his debut but with a full preseason we expect him to take over the team in 2022. We would like to see some more attacking play from Ilias, and he may be more of a “slow burner”, but looks safe.

Mark: 7/10 Ryan 8/10

JEREMIAH NANAI – NORTH QLD COWBOYS ($350K – 28BE)

One of the few bright sparks in the 2021 season for the Cowboy, Nanai looks to have secured an edge role for the Cowboys, and is able to pump out 80 minutes and be an attacking weapon. He will only be better for the full preseason, and likely averages around 40 points per week.

Mark: 8/10 Ryan: 6/10

KELMA TUILAGI – WESTS TIGERS ($310K – 25BE)

Tuilagi showed flashes of brilliance in 2021, which has been backed up by early trial form. Assuming he can beat Garner to the job, he looks a nice money maker who averaged 35 on the edge in reserve grade across 14 starts with clear room to grow as a player.

Mark: 7/10 Ryan: 7/10

COREY PAIX – BRISBANE BRONCOS ($323K – 26BE)

Paix has been knocking on the door for a while now, but it looks as though he may have finally taken over Jake Turpin as the preferred Hooker for the Broncos. He has a limited NRL sample size at about 0.72PPM, but a lovely sample in Queensland Cup of 12 games showing a slightly lower PPM of 0.68. We would expect a significant increase in his defensive workload in the NRL, and realistically Tom Starling is the model for Paix. As long as he gets 50 minutes as the starting hooker, he is a great buy, but job security will be the ever present danger for him.

Mark: 7/10 Ryan: 7/10

TALATAU AMONE – ST GEORGE DRAGONS ($350K – 28BE)

Junior Amone looks likely to get the first crack to partner Ben Hunt in 2022, but with Jayden Sullivan breathing down his neck he isn’t guaranteed a spot if he doesn’t play well. His three halves performances yielded an average of 43 points, but only 1 score above 32 points, which is a concern for the rapidness of his price rises and his long term prospects

Mark: 6/10 Ryan: 7/10

XAVIER SAVAGE – CANBERRA RAIDERS ($350K – 28BE)

The sky is the limit for Savage, with his only real obstacle being the rusted on members of the Canberra backline. Savage feels a little bit like Nicho Hynes from last year (Mark), where the clear elite upside is obvious but the job security is questionable. No doubt the highest ceiling of all of the cheapies, but with Rapana suspended the first two weeks it could also be a juicy trap.

Mark: 7/10 Ryan: 6/10

WILL PENISINI – PARRAMATTA EELS ($350K – 28BE)

With the injury to Dunster, we have to hope Penisini isn’t the odd man out who ends up on the Eels wing. Assuming he is at centre, we have 12 games in reserve grade at an average of 38.6, followed up by a 5 game sample in the NRL of 34.5 with 40% of those games being against either the Storm or Panthers. Looks a sure fire money maker with a decent chance of 10 points.

Mark: 6/10 Ryan: 6/10

STEPHEN CRICHTON – PENRITH PANTHERS ($350K – 28BE)

The sample size on Crichton is much more extensive, with 35 career full games at centre. Excluding goal kicking, he averages 34.6 points, very similar to Penisini, but much more reliant on attacking stats, with a base of only 24.5 compared to the 26.6 of Penisini. Dual is a help and he looks to be a definite money maker, but maybe a shade short of 10 points value.

Mark: 5/10 Ryan: 6/10

MAX KING – CANTERBURY BULLDOGS ($240K – 19BE)

Coming across from the Storm system, Max will be looking to cement a spot on the Bulldogs bench. If he can pull it off, he looks to be a great slow burning cheapie at the price point, with some upside if injury strikes. He has shown in the past he can keep the workrate up in larger minutes, so lets hope he can push Corey Waddell and Ava Seumanafangai down the depth chart.

Mark: 5/10 Ryan: 6/10

VILIAME VAILEA – NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS ($240k – 19BE)

Another young Warrior learning his trade, Vailea comes in as an inexperienced centre with plenty of upside. An option as a #21 on your bench, Vailea is probably a necessary evil due to his price point as he learns his craft in the NRL. Park him at #21 and break glass in case of emergency is the best strategy here.

Mark: 5/10 Ryan: 5/10

XAVIER COATES – MELBOURNE STORM ($330K – 27BE)

The move to the Storm will no doubt be good for his fantasy prospects, but will it be enough to get him to a 37 average? Ultimately, all we can do is guess at this point, but Coates looks a likely boom or bust option that is not trustworthy in your 17 on a regular basis. He might be too highly owned to avoid unless you are convinced he flops.

Mark: 4/10 Ryan: 5/10

JORDAN PEREIRA – BRISBANE BRONCOS ($327K – 26BE)

More of a base stat beast than his similarly priced counterpart, Pereira was one of the biggest impacted by the tackle bust reduction on a % basis of total score. No doubt there is value there, but his low try scoring numbers hurt him in terms of potential on the wing. If he can get his try scoring up to around 70% he will be in with a shot for 10+ points value.

Mark: 4/10 Ryan: 5/10

JOSH KING – MELBOURNE STORM ($319K – 26BE)

Every year, one player is the king of “training the house down” in preaseason, and that man for 2022 is Josh King, who comes from the Knights into the Storm system and looks set to take the role of Tui Kamikamika in 2022. Across 13 games in 2020/21 of over 25 minutes, King scored at around 0.97PPM, so we will need him to be looking at 35+ minutes minimum per game to be a 10 point value player. At this stage, hes right on the fringe of buy territory.

Mark: 4/10 Ryan: 5/10

ROCCO BERRY – NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS ($358K – 28BE)

Berry comes into the NRL with next to no Rugby League experience, but managed to put together a very respectable centre average of 30.5 points in 6 full games. We expect growth from there, but we will need to see Berry roll up the sleeves and do the tough stuff with those back field carries if he is going to have 10 points of value for fantasy managers.

Mark: 4/10 Ryan: 4/10

JARROD CROKER – CANBERRA RAIDERS ($292K – 23BE)

Croker has free fallen from Fantasy gun to irrelevant in a startling amount of time, culminating in the disaster that was 2021 where he averaged over 10 points lower than he did two years before. The base stats actually showed an uptick in 2021, with the demerits climbing by 2 while the attacking stats also dropped to a career low including 0 tries in 10 matches. If he picks it up, a goal kicking centre under $300k is gold, but its a big IF given recent trends.

Mark: 3/10 Ryan: 3/10

SEAN RUSSELL – PARRAMATTA EELS ($260K – 21BE)

The reserve grade stats arent great for Russell, who averages under 100 metres and less than 1.5 tackle busts per game even against inferior competition. Would need to work a lot harder to get to a 30+ average in first grade, but not impossible.

Mark: 2/10 Ryan: 5/10

JOSEPH SUAALII – SYDNEY ROOSTERS ($350K – 28BE)

It seems like a matter of “if, not when” that Suaalii takes the NRL by storm, but with the young Rooster returning from a serious injury and facing stiff competition, he may be one to put in the book for later in the year once he has had a run in reserve grade. Given the volume of early season cheapies, this might be the best case scenario for Fantasy Coaches anyway. Even once he has his shot, a winger needing to average 38 points is no slam dunk.

Mark: 2/10 Ryan: 4/10

Published by Fantasy Amateurs

Just guys providing Fantasy Football Content. Maybe we know what we are talking about, maybe we don't. You will need to work out if the name is ironic.

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