Tyson Frizell (EDG): NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

The mid-season cut price keeper that never came…

Tyson Frizell had a very up and down 2022 season filled with missed games and multiple injury affected scores. He comes into this season priced at 47 ($673,000) and presents as an intriguing option.

With a reshuffled spine, a full offseason to recover to full health, a soft opening draw and a seemingly low chance at an origin recall, can Frizell bounce back to keeper status?

Between rib injuries and head knocks, Frizell was very good when he was actually on the field for the majority of games last season. The veteran edge averaged 55.7 in 2021 and 53.5 in 2022 in his 70+ minute appearances, with the only major variance in scoring being a reduction of about 3 less tackles per game, despite the major NRL rule changes. Frizell has shown a fair amount of consistency, regardless of who he is playing despite the Knights being a bottom four side last year and just scraping into the 8 in 2021.

Average vs20212022
Top 443.3 (3 games)53.6 (3 games)
Middle 857.8 (10 games)53.75 (8 games)
Bottom 459 (5 games)53 (5 games)

Frizell has had limited games against top 4 sides the past two seasons but has done quite well against Penrith posting scores of 59 and 55 last season as well as a 54 in 2021. Overall it seems Frizell is fairly fixture proof but does tend to score better in more tightly contested games where base stats are prominent rather than games where the Knights are able to dominate possession and he is reliant on a big attacking play to make up the difference.

As far as job security in this Knights team goes, Frizell is as rock solid as it gets outside of Ponga. The departure of experienced forwards David Klemmer and Mitch Barnett will require Frizell to be an integral component of any success the Knights right edge can have partnered next to new halfback Jackson Hastings. The obvious knock against Frizell is that he’s just turned 31 and has more than 200 games in the legs, as well as the fact the Knights are currently the 2nd favourite’s to take out the wooden spoon. However, the Knights do have a fairly soft draw for the opening 6 rounds, not playing any top 7 teams from last season before playing the Panthers in round 7, who Frizell has historically scored well against in recent encounters. I think there’s certainly a path to Frizell being a cut price keeper with about 6 to 8 points of value this season but I’m sure many will feel uneasy after being burnt last year.

(REGULAR RYAN)

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