Thursday 15 April 2010

Fantasy NRL Blog for Round 6 - Dream Team, Daily Telegraph SuperCoach & Fox Sports Fantasy NRL Coverage

Fantasy NRL Blog
Covering Dream Team, Daily Telegraph SuperCoach & Fox Sports Fantasy NRL competitions in 2010.

UPDATE: April 28 - NOT The Footy Show Special Fantasy NRL Blog Podcast - look out for it on the front page of before Round 8!

First up let me apologise for never finishing the player scouting reports on the FoxSports Fantasy NRL subsection of the website - you got Props, Hookers and Backrowers covered before the season started for free but there's a project I'm working on now that should top all that... let's just say - can you say 'Who are the NRL's Top 200 Players?'

Stay tuned to and the NOT The Footy Show YouTube Videos for more information on probably the most exciting Rugby League publication of the decade...

Who will be #1?

But that's in the future - back to the present.

Be honest - just how bad is your Fantasy NRL team going in 2010?

Over the last few years I've dedicated myself to the Fox Sports Fantasy NRL competition because I found it to be the most interesting 'version' of the Fantasy Rugby League game in Australia. But when I learned that the kind folks at Fox Sports had scaled back their prize pool to some measly club game free tickets if you outscored 40,000 people every week... I've now turned my attention to the's Dream Team (despite it's flaws) and am also actually doing quite well in the Fantasy NRL & AFL Games at The Daily Telegraph's SuperCoach competition probably has my number in 2010, as I didn't pay too much attention to the scoring system at the start of the year and have suffered from picking a similar squad to my Dream Team.

And my Fox Sports team is suffering mightily from a curse I have seemingly placed on the player I pick as skipper every week... the highest score any of my choices for captain in 2010 was Robbie Farah in Round 3 with 30... you can't compete (even for free NRL club game tickets) with such poor production from your skipper.

But enough about me - let's get to The NRL Tweet's Fantasy NRL Talk for Round 6.

Injury Update - Key notes for Round 6

Who is OUT worth dropping?

Johnathan Thurston is out 2-4 weeks with a busted shoulder... now if it was just a stinger he wouldn't have gone off during the Cowboys clash with the Tigers on Saturday Night and our 'professional diagnosis' is Thurston will come back way too early and have his shoulder collapse once again. He's a massive risk - especially if he can't run the ball because of the pain when he gets tackled and you should punt him RIGHT NOW. Also missing for the Cowboys in Round 6 will be Luke O'Donnell (suspension) and Aaron Payne (Injury)... ouch!

Tim Moltzen did his knee without any contact with an opposition player and is done for the year. Tragic for the youngster who really seemed to fit in at halfback for the Wests Tigers. Obviously if you have him there's no point holding on to him but have a quiet look at the price of his replacement rookie Blake Lazarus or stock up on Robert Lui while he's cheap (he's currently injured).

St.George-Illawarra won't have Michael Weyman (suspension), Jeremy Smith or Matt Prior (both injured for at least a month or two) for the trip to the Gold Coast, so avoid them but if they're out then look at guys like Dan Hunt, Ben Creagh and the unheralded Jon Green to step up.

Who is IN worth picking up?

Brisbane bring back a host of quality with Jharal Yow Yeh, Corey Parker & Israel Folau likely to play against the Sharks on Sunday. Parker is in the most doubt but Folau and Yow Yeh should play and playing the Sharks means you should seriously consider adding them for this week.

Newcastle get skipper Kurt Gidley back and significantly he's playing fullback where he's at his most involved. Still he had a serious hamstring injury so beware he might be average in his first few weeks.

Penrith got Trent Waterhouse back for Round 5 but he was a late inclusion so you didn't get a chance to pick him up. He's worth looking at now however as he's a good defender and has a great off-load.

A big inclusion for the Sydney Roosters this week with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves finally back from a pre-season shoulder injury. He is a monster of a man who will be used as a battering ram but we're eager to see his defensive stats before we get him in our Dream Team.

