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 MINUTES||59.3 MINUTES|
|AVERAGE FANTASY POINTS||48.3 POINTS|
|TRY SCORING RATE||37%|
|TOTAL STARTS AT HOOKER (INCLUDING INT.) NEW RULES||32 STARTS|
|AVERAGE MINUTES||61.4 MINUTES|
|AVERAGE FANTASY POINTS||51.2|
|TRY SCORING RATE||41%|
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.
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 GRANT||3 MATCHES|
|2021 MATCHES WITHOUT GRANT||10 MATCHES|
|AVERAGE MINUTES IN THESE PERFORMANCES||66.5 MINS|
|AVERAGE FANTASY POINTS IN THESE PERFORMANCES||56.7 PTS|
|TRY SCORING RATE||46%|
|2020 MATCHES AT HOOKER (GRANT ON TIGERS)||5 MATCHES|
|AVERAGE MINUTES IN THESE PERFORMANCES||69.2 MINS|
|AVERAGE FANTASY POINTS IN THESE PERFORMANCES||53.8 PTS|
|TRY SCORING RATE||0%|
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…
|POINTS PER MINUTE||0.78 PPM|
|BASE AVERAGE (NO TRIES)||50.7|
|TRY SCORING RATE||15%|
|APPROX VALUE OF TRY (TRY/LB/1XTB)||14 POINTS|
|APPROX VALUE OF TRY PER GAME||2.1 POINTS|
|NEW PROJECTION||52.8 POINTS|
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.