Joseph Tapine (MID): Canberra Raiders

Payne Haas (improved?)

At the protest of one of our valued members and die hard Raiders fan, we have decided to re-evaluate our initial thoughts on Joseph Tapine to see if he fits our “game theory” criteria.

CRITERIA 1: JOB SECURITY

Starting with the obvious, Tapine is as secure a player as a Ricky Stuart forward can be. He is an international prop at the prime of his career, and has seemingly taken over as the leader of the pack with Papalii on the wrong side of the age apex. Circling back to the man himself, lets have a look at Tapine’s minutes in 2022 during the regular season.

INSTANCESFANTASY AVG
UNDER 40 MINS126
40-44 MINS445
45-49 MINS651
50-54 MINS369
55-59 MINS663.7
60+ MINS357.3

As you can see here, there is a healthy dose of “I play Tapine whatever the minutes I want” from Ricky Stuart, which is not really a great starting recipe for Fantasy success. There is some sort of inclination that Tapine played more minutes in the back half of the season, so lets explore that a little further.

In his final 12 appearances of the 23 games he played in the 2022 regular season, his average minutes was 52.3, compared to 49 minutes in the first 11 games. Indeed, outside the 31 minute performance against the Panthers in round 21 (looks like he got injured and missed the next round), Tapine actually averaged 54.3 minutes per game with a floor of 45 minutes, which drastically changes his outlook for season 2023.

Long story short, if we can trust Ricky (ha!) to stick to his pattern of unpredictable predictability, we can try to project Tapine moving forward.

CRITERIA 2 – VALUE

If we look at the table without anything under 45 minutes and project, it looks like this:

% OF GAMES# OF GAMESPPMFPTS
60+ MINS17%40.88222
55-59 MINS41%101.07610
50-54 MINS17%41.16241
<50 MINS25%61.06299
TOTAL FANTASY POINTS BASED ON 24 GAMES SEASON

All in all, thats 1,372 fantasy points in 24 games, or an average of 57.2 points per game. Tapine seems to be priced at about 54.1 points per game coming off an average of 55.3 in 2022. The extra value point helps, but ideally you want to see more than 3 points value.

If you are projecting Tapine to exclusively be playing 55+ minutes per week with the “genie out of the bottle” talk, you can adjust your projection all the way up to anywhere as high as 61 points per game, but honestly, do you really trust Ricky Stuart that much?

OTHER CRITERIA

Dual Position – Nope.

No Origin – Yep.

Favourable Bye – Nope.

Favourable Schedule – Yep.

Lets call this entire area a wash, with a slight edge in favour because I think the non-origin thing will be critical this year, and one non-dual isn’t going to kill you for an elite player.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Does Tapine have value? Absolutely.

If he was $100k cheaper would we accept a player with this limited value? No way.

Is Tapine trustworthy enough to captain? 22% of performances in our sample size under 50 would say no. Yes, they all happened early, but the sample size is too small without them.

Ultimately, Tapine is a judgement call. I will adjust him from “not right now” to “caution” because he does deserve to be in consideration, but the minutes floor of a player like Haas in the same price range cannot be ignored. Tapine may just end up being that one POD you didn’t need (see our game theory article on buying too many PODs), or he could be a great option to start 2023 with no concerns about availability over the Origin period.

You choose your own destiny here friends.

(M)

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