NRL Fantasy 2018: First impressions

Walter Penninger Roar Guru

By Walter Penninger, Walter Penninger is a Roar Guru

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    After playing with the new NRL Fantasy format in Round 1, having only 21 players in each squad is going to make the 2018 season particularly challenging as the year progresses and injuries start to have an impact.

    Here are my first impressions after the first round of play.

    Byes
    There are only two byes this season, and looking at them my first impression is that it looks easier than last year, when there were three byes and three partial byes.

    The byes this year are in Round 13 and Round 17, so assuming you can find 17 players available in Round 13 – excluding Origin players of course – then you will need to turn around and find 17 different players four rounds later, keeping in mind that there are only ten trades available to you.

    On the assumption that you have no Origin players in your team, this means you will still be missing at least four players for Round 17.

    Ideally, if I thought of it at the time, I would have stacked my team with Round 17 bye players to begin with rather than have to spend byes before Round 13 to get the players I need.

    Well, I guess we’re all on a level playing field so far as byes are concerned.

    Russell Packer tackled Matt Moylan

    (AAP Image/Daniel Munoz)

    Injuries
    I had thought that injuries would be of lesser concern than last year with the automatic replacement of selected players who withdraw pre-match, but that may not be the case.

    The reduction of four reserve players now means a greater chance of not having available replacements, particularly in the second half of the round.

    Chances are that later on in the season, when coaches like to select injured players in the hope that they will be able to play, we will all get stung by a lack of available reserves, particularly in the last two Sunday matches.

    Also, where previously you might’ve held onto an injured player rather than trade them, this practice will now further reduce your available reserves below an acceptable level.

    Results from Round 1
    It seems clear that NRL Fantasy 2018 is going to be high scoring given that three players scored over 900 points in Round 1. I was nowhere near that, although I had tried to stack my team with cheapies rather than go for maximum points at this early stage of the season.

    Let me know how you are going so far and any other comments you have about the new 2018 format for NRL Fantasy.

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • March 14th 2018 @ 10:43am
      John Smith said | March 14th 2018 @ 10:43am | ! Report

      I play on the NRL website. My DT is nearly half a million dollars under the cap. I have attempted to fill the squad with undervalued players who had quiet 2017 seasons, but whom I anticipate will have better outings this year. Out of my rookies Kennar had a good game, playing outside Gagai should see him set up for regular tries.

      Thompson had a cracking performance as well. He looks likely to break the line and bust tackles frequently. Unfortunately Katoa was injured and I’ll give Lafai another chance although he doesn’t seem to be a big points per minute scorer and his points will be limited. But a few dragons forwards will be picked for Origin so their may be a chance for his minutes to improve later in the season.

      • Roar Guru

        March 14th 2018 @ 12:45pm
        Walter Penninger said | March 14th 2018 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

        The Dragons forwards are a bit expensive and the cheaper players for the Dragons such as Leilia are no guarantee of seeing decent time so I’d be careful. Another reason for avoiding the Dragons players is that they do have a bye around 13.

        I think the strategy of starting with cheapies is a good one but everything has to be balanced because you do not want to get too far behind the leaders. As it was for me most of the reliable players I chose scored lowly and it was lucky I had Damien Cook at hooker, Ponga at fullback, Kikau in reserves and Slade Griffin in the second row. But I still came nowhere near 900.

        Good front row forwards are hard to find this year.

        • March 14th 2018 @ 1:01pm
          John Smith said | March 14th 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

          Hey Walter. Sorry I meant I’d give Leilua another chance. But as you said his minutes probably won’t increase so I will probably offload him next week. Agreed, much like Wayne Bennett I don’t like paying overs for props so I have Lodge and Rochow, the latter of which performed very will for his budget price tag. If Lodge plays a more disciplined game his base stats dictate he should average around 40 points per game which will also be good for his price.

          • Roar Guru

            March 14th 2018 @ 1:55pm
            Walter Penninger said | March 14th 2018 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

            I had more urgent changes to make such as Katoa out with his broken jaw but I also plan to get rid of Leilua next week unless things change.

    • March 14th 2018 @ 1:03pm
      John Smith said | March 14th 2018 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

      I made around 750 points which isn’t phenomenal but a solid base to build on.

    • March 15th 2018 @ 6:16am
      Chilli said | March 15th 2018 @ 6:16am | ! Report

      I waa gunning for top 10 until Tapine broke his finger dammit. Kid was on fire at the time pulling in 38 pts in one half and was my main pod in the pack. Even worse i chose him over FMariner 😐
      Moylan, Mitchell, Cartwright and French were my worat starters barely breaking 100 between them so that was telling. Ending up with 820 pts which is ok but should’ve been better.
      Had to pull some trades early as i cant have Tapine at that price sitting around whilst FMariner is running around killing it. Ended up double trading Tapine & Fanou Blake for Cam Murray & FMariner. Cam Murray is like JDBelin.. just tackles himself to a standstill and runs good lines so may pick up a meat pie here and there. Be really keen to look at Bunty Afoa once mannering comes back as I reckon he has some serious fantasy potential and looking for Jai Arrow to return to the backrow to boost his mins when Wallace returns … watching Cartwright reverse flick passes to nobody repeatedly didnt do much for me lol.
      Trying not to burn too many trades early days but players on last chance this weekend are Cartwright, J Leiluah (lucky rd1), Moylan in halves & French wouldve been gone already if wasnt for Tapine injury. How can you only score 13 from fb over 80mins?? .
      My main targets from upgrades are Munster (moylan/French) Sam Burgess once his price drops early days and gets frf/2rf dual citizenship then would be keen to to upgrade Ponga/Dufty to Dylan Edwards/Turbo trvojeic.
      Sorry bout the essay and good luck rd2 lads.

      • Roar Guru

        March 16th 2018 @ 11:07am
        Walter Penninger said | March 16th 2018 @ 11:07am | ! Report

        I like Murray too but Warriors Papalii is too cheap too leave out.

    • March 16th 2018 @ 8:01pm
      Chilli said | March 16th 2018 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

      Is it jyst me or did someone leak my fantasy team to resoective coaches of roosters and dogs? Both fatula mariner and mitchell were lepers out there.. FM never got it inside 20 at all… dean pay seriously? Game plan to use him as a decoy to play out the back i get, but not for 80minutes mate!!

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