All off-season we were looking forward to getting new Parramatta Eels’ recruit Josh Hodgson at a bit of a discount after only playing one game for 2 points in 2022 (actually only 6 minutes in R1 before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament and ending his season).  As fate would have it, FanHub have priced Hodgson at a staggering 532k or 36 points in 2023.

 It’s hard to know exactly where this price / average came from, because if we have a look at his previous yearly averages going back to 2018:

20222 (ACL injury in R1)
202037.0 (ACL injury in R9)
201843.3 (ACL injury in the 2017 RLWC, missed the first 14 rounds)

Without a bit more a steer on his likely minutes and role for the Eels, it’s hard to project how he’s going to go in 2023.  What we do know is that Hodgson is 33 years old and is coming off his third ACL reconstruction (2018, 2020, and R1 of 2022 – talk about even year bs! (reminiscent of the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series in three consecutive even years in 2010, 2012, and 2014).  It’s incredibly unlikely that Hogson is going to return to his close to 80 minute role he played for so many years at the Raiders (noting that his career average in 70+ minute games is 47.4 points in 72 minutes (i.e. a PPM of 0.66)).  

We also know that Brad Arthur likes to carry a utility on the bench to spell his hooker if there are no other injuries (noting that when Reed Mahoney started at hooker he played less than 80 minutes on 21 occasions between 2020-2022).  At the Amateurs we expect that he will play between 65-70 minutes, with Jake Arthur likely to take the fourth spot on the bench and pinch a few minutes from the veteran hooker.  If we isolate Hodgson’s 65-70 minute games, his average drops down to 38.8 – granted, most of these stats are from 2015-2017 which is very old data – but also it shows us that Hodgson needs a lot of minutes to represent good value.  If Hodgson is playing 65 minutes with his historical PPM of 0.66, this gives us a projected score of 43.  This PPM may even be a bit generous at this point in his career, so we are projecting between 40-45 – noting that a lot would have to kick right for him to get 45.

As we said on the Eels podcast, it’s just tremendously upsetting that FanHub doctored his price up to 36 and we would have been much more interested if he was priced in the 400s.  Even if he was cheaper, given his age and injury history – it still would have been incredibly risky to start the season with him.  As it stands, they’ve really taken the decision out of our hands and we are more than happy to let this particular Eel free to enjoy the rest of his days in the deep blue sea (at least until another even year comes along)!



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