PENRITH PANTHERS

PROJECTED STARTING 17, ROUND 1 2022

FULLBACK: DYLAN EDWARDS $496K 40 BE (2021 AVG 41.7, 44.1 EXCL. INJURY GAMES)

LEFT WING: BRIAN TO’O $713K 57BE (2021 AVG 59.2, NO OBVIOUS CHANGES)

LEFT CENTRE: IZACK TAGO $334 27BE (2021 AVG 24.8, PLAYED EDG BUT LIKELY CTR)

Fantasy Outlook (R): Tago burst onto the scene in his rookie year with some flashes of attacking brillance. Luckily his reduced bench role has kept his price down and he looks a promising cash cow. Tago managed 10 tries in 9 appearances in NSW Cup prior to his call up to first grade with an impressive 57.2 average (7 apperances at centre/2 on an edge). With the attacking ability of this Panthers side and playing outside Cleary it wouldn’t surprise me to see Tago match Momirovski’s early season output last season as long as the premiers aren’t nursing too much of a hangover. NEW SCORING IMPACT: Tago did see a pretty high tackle bust volume on a per minute basis, but at this price I think we can put that down as a positive not a negative.

RIGHT CENTRE: STEPHEN CRICHTON $350K 28BE (21 AVG 35.8, CAREER CTR 35.7 NO GK)

Fantasy Outlook (M): Stephen Crichton probably should not have been on this list, but here we are thanks to the benevolence of the Fanhub operators, who reduced Crichton’s price down to 28 points per game, which shows some obvious value for Crichton – particularly with the dual position availability. Crichton projects to be a mid 30s scorer, with some try upside as we currently only have him listed at a 40% try scoring rate. Looks a great CTR option who can shift to your EMG later in the year and provide that coveted DPP WFB/CTR dual in the #21 spot. NEW SCORING IMPACT: Crichton loses about 1 point with the new scoring, which could easily be made up with the in goal escape stats, so lets call it a wash. The question remains – is 7.5 or so points of value enough?

RIGHT WING: ROBERT JENNINGS $240K 19BE

LEFT HALF: JEROME LUAI $476K 38BE (2021 AVG 38.9, NO OBVIOUS CHANGES)

RIGHT HALF: NATHAN CLEARY* $1.05M 84BE (2021 AVG 92.8, NO OBVIOUS CHANGES)

Fantasy Outlook (M): This dude is a cheat code. It doesn’t matter about opponent strength (although he managed to avoid the Storm in the regular season and registered his only sub 60 score of the season against them in the finals) and it doesn’t matter if he gets a try or not, he just finds a way to score fantasy points. He is likely going to cost you about 13% of your starting salary cap to kick off the year, and will have a limited preseason coming off his shoulder surgery (that is if he is even available week 1) but it will take a very bold manager not to start with him this year given the absolute clinic he put on in 2021. If he suits up week 1, I expect he will be heavily owned and heavily captained. NEW SCORING IMPACT: Cleary loses about 9 points in kick metres, and an additional 3 in tackle busts while only adding 2 points in offloads, meaning we are likely to see a 10 point reduction in his scoring based on last year. This would see him basically equal with Tom Trbojevic before the scoring changes for Tom. Still an absolute gun, and 5+ points clear of the second best option.

LEFT BACK ROW: VILIAME KIKAU $566K 45BE (2021 AVG 45.7, NO OBVIOUS CHANGES)

RIGHT BACK ROW: LIAM MARTIN $499K 40BE (21 AVG 39.3, 43.4 AT 2RF IN 68.8 MIN)

LOCK: ISAAH YEO $660K 53BE (2021 AVG 50.8, 53.3 IN NON-INJURY GAMES)

Fantasy Outlook (R): Yeo is one that’s never really excited me for fantasy but there’s no doubt he’s a consistent performer with every 2021 score falling between 41 to 69 (not including his 9min injury game). There’s obviously a little bit of value here with a 9 minute appearance in round 19 bringing down his average but I think there will be better places to spend your starting salary cap, particularly with a BE of 53.

PROP: JAMES FISHER-HARRIS $683K 55BE (2021 AVG 52.7 IN 52.6 MIN, NO CHANGES)

PROP: MOSES LEOTA $515K 41BE (2021 AVG 39.6, 40.8 IN 39.7 IN NON INJURY GAMES)

HOOKER: API KOROISAU $656K 53BE (21 AVG 50.1, 56.1 IN 73.1 WHEN 60+ MINS)

Fantasy Outlook (M): This probably depends a lot on the team configuration for the Panthers bench, combined with whether they can continue their 2021 form into the new year. On several occasions Api got a very early shower, meaning his overall season average was compressed as a true reflection of his scoring. If the Panthers play in more close games, Api will play more and as a result score more points, the question is whether we believe that is the case or not…

BENCH 1: MATT EISENHUTH

BENCH 2: SPENCER LENIU $322K 26BE (2021 AVG 25.5, UP TO 28 WHEN 16+ MINS)

BENCH 3: SCOTT SORENSON

BENCH 4/UTILITY: MITCH KENNY

PROJECTED FORWARD PACK ROTATION

PLAYER NAMEPROJ MINS
JAMES FISHER-HARRIS50-55
MOSES LEOTA40-45
ISAAH YEO65-70
VILIAME KIKAU60-65
LIAM MARTIN65-80
API KOROISAU70
MITCH KENNY20-25
MATT EISENHUTH25-30
SPENCER LENIU30-35
SCOTT SORENSON30-35

*NATHAN CLEARY will be in doubt for round 1 following off season shoulder surgery

FRINGE PLAYERS NOT PROJECTED FOR TOP 17

Charlie Staines

Lindsay Smith

Taylan May

Sean O’Sullivan