Brandon Smith (HOK): SYDNEY ROOSTERS

A hooker at last…

After years of playing as a bench forward, lock, prop, and backup hooker, Brandon Smith finally gets his opportunity to play as a full time hooker in 2022. Will he succeed?

In a word… yes. Smith has proved he scores much better at Hooker, and doesn’t need an 80 minute role to be a keeper. In this high powered Roosters squad, even a 65 minute role should see him at a 50+ average, and thanks to Craig Bellamy cucking him last year we should get him at a price in the mid to high 30s.

Looking closer at his hooker starts:

TOTAL STARTS AT HOOKER (INCLUDING INTERNATIONAL)41 STARTS
AVERAGE MINUTES59.3 MINUTES
AVERAGE FANTASY POINTS 48.3 POINTS
TRY SCORING RATE37%
TOTAL STARTS AT HOOKER (INCLUDING INT.) NEW RULES32 STARTS
AVERAGE MINUTES61.4 MINUTES
AVERAGE FANTASY POINTS 51.2
TRY SCORING RATE41%

Now your first instinct may be to deduct try scoring from Smiths totals, but the reality is this – Brandon Smith is an attacking player, going in to one of the best attacking sides in the competition. That said, there is a really interesting sample size that I want to look at as I think it gets us the best projection of Smith for 2023.

MATCHES10
MINUTES67.5
AVG POINTS49.2
BASE44.5
ATTACK12.4
TRY RATE10%
NEGATIVES-8.8
CRITERIA – 2020 AND 2022 RULES ONLY (NO PVL BALL BUT STILL 6 AGAIN), ONLY GAMES FOR STORM 40+ MINS HOOKER START

This probably paints a realistic view of a likely season for Smith at the Roosters in 2023, with a very high 40s average, which might push to 50+ if he gets some luck with tries. Smith looks the perfect round 1 hooker option, and even comes with a dual if you want to slot him into your bench as middle cover. Smith does find himself with an awkward bye in Round 4, but will be a huge asset origin time when his New Zealand allegiance will be fantasy gold.

But here is where things get a little murky for Smith… in many matches, particularly in 2021, Harry Grant was coming off the bench and pushing Smith to the middle which muddies his output from a Fantasy perspective. Thanks to some stats upgrades, we can now look at performance with and without Harry Grant in the side…

2022 MATCHES WITHOUT GRANT3 MATCHES
2021 MATCHES WITHOUT GRANT10 MATCHES
AVERAGE MINUTES IN THESE PERFORMANCES66.5 MINS
AVERAGE FANTASY POINTS IN THESE PERFORMANCES56.7 PTS
TRY SCORING RATE46%
2020 MATCHES AT HOOKER (GRANT ON TIGERS)5 MATCHES
AVERAGE MINUTES IN THESE PERFORMANCES69.2 MINS
AVERAGE FANTASY POINTS IN THESE PERFORMANCES53.8 PTS
TRY SCORING RATE0%

Looking back at the 2020 season where Cam Smith was still the lead hooker, Smith spent some time at Hooker during the Origin period and performed at an elite level, without scoring any tries at all! Realistically, we can try to project Smith as such…

AVERAGE MINUTES65
POINTS PER MINUTE0.78 PPM
BASE AVERAGE (NO TRIES)50.7
TRY SCORING RATE15%
APPROX VALUE OF TRY (TRY/LB/1XTB)14 POINTS
APPROX VALUE OF TRY PER GAME2.1 POINTS
NEW PROJECTION52.8 POINTS
BUY STATUSBUY!!!

Given his style of play, there is absolutely room to increase that try scoring rate, but honestly that would just be icing on the cake. I think most of you would agree with us, as Smith is presently the highest owned player in the game.

All of this to say, this is one not to overthink. Plug him into your lineup and move on. BUY.

AMATEUR MARK