The next section looks at the players you should realise are the go-to picks if you have any hopes of moving up the leaderboard in any form of Fantasy NRL but it looks mainly at it from a Dream Team perspective. Beware when browsing the top point getters in any league though - because not every player will have the same role for the rest of 2010 as they have had for the opening 5 weeks of the season.

The Dream Team
Top 5 Players in Each Position
Who should you keep? Who should get get? Who should you punt?

The golden rule in Dream Team is pick players who make Tackles. It is really that simple. Attacking stats aren't that valuable comparatively speaking and only kicking metres make a playmaker worth selecting. Metres Gained is the other 'big' stat but a player might run for 150m in a game yet that's only going to score you as many points as a player who makes 15 tackles... getting it?

Here's an updated on the top players in each position...

  1. Lance Hohaia 235k - 170 points @ 34ppg
    He's now playing in the halves so that means extra tackles and that means more points. 
  2. Todd Carney 154k - 145 points @ 29ppg
    Needs to be kicking a lot of goals to get you big points but the Roosters will score in bunches.
  3. Jarryd Hayne 198k - 134 points @ 27ppg
    If his kicking in general play increases the points you get from metres from kicks will boost his numbers significantly - as will his running game.
  4. Michael Gordon 150k - 114 points @ 23ppg
    Penrith sharpshooter has already missed as many goals this year as he did in all of 2009 - but he also should be a very solid point getter every week.
  5. Sam Perrett 135k - 105 points @ 21ppg
    His biggest strength is dummy half running... but points come from Metres Gained not simply the number of hitups.

  1. Ben Lowe 264k - 200pts @ 40ppg
    This is the positional category that savvy Dream Teamers take advantage of the game creators. Lowe is a backrower and is on fire - playing in the backrow. Is suspended this week and faces a tough task holding his 80minute role when Michael Crocker comes back.
  2. Mitchell Aubusson 177k - 177pts @ 35ppg
    80 minute backrower for only 177k... I shouldn't have to list his stat value outside of the 80 minute backrower part. SIGN HIM.
  3. Luke Lewis 207k- 166pts @ 33ppg
    Has been a beast for the Panthers at lock and at five-eighth... yet not centre funnily enough. Moving back to lock this week - he's a wise investment for his all-around game.
  4. Beau Scott 233k - 166pts @ 33ppg
    Defensive centre (he used to be a backrower) who will make 20 tackles and add an off-load or two each week. He's solid but not spectacular for that price.
  5. Chris Lawrence 191k - 145pts @ 29ppg
    Tryscorer with a willingness to defend. That's a decent combination but it'd be even better if Dream Team rewarded tries with some actual value.

  1. Terry Campese 338k - 251pts @ 50ppg
    Has done a lot more defence this season than you would've expected and his kicking game is always nice and long... expensive though and that tackle count will fluctuate weekly.
  2. Benji Marshall 273k - 212pts @ 42ppg
    He's been the form player in the NRL over the first 5 weeks and you've got tries, goals and some handy metres (running & kicking) from him but his defensive stats will never be big, so he's a risk.
  3. Johnathan Thurston 271k - 208pts @ 42ppg
    Seriously if you keep him you'll be wasting 271k until the day he returns and succumbs to his shoulder injury in the first five minutes of the game. Great if fit sure... but he won't be.
  4. Jamie Soward 318k - 202pts @ 40ppg
    Has been borderline ordinary in 2010 yet the Dragons are 4-1 with him underperforming. Gets you goals and metres from his kicking game but the tries and playmaking skills have dried up for the time being...
  5. Jamie Lyon 236k - 200pts @ 40ppg Unfashionable player but his stats this year have been superb. Is the Manly goalkicker and makes a good number of tackles per game - but he never seems like he's about to put up superstar numbers... but so far he's been very very good.

