Lone Scout, NRL.com
The reigning NRL premiers are stacked full of strong Holden NRL Fantasy players, with a few front-row cheapies thrown in for good measure.
Sonny Bill Williams ($374,200) lived up to expectations in his return to the NRL last season and should again be a consistent performer in Fantasy this season. He's solid in defence and can be devastating in attack, with his knack for producing offloads, try assists and tackle breaks converting into great fantasy points. But SBW's best asset this year could prove to be the Roosters' bye schedule, with the Tricolours playing in each of the three major bye rounds before an Origin match. NSW and Queensland stars will be missing from those rounds, making international guns like Williams all the more valuable for Fantasy coaches chasing the big prizes.
Despite all the hype that follows Williams, the premiers aren't a one-man team. James Maloney ($375,600) is a great all-round attacking scorer in the halves, combining a strong running game with quality playmaking skills and the team's goalkicking duties; Jake Friend ($354,500) is one of the NRL's hardest-working dummy halves and a cheaper alternative to Cameron Smith or Robbie Farah; Jared Waerea-Hargreaves ($334,200) is a barnstorming weapon in the front row; Boyd Cordner ($324,200) is one of rugby league's best young back-rowers; and Michael Jennings ($313,800) is one of the game's most dangerous attacking centres.
Beware though that the Roosters' byes mean Origin players like Maloney, Cordner and Jennings could miss five games in eight weeks during the middle part of the season if selected.
The Roosters have one of the strongest forward packs in the NRL, but a new face could be one of their best Fantasy buys this season. Remi Casty ($155,000) is a 28-year-old French prop who arrives from Catalans Dragons after playing 188 games in the Super League and 19 internationals for France. For a player with that much experience, $155,000 is a very juicy price. But with so much competition in the Tricolours pack will Casty get the game time to really make his mark this season?
Two more rising props – Dylan Napa ($111,600) and Kane Evans ($107,000) – lead the Roosters' best moneymaking options, but again they'll need to peg down a spot in the top 17 first. Both are now internationals – with Napa having represented Cook Islands and Evans playing for Fiji at last year's World Cup – and if they impress in the trials either could sneak onto the Roosters bench come Round 1.
One name already familiar to experienced fantasy coaches is Tautau Moga ($107,000), who played 14 games for the Roosters in 2012 but failed to really live up to the pre-season hype. He's got size (193cm, 108kg) as well as speed and skill, so is certainly capable of making an impact if he gets his chance on the wing or in the centres, but if the Roosters backline remains at full strength it's difficult to see him breaking into the side at the start of the season.
Roosters player prices
James Maloney (HLF) $375,600
Sonny Bill Williams (2RF) $374,200
Jake Friend (HOK) $354,500
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (FRF) $334,200
Boyd Cordner (2RF) $324,200
Mitchell Pearce (HLF) $316,300
Michael Jennings (CTR) $313,800
Mitchell Aubusson (2RF (CTR) $262,400
Sam Moa (FRF) $256,100
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (WFB) $250,500
Aidan Guerra (2RF) $238,500
Shaun Kenny-Dowall (CTR) $213,200
Issac Liu (FRF) $212,400
Anthony Minichiello (WFB) $209,100
Daniel Tupou (WFB) $206,700
Frank-Paul Nuuausala (2RF) $197,400
Remi Casty (FRF) $155,000
Daniel Mortimer (HLF, HOK) $137,400
Samisoni Langi (HLF, 2RF) $123,400
Dylan Napa (FRF) $111,600
Tautau Moga (CTR, WFB) $107,000
Kane Evans (FRF) $107,000
Sio Siua Taukeiaho (WFB (2RF) $107,000
Heath L'Estrange (HOK) $107,000
Curtis Naughton (WFB) $107,000
Jonathon Reuben (WFB) $107,000
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