Raiders to the Knights, swap an axe for a sword and play on?
Adam Elliott has had one of the most turbulent breakouts of NRL Fantasy history, improving from low 30s in 2017/18 to high 30s in 2019, before pushing all the way up to mid 40s in 2020/21. It looked like back to the early days in 2022, before Elliott exploding into relevance, averaging a career best 48.5 over the final 18 games of the season. Will it continue?
Elliott has now moved across to the Knights, where he fills the massive boots of one David Klemmer. In his matches where he exclusively played in the middle of the field, Elliott averaged 48.7 in 53.9 minutes, at a PPM of 0.903. Realistically, we believe the most likely role for Elliott at the Knights will be around 55 minutes (see our rotation on the main Knights page). In this case, this puts Elliott at an average of 49.5.
Starting at a price of $606k (BE 41.5 approx), you would like to see a projection in the low 50s at least to make Elliott viable. As it stands, Elliott finds himself as the most expensive option in this tier of players (TPJ, Horsburgh and Elliott) who have projections in the high 40s with upside to the low 50s (or in TPJs case higher).
It is surprising to see Elliott in almost 15% of teams given this fact, but there is a case here that Elliott probably finds himself with the highest floor of this group of players, and also really we are splitting hairs in terms of minutes – if you only include games Elliott played at least 45 minutes his average rises to 50.4 in 58 minutes, only 0.9 points higher but it pushes him into the “buy” bracket instead of the “caution” bracket.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the Knights only added Elliott, while losing Klemmer (60.9 minutes per game) and Barnett (66.4 minutes per game). We may even see the Knights employ a strategy where they start Elliott on the edge for 20-25 minutes and then bring on a Hetherington or Fitzgibbon on for the other 55-60 minutes, which would likely push Elliott into the 60-65 minute bracket and into keeper territory.
The Knights have Hastings who is a clear buy, and then likely most teams can only afford to run one of Ponga, Frizell and Elliott due to the round 10 awkward bye. Elliott probably represents the best value here in terms of balance of floor, ceiling, and safety for the price, coming in $57k, coming in roughly 4 points cheaper than Frizell while not quite sharing the floor but having a similar upside in terms of ceiling and job security.
In closing thoughts, the Knights will need someone to step up, and it seems likely that Elliott, Frizell and Daniel Saifiti will take up this mantle as best they can. We leave the decision to buy Elliott or not to the individual manager, I am very “meh” on it.