New coach, same DCE?
The “distant” third to the big two halfbacks for Fantasy, DCE is really only goal kicking away from being in the same tier as Hynes and Cleary. With a $100k-$125k discount for skipping one of the other two, is it worth looking at DCE?
Cherry-Evans has drastically increased his fantasy output since 2017, growing from a 45 average in 2017 up to a 60 average in 2021/22. Looking at his record in the halves year by year thanks to Rugby League Fantasy Pro, here is what we can see…
|POINTS (EX GK)||45.2||43.7||52.6||53.5||61.9||59.4|
For the most part, DCE has been pretty consistent across his career since 2015 in areas like overall demerits (6.1-7.5), try rate (23.5%-33.3%), and tackles (18-19 in good teams, 21-22 in bad teams). He has fairly consistently shown improvement across his career in areas like run metres, tackle busts, and offloads (seen reflected in elevated attacking stats) and kick metres as he became a more dominant half.
2023 projects to be quite similar for DCE, with Manly once again asking him to lead the team with help from youngster Josh Schuster, and the mercurial Tom Trbjoevic and “solid as a rock” brother Jake. Their forward pack is becoming less experienced as Tom and Jake command more of the salary cap along with DCE himself, which is probably reflected in the massively elevated kick metres in 2022 as he kicks them out of their own end.
In short, we would be expecting more of the same from DCE in 2023, with Foran leaving and Schuster assuming a similar role, although likely with more attacking output. This could have a positive or negative impact on DCE, but more than likely it just gives him a bit more space to do his thing. We can see 1-2 points value from his starting price, but really to make DCE an early value we would want to see him take on the goal kicking. Our advice for now is to look at DCE for the run home, and focus on the early value at half for now.