PROJECTED STARTING 17, ROUND 1 2022
FULLBACK: HAMISO TABUAI-FIDOW $470K 38BE (21 AVG 37.9, AVG 50 AT FULLBACK)
Fantasy Outlook (M): On paper, Hamiso looks like a screaming buy if he secures the fullback spot as predicted. Hamiso had a very strong base at fullback with runs, busts and tackles, and his blistering pace creates opportunities for tries regularly. What is more impressive is that 2/3 of his games that contribute to the 50 average at fullback were against top 6 sides in 2021, so he is no flat track bully. If he manages to retain his dual centre positionality he will be hard to leave out of starting sides, but even without it he looks to be a very strong option. NEW SCORING IMPACT: Well, he retained the centre dual position, but unfortunately takes a bit of a hit losing 4.7 pts in tackle busts per game. There is no doubt there will be some value for Hamiso at the price and he likely becomes a 45+ average keeper centre/dual bench option. FOR OUR IN FOCUS ARTICLE CLICK HERE.
LEFT WING: MURRAY TALUAGI $361K 29BE (2021 AVG 29.1, FULL TIME WING AVG 32.1)
LEFT CENTRE: VALENTINE HOLMES $526K 42BE (2021 AVG 42, CENTRE 2021 AVG 29)
RIGHT CENTRE: PETA HIKU $369K 30BE (2021 AVG 29.5, 2021 CENTRE AVG 35.7)
RIGHT WING: KYLE FELDT $441K 35BE (2021 AVG 36.2, FULL GAME WIN AVG 36.8)
LEFT HALF: SCOTT DRINKWATER $527K 42BE (2021 AVG 45, FIVE-EIGHTH AVG 43.8)
RIGHT HALF: CHAD TOWNSEND $532K 42BE (2021 AVG 47, 80M AVG 51 (NO GOALS 5 GM)
Fantasy Outlook (R): The Chad. One of the best and my personal favourite mid range cash cow last year. With a tuft of glorious hair coupled with 500 kick metres per game, Chad brought myself and others a lot of joy averaging about 60pts over the first 6 games of the year, prior to Shaun Johnson’s return. It’s hard to see him being able to replicate that without Moylan or another non-kicking half next to him. Drinkwater and Dearden split the kicking fairly evenly last year so either way someone is likely to eat into Chad’s ceiling by about 5 to 10 points. NEW SCORING IMPACT: Chad got to his 51 average off the back of some monster kick metres numbers, to the tune of over 400 per game. With the reduction in scoring and the addition of a capable kicker in Drinkwater, expect Chad to hold around his BE and not be fantasy relevant.
RIGHT BACK ROW: JEREMIAH NANAI $350K 28BE (21 AVG 27.8, 2RF AVG 33.5 IN 74 MIN)
Fantasy Outlook (M): Nanai is a very interesting prospect heading into the 2022 season, as he started 2021 on a development contract and only just turned 18 before his debut. This year will be his first full preseason training with the main squad, and there are very high hopes for both he and his back row partner. Even though the numbers aren’t great, we can put that down to game situation. Expect Nanai to get a hefty discount due to only 4 games played, but even without that I think he is a low cost, high upside option to fill out your squad. NEW SCORING IMPACT: No discount for Nanai who comes in at a BE of 28, meaning as a base there should be 5-6 points of value. The upside on that comes from purely theory, but most full time edge back rowers, even poor ones, can average 38. I would expect Nanai to add to his base and improve his defense, registering an average in the low 40s assuming he is a permanent edge fixture.
LEFT BACK ROW: HELIUM LUKI $439K 35BE (21 AVG 32.6, 2RF AVG 37.3 IN 62.3 MIN)
Fantasy Outlook (R): Luki showed flashes of potential during his rookie campaign with great line running and tackle breaking ability. Primarily coming off the bench has kept his price in check and if he was to lock down a big minute edge role and he shapes as a potential mid-range cow with similarities to Riki last year. If he’s only in a 50 to 60 minute role he’s right on the border of buy or pass but an 70+ minute role would see him in the buy category with his attacking upside. NEW SCORING IMPACT: Given the team composition, I would expect Nanai to fill the 80 minute role and Luki to fill the impact edge role, which is a 60-80 min role with Hess or Gilbert spending the balance on the edge to pad their minutes. Luki starts the year pretty expensive, and is safer just to avoid, particularly with other better options at a similar price.
LOCK: REUBEN COTTER $500K 40BE (2021 AVG 43, LOCK AVG 37.7 IN 40.7 MIN)
Fantasy Outlook (M): Cotter is an interesting one as he has a pretty clear role in this Cowboys side but a pretty wide range of outcomes. He had almost no attacking stats in his lock games, which has to change at some point given his Connor Watson-esque play style. I feel comfortable projecting him in the mid to high 40s as an average, but he is at a tricky price point relative to his value. Probably more of a “team fit” selection. NEW SCORING IMPACT: The impact on Cotter is negligible, less than 1 point per game. The fun part for Cotter is that his PPM of 0.92 features basically no attacking stats to speak of at all, which at some point has to change. FOR OUR IN FOCUS ARTICLE CLICK HERE.
PROP: JASON TAUMALOLO $620K 50BE (21 AVG 47.9, 48.8 IN 57.9 MINS AT MID IN 21)
Fantasy Outlook (M): I feel like Taumalolo probably deserves the “never again” treatment after dishing out the lowest PPM of his career since his rookie debut in 2014. The reality of the situation is that Jason had a combination of injury struggles, the Cowboys playing poorly and issues with the change in pace of play. In a perfect world, the Cowboys will simplify Jason’s role going forward and he will just be asked to cart the ball up the field, a role which has yielded fantasy success in the past. For me, I think Jason is going in the “show it to me” basket to start the year, then if we see the old Jason back in 2022 we can adjust our advice. NEW SCORING IMPACT: Based on last year, Taumalolo actually gets a small net positive bump on the scoring with the changes, but his tackle bust count was down by 2 per game last year. The question still remains which Taumalolo will turn up in 2022 for the men from the North. FOR OUR IN FOCUS ARTICLE CLICK HERE.
PROP: COEN HESS $439K 35BE
HOOKER: REECE ROBSON $605K 49BE (2021 AVG 46.5, UP TO 47.5 WHEN PLAYING 50+)
BENCH 1: TOM GILBERT $458K 37BE
BENCH 2: JORDAN MCLEAN $489K 39BE (2021 AVG 37.1, 38.7 WHEN PLAYING 40+ MINS)
BENCH 3: MITCH DUNN
BENCH 4/UTILITY: JAKE GRANVILLE
PROJECTED FORWARD PACK MINUTES
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FRINGE PLAYERS NOT PROJECTED FOR TOP 17