Ryan Papenhuyzen or Lil’ Pappy as he’s affectionately known, was on track for what was looking like an incredible season knocking off Tedesco and only held from the number WFB spot by an even greater outlier season from Tommy Turbo in 2021. Unfortunately, as I’m sure most remember his season was derailed in magic round by a Fuimaono clothesline. Because of that injury affected game and subsequent bench appearances upon return, Papenhuyzen finds himself with a fairly lofty discount priced at only 51 points with 35% of coaches on board currently. The recent injury cloud around Pappy has thrown a spanner in the works and it’s tough to say if he’ll be fit for round 1 given that not even Pap himself is sure but let’s take a look at his fantasy outlook for 2022.
Papenhuyzen holds a special place in the hearts of the amateurs as one of our earliest bang on predictions in January 2021 about his incoming break out year. Of course, once he got the goal kicking a few weeks later it didn’t take an expert or an amateur to figure out he was a buy, but a lot of what we said then holds true for this season. Papenhuyzen posted an average of 66.5pts (adjusted for new scoring) in his 8 60+ min appearances at fullback last year. He loses roughly 5.5pts in tackle busts on his 2021 average but gains back 1.5pts in offloads and has the potential to gain back another point or two from escaping the in goal.
With roll back of the six again rule, there is also a strong chance the game could see a regression in scoring after it jumped from 39.5pts per game in 2019 to 41.74pts in 2020 and finally settling at a ridiculous 46.3pts per game in 2021. There’s no doubt players like Turbo and Pap benefited greatly from this and had ridiculous try scoring/linebreak rates to go with it. Papenhuyzen averaged 1.4 tries and linebreaks per game in those 8 60+ min fullback starts and I’d be surprised if we didn’t see some regression here. I think the worst case scenario is that his tries/linebreaks half to 0.7 per game but even in this case it only pushes Papenhuyzen’s average to the low 60s, still providing more than 10 points of value making him a clear buy if fit for round 1.
Prior to his tweet yesterday that implied he’s not sure if he’ll be fit in time, Pap was the first picked in my side and a mainstay in every draft. After that tweet, he found himself out of my side for the first time since fantasy opened. If he is fit and healthy then I think he’s a no brainer with a minimum of 9pts to an upside of 15pts of value here. It’s a big if however and I wouldn’t blame anyone for skipping him while he’s under this current cloud and choosing to reinvest that money elsewhere like the tricky Mid position.