Backrow Forwards
  1. Shaun Fensom 264k - 269pts @ 54ppg
    Most Canberra fans didn't expect Fensom to play regular first grade at the start of the season because Josh Miller was favoured at lock by coach David Furner... but Fensom has been one of the form locks in the NRL let alone a form forward for the Raiders. But his job security may not be as secure as you think when Miller returns.
  2. David Stagg 357k - 258 @ 52ppg
    He's so reliable defensively and rarely makes an error so he's Dream Team gold. He is expensive considering you can get the same ppg from Fensom for almost 100k less. Still Stagg is a gem - stick with him.
  3. Paul Gallen 329k - 231 @ 46ppg
    His defensive workload has increased in recent seasons but his metres gained remain high. He's a ball hog which hurts the Sharks but only his errors and penalties will hurt you in Dream Team - the more he runs it the better.
  4. Nathan Hindmarsh 336k - 227 @ 45ppg
    Hindy is a Dream Team machine given he'll make 40 tackles per week and have a big week metres wise here and there. If he'd off-load more he'd be amazing in Dream Team land.
  5. Scott Bolton 251k - 203pts @ 41ppg
    Became Thurston's go to man on the left along with Willie Tonga but now Thurston is goneskis - Bolton might only be solid from here on out rather than above average.

Front Row Forwards
  1. Aiden Tolman 257k - 222pts @ 44ppg If you didn't know Tolman was a work-horse from the top shelf before the season - you should know it by now. He's still cheap and is making 30 tackles + 100m a game in 65+ minutes each week - get him in your front row.
  2. Ben Hannant 307k - 220pts @ 44ppg
    He's just so consistent and Canterbury coach Kevin Moore is leaning on him heavily with so many forwards out. You pay a premium but he's worth it.
  3. Sam Rapira 261k - 212pts @ 42ppg
    Has stepped up his work-rate in the absence of Steven Price - but as good as he's been will his numbers maintain the rage when Price returns from injury?
  4. Luke Bailey 275k - 205pts @ 41ppg Is a great prop at club level and gets 55+ minutes per week to build up the tackle count and churn out the metres.
  5. Luke Douglas 285k - 202pts @ 40ppg
    I love this kid - consistent and tough, he should be in the frame for NSW but fortunately for your Dream Team - he'll get overlooked for some over-rated hack like Brett White or Brent Kite.

  1. Robbie Farah 369k - 262pts @ 52ppg
    His kicking game from dummy half teamed with his defensive workload makes him a must-pick, throw in his playmaking ability and you should've drafted him straight up.
  2. Cameron Smith 356k - 246pts @ 49ppg
    Has the long kicking game, the defensive work-rate and an added bonus over Farah which is goalkicking. His ppg suffered from a stint at halfback in the opening rounds.
  3. Nathan Friend 296k - 220pts @ 44ppg
    You want tackles in Dream Team and Friend delivers that in spades. You'll get exactly what you pay for - 40 odd tackles per game.
  4. Issac Luke 269k - 207pts @ 41ppg
    Dynamic out of dummy half so far this season but he'll have to lift his work-rate in defence and stop missing tackles to get his ppg to the Farah/Smith level. Also kicks which is a nice bonus.
  5. Matt Ballin 251k - 185pts @ 37ppg
    Much like Friend you pay for defence and that's about it. Solid but not a comp-winning pick by any means.
My Dream Team Update - After Round 5.

Currently sitting in 374th... solid but still plenty of points behind the leaders.
For next week...
The Brisbane Broncos have signed former North Queensland prop Shane Tronc for the rest of 2010 - in all formats he's a Fantasy beast. His numbers in the UK Super League have been superb and he'll get plenty of game time from Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak who has issues up front this season. Get him before his price rises - because it will.

Your Feedback?
If you've got any questions, suggestions or comments - let us know here via the comments section or on The NRL Tweet (@NRLTweet). Happy to produce what you want to read when it comes to Fantasy NRL - so don't be shy.