Middle captaincy option?
Murray continued his meteoric rise in 2022, taking on the Rabbitohs captaincy and pumping out an average of 64.35 points (63.2 regular season). With all that, there couldn’t possibly be room for improvement… could there?
The Murray 2022 season was something to behold, with one small black mark. In round 25, Murray was taken from the field after only 1 minute, dragging his regular season average down from 66.4 down to 63.2. Herein lies some instant value, particular with the adjustment made to Clearys price, Murray is the only elite fantasy scorer with clear value due to injury. This is not the only area for potential value though…
In rounds 1-12, Murray averaged 65.5 points, before dropping to 60.3 through the Origin period and only playing 3 games between rounds 13-18, and then exploding into the back end of the season with a 71 average from round 19 onward and a 72.3 average in the finals including 2x 80 minute performances of 75 points.
Breaking down these parts of the season, Murray looks like this…
|ROUND 19 ONWARD||72.2||71||0.983|
Based on this breakdown, it is clear the Rabbitohs were (rightly) managing Murray through the Origin period. Given Murray also has a tough bye schedule in 2023 including a bye in the H2H finals week, there is some sense to starting with Murray and looking for that 65+ average early as your captain, before selling in round 13 for another option with a more friendly schedule. Basically, from round 13 onward it will not be a good idea to roster Murray unless you save a trade for him in round 24, which for many of us is tough.
The upside is Murray does not have an early bye, and faces one of the tougher early season schedules, meaning he will need to be on his game from the start and plays one extra game compared to his other captaincy competitors in Cleary and Hynes. He is a tier below in terms of average (65 compared to high 60s) but with a bit of luck a Murray early captaincy selection could be a master stroke for Fantasy managers.
Make no mistake, there is absolutely some value in Murray here. Priced at about 61.9, there is somewhere between 3.5 and 9 points of value in the early rounds, but season long we expect to be about 3 points of value in this 70 minute role for the Rabbitohs.