The Jekkyl and Hyde of NRL Fantasy uncovered.
While he is no doubt a supreme talent, the veil needs to be lifted on Joseph Manu, specifically the “truth” behind his breakout 2022 season where he averaged 51.1 after a previous career high of 45.9 in 2021, and never breaking 40 before that.
The truth is there is a bit of Dr. Jekkyl and Mr. Hyde happening here between Manu playing his traditional centre position vs playing in the spine. Check this out…
There is no doubt that Manu improved at centre in 2022, particularly in attack. He went from 16 and 17 points in attack per game respectively in 2020/21 up to 26 in 2022, boosting his average by 10 points per game.
Manu was heavily involved in the Roosters attack, particularly between rounds 3 and 20 where he registered 9 tries and 8 try assists in 13 games, before going quiet at the business end of the year not registering a try or an assist in his final 4 centre games.
The issue with Manu is simple, he is currently priced at a 51 average, which he has no chance of reaching while playing at centre. Approximately 39% of his centre scores in his breakout season were below 40 points. For context, Dylan Edwards averages more at fullback than Manu did at centre in 2022, and scored under 40 only 25% of the time.
Yes, the Roosters added Brandon Smith – but Sam Verrills was no slouch and the Roosters attack has been humming for a while now. Outside the spine, there is only one way for Manu’s average to go, and it sure is not up.
Manu could be one of the worst buys you could make to start 2023 (assuming he is at centre), and anyone telling you different is being borderline negligent in giving their fantasy advice. Just being real with you – the 16% of you currently rostering can make your own mind up if you want to listen or not.